It has been a while since I have posted on my blog dedicated to being a new Grandmother. I thought I would be writing more. It is just that I am still getting to know my new grandson and it is taking a bit longer than I first anticipated. I am glad that my son and daugher-in-law do not live far away. So that is not the problem. It is because my grandson is so busy. A premature baby needs to have visits from various therapists, physical, occupational, and play to help him get the proper exercise and stimulation. There are nurses that help care for him while my daughter-in-law and son work. So he has lots of people coming to see him every week and Mèmè needs to wait her turn. I must be flexible.
He is growing and developing well. He is very alert and active. And he is more flexible physically than me for sure.
Some ingredients for Chicken Soup
My mother in law taught me how to make homemade chicken soup when I was first married. I don’t make it regularly as I am not into cooking so much in recent years. I do like to make it for holiday dinners. I am out of practice because I was forgetting some of the ingredients. Tonight I will be taking my chicken soup and matzo balls over to my grandson’s other grandmother’s house. She is graciously hosting the dinner. This will be my grandson’s first Rosh Hashanah. He makes it a very special year. ❤
I gave birth to my second blog,Grandmotherly.blog, in June of this year. I decided I wanted a second blog to write about my experiences as a new grandmother. Today’s prompt words fit in well with this blog so I wanted to write my post here. I haven’t written very much about being a grandmother for a bit. My grandson came home about 3 weeks ago from the NICU. He was born very early and had to stay in the hospital until he was big and strong enough. He’s been a fighter from his birth until now, through ups and downs. Things have been hectic at his house as he and his parents have been getting used to the new routine. My daughter in law told me it would be better if I visited him in the mornings when he is most energetic and happy. So today I went over about mid-morning and got to see him in action. He is very active and is making good eye contact and returning smiles. It was hard to get a picture because when he sees the phone pointing at him he won’t always smile, and then his arms and legs are in motion so much the picture can be blurry. It is so great to see him with so much energy. I find it is different being a grandmother compared to being a mother. I have the joy of holding him and playing with him and not so much stress as when I was a new mother.
Daughter in Law took this one
Almost a smile
Lucky catch of smile
Had to get photo of cute feet
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “birth/berth.”
I had a chance to spend more time with my grandson recently. I am happy to report he is doing well and becoming much more aware of his surroundings and the people in it. He is active in moving all extremities and likes to grab for his mobile hanging over the side of his crib. I know he doesn’t recognize me yet but look forward to the day when he does and is happy to see me.
He is still in the NICU but plans are being put in place for him to come home. All these months it has been like we lived in cities far away from each other because he was restricted many times from having visitors, especially during the winter flu season. I would get texts, photos, videos, and occasional calls from his parents to tell me about his progress. So when I visit I feel like the out of town relative. He looks at me with his big eyes as if to say, “Who are you?”
Featured image of ‘baby holding hand’ via Pixabay.com
The progress of babies born very premature is not in straight line up. It is more oscillating and has been compared to a rollercoaster ride. There can be complications, and setbacks are very common. When my grandson was first born, I thought about how many weeks he needed to go before he would be home. It seemed like a long space of time where he would have to avoid complications. I read about some of the common conditions that premature babies are vulnerable to, and I did not want him to have any of them. I resolved to block a lot of it out because I did not want to live in fear. It would do no good to live in dread of what might never happen. I wanted to be positive when I was around him. This wall I had built, as a defense mechanism against my fears, did not protect me when he had complications or setbacks. He would be making progress and I felt secure. Then, he would have a setback and I found my wall crumbling. Even though I had told myself to take things day by day, I have found it just as hard each time there are setbacks. Through all this I have seen the resilience of my grandson. He has been fighting back against all challenges with his parents right there by his side. I am with them all the way.
Like a moon orbiting around its planet, parents of adult children have to maintain the best distance to keep from crashing down like a meteor or rogue asteroid. The parent isn’t guided by any laws of physics. They have to find their way by heart. This is especially true when you become a grandparent. I have memories of the time I was a new mother and how I wanted to be in control of my own nest. I was getting to know my baby and learning how to be comfortable as his mother. I have always said that when I was the mother in law, I would be very sensitive to boundaries. Now I am finding out what it is like to actually be the mother-in-law and paternal grandmother. It is a balancing act because you want to be involved with your children and grandchildren but you don’t want to be overbearing or intrusive. I have to learn how to be a grandmother just like I did to be a mother. I have to accept that I probably will make mistakes. I am starting to understand how my own mother-in-law may have felt.
I started my grandmother journey last year when my son and daughter-in-law told us they were expecting a baby this February. At the beginning I thought my task was to adjust to the idea of becoming a grandmother and to pick a grandmotherly name. I did not want to be Grandma, Granny, or Nana. I chose Mémé which is Grandma or Granny in French. Before I had a chance to get used to my new name or role, my beautiful grandson was born prematurely. It has been a different journey from the one I expected. My grandson has had to stay in NICU while he grows and gets strong enough to come home. He was not ready to meet his grandparents except at a distance. In the early days, he had to rest without a lot of stimulation. When he was first born I thought it was good for him to hear my voice talking, reading, and singing to him. But I found out this is not really beneficial for very premature babies. The stimulation is too jarring for their developing nervous systems. You have to the learn the proper way to touch the babies because their skin is very sensitive. You can’t hold them because they need to be kept warm in the incubator. My husband and I were pretty much just viewing him through the walls of the incubator. Sometimes the incubator was completely covered with a blanket. Again, this is done to cut down on stimulation. It is to make the environment quiet as if he were still inside the womb. The nurses would lift up a section of the blanket so we could see him when we visited. I did find all the restrictions frustrating at first but understand the need for them now. Having to keep my distance and being a bit removed from the situation has caused a sense of helplessness at times. I couldn’t help my grandson or his parents very much. There wasn’t much for me to do but to stand by and be supportive in any way I could. He has grown and is getting closer to coming home. In recent times, we have been able to touch him more, talk to him, and hold his pacifier in. Soon we will be able to hold him. I will be able to read and sing to him. I hope he doesn’t mind if I am a little off key.