Monday, March 23, 2015

Great Grandmother

21st May 2017

The Miles Now Separate 

More than two years have gone by since this posting
There is another great grandchild, a brother for little Rose,
nearly ten months old already.
 The family have moved away and we rarely get to see them.
We miss them so much it hurts.
 But that's the way it goes.

23rd March 2015

Becoming Great

The day had come, more planned than she would have liked. But the medical experts, not happy with some of the measurements, did not want her to go past her "due" date. So Grandad took them, with their bags, packed many weeks before, to the hospital early that Monday morning.

I made myself a drink , sat down, took up my phone and text them to say that I was here if they needed me and waited. It felt a bit odd but we are the only family they have near so it seemed the right thing to do.
For the whole of that day I went around fidgety, in a bit of a daze, wondering what was happening to them, half doing jobs, picking up books already started, and putting the kettle on numerous times. So whenever my grandson contacted me it put my mind at rest. And, to be fair to him, he did keep me informed. I won't go into the details of the process , just to say that it was induction. Some of you will know what that means and those that don't are not ready to understand it yet.

On that first night, although I was a little unsettled, I was peaceful. I knew I would be told if anything had happened, but I didn't expect much to be happening yet. And my lovely grandson did let me know. She went into labour in the early hours of the next day. I went about life as normal, going to my creative writing group and speaking as if this was just another " ordinary" day. But just below the surface it seemed to be anything but normal as my emotions were having a little party of their own, giving me quite a rocky journey. It was a long day and I couldn't concentrate on anything.
Every time a text came I would rush to see how things were going. The last text came about 5.30 pm, they might try .... and then nothing.
such a long passage of nothing.
Nothing until the phone rang at 1.45am the next morning .
I knew during those hours that things must have hotted up and I found it impossible to sleep, so when that phone call came I was relieved. The baby, a girl, was healthy and arrived about 12.30 am on the morning of the 18th of March.
I was relieved,elated,and then excited. I had just been made a great grandma. So many thoughts. Five generations now in my family with my own parents still very hale and hearty. Does that happen to many people? How many Great, Great Grandparents are there? Are we unique - probably not.

I imagined the generations of our family moving forward and growing and felt a certain pride in that. In fact, I thought I had already understood quite profoundly the depth of family but this has brought a further layer to it that I had not expected, making me feel closer than ever to my own children and so grateful for them all. I feel like a mother lioness, or great grandmother lioness, gathering all the cubs about her. It's hard to put into words this enormous change that has happened to us.

Back to mum and baby:
I thought about how awake you feel after having the baby as the adrenaline courses round your body, even if you've had very little sleep. I wanted to go immediately to the hospital to see them ,bring some chocolates for the new mum who would be breastfeeding. I remember enjoying many chocolates, sweets and biscuits in the middle of the night while breastfeeding my own. However,common sense prevailed, I turned over in bed and tried to go back to sleep while thinking how this is going to change the lives of the new mother and father forever. We're never prepared for that are we??

Phone calls came one after another the next morning as family wanted to find out what was happening. Some made plans to travel to Kent as soon as they could. Two aunties to the new little princess arranged to come that day. One from Oxford, the other from London after college.

I'll keep you posted with the unfolding of this story.


Please feel free to comment with advice and critique.