After we brought Delia home from the hospital, the second most frequently asked question has been, "How do the girls do together?"
(The number one question: Are you done having kids now? Oh goodness.)
Anyway, I thought I'd give a little update on that situation while it's on my mind.
I'd have to say that things have gone way better than I expected. Not sure exactly what I thought would happen when we brought Delia home, but I kept my expectations of Emery's reaction low. I didn't want to just expect her to accept her new little sister with open arms, and she actually did just that! She was and is all about snuggling with her, sharing her toys, and trying to pick her up and take her for a "nappy" whenever she cries. It is pretty darn sweet.
We have encountered two main hurdles, though.
The first hurdle presented itself during the initial weeks of having Delia home. While Emery was enamored with her new little friend, she was NOT enamored with her Mommy. She was so very snotty to me, and, out of nowhere, my sweet and compliant eldest child turned against me! She would run from me, disobey everything I asked her to do, and would whine and cry if I even tried to hold her. It was so strange. I'm guessing she was taking out her frustration of this totally new and unpredictable situation on me, the constant in her life. I was heartbroken at first. I thought I'd broken her. I felt that I'd betrayed her. I cried. A LOT. (Oh, gotta love those hormones...!). Everyone (read: the grandmothers) assured me it was only a phase and that she'd sort through it soon enough. And she did. Thank goodness. After about two weeks, things started to fall into place. While I could NOT have taken care of myself and the girls during those first couple of weeks after my C-section, it was actually very helpful when all of my helpers went back home. We were forced to start in on our own, just the three girls all day. Once things started to look normal again regarding Emery's day to day, she went back to being sweet and compliant (well, you know, for the most part. She IS going on 2 whole years old, after all.)
The second hurdle we encountered after introducing Delia into our lives was the issue of jealousy. Obviously, the younger the baby, the more constant attention and assistance they require. Thus, Delia is, by default, carried more, held more, and helped more than her older sister. That's just how it is right now. She can't do anything on her own. For the most part, Emery is pretty patient with this situation, but there are times that she has had it. If she wants me to hold her, she'll say, "Daddy hold Dee-yuh?" Then, suddenly, my arms are free and clear. Smarty pants. ;) A wise and lovely friend of mine gave me some very smart advice before I came home with Delia from the hospital. She said that if the baby can wait for just a second when the toddler wants/needs your attention, let the baby wait. The toddler will remember and notice that she's not being noticed, whereas the baby won't. Obviously, there is give and take to this rule of thumb, but, once I put it into practice, things really did get a lot better. If Delia is content and doesn't need a poopy diaper changed or isn't ready to nurse, I try very hard to actively focus on Emery for a few moments. When her little 'love tank' is full, she is much less jealous. Smart advice, I tell you.
Anyway, that's the state of the union in this household for these two little sisters.
Sometimes I still can't believe I have two little girls.
What blessings they are.