My babies are going to be one next month?!! I’m a mess of emotions – excited, sad and nostalgic. My memory of their early days is foggy, but I want to write down what I remember so I don’t completely forget. I’ve decided to write a few posts about the past year and the different phases of their growth. This post is all about their birth and our time in the hospital (this post isn’t very gory, but it might make some people uncomfortable, so if that’s you, skip this one!).
I ended up having a C-section and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I still deal with weird feelings of guilt over not having a vaginal birth, but that’s another story. Thankfully the surgery itself wasn’t terrible. Knowing my doctor was slicing me open was strange, but she got the boys out super quick. J.R. was holding my hand the whole time. She grabbed John and held him up for me to see, then went to get Theo. I didn’t see him as quickly because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. When they finally brought the boys over to me, I couldn’t really hold them. The anesthesia worked a little too well and I couldn’t move my arms! J.R. and a nurse helped prop them up on my chest. It was surreal – my babies were on the outside! The moment was brief because I had to be put back together. J.R. left with the babies and my doctor worked on me. I tried not to think of what was going on down there, but I kept thinking of Dax Shepard’s hilarious description of a C-section to Ellen DeGeneres.
Eventually I was carted back to the room where I got to see my sweet boys again. The nurse tried to help me breastfeed and I knew right away it wasn’t going to be easy (I now say breastfeeding twins was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done). I was shaking uncontrollably for a while after the surgery, which made snuggling difficult. The boys were born at 36 weeks so we were nervous they would end up in the NICU. Thankfully that didn’t happen and they were in my room during our stay. Advice to new mamas – if sometime during your hospital stay the nurse asks you if you want her to take the babies (or baby for most people haha) to the nursery for a couple hours so you can get some sleep – say yes!
I quickly learned that my body was incredibly weak. I couldn’t get out of bed and I was in terrible pain. Once they took the catheter out, I couldn’t even pee. The trip to the toilet was awful. I couldn’t get out of bed, walk, sit, or stand without assistance. We didn’t have many visitors (just my parents and a few close friends) because frankly I didn’t want anyone around except J.R. I felt so vulnerable, my boobs hanging out everywhere, people touching me everywhere, it just stinks. No one told me about the nurses pushing on your belly afterwards, and good grief! That was the worst. On the third day the nurse convinced me I needed to shower. When the water hit my skin I wanted to scream. I can’t even stand up, how am I supposed to take care of two babies?!! I thought. My doctor told me my nerve pain was probably a little more than usual because everything was incredibly stretched from holding twins (I measured 10 weeks ahead, so it was like I was 46 weeks prego). I also lost a little more blood during surgery than the norm, which added to my exhaustion.
The boys kept failing some test (I don’t remember what it was now…I think it had to do with their glucose levels). The nurses had to give them formula in between my attempts to breastfeed them. The first lactation consultant who tried to help me was not very encouraging. She made me feel like I was a lost cause because the boys already had been given formula. I remember crying one of the times she came in and J.R. asked her to leave. My hero. The second lactation consultant was wonderful! She was sweet, energetic and sympathetic. The boys were latching well and I was learning how to feed them both at the same time.
And suddenly it was time to go home….and I didn’t want to! I couldn’t imagine taking care of the babies at home because I couldn’t even take care of myself (enter superhubby/dad J.R…..more on that next time). But away we went, off to sleepless nights, poo-explosions and lots of snuggles.
p.s. – the boys were pulling up on my legs saying “mama” while I was writing this and my heart was melting. Pregnancy, birth and recovery are painful but beyond worth it.