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Friday, October 16, 2009

Awaiting Baby

Anticipation. Excitement. Worry. Elation. Suspense. As my husband and I await the birth of our second grandchild, we are experiencing all of these emotions. The baby is a boy. He's due in December. What an amazing Christmas present. My daughter and her husband have his name all picked out. They've decorated the infant's room and it's ready and waiting for the tiny new occupant.  One of their more difficult tasks has been working with their 3 year old son, Cooper, preparing him for all the changes that are about to turn his only-child-universe upside down. They've patiently explained to Cooper that he's going to have a new baby brother very soon. So far, Cooper is not thrilled at the prospect of an interloper intruding upon his nearly perfect kingdom which I might add, he's spent the last 3 years expertly masterminding.

One of the big issues was transitioning Cooper from his crib in the Winnie the Pooh bedroom where he's slept and played his entire life to a big-boy bed in an entirely different room. Cooper loved his crib and announced in no uncertain terms that he was staying put and not moving into a big-boy bed or bedroom. To entice him to make the change, his parents painted the new room in bright reds and blues...colors specifically chosen by Cooper himself. They transferred all his toys into the new room. To sweeten the deal they bought him a fantastic bed in the shape of a car just like in the Disney movie, CARS---Cooper's all-time favorite DVD flick. The bed is topped with a colorful CARS bedspread and a huge red pillow in the shape of a car. Photos and wallpaper borders depicting race cars from the movie are splashed around the room. It's a car-loving kid's dream space.

But Cooper was not ready to move. He clung to his crib like desperate flood victims refuse to leave their homes even as water rises to the rooftop. Mercifully for Cooper, there was no flood except for his trail of tears. Child psychcologists might analyze that this reveals the toddler's deep seated anxieties about being replaced as the baby in the family by his new infant brother. Perhaps this was true. But our snappy, little grandson is nobody's fool. He eventually sized up the situation and realized the opportunity that awaited him in the big-boy bedroom. On the appointed "night of transition" his parents tucked him into his brand new bed, read all his bedtime stories and without a whimper, Cooper fell fast asleep. Problem solved.

A more serious concern for our family is my daughter's health. She has endured a dreadfully ill pregnancy....with a rare condition that causes constant vomiting and nausea. She's collapsed from dehydration and been admitted to the hospital several times over the last 7 months. From the beginning, her doctors prescribed medication to help with the problem but the nausea has never been totally alleviated. We worry about the effect of such powerful drugs on her system for the entire 9 months.

My husband and I live 1000 miles away from our daughter and her family...adding to our frustration. Over the past year, I have visited them often to help out. Since their guest room has been transformed into Cooper's new bedroom, I was "privileged" (and I use that term loosely) to sleep in his blue car bed. He slept in his old room. It may be a nifty bed for little kids to sleep in but it's still a child-size bed. I could barely crawl in it or out of it because it has high sides and a bulky headboard. The only way I could manuever my way into it was from the footboard end. I had to sort of scrunch myself in and slither myself out, kind of like a Slinky toy. I'm all for fun but in the morning, it took me 20 minutes before I could get my slinkified, old bones to stand upright.

Right now we're stressed out over the swine flu. Medical reports warn that  pregnant women can suffer serious consequences from this strain of flu. Our daughter intends to get the vaccine when her OBGYN receives a supply. But what about the side effects especially being so close to term? Nobody seems to know for sure how safe it is. And wonder if she gets the swine flu before she's had a chance to get vaccinated? And how will that vaccine react with the medication she's already taking? She's been trying to protect herself from H1N1 by staying housebound so she doesn't become infected. But it's impossible to keep herself and her family in a bubble.

So here we are awaiting a joyous arrival of new life, yet burdened by the difficult circumstances of a very sickly pregnancy and a Caesarian delivery. We pray. We laugh. We plan. We can't wait til December. Of course we will be there when the baby arrives. We'll take care of Cooper. We'll do all we can to help out. But I will avoid his car bed at all costs.

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Sandra Wilkes said...

Hi! I'm a boomer too! Ain't life grand? One day I too will have a grandchild...maybe...we'll see. I hope you daughter has a perfect outcome to this trying pregnancy. The Swine Flu only makes it tougher...Sheesh!

Sarah said...

that's a lot on your mind. i hope everything goes well with your daughter and the baby.

J.P. Travis said...

Just got a new grandson myself, in August. That's ten or eleven grandkids now - I can never keep it straight. Bummer thing is, not one of them has a car bed for me to sleep in. What did I do wrong?

Jennifer said...

Cooper? Ha!

Boomer Pie. said...

J.P. re the car bed: count your blessings!

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