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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Aspen meets Lincoln

The highlight of my first full day in the hospital was seeing Aspen and Lincoln meet. I wanted nothing more than to sleep all morning and feel rested for Aspen's afternoon visit, but apparently every staff member in the hospital had to come into my room first and do something that day. I don't remember being bombarded by so many people when Aspen was born; just the occasional nurse would check my vitals and the pediatrician would come update us on Aspen in the NICU. Every time someone knocked on my door last Thursday, I wanted to tell them to go away. Especially the lactation consultant (but we'll save that story for another day).

When Anna arrived with Aspen and the cousins, it was so sweet to see. Aspen's face lit up and she showed us the bracelet she had received at the hospital for being a big sister. She loved Lincoln's tiny toes and all his brown hair. She kept reaching out gently to touch his head or his cheeks and just kiss his blanket. It was a wonderful moment to witness.

She asked to hold him, and I loved seeing the two of them together. I am so glad for her maturity and truly do believe their intentional age difference will be a blessing for me as their parent. Aspen has already proven to be very capable of understanding the changes in our family due to Lincoln's arrival, and she has been very selfless and involved as his sibling and my helper. The first night we were home, she told Kev she didn't need him to stay in her bed with her and give her cuddles and back tickles because she knew that Mom might need his help with new baby Lincoln. For the record, Lincoln was peacefully sleeping in his bed and couldn't have been more content by himself.

Since being home with the two kids on Friday, Aspen has wanted nothing more than to just sit and stare at her brother. She laid at the end of my bed while I rested and just stared at Lincoln while he slept. It's really sweet. Unfortunately she had a cold the week he was born so I had to remind her constantly to keep her hands off his face/fingers for a few days. That was just a tad exhausting for her.

I asked Aspen if she'd like the daily job of reading to Lincoln, and she has been very interested in it so far. I wanted her to have a regular responsibility with her brother that she might enjoy, and hopefully this will stick.

As for other things Aspen has enjoyed since Lincoln's birth- staying at her Aunt Anna's house is probably number one! She was able to spend Wednesday-Friday with them while I was in the hospital and I think she was in heaven. She came back a different kid and we've been getting along so much better after our time apart. I don't know what we would have done if not for Anna's and Darin's willingness to help us with Aspen. Yes, we had many friends offer to take her, but that's a big responsibility! It felt better to have family care for Aspen because they have to keep liking us after a few days with our precocious kid. And although I know Seth would have watched her, I didn't want him to miss work and be exhausted being her sole source of entertainment for a few days. Anna and her three kids provided an ideal environment for fun and Aspen told me so many wonderful stories about her visit with them (like how she ate THREE poptarts in the SAME DAY!!).

So much anxiety has lifted now that I'm not worrying about our schedule and labor and all the other uncertainties associated with awaiting a big change like this. It's such a relief to now have this chapter opening up ahead of us.

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