Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic!

James had his last regular season football game on Saturday and when Brianna came over before we all headed to the game—one determining whether James and his teammates make the league playoffs—I asked Brianna to pose for a final pre-baby pic.

With induction scheduled for Thursday, this is surely the peak of pregnancy for my girl, the final photo before baby arrives.

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And the little one said: ‘Lemme out!’

And the little one said: ‘Lemme out!’

Conditions are getting quite cramped for my youngest grandson. During yesterday’s ultrasound—photos for which are far more distinct than last week’s ultrasound—there was one hand nearing the little guy’s face… and (not visible in this printout) a foot pressed up against his forehead, according to the technician. Quite a feet, er, feat!

The limited space must be why Mama Brianna experienced such mighty movement from the nearly newborn contortionist on Monday…

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Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real

My mom is struggling to survive stage 3 lung cancer. My firstborn will soon deliver her firstborn any day now. Somewhere in between my utter despair regarding the one end of life’s spectrum and my sheer delight related to the other is the space where I, a writer and blogger, should be writing and blogging.

But I don’t feel like…

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(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real!

My daughter Brianna is well into her third trimester, and things are finally getting real in terms of it seeming like a baby really, truly will arrive soon. She and Patrick completed their birthing classes last week, and they worked diligently on the nursery over the weekend in preparation for their baby boy's October arrival.

On my end, there was this yesterday, which I posted on social media... and which I can't write much on now because it makes me tear up all over again.

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Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Dear readers: Today is the day my firstborn learns the gender of her firstborn, scheduled for arrival in October. With all things pregnancy on my brain today, I thought this post—originally published June 13, 2011—a fitting Flashback Friday feature. Thank you for reading!

I had my youngest baby, Andrea, nearly 26 years ago (Flashback update: nearly 33 years ago!). Listening to Megan talk about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, it's clear there have been some important—and some not-so-important—changes in the whole process since back in my day.

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Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Wherein I ramble on...

Brianna is starting to show. And that's pretty darn awesome. She and Patrick find out next week if their first baby is a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for a girl... yet wonder if it's wrong to even consider hoping for one gender over another considering what they've gone through to get this far. Of course I'll be thrilled with another grandson but as this is likely my final grandchild, adding a girl to the grand group seems fitting. (Don't tell anyone, but I do think it's a girl.)

The life God intended. Conversations and situations

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Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

This #TBT piece—originally published October 18, 2015 on Purple Clover—underscores the appreciable blessing of my daughter's recent pregnancy announcement. Thank you for reading.

My daughter lost her baby last week. A miscarriage in the first trimester.

Coming from an abundantly fertile family, it's hard to wrap my head around that. My mom had seven children. Three of my sisters had several children, and a number of those kids had kids. I had three children myself, and my middle child had three children, too.

All of us had no problem. Yet it's a problem for my oldest child, Brianna.

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Baby bump surprise and Grand Social No. 87 link party for grandparents

As many of you know, my third grandchild is due in June. Mommy-to-be (for the third time) Megan, in her fourth month of pregnancy, texted a photo to me Saturday of the baby bump.

This is the photo:

baby bump 

Ummm... She was sporting...

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Back in my day

I had my youngest baby, Andrea, nearly 26 years ago. Listening to Megan talk about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, it's clear there have been some important — and some not-so-important — changes in the whole process since back in my day.

Back sleeping: Back in my day, pregnant women generally slept on their back. Or at least I did. Apparently sleeping on one's back during pregnancy is a big no-no. Something about pressure on the spine, circulation problems, hemorrhoids and drops in blood pressure. Plain and simple, it's not good for Mom, it's not good for baby, say the experts.

Ultrasounds: Back in my day, parents-to-be didn't automatically receive baby-in-utero photos to show grandparents, friends, and strangers. Ultrasounds were typically only done in emergency situations, and you didn't get a souvenir photo after the process. Nowadays there are a series of ultrasounds and a series of pictures, starting with those in which the babies are unrecognizable blobs. Megan and Preston announced their first pregnancy to Jim and me with a framed photo of a Bubby blob. And the pregnancy yielding Baby Mac was announced to the family via a text message photo. (Although, the photo being of a blob and all, Jim actually thought it was a B&W photo of Megan's carved Jack-o-Lantern, not our second grandson.)

Sprinkles: Back in my day, new mothers were given a baby shower to honor Mom and outfit baby and nursery. With the first baby, that is. Second babies and second-time moms weren't celebrated in such a fashion. Consensus was that it just seemed wrong to solicit more gifts when Mom should have hand-me-downs from the first. Nowadays, second-time (and third- and more-time) moms still don't usually get repeat showers, but they do get "sprinkled." It's a lighter version of the full baby shower, I'm told, more of a sponge-bath o' love from the closest friends and family.

Strep B: Back in my day, mothers were tested for various things upon learning they were pregnant. I can't remember exactly what those things were (like I said, that was 26 years ago), but I'm pretty sure Strep B wasn't one of them. Apparently the Strep B test is a pretty important one nowadays, one given to every pregnant mom, one whose results may alter the delivery plan. Or it's supposed to. As long as you get to the hospital in time to get some antibiotics pumping intravenously as precautionary protection for the little one. Which, ahem, was supposed to happen with Megan and Mac but didn't because the newfangled procedure next on this list worked far quicker than expected. (Mac fortunately ended up okay and aced the tests that proved it.)

Induction: Back in my day, pitocin was the drug of choice for bringing on labor. I never had to be induced, but it was the go-to method of getting that baby outta there when needed. Apparently drugs aren't the only option anymore, there's also the option to insert a balloon — up "there" — to get things moving. Which just seems weird to me. But it clearly worked for getting Mac here ... again, far quicker than expected.

Swaddling: Back in my day, I learned rather quickly that swaddling a baby could save the day, as well as Mom and Dad's sanity. The technique made millionaires out of entrepreneurial folks who marketed swaddling blankets. Swaddling was in vogue for years and years, even through Bubby's birth and early months. I have pictures galore of the newborn bundle wrapped tight into a precious little Bubby burrito. I won't be doing that with Mac, though, and neither will Megan, as the experts now say swaddling is out and letting the baby's arms flop and fling to help them awaken themselves is in.

Push presents: Back in my day, moms pushed their way through labor and delivery and were rewarded for their hard work with a precious bundle to take home with them, to love and cherish forever. That's not how it works nowadays, at least in some circles. Yes, moms still get the precious bundle and the hope is that they'll love and cherish it forever, but they also get a special gift from Dad for the performance in pushing out the kid. It may be jewelry, a new bag, a fitness membership, but whatever it may be, Dad better have thought long and hard — and opened his wallet wide — to show his appreciation for the pain and pushing Mom endured in the name of growing the family tree.

Some of these changes make sense to me. There's certainly no harm done by not swaddling a baby, especially if it keeps the SIDS fears at bay. But push presents? That one leads me to wonder how many times moms will expect gifts throughout the years to make up for the pains of parenting. Because as those of us with adult children know, in hindsight, the pushing during delivery is by far one of the easier parts of parenting.

Today's question:

If you were to be given a gift for enduring a recent challenge, for what challenge would you like to be rewarded and what would be a fitting gift?

A bird in the hand

Our family had a bit of a scare this week: Megan, in her 19th week of pregnancy, experienced some funky business with Bubby's brother-to-be. So her doctor ordered an ultrasound.

Thankfully, all turned out well. Baby is alive and kicking and nestled firmly in (the right) place. And Megan and Preston were once again treated to an inside look at their second son ... which they then kindly shared with the family and I now share with you:

Bubby got a kick out of his baby brother's peek-a-boo stance and joyfully played a game of the same with PawDad and me during our Tuesday night Skype session, giggling and demonstrating how he and his brother will soon play.

The baby does indeed look like he's playing peek-a-boo in the photos. He also looks, to me, like a little bird, his wings still tiny and frail but soon to be strengthened then stretched as he learns to fly and eventually soar.

The thought of him being a little bird immediately brought a song to my heart ... and an earworm to my head. This is the song, the earworm, the empowering "Little Bird" the ultrasound pics bring to mind:


(Annie Lennox - Little Bird found on YouClubVideo)

In light of the way I see the little guy in the pictures and the gotta-dance-about-it song he's lodged in my head and heart -- and despite Megan and Preston not yet settling 100 percent on the baby's name, despite the cute monikers offered up when I asked for suggestions on Facebook -- I've officially chosen a name to call Bubby's brother here on the blog. Well, more accurately, a name has been chosen for me, for the baby.

So without further adieu, dear Grandma's Briefs readers, I hereby dub thee, my newest grandbaby ... Birdy!

Stay tuned for the further adventures -- and peek-a-boo games! -- of Birdy and Bubby.

(PS: Just for kicks, take a look at Birdy's mouth and nose in the first ultrasound picture, then scroll down to the picture of Bubby in the "Changes on the way" post from two days ago. Do they not look alike already?)

Today's question:

When did you last have a "shew!" experience, a moment of relief when you -- literally or figuratively -- wipe your brow, sigh "shew!" and feel like everything's going to be okay?

Intersections

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI have a friend who recently found out she's pregnant. Pam, whom many of you may know in real life -- or from her comments and reviews here on Grandma's Briefs -- received the good news a few weeks ago.

It was surprising news for Pam as she'd pretty much settled into life with the assumption she'd never have kids. It had taken her a long time to find a partner she'd deemed worthy of parenting with her, they'd gotten pregnant, they sadly lost the baby. They were told by specialists -- in their infinite wisdom -- that they'd likely never have children.

So Pam moved on to other pursuits, including studying to become a personal trainer (and being within just the exam of certification) and preparing the home she and her significant other share for putting it on the market so they could move to a place more fitting their lifestyle.

Now their lifestyle has been thrown into surprise makeover mode.

Though it means (and meant) incredible ups, downs, heartbreak and hope for Pam and her SO, such stories are fairly common.

What isn't so common, though, and what I -- along with my friend, the mommy-to-be -- find most intriguing about her story is that, get this, Pam will become a full-fledged mother at the very same age that I became a GRANDmother!

Yes, Pam, who is only a few years younger than I, will be struggling with diapers, doctors and disparate parenting philosophies at the very same time that I'm struggling to get quality time with my Bubby and hoping for the arrival of additional grandbabies sometime soon.

I'm not sure if that says more about me, more about Pam, or more about the current generation of parents ... and grandparents ... in general.

I became a grandmother at a relatively young age, but I'm far from the record of Youngest Grandma Ever. My oldest sister was nearly five years younger when she became a grandma, and I've featured a Grilled Grandma who had her first grandbaby at an age much younger than the one at which I first claimed the crown.

Does that mean strangers might mistake me for Bubby's mother when we're out and about together? Possibly. But I sure hope not. Megan deserves all the credit -- and the craziness -- that's part and parcel of being the one whom Bubby calls Mom. I'm proud to proclaim myself Bubby's grandmother, not his mother.

And with Pam firmly in the "older" mother category -- yet decades from Oldest Ever designation -- does that mean she might be considered little Nubbin's grandmother when she and the sweet one are out and about once Nubbin arrives? Possibly, but highly unlikely. Pam is in the best shape ever (did I mention she's nearly a personal trainer?) and looks, dresses and acts far younger than most women her age -- myself indubitably included. And the youthfulness looks fabulous on her. She'll most definitely proudly proclaim her status as Nubbin's mother, not grandmother.

What I think the situation really underscores is that the women of my generation are doing things far younger than in the past (including becoming grandma) as well as far older than in the past (including becoming mama). And every once in a while there's an intersection of the two.

I'm honored to have met Pam at that intersection.

In the several years I've know Pam, we've been similar in so many ways, each with minor deviances from what we share. We like basically the same movies -- with the exception of her penchant for zombie flicks while I prefer documentaries. We read many of the same books -- with the exception of her well-read list of classics compared to my enjoyment of non-fiction fare. We've worked together, been in book clubs together, gotten drunk together, worried about health scares and aging together, written together.

Now we'll blog together. Pam recently embarked on a mommy blogging venture, calling it 40-Something First Timer. I can't think of a more worthy blogging buddy.

Nor can I think of a more worthy buddy with whom to share the 40-something parenting experience, albeit from opposite ends of the spectrum -- Pam as new mother, me as (fairly new) grandmother.

As many of my readers can attest, Pam is in for the ride of her life -- with both the blog and, more importantly, the baby. I wish her the very best of luck with the challenges of both!

Photo courtesy stock.xchng.

Today's question:

Stereotype, schmereotype! What about you goes against the stereotype of someone your age?