When Olivia was a baby, I remember well-intentioned family members asking us when we were going to have another one. There’s no way they could’ve known, but I was actually pretty surprised that we were lucky enough to conceive Olivia in just one cycle on Clomid. Growing up, all the Chinese fortune tellers told my mom and I that I would have trouble conceiving because my uterus was too cold. I never truly believed them, but I did harbor uneasy thoughts about my fertility in the back of my mind.
“Not anytime soon,” I’d respond. “I want to wait until Olivia is at least 3 years old so she can help take care of the baby!” Although I absolutely meant the part about wanting Olivia to help out with her sibling, we started trying for #2 when Olivia was about a year and a half. Good thing we did, because we ended up taking a year and many rounds of Letrozole to conceive Chloe.
Initially, I was worried about the age gap between Olivia and Chloe. However, now that Chloe is actually here and I’ve been able to see the two interact, I have to say that this 3 year gap is pretty perfect for our family. As Daniel and I like to (and have to) handle most of the childcare ourselves, we are not built to be a 2 under 2 family. Olivia has always been a big helper- we joke that her motto is “我幫你, 我幫你 (I help you, I help you)” because she always want to help, whether it’s cooking, helping her daddy make coffee, or helping pack orders for bobagreen. I am so happy and relieved that she is the same, if not more so due to her being a protective big sister, with Chloe.
At three years old, Olivia loves to do what she can on her own (getting dressed, eating, even brushing her teeth), she can express her feelings with words and be reasoned with through tantrums, and has her own life going on at Montessori school. She has not expressed any jealousy towards Chloe, something I was once quite worried about because Olivia had our undivided attention for three full years, and I think that has a lot to do with Chloe not really changing Olivia’s routines, along with us telling Olivia she was going to get a sibling when I was very early in my pregnancy. She had been expecting Chloe, and it truly warms my heart to see Olivia be so welcoming to the new addition to our family. Olivia loves to help with Chloe’s diaper changes by setting up the wee wee pad and grabbing the diapers and wipes. She loves to help us watch her baby sister. She loves to just sit near Chloe and talk to her. It’s really adorable to see her have full (one-sided) conversations with Chloe. She loves to tell her sister all the things she’ll share with her in the future- clothes, snacks, games, toys, etc. Olivia as a big sister is everything I could’ve asked for and more.
Had we had Chloe earlier, Olivia most likely would still be as awesome of a big sis as she is today, but it might have been a bumpier transition. I feel like Olivia has matured a lot in the last 6 months, starting just shortly before Chloe arrived. I love how we have been able to add Chloe to our family without upending Olivia’s schedule and routine. She still goes to Montessori five days a week, so she really only sees Chloe for a short while when she comes home during the week, and then we hang out on the weekends and usually go out to do activities as a family. To her credit, Chloe has also been doing her part in being an awesome addition to our clan- so far she’s been a really good sleeper. After hanging out with me and Daniel during the day, I am able to put Chloe down at 7PM and then go downstairs to chill with Olivia and catch up on her day. Now that Chloe’s almost exiting the fourth trimester, she’s more alert and into her surroundings. She lights up when she sees me, Daniel, and especially Olivia. I think she can sense how much her big sister loves her so she reciprocates. It will definitely be interesting to see these two grow up together, bond, and share countless memories together. I feel so lucky to have been able to gift my daughters each a best friend in each other. I know a lot of people wanted us to have a boy after having Olivia so we could have the “perfect” nuclear family, but I honestly would not change a thing. Chloe makes our family feel more full, and she has made our family better in so many ways, particularly in the sleep department. I can’t thank her enough for being here and being our daughter and Olivia’s sister. ❤️