Sunday, February 14, 2010

A momentous event - the arrival of Sofia, our first grandchild!

I promised you all I would let you all know when our beautiful grandchild arrived, and post some photos as well. Well, the arrival of Sofia Hannah May Caitlin was heralded last Thursday with great fanfare and joy in our family. Jany and Shayne are over the moon as proud parents and hubby Jan and me are the most delighted grandparents - totally besotted is the only way to describe it and it marks the start of a lovely new phase in our lives.

She was born in Cork's lovely new University Maternity Hospital (CUMH)which was opened about three years ago following the amalgamation of the three maternity hospitals in Cork into one centre. The Bons Secours, the Erinville and St. Finbarr's Maternity Hospitals all closed and were reconvened under one roof in the grounds of the Cork University Hospital. Everything went well for Jany who had gone about five days over her due date and had spontaneous broken waters, which meant she would have to deliver within a time limit to prevent infection. She had to be induced and Sofia was born about ten hours after this commenced.

It was a long vigil and all the more frustrating as there were extremely strict visiting regulations where only the partner was allowed free access at all times. Only one other visitor was allowed for an hour each evening, which meant that Sofia was 22 hours old before we met! As soon as we heard the labour was imminent, I took time off work and as arranged went to Cork to offer whatever support I could, which consisted mainly of drinking coffee in the cafeteria downstairs with them until Jany's induction, and waiting in the lobby knitting and reading to while away the hours once it started.

The day she was born I was visiting a friend when Shayne rang to say Jany was making good progress, a few hours before the birth, so I was at the hospital when she was born. I saw photos within minutes when Shayne came to the lobby with the camera, and revealed the name. We knew the gender from way back, but the name was a closely guarded secret - so much so that I wasn't able to access their computer to go online when Shayne was in the hospital as the password was the baby's name and I didn't want to know in advance! After Shayne's announcement I busied myself with texting and phoning family and friends from the lobby while waiting for him, and it was nearly midnight before we got back home.

I stayed that night in Cork with Shayne, as it would have been awful to leave him in an empty house with all the euphoria and no-one to share it with. That's something most fathers can relate to and hubby said it was the most isolated feeling to be alone after the birth of our boys (especially in Africa) where all the fuss was made of mother and baby. So we enjoyed a celebratory drink (wine and beer for me and Shayne respectively!) on arriving home, while Facebook was being updated with photos and news, all eliciting huge responses which helped to connect everyone across the miles, given that they both have spent their lives together in Spain and Jany has all her family and friends in Holland to keep updated. As the proud granny I had plenty of photos to post after I saw Sofia and I will share them here now, and hope you enjoy seeing them. There are many more on Facebook for those of you who know me there - and for the rest - why not join me on that journey too!

Other family members met her yesterday when she and Jany arrived home, and she met her granddad, her Aunty Maeve and Uncle Martin - who designed her wonderfully quirky and unique birth announcement card. Her other uncle, William, had to go back to college in Limerick and will see her next weekend. It was wonderful to see how she melted everyone to putty, and this is only the beginning! I still don't feel it strange to be a granny and am enjoying it thoroughly, and hope that I can be of help to Jany in the next few days as I am staying in Cork to help get the breastfeeding established. Tomorrow the Public Health Nurse will come to do the heel prick test and the primary visit; it will be strange to be a visitor and have to back off when a colleague comes in the role that I usually occupy!

No doubt there will be frequent follow-up posts with ongoing status updates of Sofia's progress and I run the risk of becoming a total granny bore but right now I make no apology for celebrating such a momentous family event. A first grandchild only happens once in a lifetime and I hope it marks the start of a wonderful relationship with these grandparents for many many years to come! (The photos show before-and-after shots of the proud parents, and Sofia meeting the family in her first two days - and a nice shot of CUMH in winter sunshine)

8 comments:

Stephanie V said...

She's absolutely beautiful, Catherine. All grandchildren are special but that first one...oh, my! The feelings are beyond words. Thanks for sharing your joy...

talesfromagarden said...

Beautiful photos,lovely name, congratulations to all! Exciting times ahead!

Ann said...

The photos are just beautiful. Heartfelt congratulations all round. You certainly are exuding pride in the photo's.

Niamh said...

Congratulations Catherine! It's a very exciting event! Enjoy:)

Peggy said...

Hi Catherine, I have been following on Facebook as well but it is lovely to see all of the photos here.Congratulations again to all concerned and dont worry about boring us with more photos, Grannies are entitled!

Catherine said...

Thanks - Everyone! - for all the nice comments on Sofia and grandparenthood - it's a nice place to be right now and I am enjoying being with them all. Glad you like the photos and also those of you who saw them all on Facebook - I still have more to upload there! Will keep in touch though I haven't much time to post on others' blogs - sorry 'bout that for now.
All the best, Catherine xxx

jeannette stgermain said...

So cute, Sofia with her rosie cheeks! Congrats you you and family. I csn see you don't have any problems with your role as a grandmother:)

lastofthemojitos said...

Congratulations. She is beautiful and she is so alert in photo. Enjoy it!