The Year of Living Grandmotherly

In less than eleven months, both of my daughters have made me a grandma, Mimi, and both of them prematurely.

Unfortunately, I don’t mean that I wasn’t ready. Not at all.

Last May, Jerrica had Little Layla two months early (at 31 weeks) due to complications from preeclampsia, and a week ago, Natalie gave birth to Judson, three months early (at just 27 weeks), for the same reason. I thought Layla was devastatingly small at two pounds, fifteen ounces, until I met her cousin Judson, who was a mere pound and eight ounces.

Jerr Layla
Little Layla and Jerrica.
Teeny Judson and Natalie.

This stuff must be genetic, because it happened to me, too, though I don’t recall doctors calling it preeclampsia. When I was pregnant with Jerr, I lost my mucus plug and went into labor at 33 weeks. Doctors were able to stop the contractions with oral medication, but two days later, I was right back in the hospital in labor again. After the magnesium sulfate, something I also watched my daughters experience, more medication stopped the labor, and I was sent home on bedrest with a terbutaline pump (which research now shows causes maternal heart problems and death). At 37 weeks pregnant, on the day I was allowed to stop taking my medication, my water broke, and my first little bundle of joy was born at five pounds, thirteen ounces. (Connor was also almost four weeks early, weighing in at just over five pounds, but not Nat—she was two days overdue and a whopping 7 pounds, one ounce, compared to her siblings.)

The past eleven months have been some of the happiest of my life, blessed by our little miracle, Layla Lorraine, who I like to call my Peaches. Watching her grow, becoming stronger and more beautiful by the day, has given me answers to questions I asked after my own trauma nine years ago. Little Layla is my reason, and the tenuous circumstances that surround her birth have made her and my daughter that much more precious to me.

Now there’s Judson James, my Sweet Pea (the flower of April). Just over a week old, he has astounded us with his strength and energy, and how quickly he decided to breathe on his own. I can only imagine the protectiveness his mommy and daddy will use (and already are) fending for this tough little warrior until he can do it for himself. I didn’t know resilience in a baby that teeny or at his mother’s kick-ass level—a real-life wonder woman—existed until last week, and again, I can only use the word precious.

My two girls, Jerrica and Natalie.

And my two babies, Peaches and Sweet Pea.

Plus Connor.


I can’t wait to live this next year.

P.S. Happy 20th birthday to my one and only Poopy, Connor. XO.

One thought on “The Year of Living Grandmotherly

  1. As always, love reading your blogs Aimee. You have had enough trials and tribulations in your life for 5 people. Yet you always come out strong and are an inspiration to the rest of us. Praying for little Judson to fare as well as little Layla has. Love to all. Carmen

    Liked by 1 person

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