DAI rang on Wednesday night to tell me Nerys was in labour and to ask me to come to the hospital to bring him moral support and lots of cigarettes. As I travelled along the road to Bodelwyddan hospital I couldn't help remembering taking the same route almost 23 years ago to give birth to Dai himself - it seems such a short time ago.
John and Dilys,Nerys' parents, were at the bedside and Nerys lay looking pale and tired. I felt for her knowing what she had to go through; it was going to be a long night.
As the pains grew stronger I couldn't bear to watch.It's awful watching someone you love in pain so I went outside for the first of many cigarettes.
It was a freezing night with heavy fog that made the hospital grounds look very eerie,like a scene from an old black and white Jack the Ripper film. In the early hours of the morning when all was hushed and still and I shivered inside my thick coat,I noticed a movement from the corner of my eye; a tiny wood mouse ventured forth from the shrubbery and jerked along like a clockwork toy towards a discarded piece of chocolate muffin near a bin.
I stood stock- still as he broke off a small piece before running as softly and silently as a leaf blown in a breeze back to the shelter of the bushes. After a couple more trips he must have decided I was no threat so he sat on top of the muffin merrily eating his way through it watching me with eyes like blackberry seeds shining in the street light.
It was a very long night,each minute ticked by reluctantly and Einstein's theory of relativity sprang to mind. I had no reading matter and there was nothing to do but wait.
Dai came out of the delivery room now and again to give updates or to join me for a cigarette; he was far from his usual immaculate self as his hair was stood on end from running his hands though it every few seconds.
In spite of the bin provided the ground outside the door was littered with hundreds of cigarette ends, a testimony to the nerves of expectant fathers and grannies and I wouldn't have been at all surprised to hear the Mahonias bushes cough - they were on at least three packs a day.
At 2.45 a blackbird started singing. He was perched on top of the building and his beautiful song rang out into the still night,crystal clear notes tumbling into the darkness. I thought about the war that had started that day and despaired at the madness of it all.
At 6 am the blackbird was still singing as I went to phone my beloved and tell him there was still no news but that Dai had said he thought the birth was imminent.
Nerys was exhausted,he told me,and he didn't look too clever himself - he'd been working all day and was just about done in. I had to go home to meet a deadline and arrived just as my beloved was on his way to work.
Shortly afterwards Dai rang to tell me that it was all over, the baby was born - a little boy as yet unnamed. He weighed 7lbs 10ozs in old money and is the spitting image of his father.
That evening when I went to visit,John asked anxiously if Dai's hands had been big when he was born and the memory of his birth came flooding back; he threw a pair of shaky hands into the air like a gospel singer and I remarked to his father that he put me in mind of an Alsatian puppy,huge paws that would have to be grown into.
At over six feet tall he's grown into them all right, so it looks like his baby will grow into a very tall man.
My daughters are as delighted with him as they were with their brother. I had a good cry when it was all over, tears of joy and gratitude that I am fortunate enough to be blessed with another perfect grandchild. And though. I joke that it would have been nice to have a girl for a change,I'm pleased as punch to have five grandsons.
I looked down on the tiny little scrap of humanity and wondered yet again at the miracle of birth.He's a lucky little boy to be surrounded by two families who adore him. I wish him a long and wonderful life and I hope he gives his parents a fraction of the joy his father and aunts have brought me.
I had a good cry... tears of joy that I'm fortunate enough to be blessed with another perfect grandchild
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Mar 29, 2003|
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