I’m officially a grandmother and the feeling is as amazing as I thought it would be. And in my completely unbiased opinion, he’s the most perfect looking baby I’ve ever seen in my life. I thought my kids were pretty darn near close but his features are absolutely perfect. Again, that’s my unbiased opinion.
I remember well how my parents acted during the birth of my daughter. Their worried expressions, pacing, and continuous checking of my blood pressure and other vitals played out around me for 15 hours. When my blood pressure cuff had been placed wrong and gave a reading of 60/40 they both about hit the floor.
A lot of thoughts go through your mind when your child is in a hospital bed and most of those thoughts are one tiny sliver away from total panic. You think of all the things that could go wrong to try and prepare yourself, and worry about absolutely every horrible possibility in hopes that worrying about it will ensure it won’t happen. That’s just the way it goes. And when your daughter is in labor, you’re not only worrying about your child but a grandchild you haven’t even met yet.
I wanted to make sure that I was by my daughter’s side as much as she wanted me to be and backed off when she needed her fiance. That’s a fine line to walk. I have to say that he did a wonderful job comforting and coaching her. He earned a lot of points in the in-law game with his future mother-in-law. When you’re an in-law you know that you’re always in jeopardy of moving into negative numbers along the number line, so you always try to keep yourself to the right of zero as much as possible. He’s to the right of zero – for the moment.
From my experience watching my parents during my daughter’s delivery I was well prepared for the worrying when it came time for me to step out of the delivery room. My mom had told me how concerned she had become, wondering and worrying. However, all the preparing in the world doesn’t nullify the fears. To make matters worse, it was 3 am and everything seems worse at 3 am. The rest of the world was asleep while I was in the waiting room with my husband and dad watching a movie about a baseball player. I really couldn’t have cared less about the movie, so I paced the long, empty, darkened hallway trying not to look too obvious that I was about to lose it. I have a feeling the nurses knew better. I’m not the first impatient grandmother to walk those halls.
I tried to see if there was any activity down the hall outside her room but nothing, absolutely no indication of good or bad news. I read all the posters on the walls, the memorial plaques, the fire escape plan. If I had more time I would have tried my hand at the braille inscriptions beneath each sign. Eventually, my husband and dad came out too and they read all the things that I had too.
We all stared at a phone hanging on the wall like it was a museum piece. I wondered if in another 10 years younger generations will even know how to use one. If I have any advice for hospitals it would be to add much more interesting things on the walls of the OB floor. The visual distractions were the only things keeping us from losing our minds.
Finally, I saw the midwife and nurse exit the room and they were absolutely expressionless. I couldn’t gain much information from their faces. Was that good or bad? The suspense was killing us all. Then my husband happened to look at his phone and saw that our future son-in-law had sent a picture of the baby 20 minutes earlier. He really should check his phone more often!
Anyway, all of the fears and worries disappeared as we were waved into the room and saw the baby for the first time. I had forgotten how small and perfect newborns look. And now the story continues to be told – a new life, a new family member, and more worries for a new grandma.