My life changed suddenly one day in June
…when my daughter, who was then 20 weeks pregnant, discovered she was at risk of losing her baby.
We’ve been in this situation before; 3 years ago when wee Connor was born at 21 weeks, and being too premature to survive, died shortly after. (Here’s my Tribute to Connor.)
But this time things are different
Once her specialist decided that everything had been done to halt the immediate risk, the next step to ensure bub’s safety was for my daughter to go on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy. That’s when my new job started.
So for the past 12 weeks, I’ve been her day-time carer. Her partner heads out to work and I turn up a couple of hours later. I do some housework, cook dinner and keep my daughter plied with nutritional, mini meals.
At first we were all very nervous about getting to the point where bubs had a chance to survive if she was born prematurely. But once that scary four week period was over, we settled into a gentle rhythm.
Each day passes quietly. A highlight as spring has come, is watching flocks of tuis plunder the kowhai trees on their property here in Upper Hutt.
The only thing to disturb our gentle routine is a visit to the maternity care unit at Hutt Hospital for a scan or an appointment. Often followed by a drive-through visit to McDonalds. (Pure luxury!)
I admire my daughter’s dedication to sticking with her specialist’s directions, as well as her ability to stay cheerful and positive. This baby is being given every chance.
A different sort of celebration
We congratulate ourselves every day – that nothing happens.
There’s a real sense that this pregnancy is a celebration for everyone involved. The specialist beams when we turn up to the 4-weekly appointments. And yesterday it was the midwife’s turn to show her delight at how well things are going. (We are so lucky to have such great maternity support here in Wellington.)
The excitment is building. As each week passes we are more reassured. Baby clothes are purchased, the retro bassinet restored and nappies ordered. Everyone is looking forward to welcoming this little girl in a few week’s time.
I can’t wait to meet my grand daugher. It’s been a long, painful four years for my daugther and her partner. I admire their courage and patience.
So what’s been happening in the rest of my life?
My mental health: Until recently I considered myself ‘in recovery’ from my major mental health melt-down three years ago. Recently I’ve decided, I’m now ‘rebuilding my life’.
Living on medication is something I’m still getting used to. I know that without it, life can be a very dark and lonely place. With it, I do okay. Sometimes really okay and sometimes just okay.
I’ve tried reducing my meds, but the result was more downs than ups. Instead, I’ve learned to cope with the fluctuations. That means I’m still limited in what I can do, but that’s okay. I have a extraordinary life – no matter what.
Blogging etc: I fit in a couple of hours each day to work on my new blog site – SheLovesLifeOver50.com.
By sharing my ideas I’m finding new ways to help women over 50 turn their setbacks into success. (And all going well, over time it will become the platform for a sustainable online business.) It’s a slow build but really satisfying.
Mentoring: I’ve also managed to maintain a few mentoring clients. I love seeing the practical difference I can make in someone else’s life. On this note…
Please check out the C U L T I V A T E Mentoring Lab. A social enterprise that matches female mentors and mentees. I’m excited to be a mentor in their latest partnership round.
If you are empathetic, generous & passionate about women building meaningful careers, they’d love to hear from you.
How lucky am I?
It’s been great to have the freedom to spend the past three months with my daughter. I don’t feel I’ve had to give up anything. On the contrary, I’m the winner during this special and unique time.
And you might think that spending all day, every day of the week, together has been difficult. But that’s simple not the case. We’ve always got on well and now we have the proof.
Oh, and did I say? I’m so looking forward to meeting my grand-daughter.