It’s Time to be Born!

This is my last night inside you, Mommy. I’m excited about tomorrow. How about you? Tomorrow I finally get to meet you and Daddy! And my grandparents! I’m so excited! I wonder if I’ll be able to sleep?! I may toss and turn all night, and keep you awake, too!

But can I tell you something, Mommy? As excited as I am about tomorrow, I’m a little scared as well. And nervous. I’ve been inside you all this time, where it’s warm and safe. I haven’t had to do anything except grow until I’m big enough to come out and live in my new room in my new house. With my wonderful parents!

I’ve heard you and Daddy talking about how excited you are, and how ready you are for me to make my appearance. I’ve heard you and Daddy talking about all the things you’ve done to my room, and I’ve heard my grandparents telling you how pretty it looks! I’m sure it does, and I’m sure I’ll love it.

But it’s going to be so different when I’m living in my room, and sleeping in a bed, rather than here inside of you, Mommy. I’m just nervous. You know it’s always a bit scary doing something this important for the very first…and only…time. I’m glad you’re going to be there with me, because I know you’ll make sure I’m okay.

But I bet you’re nervous, too. You’ve never had a baby before. So we’re both in the same situation. Excited. Nervous. And a bit scared.

I’ve been wondering how I’ll feel when I take my first breath outside of you. I wonder what air tastes like. And smells like. I wonder what it’s going to feel like to breathe that air into my little lungs for the very first time!

And I wonder how you’ll smell. My angel told me that newborn babies, which will be me, can tell their mommy by the scent of their skin. That’s going to be another new experience, too, because my little nose hasn’t had the chance to smell anything yet. But she said since I’ve been inside you all this time my nose will immediately know who you are!

I wonder what your voice will sound like. Yes, I’ve been hearing talk, but your voices are muffled because I’m inside of you. Tomorrow I’ll hear you as you really sound…with nothing to block the sound of your voice. I can’t wait! Will you sing me a lullaby? Your grandmother did that for my grandmother as well as for you. I know your singing will be beautiful. At least I’ll think so!

I’m really wondering how I’ll feel when I look at you and Daddy for the first time. I’ve heard your voices a lot, but I’ve never seen your faces. You’ve not seen mine, either. I’m sure the ultrasounds are wonderful, but they really can’t show what I truly look like.

It’s going to be such a wonderful moment when we look into each others’ faces for the first time. I won’t remember it, unfortunately, but you will. I won’t get to know that feeling until I have my own baby a long time from now. I know we’ll love each other immediately. Because I already love you!

And I wonder how I’ll feel when I’m in your arms for the very first time…feel your hands on my skin, your fingers wrapping around my tiny arms, holding me close, never wanting to lose the magic of that special moment. I’ll wrap my tiny hand around your finger, and we’ll be inseparable….Mommy and baby. You and me.

Yes, tomorrow is going to be an exciting day! For me, and you, and Daddy. There’ll never be another like it. Your very first baby is entering the world.

And nothing will ever be the same again.

Good night, Mommy. I love you, and I’ll be in your arms tomorrow!!

XOXOXOXOXO

Changed Lives

May 30, 2016

One week ago two lives were forever changed. They’d prepared for it as best they could. They had the furniture, and the accessories, the clothes and the diapers. They’d had baby showers and gifts. Her name had been selected months before.

They were ready. So they thought.

But when the moment came, and that tiny new life, created from the best parts of both of them, was placed in their arms, life forever changed. And they knew they hadn’t been prepared. Not really.

Because how can you totally be prepared for the miracle of new life when she’s suddenly placed in your arms? No longer inside her mommy’s belly, being nurtured and protected only by her, this little miracle has now entered the world, totally helpless and dependent on her parents to provide for her every need. She cannot feed herself, clothe herself, or change her own diapers. She cannot put herself to bed. She cannot hold her own head up yet, cannot crawl, cannot walk.

She is totally and completely theirs, and she is relying on them for everything in her entire new little adventure into a big, and sometimes scary, new world.

They knew all of this. But until she was in their arms that first time, there was no way they really totally KNEW.

Because until you hold that little life for the very first time; until you look in her eyes together and see yourselves in her face; until you hear that first sweet cry, you cannot image the pure love that you are suddenly engulfed in. It’s a feeling that’s indescribable, and one that will never leave, no matter how old you become. The bond between child and mother and child and father is one to be cherished forever, and is not meant to be broken.

They were both totally overwhelmed with emotions they never even imagined were possible. They couldn’t believe she was theirs. It was almost more than they could comprehend. But one thing they knew…their lives were changed forever from that first moment. Changed for nothing but good, and the good only gets better and better every day.

I knew my daughter and son in law would be great parents. But I just am overwhelmed by how they’ve taken on their new roles as mommy and daddy. They both are amazing, especially Daddy, who has to take a bit more active role now because of Mommy’s C-section recovery.

Watching my daughter hold her own daughter, who looks exactly like her when she was born, is nothing short of amazing to me. There’s just something about watching your child holding and feeding her own child; you wonder where the years went, and suddenly realize, you succeeded as a mother, because your own daughter has so naturally become a mother now herself.

And for us, as new grandparents, our lives are changed as well. We now have another generation to love and nurture, and to watch as she grows up to become an amazing young woman.

There is just nothing like the feeling of holding your baby’s baby in your arms; no words to describe it, and I still cry once in awhile as I feel her softness and cuddle her closely. I marvel at her every time I hold her, and have even caught myself calling her my daughter’s name because they look so much alike. Her new granddad is already head over heels in love with her, and he’s already wrapped around her tiny finger. The love on his face as he holds her is simply amazing.

Yes, all of our lives were changed a week ago. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy one week birthday Rachel Marie!

Memorial Day Matters

Once again we have a three day weekend. Everyone’s talking about the fun they’re having. The food they’re eating. The places they’re seeing and the bargains they’re snagging at all the sales. Nothing but fun!

But for some, Memorial Day is a powerful and difficult reminder of those no longer around to attend the cookouts, go on a mini vacation, or shop their favorite stores.

Memorial Day matters to a lot of people; some more than others. For some it’s a day set aside to remember their own loved ones who died fighting for our country, but yet their families are the only ones who remember that. The empty place at the picnic table still hurts, no matter how long it’s been. A year, ten years, twenty, or in the case of a family in my hometown, almost fifty years.

I’m sure the families still vividly remember that day, that exact time, when they got the notification. The knock on the door; the phone call; the telegram. The moment that changed their lives forever; that turned their personal world upside down, never to be totally upright again.

Wives became widows, or husbands became widowers. Children became fatherless or motherless. Parents lost their child; sometimes their only child. Some parents lost the hope of ever becoming grandparents. Many could still picture the day he/she was sworn in as a soldier, or an airman, or a sailor. How proud everyone was. Now they only had left was a flag draped casket subs memories.

And no one, except them, seems to remember their sacrifices any more.

Not only do people not remember, but today there are now those who desecrate the flag-decorated graves of our honored military dead; desecrate war memorials meant to honor the fallen; and turn Memorial Day parades into riots, bringing only violence and hatred, claiming they have the right to protest, and they’re just exercising their “rights”. Even worse are the ones who decide to shoot a service member in uniform, because they “don’t believe in military service.” And yes, those service members who die in such shootings should be honored as well on Memorial Day, because they also gave their lives to preserve ours.

Yes protestors do have some rights. They have those rights because of the sacrifices of the men and women who are being honored by the flag-decorated graves, the war memorials, and the parades. But those rights are limited by law, something they tend to forget.

But our service members didn’t give their lives so protestors could vandalize their graves and their memorials. They gave their lives to preserve freedom in our country and around the world. But that doesn’t include freedom to incite violence and vandalize property in the name of “protesting”. It’s not an excuse for rudeness, or stealing.

I am tired of the protestors and the violence; I am tired of people putting down those in the military. I personally knew a few of our military who lost their lives in various wars and deployments. I have many, many friends who are in, or have retired from, the military, and many friends whose children are serving in the military. I honor them, and respect them, and admire them for their service and their sacrifice. And I thank them for keeping us safe, even though many times they risk their own lives to do so.

So on this Memorial Day, let’s all thank those who gave their lives for us so we could enjoy our freedom. Let’s thank their families as well.

Because Memorial Day matters. To them, and to all of us.

Have You Packed Your Suitcase, Mommy?

You do know the time is getting close don’t you, mommy? It’s going to be time for me to be born really soon. And when that time comes you may not have enough time to get everything together. So you’d better start doing it now. You don’t want to forget anything.

I’ve heard you talking about it with my grandmother, but I don’t know if you’ve started packing yet. What are you waiting for? I’m not real sure what my birth day will be yet, because that’s going to be a surprise for me, too. Well, I will know the night before, but I’m not supposed to tell you how. And I won’t be able to tell you, either!

Anyway, please be sure you have everything ready! For you as well as Daddy, since I’m sure he’ll be staying there with you…and me!

AND DON’T FORGET TO BRING THINGS FOR ME!!!!

Because I’m going to be coming home with you, remember, and I have to be well-dressed for my coming home party!!! Just like your grandmother said you were! She told me all about your pretty pink dress, and the little bow my grandmother put in your hair, which of course didn’t stay on for long. She said there’s a picture somewhere, and I’ll see it when I’m older.

Home from the Hospital

Of course you’re going to need all the important things, like your toothbrush and toothpaste and makeup and hair ties and stuff; that pretty robe my grandmother bought you so you’ll look even more beautiful in the pictures of us together; your phone charger so you can tell everyone I’m here and send everybody pictures; a book to read when I’m sleeping; and some of those gummy worms you like so much for snacks, because I’m sure the hospital won’t have them! And don’t forget something for you to wear home from there. You don’t want to wear the same clothes home that you wore when you got to the hospital! Changing outfits is important; at least that’s what your grandmother told me!

And please don’t forget my clothes! After all I’m the reason you’re going to be there! I need that pretty new outfit my grandmother bought for me, and a pretty headband to wear with it. And pink socks so my little toes won’t be cold! I’ll need a blanket to be wrapped up in. You may not be cold when you go outside, but I’ll have never been outside before; I’ll just be getting used to being outside your body, and my little body won’t be ready for the outside temperatures yet. You’ll have to give me some time to adjust! So you’ll need to keep me warm and snuggly.

And please don’t forget to bring some extra diapers in my new diaper bag. I hope that’s pink, too!

Aren’t you excited, Mommy?? I know I sure am! I can’t wait to meet you and Daddy in person! And my grandparents! What an exciting day that’s going to be! And it’s going to be really soon!

I think it’s nap time now, Mommy! Are you going to take one, too? I wonder, will you let me sleep in your bed with you and Daddy sometime so I can cuddle with you both? I think that would be fun!

I love you, Mommy! I’ll see you soon! I can’t wait!

XOXOXOXOXO

Mom, Did You Know…?

Did you know I’m a grandmother now? Our precious Ashley and her wonderful husband Chris initiated us into that club Monday morning. They presented us with the most beautiful baby girl we’ve ever seen.

One of my friends, and yours, told me, “Now you know how your mother felt when you had Ashley!” I hadn’t thought about that. But she’s so right. I guess I never really understood.

Until now. Until I saw her little face; looked into her beautiful blue eyes; and held her in my arms. At that moment I saw pure love. And I saw your eyes in hers, just like you probably saw your own mother’s eyes in Ashley’s when you first held her.

Mom, I really, really wish you could be here. Even for just a couple of minutes. I wish you could see your great-granddaughter. I wish you could hold her in your arms. Because I know how much you loved your granddaughter, and I know how very much you would love your new great-granddaughter.

There have been so many times I’ve started to pick up my phone and call you, just to tell you what little Rachel is doing. How cute and adorable she is. How much Ashley loves her new baby daughter, and what a wonderful mom she is already. How it’s already second nature for her to take care of her. She’s enjoying every minute. The love on her face when she holds her and snuggles with her…I just want to cry.

I wish you could be here to see Chris, Ashley’s husband, and how wonderful and loving a dad he already is. He’s changing diapers; he’s feeding her; holding her; loving her and just talking to her all the time. I know how happy you’d be. Because I am, too.

And then there’s the new grandpa. I’m sure you remember how excited Ben was when we had Ashley. How much he loved her, and how he would do anything he possibly could for her. Well he’s already the same way with little Rachel, and she’s only three days old. The look of love on his face when he holds her is beyond anything I could imagine. She has him wrapped around all of her fingers…and toes!

The only thing missing is you.

I wish you were here so I could share my thoughts and feelings with you, and ask questions. Because I don’t know how to be a grandmother, but I guess it’s something that comes naturally. I know how nervous I was as a new mother, and how you told me I’d be a great mother. That I’d learn very quickly what to do. And you were there to help me that first week every step of the way. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you. You were such a natural at being a grandmother, like you’d been preparing for it all your life. And I guess in a way, you had been.

And now I’m getting ready to do the same thing with my daughter. And Mom, I’m not really sure I know what to do, but I’m going to remember what you did.
Because you were the best mother in the world to me, and the best grandmother to Ashley that she could ever have had. I only hope I can be half that good.

And now that I’m a grandmother, that makes you a great-grandmother.

And you are just that. A wonderful, as well as a great, grandmother. And I still miss you every day. But I believe in my heart, and in my spirit, that you know what’s going on. I believe you and my father both have been given the gift of being able to see a little of what’s going on in our lives during this wonderful, precious time. And I can feel you both smiling down on us all, happy as you can be, on our new family.

But I still miss you. And I always will. Thank you for all you did for me, and for Ashley. And thank you for letting us give your name to our new granddaughter.

I love you, Mom. And we’ll all continue to make you proud of us.

Is My Room Ready?

I’ve been hearing you and Daddy talking about my bedroom. It’s time to get everything ready, you know! I’m sure it’s going to be extra special. Just please make sure I have a really soft bed, because it’s been really comfy inside of you for all this time, and it’s going to take a while to get used to being out in the world.

Did you know before God placed me inside of you, He’d given me a really nice bed to sleep in made of soft, puffy white clouds. It was amazing! I got to float in the sky with the other unborn babies in a big heavenly nursery and be taken care of by a lot of special angels. They sang to us, and loved us, and a little while before it was time for us to go live inside our mommies, they took each of us to live for just a little while with one of our special family members who was already in heaven. That family member was entrusted to prepare us for our exciting new life with our new parents, and tell us stories about our family God had selected for us.

I had the absolute very best family member to go to…your grandmother! She was so happy and excited when my angel brought me to her! She knew exactly who I was!!! She even knew my name! My angel placed me in her arms and flew away, promising to come back for me soon. Your grandmother had a lot to tell me, and I think I remember it all, but right now, let’s talk about my bedroom, because I’m going to be spending a lot of time in there the first few months after I’m born!

2016-04-18 05.52.06I know you’ve been working on it. I’ve heard you talking about my crib, and blankets and sheets and stuffed animals, and the colors…you picked out teal blue and purple and white. Where’s the pink? Oh I’m sure it’ll be pretty, but please don’t forget I have to have some pink in there! I know you had a friend do some special painting in there, and I can’t wait to see it!

I heard you talking to Daddy while he was putting my crib together, and when he was painting my room. I know he’s excited, too. I can hear it in his voice when he talks about me. I want to meet you both as much as you want to meet me!

I also heard you talking about curtains with sparkly rhinestones in them! Fit for a princess, I think you said. I’m going to be your little princess! That sounds so wonderful!!! I can’t wait to see my room! I hope you have a comfy rocking chair in there to cuddle in at night while you feed me. You know I’m going to be up and down a lot when I first come home, so we’ll have a lot of special time together, Mommy, you and me, and Daddy and me, too. I’m sorry I’ll be waking you up a lot, but I’m just going to want to be with you as much as I can.

I need a night light, too. I know it’s dark here inside you right now, but I hear your heartbeat all the time, and it keeps me from being scared of the dark. When I’m born I won’t have that. I heard you and Daddy talking about an elephant that lights up, and that sounds cute! I can’t wait to see it!

2016-04-17 15.11.41I’ll need some stuffed toys, too…plush teddy bears and doggies and little lambs, and a few of those koala bears my grandmother used to collect. I’m sure she’ll be happy to give them to me!

Then as I get older I’ll be playing in my room a lot, so I hope you’ve put something in there for my toys. I know I don’t have many yet, but I’m sure you and my grandparents will make sure I have lots of them!

And I heard you and Daddy talking about putting my name on my wall, too. How fun!!! Your grandmother would love that! I can’t wait to see it!

All this thinking about my new bed in my new room has made me really sleepy. I can’t wait to sleep in my new bed, but for now I’m just cuddling up inside of you. That’s comfy, too.

Good night, Mommy. I love you! And I’ll see you soon!!

XOXOXOXOXO

Thoughts from a New Grandmother

A week ago I started writing this blog. Here’s what I’d written so far, up until Sunday night:

“Any day now she’ll be here. I’m actually telling myself that, because it actually could be any day. We’re officially less than ten days away, but you know babies, and whatever the doctor says may not be what the baby says!

Actually, it’s what the Lord says, because He’s the only one who knows exactly when. And when it’s time He’ll tell baby Rachel. And then the process will start.

I remember when I had our daughter. I was scared to death. I was ready to have her, and I was excited, but I do have to say I was scared. I wasn’t going through labor since she was breech, and the C section was scheduled. I never even had any labor pain. Ashley was just taking her time, minding her own business, and was in no rush to come out into the world.

But our granddaughter seems to be ready. And she’s making it known. Our daughter has been having pains all week. So she could be here any time. She’s been to the hospital twice and sent back home because they said she’s not ready.”

And now…

After a third trip to the hospital on Sunday night, and even though she supposedly still wasn’t in labor, although her contractions were coming every 5-7 minutes, a kindhearted and compassionate nurse decided there was no way she was sending our daughter home again. And she made sure she wasn’t released.

The next morning, May 23, at 4:20 am, little Rachel was delivered. Our daughter had indeed been in labor. Thank goodness for that nurse, and our daughter’s wonderful doctor who came to the hospital to deliver her personally, even though he wasn’t on call.

You see, when God makes a plan, He makes it happen. In His way, and in His timing. He orchestrates it all. Perfectly.

I cannot begin to express my feelings when I saw our granddaughter for the very first time as she was being taken to the nursery in her isolette. Her eyes opened and she looked at us, and I saw a glimpse of the wonder of heaven, and yes, a smile from my own mother as she watched from above. I cannot begin to express my feelings at that moment. I wanted my own mommy beside me, just for a moment to share my joy, and I felt my eyes moisten as I tried not to cry.

When your child has a child of her own, your entire world, your entire view of life, is forever changed. From the moment we saw her, from the moment we held her in our arms, we were instantly struck with a feeling of love like never before. With a feeling of awe and amazement totally different from when we had our own daughter almost 28 years ago.

This tiny new little being is the child of our child; the daughter of our daughter. She carried this precious little being inside her for nine months, and now she’s in our arms…all of our arms as we take turns holding her, marveling at her curly hair, long eyelashes, her tiny long fingers, and her cute little feet and toes.

All of our friends told us being grandparents was something totally different from being a parent. That it was an indescribable feeling. ‘You’ll see!” They said.

They were right.

Welcome to the world, Rachel Marie!

XOXOXOXOXO

I Don’t know How to Pray!

“You need to pray about that. See what the Lord is telling you,” I said one day.

“I can’t do that,” my friend said.

“Why not?”

“I don’t know how to pray. I’d feel foolish. What if God doesn’t like what I say, or how I say it?”

What if, indeed? How many of us have felt that very same way, especially when we’re just starting out in our prayer life?

Prayer is a conversation with the Lord. It’s not a stilted, uneasy litany of words you have to say in a certain order before you tell Him your situation and ask Him for what you really need. Or should I say want? After all, what we think we need may not always be what the Lord KNOWS we need! Which is why many times we don’t think He’s listening to us. We just think our prayers aren’t being heard, because we aren’t praying correctly.

There’s a line in a country song I’ve heard many times in which the dad heard his 4 year old son praying. “He was talking to God like he was talking to a friend!”

Well that’s the way it should be.

Yes, God is the Lord over all of the universe. We know that. But He also loves each and every one of us, just as a father loves his children unconditionally. And unlike some earthly misguided parents, He will never turn His back on us and walk away.

He’s not only our father; he’s our friend. And as our friend…in fact our BEST friend…He wants to have a conversation with us. He wants to hear about our life. He wants to hear our thoughts and fears; our ups and downs. He wants to console us and guide us. He wants to answer our questions and open doors for us that need to be opened. And prevent us from going into situations where we can be hurt.

Isn’t that what your best friend would do for you?

Philippians 4:6 …Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

So why are we afraid to talk to Him? Because that’s really what prayer is supposed to be. Talking to the Lord, having a conversation with Him. Friend to friend. Because He wants to hear from you. And by talking with Him, praying to Him, you give Him permission to act on your behalf.

It may be difficult at first, especially if you’ve been taught most of your life that you have to pray a certain way and only a certain way. That we have to say certain things before He’ll even start to listen to us. That’s not how it is.

The Lord listens to a child’s prayer who just talks to Him like a friend. Like we used to do until our adult selves told us otherwise.

It’s time to return to that simple way of prayer. Time to talk to the Lord in our own words; not in other people’s words.

Have a simple conversation with Him. It’s actually easier than you think. You don’t have to close your eyes. You don’t have to get on your knees. You don’t have to be in s certain place; you can pray in your car, in the shower, when you’re shopping; whenever and wherever you need or want to. You can talk to Him out loud, or even better, just talk with your heart. Because He hears you. And He answers.

So what did I tell my friend who said she didn’t know how to pray? I just told her. And I told you, too.

The Lord is waiting to have a conversation with you. And there’s never a better time than right now.

The Wonder in Waiting

Ask any pregnant woman who’s only a few weeks away from delivering, and she will most likely tell you that one of the biggest “wonder” in waiting is wondering when in the world the baby will get here so she’ll feel better.

This is especially true in my daughter’s case. She’s had an awful first pregnancy. She’s had morning/afternoon/evening sickness almost every day, and none of the anti-nausea medications have helped. She’s been hospitalized with dehydration twice and has had to have IV fluids at home off and on for months. She has heartburn every day, and there are only certain foods she can eat without being sick. Her back and hips are hurting so bad it’s hard to sit for any length of time, and hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Don’t get me wrong…she and her husband are very excited over their soon-to-be-born daughter. They’re wondering who she’ll look like (I’m betting on my daughter). If she’ll be born with hair, and if it’ll be curly. They’re wondering what it’ll be like to be parents, and be responsible for the life of someone else.

They’re nervous, too, especially our daughter, because she’s never had a baby before, and as much as her friends have been able to tell her about their experiences, it’s different for every mother, and she’s wondering what it will really be like.

And she’s wondering what it will be like to hold her own daughter in her arms for the very first time.

There’s wonder in every kind of waiting.

We wonder if we’ll get that new job we’ve interviewed for. Then we wonder how we’ll do when we actually start.

A young girl wonders if that first date with the guy who asked her out will be fun and lead to a relationship, or result in another miserable evening.

A nursing student wonders and worries if she’s studied enough to pass her final test so she can complete her dream.

These are wonders. But it’s a wonder of anticipating whether or not something will happen. It’s curiosity. And too often our wonder stays in that definition, instead of the other definition of wonder.

Wonder is also a noun. It means awe. Amazement. A feeling of surprise at the beauty of something.

Children know the wonder of waiting. Yes, they’re impatient, and they don’t wait for things very well. But when something wonderful happens for them, when their waiting for a reward is over, and it’s finally given to them, the joy in their faces is without equal. You can literally see the amazement and awe…the wonder…on their faces.

Too often we adults merely just anticipate something happening rather than being amazed when it does. We easily lose the miracle, the joy, of the moment.

Anticipating the event happening, the waiting for something to happen, should make us excited about the new possibilities coming our way. And when the call comes, when the event takes place, when the dream is realized…we should be as excited and ALMOST as much in awe and amazement as our daughter and son-in-law will be when they hold their newborn daughter for the first time.

The sacrifice and pain are sometimes part of the waiting. But when that wait is over, and the rewards are received, you realize it’s all worth it.

What are you waiting for? Are you wondering when it will happen? Or are you waiting for your moment of wonder? And when it comes what will you do with it? Will you simply say “finally!” or like a child, will you be thankful and thrilled with the amazement of the moment?

Don’t be afraid to be like a child again, and take time to enjoy the wonder that comes from the waiting. Because you never know what’s around the corner.

Who Ya Callin’ Granny?

As soon as I started telling all my friends about our new upcoming status as grandparents, everyone started asking me what I was going to have baby Rachel call me! We already figured Ben would be either Grandpa or Granddad, but choosing a name for a grandmother to be called, in these days, I guess, is easier said than done!

There are a lot of possibilities out there now. Nana, Nanny, Meme, Gigi, Gran, Mom-mom, Grammy, Glamma, Grams; these are just some of the now popular names for grandmother.

I even looked up some of the name possibilities on line, and I was amazed. I can’t imagine being called GaMo, or Memo, Mimi, Nonny, Lally, Pippa, Glammy….and that’s some of the more reasonable ones!

Guess I’m a bit behind the times. I do have some friends who decided (and rightly so) that becoming a grandmother at the age of forty, although they were thrilled about it, didn’t mean they wanted to be called grandma, because it sounded a bit, well, old, shall we say? So they elected to be called Nana or Nanny. And I think it fits them well.

But it doesn’t sound like me.

Another friend is called Gigi by her grandchildren. I asked her how that came about, and it was actually quite simple. GG…Gorgeous Grandma! Well, she is! I like that, too, but still, I just don’t think it’s me.

When I was growing up, my mom’s mother, my Grandmom, always spoke about Granny. Granny was a distant relative I never met (maybe my grandmother’s mother or grandmother – I have no idea), but I saw an old picture of her once, and she was just that! Old! Or at least she looked old to me! (Of course, those photos from back in the early 1900’s or earlier made everyone look old!)

Then there was Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies TV show in the 60’s. She was funny, and certainly made the show what it was, but still, she was made up to look OLD as well. Irene Ryan was only 60 (younger than I am now) when she played that part, but she sure looked like she was some 15 years older, at least! Especially with those “granny glasses” that became so popular.

No, in my world, I’m NOT going to be called Granny!

I remember someone asking my own mother what Ashley was going to call her, and her simple answer….”anything she wants! She’s my granddaughter and I don’t care what she calls me.”

I always called my mother’s mother Grandmom. I don’t remember why; that was just her name as far as I was concerned. I didn’t know my father’s grandparents very well at all, and quite honestly, I don’t think I ever called them anything, because I didn’t see them much, and they weren’t like the loving, fun grandparents on my mother’s side.

Ashley always called my mother Grandmom. But to be honest, I’d never thought about it. Not at all. Even when Ashley and Chris told us we were going to be grandparents, it didn’t really hit me that I wasn’t going to just be “mom” to someone any more. A “grand” was getting ready to be added to a title.

The definition of “grand” is “majestic”, “magnificent”, and my favorite, “a term denoting the most important item of its kind.”

Hmmmm…..

Not that I’ll ever consider myself more important in my granddaughter’s life than my daughter (her mother), but that gives the term a whole new meaning.

Grand mom. To a grand daughter. Yeah. I like that. And I’m sure I’m going to have a magnificent granddaughter…the most important in the family line so far!

Just call me Grandmom! I only hope I am as good a grandmother to Rachel as the two other ladies in my family who were honored with that same title were to their granddaughters.

The Wonder of Pregnancy

Our daughter is currently less than two weeks away from delivering her first child. It’s certainly been a long nine months for her. Not just because of the anticipation of having her first child, but also because her pregnancy has not been easy.

We see so many pictures in magazines and on TV featuring pregnant women who continue to work full time up to their due date, exercise daily, and do everything they used to do before getting pregnant, with seemingly no problems. For our daughter, this has not been the case. She has been sick the entire time; she’s been dehydrated and even hospitalized twice; there are very few foods she can eat without being nauseous; and by the seventh month, she was already having problems walking because of the excessive pain in her back and her hips.

And she’s only 27.

Pregnancy is not as easy for every woman as we’re led to believe. But she has gone though it, and will again, because she knows how much of an honor it is to bring a new life into the world. Pregnancy is indeed a miracle.

She’s heard all of my stories about my struggles with infertility and then with secondary infertility. She knows that as soon as a baby is conceived it is a human life. She also knows that not everyone is as lucky as she was to be able to easily conceive, even though the actual pregnancy itself has been so difficult. But knowing that doesn’t keep her from being miserable.

As her mother, I can’t help but worry about her. I’ve worried when she’s been sick all day. I’ve worried when she’s been dehydrated and going to the hospital. I’ve worried, yes, that something could happen to the baby. Even though I know in my heart, and in my head, that this little one is going to be just fine.

Mothers always worry about their children, no matter what age they are. It’s just what we do. And so will our daughter.

But two days ago, I discovered feelings that I didn’t even know I had. The actual realization that my daughter, the one I carried inside my own body, is carrying her own daughter inside of her. Yes, I knew that. But suddenly seeing her in a bathing suit for the first time this year, her swollen belly holding my granddaughter, I was suddenly struck with a new sense of both wonder and awe. I KNEW she was carrying a new life inside of her. My granddaughter was right in front of me…before my very eyes. Just hidden by her mother’s body.

The wonder of pregnancy is incredible when you stop to think about it. It is truly a miracle. From the moment of conception a mother is carrying another life; a life she alone is totally responsible for.

My daughter has been carrying a life that has been growing slowly inside of her for almost 240 days. We have actually seen her baby inside of her several times through the wonder of ultrasound technology. She has nourished that life on a daily basis; as she eats and drinks, so does her baby. She feels her baby move and kick, poking into her all the time now, because there’s not much room inside of my daughter for her daughter to grow any more.

My daughter’s daughter has grown and developed from just a few tiny cells into a multi-celled complex being that is her child. That is my grandchild. And yes, she was a human life from the time she was conceived.

May we never lose the idea of the wonder and the miracle that is involved in carrying a child. Because it is truly a gift from the Lord.

Just like our daughter. And our granddaughter. Both are our gifts from the Lord.

Smile for the Camera!

Yes, I sure did smile for the camera today! A lot! I wish you could’ve seen me! And I wish your photographer could’ve somehow taken a real picture of me as well! But she will be able to soon, Mommy!

You and Daddy had your pictures taken today, just the two of you, with little me right there inside you. I was sticking out in your tummy a lot, because I’m running out of room in there, and I was waving to the lady with the camera. Did it tickle you when I did that?

2016-04-25 06.49.43And of course you picked your favorite spot for your pictures…the beach. I’m sure I’m going to love the beach as much as you do, as much as I’ve heard you talk about it. It sounds like a fun place! I heard the waves and the sea gulls squawking while we were there today. Did you feed the sea gulls?

The sound of those waves was so wonderful, I couldn’t help jumping up and down with excitement! Did you feel me jumping and kicking?? I can’t wait to go to the beach with you! I heard you talking about getting me a bathing suit, so I guess you and Daddy will be taking me there to have fun!

2016-04-25 07.15.18I heard you and Daddy talking while she was taking our pictures. You were laughing and having a great time, and talking about me a lot! You know I can hear you, right? And I really liked it when Daddy was rubbing your tummy and talking to me, and telling me he loves me! I love him, too, Mommy! I’m so glad you picked him to marry and be my daddy.

And when he kissed your tummy, he actually kissed my little cheek. That was so special to me. I can’t wait to feel both of you kissing me and hugging me. And I’ll learn to kiss you back as soon as I can! I promise!

2016-04-25 06.55.53Now I heard you talking about a pair of shoes you got for me, and they must be cute, because the lady was taking pictures of you two holding them. But shoes? Mommy, you like flip flops don’t you, instead of shoes? Don’t you wear them to the beach? So I’ll definitely need some. But I guess the shoes will be good for me when I’m learning to walk.

You also had some kind of stuffed animal with you, too, but I couldn’t tell what kind it was. But whatever it was, it tickled me a couple of times right through your tummy, and it made me giggle! I can’t wait to play with that one. I hope it’s waiting for me in my crib!

I can’t wait to see the pictures. I can’t wait to see what you looked like with me inside you. I’m sure you were smiling a lot because you’re so happy. I’m happy, too, because I’m going to be meeting the best parents in the entire world in a few weeks…you and Daddy! And one day I’ll be able to show those pictures around and tell everyone, “that’s me, right there!”

It’s been another exciting day, hasn’t it Mommy? I hope you had as much fun as I did! And by the way, that pizza you had for dinner after taking our pictures, well, that was really good!!! I’m going to like pizza, too.

I’m really tired now, so I’ll say good night. I’m sure you’re tired, too. And Daddy! It was a fun day!

I love you, Mommy!!! I’m going to be in your arms soon!

XOXOXOXOXO