Our Proud Big Brother!

by Kathy on July 26, 2009 · 13 comments

in Baby Benson, Bob, Molly, Sean, The Future

I have intended to share about the night we told Sean about our new baby girl for months now, but the time kept getting away from me. Back in April, when we told him, I did jot down a bunch of notes about our announcement and the conversation that ensued. So here is my recollection of that special time for our family earlier this year.

On Friday, April 3 (the night before we were 16 weeks gestation) we decided to finally tell Sean about being a big brother again. We told him during dinner that night that we had something to tell him. He said “what?” and looked a bit serious. I said, “Mommy has a baby in her tummy!” To say that Sean was excited is an understatement, he got out of his seat and jumped up and down and came over to me and hugged me/my tummy!

Sean asked “what is it?” and we asked if he wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl and he said “yes” and we told him we are having a girl. He seemed very excited! Sean was able to process that he already has a sister, though he can’t see her and she is in Heaven and that now he will have another sister, who hopefully will be healthy and able to come home with us from the hospital after she is born.

At one point Sean commented that maybe in my “M” heart locket (that I often wear on a chain around my neck) I could someday put a picture of him and Molly on one side and him and our new baby on the other side.

Sean asked “what can I do to help?” We said help with diapers, feeding and playing with her. Bob said, “you can also share your room.” Sean said that every morning when they wake up that he will give her a hug.

Some other cute things that Sean said during our conversation include:

“I am a Professional with Diapers! I even still wear them sometimes (pull-ups at night from time to time).”

“I am a Professional with Babies! I was a baby and you taught me a lot of things that I can teach her now.”

Sean wanted to call and tell everyone right away (he didn’t realize that some of them might know already and we didn’t tell him)! We did try to call and left a message for his maternal grandparents (which was absolutely adorable and so I asked my parents to temporarily save it, so I could transcribe it and will share my transcription at the end of this post). Then we told Sean that he needed to finish his dinner, but that we could continue to talk about it.

As time went on that evening Sean gave lots of hugs and kisses to my belly. Sean also talked to his new baby sister before bed (telling her that he was going to take a bath and then go to bed).

Sean asked about what it would be like when she is born and told us that he wanted to be one of the first ones to hold her. We explained it willy probably be similar to when Molly was born except that she will be alive when he gets to meet her and that she will likely either be sleeping or maybe crying and wiggling around.

Sean said that when his friends come over for play dates that he would be nice to her (he said that some of his friends aren’t always nice to their brothers and sisters during play dates).

We told Sean that our baby girl would probably be born in September around the time he starts Kindergarten, but before his birthday in early October. He said that at his birthday party he would introduce his friends to her before they played outside.

Sean said that he could help with potty training and lend her his potty seat. We said that would be a few years off.

Sean asked if she tried to eat something she didn’t like if she would spit it out? We said maybe sometimes. He said that he hoped she wouldn’t spit it on him!

Sean asked about names. We said that we didn’t have to decide right away. He suggested the name he knew would have been his if he was a girl, Abigail Grace. We said that we do still like that name a lot and would consider it. He also suggested Sasha. I immediately thought about the Obama’s daughter and wondered if that is where he got the idea. Then he said how about Gloria, from the movie Madagascar?! We emphasized there was plenty of time for us to pick a name. We told him we had some baby name books that we could look through together for ideas and he said how about right now? So we did end up going through the girl names in it before bed that night and came up with a tentative list of ideas, which was fun!

It was cool to have such an extensive conversation with Sean about his new baby sister, as with Molly we didn’t get very far because we found out quickly/very soon after we shared the news (within a few days) that she was sick. Also Sean was well over a year yonger at the time we told him we were pregnant with Molly (he had turned 4 years old two months earlier), so he seemed to be able to understand what our new addition would/could mean for our family on a more mature level this time (being 5 1/2 years old).

Sean also asked that evening “who will she play with?” We suggested some of our neighborhood friends who have babies who would be somewhat close in age, his younger cousins and another new cousin, my sister and our brother-in-law/his aunt and uncle’s baby, when he/she arrives (they are in the early stages of the domestic adoption process, with their short and long profiles being available for birthparents to review very soon)!

Since April when we told Sean, as you might imagine, we have had many more awesome conversations with Sean about his new baby sister and his role as her big brother. During this time it has also been bittersweet and interesting to see how Sean continues to process his two baby sisters (Molly in Heaven and Baby Benson in Mommy’s tummy) and how they fit into our family. A few highlights from those discussions include:

“I want to tell Baby Benson that Molly will always be in her heart.” (April 28)

After convincing me to help him finish off the apple sauce in his bowl one day… “Feeding me apple sauce is good practice for feeding Baby Benson!” (May)

Sean also has tried something similar more recently with me this summer, wanting me to hold him in the swimming pool and cuddling with him on the couch, telling me that it is also good practice for holding Baby Benson! (June)

After I picked him up from a local park district tumbling class, during which I found out he had misbehaved and received a “time out,” we were talking about the disciplinary action his instructor had taken and Sean got upset. When I probed more as to why he got the “time out,” Sean told me (and this was the first time he had ever pulled this), “I was sad about Molly.” I was suprised that he would say that, but I guess it was pretty cleaver to try to play me/tug at my heart strings with the “Molly angle,” in his effort to try to divert attention for why he had gotten in trouble during his class. I told Sean that afternoon that it is okay to be sad about Molly, but that it is not an excuse to not listen/follow directions in his tumbling class. (May)

After we gave him a graduation card (on the day of his Jr. Kindergarten gradation ceremony) and I pointed out that it had a butterfly on the back of it (something I hadn’t noticed when I originally bought it)… “Butterflies remind me of Molly too!” (May 21)

“I’m excited for Baby Benson to be born!” To which I replied, “me too!” Then Sean said, “I am going to teach her how to make friends and introduce her to our family.” (July 9)

At the library, while waiting to check out, we saw an older boy pick up his younger sister and hold her. Sean pointed that out to me and then hugged my belly. I asked if he was trying to “hold” his younger sister and he said “yes” that he was “practicing!” (July 20)

The picture at the beginning of this post was taken the day after we told Sean about his new baby sister. We had given him the t-shirt the night we told him we were pregnant with Molly (though at the time we didn’t know we were having a girl and that she had congenital heart defects) back in December 2007. Bob and I had discussed ahead of time that with this announcement we would not shower Sean with gifts as we had that time, however we would remind him about the t-shirt and let him know it would be okay if he wanted to start wearing it again between now and when Baby Benson is born. He was very excited to wear it again and suggested we lay it out for the very next day!

The picture below, that some of you who are “friends” with me on Facebook may have already seen (as it was my profile picture for awhile this past spring), was taken when we were 17 weeks gestation. We had forgotten to do 16 weeks “belly shots” the previous week (we typically do them every 4 weeks, starting at around 4 weeks gestation) and so before we left for the Easter Vigil Mass on that Holy Saturday, Bob was taking some pictures of me and my belly. Sean came into the room at the time and asked if he could be in one too. I thought that was so sweet and love how the photo turned out of Sean with me and his new baby sister! 🙂

Thank you for your continued kind words, support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers. Sean is really excited to meet his new baby sister, in less than eight weeks now, and so are Bob and me! I will leave you with the transcript from the voicemail that Sean and I left for my parents/his maternal grandparents earlier this year on Friday, April 3 at 6:11 p.m.:

Kathy: Hi Grandma and Grandpa, this is Kathy, Bob and Sean and we were calling to tell you some exciting news that Sean just found out…

Sean (screaming): MOMMY HAS A BABY!!!

Kathy: …in my tummy!

Sean (still screaming): Yeah! It’s so cool – I can’t even stop thinking about it! I want to give you another hug! (a bit more quietly) Her heart’s not even bad.

Kathy: Her heart’s not even bad, right.

Sean: Yeah. So if you get this message, please… I mean, when you get this message, please call us back and then we’ll tell you more about it. Bye!

Kathy: Wait, wait, wait… and please save this message because it’s adorable! And what else? There was something else I was going to say… We’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Sean: Yeah, oh and a, then you’ll get to give the baby a hug, but you have to be in the tummy, just like I did, twice! Okay, bye!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bluebird July 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Oh my GOSH! There are so many wonderful gems in there I don't even know where to start! That precious little boy just tugged at my heart with each sentance 🙂 How smart of you to get all of them down, and thank you so much for sharing them with us. His excitement is contagious, isn't it? 🙂

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2 Fishsticks and Fireflies July 26, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I am with Bluebird! What an amazing little boy. Knowing when and how to discuss another sibling – especially after such a loss – is so difficult. I admire how you went about it and can't wait to read about all of the wonderful moments Sean and Baby Benson will soon share.

(My heart absolutely melts every time Cooper tells me that he is going to teach Maren or Briar something – his list must be a mile long by now!)

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3 sapwell July 27, 2009 at 7:22 am

That is the sweetest post Kathy. What an amazing little boy you have. Thanks for sharing your precious moments with us 🙂

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4 Kristie July 27, 2009 at 7:27 am

This is co cute. Thanks for sharing.

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5 Once A Mother July 27, 2009 at 7:51 am

what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing, and for showing me that there can be happiness after loss. My baby girl passed away in October of Leukemia, and sometimes a happy future seems unimaginable. It helps so much to see stories like yours and know it is possible to have joy again. congratulations

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6 T-Mommy July 27, 2009 at 8:33 am

Sean sure is the BEST Big Brother ever!…

Molly and Baby Benson could NOT have asked for a better family..

REALLY! 😉

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7 Martha July 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

So sweet!! Yeah for Sean!!
You look absolutely stunning, Kathy in your picture w/Mel.

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8 CLC July 27, 2009 at 11:17 am

What a sweet boy! You must melt over and over!

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9 S July 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm

First, I'm so sorry for your loss of Molly. I have been following you guys for a long time but I'm not sure that I ever made a post. I am thrilled for you guys that this pregnancy is moving along right on track. I can't wait for you to bring this little girl home this fall. I'm crying. Such a sweet post to share. After three miscarriages we were finally pregnant again. At 17 weeks we finally told our dd that I had a baby in my tummy. The next week the peri suggested she may have Trisomy 18. I was a wreck. One of the worst parts was telling my then almost four year old daughter that I wasn't sure if we would have a baby come home with us in November. I can't imagine the pain and heartache that you have endured with Molly. We were blessed to have an amnio two weeks later that showed a healthy girl in my tummy. I was so happy to talk to my daughter about the baby. I am thrilled to know that Sean will be an outstanding big brother.

It is honestly one of the sweetest things to see my girls interact with eachother. It makes my heart want to explode.

Good days ahead my friend, good days! Hugs!

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10 JuliaS July 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Sean is a sweetheart and you look lovely! :0)

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11 Penny July 28, 2009 at 6:31 am

I have stumbled across your blog via links from other blogs. As I started reading, I started crying profusely. You have my deepest sympathies.

I am also currently pregnant. We seem to be due very close to each other. I am 34 weeks this week with baby number 2. Congratulations are in order for both of us. 🙂
I can't wait to read about the birth of baby Benson.

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12 sommer July 28, 2009 at 9:52 am

What a wonderful post. Sean's phone message made me cry. How sweet!!

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13 theygrowinyourheart July 29, 2009 at 11:41 am

I am just sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. It's been SO long since I've read blogs and look at all that's happened. I am so, so thrilled for you guys and your precious family. I can't believe how soon the baby will be here! What a wonderful little boy and what an awesome big brother he is! 🙂
I'm so excited to catch up! Sending you lots of hugs! 🙂

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