Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When a Baby is Born, 
So is a Grandma!

On May 27, 2011 our oldest daughter, Sara became a mommy for the first time--making me a first time grandma.  She was blessed with a safe delivery, and a healthy baby boy, whom Sara and Ryan named Landon Lee. First, let me tell you he is perfect in every way!  

Every mommy has her own birthing story...and I am sure Sara will blog about how Landon entered the world on her "It's a Wonderful Life" blog:  www.saraandryancorl@blogspot.com 

In the wee hours of the morning, after a long labor and delivery
Sara and Ryan , while exhausted were elated with a healthy baby boy!

But for me...my thoughts are not so much about the birth, as it is on how I felt when she was in labor, and how I am feeling watching her as a new mother.

They say when a baby is born, so is a grandma!
...that's what I would like to share.

Sara was entering her final week of her estimated due date--during which time she had one false alarm.  As the "warm up" contractions became more frequent, and Sara became more and more certain the baby was coming any day.  While I wanted to just "pop" down to Pflugerville to be with her, I really felt I needed to wait for her request.

Sara is a third grade teacher.  She was now in her last week of school.  The door to her classroom that her room mom created for her during Teacher Appreciation Week explained it all!  Sara was so ready for her son to arrive!

As the discomfort of being pregnant increased--and the reality of delivery started to set in...Sara's tearful conversations and text messages to me gave me the sense she wanted me to be there with her.  I asked a dear friend (who happens to also be a grandmother of two grand-daughters) what she thought I should do...Jane and her husband Rick really encouraged me to "just go".  After my morning walk with my walking buddy Lori...she too said, "just jump in the car and go..."  Sara lives over three hours away from me--so it wasn't just "popping in"  it was a commitment to stay until the birth.  So, I texted her, "I'm coming!"  She called and said she was so happy I was on my way...so off I went.

So, while waiting for the baby to arrive, we spent the week packing up most of her classroom, read to her class, went shopping, had tea-time in the evening and went on brisk walks...just spent time together.  He husband Ryan was so sweet to not mind my visit--or he was sweet enough not to say anything!   
May 24, 2011
Sara's labor was long...as most first born babies are...but what took me by surprise was for 25 years, I have been the caregiver, the mom, the one who was there to give comfort to any of my children...but as she was admitted into the hospital to give birth...it was her husband by her side...as it should be...but I was really not prepared for the overwhelming helpless feeling that came over me--the need to be there with her.  But I let go...

Clearly the switch from "mother the caretaker" to "mother the adviser, supporter" is a role I have been in for quite some time with Sara.  She has been on her own since she left for college in 2004.  But from a medical perspective I think this role gave me a pretty good jolted as I saw her husband wrap his arm around my daughter to take her to labor and delivery.  I completely embrace that this is the natural sequence of nature and a new passage or phase of my life...this is the way it is suppose to be...I guess I surprised myself with how hard it was to not to be the one comforting her.  

You know, as moms, we take the kids to the doctor, dentist, specialist, surgeon...being involved with every decision (of course Joe was always involved too)...but my new role as mother/mother in-law is to step back and let go.

Well into Sara's labor, Ryan appeared in the waiting room and said "Kathie, Sara wants you."  Music to my ears!  So I spent over an hour with Sara while she breathed through "rapid-fire" labor...1 minute a part, lasting over 1 minute.  She was amazing...I left her as Ryan returned and the nurse started to prep her for an epidural.  

At one point, Ryan texted me that Sara wanted something out of her suitcase, specifically her eye glasses.  All of which were in my car.  I realized my purse (which had the car keys) was in the labor and delivery room.  As I tip-toed back to the room to retrieve my purse, Sara had already received her epidural, was laying on her side, wearing an oxygen mask, and crying.  That was the last image of Sara I had until I saw her with her newborn son.

Ryan texted us to let us know at 1:00am that she was starting to push--then we heard nothing for three long hours...At 4:10am we got the text that Landon had entered the world, after 3 hours of pushing.  When we finally received the OK to see the new family...the fatigue and crankiness we all were feeling in uncomfortable chairs and couches in the waiting room, dissipated--and euphoria replaced it!  Joe cracked open a bottle of champagne he had been chilling, poured it into everyone's plastic cup and he made a toast to Landon Lee Corl!

Getting the O.K. to see mother and baby...Kathy (Ryan's mom), Joe and I entered the room.  Kathy and Joe marched directly to Ryan, who was cradling his precious son...

But I had to see my baby!  

I hugged and kissed Sara...I wanted to wipe away the last image out of my mind forever of her crying while wearing an oxygen mask...so I could truly take-in the miracle of life that just took place.  

She looked up at me and said, "Mom, that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!  But isn't he so beautiful!!"

Now that I am a Nonna (grandma in Italian),  I am trying to make the switch from parent to...hmmm, to...well...I am not sure what, but I hope that I will embrace my new role in Sara's life with the same zest and passion I had when I became a new mother to "baby Sara"!

Landon Lee Corl was born into a family of love on 
May 27th (one day before his actual due date), 
He was born: 4:10am
He weighed:  8 pounds, 8 ounces
He measured:  20 1/2 inches long
He has a head of jet black hair

He has a fabulous mommy and a wonderful daddy! 

Papa Joe, Nonna, Auntie Jenna, Uncle Adam, Heather
Gigi, Uncle Evan
Gumpa Dave and Mimi 
were all waiting f-o-r  h-o-u-r-s in the waiting room!  But every second was worth it...to be there to see God's magnificent love for us!  The purest expression of love...a newborn baby!

Ryan, Gigi (Kathy Corl), Uncle Evan

Auntie Jenna and Uncle Evan
Uncle Adam and Landon

Papa Joe and Landon

Jenna, Sara, Landon and Nonna

God is so good all of the time!

I Lasso my first grand-baby--Landon Lee Corl

And Landon LASSOS my heart!