Friday, April 24, 2015

Reflections on becoming a Grandmother

As most of you know by now, Anna had her baby Myra Faith early Thursday morning, April 23.  She had been in labor since Monday, with contractions becoming stronger and more intense and she went to the hospital midday on Wednesday.  She called me and asked me to come as soon as possible, so Ellie and I jumped in the van and sped to the hospital.  We went in and she checked in and they took her back to the observation room to make sure she was in active labor.  She was, so they admitted her.   At this time, she was still smiling and still upbeat and positive.  We got to her room around 3, and her water broke and she labored pretty steadily for about 3 hours.  At this point she was 6 cm dilated, and this is where she stayed for about 4 hours.

It. Was. So. Discouraging.

For all of us, but especially Anna.  The midwife suggested she try a few things to speed things up, we had people all over the world praying for her and then we waited.

The midwife had checked her progress at about 10:00.  By 10:30, Anna was almost complete.  It was a miracle!  She then got into the pool to finish laboring.  By this time, there were no more smiles, no more feeling positive, only a drive to finish the job and birth the baby.

Anna labored in the pool for about an hour.  She was in agony.  I tried to encourage her by reminding her of the mountain marathon she had run.  I told her she was in the last mile and the finish line was in sight.  I told her what a strong woman she was and that she had this.  She could do this and finish strong.

And she did.  Through much pain and much endurance, little Myra Faith came into the world at 12:24 Thursday morning.  Anna did great!  I was so impressed with her ability to push through the pain and do what had to be done.

I was privileged to witness the entire birth.  I had attended another birth, but was not able to see everything like I did with Anna.  It was amazing.  When her little head popped out, I cried.  It was a miracle to see that fully formed, beautiful baby being born.

It's almost unreal to realize my baby now has a baby.  That my baby is now the mom.  And I am not.  I'm not sure if that's a Grandma thing, or if it's because I'm kind of a new mom myself, but through this whole experience, it felt like I was having the baby.  (Ok, not the contractions or the painful part, just the "feeling" part).  I thought that was kind of strange until Anna told me she had felt the same feelings.  And she had to remind herself that the baby in her belly was not my baby it was hers.  I found that kind of odd.  Maybe it's normal.  I'm not sure.

It's a weird, wonderful kind of feeling, this Grandma thing.  This baby is part of me, but not mine.  And I feel that when I hold her.  I feel a part of her and she feels like one of my babies, yet on the other hand, she doesn't.  She feels like Anna's baby.  But it's still so unreal to realize Anna has a baby, so that's an unfamiliar feeling also.

It's mind boggling, really.  I called little Myra Jack today.  I told Anna and she told me she called her Jack also.  I was over Anna's and Joseph's and held the baby and changed her diaper and studied her face and smelled her new baby smell.  And then left and came home to my big baby, and held him and changed his diaper and studied his face.

I know I'm not the only Grandma who has had a baby of her own while having a grand baby.   My Grandma Benzing, my mom's mom, had grandchildren older than her youngest son.  I would love to sit down with her and talk with her about that.

But even in the midst of these differing feelings, I love that baby.  I love to hold her and know I'm holding a part of Anna and Joseph.  I love looking into her eyes and studying her face, trying to figure out who she is and who she looks like.  I love to see Anna nurse her and Joseph rock her and pat her.  It's all good.  I know I've only been a Grandma for 2 days, but I love it already.  I love knowing she will grow up and I will have always been in her life.

This is a new stage, that's for sure.  But I think it's only going to get better as time goes on!

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