The Healing Love of a Grandchild
2019 was a crazy year for this Nana! January started with a bang. We were expecting our first grandchild in February and my son and daughter-in-law notified us that we were not allowed to come to the waiting room of the hospital. My husband and I, along with my daughter-in-law’s parents, would be informed when they were settled in their room for visitations and then, we could come to see the baby.
Well, unfortunately, that did not sit well with me! How could he rob me of that precious moment when he would come out to the waiting room and inform me that he was a father?! I wanted to see the joy on his face! I agonized over it for weeks, which included a lot of crying and praying and calling my fellow Gigis to see if I was being unreasonable. I begged my son to reconsider, both on the phone and in a long email. I assured him I wouldn’t insist on seeing the baby until they were ready, but I just wanted to be there! I questioned myself about being an overbearing mother-in-law, even though he assured me that wasn’t true. He explained his reasons and wouldn’t budge. He was trying to protect his wife from too much stress. He was afraid that just knowing the parents were out there waiting for the baby would put too much pressure on his wife. They had heard friends’ horror stories about crazy mothers and waiting rooms full of anxious relatives. I understood his reasons and appreciated him trying to be his family's protector, but I just couldn’t grasp that I wouldn’t be able to experience the moment in time that I had pictured in my mind for years! In the end, I just had to accept it and kept reminding myself that it wasn’t my choice and it wasn’t about me.
Fast forward to the day when my beautiful grand-daughter was born! My brave daughter-in-law tried so hard to labor naturally that she was in labor for more than 24 hours when she finally accepted pain relief so she could rest. After 30 hours, her mother and I had not slept all night and were worried sick. We had only received a few texts from my son and then long hours of not hearing anything, so we decided we had to be nearby and were sitting at a diner when we got the call that they were rushing her in for an emergency C-section.There were some serious complications with the baby. We headed straight to the hospital teary-eyed, against the previous orders, and sat nervously in the waiting room for what seemed like the longest hour of our lives. We informed the desk nurse that we were there. My son finally came out and made the announcement that we had a healthy baby girl! By then, our husbands and my daughter had joined us in the waiting room. We all got to experience that moment of joy and relief! My son came back out a few minutes later and invited us to see mother and baby in the recovery room!
So as it turns out, all my wishes came true even if not exactly as my son and daughter-in-law or I had pictured it happening. Once that baby girl came into the world, nothing else mattered. The love of a child makes all the disagreements fade away and our family bonds just grew stronger.
I received my cancer diagnosis seven weeks later. We Face-Timed to tell my son and daughter-in-law and assured them not to worry, that we were fine and would see them in a few days. An hour later, they showed up with dinner and hugs, and of course, with the baby. They were so supportive during my treatment and our relationship is closer than ever. We see them often and they FaceTime me every day. I’m so grateful to have them in my life and will forever treasure all of my family!
I cannot prove that loving on that grandchild of mine has physically healed me. I’m sure there is nothing in any medical manual to prove it, but I know, in my heart, that every time I hug and kiss that baby my body and soul are healing in every way! I’ve read that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren live longer and I do not doubt that for a second! Apparently, Oxytocin, a healing hormone and anti-aging hormone is generated by play, laughter, and caressing a loved one or pet. So to all the Gigis out there, never miss an opportunity to love on those grandchildren! It could save your life!