Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I remember very well the day we went for the 20 week ultrasound (it was actually at 19 weeks) and were told we were having a second girl (and, FYI, Anabelle's head circumference was actually measuring slightly LARGER than average at that ultrasound...but that's another story...).  I was actually a little freaked out.  Not because I had been desperately hoping for a boy or anything (although I did think she was a boy, as my pregnancy had been so different from that with Elyse. Turns out there was a lot more different with Anabelle than just her sex!!).  It was because my children were going to venture into a relationship that I could not possibly understand.  I grew up with a brother.  I had absolutely no idea what the sisterly bond was like.  Up to that point, there had been nothing that Elyse had experienced that I had not experienced myself.  It made me feel very strange that she was now going to have something so uniquely her own.

Well, as it turned out, of course, she was getting something even more unique than I could ever have imagined.  Both my girls are living lives that I cannot ever fully understand.  Anabelle spent the first two months of her life in the NICU, and the rule was that no one under 3 years of age could enter.  Elyse did not turn 3 until 4 days AFTER Anabelle came home.  Therefore, while we dealt with the diagnosis and doctors and surgeries and tears, depression, anger and everything else that came with Anabelle's birth, Elyse was living in a world in which her sister was almost a fictional character.  Every day, Mommy and Daddy dropped her off at Hema and Hawa's house (for those who do not know, these are the names Elyse herself gave to my parents) and went off to see this mythical "sister" creature.  And during those two months, the only thing I could think, stress, cry and fear for was how this new situation was going to ruin Elyse's life.  That in trying to give her a playmate and life-long friend, I had actually given her a life-long burden.

Oh, if ONLY Elyse had been permitted into the NICU during those long months.  I could have saved myself so much heartache and guilt.  Because the truth is, Elyse ADORES her sister, and the feeling is mutual.  So many times since Anabelle was born, someone has said to me that God intended me to be her mother.  I'm not so sure.  I'm pretty certain that what God intended was for ELYSE to be her SISTER.  I just happened to be the mom already in place.  Elyse is protective of her sister, she plays with her, sings to her, wants to help with all of her therapies and treatments.  And Anabelle responds better to Elyse than to anyone else in her world.  She turns to her when she speaks, laughs when she laughs, sings when she sings.  Never were two sisters more meant for each other than these two:

Meeting for the first time directly outside the NICU doors

One of my favorite photos of all time: Elyse helping Daddy bust Anabelle out of the hospital

Another fav: first day at home as sisters

Elyse can always get Sissy's attention

Helping out with tummy time

Personality Plus

She always includes Anabooboo in her playtime

Elyse thought Anabelle looked bored

Singing together

Waking up with a kiss

Sisters sharing secrets

And finally, to see them in action:


  1. beautiful sisters xxxxxxx my little sister is the same with james she was 4 when he was born and he just adores her no matter how bad things are he responds to her with nothing but absolute love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Elyse is gorgeous, but she is never more beautiful as when she is loving her baby sister. In these photos, she simply exudes pride in the role she has angelically assumed and unconditionally accepted.