Friday, March 09, 2007

And Then There Were Four

Last week, two obstetricians, two anesthesiologists, two pediatricians, four nurses, and two scared parents--twelve people in all--entered a room.

A short while later, fourteen people left it.

A week ago today, I gave birth to two beautiful baby boys.

On Tuesday, their dad and I--assisted by two very excited grandparents armed with tank-like carseats, snowsuits, and assorted blankets--braved the bitter-cold New York winds and took them home.

Now I get it.

We arrived at the hospital before 7 am. I filled out a bit of paperwork, and then Ty and I were led into a nice quiet room. An IV was inserted and the process of induction began. Everything progressed swimmingly. Weeks of praying and kegels and strategic sleep positioning had paid off. Terrified of surgery and its attendant recovery while trying to care for twins, I was on track for the vaginal delivery that I wanted. We talked, laughed, watched TV, and chatted with my parents, who came in periodically for updates.

Contractions progressed. If you're not familiar with them, they feel very much like menstrual cramps. C.S. says that menstrual cramps are the "chicken" of women's health complaints--everything feels like them. When they became uncomfortably strong, I asked for the anesthesiologist to come in and start the epidural.

The epidural felt no worse than a simple injection in the back, and better than some injections in recent memory. Inserting it was a bit scary, because one is supposed to remain totally still, but one possible effect is that it causes a feeling like an electrical surge through one's leg. This happened to me--strongly--and scared me, and I moved a little bit, and then I got upset because I moved, but the doctor assured me that everything was fine.

Within a very short time after insertion, I felt WONDERFUL. Warm, tingly, cozy, and pain-relieved. If epidurals didn't require so much skill and advanced training for insertion, I'm sure that they would be sold on the street for phenomenal amounts of money.

Labor progressed. After a while, I started to get extremely uncomfortable. The pain was increasing, despite the epidural. I can't describe the feeling exactly--it wasn't horrendous pain or anything, but, yet, I knew that something wasn't right. I told the nurse, and the doctor came in to check things out.

He discovered that I was no longer dilating. The contractions had stopped being productive. What was happening was that my son's head was pushing hard against my cervix. I had been right about something being wrong. It became clear to me that my son and I might actually be hurting each other. The repeated bashing would ultimately cause fetal distress, and put both babies at risk. After 9 months of not wanting a C-section, my instincts suddenly switched over and told me that it was probably the right thing to do about five minutes before my doctor gently suggested, "Let's give it a little more time, and then maybe talk about an alternate plan." I felt at peace knowing that my thoughts were on the right track, that my body was telling me what I needed to do.

A short while (and no progress) later, my doctor pulled up a chair. He and I agreed to wait what we both considered to be a more than reasonable amount of time for my body to catch up, and then to proceed with a C-section. He answered all my questions. When the time was up, he checked; still no change. With that, the medical team sent Ty to don some scrubs while they pumped up my epidural and wheeled me into the OR.

In my opinion, the OR is an oddly peaceful place. I find the bright lighting soothing. A whole team is assembled, ready to tackle a challenge and get a job done. In the case of a C-section, there is a sense of wonder about the whole thing. Everyone knows that life is about to enter the room in all of its screaming, kicking, gooey glory. And as for the mothers, we lie still in the midst of all the energy and activity, meditating on our last few moments of being in one body with our babies before the end of a long road.

About ten minutes after Ty joined my side, we had babies. Pink, beautiful, wonderful babies. Babies with my hair and his nose. Babies with two families and at five nationalities flowing within their veins. The OR team held up the babies for me to kiss and smell, and placed them in Ty's arms. I couldn't hold them because of the anesthesia. That was probably the most frustrating part of the whole delivery, but I knew that they were happy in their daddy's arms, and that made it easier. I just sat and stared at them as long as I could.

I'll continue the story in my next post. Thanks for reading with me as I get my blogging-feet wet again. :)


Anonymous Kate said...

Congratulations on your babies!! I am glad all went well

2:26 PM  
Blogger mamalujo1 said...

I've been expecting this! Congratulations! Now back to actually read it!!!

2:32 PM  
Blogger green3 said...

CONGRATS!!!! Your life will never be the same. Kids are wonderful.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Oh baby to the second power! I just know you guys are already awesome parents.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Can't wait to hear more about how things are going. Congratulations again on your healthy, beautiful boys.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to hear more. ((HUGS)) You did good. Now go enjoy those babies.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous An Iowa Mom said...

I found you through green3. :)

Congratulations! TWINS??? Yahhoooo! You'll be amazed at the joy they will bring. Just try to keep remembering that when you're up all night long ... it's soooo worth it!

Great blog! I'll be back! :)

4:52 PM  
Blogger Spenser said...

I know this has been said, but..


6:04 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Congratulations! Enjoy your new family of four. :-)

6:45 PM  
Blogger ptg said...


7:24 PM  
Blogger Dadgum said...


8:03 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Woo hoo!!

9:27 PM  
Blogger G said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the births of your beautiful sons...
I was just thinking of you earlier today and wondering if you had had them yet...i can not wait to read more

11:01 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Hooray! What wonderful news. From our girls, to your boys, many good wishes.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Awww, congratulations Arabella and Ty! I'm getting all weepy just thinking about your two new sons! Can't wait to hear more-like, what are their names?? {{{HUGS}}}

10:51 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

You did it, kiddo!

You are going to be an unbelievable mom.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Tortuga de Amor said...

I am overwhelmed with happiness for you and your family. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

1:37 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

YAHOO! Congratulations!!!

I'm so happy and proud and really really happy. :)

9:34 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

This a great ending and an even better beginning for all of us who who have watched you journey through infertility and a high risk pregnancy. Blessings to you and yours.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Liberty Belle said...

Congratulations on your double blessing!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Congrats and God Bless you all. Can't wait to read the rest of your birth story, find out their names, and would love to see a pic!

9:35 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Wow, that was great writing. I'm so impressed, as I was so stupid post-partum.

I'm so happy you all are well and you seem so peaceful. Please stay in touch, not just with me (but that would be awesome), but here in the www. If I'd had this outlet when I was a new mom I think a lot of the post-partum depression would have been easier to recognize and address.

Kisses to all of you!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Adwina said...

Wow...I love's just I have none.



3:55 AM  
Anonymous anna said...

Congratulations! Excellent beginning for your new journey. I hope everything is going well for you all.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Eva said...

Congratulations. I just found your blog through babyblogorama. I have 6 month old twins so I love reading about other people who also have young twins. I loved the way you described the birth of your children -- it was thoughtful and personal and it helped me to picture what it must have been like for all of you.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

Again... congratulations to all 4 of you.

(long time lurker) Lou

6:46 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Double the joy! I am so happy for all of you!

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so thrilled for you and your husband and I'm so glad your C-section went well. I look forward to hearing more about your precious new little boys :)

1:10 AM  

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