Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Sibling Class

Today, the kids participated in a sibling class offered by my delivering hospital. I looked into the class months ago, I even told the kids about it, but I didn't make reservations because I honestly anticipated the worst case scenario long before now. That scenario might have been strict bedrest, a NICU baby, or another loss -- I had no idea. I never imagined being stable and upright at 33 1/2 weeks pregnant and sitting in a classroom while my kids watched silly videos and learned how to change diapers and wrap a swaddling blanket.

I never dreamed we'd have a day like today -- but we did, and it was great!

Both kids received activity books to help them learn about their new sibling, then a nurse told them all about what to expect when the baby arrives. She introduced them to all sorts of baby gear and showed them pictures of what the baby would look like when first born.

Next, each child chose a baby doll on which to practice their sibling skills: holding, swaddling, feeding, burping, and diaper changing.

Bub was surprisingly serious about his role as the big brother and took excellent care of his "baby." In fact, while the other little boys were goofing off, he continued to practice the things he learned. I knew he would enjoy the class, I just had no idea he would stay so focused.

After honing their care-taking skills, the kids had a snack and watched a silly video about becoming a sibling. Then, we all took a hospital tour. We looked at some babies through the nursery window, walked through the antepartum wing, and triage area and the doors to the OR where I'll be taken for delivery. (Because of the TAC, I'll have a C-Section.)

We visited a delivery room where the other touring moms will labor and deliver. There, Gracie weighed her practice baby...

... and Bub gazed at an empty baby warmer. (It was at this point that I became choked up and had to discreetly step out of the room.)

After the tour, the kids returned to the classroom and made stuffed animals (outfitted with little hospital t-shirts) to commemorate the day.

Gracie chose a chocolate lad, declared her a girl, and named her "Kisses."

Bub made a black cat called "Shadow" and stuffed a wishing star inside.

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