Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Twins' Birth

  On August 7th 2002 Mike and I went out to dinner with Gabe, who was 16 months old, and our good friend Ryan. I was 8 months pregnant with the twins and I was STARVING! I hadn't been able to eat more than a couple of bites at a time for months because all of the space that had been occupied by my internal organs was taken over by the insane amounts baby inside of me. If I took more than 3 bites of food I had the very worst heartburn. This night it didn't matter, I was going to eat! I ordered Fajitas with rice and beans, and I ate every bite, I even had some kind of chocolate cake for desert. I knew I would regret it later, but I didn't care.
 We came home from the restaurant and I put Gabe to bed and then got ready for bed myself while the guys sat in the living room and chatted. As I was climbing up onto the bed I felt (heard? sensed? I can't really explain it) this little POP. I just stood there for a second, thinking, "What the heck was that?" Then I felt a trickle of liquid and I became totally irrational.
 I walked into the living room and told Mike and Ryan something like, "I think my water just broke. But I refuse to have these babies tonight, so I'm going back to bed." Ryan went immediately into panicked, single guy mode. I think he thought babies were just going to start shooting out. Mike, on the other hand, had been dealing with my particular brand of crazy for years at this point so he knew how to handle me. "Honey, you don't have to have the babies tonight, just call the hospital and see what the nurses have to say," he told me. This seemed logical, so I did.
 I remember the conversation with the nurse on the labor and delivery floor very clearly. "Hi, this is Renee, I'm Dr. Stehly's patient. Well, I'm 36 weeks with breech twins and I think my water just broke. I don't need to come in right?" The nurse asked me where we lived. I thought it was an odd question, but I told her, "Just down the street." "Honey," she said to me, "I'll see you in 5 minutes, I'll be waiting for you." Damn, that wasn't the answer I wanted!
 I stomped around the house, collecting all of the things I didn't have ready yet, packing my bag and grumbling things like, "...NOT time yet!...I'm NOT doing this tonight!...I don't want to...can't make me...fuck, fuck, fuck!!!!!" , while Mike tried to get a hold of his dad to come get Gabe. Dad was unreachable, but Ryan agreed to stay with Gabe until his Uncle Matthew could come pick him up. I think Ryan was just glad to get the crazy, ranting, cussing, drippy, pregnant woman out of the house at that point.
 As we got out of the elevator on the labor and delivery floor (more like 20 minutes later than 5 minutes) I was sure that my water HADN'T broken, and that this was silly, and that I should just go home, but Mike said he was sure they would check me out and send me home (he's sneaky smart and wasn't about to be the bad guy, he'd leave that to the nurses.) The nurse was waiting for me, probably looking for the hugely pregnant neurotic woman with the long suffering husband, and led me to an exam room. Another nurse came in and did a litmus test and discovered that my water had, in fact, broken.
 At that point all hell broke loose. One nurse ran off to call  my doctor and an anesthesiologist the other nurse started prepping me for surgery. She shaved my belly with a dry razor, nicking every stretchmark I had in the process. Then I thought I should mention that I had just eaten a full meal. If you ever want to see a nurse turn funny colors just tell one that's prepping you for surgery that you just ate a pound of fajitas. There was a hurried consultation between the medical professionals, and it was decided that they would go ahead and do the section, and just hope I didn't vomit.
 I didn't get scared until they rolled me into the OR and told Mike he'd have to change and wait for the anesthesiologist to start my spinal. He told me later that they tried to keep him out of the room for as long as possible, because they were afraid of what would happen if such a big guy fainted in the OR. They had actually started the surgery before they let him in. He sat down next to my head and held my hand as best he could, since my arms were strapped down to the table. The doctor kept up a running dialogue of what he was doing, so that we would know when the babies were coming out. Mike stood up so that he could watch them be born.
 Aislyn was first, the doctor delivered her and held her up over the blue drape in front of my face so that I could see my tiny daughter before he handed her off to her to the neonatal team that was waiting for her. Ian came 2 minutes later, slightly bigger and crying as the doctor held him up for me to see before he too got checked out by his own team. Both babies were wrapped up and I was unstrapped so I could touch them for a moment before they went off to the NICU since they were tachycardic and had low blood sugar. I sent Mike with them, because I couldn't stand the idea of the babies being surrounded by strangers.
 While I was in recovery a nurse came back with their measurements. Aislyn was 5 pounds, 2 ounces and Ian was 6 pounds even. I was thrilled that they were so big and shocked that I had had 11 pounds of baby inside of me. My mom came by to see me a few hours later, and she had been in to see the babies and had taken pictures. It was the first I got to see them since they left the OR. It was hard to look at pictures of my babies with oxygen masks and tubes and wires attached to them, but they were beautiful.
 I was moved out of recovery and into my regular room. Another nurse brought me a few pictures of the babies. I had to wait until the spinal wore off before I could go see the babies myself. Finally, 12 hours later, I got wheeled into the NICU and saw my babies. They were already off of most of the machinery and monitors they had started out with. After just a minute in there I realized that they were the healthiest babies in the room. They just had to learn to control their body temperature. I sat and just touched them for as long as I could.
 I went back to my room and pumped so that they could get breast milk instead of the sugar water they were feeding them. I walked back and forth several times so that I could give them bottles and then start nursing them with some help from the lactation consultant. They only spent 2 days in there before they were ready to start rooming in with me and nursing full time. We spent a total of 4 days in the hospital and then were all able to come home, healthy and happy.
 So 10 years ago, today, my twins were born. I laugh now when I remember how I went from a normal, intelligent, fairly rational person into a raving maniac in the blink of an eye. That's pregnancy for you.

All grown up now

Blessed Be everyone...


  1. Yaye!! SO sweet that you wrote this. Made me all tearyeyed :) You are hilarious by th eway in how you express stuff..."Ryan went immediately into panicked, single guy mode. I think he thought babies were just going to start shooting out. Mike, on the other hand, had been dealing with my particular brand of crazy for years at this point so he knew how to handle me." HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The mental picture is just awesome I am imagining Ryan running circles in your tiny apartment living room :)

  2. This was charming and a delight to read!! We're expecting my first Great-Great Grandchild in about 6 weeks, but thse experiences never get old for me!! Thanks so much for sharing that with us!! They're beautiful children!