Brotherly Love

The night I went into labor & was leaving for the hospital, I watched my baby boy, Austin, sleeping in his crib (made into a co-sleeper). He was so unsuspecting. Sleeping so peacefully. So blissfully unaware that I was getting ready to leave & do something that would completely change his world FOREVER.

I was overcome with so many feelings: fear, grief, anxiety. I began sobbing. My baby bear was only 16 months old! He had NO clue that I was kicking him out of his status as the baby of the family. That night he had gone to sleep trusting that I would be in bed next to him when he woke up, the same as every morning. Little did he know that I would actually be across town, writhing in pain, so that I could bring another little boy into this world & that this little boy would also be sleeping with me.

Oh, I was such a traitor.

Somehow my husband managed to drag me out the door....

Fast forward to the morning that my husband brings the three older brothers & sister to the hospital to meet their new baby brother.

Mahri & Christian were ecstatic. Austin got a HUGE smile on his face when he saw me in the hospital bed. Daddy lifted him up....and he saw It. A tiny little baby. Breastfeeding. On. His. Mom.

A look of disgust was immediately plastered across Austin's face. He clung to Daddy when he was lowered to bed-level. He refused to let me kiss him. He wanted nowhere near the hospital bed. Mommy had a new baby & Austin was pissed.

Again we're going to fast-forward. Partly because I don't want to bore you with mundane details....but mostly because I am ashamed to tell you how much bribery I was reduced to doing. How many chocolate eggs and jellybeans were offered in exchange for Austin's forgiveness. (Levi was born on Good Friday & due to a slight case of jaundice, we had to wait to go home until Easter afternoon.)

Well, things got a bit better at home. Austin was loving up on me again. And he was paying attention to Levi. But mostly it was throwing things at Levi. Trying to sit on him, rather than next to him. Just your general, run of the mill sibling jealousy.

I cried, thinking this was what I had done to my family. I had taken a perfectly sweet toddler and turned him into a hateful assasin. His only goal was to kill. that. baby.

Let's fast forward again, shall we? Past the crying, the throwing of random objects, past the pinching & general hulabaloo.

It started with Austin bringing me Levi's blanket. What is this?!, I remember thinking. He's being helpful...towards Levi! Then it quickly progressed into Austin's trying to give Levi his pacifier! Sure, he shoved it with great gusto into Levi's tiny mouth...or eye...sometimes up his nose and always with great force...but it was a start!

Now he gives Levi hugs! Gently!

He runs up to Levi and excitedly, with NO prompting, says "Hi!" like he's so incredibly happy to see Levi.

The other day I was changing both boys' diapers (think Assembly Line). Levi was crying, screaming & fussing. Austin turned his head to look at his sobbing baby brother....and reached out & held Levi's hand. So he wouldn't be scared.

How incredibly sweet is that?!!

That's when I knew that these boys were destined to be more than just brothers. They are going to be best friends.


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