This pregnancy wasn't been just about me and Loving Husband this time. It was uniquely more involving our son. Finding ways to help him understand that another person was inside mommy, that another person would be coming to live with us and share his world that had been exclusively his, and help him learn to love his sister before her arrival. Throughout my pregnancy I was very happy with how well he took to his sister. In fact, he knew it was a sister well before any confirmation of that fact.
Ace has been very attentive to his sister during pregnancy. He has wanted to rock 'her' and he sat in my lap, holding my stomach and we'd rock in the rocking chair. He gave her kisses, hugs, said good morning to her - almost every day. He wanted to see sister ALL the time and constantly was pulling up my shirt to say 'hi' to his sister. He wanted to buy her presents all the time. On one occasion while we were in the Baby Gap - he came over to me with a tiny stuffed bunny in his hands and asked "I get this for sister?" He was very loving - he didn't ask so he could have it for himself, he truly wanted to give it to his sister... and so we bought the tiny little white bunny. He pressed it to my tummy. I suggested that we put it in her bag so that he could give it to her at the hospital when he came to meet her. As soon as we got home that's what we did. For weeks after that - he would ask to make sure we had her present. He'd want to verify it was in the bag. After verification he'd smile and wander off.
I spend endless time talking to him about what would happen upon his sister's arrival. He knew that he got to go to Gran and Pop Pop's house and that he would be spending the night for a couple of nights. He knew that he would come and visit sister in the hospital and then still go home to Gran and Pop Pop's while mom and dad stayed with sister in the hospital. He knew that sister would come home with us after we left the hospital... and as much as I would have hoped for a more natural occurrence of labor - an induction was just what we needed to truly make this an easy transition for Ace.
On Sunday evening we finished dinner and packed up the car and headed over to the grandparents. Ace was so excited to be there and played around for a bit. I got all his stuff laid out for bed - Tiger, Chip & Dale all accompanied us as snuggly bed companions - not that he really snuggles with stuffed animals, but they do sleep in his bed with him at home - so the comfort of them at Pop Pop's was important to have too. We assisted in the bedtime process and there was some mild fussing and protest to sleeping there - he calmed down and we left. After we left there was one more round of sadness and then ultimately he slept through the night. Upon waking he enjoyed breakfast, some Mickey, and walks in the snow with Pop Pop.
His sister arrived just shy of 3pm and we called and said to come on over anytime after 4:30pm. We readied ourselves and the present - I had told Loving Husband that I would be disappointed (although not surprised) if after all that build up he shied away from wanting to give it to her now - the family arrived and Ace was all smiles. He came right up to the bed and wanted to meet his sister. He said "Hi sister" and rubbed her leg. It was so sweet... we captured a few family photos and then let him run around the room for a moment.
A few minutes of exploring and we asked him if he wanted to give the bunny to his sister and indeed he did. He climbed back onto the bed and handed it to his sister. Sister 'took' it and hugged it. We took some family photos with everyone, then Ace scampered down to run around some more. Gran and Pop Pop took over oogling our little girl some and then Gran and Pop Pop headed down to the cafeteria to get some dinner for themselves and bring us some back up when they were complete with theirs. Loving Husband and Ace went exploring around the hospital. Mae and mommy stayed in bed and snuggled with her bunny.
Upon return of everyone - we ate some dinner. Ace ate my meal that was provided by the hospital - and LH and I enjoyed the food the grandparents had brought up from the cafeteria for us. I scarfed mine down pretty quick. During our eating, Ace wanted to get a burp cloth to 'wipe sister' - he had helped pack the diaper bag and had decided that she needed two burp cloths in there and knew where they were - so he went and grabbed one. Sister didn't particularly NEED to be wiped, but we allowed him to 'help'. It was very sweet.
After we finished eating and around 6pm - Ace was getting ancy to go back to Pop Pop and Gran's. He understood he had one more night at their house. He gave sister back her bunny, gave her a kiss, said goodbye to mom and dad and left with the grandparents happily. It was very sweet and an excellent first meeting between siblings.