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Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “G” the only think for “G” I could think of was “Grandma, Grandparent hood, Grandpa, Grandchildren” and why that should surprise anyone is anyone’s guess since I’ve become a “Grandma” I’ve jumped into the role feet first.. so much so that I forget who I was before my “little people” came along.
Here is “How my life changed when I became a Grandma!”
So let’s go back in time a ways to April 2013, we were away at our holiday place and my middle daughter Amber was with us for a week, so the three of us Me, Star Son and Amber for the school holidays the Bloke was working and staying home looking after the animals. So Amber was sick, we tried the flat lemonade and eating dried toast and all the other home remedies we could think of, she was pale and lethargic and vomiting and it hit me… “you’re not pregnant are you?” immediately she denied it and I pointed out that she had the symptoms, was it even a possibility, I had her think back and try and work through it.. and suddenly she was like “Oh shit!” we did the test and there were two blue lines, indicating positive, I was over the moon for the first few hours until it started to sink in… she had no partner, she wasn’t even dating anyone, she lived at home, she had no job yet, what would happen? needless to say my husband was less than excited when I told him, he started off unhappy and worked through it to the point of “it’s happened now we will make the best of it”
Once we got home we got the official result from the DR and then the planning started…. a few days later Amber had a dream (she remembers them all and can recount them in graphic details, I never remember if I even dream!) in her dream she had triples she gave one to her sister and one to her cousin and she kept one, and she was telling me how her sister dressed her baby and how her cousin did this or that with her baby and how one time (in the dream) her Sister left the baby in the car park because she “forgot” she had a baby to care for.. we thought that was funny and not an hour later her sister walked in… Amber and I started laughing and asked “where’s the baby? did you leave it in the car park?” we thought it was a great joke and in between laughing we tried to explain Ambers dream and in between the telling She burst into tears…
My first born daughter never cries, so when she cries it means something serious and so I asked her “what’s wrong? are you ok? are you sick?” she pulled up her sleeve to show me where she’s had blood taken, this is the child that I have to hold her hand because she is terrified of needles and I asked her If you’re sick why didn’t you take me with you to the DR? when do you get the results? what are they testing for?” and then another flood of tears… and it hit me!
“OMGosh are you pregnant?” she’s blabbering away and said “I think so” and I started doing a crazy mam dance, because not only One Grandchild but ow TWO!! She went back two days later, I went with her, with tissues, it was not the news she wanted to hear, she was pregnant! She wailed “this is NOT how I planned my life” and I said “well at least you have a partner” maybe I cursed her because she didn’t have one for to much longer… he didn’t like the news and he run for the hills… or in this case his next conquest.
So suddenly I went from this Mum with adult daughters, a teenage son and a stable life, we had football season, we had our holiday place, we had camping trips and l had art whenever I pleased, I was doing an Art teaching instructors course, and I was free to paint from 9.00 am till 3.00pm while Star Son was at school..boy did that all change!
Soon it was all about Dr appointments, blood tests, iron counts, multi vitamins, ultrasounds, yes I went with both girls and I picked that Squishy was a boy before the technician did and he said “Your Mum is right but I won’t confirm it till 20 weeks!” both my girls are impatient and neither one wanted a “surprise” so we were more than happy to know we were getting one of each! Meals had to be considered one was lacking in iron and the other one ate junk food, so I was cooking for them both in the effort to keep them both healthy and fit. I must confess the months fly by,my painting sessions got less and less, because we had to organize clothing, bedding, cots you name it we needed it.. plus Amber was till living at home so our house needed a bit of re-organizing. My Cousin Lee and I went to the birth education classes with the girls, of course WE knew what we were doing but how much had things changed in the last 11 years? and the answer was LOTS!! So not only did the girls learn about what was going to happen Lee and I got a refresher as their birthing partners we needed it..
We did the planning like you should, natural child-birth, no interventions and Mum would stay the first night in lieu of “the partner” all set ready to go… Baby showers happened a pink Princess theme for “Jelly Baby” (Scarlett) and a Cheeky Monkey jungle theme for “Jellybean” (Chase) as the first due date drew close my husband was sent to China for work and he told Amber “Do NOT have this baby until I am back in the country” everyone knows first babies can be unpredictable. She was due on the 23rd November it was a Monday, but on the 20th November (which is also Nanny Hamilton- my mother-in-law’s birthday) Amber started having contractions and I joked (I need to stop joking!!) that Amber would have the baby on Nanny’s birthday (Nanny had passed away the year before) So we talked about changing her middle name to one of Nanny’s names in honor… Amber went to bed and slept on and off and I heard her up and down during the night, still not dreaming anything was about to happen. My Bloke would be home the next day Friday on the 2.00pm flight and so we “thought” we had it covered.. until that morning when Amber was in pain and she had her weekly appointment anyways so the three of us girls went off to that and they checked her out and couldn’t hear the heartbeat very clearly so they asked if they could put her on a monitor in the clinic, I told the nurses “I think she’s in labour, and we wont be going home” and they laughed “old wives tales.. over protective mum etc etc”
Sure enough the monitor told us she was contracting, although they were fairly spaced out, but Sweetpea’s heart rate was dropping in the peak of the contractions, so they suggested she go to the hospital with a bag and get checked out by the Dr’s maybe they’d keep her over night for monitoring… so we drove back home, got her bag and got in the car to go to the hospital, but this time it was 200 pm and my husband got off the plane and called to say “I’m on my way home” to which I replied “Well we are on our way to the hospital and I need you to collect Star Son” at least he said “Sweetpea had waited for him to get back in the country” the Dr confirmed that she was 8 cms dilated and we were in fact going nowhere except the labour ward. I finally got to see my husband at 8.00 pm he came to see what was happening and I laid eyes on him for the first time in 10 days and promptly burst into tears!
Scarlett Olivia was born at 11.43 pm weighing 6 pound 11 ounces, the tiniest little thing and Amber had a hard time so the nurses wrapped up the baby and handed her to me and said “here Grandma keep this warm!” and I did, for the first three hours of her life I sat there and held her, I breathed her, I watched her breath I kissed the tiny fingernails and touched her hair and looked into those deep blue eyes that were so intently watching me and I welcomed my Grand daughter into our family. and something shifted inside me, something that said “if anyone tries to harm this girl child I will kill them“
At the same time daughter number one was undergoing her own dramas, she’d had a bad back, she had ripped stomach muscles and had to wear a brace thingy to support her huge bump, and the Dr’s then discovered that our “Cheeky Monkey” was breech and so they booked her in for a C-Section, all the time hoping that he would turn and behave, Nope, he did not! So exactly two weeks to the day we were back at the same hospital with the same staff for “Cheeky Monkey’s” arrival. Very different experience, I was dressed in power blue scrubs and shoe covers and hair covers and left in a room to wait while they prepare her epidural. I was a bundle of nerves, shaking and fighting back tears and praying that “please God make things easy as they can be for her” and then I hear her laughing!! huh? why is she laughing? it sounded like they were having a party in there? and why was I still out here waiting? then a breathless nurse came rushing in and said “Come on Mum, they started without ya!” It was no fun seeing my daughter laying there like that hooked up to machines and covered in blue sheets, but she did really well, her hands were shaking but the anesthetist tells us it’s a side effect from the gas or something I don’t know I just wanted it over. Lots of pulling and shoving and the whole bed was moving and then they started laughing and said “Yep he’s a boy, he’s peeing everywhere!” but this little cheeky monkey who turned out not to be so “little” was so firmly wedged under his Mother’s ribs that they needed forceps as well to extract him! The anesthetist ended up taking the photos because I just didn’t want to leave my girl. He was wrapped up and quickly handed to me and the first thing I saw was those darling big dimples, either side of his mouth. And he started talking, babbling away, the nurses laughed they’d never witnessed that and I had certainly not, and those enormous blue eyes, he still makes my heart skip a beat. I stayed with them the first night, I stayed wearing the scrubs, who knew how comfortable they were, I ended up bringing them home accidentally, sleep deprived I packed them with the rest of my stuff. i love them!
Then it was time for real life to start, Amber was home with Scarlett, Jasmin came home with Chase for the first three days to give her time to rest and recover and then she went back to where she was living and every day routines started.. which meant that I had lots of time to snuggle, kiss, hold and feed, bath and stare at my little people and you know what? it’s now 16 months later and I haven’t stopped. I forgot that I had an art studio to go to and art to complete, a course is still waiting for me to complete it.. I forgot that I could read a book, or do some crochet and for a while I even forgot that I had pen pals that needed answering. In fact for the fist 12 weeks I became a kind of zombie, where all my energy was focused on those little people.
I never grew up with a Grandma, so I had no role model, I watched how my Mother modeled her “grand mothering” skills and I watched how my then Mother-in-law modeled her Grand mothering skills and I knew that I wanted to take them both and cut bits out of this one and add them to that one and I wanted to be better than both of them. So I made up a manifesto of how I was going to be a “grandma” and there again, everyone asks “what are YOU going to be called?” both my Mother and Mother in Law were “Nanny” Mum’s Nanny and Dad’s Nanny, so I knew I would never be “Nanny” I’m not a goat! I wanted to be “Grandma” and the nurse at the hospital and I got talking about it and she said “Ohh you are far to young to be a “grandma!”, you need a younger hip name, Grandma sounds so old” I said to her ” Do I look old?” she agreed I did not and in fact I was not, So I told her “I am going to make Grandma hip and trendy and everyone will wanna be a Grandma!” she laughed and assured me she would NOT!
So My Manifesto is.. I wrote about it here: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/family/grand-babies-they-put-the-grand-into-parents/
Motto- “Grandma’s are antique little girls”
Mission Statement– I promise to be a “Hands on” Grandma, this might include but not limited to….
* Never ending kisses and cuddles
* Never ending tickles and giggles
* Lots of story time
* Playing dress ups
* Lots of foods of all kinds including vegetables
* Camping trips to learn outdoor skills
* Grandma date days which will be fun AND educational
* Volunteering at Kindergarten, school, sporting events, dance recitals whatever
In closing… Grandma is NEVER too busy for her babies.
PS- sometimes we will disagree when I say “NO” but it’s for your own good and I will always love you!
So far I think it’s safe to say I am up holding my end of the bargain nicely.. and so what if I don’t touch my art studio for weeks, the good thing about my art is it will not wear out, there is no use by date!