September 25, 2009

Big Sister

Ever since Krista's first ultrasound, Ava has been so excited about baby Jellybean. Over the past nine months, Jellybean has gone from being a little black and white image to a reality—and watching this transition through Ava's eyes has been absolutely amazing and precious.

At first, we weren't sure how well Ava would grasp the concept that a baby was growing within Krista's womb. So, Larry got a magazine on pregnancy that had pictures of prenatal babies from conception to full-term. He would show the pictures to Ava, who soon began calling the magazine "the Jellybean book" and would ask to "read" it often. Later on, the ultrasound video (which she began calling "the Jellybean movie") quickly became a regular request as well.

As the months went by, it became increasing apparent that Ava really did understand that there was a baby in mommy's belly, that his name was Jellybean, and that he was eventually going to come out and play with Ava. Once we found out the gender, we began telling Ava that Jellybean's name would be Christian. While she certainly understands this, she still prefers to call him Jellybean, which is fine by us.

On the day that Christian was born, Ava happened to be at the hospital with Larry's mom, who was dropping off some things that we had forgotten to pack. Krista's contractions suddenly got very close together and she knew she was about to go into labor. Larry told Ava that the doctor was going to come and "pull baby Jellybean out of mommy's belly" (which is the terminology we had been using to explain birth to Ava in the weeks leading up). Larry's mom took Ava out to the waiting room while Larry hailed the nurse to tell her it was time to call the doctor. Less than 30 minutes later, Christian had arrived.

Once he was all cleaned and swaddled, Larry sent the nurse out to the waiting room to have Larry's mom and Ava come in to see the baby. We were curious to see what Ava's reaction would be. Would she understand that the newborn baby in Larry's arms was in fact Jellybean? Or was she simply expecting to see a baby doll instead?

To our surprise, Ava walked into the room quiet and composed. Her normal two-year-old exuberance had been replaced with calmness and temperance. It was as if she understood that this was a serious matter and that she was expected to now assume the role of the mature big sister. Without missing a beat, the first words out of her mouth as she entered the room were "I want to hold him" as she reached out her little arms. She's been holding him ever since.

We couldn't be more pleased with how well Ava has adjusted to having a baby brother. In fact, she hasn't shown one iota of jealousy or sibling rivalry. Always the consummate tormentor, Larry will on occasion ask Ava "should we take baby Jellybean back to the hospital?" Ava's reaction is always the same—she immediately pouts, begins to tear-up, and tremulously shrieks "no daddy, no!" Don't worry Ava, baby Jellybean is here to stay.


Hailey said...

Christian is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! He's perfect...what a doll! What a sweet girl that Ava is!

Rachel Rowell said...

What a sweet big sister!