The past few months have been so overwhelming and life-altering, I've had very little left to give to Mamadhi. But the blog has been tugging at my sleeve, begging for photos of the boys and updates. Now I'm faced with the question: where to start?
Let's begin with what went down on my 32 week mark in Piedmont Hospital. It was a happy Saturday—well, about as happy as it can get when you're stuck in a hospital for 5 weeks. I felt upbeat because I'd reached that elusive 32 week milestone. I was even beginning to think that I could whip the next milestone at 34 weeks. And bonus: it was a shower day! I was only able to shower every other day at the hospital in an attempt to stay off of my feet as much as possible.
I entered the shower precariously, looked down, and was once again shocked at the sheer enormity of my belly. Luxuriating in the hot water, I gracelessly attempted to shave my legs. It was then that I felt it: water. Water that didn't seem to be coming from the shower faucet. Water that seemed to be coming from me. Instinctively, I ignored the feeling and exited the shower. The water kept dripping and I fought a pang of anxiety. Deny, deny, deny. This wasn't happening. I needed to make it to week 34. I actually thought to myself, "Oh, I'm just leaking a bit. Perfectly normal."
I proceeded to dry off, apply lotion, dry my hair and even put on a bit of makeup. Just a little leaking. No big deal, right? Once I situated myself back into the hospital bed I pushed the call button.
Nurse: "May I help you?"
Me: "Yes...well, I seem to be leaking just a little bit. I'm sure everything's fine, but I thought I should let you know."
Within 60 seconds 3 nurses burst through the door.
Nurses: "What's going on, Molly? Did your water break? Why are all of your clothes on? You'll need to take them off and cough for us."
Me: "I'm just leaking a little—it's probably nothing, right?"
Nurse: "Cough, Molly. Yep, you're grossly ruptured. We need to get Dr. S. in here—she's on call.
Me: "No, it's too soon! This can't be happening..."
Nurse: "Everything's going to be just fine, but you need to go ahead and call your husband and tell him to get here right away."
Through sheer serendipity, my Mom happened to be in town that weekend. She called at that very moment to tell me how much fun Vivienne had had on her play date.
"Mom- mom...hold on. Listen—I'm going into labor RIGHT NOW. Please tell Jeff to come to the hospital."
Dr. S. was next to come through the door. She quickly examined me and announced that I was 6 centimeters dilated and that she could feel baby A's head. So much for my deluded theory that I wasn't going into labor. Because one of the babies was transverse—or in other words, laying across my belly instead of head down, it was going to be a c-section delivery.
"It's too soon. Too soon..." I kept repeating. My favorite nurse grabbed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes. "You've done a wonderful job keeping these babies safe. They're going to do great. Just keep breathing."
I gripped her hand tightly and stifled tears. Everything was happening so fast, and none of it seemed real. I'd sat in this hospital bed for 5 weeks. I'd begun to feel like these baby boys were never coming and that I'd just lay here forever, willing them to stay inside of me while feeling a guilty, perpetual state of impatience.
Looking back, I'm still not sure why everyone was in such a huge rush to get my babies out. I suppose that with twins, once your water breaks you run a higher risk of complications. These nurses and doctors were on a serious mission to get me into the operating room—they were running around like a Indy 500 maintenance crew. Jeff barely made it to the hospital in time. When he arrived they were already giving me the epidural.
My memory of the c-section mainly consists of me repeating to myself over and over: "Please let them be okay. Please let them be okay. Please let them be okay." I squeezed Jeff's hand, stared into to his eyes and listened for two cries. The wait was interminable.
How can I possibly describe the feeling of hearing those two cries, one after the other? Imagine the most intense relief and joy mingled with fear and hope...and then triple it. Those little cries made very bit of bed rest agony worth it, and then some.
After all of the drama and heartache, it was tough to reconcile myself to the fact that these babies would not be returned to me anytime soon. For several days after the delivery I felt phantom kicks—I had to remind myself that I'd actually given birth and that my boys were here. I mentally prepared myself for the next daunting chapter: NICU.
In order to keep these entries more like blog posts and less like novellas, I'll split up my story into several posts. To be continued...