Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday 27th December 2009

Hello Little Em,
What a busy girl you have been! On Christmas Eve you went to Patty's for a family Christmas dinner. Jeff and Gail were there with Brian and Craig and their friends Katz and Gunza from Johannesburg. Greg and Shaz came, Michelle Moller, John, Finn and me.
Christmas is a time of giving and you got more presents than all of us but you kinda slept through it all!

Then on Christmas Day you came to our house and got more presents. We bought you a three-ring blow up swimming pool so that Tammy and Mark can sit in it with you on a hot day. You also got new clothes, toys, and a useful goody to help you learn to sit when you are a bit older.
You looked very sweet in your Christmas outfit with a little hat that Phyllis gave you.
Your Mom and Dad gave us lovely photos of you in frames. You look even smaller then! Now you have put on weight and have got a beautiful complexion.

Here are a few photos of you, your Mom, Mark and me on Christmas day. Your 2nd cousins Craig and Brian stayed with us and two of their friends from school in Johannesburg. It was a busy day with other visitors, Phyllis and Philip Russel, John and in the afternoon Shane and Nadine arrived with their two girls, Michelle and Monique. I remember them as babies and now they are all grown up. Its going to be really strange to watch you grow up little Em.
Mark and Tammy gave us all photos of you in lovely frames. Patty was so touched by her frame with three photos of you that she nearly cried.

You are watching Phyllis as she
talks to you in this photo.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday 20 December

Hello my darling Em,
We had a very special day today! This morning I wrapped Christmas presents and took this photograph of the first present we have bought for you! You are still too young to understand but by next Christmas you will be 14 months old and it is going to be very special.
The other thing that made yesterday so special is that you and your Mom and Dad had a swim in our pool! Tammy put 50 factor block-out cream on you, put a little denim hat on and carried you into the water. You were unsure at first but when Mark and Tammy held you and gently moved you about you seemed to enjoy it.

And then, after your 7pm feed, Tammy bathed you in our bath - your first bath in our house.
I think you are going to be a water-baby! You loved your bath. Here is a short video I took of you in the bath.

Every time I see you I see a change. You are growing so fast and you are trying to smile. You also 'talk' making lots of different sounds.
You are our little miracle Em and we all love you very much.
See you at Patty's for your first Christmas Eve dinner!

Friday, December 12, 2008

13th DECEMBER 2008 - 8 weeks old

Hello little Em,
You are 8 weeks old today and had to go for your 6-in-1 shots for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, HIB (Haemophylis Influenza type B Virus) and Hepatitis B. Mark phoned to say that you weigh 4.3kg!! That is really great! But, we can see how you are growing. Your little arms and legs don't look like sticks anymore and you have a little double chin!
Last Saturday night you went to your first 60th birthday party! It was Sharon's Dad's birthday and they had a dinner at the Westville Bowling Club. You were so good, only woke up once for a feed and then went straight back to sleep, even with all the noise of the music and laughter.
On Monday I popped in to drop some stuff off at your new home and Tammy let me hold you while she sorted out the washing and ironing. You were tired but didn't want to sleep so I spoke to you, sang to you, walked around with you and eventually you closed your eyes and nodded off.
On Tuesday I took Patty to visit you in the morning. Patty hasn't seen you for three weeks and couldn't get over how much you have grown! We both had a turn to hold you while Tammy went to have a shower and change. She dressed you into a a sweet little outfit and then got ready to take you out for the afternoon.
On Wednesday night we went to a braai at your house - the first braai in your new home. You were out with Tammy at a
hen party in Amanzimtoti and didn't get home until after 10pm. You were sleeping in your little car seat so Tammy took you straight to your cot.
This weekend you have gone to a wedding on the Midlands Meander. Your Mom is a bridesmaid and I'm sure you are all going to have a wonderful time. Mark said that you had a slight fever from the injection so they were giving you baby Panado. I'm sure you will be fine once the injection has worn off.
I walked on the Umhlanga front this morning. It was a beautiful morning - deep blue sky, deeper blue sea with little white waves, rock pools, and golden beaches. There were a lot of people walking along the front, and on the beaches. Some with prams and some with little children in their beach clothes: little girls in sun dresses and sun hats carrying spades and buckets. Every time I saw a baby in a pram or a little girl walking along I thought of you. You will love the beach and playing in the sand, Em. There are so many wonderful things for you to see and do as you grow up, I really hope that you have the opportunity to experience everything wonderful in this world.
I don't have any latest photographs for the blog but these are a few of the professional photos that Mark and Tammy had done a few weeks ago. You've changed quite a lot since these were taken. I just love the one of you in your first Christmas hat!!

Take care sweet Em.
Big hug and kisses,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2nd December 2008 - new home in Anthony mews

Hello little Em,

I've been really sick so haven't posted anything here for a while. I don't usually get sick easily but your Grand-Aunt Patty has had a chest infection and a cold and I think I caught it from her. I'm much better now though.
You will be moving home on Friday. Last week we went to your place at No. 7 Shiraz in Peach Place, Glen Hills to help replace curtain rails, pack a few boxes and generally help where we could.
Mark and Tammy moved into this simplex when Tammy moved to Durban and thought they would be there for years. But, the owner is coming back from Australia and gave them notice to move by the end of January.
 They didn't want to wait until after Christmas, so Finn and I helped look for a new place and we were thrilled when they liked the little simplex in Anthony Mews. There is a lovely view of the sea from the two front bedrooms - and from the front garden - and it is light an airy. We like it too, especially because you will all be that much closer to us now!
It was a very special day for me because I got to hold you for about 2 hours! You had just gone to sleep and Tammy hadn't eaten anything. She didn't want to put you down in case you woke up, so I held you. For the first time I could take a good look at you.
You are so perfect Em - like a miniature girl. I could see a vein on your head and a pulse on your throat. I watched you make all sorts of faces! At times your eyes were half open and it was as though you were looking at me. You opened and closed your mouth, swallowed, smiled, burped, made sucking noises. I had your body resting on my left arm and felt your chest with my fingers.
It was quite warm and you started to perspire so I opened the blanket a little bit. You have perfect shoulders and arms and your little fingers are long with delicate nails. I could almost feel your heart beating on my heart - it was like a miracle.
You are a miracle Em - a real, 100% miracle. You are like an unexpected gift; the most wonderful, miraculous gift! Every now and then Finn - your Gumpy - came to peer down at you and he too just shook his head and whispered, "Miracle, she's a miracle."
Now that I am better I will be able to help with the move on Friday. I can't wait to see you again.
Gentle kissies,

Friday, November 21, 2008

15th NOVEMBER 2009 - A visit to Greg's

Hello little Em,

Mark and Tammy brought you to Greg's new simplex for a braai last night. It was so sweet to see you again. Every time I see you  have changed. The reddish/yellow colouring that you came home with from the hospital has gone now and you are a beautiful, pink and roses baby.
Tammy looked tired. It is exhausting looking after a new baby. You are so small but so helpless and very demanding.
 People say, "Oh, if the baby is fed, warm and dry, they will sleep all day." Well, I know and you know - and Mark and Tammy now know - that's not true! Babies like to air their lungs. You aired your yours for about half an hour and then you slept for the rest of the night. Greg was a niggly baby. He screamed for nearly three months until I was so exhausted I could have smothered him! But, mothers don't do that. Mothers have these murderous thoughts and then when the baby is sleeping, they look at their sleeping child and melt inside; and feel so guilty for having had bad thoughts and just want to hold them and hug them - but they don't want to wake them up either!
One day you will understand because you will be a mother and you will remember what I have written here and you will know that you are normal!
Sleep tight little Em,
I love you,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

6th November 2008 - Your great-grandmother

Hello little Em,
I was cleaning the spare room this morning - I am doing the whole house, one room a day - and happened to look at the photograph of my Mom on the wall.
I said to her, "Hey Mom, what do you think about Emily Ann?" She is smiling in the photo and I know that she would have loved you - very much. It gave me a lump in my throat to think that she will never know you or hold you.
Let me tell you a bit about your Great-grandmother.
She was born on 1st August 1921 - the 2nd youngest of five children - and lived most of her childhood outside Dundee on a farm called 'Dawn'.
Her parents named her Jacomina Magritha Johanna Moolman (quite a mouthful hey?) Her family called her Mina but later on in life she became known as May. Your Dad and uncle Greg called her Gogo-May.
The other children were - in order of age - Alida (Tannie Ali), Hansie, Thys and Wessel. The first daughter in all the families were given the name Alida (which was her mother's name). Patty's second name is Alida and Oom Thys' oldest girl is Alida.
I never met Wessel because he died when I was 17. I went to the funeral in Johannesburg with my mother and that was the first time I'd been on an aeroplane. Passenger air travel was still young in 1964 - the first jet airliner, the Boeing 707, was only introduced 5 years earlier in 1959. So, it was very exciting for me to fly on an aeroplane.
Tannie Alie was married to Piet Lombard. They couldn't have children but they adopted Oom Piet's nephew, Leon.
Aunty Hansie married a Van Wyk and they had three children, two girls and a boy but the boy, Boetie, died when he was child. I think he was what they used to call a 'Blue Baby' - he didn't get enough oxygen to the heart. The first operation to correct this was only done in 1944 - too late for poor Boetie.
Thys had 5 children but I have only met three of them - Alida, Hannetjie and Marina. I think the other two are boys.
May married Albert Dodgen, and had Patty (1943) and me (1947). He had been married before and had a son from that marriage. We never saw him when we were children. He was older than us and he stayed with his mother who wouldn't have anything to do with Albert. May and Albert divorced and May remarried in 1957. In 1958 my young half-brother (your uncle Jeff) was born. May's 2nd husband Les Leaver, my step-father, died 3 weeks before Greg was born in May 1975.
May was a wonderful person. She had to work hard all her life and did her best to raise Patty and me when she was left on her own after Albert left. She doted on her grandchildren and loved your father very much. I think she would have been tickled pink to have seen him with his own daughter!
She was artistic and loved to dance - I think Patty gets that from her, although Albert was a musician so he must've been artistic too. She loved walking (perhaps I got that from her) and played bowls until her health deteriorated. She loved to cook for her family (now Patty has taken over that role) and we went to her every Sunday for years.
I really miss my mother. When Mark was at school I visited her four times a week and near the end, every day. When she became almost housebound, we had time to speak about a lot of things and there was no unfinished business between us. It is good to have that kind of relationship with the people close to you. Once they have gone its too late to say the things you wanted to say.
I wish you could have known her Em. She raised two girls so I'm sure you and she would have got on well.
Next time I'll tell you about your other Great-grandmother, Granny Annie (Gumpy's mother).
Take care little Em,
Love you lots,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

5th November 2009 - two weeks old

Hello little Em,
Today was your actual expected birth date. They were going to do the caesarean on 27th October (just in case you had fragile bones) but you arrived on the 16th October - so even though you will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, you are only full-term today. You are still tiny Em. I feel like we must enjoy you as a little baby because you are going to grow so quickly and we will forget what you were like as a new born.
Tammy said that you are having a growth spurt. I looked it up on the Internet:

During the first year of life, your baby will grow at an amazing rate. Your baby will grow the most during the first year of life than she ever will again. Most babies will have tripled their birth weight and grown 8-10 inches during the first year! It is common for a baby to experience his first growth spurt by 7-10 days after birth and again at 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months. A typical growth spurt can last anywhere from 2 days to a week. Go with the flow and follow your baby's feeding cues. Allow her to eat as often as she needs to meet the needs of her growing body. Because your child will be awake more often to eat, it is common for them to be fussier than normal due to lack of sleep.

On Saturday night we went to your home for a braai. It was the first time I had a good chance to just sit and stare at you. You are a little miracle and you don't even know it! The fact that you are a perfect, normal baby is a miracle. There was a 50/50 chance that you would have OI - like the toss of a coin: heads you have it and tails you don't. We are all stunned and relieved and so thankful that you don't have it.

It was such a lovely surprise yesterday afternoon when your Mom and Dad popped in here unexpectedly - your first visit to your grandparent's home. Mark and Tammy had been to collect your birth certificate. You are now officially a person - with an ID number.
You were so alert, turning your head to the light and to the windows. I watched you as Mark was holding you and whenever he spoke you turned and looked at him intently.

It was unreal to look at my son - my baby - sitting there holding his baby daughter! How can that be? Who are you Em? Where did you come from? What I mean is, where did 'you' come from? Where were you until now? You seem to have a personality already and I hear Tammy say, "She likes her white blanket", or "she doesn't like the blue dummy." Can you have likes and dislikes at three weeks of age?
In this short video, you can see that you will have dimples like your Mom and Granny Laura.

Friday, October 31, 2008

30th and 31st October 2008 - At Patty's family dinner

Hello little Em,
Wednesday was a strange day. It was warm in the morning , then it got cloudy in the afternoon, started thundering and a very strong wind - like a mini-hurricane - came from the north-east. It blew and rattled our blinds, sent branches and leaves flying over the house and within half an hour the sun started to come out and a beautiful double rainbow arced across the horizon. You will love rainbows - they are so pretty
and they tell us that the rain is almost over.

What a lovely surprise to have you and your Mom and Dad at Patty's family dinner last night! I didn't think Mark and Tammy would want to drive all the way from Glen Anil with a tiny baby but they had you warmly wrapped up and you spent most of the evening swaddled in your little orange carry chair like a cocoon!
Patty is my only sister and is your grand-aunt. She is 3 years older than me but she is quite frail. Patty has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) and feels that her years are numbered - so she really values her family nights on a Thursday. She was so thrilled that Mark and Tammy brought you to her place. Her little Yorkshire Terrier, Muffin, was very confused by your little whimper noises. When you gave a little 'meow' sound, she ran to the door and started barking! We are sure she thought she'd heard a cat! You will love Muffy - she is a sweet little dog and just the right size for a little girl.

Every Thursday Patty prepares a big meal for all of us - last night there were nine people at the table. Greg and Sharon sat at one head and Patty at the other. Finn, Richard and I on one side and Mark, Tammy and John on the other.
Richard had cooked spare ribs on the braai, Patty made chips and I made a big salad.
Now about John. John is my walking friend - he is 75 years old and has walked many thousands of kilometers around Europe. We have made him an honorary great-grandfather! Last night Tammy asked John if he would like to hold you. He was very nervous and quite overawed by the experience. (John is a bachelor and has never had children). He thought you were a miracle and told Tammy that he thought she was wonderful because she knew how to care for you.
Richard - Mark's 20 year-old cousin (my brother's oldest son) also held you. He lives in Johannesburg but has been staying with Patty for a few weeks. Richard idolizes Mark and couldn't wait to hold his baby. He was so thrilled when Tammy asked him if he would like to hold you too.
You were so good little 'Milly. You slept and only woke up for a feed and a change of nappy and then you went back to sleep again.

31st October:

We've just had an sms from Mark to say that they took you to clinic today and you have put on 300g!! That is wonderful news - you have no regained all the weight you lost while you were in hospital.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday 28th October - Birdie

Hello little Em,
We went to visit you all this morning - Grumps cut the lawn and tidied up the flower beds and I helped Mark and Tammy by washing the dishes.
Mark cooked dinner last night - roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. It was their anniversary so he wanted to do something special for Tammy.

Tammy calls you Birdie - because when you are hungry you open your mouth and cry just like a hungry little bird.
Actually, you are almost full term now. Originally the gynae set your birth date at 5th November - then 29th October. So, you should only have been born tomorrow.

You are growing before our eyes! You are only 12 days old but already your eyes stay open longer and you seem to follow sounds. I chatted to you and you smiled at me! I'm sure it was a smile and not just a burp face!
I wonder what colour eyes you will have Em? At the moment they are like little kitten's eyes - slate grey and unfocused. Your Mom has dark brown eyes and Mark has hazel/green eyes.
It is going to be wonderful when you look at us and recognize us - so many people who love you, darling little Em.
You are feeding well - now you must get into a day - night routine so that your Mom and Dad can sleep!
Big hug,

Friday, October 24, 2008

23 OCTOBER 2008 - I held you

Hello little Emily,

This is a picture of you sucking your Daddy's finger.
Finn and I visited you yesterday and it was so nice to hold you, to look at you and just spend some time with you. I was able to hold you for a while and talk to you. It seemed as though you were listening - perhaps you recognized my voice? I told you that you were my little 'Milly and that I was your Silly and that we would be friends forever!
You are tiny! You've got fair hair - quite a lot of hair. You have got a straight nose - Mark calls it a plastic surgeon's nose because it is so perfect. You've got Mark's little pointy chin (perhaps that is the Aadnesgaard genes? Your fingers are long and you've got perfect fingernails. Your little arms and legs look so skinny and your feet are long! I counted your fingers and toes just to make sure that they are all there.
After Tammy fed you I held you against my shoulder to burp you and you fell asleep! We stayed for a little while and then put you down so that Mark and Tammy could also have a lie down or sleep. Mark told us today that just 10 minutes after we left you woke up and that was the end of their afternoon sleep!
You will get into a routine soon. This stage goes by so quickly and before they know it you won't be a tiny baby anymore.
I am going to visit you again tomorrow afternoon - can't wait!
Try to sleep Em so that your Mom and Dad get some rest.
Love you baby,

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hello little Em,

You've had quite a rough time my darling.
First you developed Jaundice and had to go under the blue light.
Then you lost 300g, which is a lot for a little body that only weighs 2.9kg.
You've had X-rays, blood taken and a feeding tube up your nose.
Because you have been under the blue light, we haven't seen you since Friday.
Tammy was discharged but is staying in the hospital as a boarding mother so that she can still feed you and be with you when you need her.
Mark phoned this morning to say that Dr Roos had checked you and was happy that you had put on 110g and might be able to go home later on today. Mark has been sleeping over with us - we are only 7km from the hospital so he gets to stay longer with Tammy at night.
We all want you to go home now sweetie.
Love you,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

16 October - WELCOME EMILY ANN!!!

Today, my baby had a baby,
Today, my child became a Dad.
Yesterday I was a mother, 
 Today I am a Gran!

Mark phoned us early this morning to say that Tammy had been admitted, Doctor Batchelder had examined her and said that you were on the way.

Now, I had planned on taking photographs of the sunrise on your birth day. Sunrise today was 05:18 but it was misty and raining so I went around the garden taking photographs of some of the flowers that are blooming now. It is springtime and the Azaleas are spectacular: the Wisteria is in bud, the Petrea is a cloud of blue and the wild Iris are all pregnant with white buds.
A theatre was booked and at 9:05am you were delivered weighing just under 3kg - a perfect size for a little girl! Mark was there and he and the
anaesthetist took many photographs of your first few minutes in the world. Dr J Roos, the paediatrician, was there and he examined you and did a special test.
Then they wheeled you away to the nursery, with Mark following close behind, where special baby x-ray were done of your skull, chest and spine. There was an anxious wait for a couple of hours (they were very busy this morning) and then the results came through - there is no evidence of OI.
We only caught a quick glimpse of you as you were wheeled through to the nursery but at visiting hours, between 3 and 4 for visitors, and 4 to 5 for grand-parents, we finally saw you in Tammy's arms.
I wore a mask so that I could hold you. You are so tiny. You have got long fingers, with perfect nails, and long feet. We jokingly said that you wouldn't need flippers to go swimming! You have the sweetest little profile. Because you didn't have to push through the birth canal, your face doesn't look all squashy like some new born babies do. I think you look like your Dad - you have his chin and the same colour hair. Mark stayed with you and Tammy until after 8h30pm and then came home to us to sleep the night (we are only 7km from Parklands). He told us then about the caesarean and the baby test which they do at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth which you passed 10 out of 10 both times.
Mark asked me what it felt like to be a grandmother and I said, "I don't know yet." I think I felt more like a grandmother when he told us that he and Tammy were pregnant. I don't think the actual 'you are my grand-daughter and I am your grandmother' has actually registered yet!
We are going to visit you again this afternoon and I think Tammy might go home tomorrow, Saturday.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two weeks to go!!

Hello little Em,
Officially there are two weeks left until the date you are due to arrive - but, if Tam has a Caesarean on 27th October, there are only 12 more sleeps left!!
Finn painted a chest of drawers for your room and the nursery looks ready - all it needs now is a precious little girl to occupy it!!

Mark phoned to say that they think you might be trying to make your way into the world tonight! They phoned the ante-natal sister and the hospital and they were to wait an hour, see if there are any changes and then make a decision later.
Everything is ready for you Em.
I actually hope you don't come tonight - or even this week because I've had a cold and it is still there and I won't be allowed near you until I'm 100% better. So, wait a few days my girl! Let me get rid of this sniffy nose and irritable cough before you arrive.
I can almost hear your voice now!
Stay safe, we are all longing to see you and hold you,

Friday, October 10, 2008

10th OCTOBER 2008 - Your first Party!!

Good morning Little Em,
Last Saturday we had a 'Baby Shower' for you and your Mom and Dad. Usually only women go to Baby Showers but Mark wanted his friends to be there too, so we had a few Daddies and wanna-be Daddies and a few guys who seemed bemused by the whole thing!
Lauren brought her precious little 5 week old Taylor. I kept looking at her and wondering if you would like like her!
The party was at lunch time so we served a light lunch. Patty and I found Polka-dot plates, place mats and serviettes so the theme was Polka-dots - just like some of the accessory in your nursery.
You got so many gifts Em - I don't know where they are going to put them all. You have already got enough clothing to last you three years at least!
It was a lovely party and you were the main attraction! You are going to be welcomed into a community of friends and family who all love you already.
On Monday your Mom went for another scan and it showed that you have moved sides. They have estimated that you weigh over 3kg already and, with three weeks still to go, you could be a big baby.Everything is well with Mom and Dad so now it is just a matter of time before you make your appearance!
The Paediatrician will be present at the delivery to do a physical check. Your Dad will go with you to have x-rays of your limbs, spine and skull. They might be able to tell from these x-rays whether or not you have osteogenesis imperfecta. So far there is no sign - no fractures and no deformities. We are all praying for you little Em.
Lots of love,