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Sibling Revelry: Meeting the Newest Family Member

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

In the moments after my third baby was born, my first thoughts were of telling my two older kids and having them meet their new sister. It was a Thursday night and close to their bedtime, but since we live so close to the hospital, my parents brought them over for a brief first encounter with their new sibling.

I had given birth about an hour prior and was still in the midst of post-birth medical care, but the moment they walked in, wide-eyed and full of wonder, time stood still for a split second. Seeing my two older kids (who suddenly seemed like such big kids) and remembering exactly when they were as little as their new baby sister was such a nostalgic, bittersweet and special moment for me. Talk about waterworks.

The following day was what I consider to be our real, first family time together. My husband surprised our older kids by picking them up from school at lunchtime so they could come to the hospital and spend their afternoon with their baby sister. In a much calmer setting, without the flurry of nurses and tests, they were able to hold her in her sleepy, bundled state and get that sibling bonding time in.

They were so proud to be a big brother and sister and amazed me so much, showing how mature, caring and nurturing they could be to someone they had just met.

For the whole afternoon, the five of us were together in that little hospital room. The kids took turns holding the baby, played with the mechanics of the adjustable hospital bed, delighted in the fact that I could order "room service" from the cafeteria downstairs and helped the nurses take my blood pressure.

Those few hours were truly special and affirmed our decision to have another baby. Our family of four added a new member that day, yet it felt as though she was always meant to be there.

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