Becoming a Grandfather

November 11, 2012

Many months ago my daughter called during dinner. I could tell what the call was about just from hearing my wife’s hesitant reply and facial expression: we hadn’t been anticipating it, but our first grandchild had been conceived.

Delivery is, we hope, right around the corner and my wife has flown off to be “there” for the delivery. The cat and I wait at home and watch for smoke signals, in other words, I keep checking my email.

Yesterday, Saturday, I had heard from my wife and daughter that labor, which had seemed to be underway several days ago, had come to a standstill. My precious daughter, who must not only deal with her own inner struggle, but also the presence of mother, in-laws (parents + sister-in-law), and husband, all of whom hang on every grimace and groan, sounded a little dispirited.

I was going to write her some words of encouragement, but this poem came out instead.

Saturday Morning

Perhaps you are in the hospital?
Perhaps the contractions are still too far apart?
And so you have to sit, wait,
Amidst concerned faces,
Smiling, and a bit eager,
(Like you)
To see what lies within,

But who can blame the one who is small
From tarrying a bit longer?

All I have ever known is the
Dark warmth, my liquid cocoon.
Once outside, there is no coming back.
Will I ever float again?


5 Responses to “Becoming a Grandfather”

  1. Alan said

    11:36 AM Email from wife: “Everyone is gone and I’m mixing doing work and some cleaning … We talked a bit about the labor and delivery and I see how things will go now. They can only have two people in the room … I still might get a chance to come in occasionally. The grandparents will be in the waiting room. I’m prepared with my comfy clothes, bag, books, sudoku, knitting, water, camera and a snack. Phone too. I’m not going to take the computer, since I don’t know if they have wifi.

  2. Alan said

    1:11 PM Email from wife: “Well, labor is definitely upon us. K came back home from the test and both nurses and doctor confirmed labor. She was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. They let her come home to labor for a while. Things are getting stronger already and contractions range between 5 minutes and 3 minutes, but varying in strength.

    She is handling it well. She breathes, moves position and keeps time on her laptop.

    I’m trying to stay out of the way, just provided soup and water.”

  3. Alan said

    2:15 PM Email from wife: “Things seem to be moving quickly to me. The contractions are 2-3 minutes apart, and I would go to the hospital, but alas not me … I also have kept my mouth shut. K wants to labor at home as long as possible. My only data point is how quickly I went through labor. I worry she is like me.

    She is working very hard and there is not enough time to rest between contractions. She is still handling things well and C is doing a good job. She is in the tub now trying to relax through them.

    It makes me proud to watch them.”

  4. Alan said

    4:38 PM Phone call from wife “We’re at the hospital. The baby is going to be born here. I’m glad she’s here. It was time to go to the hospital. I’m all a-twitter. I’ll call you when there’s more news.”

  5. Alan said

    Belated entries from Nov 11 (all phone calls were on Nov 11)
    7:50 PM Phone call from wife “She’s in hard labor. I’ve started walking the hospital hallways to get a little exercise.”

    10 PM Phone call from wife “We’re getting close. Nurse went in and started talking to them about all kinds of options.”

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