Hard to believe just two years ago I was ever so thankful to the higher powers that be that I went into labor THE DAY after Valentine’s. While still a blessing to deliver two sweethearts on the sweetest day of the year I wouldn’t want these two to be screwed eternally. Like being born on or around Christmas. As a child you miss out on the loots.
I went into labor at around 9am or 10am that morning. A Friday to be exact. Grant was home that day since he did not have his early learners class. I made a late breakfast and breathed through my contractions. What a joy to actually feel my contractions. My abdomen tightening and releasing was such a thrill for me. I had back labor with Grant so I prayed for mercy for any poor soul that touched, talked, or let alone BREATHED on me when I was in labor with him.
After breakfast I did some laundry and then decided to tell my mother I was in labor. The Chad called in that morning; he was having a late start since the company he worked for was on what they liked to call “Mormon Standard time” which meant everything was at least 15 minutes or more behind the scheduled time. My kind of company if you ask me.
We timed the contractions which I know this may sound sick, but I loved them. So thrilling and getting stronger by each hour or so. They were still about 20 minutes apart. I cleaned the house and mopped the floors. Did some dishes. Needless to say I was nesting at the last minute. Finally at about two that afternoon I called my mom and said it was time for us to leave and I needed her to grab the boy. He was unfortunately not allowed to come since the time of year was RSV season and I was technically in “pre-mature” labor but definitely not pre-term. Been there done that with the twins which is another fabulous story.
By the time my mother arrived and we headed to the hospital we were in the midst of rush hour traffic and the hospital was in the north valley. A good 30 minutes or more to get there on a regular traffic day so add 15 minutes for good measure. I was breathing through them still. Now they were getting closer….about two minutes apart and we were on the interchange which meant at least another 20 minutes or more to get to the hospital as we jockeyed through rush hour on the 202 to the 51.
We walked straight up to the OB floor where I checked in and was placed in the same crappy room from my pre-term experience. I was then greeted by the bitch ray of light nurse that everyone wants when in labor with twins. Condescending, cold, and just a bundle of “So glad to have you as my nurse.” Thankfully her coven must have called her back because I was greeted by the true bundles of joy shortly after her. A nurse who was ever excited and I was happy to have someone there to treat me like an intelligent human and not just a humongously pregnant blond broad.
Vitals were done and I was walking through drug options by my anesthesiologist who quite frankly reminded me of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. Creepy! I was then wheeled into the OR buck naked and prepped for surgery. WTF!!??
I was so excited to have these babies but oh dear what in ever is holy in this world was I thinking about being cut open….AGAIN!!??? AWAKE??!!
So The Chad joined me after I was numb and was completely clueless to my lack of feeling until I felt a sensation of rushing which meant they were working on me and I was told “You will feel a bit of tugging.”
ARE YOU DAMN SERIOUS?! HAVE YOU FELT THE TUGGING!? Holy schnikes Batman that is the weirdest feeling on Earth. And so I lost it. Yes…..bawling. Crying. Wailing. Begging to know the answer:
“What the fuck were we thinking honey bunny?” As The Chad wiped the tears from my eyes and the OR erupted into hysterical laughter! I cried in my head…stop laughing you imbeciles you have no idea.
Then I heard the beautiful sound of a baby cry. Baby A. 4:53pm. Lots of scurrying about and “Oh my gawd’s.” What were these OMG remarks about. Please tell me. Again I hear, “Some more tugging” to which I want to say, are you hearing yourself man…I will show you a tug! And they say Baby B. 4:54pm. No cries. Again, the scurrying and The Chad tells me they are beautiful and they all run off.
I lay there. Cold. In shock. Really. I lost a good amount of blood, throwing my body into shock where I am borderline convulsing from the cold. I am about to lose my mind. Thoughts and fears. Lots of fear and no one is talking to me. I lay in a pool of tears unable to speak, fighting back all my urge to scream out and cry. I am given blankets for warmth but the warmth is gone like a fart in a windstorm. I am lost in my own thoughts, a sea of confusion demanding to know where my babies are what the hell is going on will someone help me.
I am wheeled back into my room where I begin recovery where I am swarmed by the medical team. Finally the swarm and their buzzing begin to subside and I see the man who looks like a boy in a candy store. He is beaming. Grin from ear to ear like the cat who ate the mouse. Telling me all about the experience in the nursery with the twins. I am hurt but ever so eager to hear. Wanting so badly to have been in there with them.
He explains the condition with Baby A, Seth Michael Herring weighing in at a strong 8lbs 2 oz. Yes. That’s right. In fact Big G weighed that when he was born. He is doing well, they were a bit worried about him but he is doing well. Had to suction him a bit extra since he had a bit extra fluid on his lungs but he is doing well. I demand the APGAR on Seth which was a 9. Oh thank heavens! I then beg to hear about Baby B Sara Noel Herring weighing in at a petite, but ever so healthy 6lbs even. She is smaller a needed a bit with her glucose levels but she is doing really well. Hardly any crying and she came out with her eyes open and bright. The OR staff called her a peanut because of her size and the OMG I heard was the sheer size of Seth. Beast!
Not until that night was I finally able to hold my children. To weep and stare at them. In sheer awe of the 36 weeks and 4 days of incubation to get to this moment. A moment of denial and disbelief. Is this my life? Are these really my children in all their beauty and perfection? Their snub noses and beautiful round heads. Grunting and nuzzling. I wanted to just look at them and hold them ever so tightly. Never forgetting this moment. I did it. I really did this. I brought life to TWO separate people in the same womb. Healthy. I could hold them and be with them. I was on the highest cloud. And at the same time my brain went into overdrive.
I now had a c-section to recover from in addition to caring for these babies. i got my ass in gear and got up as much as my body would not let me. I forced myself through my exhaustion to walk. I had to walk. Walking would jump start my bowels again. I fought. I didn’t sleep for 36 hours. I deprived myself and I was beginning to fail. I could not do this. I finally shook off the mommy guilt and asked the nurses to take the twins and feed them for me so I could sleep. A measly four hours but four hours on pain meds was better than none. I learned to sleep more in the next 24 hours. I learned to manage them and manage my time. I plotted out feeding schedules and times and who preferred what breast and what I could do to make sure these two remained healthy and strong.
And today I look at what I can do to retain my sanity for just a few more hours. As I watch them push chairs to countertops to retrieve the Blackberry, the “pown” as they call it. I watch them load the dishwasher and say ‘Cheers’ as they clank their sippy cups together. I cry at small moments when I am alone to know they are my legacy. I am saddened that I will never hold a baby of my own again. The downy molt of their skin smelling like Baby Fresh lotion and the faint smell of a new diaper. The beautiful sleepy eyes of two nursing faces. The small fingers caressing the side of my breast as I fed them. So I grieve the end of my era as a mother to a newborn. I embrace my future as a potential grandmother.
I hold them tighter today as they turn two. Strong, intelligent, resourceful, obstinate and loving they are, I am in awe that these two people are mine. All mine. How fast the time flies. How I want them to grow up and how I want them to stay this small, cherishing each moment no matter how frustrating when they unload the recycle bin together. Toss tupperware dishes full of dirt into the house. Or unload my bathroom of my toilettries and the 10 pack of razors I bought is now a three pack since seven were used as a flushing experiment and basic entertainment. I will never forget the moment I found I was pregnant with them, delivered them, held them, knew I loved them, and I will never forget how I watched them grow.
Happy Birthday Seth and Sara…love Mama.