Category Archives: Pregnancy
Two years ago today, at about this time of day, I was in the last stages of labor with Peanut Butter and Jelly. It was too soon for them to be born and they were too small. I was afraid and suddenly felt completely unprepared to take care of two new humans. I knew we would have a NICU stay ahead of us, but I didn’t really know what that would mean. I was also excited about the prospect of meeting these two little boys who had been kicking and poking at me!
The birth did not go as well as any of us would have liked. I remember very little after they wheeled me into the operating room. I had a vaginal birth and began bleeding heavily as soon as Jelly came out. I still don’t know why. As I was losing blood my pressure was dropping and I felt myself fading away. I know they showed me the babies but all I really remember was that I felt like I was saying goodbye to them instead of hello. I don’t remember much of the hour or two after that.
I thought I was dying but was not upset about it. I felt peaceful. As it turns out, I was probably not in much danger of dying. I didn’t go into cardiac arrest or anything and they called down for blood but ended up not doing a transfusion. I lost quite a lot but the doctor was able to stop the bleeding.
The boys had pretty good apgar scores but were sent to the level 1 NICU. It was about 4 hours before I was able to see them and I was still sort of out of it. I remember how very tiny they looked and how scary it was to see them hooked up to machines with tubes coming out every which way. They boys had their own dedicated nurse. She seemed so unafraid of handling them. It seemed like she was just tossing them around. I was afraid to hold them but she convinced me I wouldn’t break them.
I honestly don’t remember whom I held first. I do remember that the very first thing I tried to do was nurse. Neither of them were able to suck and that made me very sad (as it turned out, it would take them 3 months to learn how to nurse).
During those first couple of weeks, hearing the little squeaks that were their cries made me inexplicably happy. I figured if they could cry, they were ok. (oh how that has changed!)
They came home after 3 weeks and then the really scary part began.
But I survived the first year and now the second. The tiny babies in the NICU have grown into fun, active, (almost) normal-sized toddlers.
I’m still scared and often feel wholly unnprepared to take care of these two little human beings, but they generally seem happy and secure. My hope is that I can be the mother they deserve to have.
More background, so that when I have thousands of readers, I’ll be able to write witty little references to posts like this one, written waybackwhen.
When I was 19 I got married, got pregnant and had my first baby (not necessarily in that order). Then I had another baby. Then I got divorced. Then I got married again. Then I got divorced. Then I got married again. Then I got divorced again.
Now I’m married again (this is the last time, dammit!) and my first two babies are now 21 and 19 years old. I knew I was done having children. I always swore I wouldn’t have more than one baby-daddy. Besides, I was pretty sure I couldn’t have more. My Other Whole (OW) was a 40-year-old childless bachelor. I felt badly that I couldn’t give him a family, which I knew is something he’d always thought he’d have, but life doesn’t always work out the way we think it will (ya can say that again!).
So there we were, enjoying our child-free life, riding the motorcycle, cruising around in his Porsche, eating out wherever and whenever we wanted… you get the picture.
Then I started having strange symptoms. I was bleeding when I shouldn’t and not bleeding when I should. I had a couple of hot flashes. I felt weird. I thought I was starting menopause.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered last year that I was pregnant at 41 years old. Surprise might not be the right word. Shocked, afraid, disappointed, nauseous, worried, guilty for not being more careful and wondering how to tell OW describes it much better.
When I went to the doctor at about 6 weeks, I hadn’t yet told OW and I still wasn’t 100% sure I was pregnant. They did an ultrasound and I was told that I was definitely pregnant and definitely pregnant with twins. I could not believe what the ultrasound tech was saying. I sobbed and refused to look at the screen. When I sat in the OB’s office, he discussed my options with me and then gave me more bad news. He believed it was a mo/mo pregnancy, which would give me about a 20% chance of having two live babies (as it turns out, that figure was completely wrong. While it can’t be “cured”, with very, very close monitoring women have something like an 80 to 90% chance of having two living babies).
I could barely stand up straight when I walked out of there. I was just beyond stunned. I was going to wait a day or two before I told OW so I could calm down, but I’m just not that kind of person. I couldn’t possibly have held it in. I went straight to his office, shaking and crying. He thought I was dying or something.
When I told him I was pregnant his mouth dropped open. When I told him it was twins, his mouth dropped open a little more. We had an emotionally difficult couple of weeks while we tried to just understand everything.
We decided not to tell anyone (and I mean no one) until after we’d had genetic testing done and felt more confident that the pregnancy could be carried to term. After the initial shock, we eased into acceptance and then happy excitement.
We told our family at Thanksgiving. My kids took it really well. My mother didn’t believe me. It really took several minutes of convincing and pointing to my name on the ultrasound for her to believe it was true! My sister has fraternal twins, so my mom was understandably blown away.
OW’s mother had exactly the reaction I expected (I should note here that OW and I weren’t yet married). The first words out of her mouth were, “Well, you’ll have to get married right away! Oh dear, a lot of the family doesn’t even know you’re living together!” LOL – I mean, she was happy but that really was her first concern. She is so thrilled that OW is in a real relationship and is getting married and having kids. I think that worried her to death. I think a lot of the family figured he was gay or something so they’re relieved too. hehehehe. This is the Deep South. People get married and start families young!
It was a rough pregnancy and the boys had a bit of a rough start in life, but now they are beautiful, healthy, screaming, purple-faced, pissing, shitting, snuggling, smiley, cutie-pie babies.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.