Something that was always at the forefront of my mind when I found out I was pregnant again, was my Levi and the adjustments and changes he would inevitably go through once the baby arrived. I think it's a natural feeling, to worry about that firstborn child and how they will feel once they are no longer the "one and only". I feel like the greatest gift you can give your child is a sibling, but the initial introduction and first weeks with one another looks different with every child - some may struggle with jealousy, others may revert to infancy, and some may ease into their new role. You just never know how a child will respond to and handle such a big life change, and it was something that worried me considerably with Weebie.
From the day we found out we were expecting our sweet little Ezra Ray, we started covering the situation in prayer. We prayed for true understanding on Levi's behalf, and that he would know and comprehend what was going on. We prayed that his tender little heart would be filled with love for his new brother and that he would welcome him into our family with excitement. We prayed that he would never feel replaced or left out. We prayed that we would be extra sensitive to his needs and feelings, and that God would grant us wisdom and grace in dealing with the transition for Levi. Husby, my Mom and I were all praying these specific requests with confidence that the Lord would hold the entire situation in the palm of His hand.
I tried my hardest to make Levi feel a part of the entire process. He accompanied me to every single doctor's appointment, and it quickly became his favorite place to go. On mornings that I had an appointment, he would jump out of bed with a giant smile and say, "we are going to see baby brother today!" Many days, out of the blue, he would ask if we could go to my doctor so we could see baby brother on the screen. My doctor's appointments were always a highlight of the weeks for him! He helped me choose things for him when we went baby shopping; he helped decorate the nursery; he helped Daddy with many a project for Ezra ... he was involved in absolutely every part of our pregnancy.
We talked about him being a big brother a LOT. We told him what a big boy he was going to be, what a help he was going to be, and how his baby brother was going to love him so much. Any chance or opportunity that came up to talk about being a big brother, we jumped on it and hyped it up. We wanted him to KNOW what an important role he was going to slip into.
As much as Levi seemed to understand it all, and acted excited about it, I still let doubt slip into my mind. I spent many a night in tears to Husby, worrying about what his reaction "might" be once the baby came. What if he didn't really understand that a new baby was coming to live with us? What if he didn't understand that the baby in my stomach was actually going to come out? What if he didn't understand that this is forever? All Levi had known his entire life was me and him. (Daddy, too, of course, but I'm talking about our week days - well, and some nights with Husby's crazy schedule.) He is my running buddy. Where I go, he goes. It's me and him all the time. I worried about him missing that. I worried about him remembering those days of just him and me, and wishing for them again. As much as I covered this in prayer, Satan knew how much of a concern it was, and he kept filling my head with these doubts. It was absolutely infuriating as I struggled with worry and trust. A constant battle.
The day that we found out Ezra was to be born, we told Levi and he seemed to understand completely. He screamed, "YAY!! Ezra is coming out of your belly!", and was such a calm and sweet little boy as we sat around and waited all day. He would come up to me in the hospital bed and climb up to kiss me and tell me he loved me. He patted my belly and kissed it, laying his head on it like he did every night at home and said, "I love you, baby Ezra." He was just the sweetest thing - eager to meet his little brother.
(Levi and Cousin Maxwell looking at Ezra!)
When he saw him for the first time, it was priceless. He was SO excited. The first thing he did was kiss his face and then kiss mine (then he said, Mommy! Your tummy isn't big anymore! Ha!!). He was the proudest big brother and wanted to show every one his new baby brother. My parents kept him while I was in the hospital and brought him up to see us every day. I could always hear Levi coming - running down the hall and screaming, "I'm going to see Ezra!!!" Every time he came bursting through the door with a giant smile on his face and sheer joy in his eyes, I lost it. I cried and cried. My baby boy was suddenly this precious big boy, and he was handling it so well. I covered him in kisses and told him how proud I was of him for being such a good big brother. All he wanted to do was help. He wanted to feed Ezra, burp him, kiss him, hold him, hug him, give him things ... he even wanted to change his diaper! Each time Levi came up to the hospital, I felt such peace. My big boy absolutely loved my baby boy, and it was such an answer to prayer.
(Levi burping Ezra.)
(Levi "holding" Ezra when he was under the bili lights.)
Life at home has been the same sweet story. Levi has been just dreamy. The day we pulled into the driveway on our first day home, he screamed, "Welcome Home, Ezra!" He has this voice that I have never heard come from him, and he only uses it when he's talking to Ezra. It is THE SWEETEST thing. He always says, "ohhh... he's so CUTE", in this high voice that will just melt your heart. The first thing he says every morning when he wakes up is, "where's Ezra?", and then he runs to him and gives him a kiss and says, "good morning, Ezra". He is so eager to get us whatever we need - diapers, pacifier, etc., and when we put Ezra down, Levi is always down with him entertaining and talking to him. He tells him he loves him all the time, and the other day they were in the living room alone as I was in the hallway and I saw Levi get down in Ezra's face, give him a kiss and say, "I love you, Ezra." The other day I said, "Levi, you are my angel." He said, "Ezra is your angel, too, Mommy." :) He is THE BEST big brother and he is adjusting better than we ever imagined. What an answer to prayer!
(Levi planting the flowers he brought to me and Ezra while we were in the hospital.)
I know that this is the beginning of such a special relationship these two precious boys will share for a lifetime. It has had such a sweet start, and they are so blessed to have one another. The ease of this transition the Lord has graciously poured over our family has made this first week and a half nothing but enjoyable. I know my boys will inevitably have ups and downs throughout the years - and we will surely battle jealousy and spats down the road, but their introduction to one another has truly been flawless. And I have no one to thank but my Lord.
God has proven to me time and again that my concerns are His concerns. All we have to do is ask and trust. He is gracious. So very gracious.