Welcome to the World, Teagen! The Story of How I Became a Grandmother
O n July 26, 2018, I received a phone call from my daughter, Marri. Immediately following my greeting, she exclaimed, “Mom, I’ve never appreciated you more than I do in this moment.” Before I explain the situation that led to this phone call, I should tell you that I have been blessed with three thoughtful and appreciative children. They have always been aware of the sacrifices of being a parent, and I have never doubted their gratitude. So, although Marri’s statement during that call wasn’t completely out of the norm, the sentiment was different this time; it stemmed from a connection that only mothers and daughters can share. Marri called to tell me that she had gone into labor. For the last nine months, she had been growing a tiny human inside of her body, and now, the moment that she, her husband, and the rest of our family had been excitedly waiting for was finally here. We were going to have our first grandbaby.
If the only birth you’ve witnessed was a fictional portrayal on your favorite sitcom or romantic comedy, then you might make some assumptions regarding the emotions that accompany the birth of a baby. Of course, every birthing experience is different, but having had three babies of my own, and having watched others give birth as well, I can attest that trying to describe the experience is difficult. Getting
that, depending on the origin, can mean either “beautiful” or “poet.” I think both interpretations suit her perfectly. She is a calm, serene, and peaceful little girl, and her parents are adjusting wonderfully. Fortunately, both Marri and Tyson have some maternity and paternity leave to allow them to spend lots of time with Teagen during these important early days. It is still somewhat uncommon for fathers in the U.S. to
“The only way I can think to describe the feeling is extraordinary privilege.”
to hold a baby in your arms right after they have been born is almost unfathomable. You get to watch as their mom’s stomach gets bigger, and you know that the baby is growing inside of her, but then all of a sudden, you are cradling the baby in your arms. The only way I can think to describe the feeling is extraordinary privilege. Watching your own daughter go through this experience only heightens the complexity of the emotions present in the delivery room. As I watched my baby give birth to her baby, I had mixed feelings. I felt this innate maternal struggle of wanting to protect her from pain, I felt overwhelmed with the irrevocable joy of seeing her become a mother, and I also felt so excited at the prospect of being a grandmother. When the baby cried out the very first noise she would ever make, all of us anxiously waiting on the sidelines matched her scream in pure celebration. In fact, we cheered so loud, we had to be hushed so as not to disturb the other laboring mothers! Marri and her husband, Tyson, named their new baby girl Teagen — a name
be granted any leave time when a baby is born, and our whole family is grateful that Tyson’s work recognized the necessity of his presence at home in order to navigate these adjustments with his two girls. Teagen’s parents brought her to Tom’s and my house for a family barbecue the weekend after they left the hospital, and anyone who sees them can feel their immense love for her already. I want to end this edition by giving a huge shoutout to the hospital staff at Whidbey Island Medical Center. The nurses and the doctors were reassuring, accommodating, and positive. They were absolutely amazing. I returned to the clinic on Monday ready to aid all of my patients with their rehabilitation and treatment, but if anyone catches me staring off into space over the next couple of weeks, I am probably daydreaming about the beautiful little baby who captured my heart.
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