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The Big Meeting

After my last posting filling you in on Cora’s birth day, I was surprised at how many emails I got saying I left you hanging – what about the big meeting between Maddie and Cora??? I certainly didn’t mean it to come off as a cliffhanger – wait, no, yes, I did.

So, the big day -

birth_day_and_trip_home_038.jpgCora was born at 11:30 a.m., and we decided to have Maddie come visit after her afternoon nap that day. She had a special shirt that we’d ordered just for this occasion all set aside, and Gamma had filled her in that this was the day she’d finally get to meet Baby Sister. The RN assigned to my recovery room suggested I not let Maddie come visit until we were ready to go home; she said toddlers are often upset that mom and dad aren’t leaving with them. We couldn’t wait, though, for Maddie (and by default poor Gamma!) to meet Cora, and we trusted in the groundwork we’d laid. More on that in a future blog, because several girlfriends gave me great advice that got us to this point.

Gamma gave us a shout when they were near, and on the advice of my friend Abby, Brian wheeled Cora into the nursery on his way to meet them in the lobby – that way Maddie didn’t walk in the room and see Mommy with the New Kid. When Brian saw Gamma and Maddie at the entrance, he spied his little girl clutching a single Gerbera daisy for me and said his heart nearly broke with love. He told me Maddie was wide-eyed and quiet at the hospital, but seemed very excited. As they rode up the elevator she held her flower tightly and got even quieter. Once they hit the recovery floor, all the nurses talked her up – “Are you coming to see a baby?” “Yeah,” she replied shyly.

I have to tell you, moms, that my heart felt squeezed with a giant fist when my baby girl came in the room with that flower. She was looking shyly around, clutching Daddy pretty hard. We had a pretty great snuggle and chatted for a few moments about her past couple of days, and I admired her new shirt (which did look very cool and grown-up, and of which she was very proud.) And then Brian said to her, “Would you like to help me go get baby sister?”

“Ok,” she said breathlessly.

birth_day_and_trip_home_040.jpgA few unbearably tense (on my part) minutes later, Brian and Maddie walk back in, wheeling the bassinet, Maddie proudly pushing on the chrome, her eyes never leaving the sleeping baby. Brian picked Maddie up and she hovered over Cora, reverentially touching her tiny cheek. I’m telling you, I still can’t talk about it unemotionally.




birth_day_and_trip_home_047.jpgMaddie was itching to hold Cora so we settled Maddie into a chair and put the boppy around her small waist. A swaddled Cora got placed gently on the boppy and you heard a tiny little sigh escape from Maddie’s mouth. She simply stared and stroked and gingerly touched Cora’s face for several minutes, incredibly still and intensely focused on her baby sister. When Cora started making little squeaking noises, Maddie looked up, her face wreathed in a smile – “she’s talking!” – and began squeaking back to her.

The worst part of the visit was persuading Maddie to relinquish her hold on baby Cora; this was definitely not part of her plan. But Cora was eventually pried away and Maddie, Dad, and Gamma all went out for a slice of pizza – another trick to make the transition easier: having Dad go at least part of the way with the toddler. Gamma later told us Maddie was somewhat silent the whole car ride home, but when she did speak, it was of Cora.

So that was the first meeting – an unqualified success! Of course, the next meeting was even better – but perhaps that’s for my next entry.


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