The Bond Between Siblings

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“Three. Maybe four!”

That’s the standard answer my husband and I give when asked how many kids we would like to have. Don is one of eight siblings and I am one of four. Having only one child, or even just two, has never crossed our minds. We both have happy memories of growing up in a full and busy household and envision the same thing for our family.

As a child, my brother and two sisters were my constant companions, my first friends, and playmates. Today, they are my friends. My relationship with each other them is unique in it’s own way.

Katie, the oldest, has always taken on the role of “second mom.” She is our protector and voice of reason. Johnny, the only boy in a house full of girls, is harder to break out of his shell but loves us all in his own quiet way. Though he is younger than me, he has perfected the protective big brother act. And then there’s Nora, our baby, who we’ve watched blossom into a smart, beautiful, and successful young woman.

Who else knows you like a sibling? In a matter of seconds my siblings and I could go from arguing over control of the remote to erupting into a fit of belly laughs over a silly inside joke.

We are the only four people in the world who know what it was like being raised by our amazing parents. We’ve helped create our family’s holiday traditions and have perfected our Christmas morning routine {down the steps, youngest to oldest}. They know how I got the tiny scar underneath my chin {I still blame Katie for that one!}. We know each other’s quirks and pet peeves and how to push each other’s buttons.

We have stood beside each other on both the happiest and saddest days of our lives. And as we’ve grown, our relationship and bond has done the same. They have helped shape me into the person I am today.

redmond kids
The Redmond kids, all grown up.

Earlier this year, Don and I made the decision that we were ready for baby #2 and quickly found out I was pregnant. We danced around the bathroom when the second pink line appeared. Abby was going to be a big sister!

Almost immediately, I purchased two books about being a big sister and added them to our bedtime story rotation. I planned a pregnancy announcement photo of Abigail reading one of the books. I started dreaming of the matching outfits I would dress her and her little brother or sister in. We began discussing names. I dreamed of the moment she would meet her little brother or sister for the first time. It would be magical and we would look back on the photos from that day for years to come.

Sadly, in mid-March, our baby’s heart stopped beating. I looked at the ultrasound screen and saw my excitement fade away. Abby wasn’t going to be a big sister yet. My plans of matching outfits and frame worthy photos would have to wait. We hid the “I’m a Big Sister” books and deleted the pregnancy announcement photo we had snapped of her. Our dreams of life as a family of four were put on hold.

What if we aren’t able to give Abigail a sibling? What if she is our only sweet baby? It’s a thought that has crossed my mind a few times.

Don and I feel so lucky to have our Abigail – she truly is the light of our lives, but in our hearts our family feels incomplete. We both want a house full of little ones and more than anything, we want Abby to be a big sister.

I want her to feel that bond; to have someone to look after and who, in turn, will stick up for her, regardless of any disagreements they may have had. I want her to have a forever friend who she can share secrets with and years from now reminisce about how embarrassing their mom and dad were. I want her to be able to look through old photographs and see her brothers or sisters by her side.

We try to remain hopeful for the future. I dream about the days when we will hear giggles coming from the room where our babies, the constant companions and first friends, will play. Until then, we are embracing every moment we have with our sweet Abigail, who brings so much joy to our lives and gives us a reason to smile even on our darkest days.

kisses
Sweet Abby