Mayhem appears to rule my life on earth. I should be an Allstate commercial. Life has come at me fast my whole life, but especially so in the past several weeks. My head is spinning and my heart is full. I am exhausted, exhilarated, grieving, and grateful. The joy of new life and the hope of a new legacy in the making abound in and around me. The people in my life are miracles and blessings. Even if we are all conflicted, messy, toe-steppers, if I had the chance to go back and change even one event, experience, or outcome I wouldn’t do it because it would change who we all are and have become together and I’m figuring out that we are all pretty awesome people who are moving through and overcoming a lot of truly daunting and devastating histories.
That was what I posted as a status update on my Facebook profile a week ago, after the most recent reconciliation between my son and myself. This was a big one and I have the newest member of my family to thank for it.
My granddaughter chose to enter this life six weeks ahead of her projected due date of April 6th. She arrived when none of us were most definitely NOT ready. In some ways, her early arrival could be seen as a bit of a blessing, or several blessings.
- Even though she was so early, she was 6 lbs 2oz. Had she gone full-term she could have been of a similar size and weight as her mother was when she was born: 9 lbs 8 oz, 20 1/2 inches long. So, it’s possible she had fewer labor and delivery complications than she could have had otherwise.
- She was born at one of the most reputable and newest Children’s Hospitals in our area, with state of the art equipment and truly caring and well trained staff. The amenities and services are phenomenal.
- The NICU rooms are set up so that parents can sleep in the room with their babies. My daughter has slept in the hospital for the full seventeen days and counting that her daughter has been under medical care. Daddy has spent every night, except for a few nights when he was ill after experiencing food poisoning or contracting a flu. The hospital is walking distance to where I live, so he’s been able to stay with me and I’ve been blessed to be able to see them frequently. The sad fact is that their housing situation and his employment situation have both fallen through, so they are essentially homeless.
- They have a strong commitment to supporting nursing mothers and, because of their extended stay, my daughter has received on-site, one-to-one lactation support and education as often as she has needed it.
I will have to choose a different psuedonym for my youngest daughter, since my granddaughter has been named Luna. The reason for not assigning a psuedonym to her is that my daughter ahs started a Go Fund Me account in order to try to raise the money her new little family needs in order to have a home of their own. On my sidebar, you will see an image of baby Luna and her first three days of life. Clicking on this link will take you to their GoFundMe page. You can also visit directly from this post by clicking here. For those of you who pray, please do so that they get the provision they need in order to get on their feet and give baby Luna a home and a healthy, stable start when she is released from the hospital.
As you can imagine, this has been a high stress period for me, almost as much as it has been for them in different ways. Baby Luna was not actually due until April 20th, yet she took her first breath, with medical help, on March 7th. It was scary and stressful for everyone in our lives who loves and cares for her and her parents, especially those of us directly related to her. One thing which made it more stressful and scary is that less than two weeks before, my son had shared the news that he and his wife were pregnant only to go through the personal tragedy of a miscarriage within a week of sharing that news.
The day he shared that news with us, my son and I had another rift in our relationship due to an interaction he’d observed between my youngest daughter (formerly known as Luna) and myself. I’d not given her the attention and validation he deemed appropriate in that specific moment and it triggered his memories of the way I’d treated him when he was her age. The emotionally neglected and abandoned little boy rose up and lashed out in her defense. I could see the genuine pain in his eyes and it mirrored my own internal pain, both from my own inner child who’d experienced similar emotional neglect and abandonment, but also my mother’s heart which recognized the fact I’d been the source of his pain.
I had only spoken to him briefly, over the phone once in the time between our last meeting and the day his sister went into labor. He was still very much raw with grief and sorrow over the loss of his child and the mere idea of interacting with me was too triggering. Therefore, when I called him to find out if he knew his sister was in the hospital, we wound up in an argument – partially because we were both on the defensive. He was at the hospital. He and his wife were the ones called when her water broke and she needed a ride to the hospital.
Thankfully, five days later, he and his wife and I all had a chance to really spend some time talking with each other and working through some really tough things. His wife is a beautiful and amazing person and we are fortunate to have her in our lives. I’m happy that he has met and married someone who is his equal in faith, intellect, and sense of self. I’m grateful she was willing and open to helping us bridge our relationship and communication gaps.
For now, we are all working on breathing and taking life one day at a time, focusing on taking care of ourselves and ensuring that baby Luna is cared and provided for.