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Oh Baby! Helping Birth Another Grandchild

March 18, 2023

Another Way for week of March 10, 2023  

Oh Baby! Helping Birth Another Grandchild

How fortunate we are to be living in a time when mothers (or other family member) can go into a modern hospital to help with the long process and pushing of labor. It used to be the domain of only the professionals. (Unless you go way back!) Years ago—such as when I was born) daddies and others had to wait in another room and faintly hear the moans and screams. And of course, nixed during the height of Covid.

As I walked down a long hall to my daughter’s room in the middle of the night, I cringed hearing another mother-in-process. Strong memories came back. My own body tightened and breathed with that mama.

I felt lucky to be there—and remembered helping with the births of three of our five grandsons when the two older sisters gave birth. All special, all rich bonding experiences.

How fulfilling it was to help our third daughter push her first little one out. My role specifically was to encourage and assure her that she could do it. A coach. Her husband was a deeply dedicated papa-in-training and awesome coach, also anxiously awaiting the miracle of birth. 

Labor is definitely draining for child and mother alike—by the end they put a mask on our daughter to help pipe oxygen to the baby. I had not seen that before. We listened carefully for the strong heart beat as baby continued the journey.

I almost felt too old to be helping coach—up all night with my daughter and her husband. My husband tried to catch some shuteye in the hospital waiting room on benches that did not allow him to stretch out, and still aching with painful healing from knee surgery.

The expectant couple had chosen to not find out what the gender was before birth. When she finally finally finally made it out, her father announced the joyous news: “The baby is a girl!” Our first granddaughter!

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to help bring our first granddaughter into the world. The new mother said softly, “I can’t believe we have a girl.”

My husband and I left the new family to “bond” and headed to their townhouse to get some sleep at 6:30 a.m. I was surprised that the naps I was able to take that day were enough—after pulling an all-nighter.

What a special, happy time! This family has chosen not to share pictures online, a wise idea. But take my word for it, she is a sweetie and already her dark eyes are exploring the new world after a demanding but triumphant labor.

A day later as I stood there braiding my daughter’s hair, I pondered how many times I had done that. The brand-new baby (well, a day-and-a-half-old) was nursing and our hearts were full. The daughter I had birthed now sat with her long-awaited baby. Three generations. Not surprisingly, the braiding brought memories for both of us.

Our families are precious, treasured gifts from God who showers love on us and our families. The difficulties we all go through—the hard times, illness, arguments, shortage of money, differing political views, mistakes—are common. But, we can triumph over the difficulties with the gift of love that goes along with every new child that comes into the world. The love we promise with marriage vows and long days and nights of working together helps bond us. We lament the children who are not born into families with strong loving parents.

I know that my husband and I are privileged to be enjoying retirement with some wonderful grandchildren. I wish they lived nearby. Of course! But we didn’t live near my parents either and had to make do with 600-mile drives to reconnect in person.

Our children and grands are close enough for frequent visits and contacts even though it is not every day or week. Count your blessings if you have grandchildren AND are close enough to visit when they can.

Meanwhile, we are doing a happy dance!


Your thoughts? Your special treasured memories? I’d love to hear!

Comment here or write to me at Another Way, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834, or email

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books, most recently Memoir of an Unimagined Career. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. Baby hands are the best! Good luck to you and yours!

  2. I know you are ecstatic over the birth of a healthy grandchild–this time a most welcome grand-daughter. Our three oldest grandchildren were born in Chicago, but the fourth was born here. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Ian’s birth as it was a challenging one, a preemie born at 2’5″ His papa was present for the actual birth, but the wee babe was immediately whisked off to the NICU, where he fought for 3 months to survive. Now he’s a strapping 15-year-old with musical abilities.

    I’m so happy for you and your quiver full of them, echoing Psalm 127. “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. . . .”

    Congratulations on this precious new life. And here’s to “Sugar and spice and everything nice; That’s what little girls are made of.” I know you’ll enjoy buying cute little dresses and hair bows too! 😀

  3. Marian, I spent part of my day experimenting and enjoying whether I could take stains out of the little girl clothing I had saved just in case we ever had a granddaughter. Those clothes are 40 some years old and the BIZ detergent my oldest daughter just told me about, did the trick, after soaking things for two hours. ! (I should link to your post this week about laundry!!) I will be excited to see if they will fit baby girl seasonally (born in the same month her mother was, so there’s a good chance). And tiny girl clothes don’t go out of style much. Do they?

    It is always encouraging to hear stories like that of Ian! Ongoing blessings to your family.

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