My Grandchild’s Journey Parts 5 & 6

My Grandchild’s Journey:

A little over 3 years ago, upon learning of the impending birth of my first grandchild, I decided to document my thoughts so I could share them someday with what I didn’t know at the time would be my first of 2 grandsons.  I ended up writing 8 short pieces over several months and then got busy on other projects and discontinued my journal.  Over the next few days I’ll publish these raw drafts as a tribute to my first grandson and his little brother who is now closing in on his fourth month among us. Since they were short entries, I’ll be posting them 2 at a time.

My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 5

At 22 weeks, my grandson has more than doubled his size in a little over a month.  In another 2 weeks he’ll enter his third trimester, beginning his rapid acceleration in development towards his debut with the world on or about March 19, 2011.

As his nervous system develops, his sense of touch and taste are being readied for the countless sensations that await him in the new world he is about to enter.

He is now about the size of a cabbage and is already beginning to recognize the sound of his mother’s voice.

While our grandson develops under the perfectly synchronized and watchful eye of Mother Nature, my wife and I are discussing how we want to be addressed by our first grandchild.  Will he use the traditional mom- mom and pop- pop or something else?  I say leave it up to him, and of course, his soon-to-be grandmother has other ideas.

Whatever he decides to call me, I look forward to helping him avoid making some of the mistakes I have made, while knowing he will encounter the inevitable ups and downs we all face in life.  I want him to know that I’ll be there for him to keep his head screwed on straight during the high times and to provide consolation and comfort during his low times.

My grandson will be coming into the world during a very dangerous and difficult time.  Our political leaders have mortgaged his future for nothing other than securing their re-election and appeasing special interest groups.  Fanatical terrorists are targeting my grandson’s homeland in the name of a perverted interpretation of their religion, with a mission to kill Americans for no other reason than we are who we are.

My grandson’s generation has a lot of work to do to clean up the mess he is being born into.  I know that he will be up to the challenge.

My Grandson’s Journey: Part 6  (written 9/11/11)

It’s been awhile since my last post and a lot has happened.  My grandson was born exactly one month early and is now nearly 7 months old.  He is healthy and happy and a joy to be around.

As a grandparent I treasure every moment I am with him and enjoy his company as much or more than the time I spend with others who think their communication skills are more evolved than his.  I question their assertion on this point at times but hold my tongue.

As I reflect today on the horrible events that occurred 10 years ago on 9/11, I realize how fragile life is and how precious the time that I spend with my grandson is.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed and I am committed to doing everything in my power and to give everything I have, including my life, if need be, to insure a safe and happy life for my grandson.

I never imagined how special being a grandparent would be until I was able to hold this little boy in my arms as he slept, to comfort him when he was startled by a noise, or to hold him as he drinks his bottle and falls asleep, his stomach full, and knowing that he feels loved and safe in my arms.

Its grandparents’ day next Wednesday at his daycare center.  I can’t wait!

My Grandchild’s Journey Parts 3 & 4

My Grandchild’s Journey:

A little over 3 years ago, upon learning of the impending birth of my first grandchild, I decided to document my thoughts so I could share them someday with what I didn’t know at the time would be my first of 2 grandsons.  I ended up writing 8 short pieces over several months and then got busy on other projects and discontinued my journal.  Over the next few days I’ll publish these raw drafts as a tribute to my first grandson and his little brother who is now closing in on his fourth month among us. Since they were short entries, I’ll be posting them 2 at a time.

My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 3

At 18 weeks it’s official.  My grandchild is now my grandson.

At 18 weeks my grandson’s arms, legs, fingers, and toes are formed and functional.  His spine, ribs, and the rest of his 206 bones are clearly visible by sonogram.  The two hemispheres of his brain are easily seen even though he only weighs 7 ounces.

As my family and I viewed the sonogram, my daughter’s doctor pointed out the indisputable evidence that her baby was indeed a boy.

Now, picking a name and choosing the right room colors and baby furniture takes on a new sense of urgency for my daughter and her husband, while the rest of the family debates what football team’s colors the newest member of our family should wear on the trip home from the hospital next March.

At 18 weeks my grandson was trying to put his thumb in his mouth.  He was moving on his own and we could see his heart beating in his chest.

At 18 weeks my grandson is already a part of our family as we continue to watch him grow and develop.

And at 18 weeks, under current U.S. law, my grandson could still be aborted simply because his parents decided that now is not the right time to have a baby.

Thousands of times every day in America a baby’s fate is determined in this manner and the chance for a new life to make its mark on the world is denied.

My grandson will be given the opportunity to make his mark on the world and he’ll do it with the love and support of his family.

I can only hope that his presence in the world will inspire just one more person to make the right choice and choose life.

My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 4

At 20 weeks my grandson is the size of an eggplant and weighs about 11 ounces.  And my beautiful and very petite daughter has barely gained a pound.  She is, however, beginning to display a slight rounding on her normally flat stomach, evidence of the new and rapidly developing life nestled comfortably inside, having now completed slightly more than half his journey to birth.

At this stage of life my grandson is able to discern and react to sound.  He is becoming more active and the resulting feeling described by my daughter as fluttering in her stomach is becoming more frequent.

As his growth and development accelerates, my grandson is moving his new found arms and legs with more vigor, almost as if he were testing them to learn how to use them and discovering what they are for.

When my grandson is welcomed to the world next March, he will begin his life in a world full of unprecedented challenges and opportunities.  As a family, we will always be honest with him about life’s challenges while we teach him that the only real limits in life are the ones we place upon ourselves.

I hope my grandson will read this someday and know that my generation did everything in our power to make the world a better place for his generation.  I hope he will grow up in a society that has renewed its reverence for life at every stage, from conception to natural death.   And I hope that he learns very early in life, not to take anything too seriously.

And finally, after what I pray is a long and fruitful life, I hope he can look back and reflect on his life and know that the world is a better place because he was here.

My Grandchild’s Journey Parts 1 & 2

My Grandchild’s Journey:

A little over 3 years ago, upon learning of the impending birth of my first grandchild, I decided to document my thoughts so I could share them someday with what I didn’t know at the time would be my first of 2 grandsons.  I ended up writing 8 short pieces over several months and then got busy on other projects and discontinued my journal.  Over the next few days I’ll publish these raw drafts as a tribute to my first grandson and his little brother who is now closing in on his fourth month among us.  Since they were short entries, I’ll be posting them 2 at a time.

My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 1

Beginning with this post, I will be chronicling my first grandchild’s journey from 12 weeks after conception to birth, and beyond.

My daughter and son in law are complicit in a miracle; a miracle that the greatest minds the world has ever known cannot explain.  No one can explain how the miraculous spark of life began my grandchild’s journey to birth where he or she will join over 6 billion other human beings.  This child will be one of us and at the same time will be totally unique and different from any other human being that ever has or ever will exist.  On or about the middle of next March, we will welcome this one of a kind bundle of joy to the world.

At 12 weeks my grandchild was 2 ½” long, about the size of a peanut.  Even at this stage of life he or she already presented an image that was unmistakably human.

As this special gift continues to grow and flourish in my daughter’s tummy, we have started to lobby for our choice of names, while we all know the final choice will rest with the parents.

My daughter and her husband chose life.  They could have seen her pregnancy as a horrible mistake or an inconvenience and ended the life of this child under our laws. They could have gone about living their lives without the responsibility of having to care for a child and worrying about runny noses and dirty diapers, but they didn’t.

None of us knows what the future holds for this child but we do know my grandchild will be given a chance to have a future.

The sad reality is that millions of babies in America will have the chance for a future denied them for all the wrong reasons and to all our detriment between now and the time my grandchild is born.

I know it sounds corny, but it’s true.  It’s not a choice, it’s a life.

My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 2

At 16 weeks my grandchild is developing at an incredible rate.  In the past 4 weeks he or she has doubled in length and increased in body mass from the size of a peanut to that of a large pear.

Even at this early stage of life, a strong heartbeat is easily detectable and my grandchild is irrefutably a living, unique, human being, having been endowed by our Creator with the very same right to life as you and me.  My grandchild is, at the same time, evidence of the fragility of life and the relentless nature of a new life seeking its place in the world.

Just 16 weeks ago my grandchild did not exist.  Today this child’s DNA is directing its development with a precision that dwarfs the ability of all the world’s super-computers.  The unseen signals emanating from my grandchild’s DNA will orchestrate his or her journey to birth, and has already programmed its bodily functions and characteristics for its entire life.

Just like the miraculous spark of life that started my grandchild’s journey, the intricacies of the genetic code, while slowly being unraveled, are still not fully understood.  And just how a human being’s genetic code and DNA is originally programmed still defies explanation.

In less than 2 weeks a sonogram will be performed to confirm that all the body parts of one of the world’s newest citizens are developing properly.  From that point its development and preparation for live birth will continue to accelerate.

The more I ponder the impending birth of my grandchild, the more questions I have.  When the universe was created it contained a finite amount of iron.  Where did the iron in my grandchild’s blood come from?  What is the animating life force that is controlling my grandchild’s heartbeat as I write this, and where does it come from?  What will make his or her hair and fingernails grow and how will every scrape and bruise my grandchild ever gets begin to heal and continue to heal without him or her even knowing it is happening?

Maybe my grandchild will be the one who can finally answer these questions.