A few weeks after Alethea was born, I remember getting an email from a prospective new bride. She was getting married the following December, and said that my sister Kara had referred her to me.
It’s not uncommon for Kara and I to refer things to each other, we’re both photographers in the same market, but this truly seemed like a dream wedding! I immediately thought, “Is Kara really booked this day already? It’s December. Hmm.” and then after doing some math on my fingers, a thought occurred to me, “Maybe she’s pregnant!”
I couldn’t get that thought out of my head all day. So me, being the best little sister I can be, I sent her a text and straight out asked her.
It went something like this:
“Are you pregnant?”
“You heard me.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Oh I don’t know. You referred me this really great wedding that is taking place in about 8 months…”
“Don’t tell mom.”
“I knew it!”
I held onto that secret for a while! A few days later, I found out another little secret as well. My cousin Zeb and his wife Emilie were also expecting! They weren’t planning on telling Jonathan and me before their families, but we invited them over to meet Alethea, and after some nice conversation, Zeb pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of about 10 positive pregnancy tests. We laughed and rejoiced with them, and Emilie made the comment to me that she really wished she and Kara were going to have babies at the same time. I’ve never felt so much pressure to tell a secret in my life as I did in that moment!
I kept my mouth shut though, and a few weeks later, the news of both babies came out. What an exciting time!
Soon Kara and Derrick found out that they were adding a boy to their family. They popped some confetti in their back yard and we all celebrated at their gender reveal party. My niece Braelynn was convinced it was a girl and her name was going to be Margaret (because that’s Daniel Tiger’s baby sister’s name!) When everyone found out it was a boy, people started asking her what his name would be. She still proudly proclaimed his name would be baby Margaret! Braelynn held onto that for several more weeks until she realized that couldn’t be his name after all.
Kara gave birth to Leander at the midwife center in Pittsburgh. They don’t keep you overnight there, but instead after a few hours, as long as everything is okay, they send you right on home! What a dream that must be! Braelynn stayed with grandma and grandpa over night and the next day, Kara had asked if I’d be there when she met her little brother for the first time. So Alethea and I headed over the next morning to meet him and get ready for Braelynn. Alethea thought that Leander was just the cutest thing ever. The photo of her looking at him the first time just cracks me up!
Then it was time! I can remember Braelynn walking in the door and going straight to her mommy and saying how much she missed her! After a few minutes went by, Kara said “Are you ready to meet your little brother?” She said “Where is he?” He had been right behind her the whole time, sleeping in a sling. She got real close to him and stared in wonder, but she didn’t want to touch him. At least not right away.
When Alethea was born, 9 months earlier, she wouldn’t go anywhere near her. But over time, she gained the courage to hold her hand sometimes and get a photo with her.
Braelynn sat down on the couch and Derrick asked if he could bring her a gift. She excitedly said yes! But then he said “You have to hold your brother first.” She reluctantly agreed. So they all sat down together as a family, and she held him on her lap. She gave him a kiss and touched his hands. Then she said “Okay! Where’s my present?”
We all laughed and Derrick brought her a gift bag with a stuffed Pete the Cat doll from her favorite book series. She hugged it and held it like her own baby. It was adorable!
Afterwards, Aunt Ruby and Grandma got to hold Leander, and I even got to sneak in some cuddles. Grandma got a picture with all her grandkids before we left.
I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since Leander was born! I can’t believe even more that in a little over 3 months, Alethea will be the one who’s a big sister, and she’ll be turning 2 as well! Time does fly.
Happy birthday, Leander! We love you so much! <3