GEARING UP FOR GRANDPARENTING


I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. It seems only like yesterday that my daughter and son-in-law came to tell me that they were expecting a baby and that their greatest adventure ever will begin in February 2019.

So I am going to be a grandparent.

It is emotional when your own child is suddenly going to be a mother too.

Now she is at the 32-week stage and only 8 weeks to go.

Yesterday was the first time for ages that we had a ‘mum and daughter’ day out.

Probably not the best choice of days, 27thDecember, the after Christmas sales have started and virtually everyone has taken the rest of the week off work.

Roads filled with cars with family, all going at snail’s pace.

Arriving at the Mega Stories in Rotterdam Alexandrium, the car park was virtually empty and we parked right beside the lift. I am still using one crutch when out and about where people are, having had my hip replaced several weeks ago. Just in case!

Strange how after Christmas, the music playing and decorations suddenly look all out of place and too crass for words. And the place was virtually empty! Hoorah, we seem to have beaten the bargain hunters after Christmas. We wandered around the shops and my daughter bought some of the last bits and pieces on her list. Then to the Prenatal Mega Store.

I had been planning to actually make a small quilt for the baby’s playpen, which we have already bought for them, but choosing the materials is quite something when she has a very definite idea about which colours, materials and such like. Not to mention if the filling is officially approved for newborns? A trip out the previous Saturday to the only haberdashery and material shop we both know on this island, revealed that they had finally closed their doors weeks ago. So is online ordering the best alternative? Unless quite by chance we find a shop here today.

My daughter wanted to buy her ‘bringing the baby home outfit’. Yes, this is special the first outfit after she is born (yes it’s a girl too) is something you have to choose for yourself. Then upstairs to buy ‘a thing’ for the Maxi Cosy and suddenly we come across the most perfect quilt for in the playpen, fluffy soft material and exactly the colour she wants. So easy, all done and bought for probably a fraction of the amount the material would have cost and not to mention actually making it, that would have been quite something else, as I have never done quilting before! So perhaps a bit of a too adventurous idea, now solved.

Another thing on the list ticked off.

On the way back and by this time it is so busy and people are so glad when someone finally vacates a parking place we talked about the next few weeks. Only 20 actual working days for my daughter and then she will officially be on ‘maternity leave’. 

We have nicknamed the baby ‘Truus’. It started as a joke but somehow its stuck; even my daughter is calling her that now. It is not going to be her name; we only know the initials so far, which of course I will reveal at a later date.

On the drive back home we were talking and it is interesting to hear that she, just like I did all those years ago, had definite ideas in her head about how the delivery will go, how she is going to deal with it and say what she does and doesn’t want. She said: “I want it all to be over with in 2 hours and then go home (from the hospital)”. Wishful thinking perhaps for a firstborn? But you never know do you?

I related the story I have told many times to people about my old school friend in the UK who was just about to have her baby and full scale panic to get to the hospital before the baby arrived and her husband went upstairs to have a quick shower and shave!  Her daughter was nearly born in the hospital entrance they cut the time so fine!

I told me daughter that I think that the best way to deal with the contractions is to learn to breathe properly. Learn to breathe the ‘yoga way’. Deep breathes from the belly and puffing and huffing, when you have to at the end. She does not want an epidural, no painkillers, just the natural way and then the only way is controlling your breathing. Agree?

For Christmas this year I had a really great book: 100 things grandparents should do with their grandchild and some really lovely amusing things too. Over dinner on Boxing Day, my daughter suddenly said Oma Kramer (which is Dutch for Granny and no I am not going to be called that). Under no circumstances! It makes me think of my own mother-in-law who was not the easiest of people and I just cannot have Truus calling me that too. So I want to keep in line with the tradition from my side of the family (the British side) and take the name Nanna. If Truus arrives on the 20thFebruary (the actual official date is the 23rd) she will be sixth generation from my side born on the 20thof the month. Just wonder if she will arrive then?

So it’s going to be Nanna and Opa! No more discussion about that. Final say so!

I must admit it is getting more exciting now. My daughter is really showing now that she is pregnant. She was so exercised and trim beforehand that you could not even see a bump at the beginning, but as I told her recently you billow out in the last 2 months. (In other words take on the form of a breached whale).

Truus is running out of space in there now, you regularly see either a knee, foot or her bottom suddenly move and sticking out. I have felt it too. My daughter is starting to get the Braxton Hicks type of pre-contractions. That is when your soft bulge goes incredibly hard and there is a lot of movement inside.

Next week we are all going for the final Echo before birth!

Tomorrow going to go for a cuppa with her as two of her old school friends are visiting and one of them is exactly at the same stage, exactly the same expected date, wonder how they managed that? 

So I have a little job to do today. When the idea of a ‘baby shower’ was mentioned, my daughter said empathically that she did not want to have one under any circumstances. It’s really something that has blown over from the USA, like Black Friday. No one ever did that here before.

I could buy lots of things for my little Truus to be, but I want to make something more special, something I have actually done myself. There is so much (too much) choice in the shops and any fool could buy them.

So closing off the first one of my countdown blogs now, to get creative. With a bit of luck it might be ready to take with me tomorrow.

I wonder how many of you out there remember this too? Not only being a parent for the first time but also on the verge of being allowed to climb a rung higher up the generation ladder to becoming a grandparent.

Please share your own story in the feed!

Published by

Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

4 thoughts on “GEARING UP FOR GRANDPARENTING”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *