10:51 and 10:52
I started sharing the twins’ birth story yesterday – their second birthday – and I thought since it’s all already written why not just keep rolling. So here’s the second part. Originally posted on Februrary 19, 2011.
a.k.a. The Birth Story Part Two.
I left off with me waiting in the case room of the labor and delivery ward of Burnaby Hospital where I was put on an immediate fast for surgery.
Not eating or drinking was the worst, people. Worst. Seriously, at times it was all I could think about. By 35 weeks pregnant I was always hungry but mostly ALWAYS thirsty. I drank water day and night and ate ice constantly. Literally minutes into my fast I was starting to itch for a glass of water. A few hours later I was miserable. If I didn’t think it would cause serious trouble I would have snuck into the washroom and stuck my head under the faucet. Even the IV I was given didn’t help.
In the case room is actually where we picked the twins’ names from our short list of favorites I had in my iPhone. We were already 99.9% sure on Soren but had a top 3 for Marlow and neither had a middle name. Even after we decided we didn’t tell anyone until the next morning.
Two of my husband’s sisters came to the hospital and brought magazines and snacks. This is where there was a bit of a comedic break in the events. First, I got in trouble for chewing gum. Then, to pass the time and try and distract me my sister-in-law french braided my hair into two braids. Every time the nurse came in I’m sure she thought we were teenagers at a slumber party. It definitely didn’t feel like we were about to be parents but I was grateful for the distractions.
Oh I forgot to say in the last post that my doctor sadly was not scheduled for the OR that night so she had to pass me off to the doctor who was – who I ended up loving. He was this young, tall East Indian guy who was so handsome I told my single sister-in-law she should see if he’s single. She said she saw a ring, sorry ladies.
My husband put on his scrubs, foot covers, hat and mask and helped me with my hat and foot covers. Then he sat on my bed and prayed for us just before the nurse came in to get me. It was time.
Somewhere around this point I began to shake. Shake bad. I remember laying on my side on the bed as they wheeled me out, across the hall and into the surgery wing. It felt like it was the middle of the night, the way windowless buildings feel when you’ve been in them for a long time.
We waited again outside the OR (I told you my main job was waiting) and finally they took me in, leaving my husband to wait outside the doors. Inside the room the nurses were helping me onto the table and the anesthesiologist prepared me for the spinal.
This part had been freaking me out since the day I got pregnant. I was SO SO dreading this. I was shaking so hard – it was cold and I was really nervous – the nurse had to keep reminding me to try and be still. The freezing needles hurt the most, kind of like the ones you get at the dentist except IN YOUR SPINE. He said he wanted to give me a couple extra because it was hard for me to curl over a twin belly and he wanted the actual spinal to be as comfortable for me as it could be. Then he put the actual needle in which was only a pinch and WHAM the drugs made my legs begin to tingle instantly. He didn’t even have to tell me that was the drugs, I went “whoa, my legs!”
Not that I ever want to do it again but that was the coolest feeling. It started in my feet and crept up my body, inch by inch I could no long feel or even move my feet… then my legs… then my entire lower half.
I was still shaking uncontrollably. My teeth were chattering and I could not hold still. The nurses were so kind and brought heated blankets which they wrapped all around my head and over my arms and I was finally able to calm down a bit.
I was iodined (that stuff stayed on my skin for WEEKS after I left the hospital!) and my husband was brought in. The doctor kept talking to us, letting us know what was going on and what I would feel. After some time the doctor said what they always say in movies and episodes of A Baby Story: “you’ll feel some pressure”. It felt like someone sitting on me, then pushing and pulling and making it a bit hard to breath. But no pain at all. Then I heard the doctor say that Baby A was out and it was a boy. The time was 10:51. He was held around the side of the partition and I remember his skinny arms and legs stretched out in the air. It felt like much longer but at 10:52 Baby B was pulled out and announced as a girl.
As I think about it now it is like a dream. The details are fuzzy but the feelings and the images still come back. As scary as it was at times, I wish I could go back there and experience it again. There’s more to tell but I’ll save it for next time.
10:51 and 10:52.