The Transition to Big Sister

1.27.2014

One of my biggest worries over the last few months was how Emerson would handle becoming a big sister. For as long as she can remember she has been the center of attention and our one and only focus. We talked often about bringing Adelyn home and how things would change but I'm not sure you can fully prepare a two year old for their world to turn upside down.

The night we got home from the hospital it was pretty evident that Emerson was already reeling from the change. We ended up getting home late so it was already past E's bedtime. I think she was also a little wound up from having Mimi here. She was so excited to see us and wanted to kiss and hug Adelyn. But when it was time for bed she pretty much lost it. She kicked and screamed and cried. To be fair I have to say that we have already been having some issues with getting her in bed, but this was above and beyond what we had experienced. I could tell that she was feeling so many emotions that she just couldn't identify and all she knew to do was to act out. We finally got her settled and in bed. And then I cried.  It absolutely broke my heart to see my first baby feeling so bad. I knew there was nothing I could really do and that we would all adjust but I will say that is just broke my heart. I prayed that it would get better as time went on.

I also have to note just how huge Emerson seems to me now! My friend warned me but I didn't really understand until we got home. I feel like she grew up overnight- both physically and intellectually.  Even though I knew it deep down, bringing home Adelyn drove home the fact that my baby girl really isn't a baby anymore. She's definitely a big girl now, though I tell her that she will always be my baby.

The next morning Emerson asked to hold Adelyn first thing. Here is our first picture of big sister holding baby sister.

That second day day went better but we still had quite a few tantrums and meltdowns. Throughout the day Emerson would tell us that baby Adelyn is so cute and that she loved her with all her heart. Luckily none of her acting out was ever directed towards Adelyn. She's been nothing but sweet with her. Her parents, on the other hand, have been on the receiving end of some major grumpiness. That night we had another major meltdown and Emerson just cried and cried. I'm sure you can guess what happened after we got her in bed. I cried and cried too. It hurt me so much to see our happy and sweet girl in such distress.  She still didn't have the words to express how she was feeling but it was obvious that she was just feeling confused and unhappy. (I'm sure those postpartum hormones contributed to me meltdown a little bit, too.)

By the third day home, I feel like we really turned a corner. Jesse, Mimi, and I tried to give Emerson a lot of extra attention. I chose to pick my battles with her instead of worrying about the little things. She had been insisting that she didn't want to wear pajamas to bed and I insisted that she had to. After battling it out and her becoming increasingly upset, I decided that it just wasn't worth the heartache for either of us. I really feel like she just wanted to feel in control of something so I gave into her and it has eliminated a lot of the bedtime stress. I mean, it really can't hurt for her to sleep in a diaper if it makes her that happy. We've also made some other adjustments to our routine- especially for nap time and bedtime that seem to have helped.


Since then Emerson has pretty much returned to her happy and joyful self. She pretty much goes about her business and ignores Adelyn a lot of the time. Throughout the day she will go up and rub her or kiss her. She also asks to hold her at least once a day. She's been pretty gentle with her but she does have a tendency to squeeze her when she's holding her. She also loves to rub her face and head and I have to remind her to be really easy.



She doesn't seem to really mind her crying anymore, thank goodness.  Sometimes when she is cries she will ask me, "Is Adelyn alright, momma?" or she will come up to her and pat her and say, "It will be alright, Adelyn." She will ask ask where she is if one of us is not holding her.  So far she seems to be a very caring big sister, just as I hoped she would be.

I'm thankful that our little rough patch only lasted a few days. I'm sure we'll have more trying times as we continue to figure out our new family dynamic but overall I'm very proud of how well Emerson has done. She's told me a few times how she wants to play Ring Around the Rosie and dress up with Adelyn when she gets bigger. I have no doubt that these two are going to be the very best of friends.



April said...

I am glad to you all got the kinks worked out with Emerson! You are very perceptive to know that she just needed something she could control. I would have never thought of that in the moment. You are such a good mom!

~Dawn~ said...

Gosh, I know I've said this before, but they so very much remind me of my two little girls. If they are anything like them - they'll be the best of friends.

Rebekah said...

I'm so glad that everything is smoothed out for the most part! I love the pictures of them together. They really will be the best of friends!

Michelle said...

So glad it didn't last long. But I bet those few days were absolute torture. Change is just so hard for kiddos :(

Paula Lynch said...

So glad E is adjusting so well. The pictures of them are so cute.

Rachel and John said...

Loving your new blog look! (it might not be new..I just normally read on my phone). I'm glad E is loving on her sister and adjusting well. Henry was so small when William was born that he didn't really notice. I'm worried for how he will be with this 3rd baby!

ajs {of MN} said...

aweeee they are going to be wonderful together! i can't imagine seeing her so unhappy and upset, so i totally understand why you would feel just as upset as she.

i love their matching outfits!

theacorsfamily said...

Thank you for posting about Emerson's adjustment! I am 35 weeks pregnant and concerned how my 2 1/2 year old son will adjust to his baby brother. I literally cried as I red your post because that is pretty much exactly how I envision our adjustment happening. Glad to know it will get better as time passes :)

Tiffany said...

Awww. That breaks my heart that there were tears in the beginning. But I am so happy that it is getting easier.
But I definitely wouldn't worry too much about her wanting to just sleep in her diaper. Sydney only sleeps in her undies every night.

Lyndsey said...

I'm so sorry you had to watch sweet E cry, but she is clearly going to be the best big sister! i'm glad the transition was swift!

Beth Ann said...

Bless your heart! H wasn't really old enough to comprehend, so B's arrival didn't affect him much. I am SURE your hormones made all of that harder to take! ;) But it all sounds very normal! Hopefully that is behind you now. They will definitely be best friends!

Mateya said...

Thanks for being honest! I'm dreading this, of course, but glad to know it only lasted a few days for you! Emerson looks so happy and proud to be a big sister! :) Hope things continue to go well!

Brittney Galloway said...

Aww, that is just so hard! I remember seeing Grace standing off by herself the day we got home, and even though she hadn't said or done anything out of the ordinary, just the look on her face said "devastation," and I just lost it! Keep up the hard work!

Kelsey said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I'm hoping our transition to big sister goes just as smoothly. I know it is hard to see your first baby girl cry but it is nice that it only lasted a few days! I hope everything continues to go well for y'all!

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