Portia is almost one (her birthday is April 16th) and this weekend we are celebrating with a little birthday party for her. I can't believe how insanely fast this year has gone by. It really feels like yesterday I was hugely overdue and awaiting her arrival.
Before we decided to have a second baby and all throughout my pregnancy I was terrified of how a sibling would effect Hermione. She seemed like such an only child to me. She loved being alone with me and Doug and never had an interest in babies like her friends did. In fact one day her nanny, Eva, picked up a friend's baby and Hermione said "put her down! She's not even crying!" I was so scared that a new baby would detroy her world, make her insanely jealous and ruin the special relationship she and I had formed. I could not have been more wrong.
Hermione didn't realize I was pregnant. Even at almost eight months she seemed oblivious to my belly and what might be going on in there. Not wanting to rock the boat too soon we waited and waited to tell her about her sister's imminent arrival. Finally it seemed ridiculous to wait any longer. One night at bedtime I decided to break the news. It went a little like this:
Me: "what do you think is inside Mommy's belly?"
Hermione: "I dunno, a baby?"
Me: "You're right! Would it be ok if when the baby comes out I am her mommy too?"
Memory and time have muddled the scene a bit but that is basically how it went. No tears, no resistance. Nada. As my pregnancy went on (and on and on) I started to ask Hermione when she thought the baby would come out to meet us. Often she would put her mouth to my belly and say " It's ok baby. You can come out and play with us." Sigh.
When Portia was born and Doug brought Hermione to the hospital to meet her new sister I could hear her running down the hall and yelling "where's Mommy and Portia?" long before she go to my room. I had done all the things people suggest. I wasn't holding Portia when Hermione arrived so as to not make her jealous. I had a a little party set up for her with balloons, flowers and presents from her baby sister. All Hermione wanted to do was see and hold Portia. She barely noticed all the pomp and circumstance I had set up.
Their great love story started that first day and hasn't cooled down since. Hermione is THE BEST big sister ever. She is extremely caring, loving and doting on Portia. If Portia cries she immediately tells me to pick her up, tries to comfort her herself or gets her an icepack (which often works!). The easiest way to get Hermione dressed in the morning? Dress Portia first and find a matching outfit for Hermione. If Hermione is resisting getting in the bath all I have to do is put Portia in first and Hermione will follow right behind. She adores her baby sister and wants to do everything with her. She loves when Portia comes to school pick up and drop off, her various classes, playdates, you name it. It is beyond heartwarming to see the love my big girl has for "her baby Porchie."
For her part Portia is equally enamored. She lights up when she sees Hermione and screams when you try to separate them. Every morning Portia tries desperately to scoot down the hallway into Hermione's room to wake her up. When I finally let her go in there she makes a mad dash for her sister's bed! I had never considered putting them in the same room but I am now thinking that once Portia can sleep in a bed I may get them bunk beds so they can be together even at night!
I feel so truly lucky to have two amazing little girls who love each other so much. There has yet to be any issues of jealousy, anger or competition for love between them. Seeing them together melts my heart and I know their relationship will only get stronger as time goes on.
If having one baby was the best decision I ever made then having a second was, well, a close second. I cannot imagine our family without Portia in it and I no longer can imagine Hermione as an only child.
People often ask me if we will have a third baby and then answer is no. I can say with confidence that our little family of four is complete. I don't feel like we are waiting for anyone. Gang's all here and they are all mine.
Happy Almost Birthday to my baby girl! Thank you for completing us!