Very special times

Today is the 13th birthday of one of my Grandsons. his mum is my youngest daughter, and today her blog is about the day of his birth.

Whenever one of my children or Grandchildren have a birthday, I think about the beginning, the first time I saw them. Each birth is different, each baby is unique, and each introduction is special.

My eldest Granddaughter was born a few months after the break up of my marriage. My emotions were all over the place. Grandchildren were supposed to be the next generation of “our ” family. I went to the hospital, on the one hand thrilled at the birth of this beautiful little girl, yet not knowing whether my husband would also be there, hoping he wouldn’t, and hoping he would. I was nervous about how I would react to seeing the baby’s other Grandparents there… a very happily married couple. Bless them, I think they understood, and swept me up into the euphoria in that room, including me and not giving me time to think about what might have been. By the time I left the hospital room I felt stronger, so that when I met my husband on his way in, I was able to turn around and take him in to see the baby.

When the next baby was born, I took my friend, who was visiting me for the day. The baby was a little unsettled, and my friend took him, laid him on her lap, and massaged his head (Cranio – Sacral therapy) It was amazing to see how every muscle in his body relaxed. That friend helped make that first introduction special. She was someone to share the experience with, someone to agree that he was definitely the most beautiful baby in the ward!

My eldest daughter’s first baby was special because we hadn’t expected her to have children. He shot into the world on bonfire night. My memory of that first meeting is of her sitting up in bed, knees raised, with the baby resting on them. She was  just gazing at her beautiful new son. Is it just in my memory they seem to be bathed in sunlight?

Two years later we welcomed baby number two. He came into the world looking a lot like his mother. I remember how thrilled she was to have another beautiful little boy. My memory of him then is blurred. I think I met him the next day when they were home from hospital, but my main memory is a bitter sweet one, of taking him into intensive care and laying him on my Mother’s pillow. We put her hand on him, and told her it was her new Great Grandson. She wasn’t conscious, but her heartbeat speeded up on the monitor. It meant a lot to my daughter and me that Mum, at the end of her life, seemed aware that he was there.

My youngest son’s children next. My Granddaughter was born in Liverpool, and my youngest daughter and I travelled up to see her when she was two days old. Her mother was tired and a bit stressed after a traumatic birth experience in hospital, and having had her family visit the day before, so we didn’t want to over tire her again. The baby was awake, and I remember after a while I took her into their bedroom and laid on the bed for about half an hour, just gazing at her. She was gorgeous. She looked a lot like her Mum, and was one of those babies that looked wise, an old soul. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her often, and I wanted to memorise every bit of her lovely little face.

Their next baby was born after they’d moved to Devon. By this time I was very happy in my personal life, having remarried, and my husband and I travelled to see him when he was two days old. I think I expected things to be a bit fraught, but we walked into this wonderful calm atmosphere, this beautiful little boy having been born at home. One of my favourite memories is of watching my husband as he cradled a new born baby for the first time. This was how I’d always imagined being Grandparents should be, though , of course he isn’t biologically linked to these children.

I was stunned when I heard there was to be a third baby in this family, especially as the birth was only two months away when we found out. But what a wonderful surprise! As usual, when we got the call to say that the baby was here, safe and well, and born at home while the other two slept, I was thrilled and excited, and


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