New Grandparents in 2020

My grandson, David Banks, was born in June. A total of five grandparents, with great excitement and anticipation for their children, who were about to be first-time new parents, was at an all-time high. 

Due to COVID-19, it was very difficult for me and the other grandparents, and one excited aunt, to be forbidden inside the hospital at all. This little guy was my fourth grandson and I had never missed a birth. I had to fly to Chicago to get to the first three boys’ births, but I made it! Being there immediately after they were born was my happy place. 

Now, I finally have a grandson in my “backyard” and this virus is giving me fits. No visitors. My son, Ryan, did call me all night with updates on how Jamie and little David were doing, which I really appreciated, but I wanted to be there in the waiting room, perhaps close enough to eavesdrop on the nurses’ station.

Comparing the two hospital scenarios, I am surprised to admit that not allowing anyone in the hospital but the father or chosen partner through the hospital experience might be the better way to go. They have time to bond as a new family unit. They can concentrate on what the nurses teach them before they take their little bundle of joy home. They can rest before receiving guests. Jamie was in labor 38 hours and I know she wanted to see everyone, but she was so exhausted – she needed sleep most and so did the daddy. 

I remember when we arrived at Gottleib Memorial hospital in Chicago for the birth of our first grandson. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how we behaved. When our son-in-law motioned us to the room, we ran like idiots. Our daughter was a vision of loveliness, cuddling with her newborn. We took it all in for about five minutes then took the baby. Her dad and I couldn’t stop holding him. When we got back to Florida and I was looking at all the photos, I became mortified! There were more of us with our little grandson instead of them. Ugh. I called her immediately and apologized profusely for hogging their baby. 

I realized this time, that grandparents can definitely fall in love by seeing photos or little videos of their precious grandbaby way before they get to meet him or her.

While the new little family is preparing to come home, grandparents can help with the preparations. Buy groceries, prepare meals, clean or do laundry, take care of their pets. When they walk through the door, it’s grandparent snuggle time – a moment well-worth waiting for.

karin Jenkins headshot and biography

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