The phone call came at three o’clock this morning… It was time. I rushed up the road in my pajamas and watched as my daughter and son-in-law drove off to the hospital in Stavanger, to bring their third child into the world.
The other two children were still fast a sleep, so I crept into the spare room and tried to go back to sleep too. I tossed and turned with worry (that’s something I can’t control) and at the same time, was positively giddy with joy. Excitement got the best of me and since it was too early to start calling people in Norway, I started texting people in America. There’s always someone to talk too in another time zone…
I think I may have dozed off a little before six and then heard my granddaughter getting up. After explaining where her mom and dad were she climbed into bed with me, but she’s apparently inherited my stress gene and couldn’t stop talking. By six thirty we were downstairs making tea. Her brother got up around seven thirty and took the news in more quiet, typical male fashion.
I figured the best thing for us to do while waiting was to keep busy. We visited a friend for morning tea, went food shopping, then shoe shopping (not for me… for them). The good news actually came while we were in the shoe store (good things always happen in shoe stores). The tiny package in which we’ve all been waiting for had finally arrived. At eleven o’clock in the morning on a beautiful May day in Norway, a healthy baby girl weighing in at 3800 grams, was born.
Visiting hours weren’t before five, so we went home, jumped on the trampoline, searched for bugs, played with the dogs and went crabbing. They unanimously voted on pancakes for dinner and then afterwards, it was our turn to make the one hour drive to the hospital in Stavanger.
My baby looked wonderful basking in her new mommy glow and her baby, although tiny and helpless was able to instantly claim a giant place in my heart. I lifted and drew her close, smelling her new scent and feeling her soft skin against my cheek I whispered a promise to her ear, “You don’t know this yet, but you and I are going to be great friends.”
Some of you may remember from my last post that my daughter is expecting her third child. What you didn’t know is, she’s expecting this week! Her official due date is Saturday (26/05). The hospital is a good hour drive from where we live and since I’ll be watching her other two children, I have to be ready on a moments notice. There is of course always the possibility she’ll go over her due date, but she says, “NO!” She feels fat, fed up and wants the baby out.
Most women feel this way towards the end of their pregnancies, some even from day one. I suppose its natures way of getting us prepared for the task at hand… Birth. Lets face it, if we were perfectly content being pregnant, how would we ever be able to face labor?
I loved being pregnant. From the early inner secret to the growing anticipation of birth, I basked in contentment. Never feeling lonely and always reminded by the stirring within that I carried the future. A women’s belly swollen in its final stage of pregnancy gives an aura of magic, for soon there will be a newborn baby in her arms. With my maternal torch passed on to my daughters I have surprisingly found that a grandmother’s love in every way rivals mothers’.
Whenever my granddaughter from America comes to visit we read Charlotte’s Web, which is one of my favorites. She’ll climb on to my lap, rest her head against my chest and I’ll hold the book so we both can see – her the pictures me the words. I read aloud and with the top of her head right under my nose, the sweet smell of her hair reminds me of her mother, all nestled in my lap reading Charlotte’s Web a long time ago.
Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch. -E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web
My daughter (the one in the pig tails) recently posted this picture on facebook, it was taken on Mother’s Day 1981. When I first saw it I smiled, seeing myself again at twenty-three-years old, adorned with three beautiful children brought back happy memories. I had just given birth to my third child and that baby lying on my lap is now waiting to give birth to her third child. Where do the years go?
My heart swells with pride remembering my children at this tender age and now knowing the wonderful people they have grown up to be. I also see a slender arm and a smooth face, but there is unfortunately a flip side to this picture…
Behind the Farrah Fawcett hairdo is a girl, trapped in a controlling and unhealthy marriage. Weighed down in responsibility and much to embarrassed to let anyone know. If you’re wondering how bad it was, I’ll tell you…
Throughout the pregnancy I begged my doctor to sterilize me after the birth. At first he wouldn’t even listen, but after pleading at every visit and discussing all other options, my hopeless tears got the best of him. He performed the surgery immediately after the birth and I was left barren at twenty-three. A desperate act, of a very desperate girl. Now take another look at the picture…
You never know what secrets are hiding behind a smile in a picture. Since my story has been published I’ve surprisingly received numerous messages from different women, some I know, others I don’t admitting abuse.
Six years after this picture was taken my life took a hard turn and I was thrown out into another direction. I was later able to have the surgery reversed, and was blessed with two more children.
I was fortunate enough to get a do over, not everyone’s that lucky.