Loreto delights in first time grandparenting

Loreto delights in first time grandparenting

When Mater’s Manager Administration Services Loreto Lotz speaks about becoming a grandmother for the first time with four month old Hamish, she practically bounces in her chair with excitement and joy.

“I love it! It’s one of my favourite subjects of conversation,” Loreto gushes.

The journey started right when Loreto was told she was going to be a grandmother and was included in antenatal appointments with daughter Jacquelyn and husband Tommy.

Loreto can still remember that phone call she got on a Friday at three o’clock in the morning saying they were on their way to the hospital and asked how long it would take for her to get there.

“We had never actually discussed if I was going to go into the birth or anything like that. I said I’d get there when I could, and she said ‘well don’t take too long’ and so I came along and expected her to be in the Pregnancy Assessment Centre (PAC) but she was actually in full labour,” she said.

“At the birth suite door when the midwife told Jacquelyn I was there, she just yelled out ‘GET IN HERE!’

“I was given one job to do and I didn’t do it well. It was to give Jacquelyn her water bottle, and let her sip it. Of course, I didn’t open the water bottle, I just gave it to her thinking she would use her teeth like she’s always done, but no,” Loreto laughs.

“It was so lovely to be welcomed into that part of the journey with them, but I suppose that’s the relationship I have with my daughter all the time,” she said.

Hamish was born and Loreto is sure people would think she was the only person who’d ever become a grandmother.

“That’s how I felt. I went out to the girls at the Mater Mothers front desk and told them I’d just become a grandmother! They just said ‘we know–we’ve just got the paperwork!’” she laughs.

“As I was having cuddles a few hours after he was born I realised I would have taken that baby all over the hospital and shown him off. I was just on cloud nine!

Loreto will always be on hand to help with life’s stressful moments such as discussing what to do when Hamish has a temperature.

“I got off the phone and said to my husband that it’s been more than 25 years since I’ve had a baby, and how would I know what to do?!” Loreto said.

Loreto believes there’s no doubt that being a grandparent changes you even when you don’t realise it.

“My husband now finishes work at 2 pm and goes straight over to Jacquelyn’s place in the afternoon so they can go for a walk, which is pretty different to how grandfathers were in the past," she said.

“He’s even talking about going part time so he can help look after him when Jacquelyn goes back to work! Someone like my father would never have thought about doing that – it wasn’t done,” Loreto said.

Loreto didn’t grow up with grandparents so she watched her mum with her daughter and other grandchildren. She spent time with them individually and as a group and had fun with them. Her mother used to make cleaning out a cupboard into a game and the kids had a wonderful time.

“She’s now in her 80s and each of those grandchildren has a special relationship with her and take her out shopping or to get her hair done. She was a great role model for me,” she said.

“You’re so much more relaxed as a grandparent, I’d like to say it’s maturity and experience.

“Hamish came over for the day and I did nothing except play and talk to him and when he slept I thought I should get something done but instead, I made myself a sandwich and a cup of tea.

“As a mother I would have been of thinking I should have done the washing but now, it just doesn’t stress me out and nothing is as important,” Loreto muses.

Loreto is going away for two weeks holiday soon and doesn’t know how she’ll cope when you’re used to seeing someone all the time and you miss them when you’re not around.

“As my mother reminded me, he’s not going to turn 21 before I get back!” she said.

“As a grandparent you reap the rewards of what you’ve done for your own children. The effort you put in being a parent, you get the bonuses that come being a grandparent.

“It filled a hole we didn’t know we had,” Loreto said.

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