One of the most difficult dynamics of being in a Neo-natal environment is the very restrictive policy that, for infection control, only allows the baby’s parents to visit. So other than Gary & I, the only other person that saw Amy in the Rotunda hospital was our family priest who baptised her at 7 days old. It’s so unnatural to think that Amy spent all that time in hospital without meeting the rest of her family, and most especially her big sister; Isabelle (who was just 15 months the day she was born).
While it was almost 5 months before Amy & Isabelle met, we made a special effort to make sure Amy was always part of our family while she was in hospital -by improvising with photos:
- We took a family photograph
- We had plenty of photographs around the house and used these to talk to Isabelle about her lil sister
- We all said “Good morning” & “good night” to Amy via a framed picture in our bedroom
When homecoming started to approach we were able to use other props to prepare Isabelle for the big day:
- Amy’s “things” (i.e. cot, car seat, toys etc) – which were gradually introduced
- A baby doll – equipped with a bottle, doddee and nappy bag to explain all the things that Mammy & Daddy would be doing with baby Amy
- A present – on homecoming day we did a present exchange; Isabelle gave Amy a present and Amy gave Isabelle a present too. Definitely helped soften the blow!
I’d by lying if I said it was plain sailing so far. Big sis has had a few wobbles but overall it has been magical to watch the two girls interact. And I will never forget the moment they met; love at first sight for sure!