At ground level

A column about LIFE

Playing the waiting game

The excitement has been building in our family. We have been anticipating the arrival of my oldest daughter’s first baby – my first grandchild. The contractions were getting stronger and increasing each day, so we thought this baby could arrive before her due date (Yes, it is a girl!), which is tomorrow.

Alas! My daughter’s boss couldn’t stand it anymore and sent her home last week because she didn’t want to have to worry about her driving to work or possibly having the baby at work! I was secretly relieved, but I understand playing the waiting game can get excruciating when work is no longer there to distract you.

I checked on the mother-to-be this afternoon. “I’m still here!” She answered the phone in a monosyllabic, bored tone.

“She must be waiting for her grandmother to get there,” I jokingly told my daughter, since I plan on arriving there day after tomorrow.

I had asked my daughter when she would like me to come and help her out. Did she and her husband want to have a week or so alone with the baby, or did they want me there right away?

She answered, “Right away, Mom! I need your expertise!”

Expertise? I laughed at that answer.

The other day she called in a panic. “Mom, I’m not going to know what to do!”

“Practice your breathing techniques,” I told her.

“No, I mean when it’s here already. What do I do with ‘IT’?”

This got another chuckle from me. “You’ll manage. We all do,” I sighed.

I remembered calling her an “IT” too, until the reality set in and we saw her as a person, with a distinct personality of her own.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when I gave birth to my first little one. She took her time though, 29 hours in labor. Doctors and hospitals were more patient then, and let me stay and labor in the hospital. So, if she’s anything like me, I’m thinking, it may be a while!

Last night I leafed through Rina’s photo albums and traveled down memory lane. There were photos of my newborn in the hospital, sleeping in her bassinet, being held by me, her dad, her grandparents. Being the firstborn, there were many photos of her progress – after four hours, after three days, after six days, every week and month that passed.

I came across the first column I wrote about her when I returned to work at the newspaper office a couple of months later. I also found the beautiful column my parents wrote (they, too, were writers) about their experience waiting for my firstborn to arrive and my youngest sister’s as well, since her first child was born just eight days before mine.

My parents, too, had traveled down memory lane while anxiously awaiting the birth of our first babies, both girls. Now it’s my turn to recall when Rina came into the world, her growing up years, which just seemed to breeze by – like mine.

My baby is now in line in a chain of life that is unending – my parents borrowed a line from a song. That chain of life is now extending to yet another generation. I wish Dad was still here to witness this miracle. I’m glad Mom is. The new baby will be her first great-grandchild.

Once upon a time she was my little girl… This baby of mine will soon be having a baby of her own… Let’s hope we don’t have to play the waiting game much longer and pray all goes well for the new mom and baby!

With my baby girl. Rina at 18 months. December, 1985


April 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment