22 January 2011

Surprise: 'We're expecting a baby!

I can't believe I've waited months to shout this news from the blog-rafters: I'm going to have my own grandchild at last!

I'm already a grandparent-by-marriage to Allen's two grandsons and one granddaughter. I have learned so much from that experience and been grateful for those kids' acceptance of me in that role. But in April my own daughter will herself become a Mum. I've been both amazed and overjoyed by how much that means to me at this stage of my life.

I had long resigned myself to the possibility that this might never happen. That helping to nurse Z through the difficult birth of a PhD and acting as granny to a Jack Russell who thinks she's human might be the closest I would get to the pleasures of grannydom. But when Z&B married one and a half years ago after several years of living together, I allowed myself a little frisson of hope.

Still, it came as a wonderful surpise when, not long after she and B arrived here for a family weekend in August, Z whipped out a little plastic wand showing two blue stripes. I let out a genuine whoop and leapt off my chair.

Then in October, Allen and I were invited to join Z&B in Brisbane on the occasion of her important nuchal translucency scan at thirteen weeks. There we saw the 'little sprout' herself – though the baby's gender didn't become known until a later scan. But as my son-in-law said after that first scan, "it's much more than just a jellybean now". And so it was. In fact, I was truly amazed at the level of development, even at that very early stage in the pregnancy. I had never seen a baby moving inside the womb, other than on TV. It certainly is a humbling experience.

Now, six months into gestation, all is going very well down in Brisbane. And up here in Doonan, there's knitting and sewing underway for both bub and expectant Mum. I am looking forward to holding 'our' baby almost as much as I once looked forward to her mother's arrival.

With all that's happened in Allen's and my lives in recent years – my mother's stroke and then death, the diagnosis of Allen's brain disease, his near-death and long, complicated recovery after life-saving surgery, and adjusting to my caregiver role – this truly is, as I told Z, the best news I've had in years, a reason to look to the future with something other than anxiety. Life goes on...literally. And what could be more hope-giving than a new little life.

(My daughter's blog about this happy event is Iddy Biddy Hippo.)


Anonymous said...

Congratulations - that is wonderful news for you.

Chartreuse said...

Thanks for your good wishes, Gabrielle. I'm sure I'll be one of those granmas who whips out the photos at the least excuse.

Stafford Ray said...

congratualtions! Must be close to term now. How exciting for you. There is nothing quite like being a grandma/pa. You can love 'em, spoil 'em rotten, make them so excited so they are totally out of control then hand them back! That is your revenge. Ha ha

About me

My photo
I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.