I don’t know, you wait years for a grandchild…. Inside the space of a year and to our delight, Mike and I have become grandparents for the second time. Nina and Dave welcomed Jacob into the world at the end of January, a cousin to Elizabeth who will be a whole year in March! Where does the time go? I’m loving spoiling them and cuddling them. Then eventually they get upset and fussy and I can hand them over, just like that! Makes me think I should have hired an au-pair all those years ago.
It has been interesting to see how approaches to antenatal care have changed courtesy of the modestly wonderful ‘Call the Midwife’. The title clearly refers to a wistful bygone day that meant when you called, someone actually came out to you. What a novel idea! With its retro shabby wallpapered bedrooms, coach built prams and doctor treated as a demi-god with his machine it reminds you that, for all our technology, it’s still a solitary woman’s work. It is still essentially the gritty determination of one person bringing another whole new person into the world merely by muscle power.
Unlike the mothers of the programme, so many new mums no longer live amongst relatives and as a result now look to friends and/or ‘The Baby Guru’ for advice. Baby expert of choice seems to be Gina Ford. To my surprise Kate bought her books and studiously worked her way through. Mostly it turned out to see how she could still achieve her usual nine (uninterrupted) hours of sleep. Maybe by hiring Ms Ford to come and rock the cradle! We fell out her and I. Not Kate, I mean me and Gina. I thought she was draconian and surprisingly 1950’s in her outlook. Baby seemed frequently put in the cot with windows given the old WW2 blackout treatment and told she’ll have to be there for the next ¾ of an hour. Precisely, on the dot of. Everyone is new to parenting at some point, most help is valuable and many mums really felt her books were an asset. But instinct is vital too and sometimes the baby expert seems to discourage that.
No one knows my baby like I do, it’s what both Kate and Nina are discovering and it surely is every mother’s heartfelt belief. With the exception of God of course. Who, after all, created and called our baby into being, and saw us through a safe birth and now sings over that little one with delight. And He will continue to do so long after our baby has grown up and gone on to have babies of their own. An Expert I will be at pains not fall out with!
Love in Jesus,