Becoming big sisters
Midwives have fun with babies. They are fascinating little people. We love the mothers. They are our cause. We also get to know fathers and grandmothers, doulas and best friends. And a big bonus is the big brothers and sisters. A prenatal visit without the kids can be intense and intimate. Toddlers can be distracting and hard work. But it's great to have them at prenatals. Part of the work of pregnancy is making space in the family. The baby becomes the big sister and everybody plays family musical chairs. Visits with the midwife for the big kids can help everybody fit into place. Lucy had a delectable pair of 18 month old twins, Jenna and Jilly. What one did the other copied, what one felt, the other mirrored. Jenna was more tentative. When her mom got up on the exam table to be measured she cried so Jilly cried too. When the midwife touched her mother's belly Jenna cried more and Jilly cried even more. So Lucy lay on the floor where her daughters could protect her, and hold her more easily. We practiced getting comfortable with the blood pressure cuff, we got to know the things in the room. We got to know each other. As Lucy's belly grew, Jenna and Jilly became more comfortable with prenatal visits. They knew what to expect. I was no longer a stranger. And they began to grow up a little. Lucy and I were confident that her growing wriggling bump was becoming their baby brother and Jenna and Jilly seemed to be beginning to kind of get it too. They patted the belly gently and enjoyed pressing the button on the doppler to hear the galloping baby heart. I showed them pictures of growing babies and they played with my baby doll. Their presence at prenatals and their gradually increasing comfort and understanding helped them make the transition to big sisterhood as mature(!) and accepting two year olds. (And I had a great time).