It took exactly 35 1/2 weeks to accomplish the biggest, toughest, and most beautiful achievement of my life. The determination to deliver Henry and Marie early was made after I became pre-eclamptic. I’ll spare you the long list of issues I was having, but I was nearly incapacitated. With my health having the possibility to affect the babies, it was time. We were prepared (as much as you can be), and had been for quite some time, expecting they might make an early arrival. Still, when the time came to leave for the hospital, the fear (and excitement) kicked in big time.
My parents came over to care for Billy (our first and furriest child), and I nearly squeezed him to death. I was so terrified that after the babies were born we would think of him differently, you know, as a D-O-G (as many had warned us). I am happy to report that nothing has changed, he is simply another child. After many kisses, hugs and tears all around, we took the the grueling (ha) 2 minute drive to our (neighborhood) hospital. They were expecting us, and I was immediately wheeled in to the pre-op room. Preparations got under way, and within an hour or so I was ready for surgery. I should preface this by saying we had known it would be a c-section for a while, since Marie was “baby A” and was breach.
The operating room wasn’t as scary as I had imagined it. Since my husband is a registered nurse, he was allowed to be with me as I got the spinal. The numbness from my chest down was anxiety inducing, albeit preferable to feeling everything. The next hour was a bizarre cocktail of emotions. Feeling your body being rearranged is not very comforting, and the pressure was intense. The anesthesiologist explained that they were getting ready to deliver “baby A”, aka Marie. Moments passed, and no sounds except suction, and beeping…the longest minute of my life. And then…the sweetest sound I have ever heard, and tears of relief and joy. Two minutes later…Henry followed, and immediately cried as they held him over the curtain for us to see. Thankfully, both of them were in great shape and big for twins (6 lbs 3/4 oz each), and so they went directly to the nursery while my surgery was completed. The worst was over, or so I thought.
Not surprisingly, my uterus had been stretched to scary limits carrying twins, and this caused excess bleeding and complications. My blood loss was significant, but I remained conscious…I almost wish I hadn’t, given the poking and prodding that occured in the recovery room. The next 12 hours were spent stoned on dilaudid. A blood transfusion was discussed, but never happened, after my hemoglobin stabilized. My first steps were not too painful but ended up with 5 nurses rushing in after I passed out, and fainting would continue to be a concern. My husband never left my side, sleeping on a miserable piece of foam next to my bed. His care, love, and support were, and are, immeasurable.
Meanwhile, the babies spent a great deal of time in our room, and I was able to nurse for the first time (what a euphoric, incredible experience that is). Henry was the first to latch, but by the time we went home they were both getting the hang of it. Breastfeeding two is quite the a challenge, whew. My body has been through a lot, and the belly that was once their home is now a saggy mess. But every time I look at our beautiful babies, I am overcome with gratitude. I know there are so many that are denied this experience, and so I am thankful for every beautiful and painful moment. In time, my body will heal, and the painful memories will fade. For now, we are still reveling in the miracle of it all and are drunk in love.