The birth of our first grandchild, born healthy, turned out to be the place where grief and joy met in my life.

Our son a few hours after he was born.

When our first grandson was born six months ago, I expected joy, and it was there.
I expected to love him at first sight, and I did.
I expected to cry tears of happiness, and they came.
Every emotion was expected, save one.
I never expected to grieve. I never expected his birth to be the place where grief and joy met.

How Could I Have Known?

How could I have known grief would punch me in the gut when our son wheeled the isolette holding his son into the lounge area where four grandparents waited eagerly for their first glimpse of their grandchild? How could I have known this first meeting would unleash a host of powerful emotions buried deep inside my mother’s heart for over 30 years? How could I have known this arrival would rip open wounds created when our newborn was diagnosed with EA/TEF and life-flighted 750 miles away for surgery before he was a day old?

The Grief Was Real

Expected or not, the grief came. And it was real. Very, very real.

Grief for dozens of photos of a healthy, unscarred newborn we never were able to take.
Grief for those first days of quiet nurturing our newborn never knew.
Grief for the pain our baby bore.
Grief for my milk coming in thanks to a pump instead of a baby nuzzling at my breast.
Grief over not getting to take our baby home after a short stay in the hospital.

Grief after grief.
Wave after wave.
Tears upon tears.
That no one, not even my husband, understood.

The rest of this post can be found at the Not Alone website.

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