Today was a very special day for our family. We've been anxiously waiting for the flu season to be officially over so that the girls could meet their brother. When they announced it as over with this past weekend, we couldn't wait to surprise the girls! They have been very patiently but anxiously waiting to meet him.
We have done a lot of prep talks ourselves, but the Child Life Specialist team did an even better job than us. Before going in to see him, we had a little class for the girls. They brought a whole bucket of medical supplies along with pictures of Aiden, and showed the girls all the equipment on him. They let them touch and feel everything, and then pretend played on little dolls with the equipment. Melodie was enthralled with everything and wanted to know what each item was for.
They also gave the girls a little heart and quilt to give Aiden. Melodie and Lydia got to write a message and draw pictures on it for him beforehand. They loved getting to decorate them and were so excited to give Aiden their special "love blanket and heart". Melodie drew a picture on his quilt of the three of them "under a blanket and watching a show together while cuddling", and deemed that as the first thing she wants to do with him. Lydia drew scribbles everywhere while reciting "I love Aiden" over and over again.
We purposely timed the meeting after Aiden received his methadone and was nice and sleepy, but I was still a little nervous bringing them back. I wasn't sure how all three of them would react. I was pleasantly surprised when the girls didn't seem to notice all of the medical equipment around him and were solely focused on him.
Lydia was very curious at first. She wanted to touch Aiden all over and give him lots of kisses. She especially loved his belly button and had to show Aiden her belly button. But once one of the machines started to beep, she got a little overwhelmed and was glued to my side. I'm very impressed by how well she did. That was a lot for a two year old to take in.
My sensitive little Melodie did great as well. She is an old soul and very emotionally mature for her age. As we've explained to the girls about Aiden's dwarfism and why he's in the hospital, she's gotten emotional before. So I was especially nervous about her reaction. But she did great, and was so enamored with him. She went on and on about how cute and little he is. (And don't let the angles of the photos fool you, he's pretty itty bitty still!) At one point she started telling him that she loves him and wants him to get better soon, and I could see her emotions were finally surfacing and she was holding back tears. But as this was happening, Aiden opened an eye, looked right at her, and reached his hand out to her. What a tender moment they had. And of course tears filled my eyes as I got to witness it.
Although Aiden was pretty sedated, he wiggled his hands and legs to our voices. Even his CO2 levels and heart rate dropped a little. The love between the three of them was very real and very present. You could truly feel it in the air and I know Aiden very well realized he was surrounded by his sisters.
It was an amazing thing to witness and I'll cherish these memories forever.