Six weeks. This precious little baby is six weeks old.
This is one of her newborn photographs that I am (still!) working on. Why? Why? Why?
Why can’t there be enough hours in the day for all I want to do? Why do I have to get soooo distracted by dogs, walks, the store, TV, my husband, zumba class and workworkworkworkwork?
I mean those are not allll my excuses. At first, I couldn’t choose which photos I liked best and wanted to edit. Then…..I thought…..might as well wait to post any until the announcements go out. Well, guess what? I mailed the announcements today!
Accomplishments – 1. Excuses – 0.
But honestly, look at this face. This itty bitty witty face. I get absolutely zero editing done when I get to visit with her. The dogs are completely ignored. I almost forget to eat, because I can’t put her down. Can’t! The other grandparents think I spoil her to death and I do. I fully admit it. I am powerless.
So I put off editing to hold her. To look at her. And to wonder how she is even possibly my grandbaby. Then I pinch myself.
This weekend I enjoyed a slew of baby Averey time. More than 24 hours since Brandon and Sydney let her overnight with me. A weekend with Grammy! I loved it so. I had to stock up on Averey time since I will be traveling to Milwaukee next week. It’s quite possible a WHOLE week or more will go by before I see her again (cry!). I hope she doesn’t change too much.
As for my lovely blog. It’s not near over. I completed an upgrade today and will be posting more. Truth is, I want to post all the time. About her. About life. About everything. But a thought turns into a day, a day turns into a week, and the next thing I know….six weeks have passed.
Finally, I understand how being a grandparent ages you so quickly.
But, I didn’t just want to post about Averey and how happy I am to meet her and her to meet me. I also wanted you to meet a dear blogger friend of mine.
We go way back in blogspast and she is doing a meet the blogger series. I am her second blogger featured. Me! On her blog (of course, I had to share!). I am sooooo very honored. Especially since I have been such a crappy blogger of late.
Please pop over and give her a shout out from me. She is a talented Mom, photographer, videographer, business owner, and shopper – Jean at Jean Has Been Shopping. She does it all. Go meet her and meet me. Uhhh, again.Heh.
Friday, August 23, 2013 – I turn 42 years old. I have the day off work. It is a FRIDAY! And on top of all that, I am invited to my daughter’s ultrasound with her and her boyfriend. In my life of beautiful things to count, it is one of the best birthday presents I could ask for. And I get to see her. There on the screen, all squishy cheeks with her head down and ready for GO time.
But the little booger is just not ready. Sydney has zero signs of labor. And that is OK by me. I want her here safe, and when it is time. It doesn’t have to be on MY birthday (although that would be so cool and totally trump my last gift).
But no. It’s not time. Or is it?
The ultrasound tech seems to think so. The fluid in Sydney’s amniotic sac has dropped significantly. So much so, she thinks the Doctor might go ahead and induce her labor before the baby runs out of juice….TODAY. On my Birthday! SHUT UP!
And that is exactly what they do. Admit her to the hospital, put her in a delivery bed, and give her the medicine to start the contractions.
I’m in disbelief. There is NO way this is happening…ON MY BIRTHDAY.
Let me tell ya, I am giddy! Ridiculously! So! THIS is the best birthday present EVER!
The night wears on and the clock hand is nearing midnight. I tell my sweet grand girl it is okay if she is born the next day. No matter what, she is still the best birthday ever. And in my heart, I know this little one wants her own special day and that brings me so much joy.
I post a poll on Facebook to predict the time of birth. Hey, if it’s gonna be a long all-niter then at least I can do something to pass the time. So many of my sweet friends choose before midnight. HA. My prediction? 5:30am
Midnight passes and my birthday ends, but the labor does not and the night goes on. Sydney is given less than a 1/2 teaspoon of pitocin. The previous medicine given at Noon the day before is still working and she doesn’t need the pitocin. This is good. This is more natural (even though it is not). If anyone has been induced before (raising my hand) with pitocin. That stuff is a beast. ::shudder::
As we go into the wee hours of the early morning August 24th. The labor is steady, but not too strong. Sydney tries to stay comfortable. My mind drifts, and my eyes start to close.
Quiet hours go by until, finally, the nurse begins moving the bed and moving extra people out of the room. Baby is ready. Sydney is ready. And it is time to begin the push phase. Brandon and Sydney allow me to stay as the one additional person that can be in the room (shhhhhtup….best day after my birthday present ever). Not only do I get to see my grand child be born into this world, I also have my camera (of course). Having given birth, I know the moment is fast and fuzzy. Emotions are high, moms are tired. I want them to have photographs to cherish. To re-live that moment again and again. Birth Photography is becoming more popular (although it’s expensive). I studied the ins and outs online. What lenses to use….What settings…..Where to stand. I just prayed I would get it right.
5:30AM – It’s GO time for baby. Let the pushing begin.
I am a little amazed my time prediction is thissss close.
Sydney had an epidural earlier for the pain. She is given oxygen for the health of both of them. It is so hard to push when you are numb, but she does. It takes a lot of strength and resilience. She gives all she has every contraction. Brandon is at her side coaching her all the way through. It is exhausting. Exhausting to watch. Exhausting to wait. My stomach is in knots because it is sooo hard watching your child struggle and strain. A friend did warn me that I would be torn up by this and I am.
The baby’s head is RIGHT there. The only thing holding her back is her Daddy’s ears (HA! Kidding! But really funny when the doctor actually said that).
At 608am, Averey Elizabeth enters our lives with the most beautiful cry. She sounds just like her Mama and looks just like her Daddy. My heart springs from my chest. So amazing. So beautiful.
Averey’s first moment of life.
Getting Dad to cut the cord of his new baby girl.
Brandon cuts the cord of his baby girl.
She is beautiful.
And a little upset with all of us…haha.
Daddy and his baby girl.
Averey on the scale. She is only 5lbs 4oz and 18inches long. So tiny!
Dad holds his baby for the first time.
Mom holds baby skin to skin. A precious new family.
I am really glad the camera is in my hand and in front of my face. I am pretty sure it is keeping me grounded. I think I would be a blubbering puddle if I didn’t have a “job” to do.
I follow baby while Brandon pushes her crib to her first bath and we join what I call the Grandpa Brigade – Great Grandpawpaw, Grandpaw, and Poppy (Brandon’s Grandpa, Dad, and my husband Jason). It is completely adorable to watch all these big boys – who waited all day and night at the hospital – melt into a puddle over their tiny new baby girl. Did you see that? She already has them wrapped around her bitty finger. Just. Like. That.
I melt too. My eyes are googly and misty and OHMYGOSH we have a new baby in the family. Then, I realize I should go check on my baby! My little girl who just gave birth. Ooops my bad!.
I go to Sydney and stay with her while they get her clean and move her to the mom and baby room. The new room is exactly like the delivery room except the bed does not have a piece that comes off at the bottom and it is on the other side of the hall. Although it is not different, it is different. There is something in the air on that side. See, this is the place where babies cry and moms listen. They are held, fed, and loved. But most of all, they get to learn about their new parents, grandparents, family, and friends.
One second we are unpacking in the new room, the next second, they bring in a freshly clean bundle of joy. I swear… I forget to breathe.
She is so incredibly beautiful. I love every inch of her. And what they say is true. It is an incredible kind of love when you hold your grandchild for the first time. One that can not be described in words or pictures.
Me (Grammy), my daughter Sydney, and Miss Averey Elizabeth.
Poppy Jason holds Averey. Gosh doesn’t she look tiny?
Poppy and ANOTHER girl to spoil.
Mom, Dad, and Baby make three.
Auntie Bridget holds Averey. She is a little pro at holding her. I heard she has been practicing for months.
Poppy Jason, Auntie Bridget, and Auntie Molly with Averey. This is the only photo we have of Molly holding her.
And THIS. This little package, wrapped all in pink and tied with a hat bow, is why I had the most crazy, beautiful birthday EVER.
How could I not?
“A Grandmother’s Prayer”
Oh Lord, I do not ask for much,
Eternal beauty, or youth, or such.
Just give me a little hand to hold,
And I’ll forget that I’m growing old.
I do not ask for cloudless skies,
A life that’s free from tears and sighs.
Just give me a little face to kiss,
And anxious moments will turn to bliss.
For what is there, really, that means so much
As little hands that reach and touch,
As little eyes that search and see
Only the best in fragile me?
So let me grow more loving and wise
By looking at life through their wide eyes.
For through these little ones, you have given
This grateful grandmother a glimpse of Heaven.
Author: Barbara Burrows
We pulled it off. A surprise birthday party for Jason’s mom (Happy Birthday Mom!).
She thought we had all forgot. No party, no grandkids, no handsome sons.
No presents, no cake.
Boy was she ever wrong – because this family? – knows how to party.
The best gift of all? HER. Being with us. Second best? We had already gotten together on the sly for her birthday present.
A gift of photographs. A gift of love (and photographs) for a woman who doesn’t just teach about love, but lives it, and passed it on to her family.
She showed us all the power of family when we met in those hospital waiting rooms praying with all our heart for her healing. She showed us the power of strength when she emerged from intensive care and knew her families faces and names after a brain aneurysm leak and a stroke on top of it. Then she showed us the power of miracles because she is still with us today. Walking, talking, and loving us all.
She tells the story of Jesus sitting with her during her dark days of a coma and encouraging her to go back and tell her family she loves them.
Never mind that we already knew that. Her story touches many, many hearts. Even the printers were moved by it.
I am intensely proud to be part of this family, it’s not just strength of it, but the compassion and care that drives it. And Sue? Is the best driver I know.
Happy Birthday to my sweet mother-in-law. We are SO glad you are here to celebrate.
Photo book with verses from 1 John Chapter Four.
She tells us to tell our kids we love them every day. The grandkids wanted her to know…………tell your grandma too.
Lots of love shared on this day.
Most of the grandkids are seeing their photographs for the first time.
Lots of birthday hugs for Grandma.
I love her joy (and her hair is sooo cute!).
She passed her love down through the generations. To a stunning group of children. I have no doubt these kids will continue to honor love with their future families just as she has.
What a special day and celebration of a beautiful woman inside and out.
1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Driving to graveside with my heart crushed, I didn’t feel the after effects of the tears, but sniffled and wiped my nose. Silent and disbelieving, through the window, I watched the long line of cars proceed ahead. The lead car (the hearse) a few car lengths away. In my mind, I vividly recall every detail. The little blue casket dwarfed inside the giant Baptist Church. Flowers with blue bows, little stuffed lambs, and plastic rattles. A pastor trying to comfort a family stunned by the loss of an infant only a week old. It just couldn’t be, but it was.
He was an angel, here for a short time, but why?….. why?….. It seemed so cruel to watch my sister hold him, rock him, and then cry by his casket. Not just cry, but – rip-your-heart-out and die – despair. A grief that was palpable. The ache I felt is nothing compared to what she feels. I can’t imagine, nor would I want to. Is he in a better place? Well, sure. But why? Why him? Why us? Why do babies have to die? Tears well up and drop because…. I don’t know the answer to that, and I never will. All I can do is be there for her, and be as brave as she is.
We reach the graveyard. Tires crunch on gravel. The day is overcast – of course. There is a tent set up over the grave. It has a green covering to resemble grass – to cover the hole. The chairs face the “grass” covered in velvet cloth. It is the most depressing place I have ever seen. My sister is still with the family car waiting for the casket and has not yet arrived. It is only my brothers and I, with a few friends strolling up. I see Grandma Owens being led to a chair under the tent awning on the first row. It’s hard to look at anyone. I can’t bear to see the bloodshot eyes, and the red noses. The pain, all the more real, when you look in the face of your family. All of us hurting.
Grandma is holding up very well. She sees the flowers set delicately around the graveside. Beautiful sprays of baby’s breath with delicate blooms unfolding love for a little boy we knew for such a short time. I watch as she moves toward the flower spray near the back, to touch, and to feel, and check the tag to see if it’s hers. One second she is there, shuffling toward the buds, the next she is gone. Gone! It all happened so fast, and it took a collective gasp of horror around me to realize……Grandma fell into the baby’s grave! Oh my GOD!
My brother reacted immediately. He jumped up and ran to her. Fearing the worst, a broke hip or arm. He struggled and yanked her tangled legs from the fake green carpet that was now dipped into the grave hole. He tugs her up, shaking his head in disbelief. As shocked and horrified as she is, we quickly realize Grandma is fine. She is not hurt, only embarrassed.
My brother exclaims loudly as he leads her back to her chair, “Grandma! What are you doing? Stay out of that grave! It’s not your time yet.”
Chuckles blow from hands clasped over mouths. Heads, and shoulders shake, because really? Really! That just happened. Grandma took a dive into the grave.
We laughed that day seventeen years ago, a sad day, but we laughed. We still laugh about it. Beneath the tears and the loss, we will always have that memory of Grandma at the graveside.
**This is a true story**
This post brought to you by…
This week’s prompt was to write a short piece in which a character told a joke and a character cried. The piece has to be maximum 600 words and must be able to be read aloud in no more than 3 minutes.
****I have a BUNCH of pictures from today. We had about six inches of snow, plus we had the little girls, and boy did we play. I will post pics this weekend. Happy Friday!****