Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm A Nana In Waiting....But I'm A Mother First

Daughter's Baby Shower

I sit here not knowing how to express or articulate the myriad of contradictory emotions whirling around within me. I am happy, anxious, excited, worried, giddy, nervous and impatient to name but a few. No wonder I am exhausted! The reason for this mish-mash of emotions, my Baby Girl is on the verge of delivering her first child. My first grandchild!  From today on I will refer to first grandchild  as Little Sir on this blog.

Last week Husband and I went out to dinner with the very happy, proud expectant parents. Daughter beamed with the healthy glow of expectant motherhood. Conversation naturally turned to the upcoming event and Father-to-Be turned to me and asked, “Are you excited!?!” I was a bit taken back by the question. I stuttered a bit and stammered my affirmative reply. Father-to-Be looked a bit disappointed by my stammering response. I attempted a redo, but alas it was too late.

So why the insipid reaction to said question. I will tell you why. I am excited my Girl will very soon experience the sheer joy and bliss of a child of her own. I can’t wait for her to experience the endless well of love that will be unleashed in her when she holds Little Sir in her arms the very first time. I am also giddy with excitement over the prospect of a baby in the family again. I love babies! Some would say I am addicted to babies! So why the hesitation…… Well as a mother I have an inherent need to protect my offspring.  I know this will spill over onto Little Sir....but he is not here yet!

So let’s start with Labour. I would do this for my Girl if I could. But since I can’t I have been bombarding Heaven’s Pearly Gates with fervent prayers and novenas! Asking, well begging actually that her labour be as easy as possible. Hopefully God has been paying attention to the gnashing of my teeth.

We are going to be at the hospital with Daughter. Husband asked me if I was going to be able to watch Daughter in labour without crying. I threw him a Tundra stare in response.  Don't tell him, but you know he might be right. 

The labour is not my only concern. I worry about how the ground will sift beneath her, when she arrives home with Little Sir and the weight, the enormity of responsibility takes hold. I remember peering into the Moses basket at my first Little Sir and my whole body shaking with fright. What if I did something wrong. I know my Girl is not me. She is a very capable, confident young woman, but still I worry. I want to wrap her up in a bubble of love and protect her from the anguish she will feel if Little Sir suffers from colic and she spends hours pacing the floor unable to ease his discomfort. Or the tears she will shed as he wails due to that awful scalding teething rash on his bum. When he has his first sniffle or runs a fever and she is beside herself as to how to soothe him.

And later when Little Sir decides it is time to walk on his own two feet and topples over or careens into the corner of some piece of furniture. And later again when she brings him to school and he wails as she pries her coat tails from his little hands with a breaking heart. Or maybe Little Sir will  turn with a grin and wave her goodbye and her heart will break because he doesn’t need her all that much anymore.

This is why I hesitated when answering Father-to-Be’s question. Because in my heart Daughter is still my Baby Girl and protecting her has been my mission since that wondrous day I first held her in my arms.

25 comments:

Ann Best said...

The first grandchild is indeed something very special. Nothing else like it in the world! The other grandchildren that follow are also just as special; it's just that by then you have been through it before.

I'm very excited for you and your family, and hope that your daughter's delivery isn't too painful and that all will go well!
Ann Best, Author

mise said...

Congratulations in advance, Ann, and good luck and much well-wishing to your daughter. I think you'll make the perfect grandmother.

donna said...

If you need any advice, feel free to call. I now have 9 grands and 6 g-grands. I attended 2 of the births and was properly amazed. It is so different now. The mothers are so much more coddled. My last grandson was born in the sack as they never broke her water. They said it is much easier on Mother and Babe that way. It did seem easy as we never even saw a scrunched face on her.
My biggest shock was when one daughter wanted to observe me change a diaper on her newborn before she would trust me with the baby. This was grandchild #5. I was so insulted! Our relationship has never been the same (kidding). I do remind my daughter of that occasionally just to make her feel guilty about the way she has treated me. She apoligizes every time I mention it. I know we are a little goofy with that 1st baby. I remember ironing her socks.
You are going to love being a grandmother. I hope he looks like your side of the family. I remember the shock of seeing a newborn granddaughter who looked just like her Dad. My mind kept telling me that this baby was all wrong. Aren't daughters supposed to look like their mothers? She is 14 now and stunning - much better looking than her Dad!
I am so happy for you. I think it is funny that you just went through that nesting thing most women seem to do in their last month ( all the cleaning and purging you were up to). My best to your family. You will be changed forever.

Theresa Milstein said...

Ann, this is a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I'm sure she will treasure these words.

Only when I became a mother did I understand what my parents had actually done, actually endured for me. I couldn't believe I could love someone so fiercely whom I'd just met. If I died before they could really remember me, would any of that adoration leave an imprint?

To think of my daughter going through labor and the tumult of emotions that motherhood brings, I would feel just like you.

Old Kitty said...

Ann!! Wonderful beautiful Ann!!! Your Daughter and Little Sir are lucky, lucky, lucky to have you to protect them, to fight for them, to shield them from awfulness and pain!! You are just wonderful!! You are gonna be the bestest grandma ever and are the bestest mum in the universe! Take care and CONGRATULATIONS to you and your daughter - she's positively radiant and glowing!! xx

Shay said...

I was actually present at the birth of my first grandchild. It was amazing, but just to see my daughter in so much pain was really hard.

At that point there is no option but to go forward - as I told my daughter - you cant stop it now!

Congratulations on impending grandparent-hood. It's wonderful.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Congratulations! I totally hear your mixed feelings in the short term, but I solidly believe that the most special relationship on the PLANET is grandparent/grandchild. Then again, I was REALLY lucky in the grandparent department--I was the first on one side, and until I was 24, I was the only girl, so I was terribly spoiled. You know, my pen name is for my grandmas--first name of one, maiden name of the other.

Kittie Howard said...

What a beautiful, loving tribute that really warmed my heart. I'm excited for you and know that you will be as wonderful a nana as you are a mother. (I was a married woman, going to the car when my mother asked if I had my driver's license with me. I started to frown, then realized I was, at that moment, 12 years old, and it felt really good.)

Catherine said...

Lovely tribute to your daughter Ann and a lovely post! I can understand your feelings although as the mother of the father in my case it's a bit different. Then I feel like a mother to his fiancé too as her family are far away and not so good at keeping in touch. But I wish your daughter every happiness in her impending motherhood and the birth and that it goes smoothly as possible for her. You will breathe through every contraction with her! Baby showers are a uniquely American tradition that haven't really taken hold this side of the pond yet, no doubt they will. We have our little one's first birthday in 2 weeks, looking forward to baking her cake!
Catherine xxx

Jemi Fraser said...

Lovely - so lovely!!! :)

Enjoy each and every moment - there will be so many!

Tracy said...

Ann, what a poignant writing and I hope your daughter reads your lovely heartfelt words. It's just a lovely tribute to your daughter and how much you love her!

Colene Murphy said...

How exciting!!! No worries, your girl will be amazing and you get a grandchild soon! Just enjoy it! (though, as I have a mom, I know you really WONT be able to relax just because someone tells you to..;)

Brigid said...

Ann, it will be wonderful. I hope she sails through labour and I think she is a really lucky girl to have you as your mother.
Little Sir is going to be the most special boy, I wish you all well.

Liza said...

Best wishes to you and your growing family...your pride, as you watch your daughter learn how to cope with these situations, will grow too.

Ann said...

Thank you all for you lovely comments. My phone is on constant charge or in my hand, just in case Daughter goes before her hospital date. Otherwise she checks into the hospital on Monday evening and will be induced on Tuesday...St. Brigid's Day! So my next post will be all about.....You guessed it, Little Sir. Have a wonderful weekend all and thank you again for taking the time to visit Inkpots n' Quills, for reading my ruminations and your wonderful comments.

Manzanita said...

Isn't life amazing? The whole process is mind boggling. It's kinda like baseball, if you tried to explain it to someone who knew absolutely nothing about it, it would sound unbelievable. Yet it happens and it only takes 12 months for this tiny helpless infant to blossom into a walking, talking human.
You wrote a love post in honor of your daughter.
In Love and Peace,
Manzanita

Mary said...

Ann, what a beautifully written mother's piece. You'll make a lovely Nana I'm sure.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Ann, what a wonderful post. I love your mix of excitment and anxiety for your your upcoming grandson's birth. My daughter is only 14, but I imagine I'll feel very similar...as she has been such a joy, but pregnancy and childbirth were quite a struggle.

I hope all of you have a wonderful birth day!

Jen Daiker said...

This is a beautiful post. I understand the mixed emotions but you also have a great head on your shoulders and you're one smart cookie!

PS - I'll look into the links on A-Z blogging! I'll delete the extra link that was created so you don't have to worry about it :)

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful post, Ann. I can just see your love shining through!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss ann! i love this post soooo much cause i could feel all that caring and love you got coming out of every word. your daughter and little sir are just real lucky for you being there. youre gonna be the most best grandmother ever! :)
...hugs from lenny
ps thanks for visiting at my blog

Len said...

Ann, this is the sweetest post I have ever read. You have so much love for your daughter and Little Sir. I'm so happy for you!

I can relate so much to feeling so scared when the enormity of responsibility takes hold. Geez, I can remember when my son was born...must be frightening for you for your daughter. I could feel all your love for your family, Ann. I wish I could give you a hug.

Madeleine said...

Awh bless that is so sweet. What a wonderful mum you are! Wishing your daughter all the best for the happy event :O)

Lydia K said...

Congratulations on your Nana-to-be status. That is so exciting, and wonderful thing to share with your daughter!

alexia said...

Congrats! Motherhood is hard, but so worth it! If we could just pop kids out with the greatest of ease and raise them like it was nothing, it wouldn't be so special. She'll get to learn all of this!