Family, Personal

Becoming the Schmaltz Family

A friend recently told me my life looked like Steve Martin’s role in Father of the Bride II when Martin’s character, George Banks, was trying to take care of his wife and daughter who were pregnant at the same time.

They both went into labor and were in the hospital at the same time. He was frantically running between their rooms trying to help them both.

Last week, we had a similar experience with our daughters, Sara and Annie — except they weren’t across the hall from each other! Sara was here in Utah and Annie was in Germany.

Babies don’t come easily in our family, so it is big news to have two coming at the same time!

It has taken a lot of patience, prayer, and some intense medical protocols to bring these little ones into our world.

In Annie’s case, it took seven years to get her first baby, Lizzie, so, we didn’t expect her to have another one so soon.

I was surprised last fall when Sara and Annie gave me an early birthday present before Annie moved to Germany.

When I opened the box, I found a little onesie that said, “Baby Ostler, April 2023.”

The news that Sara was pregnant was the best birthday present I could have received!

Before I could pull myself together after the excitement of that news, they said to keep looking in the package because there was another gift.

I was sure the next gift would pale in comparison.

I rustled the tissue paper and found another onesie – “Baby Burton, April 2023.”




You’re pregnant?

My brain couldn’t process it all.

In my shock, I neglected to explain to Doug what was happening. So, he stood by wondering what all the fuss was about.

“Is Sara having twins?” He asked.

When I held up the onesies for him and he realized what was happening, tears filled his eyes.

Later, he said, “If I’d known what was going on earlier, I would have cried harder!”

We could barely wrap our heads around the idea that we would have three babies under a year old in April 2023.

So, since last fall, we have been monitoring two pregnant daughters 5,000 miles apart – comparing notes about doctor appointments, ultrasounds, gender reveals, cribs, nurseries, swaddles, showers, and sprinkles.

When April finally came, we were on high alert wondering who would go into labor first and how we would help both daughters. We’d hoped they would have them a couple weeks apart to allow us time to help both!

Then came the Steve Martin moment…Sara went into labor last week and within 24 hours, Annie went into labor.

(Weirdly since Annie is in another time zone, even though they were born within 24 hours of each other, they are two calendar days apart. I’ll let you figure that one out…)

We were driving home from the hospital after seeing Sara and adoring her baby, Jane, when I looked at Find My Friends on my phone and saw Annie was at the hospital.

I texted her husband and said, “Is it go time?”

He texted back that they barely made it to the hospital.

No time for an epidural or to change into a hospital gown.

Within 10 minutes, he texted a picture of Annie and their baby, Wren.

Instantly, I started crying.

Doug said, “Why are you crying?”

“Why am I crying?”

  • because my girls’ dreams to grow their families have come true
  • because their difficult pregnancy days are over
  • because they survived
  • because they are MOMS
  • because they have healthy babies
  • because we have THREE granddaughters
  • because life sometimes gob-smacks you with unexpected goodness
  • because they are venturing into the most difficult, wrenching, but most rewarding phase of their lives
  • because their husbands are my heroes
  • because the love I feel for my family is darn near choking me
  • and… do you need me to keep going?

I think he got the picture.

I never expected it to be so deeply moving and rewarding to see my daughters as mothers and my sons-in-law as fathers.

One minute they are completely vulnerable, living from one labor pain to the next and relying totally on a medical team who is telling them what to do.

Next, they are captivated by a love they never imagined would come so fast with such force and they are different people. They are parents. And that topic is its own, separate blog.

These are the sweetest of days for grandparents and the most exhausting and exhilarating for new parents.

Lizzie and Wren

And suddenly, I am overly sentimental, gushy, and completely smitten by these babies — and their beautiful, devoted parents.

And like George Banks in Father of the Bride II, I am wondering,” “What are we, the Schmaltz family?”

Yes, yes, we are. We are the Schmaltz family, and I’m totally okay with that.

4 thoughts on “Becoming the Schmaltz Family”

  1. This account is so well done!! I was in tears by the end…feeling all those grandmother tugs…and for sure..motherly tears. Such a powerful moment in your life.. ….and moments ago the ah-ha moment of my first introduction to you was….u were / are the surrogate delivering BCs book…Dare i say her baby about to be born about the same time as your grands!? Of course it is a stretch however you have been in labor a very long time!!! 🙄 😉🥰 Congratulations grandmother. So very very happy for you and I assume at this report everyone is still doing OK ?.

    Luv u all!!🤩

  2. It’s all wonderful Laurie! So happy for you and Doug and the girls and their husbands. Welcome to your new g-babies….I know you must be flying high on pure joy! xo Denise

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