There is a couple that we are friends with that are also expecting a child soon. Their baby is due less than a month after Eva’s brother and their daughter (let’s call her Brianna) is also under two, so both of our families are going through many of the same preparations for the next arrival. It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off and to ask for advice.
I bring them up because they had a conversation that we never had, but I’m sure we’ve thought about. When number two arrives, where will our daughter be? Since I wasn’t there and I can’t remember the exact words that they said, this isn’t a quote, but I’m sure their conversation went something like this.
That Scott and Steph are pretty awesome.
Yes they are, we are sure lucky to have them in our lives.
It’s very obvious that the Twins and Vikings are much better than the Cubs and Browns.
Anyway, when baby #2 arrives and we are in the hospital, what are we going to do with Brianna?
What did we do with her last time?
What did we do with Eva last time? Oh wait…
Actually, we did have this situation last time, except instead of a child at home, it was Quinton at home. We had a friend come over and watch him and let him out to go potty. Both of us came home at various points to shower and change when necessary. What will we do this time?
We have arrangements for our friend who is the more pregnant part of the couple I mentioned above to come watch Eva. This may mean that we’ll be taking two cars for a bit, as one parent dashes to the hospital and the other dashes to pick up our friend. It shouldn’t be a problem. (Unless having someone who will be nearly nine months pregnant watch Eva and Quinton could lead to any issues. I can’t think of any.)
What’s unclear is how long we will stay at the hospital without Eva, when we will bring Eva to see her brother and birth family, and how much time we will split between Eva and her brother. We’ve never left Eva overnight with any before, we’ve never left her (besides daycare) for more than a few hours.
Eva is at the walking stage of her development, and a cramped hospital room will only work for so long. Eva doesn’t yet understand boundaries, not something that you want to mess up with a new born. What if she has a cold? Is it just a little cough or the sniffles? We’re trying to figure this out with one child, how do families with multiple children handle it?
Last time around with Eva, we didn’t want our families there. Well, that’s not exactly right. We wanted our families, but there were a couple of reasons that made it so it wasn’t going to work. First, our agency does not want us to have any family at the hospital. This is in respect of the birth parents. We don’t want to crowd them up with our family, or perhaps even show them up with our support system. As our experience from last time showed us, sometimes even someone on the staff can be perturbed by the extra presence you bring as an adoptive family.
The other reason we didn’t have our family come out is that we still were not 100% that it would happen. A number of couples in our adoptive parenting classes had stories of hospital bed changes of heart, so we were cautious. We did not want to share that disappointment in person with anyone.
This time around, we are fairly confident (though not 100%, what in life is.) So we still have a grandparent option for help with Eva those first few days.
Eva’s needs will be cared for by friends, family and her loving parents. These will be the last moments of her only child status, but we hope that the closing of that chapter of her life will lead to the joyous opening of the next chapter, big sister.