Monday afternoon, the babies were born and I distinctly remember D telling me that the first thing Emily asked was whether or not I have my lap back. I am so proud to say that I do! At exactly 35weeks, to the day, my babies were born and yet, really, the only thing that seems to have changed is that I have my lap back. Isn’t that odd?
Monday at about 5:30 am, my water broke, and unlike last time, when D and I both finished some work, while Nancy Pelosi jumped up and down like a jumping bean applauding at Obama’s State of the Union address, we went right to the hospital. Right to labor and delivery. Right to 2.5 cm dilated. I also distinctly remember one nurse (our favorite) telling us that we would have one twin by 2:00. So, naturally, I started watching the clock, trough what was becoming very intense contractions (hello? epidural? why are these so intense???). D was fascinated by all the data output on me and would tell me, when contractions were peaking, coming down (we never agreed on this 🙂 ), and about to be bad. I remember him telling me that earlier they were much stronger (hitting a higher number), but further apart and these were less intense (yeah right!) but closer together (definitely). I now am convinced that the number you hit for each contraction is not at all related to its intensity!
Clock watching, 2:00… no babies… But we finally got into the OR (at my hospital, all twins are born in the OR regardless, THANK GOODNESS!), and after 4 big pushes (Doctor, ok, let’s wait for a contraction, and me, here’s one right now…. yeah, wow, hello contractions!), Spencer Noah was born at 2:39 in the afternoon, Monday June 18, 2012, weighing in at 5 lbs 5 ounces. And unlike Emily, he cried immediately. But I did not see him. D did and got some pictures for me, which the OB tried to turn previously breech and now transverse Sidney, which reached out a hand in greeting. Then it all happened. They sent D out of the room and the doctor (who we love, she had also delivered Emily and we trusted her 100%), told me we were doing a c-section and did not have time to wait for the epidural. The anesthesiologist told her it would be 10 minutes and she said, “no time”. They put me under general anesthesia right away. At 2:57, Sidney Paige was born weighing 4 lbs 4 ounces. I did not come out of things until about 4:00 ish, when I developed a postpartum case of pre-eclampsia (which is one of the conditions that I was being observed for in my pregnancy and apparently the cure for pre-e is to give birth… uh…). I don’t recall much here either except complaining of a headache and telling D, who told the nurses, that the headaches had me longing for labor pains, as they were less intense. I was given magnesium for about 24 hours and put in this warming blanket cocoon and I don’t remember what else. Something about swelling in the brain and watching me for seizures and the magnesium making sure I don’t have seizures… it is all a blur. It stayed a blur until Wednesday evening, when they took me off the magnesium and moved me to a regular room and fed me! And on the way, we stopped in the NICU.
But here is the thing. Sidney was never real to me. Not until that minute when I got to hold her.
Big brother Spencer was still on the CPAP (yes, while I recovered from my own complications, Sidney had and then got rid of her own CPAP).
So now I am a mommy. But what has changed? Nothing. I was a mommy already! Remember big sister Emily? Emily has been the best through all of this! She understands that Mommy has a boo boo (and I believe in being honest, baby Sidney got sick and the doctor has a put a hole in mommy’s tummy to get Sidney out), and she understands that there are new babies. She knows there are pictures of her taped to each isolette and she made the babies each a name tag.
Side bar here, sorry Spence, but it is a VERY good thing you have a name tag! I have been on some pretty intense drugs and cannot seem to remember your name! I have called you every name under the sun and the nurses have teased me about forcing me to know your name before I can take you home. Last night, in talking with Grandma, I called you Michael and she did not know if I meant Daddy, Grandpa Uncle Mike or you! Just know that I know your name, love your name and intend to remember your name!
So that was Monday and Tuesday. An intense mix of drugs and babies and fog and haze.
Wednesday I became a mommy. But I was already a mommy. And the babies are still in the NICU so it is not like they are even mine yet! But I nursed every 3 hours, switching off babies from 5am to 5pm. Just like big sister Emily, Sidney is a champion eating, but will not not not take a bottle from me. Our logic with Em was that she knew she could get the “good stuff” off me, so why take a bottle? Perhaps Sidney is the same way? But whatever, we have time. And plenty of people to give bottles!
So what has changed is everything, but also, nothing. With a baby you can’t skip a feeding like I did last night (I skipped the 8pm to go to bed early, an action applauded by my nurses who have to remind me that I am coming off intense surgery). With a baby (oh, wait, with 2), you can’t do that. I still can. Because they are still in the NICU. But that is the other weird thing. The NICU is for scarey sick babies. My babies are just passing time there. a little help with breathing, a little iv antibiotics, but we have never (thank goodness) felt that petrified rush of fear as a team works furiously to save a baby. We have literature from the NICU on premature babies, but we don’t have premature babies. My niece was premature. In that scarey NICU way. It feels wrong to group these babies with her. She petrified us and they have not (ok, they petrified D and me every second of every day, but that is more a numerical/logistical thing than a health thing).
So now we wait. It is now Thursday at about 7am. I am going to shower and nurse (I think it is Spencer’s turn) at 8. and go back every 3 hours as long as my body (and my nurses and my husband and my in laws) let me. And then do it all again tomorrow. Tomorrow I go home. Hopefully with at least one baby, but we’ll have to see. She is still so very tiny. But that is ok, good things some in tiny packages.
And while we wait, I have hugged and yesterday cuddled with Emily. She has not sat on my lap (the laptop is on my lap – I DO have a lap!! and feet, I have smaller feet that I can see!!!), but she will. She has 2 more very strange days of mommy being in the hospital before the real strange stuff begins! So now we wait. and see what happens.