A great part of being part of a school staff is sharing all the big events of life with each other. After school today, five of us were squeezed into our small school office listening to our school secretary’s story of her granddaughter’s birth. Her daughter had labored for three days before “throwing in the towel” and having a C-section. She spoke so lovingly and admiringly of her daughter. She showed the “before” picture of when her daughter was VERY pregnant, and her doctor had predicted a BIG baby. Her granddaughter debuted at 20 inches and 7 pounds, 5 ounces.
A few hours after the little family came home from the hospital, her son-in-law came to her ashen-faced saying urgently that her daughter needed her. She found her daughter on the floor, bleeding. The incision had become infected and split open. They got her daughter back to the hospital where she received aggressive treatment for an as yet unidentified infection. (Ironically, she had spent the first month of the year fighting a MRSA infection after her knee replacement surgery.) She spent hours in the hospital with her daughter and hours at home caring for her granddaughter.
She showed us pictures of the sweet little baby girl with a shocking mop of dark black hair (in a side by side photo of the baby and her daddy, you could see exactly where she got it). She spoke of being lucky the little one has a good personality, making it easy to care for her, because she was so out of practice (her grandsons are 9 and 5) and so sleep deprived. But she said the baby hates getting her diaper changed and getting dressed and protests loudly. She thinks when the baby is grown she will remember grandma as the one who was the meanie that made her cry!
The two grandsons had opposite reactions to their new cousin. One touched the baby and patted her head, then he was done and off to play. The other wanted to stay with her and hold her, and begged to take pictures of her and with her. He took the camera and clicked away, even through a diaper change. Later, grandpa was looking through all the pictures. “What’s this?!? Oh-h-h, we’ve got to delete this one!”
Her daughter is finally home, but she and her other daughter are still taking care of her and the baby, too. She wonders if this little one will be an “only.” Time will tell…
Right now, life is day by day, the family all taking turns, caring for mommy and baby, trying to get back to work…but mostly helping her daughter recover to discover the joys of being a new mom.
This is the sharing that makes us a school family, that makes us community. This is life!