You May Now Call Me…Grandma!

Well, it’s been a whirlwind three weeks.  There’s been a lot going on in my life.  Let’s see……… my husband had surgery and he’s 100 percent fine.  I went through the annual stress and anxiety of getting my mammogram…and that was fine.  And work?  Well…it’s still there.

But the big news is that I became a grandma on Tuesday, January 26th!

I’m a Grandma!!!!!

I’ll tell you all the juicy details.

So, Oona went to the doctor the Friday before giving birth…January 22, to be exact.  Oona’s blood pressure was on the high side so they were monitoring it.  And on Monday, they decided to admit her to the hospital.  They were going natural, but the baby was a bit on the large side for her body type.  (Where this mommy has what is called “Irish” hips, the same cannot be said for my daughter).  And after pushing for over 2 hours, it was decided upon to give her a C-Section.

My baby and her baby!  He had no problem finding his thumb!

And…on Tuesday morning, my 8-pound, 21 ¼ inch grandson, Owen Michael was born!

Straight outta the womb and into the world. He’s about five minutes old here.  She did deliver two weeks early. Had she gone full term, this little nugget would have weighed in over 9 pounds!

After the initial relief that the baby was well and kickin’ and healthy, my thoughts went back to my daughter.  To be honest, I was really concerned about her blood pressure.  I never had that issue during my three pregnancies and remained slightly worried about her. I’ll get back to this.

In the meantime, she and Sam produced the cutest (I know, I know..every grandparent thinks the same thing), most adorable baby I’ve ever seen. Owen is perfect!  And the photos they sent me didn’t do justice as to how precious that li’l nugget of handsome is.  I couldn’t wait to hold him.

All snuggled up! He’s just so stinkin’ cute!

Here’s where it gets weird. And I think I made a couple of errors in judgement. I’ll explain.

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to fly to Cincinnati to see my daughter and my grandson.  I had a week of rollover time off from 2020 that had to be taken by March or I would lose it.  And as much as I love and adore my boss, she kind of wanted to know when I would be out of the office. My ex-husband was asking me when I was going to visit so he could block out time for him.  Roman and Jake were also on the queue for traveling to see their nephew.  I ended up leaving for Cincinnati on Friday, February 5, and returning home on Valentine’s Day.  In hindsight, this wasn’t really the best choice I’ve ever made.

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The pressure!  The pressure!  

Why? You ask.  Well, it didn’t give Oona and Sam much “alone” time with their son.  Honestly, I didn’t think this through.  My impatient nature got the best of me.  I’ll tell ya something else.  For some ungodly and delusional reason, I thought Oona would be overwhelmed at the prospect of new motherhood.

Ummm.  Yeah.  No way is my daughter overwhelmed. She took to motherhood like a fish takes to water!

After all, thinking about how I felt when I came home with my son Jake, I was overwhelmed. I had nobody to help me.  My mother lived in Florida—although my dad came up for moral support, and I didn’t get along with my mother-in-law.  I really felt alone. Don’t get me wrong—I loved being with my baby and relished in everything that goes along with having a baby. It was just that first two weeks made me doubt if I had what it took to be a “mommy”.  And I thought Oona would feel the same way.  I expected her to be a bit needy and dependent upon me.

Oh boy, was I ever wrong!

This mommy has it under control!

She had that mommy thing down pat.  In fact, she was a hell of a lot better at it than I was when I came home.

She’s very organized.  I’m not.  I was a very “crunchy-granola” earthy attachment mom. (albeit with more of a preppy style—a true paradox).  She’s got Owen on a schedule. I had no schedule and very quickly my overwhelming emotions flowed into complete chill and relaxation.

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This was me –breastfeeding until the children were three years old.  I made their baby food too. And baked goods.  And home-made tortillas because I didn’t want them to be fed a ton of chemicals. All that changed once they became involved in extra-cirricular activities.  Kraft Mac and Cheese anyone?

In addition, realizing it’s been thirty-one years that I’ve had a baby in the house, there’s a lot of things that have changed.  When I breastfed, the only pump available was a Marshall-Kaneson that looked like a cross between a kazoo and trumpet.  The pumps my daughter is using are incredibly advanced in tittie technology!

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This is a replica of the pump I used. And I managed to get quite a bit but this is so primitive to what’s available now!

And then there’s the lactation cookies.  I was told to drink a bottle of beer to produce milk. I hate beer but luckily, produced a ton of milk on my own.

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And yes. I tasted a couple of these cookies. They were delicious but alas–I didn’t produce any milk. My well has run dry!

The trip was a good one though.  I was able to hold my little bundle of joy and even got to babysit while Oona and Sam went out to breakfast and ran errands. Due to the winter weather at it’s best, we had a very nice snowstorm and spent most of the time indoors.

In the dire need for exercise, I went outside for some photos and a long walk. It was actually very beautiful outside!

Oona and I binged on Workin’ Moms, a series on Netflix and watched a few documentaries.

I’m full of bliss. Dang I wish I could take him home!

I cooked a couple of meals but was reminded that I make a mess when I cook.  So …I made only a couple of meals.

I roasted a lemony chicken, grilled brussels sprouts and made sausage and peppers with tortellini in a pesto sauce. Oh..and I made cookies and brownies too!

And that was it.

Holding my grandson was an emotional experience. It was an odd feeling to see my daughter as a mom.  It was even more odd to see that she didn’t need me.  She’s got everything under control. It was sad that my baby advice was not needed because she gets her baby advice from her friends.  But I guess that’s the way it is.

We were color-coordinated!

It also comes as a rude awakening that I won’t be the grandma that is close to Owen.  I’ll be that grandma—the one who lives far away.  Everyone tells me that the time spent with him in the future won’t matter because it will be quality time.  But I ain’t buying it.  My grandmother was an important factor in my life and I saw her regularly.  I was with her every day when before we left the city for Long Island and I continued to spend my summers with her, my grandfather and Aunt Terry. These were the adults who had the most impact on me.  I was closer to my grandmother than my own mother.  And the fact that I won’t be seeing Owen on a regular basis is daunting.  I certainly won’t be a major player in his life but I can make our time together fun.

Sadly, I won’t be the close grandma. I have to come to terms with that. 

Face time and Zoom aren’t the same as real life.

A future UT Longhorn. Uncle Jake got him a Bevo pacifier!

So yeah, if any of you out there are about to become first-time grandparents in a while, give the new parents time to settle into their lives as a family with their child.  Don’t be over-zealous or over-anxious to see the new baby. Don’t smother your children. Don’t give advice—just listen.  Don’t hover over the baby.  If you have to travel a long distance, give it a bit of time before visiting.  Don’t ask if there’s anything you can do—wait until you are asked to do something.

Give them time to settle in to becoming a new family!

And make your visit shorter than a week.  I would say three to four days max is the way to go.

Give the baby time to get to know mommy and daddy as well!

Other than that, I look forward to more and more pics of my little grandson.  Oh. And by the way, my “grandma” moniker still has not been chosen.  I think I’ll allow Owen to do the honor!

What will he call me?  Granma?  Granny? Grammy? Glamma?  Just as long as he doesn’t call me late to dinner!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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50 Responses to You May Now Call Me…Grandma!

  1. Congratulations Grandmom!

  2. j says:

    I was moved by your comments. You are struggling. I have luckily been one of “those” grandmothers who has been close enough to be a blessing, but also a nuisance. Covid has made the lack of contact so very hard. Still, I think you are just in a funk right now and will come out of it in time. Go back and read your own words in your description of yourself. You recognized that you went too soon and advised others to be aware. Much good came from your visit. We, as caregivers, are too hard on ourselves sometimes. From what I have gleaned about you, you will be a memorable, fun grandmother. Don’t doubt that. Hang in there.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi J! And thank you for your reply. I am struggling and will be riding it out. It’s comforting to know that my daughter and son-in-law are great new parents though! XXOXOXO

  3. Congrats Grandma! 😁

  4. Jean says:

    Congratulations! Don’t be so hard on yourself. After all, you raised Oona so obviously you did a good job. Plus I’ll bet that you were younger than Oona is now when you had your first child. And you didn’t have the wonders of the Internet to find the answers to all of the questions.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jean. I didn’t realize that I was younger when I had my first. Oh you are so correct. LOL the biggest technology was the Word Processor and the IBM Selectric typwriter! XOXOXO

  5. Sharron says:

    Congratulations! 2021 is looking better already😊

  6. Barb says:

    Congratulations Grandma!
    He is absolutely adorable ❤️

  7. Sandra says:

    Mazel tov! You’ll be the perfect Grandma! I’m a long distance Grandma, too, and my grandchildren text us and they’re now teenagers. I never proffer any advice; I just smile and nod😁 Bon courage!

  8. Momcat says:

    Congratulations! He is beautiful! Good size lil man too! We are only a five minute drive away from our son and his family. It would be easy to jump in and help out but my husband reminds me that they are organized, they are adults and we deserve some time to ourselves. We go over for bath time and stories once or twice a week and do the occasionally babysit in our home.
    My nephew lives in NJ ( near Princeton) my SIL is here in Canada and hasn’t seen her Grandson since Christmas of ‘19 and there’s another one arriving in May. But border shut down and no vaccine has made her decide to wait it out FaceTiming several times a week. Like you she’s the long distance grandma and she sometimes feels left out ( my brother passed in 2017 so she’s alone) but her son and DIL do their best to keep her virtually involved in her grandson’s life.
    But, cautionary tale here…my DIL isn’t talking to her Mom ( a rift of some kind, I don’t get involved) who lives oh, about 3km away. That gramma hasn’t seen her grandsons since early January. Dropped some Valentine gifts off with us to pass on to the boys, I felt so bad for her. Don’t weep about the physical distance, as long as you have connection that’s what really matters.
    You’re definitely a Glamma!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Mae. OMG. First off, where near Princeton does your nephew live? We lived in Pennington, NJ which borders Princeton. It’s a great, great area and my children loved growing up there.

      But…you are pretty damn lucky to live so close. Your husband sounds a lot like Vincent. He’s already told me to leave them be and that we have our lives as well. I did debate that he lives close to his granddaughter so it’s a moot point on my part!

      Trust me the last thing I want is to ever have a rift with my daughter–especially now that I’ve got that adorable little nugget! And he was a nice size-we make big babies in my family! XXOXOXOXO

  9. Barbara Graveland says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful grandson!

    I so enjoyed reading this post about your experience meeting him for the first time. You are such a good writer, but what I enjoy most is your ability to be so honest and real. You are self aware and open to lifelong learning, great qualities that not everyone has. These alone will make you a super grandmother, but combined with your obvious love, your eagerness to help and be involved and your own mothering experience, how can you not be an exceptional grandparent to this special little boy? Who cares if you’re not the closest grand mommy? You will be the best and I believe that the distance that you are so concerned with will not matter. That little boy will know how much you love and care for him and that’s all that matters. What you have learned and passed along will help other new grandparents, so I see no negatives in your first visit. We all live, but not all learn and thus improve like you! So far, I give you an A+, Grandma. Blessings to you and Owen…a beautiful relationship is beginning.

    • Catherine says:

      Wow! Thank you for such a lovely reply Barbara. I’m misting up as I write this. I think what makes me doubtful is the fact that I have many friends who live within a short distance of their grandchildren and are with them a good part of the week. It’s also important to me to get the word out that it’s OK not to be all fuzzy and warm at first. There’s so much going on when a baby comes home that I think we sometimes forget it isn’t ourbaby but it’s our children’s child. Anyway, I gracefully and gratefully accept your blessings! XOXOXOXO

  10. Katerina says:

    Congratulations he is so so cute!!

  11. lovsjaz says:

    Thrilled for you! There is NOTHING like it! Owen is bright eyed and adorable! Great advice “Glamma” Thanks for letting us in to the miracle of life!

  12. Susan D says:

    MAZELTOV! He’s a gorgeous little man. Even though your at a distance, you’ll be just as special to him and when he’s older and can come and stay with you, wow, that will be magic for him.

    How is Vincent? Hope he’s well.

    Susan D

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan! Thank you! Oh he can stay here anytime! And Vincent is doing well. He predicts a very deep snow this evening because his arthritis is bothering him! XOXOXOXO

  13. Juliet says:

    Isnt he beautiful!!!! Congratulations all round and doesnt Oona look so well, phenomenal. If I ever become a granma then Ill take your advice – I was on my own and my family was the other side of the world, I had to figure everything out as I went along whilst dealing with the absolute munchkin from hell (gravelguys mother no way can I ever call her MIL), you do get to own your successes that way the wonderful beings your bubbas become are all your doing. Oona will need you, maybe not right now as it is all a whirlwind but she will, no one is the same as “mum”and besides its a long game – those teenage years…… of course you’ll be needed 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet~ Oona bounced back terrifically! My Lord, it took me months but within a week she was almost back to normal! Oh those teenaged years—my mother always said what goes around comes around-LOL!! XOXOXOXO

  14. You’ll make a GREAT Grandma! What a little cutie pie, I’m in love <3

  15. vavashagwell says:

    He’s so cute!!!! You’ll be a fun granny!!

  16. Lise says:

    Congratulations Cathe! Owen is gorgeous and you look fabulous too!

  17. patty says:


  18. Marsha L. Calhoun says:

    So wonderful! What a lovely little lump of joy he is! Grandma-hood becomes you!

  19. suth2 says:

    Congratulations. Grandchildren give you so much joy.

  20. Maryellen Reardon says:

    This post is full of so much candor and love. I am so sorry you are not closer to Owen, and I know that feeling of being geographically close to my grandparents, but I think we all have a sense of your personality and I think as he grows Owen will get to know you very well through Zoom and visits. Your personality will shine through and reach him! It is wonderful that Owen has so many people who love him. What a blessed little boy he is!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maryellen! Thank you so much! Yeah. There is a waiting line of family to visit this little guy! He’s the king of the moment! And rightly so! XXOXOXOXO

  21. Liz McGarry says:

    I should have figured out that this is the reason you hadn’t blogged in awhile…what a doll and what a lucky grandma you are. I was lucky enough to have lived in the same location as the boys did so Allen and I were the close by grandparents. Don’t worry though…I’m sure you and Vincent will have a major impact on his life. He can be bilingual, you can teach him to cook, etc.,etc.,etc. Don’t fret…you got this.👍

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Liz! And thank you! Yeah. It’s incredible to think he’s three weeks old already! The aging process has begun! You’re lucky that you were the close grandparentsXOXOXOXOXO

  22. Ava Guastella says:

    Hi Cathe!! Congratulations on this little beautiful boy!! It’s such a crazy feeling when your baby has a baby isn’t it? My grandkids are about 2 1/2 hours from us and although it’s a car ride we’re still limited now with COVID, work and everything else. I must tell you though that my Mom was a long distance Grandma, we were in CT and she lived out West, Cali then AZ and only saw my kids twice a year, we would go for a week to her and she would come to us for a week. They were such wonderful visits, quality time. This is all before technology and video chatting so we didn’t have that luxury, but my Mom would send them a box of stuff once a month or so, she would gather items from the dollar store and the stuff from restaurants they give out for kids, crayons, coloring books and such, just to let them know they were always on her mind. My kids had a very loving and close relationship with their Grandma even though it was a long distance one and I’m sure you will do the same with Owen. Wishing you the best XXXOOO

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks for that Ava! You made me feel tons better–I’ve been thinking about distance for the past week and it’s making me sad but now you gave me a ray of sunshine!

  23. Barbara says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful Owen! ( gotta know what your co-ordinated hair is! Jamison? Love the color!)

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Barbara! Thank you! The Hair—it’s High Society by Gabor. I was wearimg very textured sweaters and since I’m all about protecting the fake hair, the shorter length of High Society works so well with those heavy sweaters! XOXOXOXO

  24. KEWLM0M says:

    Such a beautiful little family, Cathe – congratulations! Ya know, I think that maybe your visit was not so ill-timed… it sounds like you and the new parents communicated well (example – making a mess in the kitchen). Oona had just had a c-section, and is recuperating beautifully, but it is not always like that. And you were there, just in case. There is security in that for them, even while they are able to cope independently, And then there’s the emotional response to all of the hormones. It might have made her overwhelmingly sad if no one was there to celebrate this miracle of Owen. Maybe not, but you were there – just in case. You are quite self-aware, and already have a close bond with your daughter, so you won’t crowd her. Because you have the kind of relationship where she can and will let you know.

    And you will certainly be able to be close to your grandson. I grew up in Bucks County, and my Gammy lived in Brooklyn. We were extremely close. We visited back and forth when I was little. As i got older, we spent weeks together when we could, summers and holidays, wrote letters, and shared so much on the phone. She was a part of my life and will always be a part of who I am today. She nurtured and loved me from afar. And Owen will know and love you too. The distance will not prevent that.

  25. Fiona says:

    Cathe, little Owen Michael is beautiful and quite a bruiser at 8lbs and a fortnight early. You sound so proud of Oona and the way she is coping with motherhood. Many congrats all.

  26. Joan Brown says:

    Omg, Cathe, I just saw your blog about your visit today! I can identify with you so much about not living close by but let me reassure you, you will be Owen’s fun Grandma! Even though my kids, grandchildren and now great grandson live in PA and I am in Rhode Island, I feel very connected and I know you will develop a close relationship with Owen. I think Oona is a natural mother because of her upbringing with you! Take care and may God bless your beautiful family!🥰

  27. cathe says:

    Sorry to be late wishing you congrats new grandma! He’s beautiful just like you.

    I love that you’re a “messy” cook. That hit home! Guess great cooks work alike!

    BTW, I think your daughter is lucky to have a mom who loves her and wants to be there for her. I have a feeling she was happy to share such a joyous moment with you. ❤️

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