{ Visiting OUR Baby }

It’s funny how ownership works. Usually you buy something with money and it becomes yours. Or you earn something-like a grade, and it’s yours. Occasionally you may own up to a choice, and that makes it yours too. Little baby Ethan wasn’t bought with money, or earned through any good merit of his brothers or sisters. He wasn’t necessarily their choice they could own, but they have claimed him as their own since they knew of his tiny little existence almost nine months ago. Every time we talked about “the baby” he was always OUR baby. And not the Aaron and I kind of OUR, but the whole Starbuck gang kind of OUR.They bought him with love and take that ownership so seriously. His every little movement and need is looked on with love and care. There are usually three people deep in line to hold him, or change a diaper, or sit next to him. Yes, ownership for this little guy is a group effort, but never was there anything quite so nice to share as OUR baby.

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  The first little glimpses of Ethan were looked upon with complete wonderment and amazement for this tiny little creature that just days before they had to only imagine what he would look like. They seemed to hang on my every word as I talked about him being born or what he was like already at just a few hours old. The nurse had come to take his temperature a few minutes before they arrived at the hospital and his temperature was a little low, so she had me hold him skin to skin to warm him up a little. The kids loved to see his cute chubby little body as I played momma kangaroo for awhile.

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Our tradition of holding a new baby still stands as youngest to oldest-and our former youngest Ryan was SO excited to hold Ethan. I think the sweetest thing though was that he immediately wanted to come sit on my lap and he asked me, “How are you feeling?” He had come up with that sincere little thought all on his own with no older sibling prompting and it was just what I needed to hear. He was so gentle holding Ethan and kept stroking his hair lovingly. So cute to see this brother to brother interaction already forming-or maybe just picking up where they left off in heaven a few years ago.

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He was very interested in my IV in my hand and wanted me to “open it up” and show him my tummy. It took a little bit to figure out baby Ethan wasn’t in my tummy anymore. He decided he would just push on my stomach a few times to make sure and then he declared, ‘'”It’s just kind of fatty.” Ha! Love his candidness! And yes he was right, it’s just kind of fatty still. He was happy to give others a turn holding Ethan too, but after his last time holding him before leaving he said, “Can we put him back in your tummy?” I asked if he loved Ethan and he said “Yes, I was just joking”

{I just noticed how appropriate that he has a number 8 on his shirt for our little number 8 being born. Good job me for picking out that shirt beforehand and not even realizing that. I guess my pregnancy brain wasn’t that non functional at the end.}

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Scott seemed almost the most nervous to hold Ethan. He was completely taken back by how little he was and kept saying, “I want to hold him, but I am just afraid I am going to brake him!” It was very sweet-and he did great! He held him close and Ethan even stuck his thumb in his mouth as Scott started holding him, so that made Scott just beam even more. He is going to be such a good older brother to those two younger guys.

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Abby-aka “Little mommy #4”. I tell you those girls have been planning and plotting how they are going to care for this guy for months! A real live baby doll is just about every 7 year olds dream-and boy did Ethan not disappoint. After two younger brothers she has perfected the baby hold, and cuddled him like a pro.

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Little mommy #2 and #3 were equally happy with their new roles as big sisters. They were pretty pleased that they were chosen to stay extra long that night and hold Ethan. They made sure that everyone got exactly 10 minutes of holding time and that he was constantly being passed to the next person so that they could get in as many turns as possible before Aaron came back to get them. Brooke amazingly seems to call all the diaper changing. I don’t complain at all, and am secretly doing air high fives about that fact. That girl knows just what this “service love language mom” needs sometimes. I love that!

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And then there is this guy. I don’t think that smile could have gotten any bigger. He is pretty positive that Ethan and him are twinners and he couldn’t love it more. Austin and the girls got to stay a few extra hours with me at the hospital that night when Aaron took Brianna and the little boys home, and then Austin got to come back the next day and spend the whole day with me at the hospital. It was very heartwarming to see him loving hold Ethan and get just as excited as the girls at every little sneeze and yawn he made. It’s times like this that I feel bad for some other families that never get to experience bringing home a new baby and seeing what that does to your other children. It is pretty priceless.

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Brianna was the one that most opening declared ownership on Ethan. He will probably eventually share a room with her for a while, and she has assured me that she will be overjoyed to fetch binkies in the middle of the night and calm him down. We will see about those latter promises, but as for the loving part-she already has that down pretty good. She loves on him and he just stares and stares so intently at her-it’s quite special to see. Brianna was happy to go back with the little boys instead of staying extra at the hospital that first night-with promises that she would get a chance the next night. After Aaron came down to get the other kids later that night though, he was SO tired and maybe rethinking the three trips down to the hospital the next day. At 30 minutes each way, it takes a lot out of the day and being in the car. She was bummed when she left for school the next day thinking she may not get a longer chance to be with Ethan. Aaron then decided to bring Austin to the hospital during the day to help me, and when he brought every else after school bring Brianna down and let her spend the night with me at the hospital. That text reply was filled with a resounding YES!!!! and lots of smiley faces.

It was nice to have some one on one time with my older kids and let them have some alone time with Ethan. Once he gets home and their busy schedules get quickly filled there aren’t always as many hours of uninterrupted baby holding time for them.

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We are so glad that you are OURS Ethan. You have been waited for for a long time and we are so glad you are in OUR family. We love you so much!

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1 comment:

Lisa said...

It's so fun for all the kids. Great memories. Glad you have so many helpers!! Austin is looking older - even just from last year!