Friday, January 25, 2013

# 395 - My Baby is Having a Baby!


For those of you who follow my blog, some of you since the very beginning, you get to share in one of my most treasured expectations that is going to change my life in a wonderful way! Yes, in case you missed the headline, I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!

My beautiful daughter, my firstborn child, Heather, is PREGNANT and is expecting one very special baby! She's going to be a MOM! And Henry will be a great DAD!

For a couple of weeks, we were wondering if there might be twins hanging out in the womb, but there's just one little sweetie growing stronger each day! I am very excited to think about what my grandchild might look like! So much to think about! So many wonderful times in store for our family!

I am so happy when I think about the two hearts of these newlyweds being so perfect for one another and now they've created a new little heart. It will be a while before we have our introductions to this new little one joining the family, but time does fly when you're having fun!

I look back over twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to Heather, and I can't believe I went through my pregnancy and birth without my family. Then I raised her to be a toddler in Germany, so far away from my family and my most important friends. It was difficult, but worthwhile. Since those were the days of living without the Internet and without cell phones, we relied on old-fashioned mail to stay in touch with our loved ones back home. We were gone a long time. Years.

By the time we came back to America, I was so happy to share my daughter with everyone. I had been given a huge dose of being separated from my family, VERY separated! While in Germany, there wasn't just a few miles between us, we were oceans apart. I was on another Continent. So, I'm glad my daughter isn't that far away, she is still in Texas, but Texas is a mighty big state and that means my daughter lives five hours away, one-way.

The miles between us can be a challenge and it certainly won't get easier for the young couple to travel once they have a baby, but they have a cute place in their town and it's a good thing they enjoy living there because many things will change once that baby arrives!

I wish I lived closer to my daughter, but that's life. She will be fine, this I know. Something happens to a woman after she has a baby, her ties to her family become strengthened and valued more than ever. Mothers are usually the "glue" of the family and once you become a mother, this role is better understood.

With me, after going through pregnancy and childbirth on the other side of the world and raising my daughter in another country, I began to see the value of family in a new light. I had always loved my family, but I began to really APPRECIATE them, for the people they were.

Also, as your own family grows, you see how challenging it can be to parent perfectly, it's not possible, so give up the idea of perfection before you get started or you will make some sore discoveries. But, there's no doubt that having your own children makes you realize "Hey, I kinda had a great life, with some ups and downs, and I sure hope my own kid will feel like they are having a great life as well." We raise our kids to see those states when our kids will, sooner or later, decide that you stink as a parent, then you'll be the greatest parent, then the worst, then good again. Then, your kids have their own kids one day with the ups and downs being at their feet as the roles are reversed. It makes a parent smile. It's a beautiful world out there!

I think that's a big part of the joy of watching our children have their own children, we get to sit back and watch someone else do all the hard work of raising a child, mainly, that "someone" is our own grown child, the one whom we worked so hard for. It's wonderful to see them carry on the tradition of doing the best with what you have to offer and to see them try to figure out all the things you've already tried to unravel while bringing up your own children.

It will be a challenge to be a mom so far away from the core of her entire family, but Heather has Henry's family to be there for her and that is a blessing. And, depending on our visiting schedules, I will be ready to enjoy the time we get to spend together. I decided to be like my mom, relaxed and know that things will work out as they should. My mom knew I'd need her. Darn it, I did. Better yet, my mom might have still worked, but she made herself available on weekends to run around town with me and my daughters. The four of us had so many wonderful times together.

I'm so glad I grew out of my stupid rebellious, selfish age so that I could fully enjoy and appreciate my mom, even see her as a person and allow the relationship to go both ways. I grew out of the shallow girl I had been with thinking my mom should always be interested in my world, heck, she's a mom...right? I crack up when think about how I realized my mom was a woman, a woman I could talk to about ANYTHING and guess what, it was a two-way relationship, she could talk about ANYTHING with me as well. So, that set us apart, we became true friends because we both decided to be important to each other on a beautiful level of friendship instead of just mother/daughter roles.

I'm hardly able to think about how connected she and I had been, we choose to be that way, we choose to like hearing each other's voice and being able to talk about things with each other that no one else cared to talk about. As my friends slipped away into their own busy lives, my mom had time for me. She understood every stage I was going through, she'd been through them already and had great compassion for me, even words of wisdom that I welcomed.

My concerns became my moms and hers became mine. True friends, beyond a friend, I became to understand that my mother was born to have me and I was born to grow up and to be a woman who actually LIKED her mom. She was my buddy. I'm so glad that my maturity came sooner than most kids, probably because of the level of high responsibility I had to shoulder my entire life growing up. I don't know if this generation grows up half as fast to embrace the emotional maturity as I gained early in age, but I'm hoping. I know my daughters definitely did a lot of growing up, while still very young because I had become very ill.

As my daughter is pregnant with her first child, I start to think more deeply about life. I see my own daughter growing up to be all things "grown" and that includes becoming a parent. I realize that my mother loved me as much as I love my daughter. As for my mom, I will always cherish the relationship I had with my mother. I miss it tremendously. But, I am so glad that I didn't make excuses to miss out on such an amazing opportunity to be an amazing friend with her because those opportunities in life are fleeting. I found that out, personally. My mom left much sooner than I imagined she would. A big hole is there; she meant the world to me. I was her first-born and am thankful for our connection all throughout life.

With my daughter in the midst of her first pregnancy, I can't help but think of  how my mother would've loved to have known Heather was expecting a baby; she would have loved to simply lay her adoring eyes on that baby, but I'm sure she'll be watching over us from Heaven.

Once this baby arrives, my own adoring eyes will be as intense as my mother's had been toward her children and grand-children. I will search my grand-baby's face for that connection and PING, it will be a sealed deal. The connection will have been forged.

Grandchildren are very special. A child is a gift that is really not your own. That's the hard part about being a parent. You feel as if that little person belongs to you, but you're actually just their temporary soft spot. Eventually, that child will leave for their own life. Therefore, you realize that you must do right by them. It's a large task.

My daughter had her first ultrasound yesterday and the miracle of a baby growing in her hit home. There's something awe-inspiring about seeing a living being growing in the womb, knowing it is there with you, at all times, so peacefully depending on your body for survival. Watching the screen, seeing the little heart's weird, but real. There's a baby in there! Today's technology helps you realize that life is much grander than you imagined.

Me and Heather, she's about three years old.

As for being a grandma, to be honest, sometimes I feel like a grandma already. My sister's daughter, Shaye, has been such a huge part of my world. My sister was approximately five months pregnant with Shaye when we lost our mother to breast cancer. Shaye was my sister's first child. So, I've tried my best to be more than an aunt...I've tried to also do a lot of the things my mother would have done with Shaye, and it's been a beautiful relationship between me and that kiddo. I've been very blessed. Of course, my sister and I are very connected; she does her best to make sure that me and Shaye get to spend plenty of time together on a regular basis. It's an active relationship on both me and my sister's part. She'll call me and say, "I think Shaye needs some time with her Aunt, can she come for a couple of days?"

Every time I am with that beautiful child, I am filled with joy that can't be expressed. She sits in my lap, curls up and we watch Jungle Book, singing loud and strong. We do art projects together. She reads books to ME. We dance together. And we talk. That girl tells me everything. She unburdens her little heart in ways that are most poignant for a six year old. She knows I listen and that I respect her thoughts and feelings. We are forever bonded. I am thankful to my sister for loving her own child enough to know that a relationship with her aunt and uncle would not only be important for us, but for her own child, so she could have more love in her life. Plus, my sister is smart enough to know that we are the people who will care for her child, with true love and concern, more than most people, and this allows them to actually enjoy getting away for a weekend while Shaye stays with us. It works out beautifully for everyone involved!

But, my firstborn grandchild will be such a delight! I might not be able to see my own grandchild as much as I get to see my niece, Shaye, but I will be connected to that baby right away. A will be new territory for me! I've already been buying things for the baby and for Heather. Every week, at the store, I buy something else to add to my stash. It's as if my heart is being soothed and put into a place of pure joy at the thought of that baby coming.

Heather and David sharing a sweet hug. There's no doubt that this child
would test our limits, but overall, she brought out the best of us. We're
never finished with learning to be better people, us and her, we're 
always striving, but I know that this child was 
raised with abundant love and effort so
that she could be a gracious young woman when she left our house. 
I do believe we accomplished our goal. 
To be honest, we were strong parents, good parents,
understanding parents, involved parents...glitches
happened as they do with ALL parents,
but I hope Heather and Henry do even better than their parents. 
Truth is...they'll have their own glitches. That's life. 

I'll do my best to help MY baby do the best she can.
We're her supporting cast! Our love will give her and Henry the push
they need, when they need to be strong.

I wish I could make parenting easy on my daughter, but I know all of us mothers must find our way into motherhood, mostly on our own. I'll be more than glad to come spend a couple of weeks with her, again, after the baby is a 3-4 weeks old...just at that perfect time when she is no longer able to feel comfortable with leaving the baby long enough take a shower, at the time when the dishes are piled high, the floors are a mess and the laundry is backed up...I'll be there.

I'll be there to let her sleep as much as she'd like. And I'll do the laundry, the floors and the dishes, plus I'll cook my daughter's favorite meals. I'll hold the baby after my cleaning is done, and Heather will be given a chance to get back on her feet again. By the time I leave her house, I will be exhausted  to the bone and Heather will be refreshed and better able to pick up the torch. Even better, by the time I leave, the baby will be close to six weeks old and perhaps ready to sleep through the night. So, I'm hoping I can time my trip as best as I can to unload her burden of being a new mommy.

Heather and her daddy playing ball in Germany.
One of their favorite things to do. The little German kids
wanted to come take her ball, but we always bought
he a new one so she could share with them.
These kids have big plans. Having a kid is just the beginning. Heather will have another little person to think about, to look after, to worry about, to take care of...her life is about to revolve around precious, tender baby-stuff.  She'll hold her baby, gaze down into the baby's eyes and the baby will stare back, both mom and baby holding their gazes toward each other, as if they are in complete peace with each other, nothing else in the world matters except that moment. They gaze at each other, the sweetness and the strength of love between mother and know you will never forget such moments.

Heather and I probably getting ready for a breast-feeding session.
I was a major proponent for breast-feeding, doing ALL I could to
give my baby every bit of healthy advantage that she could get!
Pro-active parenting works. My baby was always healthier than
other babies around us. Breast-milk did seem to be the miracle formula!
Those precious moments live within me, strong and powerful, to this day and always. I am full of emotion that my daughter, the one with whom I shared those gazes with...well, she'll be doing the same thing with her own little bundle of joy. In just a few months, those baby eyes will hold her captive and they will be mesmerized by each other. Then Heather will understand me better as she remembers those moments forever. And I will knowingly observe the level of love she has discovered, all Heather will have to do is look into my eyes and again, she will know that we have a timeless understanding of each other.

The largest sorority in the world is Motherhood. Welcome to it my child!

Heather reading a poem I wrote for her wedding.
Letting the walls down and allowing for love to come through
without any self-inflicted barriers so that love can be
experienced in its most pure form. I feel the heaviness of
her tears, of knowing her wedding would mean a
completely new way of life----a new way of thinking, and
a commitment on a new level to remain a great distance from
her own family. She's a strong young woman and even
though our family does many things together that she can't
attend, we think of her and know that she is living her life
to the fullest while we city dwellers keep living the city life!
She comes and gets a fix of it every now and then, to calm
down the ancy city girl in her and she then goes back to
the country and is okay for a while. You might take the
girl out of the city, but you can't dim the city lights she
will always keep glowing close to her heart.

Well, I don't know what we will call me once I'm a grandma. My husband and I sat up tonight thinking about it. He pulled up google search to go through a massive list of top names from Grandma and Grandpa. For Grandma, the terms Bunny and Cookie were too much, no thank you. I thought about Mi-Mi. Then, Stefie asked why we don't use the names dubbed for my own grandmother and grandfather, after all, they were unique and cool names that no one else had for their grandparents. I had a Mimmim and a Pucky. Heck, it might be nice to carry on the family tradition of these quirky names.

How about Grandma?

Any suggestions? I'll gladly take recommendations!

So, I'm about to drift off to sleep, hopefully to dream about sweet babies in a field of flowers, happy and ready to be met by their mommies who are fluttering about, playing peek-a-boo and enjoying life's most beautiful moments. But, sooner or later, someone is going to need a major stinky diaper changed!

Dreams never last! Enjoy the good ones while you can.

I feel like I'm living a dream. I pray all goes well with my daughter's pregnancy. She is putting the best of herself out there while knowing every action has a reaction, so she's careful to be the best she can be and to be full of compassion and love, for then she is aligning life to give the same to her child. Being a kind-hearted mother will show her baby how to live in the most heartfelt manner.

My baby is having a baby...


Mike said...

I know quite a few families, including my own, that allow the first born name the grandparents. You tell them the name, ie; grandpa, grandma, and their pronunciation is the decider. Or, they can come up with something of their own. Of course, if you're bound and determined to have a name of your choice, I reckon you can force feed it and eventually the baby will say it your way. My MIL was like that. "Grandmother." But, my sister's first named our father, Papa. No reason, that's what he picked. My first named his grandparents, (the other side) Ampa and Amma.
At any rate, you'll be called something and you'll love it. I'm dubbed Grumpy, by my first. ;)

Anonymous said...

So very happy for your Daughter and Son in Law and you and your family!! God Bless you all. Bobbie

LindaG said...

Congratulations to everyone!
God bless. ♥ said...

Mike --- I have a feeling that whatever we decide to be called will be altered by the kiddo as they grow and begin to speak. My kids called my mom "Grandma" and "Mom" because we spent so much time with her and they heard me call her Mom. She once asked me if it bothered me because we could work with the kids calling her Grandma, but I thought it was precious. They also called her Grand-Mom. It was something we would never have thought of on our own, the kids did it themselves and it was awesome. However, I do think Grumpy is a pretty darn cute name for a Grandpa!

Bobbie --- thank you so much! I was exhausted while typing this blogpost and my thinking was all over the place, but I wanted to get it down in its raw form. I am so excited!

Linda --- I can't believe my oldest child is going to be a mommy! It's like we know it's going to happen one day, but once the baby is on the way, it is surreal! On the inside, I am jumping up and down!

A Primitive Homestead said...

Such good news. Congrats to all of you. Blessings! Lara said...

Lara --- it means a lot to me to get a congratulations from you...I really appreciate it nd am thinking of you!


Karen said...

Lana, congratulations! Oh, girl, you will be the youngest-looking grandmother. I am so excited for you all. Congratulations again!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to one and all. Beth

DFW said...

Congratulations to all! said...

Karen --- You are so funny! I definitely don't feel so young in body, but my spirit is still a toddler! I'm sure some would say my psychology is at toddler state, but I'd have to somewhat agree since I still LOVE being a big kid, such as when I get to drive the tractor around. I'll be 45 when the baby arrives and that feels perfect. God grant me the energy and health to keep up with the youngins!

Beth --- Can you believe it? Me...a Grandma? I've not wanted to rush this moment since I wanted my daughters to be as secure in their lives as possible, unlike our generation and past that that were expected to hit the ground running and not stop until eternity comes. But, I sure was itching for the day that I would be able to do all those "grandma" things!!!! I can't wait!!! But, I will, patiently...I want the baby to be healthy and strong! Full Term!!!

DFW --- A big 10-4 on that one buddy! I am going to be one deliriously happy grandma. The kids are so excited. My son-in-law is the cutest dad-to-be I've ever seen! And my daughter is pretty darn adorable with her baby-marinating self!


The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

What wonderful news! Congratulations Grandma Lana! :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

CONGRATULATIONS! There is NOTHING better than grandchildren. Nothing! We're expecting our thirteenth this year, and I'm as excited about this one as I was the first.

Vickie said...

Lana, I'm just SO happy for you!!! WHatever comes out of that baby's mouth to call you will be the sweetest name on this side of heaven! said...

The Kelly's Adventures in KY --- It seems like I had my daughter just a few months ago...where did these 25 years go and how does TIME truly fly by?

Susan --- I am so happy to hear you say that because I do believe I will feel the same way. I remember my mom being thrilled to be a grandma, even though she was on another continent. Distance can't separate love! I will be trying to see my grandbaby as often as is possible, maybe going into town to give my daughter and son-in-law a much needed break. I remember how exhausting it is to be a brand new parent! At least my daughter has a supportive family; she's very blessed and will figure out the depth of those blessings once she's running circles around her own child! No one can really tell you about parenting, the ups and downs, until you have one and find it out first hand. She will be a great mom!

Vickie --- I will be so excited to simply be around a baby again. It's been a long time since we have had a baby in the family! The baby can call me anything, I'll be happy to just be "grandma!"