Sweet Scarlett Rose sweeps sadness aside

Joy of Joys!  I am a grandmother again because today my daughter-in-law Vanessa gave birth to a daughter, making my son, Tyson, a first-time father.  Our happiness at this safe delivery of Scarlett Rose Williams has swept the sadness of husband Olivier’s recent death under the carpet. (It would be naive to think that my grieving is over, but for today, I am happy and weepy with joy.)

Ironically, my son telephoned me while I was driving to my weekly grief group and the news that Vanessa was in labour brought a flood of happy tears.  No more than half an hour later, I am once more weepy with unfinished mourning triggered by delving into the nature of grief at the Tennyson Centre support group.

However, this afternoon baby Scarlett entered the world and I am ecstatic at the news, heading straight out the door of my home to the hospital.  I stop at the florist and choose a bunch of pink roses and a pretty card, my heart dancing with happiness.

A shiver of sadness threatens my joyful anticipation as I walk up the stairs at Ashford Community Hospital past Marion Ward on the first floor, where Olivier spent so much of the last year of his life. This was the place of so much fear and trepidation, of difficult cancer treatment, blood tests and bad news.  But this time, I head up to the second floor, to the nursery and delivery rooms.

They are still in the delivery room and I am ushered into Room 8 where I wait a few minutes until my son Tyson proudly wheels the bassinet in with his tiny daughter swathed in a baby blanket.

When I first lay eyes on her, I almost burst with joy.  Here lies a lovely new little life to brighten our days.   Here lies a perfect child, peacefully sleeping.  And I am the first to see her and I swoon.   She is an exquisite living doll.   She has defineable Eurasian feature which link back to our families’ Germanic/Slavic roots – Slanty eyes, black hair, with the goo of the newborn still plastering it down, defineable dark eyebrows and, oh my goodness, little eyelashes. The shadow-line of eyebrow, though, in a straight line bears her mother’s mark compared with my family’s distinct arched eyebrow line. This is what grandmothers do, having a storehouse of baby features to call upon.

Son Tyson was born with beautiful long eyelashes to the envy of his two older sisters and this babe, too, has every chance of being dark-haired. But who can tell as Scarlett may be much fairer like her lovely mother. And this is the exciting mystery of reproduction. Right now, baby is a bundle of genetic possibilities, which only time will reveal.

The new mother, Vanessa, has given birth in an admirable manner in six hours 17 minutes.  Tyson and I share a few precious mother/son moments with the baby to ourselves before a midwife brings a freshly showered Vanessa back to her private room from the delivery suite.

Tyson and Vanessa with Scarlett Rose

Tyson is awash with emotion telling his story of how the obstetrician called him as the baby’s head crowned and showed him how to cradle it and help her gently slip into the world.

“Of course I wept like a baby,’’ he tells me now.

“She is so beautiful, isn’t she mum!’’

We are both bending over the bassinet as I pull back the covers to see her long, slender fingers.

“She has my long fingers,’’  says Vanessa.

It is at this moment that I feel sad that Olivier couldn’t be here to share this special family moment with us all.  He was so looking forward to the birth, but fate intervened.

It reminds me that life is a continuum, from birth to death and every moment of our allotted time is so precious and such a God-given gift.



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1 Comment to “Sweet Scarlett Rose sweeps sadness aside”

  1. By Felicity Rai, 29/07/2012 @ 10:26 pm

    Congratulations Nadine!

    I too am to become a grandmother at the end of this year. My daughter-in-law is expecting a happy event around Christmas time.

    We should catch up some time.

    Best wishes,

    Felicity Rai

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