I thought I would share a bit about how my two big girls have done with the transition of a new baby. First of all, I have to say that they were VERY prepared for the new baby. We talked about it all the time, every aspect of it: from what the hospital visit would be like, to the presents they would give Abbi and the Big Sister shirts they would wear (they were especially excited about hose two things!) to the "plans" of who would take care of them depending on when Abbi came, to the fact that Mama would be sore and tired and sleep all the time when the baby first came. I really think this helped them so much and no detail was too small for Karis to remember and talk about as we waited for Abbi to decide to show up!
The transition with Karis has been an absolute breeze. She is old enough to understand everything and be excited about it all. She wants to help with the baby at all times. She wants to pick out her clothes, watch me put them on her, help me "wake" Abbi up and unwrap her swaddle, put hats on Abbi, and give her toys all the time. If she misses any part of getting Abbi ready, she is disappointed.
The only thing Karis does not like is hearing Abbi cry. When Abbi was first born, she hated getting her diaper changed and would fuss the whole time. When I would tell Karis I was getting ready to change her diaper, Karis would run from the room and tell me to wait till she was gone so she wouldn't have to hear Abbi fuss. Now that Abbi is older, she doesn't fuss over diaper changes and it isn't an issue anymore.
I've not noticed any signs of jealousy and Karis seems to be just as proud of our new baby as I am! :) She loves to show her off to everyone she meets and it was very hard for her when I stayed at home to sleep and missed church and other activities the first few weeks. She kept saying, "but I want to show them the new baby!" It has also been so nice that Karis seems to understand that when I am nursing Abbi, she needs to wait for me to help her do things. She usually picks something to do nearby and gets Karlie occupied as well, which is a huge blessing!
Karlie has also been very excited about the new baby and wants to kiss her and bring her toys and put lotion on her. She is always very happy about her and doesn't seem jealous. But she doesn't quite understand why I can't immediately jump to help her when I am feeding or changing Abbi. She will get very upset sometimes when I tell her to wait, but I know that is just part of being 2 years old and she is slowly learning to have a "happy heart" when I am taking care of Abbi and she has to wait for my help. I try to be proactive and pick something to entertain her when I am getting ready to nurse Abbi.
All in all, I think the girls have done extremely well (so far :) with the transition and I am so grateful! I am especially thankful that they did not seem to mind me being in the hospital at all -- last time Karis was a little traumatized by my being gone and was obsessed with me when I returned. She constantly wanted to make sure that I was there, to the point where Mark had to bring her in the bathroom often when I was taking a shower so that she could see I was still there. But I think it helped Karlie that she was old enough to understand the plan ahead of time and that she had Karis there with her to show her everything was ok. I praise God for a smooth transition for my big girls!