A hard week
This has been one of the hardest weeks I’ve ever had as a parent. Our family has been in shock, happiness and awe as my eldest daughter Melanie, who lives in England with her partner Craig, a dog called Ozzy and a rabbit called Bruce, went into labour at just 25 weeks.
As you probably know, a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks, which means she was over 100 days too early.
Thankfully Melanie safely delivered a tiny dot of a baby girl on Monday, and these words of explanation come from her Facebook page (used with her permission).
Little Dorothy Anne decided she didn’t want to wait for the next three months to start exploring the world, so came very early. She’s a tough little cookie and already has us wrapped around her little fingers. A huge amount of thanks and respect to the delivery team at Musgrove (Taunton) and the NICU team in Southmead (Bristol), they have been, and still are, our absolute heroes. We are beyond in love and couldn’t be prouder of our brave little Dottie.Melanie’s Facebook post 22/8/19
Melanie just happens to be a travel blogger too, The Wandering Darlings – it now seems she’s on a very different journey.
Granny Debs – two granddaughters to love!
So yes I am a grandmother again, which is lovely! I am reminded of how we take birth for granted and how we shouldn’t. I said something along those lines last year when I became a grandmother for the first time –
As I waited for my daughter to go into labour and ultimately give birth, I was reminded that although we’ve been doing it for years, it isn’t something we should take for granted. It’s a scary and worrying time for everyone. Being a grandparent is something we shouldn’t take for granted either. We are fortunate to live in a country with good health systems and nursing staff who care. It has reminded me that giving birth, despite not being a new phenomenon, is still a risky business.Debbie – Taking stock of life in September 2018
Dottie arrived early…very early!
The risky nature of birth, was rammed home to me this week as we waited for news of my daughter and her newly born daughter, who weighed just a bit over 800 grams. Thankfully, she is currently stable and holding her own. Her parents are doing an amazing job and are being well looked after by the fabulous staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
They are learning lots about love, patience, medical terminology and they are finding reserves in themselves that they never knew they had.
It has been a very stressful and worrying time for us all, one minute we’re on cloud nine and the next we are worrying ourselves sick again. And being so far away from them is extra hard.
I am learning a lot too, having not had any previous experience of premature births. There are support groups out there for parents, grandparents, families – anyone who is dealing with a premature birth. I rang and spoke to a lovely caring counsellor at Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, and it helped me enormously. I will be recommending my daughter find something similar in England and not to be afraid to talk to someone about any issues they make have.
We know Dottie is a fighter and she is doing well at the moment, but we also know it will be a long rocky road ahead for her and her parents.
Grateful and fortunate
I couldn’t stay at home in Australia watching on, despite regular messages, phone calls and updates, so I checked that I would be welcome, and booked a flight to England as soon as I could. I’m off tomorrow and I must say it was the fastest packing I have ever done!
I’m feeling all the emotions but the main ones are happiness and love.
I know that I am fortunate to be in a position to be able to do this; I have no real commitments, such as work, anymore; I have the resources to be able to just go; and I have a family that supports me. We are still sticking with our original plans to visit in November for a few months, so we will be back there before we know it. I just wish there was a time travel or a teleport option available!
I am upset that I will be missing my granddaughter Emilia’s first birthday, a family event with my two other daughters, my mother, mother-in-law and other relatives and friends.
I was so looking forward to being with them all to celebrate this exciting milestone but they are all supportive of me going to England to spend time with Melanie, Craig and Dottie. My husband, Papa G, is holding the fort and will have loads of fun with Emilia and our two daughters. We can Facetime on the day and talk to everyone. It won’t be the same but it will be something at least.
So what does this mean to me?
It means I am taking a break from blogging while I am away. I might pop in every now and again and see how things are going, read, comment and share from my favourite bloggers, but I don’t think I will be posting much at all. I may pop up in Instagram and Facebook but I don’t know – I’m not even sure if I am taking my computer with me at this stage. I’m a bit all over the place somehow!
In a way I’m taking care of myself. I need to practise self-care and limiting the amount of outside obligations at the moment is a priority. I’ll still be around in the blogosphere, but just not as often or as actively.
I really just want to spend time concentrating on my family to help them navigate through this emotional time by providing any support I can.
I just want to sit with Dottie, to tell her all about her other home and family on the opposite side of the world.
It’s about a mother’s love for her daughter and in turn, her tiny, tiny daughter. There are no words to describe what I’m feeling.
A A Milne’s Pooh Bear said it best: Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.
Please send your positive thoughts to Dottie and our family. It is a very tough time for us all, but hey, we’re a pretty tough bunch!!
Thanks for your support.
I’ll be back! Don’t miss me too much 🙂
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