When grandpa lurks outside the delivery room

About a birth trauma of a different kind

Finally, she’s here! After months of sleep deprivation during pregnancy, because my bladder had grown to about the size of a ping pong ball and I had already gained a taste of what was in store for us now that we had a child, I finally made it. 06:03 pm, our daughter is born.

While my husband slumbered like a baby when I went into labor at 5 am, I knew with complete certainty: today is finally the day

I purposely let Daniel sleep, because who knew how I would still yell at him, crush his hand, and defiantly panic to keep him from moving from the headboard of my bed, because at least I wanted to preserve some teeny-tiny bit of dignity.

(According to his statement afterwards, I didn’t yell at him or squish his hands too much… but it could also be that hormones kicked in at this statement on his part)

Childbirth class as a couple: disillusionment for both is important!

Through the childbirth preparation course we had taken as a couple, we already prepared ourselves for a lot of things in theory, concerning the process of birth, all eventualities during it and also afterwards. And I strongly recommend the men who have strayed here to take such a course when having their first child, because: rather be disillusioned in advance than “in action”. Yes – you will have fun with the test moaning and no one can really pull themselves together. But the mother of your child will thank you anyway. For a little more understanding when things get serious and for, let’s say, at least moral support.

But back to the topic of trauma: The magic word in many cases when the pain gets too bad consists of three handy letters: PDA. With that, it was largely painless, complication-free and the birth went “quickly”. That means we were at the hospital at 11 am, around 3:30 pm I got the epidural and less than three hours later it was done.

“Huh, where’s the trauma now?”

…you may ask. Well, the birth trauma started about 30 minutes later and didn’t stop until about 24 hours later (with after effects to this day).

As we were holding our daughter in our arms in the delivery room – she hadn’t even been weighed and measured, let alone was it cleaned up after us – we suddenly heard voices from the hallway. Daniel himself had recognized one through the closed door: His father!

Uh-uh – what?! How did he get into this corridor, which according to the midwife is a high-security area par excellence? During the birth registration a few weeks ago, we still smiled at the story she told us: At that time, the proud father of a large southern family had wanted to snatch his newest offspring from the mother shortly after the birth in order to show her to the 10 or so waiting relatives in the hallway. However, the resolute midwives, whose main concern is the health and well-being of the mothers and their children, knew how to prevent this.

I, too, was ultimately not bothered, but only after my husband spent what felt to me like half an hour talking to him outside the delivery room. While he worked to protect our privacy and this great getting-to-know-the-three-of-us phase, I had to stop the midwife from weighing and measuring our daughter without him.

The lurking grandfather

Since we spent a night in the hospital – the original plan was to go straight home, but since it was midnight by now, we had scrapped that – we wanted to be discharged early the next morning so we could get comfortable at home. Before we could even take care of the formalities, an irritated midwife came into our family room with the news that a nice elderly gentleman had arrived for a visit. However, since it was before general visiting hours, she didn’t bring him right away. We were heartened by this and asked her to send him away. I was still not ready for this kind of ambush in many ways.

Just think about it: Not even 15 hours ago, a complete human being had come out of me. I feel overwhelmed with hormones, have umpteen feelings at the same time, am physically exhausted like after a marathon, and on the side, haven’t even showered yet (dear gentlemen of creation – childbirth is everything but clean).

But even when we arrived home, we saw the parked grandpa car on the side of the road. Yes, is one here no longer for himself? – I’ll spare you the details of the scandal here…

Consequences for the next birth

Our learning for the next child was: We will announce the birth only when we are ready for visitors. And that was with our son after two full days of peace and quiet with the four of us.

The apology

The apology came via Whatsapp. With the wording “sorry” – end quote. Well, at least he added a rose emoticon behind it. I think I’ll have to be satisfied with that.

The granddaughter’s appreciation: all’s well that ends well…?

A few days later, we assigned the impatient grandpa an official visitor slot after all

Well! Finally! He held the first grandchild in his arms. True to style with specially bought grandpa rocker shirt. And… yes, what was that on his forearm?!

Completely befuddled, I ask, “Are you tattooed?!” when I discover the cursive writing on my father-in-law’s arm. At this moment, my husband still thinks it’s a joke – but in fact: Just below the elbow, the name of our daughter is written in curved letters on the forearm of his 71-year-old father: Carolina.

If he had had this earlier, you would have thought it was one of his past loves. But since his younger son and we have now produced a total of three grandchildren (Corona makes it possible), the number of tattoos has also tripled. Left arm for our niece and everything that is still born on the part of my sister-in-law, right arm for our children. We were truly amazed.

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