Saturday, 27 June 2015

Meeting my new granddaughter

I'd forgotten how small new-born babies are. They really are tiny!
I became a grandfather on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 2.10am and I met my granddaughter, Julia Elena, for the first time about 11 hours later.
I feel as if I should be writing something really profound, but I've already deleted half a dozen sentences, so no Chinese philosophy for life in this blog. It's also a Kahlil-Gibran-free zone!
Tom texted on Thursday morning to say that Lucy's waters had broken during the night, so the baby was on her way - we already knew the sex and the name had been chosen (so there were no surprises). I thought the baby would be born fairly quickly, but Lucy was sent home from hospital and told to come back when contractions were every three minutes.
She spent a pretty uncomfortable day at home and when I called for an update, they were still there at 10pm, joined by Max, Inna and Sam (Sam had come across from Jersey for a course in minor surgery). Contractions were getting more intense, so I guessed the baby would come overnight.
I got a text from Tom at 2.30am to say she'd been born 20 minutes earlier and that she weighed 2.7kg, so I woke Margaret to tell her the news. In the morning, Margaret was planning a trip to London on Saturday and had arranged dog-sitting duties with my sister, but I thought we should see Julia on her first day, so we packed Holly into the car and headed to London.
Only a few hours old - Julia Elena
June 26, 2015, was a lovely sunny day with temperatures around 28 deg C. We thought Lucy, Tom and Julia would be at home, but we got a call just as we neared Catford to say that they were still at Lewisham Hospital and we should go there. While Margaret got the sat-nav out, stuck it to the screen, caught it when it dropped off and then tried to programme it to find the hospital, I followed signs to Lewisham and came to the hospital in the High Street. Fortunately, it's really easy to find.
Max and Sam met us in the car park and took Holly for a quick walk while we went in to see the baby. I have to say I was very impressed by Lewisham Hospital, it's a fantastic place and they had a massive delivery room with birthing pool. It's a lot different from the drab, functional room in Peterborough Maternity Hospital where Tom was born almost 34 years ago.
Lucy looked tired, but happy; Tom looked shattered. Baby Julia was wrapped up in a merino wool blanket and cap with little mittens on to stop her scratching her face with her sharp fingernails. She is tiny, but with perfect little hands and feet. She has black hair (like her mother) but everyone says she looks like Tom.
I have no wisdom to impart and no advice (except never have a tattoo), but welcome to the world Julia, have a long and happy life and thanks for carrying a few of my genes into a new generation.
Footnote: Julia was called Julia because a July birth was predicted. Her early arrival might have meant a name change to June, but Tom and Lucy have stuck with Julia. Elena is after her great-grandmother Luisa Elena Cadeno Gallo, who will be 100 years old in February.
Sleep when you can - there will be a lot of disturbed nights.