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Grandparenting is a precious jobcomment (0)

June 3, 2004

By Betty Baggott

When I was walking down the hall at 3 in the morning, I wondered how I could be so happy about my a.m. chore. I wish all of you could have read my mind and known what I was thinking. You might think I was crazy but not if you have an infant in the house and you are a grandparent.

Already I had pushed the bottle around in the mouth of my precious cargo at midnight and tried to get six-week-old Katie to take her bottle. That loud yelling had convinced me I needed to pay attention to her. Of course she took such a small amount and went back to sleep that at 3 we were on the march again.

As the parents snoozed away in another room far removed from the noise (my choice and gift to visit Montgomery and let them have one good night’s sleep until this angel decides she will sleep all night). I tried to do everything right. Get the bottle out of the refrigerator (and remember the one that had the most milk for this time of morning), put the right amount of water in the bottle warmer, rush to change the little one’s diaper and get back to the kitchen before the bottle got too hot. I found myself planting kisses on those plump cheeks, careful not to say a word, praying she would take her bottle and go back to sleep.

Back to the kitchen where I had lingered too long — the bottle was too hot, and I had to run it under the water to cool it down. All the time trying to sooth the loud plea for her bottle. I was determined to give the parents and their teenage son a good night’s sleep. I was still sleepy from the week before and my getting up at midnight, 2, 3 and 6.

Back to my thoughts and walking down the hall — my, how my mind wandered. Years ago, the mother was in my arms screaming, her dad and her big brother were also asleep.

Remembering the past

After Cheryl, Autumn was born, and the night feedings would start all over again. Time does fly. My thoughts were happy ones, and I could not wait to get settled in the big rocking chair and watch the little “bird” mouth as it searched for her milk. Instantly the crying stopped, and the tiny hand clasped mine as if to be sure I would not take the bottle out of her mouth. She swallowed so fast, and it was comforting to have the feeling her needs were met and I was the one to do it.

In the middle of the night is a good time to thank God for everything and to make requests for others. This baby was a miracle, and God does answer prayers. No need to go into all the details, but God heard and your prayers were heard. Thank you.

As I rocked, fed her and planted a kiss, my thoughts traveled to Minnesota and my other daughter,  Autumn, who is expecting. Your phone calls, cards and interest about her pregnancy have touched me deeply. We are in a waiting period. For updates, you can visit www.caringbridge.org/mn/kevintoussaint.

Here is Autumn’s ad­dress so you can let her know you are praying for her and her precious one who has been diagnosed with spina bifida.

Chris and Autumn Toussaint

6804 Stonewood Court

Eden Prairie, MN 55346

I am blessed to have two girls who give me permission to share their lives, and perhaps we can help others by doing so. Autumn has acquired much information from the Web site, especially for spina bifida babies. It is her desire that anyone with a special need concerning this birth defect receive the help they need. Information is found on the Web site listed above. Thank you in advance for your prayers. I have seen God perform so many miracles.

Back to the rocking chair — the feeding is done. Quietly, I go back down the hall and place Katie in her bed. What fun it is to be a grandparent. And to think, before long I will have another one. I cannot wait to hold little Kevin also and love him with all my heart. God is so good.

I pull the covers over the tiny bundle, careful not to wake her. Then I breathe a prayer, and this time it is a selfish prayer. “God, please let her stay asleep. I am not as young as I used to be. Even though she is precious and I love every minute of holding her, I’m sleepy.”

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