04 October 2009

Breck's Thoughts: How Oliver is Coping

For the past 9 months, we have spent alot of time thinking about how to help Oliver cope with having a new little brother.

However, we have not had much time to consider how to help Oliver cope with having a new little brother in the NICU.

Oliver has been staying at home with family for the past few days.  We've seen him for small amounts of time here and there.  However, today was the first day where we spent several hours with him.

We were very surprised to find our boy was unusually subdued and clingy.   We knew he probably missed us but his attachment to us was surprising.  We had hoped that somehow he wouldn't even notice we were gone.  We assumed he is too young to even notice anything is happening.

However, our day with him yesterday taught us that we are very wrong.

We took a few pictures of him yesterday because we noticed so much affection coming from him.
While at Walmart, Oliver grabbed Brian by the waist and just held on to him.

Brian put Oliver on his shoulders as we went on an errand in the mall.
Oliver gently laid his head on Daddy's head as a way to say, "I miss you."

And after his nap yesterday, all Oliver wanted to do was be held in Breck's arms. 

We put him to sleep tonight before going back to visit Bennett.  It was incredibly difficult for both of us.

After reading a book, Oliver held on to Breck in a way he hadn't done since he was an infant.  When Brian went to kiss him and put him down, he grabbed Breck tighter as though he feared he'd be pulled away.  She sat and held him for 15 minutes hoping that the embrace would eventually suffice both of their needs to feel connected.

When we realized that Oliver was terribly fearful of being put to bed only to find out his parents would not be there, we decided to pull out the gift we had hoped to give him a few days ago.

We had purchased a stuffed fox to give Oliver "from Bennett" to help him feel his little brother loved him (and in hopes he would just slightly favor this new person who would be stealing some of his limelight).

However, baby Bennett is still a foreign concept to Oliver.  So giving an item from an abstract concept didn't seem to make sense at this time.  We considered giving the stuffed animal to him when Bennett comes home.

But we knew last night was right.  We grabbed the wrapped gift and excitedly talked about the surprise inside.  When we opened the box, he instantly grabbed the fox and hugged it.  Oliver loves soft things!

You could tell he had just been given a new friend.  We talked about the Mr. Fox's ears, eyes, nose and hands.  He enjoyed recognizing all of Mr. Fox's body parts.  We suggested that he lie down with Mr. Fox and told him Mr. Fox would be with him tonight until we saw Momma and Daddy again.

He grabbed the stuffed animal tightly but began to wail as we left the room.

It wasn't long before he was fast asleep.

But it was very evident last night -  we have two boys to worry about now.


  1. Awwwwww, I'm sure little Ollie misses his Mama and Dada! You guys are such amazing parents--intentionally loving your kids through your time, thoughtful gifts, and encouragement. Making it through this tough time together will only bring you closer as a family.

    Sending our hugs and kisses to Oliver--wish we could be there to "play" and cheer him up a bit! Miss you, friends.

  2. I cannot begin to fathom how difficult it is for you to be separated from your sons. For now, to be with one is to be apart from the other, yet both need you so much.

    Today is my son, Chris's 29th birthday. I can't help but think back to the moment of his birth and when he was placed in my arms for the very first time. I can't imagine not being able to hold him or bring him home with me.

    The one and only thing I can do is to continue to pray for Bennett, Oliver and both of you as you continue to rely on God to carry you through Bennett's recovery.

    <>< Mrs. Marsha

  3. Breck, it's Ashley (FoPa) - THANK YOU for including me on the e-mail list and for all the updates on your blog. I'm clinging to every word and praying for your family - especially for your two precious boys. I miss you friend and will continue to check in and life you up.

  4. There pictures just break my heart. While they affirm how much Ollie loves and needs his mommy and daddy, I also know how carefree he can be. To see that baby Bennett's hospitalization is affecting Oliver too, I'm sure makes the experience that much more difficult for you. I wish we were there to smoother Ollie in hugs and kisses.

  5. I was wondering how Oliver was doing. Everyone I've talked to about this has asked about him. As hard as it must be to see how much he misses you, it must feel good to know that your boy needs you and cares for you that much. I'm sure you must feel torn and want to be in two places at once, but know that you are doing the best that you can. It's a blessing that your family is there to help.

    We are continuing to pray for strength for you, your family and Mr. Oliver. We love you all!


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