I Was There


I was 25 years old when I had my first child. Even though that was over thirty years ago, I can still clearly recall how petrified I was of giving birth. I remember thinking if only I could get through it, my transition to motherhood would be child’s play, literally, no pun intended!

But as we all know, from the first-time mom who’s awake (somewhat) till daybreak with her newborn, to the mom who’s waiting anxiously for her daughter to go into labor with her second grandchild (that would be me), that’s not the case.

Certainly, all moms can agree that childbirth might very well be the easiest part of parenting a child.

Those torturous few hours (hopefully not days) are just the intro to our self-published bestseller. It’s the chapters in the book that really tell the whole story. And my next chapter was about to unfold right after my cell phone rang at 2:00 a.m. three weeks ago.

My daughter was a few days past her due date, AGAIN! Her first son came five days late after an induction, so we were quite prepared for his coming. I was hoping for an element of surprise this time, and I got it! I worked all day, made dinner, left the dirty dishes on the table, dozed off sitting up on the sofa, woke up with a stiff neck, stumbled into bed, slept another hour, and awoke to my daughter’s text and phone call announcing she was having contractions.

I got my wish – drama in the middle of the night! Plus, this time, I would get to babysit the big brother-to-be at 3:00 a.m. By the time he was dropped off at my house, he was in full chatter/play/eat mode wondering why everyone else was quietly asleep. Besides feeling so exhausted, I was relieved that I had my grandson to keep me occupied, so I couldn’t actively pace the floor anxiously awaiting word about my daughter’s progress with labor.

Memories of my own labor and deliveries of my kids, and of course the delivery of my first grandson, all came flooding back. While I waited for grandson #2, I had a craving to see him being born, knowing this was an amazing journey. I hoped so intensely that all would go right with mom and baby.

So I waited, and as the sun slowly came up, my grandson and I dozed off for a bit while text updates came in from my daughter about her progress. I must admit, a little part of me was disappointed about missing this one’s birth because I was the designated babysitter. We filled up the morning with breakfast, playing outside, and then my husband and son were home from work early and quickly got through lunch. Around 1:00 p.m., my daughter called and reported that she’d be delivering the baby in close to an hour, per her doctor. The excitement was mounting! Maybe, just maybe, I could sneak out and leave my grandson at home with his grandpa, uncles, and teenage aunt, a crew of babysitters, really, enough to entertain a 3-year-old for a couple of hours.

Then unexpectedly, 15 minutes later, my son-in-law text back saying the baby was coming very soon. I sprinted for my car keys and ran out the front door, sneaking out on my big boy and everybody else. After living 32 plus years in my house, I never was so grateful that the hospital was just down the street!

I turned into the parking lot, appreciative of green lights and a vacant parking spot where someone had just pulled out. I lost little time checking in at the front desk while waiting for my visitor’s badge but made up time with an open elevator. I announced my arrival at the labor/delivery suite, and a nurse escorted me to my daughter’s room.

I strained my ears, but I was good, no sounds resembling my daughter or baby screams, courtesy of an effective epidural, just the doctor and nurses directing my daughter to push. After about 90 seconds, the baby was born, and just like that, I had another gorgeous grandson!

And that feeling of euphoria swept over me, moving me to tears and shedding all my fears and anxieties. I stared at a perfect human being as he announced his arrival with that first newborn cry.

This time, my daughter had gotten through it, and she would go home with a new baby and begin the never-ending cluster feedings, diaper changes, spit-ups, and so on… And with baby #2, she knew all too well what was coming, and so did I. The little man that’s been calling me Nanna for a while now continually lights up my world every time he calls me or runs to me with open arms. After all, my grandbaby #2 was here, and more of the same was coming. What could top that?

I got through the pregnancy, too, counting months, days, and anticipating because I knew the greatest joyous satisfaction of a new grandson was coming. And in my usual last-minute manner, I made it as he joined our world, in one spectacular, unforgettable moment!                                  

I WAS THERE and will forever be grateful.

Previous articleSex and the Single Mom: The Final Chapter
Next articleBeing a Mom – A Definition and Way of Life
Fran was born, raised, married, and still lives in Mount Kisco, NY. She has four kids, including a teenage daughter and two precious grandsons, whom she babysits a couple of days a week. She also works part-time as an accounting clerk, helps run her husband’s excavation business, and lastly aspires to finish writing her book one day. Despite her crazy, busy schedule, she cooks almost every night for her big family and tries her best to keep up with the dishes! She truly believes spontaneity is the spice of life, and sometimes the very unexpected happens, but it’s usually all for the best. Enjoy her many tales of raising kids over 20 years; what an amazing journey!