No matter how easy the pregnancy, carrying your first child is completely nerve-racking. I don’t think people say that enough, but it needs to be said. We suddenly become a vessel for another LIFE for goodness sakes. It’s no small feat.
When we found out we were having twins I was shocked and overjoyed, but then I realized this vessel had just turned into a minivan, and I’d better slow down and keep two hands on the wheel.
My water broke at 35 weeks, although my c-section was scheduled for week 38. It was the day before Thanksgiving which meant, PERFECT! My doctor was out of town. So was the backup doctor.
I found myself at the hospital with a doctor I’d never met in a situation eerily similar to ‘The Hangover’ (but not nearly as amusing, because it was real).
Although I’d like to think I make friends easily, when I met Dr. D. our introduction didn’t exactly make me want to send him a friend request anytime soon. As they prepped me for a c-section he looked at my husband and said, “Your wife’s pretty uptight. But you seem cool.”
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t being in early labor with twins pretty much give you permission to be uptight?
They prepped me for surgery and, again, like a scene out of a comedy, Dr. D. was meeting the assisting surgeon for the first time! “So….”, I said, “You’ve never worked together before?”
“Nope,” said Dr. D. “Just sit tight. We’ll get it all figured out.”
Well, all you can really do when you’re completely numb from the chest down and strapped to a table is ‘sit tight’, so I had that part covered. But the rest of the experience was so bad that it was comical. Greg and I still laugh about it to this day.
Apparently the nurse had messed up my catheter and my bladder was full. Dr. D. reprimanded her in front of the crowded operating room. (Did you know when you have twins via c-section there are like 25 people in the room?!?!) It’s like being the lead of a small production that you didn’t even know you were starring in. Naked.
“I’m sorry about that. Is there anything I can do up here?” I asked. Ha. It’s a pretty helpless feeling to be completely out of control of both your ‘vessel’ and anything going on around you.
“What’s this scar?” He yelled up to me.
“Oh, I had a hernia operation when I was five,” I said.
“UGH,” said Dr. D. “I guess we’ll have to work around it.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “But I guess there’s nothing I can do about that…”
Seriously. I never apologized more in my life than I did from an operating table in the middle of a major surgery. What was happening?!?!
The surgery began. We asked that the doctor didn’t give us the play by play because Greg and I are both extremely squeamish. But as Dr. D. was talking to his assisting surgeon and team of nurses he yelled up to me, “Do you think you’ll have any more kids?”
Dude…. Let’s birth the first two, first.
And then he said to someone with their hands inside my abdomen, “You better not mess with that in case they want more kids one day.”
“Yes, please don’t touch that. Whatever it is,” I said faintly. This wasn’t real. I was going to pass out.
Here’s the good part. The GREAT part. The grand finale. Elizabeth Reagan and Abigail Grace were born, one after the other. 5 lb. 11 oz. and 4 lb. 11 oz., respectively. They were whisked away but I saw their tiny faces briefly and heard them cry. I cried. It was real. We were PARENTS. They were real. They were healthy. Life was forever changed.
They spent 10 days in the NICU, and looking back I know that’s NOTHING compared to what some families go through. But it was difficult not being able to hold them til they were four days old. They had some lung issues and needed to be intubated. Seeing little 4 and 5 lb. babies hooked up to monitors and CPaps is unnerving, but we had the utmost trust in the nurses and NICU doctors and knew they were receiving excellent care.
Dr. D. came by to visit a few days later and won me over. The experience was right out of a movie, and his bedside manner needs some improving, but how could I be mad at the guy that delivered my babies?! The joy overcomes any other emotion.
So, moms. It may not go exactly – or ANYTHING – like you planned it. You will likely be uptight. You may feel like you’ve lost all control of your vessel. But the ending is what matters. The baby is the best part of the story. I promise, they’re worth it.