Becoming a Grandmother

 

It is not often that a woman my age meets a new milestone. Milestones are usually reserved for the young – first tooth, first rolling over and sitting up, first birthday, first tooth, first day of school, first date, first prom, first “real job”, first marriage, first divorce, first gray hair and now, my first grandchild.Granny&Autumn

 

Autumn Elizabeth  Fecto simply slipped into our lives. Well, not exactly “slip”. I am sure my daughter, Sarah, would object to that term. I sat with Sarah through 4 days of intense labor before Autumn greeted the world with her presence.  As most “labor coaches” do…I took the brunt of Sarah’s lashing out each time a contraction took her by surprise or never came at all. All I could do was hold her hand and put a cool washcloth on her forehead. My niece, Jennifer was there most of the time and she kept us sane and nourished. Her efforts through a difficult time will never be forgotten or gone unappreciated.

Eventually, the doctors decided that labor had gone on too long and it would be wisest to take Autumn out by C-section. Frightened but relieved, I followed Sarah in my wheelchair to the operating room. I had sat through days of painful labor. Surely I was going to be there for the birth. Someone tossed me a johnny and stuck a net hat on my head and sanitizer to wash my hands. Moments later, it seemed, I heard the cry of a newborn. Autumn was here.

A tiny human life was placed in my arms – a little girl so beguiling that it took my breath away. Together, Mama and Grandma bubbled over with tears of joy. We had just witnessed a miracle. But time was of the essence and Autumn was whisked away to have her ratings done. Returning to her room, Sarah, Grandma, Papa Fecto, Jennifer and Judy, Papa’s long time companion waited.

Freshly bathed and smelling of powder and sweetness, Mama and child finally had a moment together. This 7 pound creation snuggled into Mama’s waiting arms and the room went still. My hands shook and my heart beat quick and strong. The instant bond between mother and child was palpable, their eyes meeting and holding each other. Mama had fallen head over heels in love with her newborn.  There was not a dry eye in the room.

I had a  new job and I knew what lay ahead. There would be thousands of diapers and hundreds of bottle of formula. There would be green poop and skinned knees. And I could not wait for it all to begin!

It was October 15, 2009 and Autumn had arrived.

Published in Ideagems, July 2010.