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.