I’d like to tell you a story. (Isn’t that what Grandmas are suppose to do?)
So grab a cup of coffee (or two), some biscotti and join my adventure of “Becoming Grandma.”
It seems like an eternity ago that my husband Neil and I found out our daughter and son-in-law were expecting their first child. We were so overjoyed with the news and began to dream about that special day when we could hold our first grand baby in our arms! Because our daughter Taylor and her husband recently moved to Hawaii, we knew some advanced planning and scheduling would be necessary as we anticipated the joyous event.
In April, Taylor flew back for her baby shower. Because they wanted to wait and find out the gender (to her dad’s great frustration I might add!), I planned her baby shower around their nursery theme of vintage lambs. I had so much fun gathering lots of organic elements and textures in creams, beiges and browns. It was such a great day of celebration with dearly loved family and friends!
As Taylor’s June 28th due date drew near, we made our final reservations to fly to Hawaii. I was scheduled to come out two weeks before her due date so I could help her get things ready and be in the delivery room. My husband and other family members were flying out on July 1st, all the while desperately hoping the baby would not go past due. Well, Adair had other plans.
On Friday, May 31st, I happened to be in Anaheim with our two sons and some dear friends for a 3 day, 2 night trip to Disneyland. If you know me at all, traveling and over packing are synonymous! I try so hard not to over pack but I end up creating every imaginable scenario in my mind of why I might need additional clothes, shoes, accessories, etc… what if it’s warmer, hotter, casual, dressy. So for this trip, I decided to really make an effort to pack as lightly as I could. I managed to streamline my carry-on bag to 3 pairs of pants, 4 tops (two of which were my beloved San Francisco tees!), 2 light jackets, 2 pair of shoes and toiletries! I was so proud of myself! I even convinced myself that my iPhone camera would suffice for Mickey and Minnie!
Well, it happened… the phone call you don’t want to get. Taylor called me late Saturday evening on June 1st, to tell me that they were admitting her to the hospital to find out if she had pre-ecclampsia. Her blood pressure was high and she knew something was terribly wrong as she hadn’t been able to sleep and felt awful. She had just past her 36 week mark and the doctors were considering different options. I felt so helpless. Here I was in California, Neil was at home in Arizona and our daughter and son-in-law were in Hawaii. To top things off, Neil was already in bed and I couldn’t reach him all night as his phone was off.
With all of the dangers for a mom and baby dealing with pre-ecclampsia, (and yes, having just recently watched the devastating episode of Downton Abby dealing with this exact illness), I was comforted in knowing that my God is omnipresent and omniscient… everywhere at the same time and all powerful! Even though we couldn’t be with her, He was and He had everything in control!
I stayed up all night texting with Taylor and Nate. I am SO grateful for modern technology as it provided a small sense that I was right there with them. Around 3:00 in the morning her blood pressure had sky-rocketed to the 190’s/110’s and the doctors decided to induce her as she was at a great risk of having seizures as well as other complications. Although I wanted so desperately to be in the delivery room when the baby came, the most important thing was the health of Taylor and the baby.
While waiting for updates from Nate, I fervently searched for possible flights to Honolulu leaving from Phoenix later that day. I found a flight but because my boys and I were scheduled to leave Orange County to fly back to Phoenix at 1:00 pm., we would have just missed any of the flights to Hawaii. My heart ached as I prayed for Taylor, Nate and the baby.
As Sunday morning rolled around, I finally got a call from Neil. I’m sure he was assaulted with a gazillion “missed call” notifications when he checked his phone! After I updated him on all that was happening, I told him there was a flight leaving the next day from Phoenix if that was okay with him. Although not surprised by the words that proceeded to come out of his mouth, it left me speechless for a moment (I know hard to believe!)… “Why aren’t you flying out today straight from Los Angeles?”
My little life flashed in front of me and the first thought that came to me was, “But I don’t have my camera!” The fact that I could now be in Hawaii for 6 weeks and all I had was a carry on suitcase with 2 days worth of clothes didn’t even cross my mind! In case your thinking that was a really lame thing to say, let me explain… Taylor and I have been planning and dreaming about capturing every detail regarding the arrival of this little life. Neil’s response… “You can rent a camera there if you have to!”
So the flurry of madness began! I had 45 minutes to see if I could secure a flight from LAX before our taxi came to take us to Orange County Airport to head back to Phoenix. I felt like I was on some kind of crazy game show! Thankfully, our dear friends came to the rescue to find me a flight while the boys and I finished packing. My head was spinning with all of the things I that needed my attention at home but my heart soared at the possibility I could be with Taylor and Nate that evening. Just as the taxi cab driver arrived downstairs, we pushed the final button to secure my flight to Honolulu! Even though I hadn’t slept all night, I felt like I was dreaming!
Hold on… my adventure gets even better! After dropping the boys off at their destination, the taxi driver continued on to LAX. I love how God is in the small things as well as the big things. The same taxi driver previously brought us from the airport to our hotel and handed me his card and said to call if we needed him again. He was the kindest man and when I looked at his card he had at the top “Motto: Psalm 37 vs 4” (“Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.) Joe, the taxi driver, was such a blessing driving to the airport. We talked about God’s goodness, family and life’s blessings. It kept my mind off worrying about Taylor along with rescheduling the next two weeks of appointments, meetings, responsibilities, etc.) ***A side note… Joe the taxi driver called me the day after I arrived in Honolulu to see how Taylor was and if the baby came and if it was a boy or girl. Makes my heart smile!
After hurrying through security with my little carry-on bag, I felt like I could finally breathe. While at the gate waiting to board, Neil called me to see if I got there okay. He seemed to be out of breath when he asked me, “Okay, what do you need?” I asked him to repeat himself because I wasn’t sure what he meant. He replied, “What do you need, I’m coming out!” As soon as the words left his mouth I burst into tears. My heart fell deeper in love with him… again! Because things were so crazy at work, his original plan was to join me in July when the rest of our family was coming out. Funny what happens to a dad when his little girl is in trouble.
After composing myself, Neil said he was literally running out the door to catch his flight, so I said what only a respectable professional photographer and mom would say… MY CAMERA! As I described to him exactly where my camera bag and charger was, I prayed that this was a time that I actually had my camera body and all my lenses IN my camera bag! Minutes later he’s saying he loves me and will call with the details of when his plane would arrive.
As I sat on the ramp waiting for my plane to depart, my heart and mind bounced back and forth to my dear husband literally running to catch his flight in Phoenix, to our daughter and son-in-law in Hawaii and wondering if she and baby were okay and if the baby would arrive before my plane touched down to its connecting flight in Kauai. (Unfortunately the flight I was on didn’t have wifi!)
Before touching down in Kauai, I turned my phone on to see if there was any baby news. None yet. The anticipation was almost too much. I texted Nate to tell him when my flight to Honolulu would arrive and that I would take a taxi to the hospital. I decided not to tell him Neil was coming as it would be fun to surprise them. While waiting to board my flight in Kauai, Neil called to tell me he had just landed in Maui for his layover and that he would be arriving in Honolulu minutes after my plane touched down. It was crazy to think that we were both waiting on separate islands to catch our final flight to Honolulu all the while consumed with thoughts and prayers for our daughter and son-in-law and future grandchild! It felt as though we were acting the parts of an adventurous dramatic but romantic rendezvous of epic proportions… and then I realized we weren’t acting!
As my plane pulled into the Honolulu gate, I had a voice message from Nate and my heart stood still as I listened… still no baby news. He told me to text him when I was off the plane and he would pick me up outside of baggage. I had two thoughts after hearing his message… 1. we have a new grand baby or 2. I need to have a talk with my son-in-law about the importance of staying with your wife while she’s in labor! Of course, I had a strong feeling it was #1!
When I arrived at the baggage area, I was so happy and relieved to see Neil. I love the fact that after 29 years of marriage, my heart actually leapt like when we were high school sweethearts! We waited anxiously for Nate to pick us up as we were hoping he had some good news! As soon as we got into Nate’s car the first thing Neil asked was if there was a baby. Taylor still didn’t know Neil was coming and had asked Nate to wait to tell me the gender at the hospital so she could be there too. Well, unfortunately, she didn’t know Nate would have to be subjected to her father’s interrogation of pent up frustration not knowing their whole pregnancy what the baby was! Out of respect to his father-in-law, he folded and told us they had a little girl and that mom and baby were doing well! Those words were like music to my ears and I immediately offered thanks to the Lord for His goodness!
The 15 minute drive to the hospital seemed to go in slow motion. When we arrived at Taylor’s room, I went in first as we wanted to surprise her with Neil’s arrival. As soon as she saw her Dad walk through the door, she started to cry with joy. I still get choked up when I think about her response to seeing Neil… even though she is a mom herself, she will always be her Daddy’s little girl!
If you’re still with me… you’ve made it to the best part! Meeting our sweet, precious, granddaughter, Adair Faye Hoffman! I can’t count how many times people have told me how amazing it is to have grandchildren. I didn’t doubt them for one minute, but until you hold that beautiful gift from God in your arms… well, no words are adequate to describe what happens inside you. My life has just become fuller and I’ve completely fallen head over heals with this tiny 2 hour old 6 lb. 10 oz, 18 3/4 inch little darling.
Welcome to our family sweet granddaughter. Your grandma and grandpa are completely head over heals for you and pray you will always walk in the grace and love of your Creator and His son, Jesus Christ.
*Be sure to like my business Facebook page to see some pictures from Adair’s upcoming tropical, Hawaiian newborn sessions!
**Be sure to watch Adair’s video at the end!
***You can read Taylor’s story of Adair HERE
If viewing video from a smart phone or iPad, click HERE