Best & Worst of it

Pat LynchSeptember 9, 2001

Never having been a grandie before, I was wondering what is the best & worst of this experience for you?

Truthfully, when our Daughter asked me to come and stay with her for a few weeks after the baby is born,next February, I was thrilled until she started telling me that everything I did in caring for her was wrong!

Don't put the baby to bed on her stomach, don't use bumpers on the crib, don't use powder when changing her, don't bathe the baby but 2x a week. It makes me nervous that I will not know what to do. I even told her I was nervous and didn't want to do the wrong thing here.

But, I think the fun part will be the wonder of a new life, and that I am here to participate in it.

So, what has it been like for all you experienced grandies out there?

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My relationship with my daughter has always been wonderful. To me, that's a miracle. But I know for a fact that I didn't know Nothing about taking care of babies when she and her brothers were born. Dr. Spock was my guide and I now consider him an idiot. Yes, it seemed strange to hear her tell me not to put the baby on his stomach, don't use powder and absolutely nothing in that baby's mouth but breast milk til he was 8 mon. juice, sugar water, etc. I can honestly say she's not quite as rigid with the second one; but weren't we all? The real issue may be "who's in charge". She needs to know that you will follow her wishes...since she's the MOM now and that's important as she's learning how to do it. In time, you will see that some of the new stuff they have picked up is pretty sound and she will learn that some of the "old ways" are pretty wise. Congratulations!! This could be the "funniest" time of your life; it has been for me.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2001 at 8:12AM
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If it really makes you nervous, you could contact a hospital to see about grandparenting classes (yep, they have them!). Things have changed soooo much since I (I'm only 34 y.o.) was a baby, my mother told me she was surprised I made it!!! LOL

1st child syndrome is something all parents go through so don't take it personally!

Good luck and Congratulations!!!!
: ) Laya

P.S. The bath thing isn't written in stone!! It's just so the skin doesn't dry out!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2001 at 9:08AM
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I just had to talk again. One of the best things is that she asked you to come. She has no idea what it's going to be like. You will be surprised by the added bond that you will have with her and you'll really be surprised at the emotions you feel. My biggest "awakening" was how much I love my grandchildren. I am convinced that God created a whole new emotion for this relationship. I have never experienced it before and it really took me by surprise. I remember how very special my Grandma was to me, even though we moved away when I was 9. To this very day, when I think about being loved, I think of her. And that's how I want it to be for mine. Are you going to be at the birth?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2001 at 9:43PM
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Oh, I talked to our daughter tonight and she would like me to be with her at the birth!! She said she wanted me with her providing I "don't freak out". So I said calmly, "oh, no problem". Yikes!! I have to start watching more operations on TV so I can get accustomed to it all. I am thrilled and happy that she wanted me. Now I have to hope I don't faint!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2001 at 1:41AM
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It helps if you start reading parenting magazines. Things HAVE changed and I think they've changed for the better. It's strange that someone mentioned the "new" emotion of being grandmother. I experience that with the birth of every grandchild -- and I have seven. I expected to like being a grandmother but I was completely unprepared for the incredible rush of love for these babies. I was also unprepared for the total acceptance I feel for these children. I guess I look at them with full realization of how brief their childhood is. I have complete confidence they will become the great adults their parents are. I feel an intense connection to the here and now -- the present moment. And all I feel is total acceptance and overwhelming love.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2001 at 8:33AM
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You got it, Penny!!! The perfect description of that emotion. I have two very young ones and one on the way in December. They are so interesting. Everything they see and do is fun. My grandson is 2 and he is learning words...pond, fish, President Bush, flag, MiMi's car; now that's fun! My grandaughter is 6 months. How can buzzing you lips and playing peek set somebody to laughing like a fool? And Pat.....if you get The Learning Channel on cable, there is a program on daily that takes a couple through pregnancy and birth. I hope you can find it. It's called The BABY STORY. You will cry everytime when each baby is born. And this is from someone who must have been in a coma when her children (3) were born because I don't remember enjoying much of anything then. TOOOOO bad for me!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2001 at 10:01PM
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Here's another vote for The Baby Story. I'm through having kids, and have no immediate prospects for gkids at this point in time, but I LOVE that show. I didn't know there could BE so many different birth situations. I even like watching the re-runs! It would definitely be a help to you.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2001 at 12:23PM
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You have all sent me such good ideas here. Thanks!

I do get the Learning channel, and have started watching The Baby Story. A very good idea. And I have bought some baby magazines to accustom myself to the latest ideas so I can help our daughter when the time comes.

Thanks very much, and I am really looking forward to our first grandbaby.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2001 at 3:46PM
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To ask you to be at the birth and to stay with them after for a while is the biggest compliment your daughter can give you. Cherish it.
Don't worry about birth. You stay by your daughter, assist with cold drink (bring straw), cold face cloth to whipe her forehead, neck, hands, hold her hand, sit by and wait. Just be there. Nurses and doctor are taking care of the other end. Your daughter will be covered quite modestly, you will have no reasons to faint. It will be such a unique experience for you to be there!!! You will see your grandbaby as one of the first people. And, let me assure you it will be the most beautiful grandbaby miracle you can ever imagine.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2001 at 10:59PM
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Good ideas, Magan.

I am honored to be asked,and will use 2 wet wash clothes. One for her and one for me :-)

I really am getting excited about it as time gets closer!
Can hardly wait to see the little one!!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2001 at 1:56AM
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"Don't put the baby to bed on her stomach, don't use bumpers on the crib, don't use powder when changing her, don't bathe the baby but 2x a week."

Isn't it funny how things have changed? Almost everything they tell new parents to do now is the opposite of what we were told years ago. Though, when my daughter explained the reasons to me and from my own reading about things, I can understand. I'm sure things were a lot different for our parents, too. It's interesting!

How did you make out?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2002 at 7:43PM
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Well, I was present at the birth of our new Grand Baby Boy. No, I didn't faint and when the Dr said, " I see the head," I quickly went to see it too. I did not feel queasy, and actually saw our Baby Boy being born. I can't believe how calm but excited I was . Of course he is adorable and we miss him sooo much because he lives a long distance from us. I keep in touch w/ our daughter and even talk to the little guy on the phone! I took a lot of digital pictures and sent them to our dd and sil. They were very grateful as they were too busy to do that. My dh and I made a collage of pictures for them . We added a frame and mat and I am sending it out tomorrow. This particular collage consists of different pictures of his tiny feet.I added the words" Diamonds on the soles of his feet" . I also took pictures of his hands, and I will make another collage w/ this. Of course I took pictures of the whole Baby too!

Yes, it is funny how things have changed since I had my dd. Now Babies smell like Babies only, not Baby and baby powder. Sigh. He still smells good tho. Well, most of the time!

All in all, it was a most incredible journey and I feel most privileged to have been able to attend. I will never forget it. Thanks to all of you for your helpful suggestions along the way.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2002 at 1:10AM
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Things have definitely changed. More than I would like, I have to bite my tongue when DIL's say or do something with the baby that totally goes against the grain!
For example: giving a newborn the milk bottle cold straight from the refrigerator. I tactfully mentioned what 'we' used to do (warming the bottle) She said that the doctor said you only have to take the chill out. (I guess taking the bottle from the ref. constitutes 'taking the chill out'!!?
And, when GS was about 8 mos. old and had a bad flu bug and I babysat so she could go to work; I suggested that boiled and cooled water would be good since GS was obviously dehydrated. DIL said the doctor (a different one this time) that water is not necessary, since the formula is mixed with water.(but he wasn't drinking or eating!!)
Those kinds of things frustrated me..but that particular baby is 4 1/2 now, so he survived. And is extremely smart for his age..knows and says things I cant believe. And we're very proud of him...and the others.

Grandma of 6.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2002 at 3:29PM
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Oh my goodness it is soooo true. I don't know how my two daughters survived all the mistakes I made reading Dr. Spock. LOL!!! I did not have my mother because I lost her (the flu) when she was only 49 and I was 21 and married only 1 year. I had my first daughter three years later and wished I had my beloved mother for advice and love.

Now, I only have one precious granddaughter (2 -1/2 yrs)and I love her so very very much and, believe me, it is mutual. She loves when I warm up her milk, make her homemade chicken soup, pumpkin bread, etc.... My daughter even says she eats better at my house -- it is all homemade not processed food. My daughter is an excellent mother, but she is the Modern mother of the day and a good mother (like me) keeps quiet.

You posters are so right!! Everything to say ---


    Bookmark   March 19, 2002 at 8:20PM
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Last August, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful, baby girl. My other daughter and I were the coaches. I cannot begin to tell you the joy of that precious time. It reminded me of the book The Red Tent, when in ancient times all the women were present at the births. My mother and mother-in-law are no longer with us but I took my mother's pin with her name on it, so that she could be there. I felt as though all the women in my family who have passed on were there in that room with me guiding us and the welcoming the new baby. This was an experience I had never expected and was rewarded beyond description. You will love it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2002 at 11:43AM
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Funny that you mentioned," I felt as though all the women..." because my dd brought a picture of my Ma and Dad,who are both deceased, in the birthing room with her. I felt the sense of timelessness and continuity. Altho they were not there physically, my dd felt they were with her spititually.
And life goes on. Sad and wonderful at the same time.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2002 at 12:48AM
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