Day 280 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

Today is my granddaughter’s 11th birthday.  Alice is the first of our grandchildren and she loves to be reminded of this fact. She also loves to hear the story of her birth over and over.

Kids never get tired of listening to every detail of their birth story so I promised her that I would tell it today so she could be “The Star of my Blog”.

Alice and me in Fiji – two little peas in a pod …

Alice loves the fact that her and I share back to back birthdays and how this came to be is a story in itself. You see, Alice was due on Monday 8th October and as my birthday was the 7th, I said to my daughter Maria: “Oh wouldn’t it be lovely if she was born on my birthday?”

Well … to my surprise this did not go down too well with the heavily pregnant Maria, who replied “But I don’t want her to be born on YOUR birthday, I would like her to have a birthday of her OWN!”  Okay, point taken Maria. Throw that idea out the window then. But as things never go according to plan, life and the universe would know best … surely?

Geoff and I were on our way to Sydney for the birth and stopped overnight to stay with a friend. We were woken early on the morning of the 6th October by a phone call from Maria saying “Mum, I’m in labour Steve is taking me to Liverpool Hospital now, can you leave Grafton soon and come straight down.”

What a to do! My first child having her first child, I was beside myself and had to make haste to get to the hospital, a journey of about 10 hours from where we were. There was no way we could do any speeding as Geoff had managed to get a speeding ticket the night before, so we were conscious of sticking to the speed limit as it was a long weekend and the police were out in force.

Off we went. Have you ever noticed that when you are in a hurry to get somewhere urgently, everything happens to hold you up … and goes slow? Well, that’s what happened to us. Roadworks were going on, detours were the order of the day and of course, we stopped for breaks … and then there was that dreaded speed limit.

In the meantime, I kept in touch on my mobile with Maria in the Birthing Suite. She was well into labour by now and I tried to encourage and soothe her as only mothers can do.

As we drove that long drive to Sydney, I had spoken to Maria several times so I could tell the birth was getting imminent. I was determined to be there when the baby was born. In fact, I was obsessed with getting there in time!  I felt as if I was the one in labour. It was awfull!

Every nerve in my body was on edge. We didn’t seem to be going fast enough. Maria was having a difficult labour. I thought she needed her mother (when in fact she had her husband and probably didn’t need me at all) I was praying that I would get there in time; I was a mess. Who was having this baby anyway?

By 4.30pm we came upon the suburb of Liverpool. By this time Steve had stopped answering the phone in the birthing suite and I was about as uptight as any mother could be. I had no idea what was happening and it was driving me crazy!

You would think it would have been easy from this point onwards? Well no. because we were unable to find the Liverpool Hospital in Liverpool. For 30 minutes we drove around and around without any luck until I phoned the hospital that is …

Finally, we ran into the hospital and I asked “has the baby been born yet?” The nurse just smiled at us broadly and replied: “Well, what great timing! I have just this moment got word that your daughter’s baby has been delivered and all is well.”

My prayer had been answered: WE HAD ARRIVED IN TIME! Phew, time to relax now.

Maria having her first hold of Alice

I had such a strong feeling that Maria was having a girl that when Steve finally appeared and said: “We have a little girl” I was not at all surprised and took it in my stride.

Friends, nothing prepared me for seeing Alice for the first time. She lay naked under a heat lamp and she was crying … but here was an exact replica of her mother when she was born! My heart melted and tears welled up in my eyes. I stroked Alice to comfort her saying things like “You poor little darling, it wasn’t easy getting  here was it, but you’ll be alright.”

It was almost like a lullaby as I hummed and stroked Alice as Maria was being made comfortable. The excitement I felt as a first time grandmother was beyond anything I had every imagined folks. It was a highly emotional moment so when the nurse came with that big needle and plunged it into Alice’s heel I felt the sting every bit as much as Alice did as she screamed her lungs out.

Then Alice was wrapped up and given to Maria for her first hold. I will never forget that moment as my daughter gazed upon her first-born child with love and said: “Hello …  so you’re the one who’s been kicking me every night!” I felt so blessed to be sharing this special moment with my daughter and granddaughter. Yes indeed, I HAD got to the hospital in time.

And finally, it was my turn to have a hold of Alice. I looked down upon her with such fierce love. She was quiet now as I gently rocked her as one does almost instinctively with small babies all wrapped up in a bunny rug.

The wonder of holding this child was huge for me as I had not held my own premature daughter Maria until she was five weeks old. To now be holding Maria’s child within a short time of her being born was a very special moment for me.

You know, everything on the surface looked normal in that birthing suite, but for me NOTHING was normal. Emotions were all over the place. Maria had become a mother,  Steve had become a father, I had become a grandmother and Geoff a grandfather …  all for the first time. What a wonderful time it was.

So today ALICE CHARLOTTE PARMITER … my darling back-to-back twin … I love you so very much my first special grandchild and I feel so very blessed to have been your grandmother for 11 wonderful years.


Alice when she was 10 months old