I had had an OB appointment on Monday, April 14. The non-stress test showed some contractions, but they were disorganized at best. Kinda like our lives with two three-week olds. We were back to our old plan, which was to deliver on April 21. My itchies were coming back but I figured I could manage on over-the-counter meds for seven more days.

On Tuesday, April 15, that plan changed. Kinda like our lives with two three-week olds. The previous evening, the itchies were back to pre-steroid levels and I was pretty sure I would NOT be able to manage on over-the-counter meds for seven more days. I was instant-messaging with my sister, who convinced me to call the doctor and ask for meds. So, reluctantly – because I didn’t want to seem wimpy – I did.

I was at an AT&T store exchanging my third blackberry in ten days when the nurse called me back: “Dr. McC doesn’t want to do another steroid pack so you’ve moved to the head of the class: she’s delivering you tomorrow. Be there at 8:00 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. delivery.”

“SHIT, really?” I say.

So I called the Beloved on my barely charged blackberry. “Hey, my phone is about to go out, but I wanted to let you know you need to change your schedule and call your parents because we’re having the RJBs tomorrow.” And then I called my mom to tell her she was going to have to miss her PALS training class so she could be here for the delivery of her daughter’s twinfants. You know, the kind of calls you make everyday.

Wednesday morning now, 7:00 a.m. We took the the last belly shot before heading to Starbucks for the Beloved and then to the hospital. RJBs were going to be on the outside in a few short hours and it was hard to wrap my head around that. It felt like we were just going to a regular doctor’s appointment.

Last BellyShot: 37w0d.

8:10 a.m. Catch a last glimpse of my belly in the reflection of the hospital entrance’s sliding glass doors. Ride up the elevator to the Labor & Delivery floor.

8:20 ish. Get hustled into a holding room, gown up. Our pastor came by and visited with us and prayed with us, which was friggin’ awesome. Then I got on the monitors and we listened to the RJBs heartbeats via non-stress test for the last time. The Beloved’s mother and my mother were with us while we waited, later joined by the Beloved’s step-mom, and her brother and his wife. It was really awesome having that kind of family support, all of us packed into a holding room that could have well been a resident call room.

9:45 ish. Dr. McC comes in and introduces herself, tells us the plan for procedure and then the nurse comes in behind her and kicks everyone out. This was it – we were headed into the operating room for the spinal block.  I had read about them, and how they get administered.  But nothing I had read prepared me for the well-endowed nurse to shove my head against her chest, holding it there with one hand, while she clasped my hand with her other.  I started to wonder if it was going to hurt her more than it was going to hurt me.  The anesthesiologist rocked, though, and I didn’t feel much of anything, except my legs getting very heavy very quickly.  

Having the sterile screen up between me and my belly was a bit unnerving.  I mean, I KNEW my babies were about to be delivered, but I’m kind of a visual person, so not being able to see was a little bizarre.  Instead, I asked Dr. McC to talk through the procedure, which she did.  The Beloved and my Mom were in scrubs, standing to my left shoulder, peeking over, watching what I could not see.  It seemed to take forever to cut through and pull and tug and the various inside layers of me.  Years and years I had been waiting for this moment, waiting to hear a baby wail, and suddenly time was taking it’s sweet ‘ol time.  Go figure.  

10:20 a.m. And then, out of nowhere, I hear a baby screaming.  Our son.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  I wanted to stand up and hug everyone in the room.  I could hear my mom and Jennifer ooohing and ahhhing.  I looked into their eyes to see if I could see the reflection of my son.  Tears made it clearer.  And then, the doctor sending him peeking over the screen, I saw him for the first time.  I was amazed and awe-struck and incredulous.  Did he really just come out of me?  

10:21 a.m.  I could hear several voices about me, surgical staff moving around, Jen and Mom chatting, the anesthesiologist telling Jen to “get ready to take the picture”.  And there she was, so much smaller and just as beautiful.  Peeking over the screen at me, and then moving off to their bassinets for APGARs and clamps and cleaning.  Did they really grow inside of me?  

I couldn’t breath.  I wanted to stand again.  I wanted to move.  I couldn’t see the babies, but boy oh boy could I hear them!  I was in tears.  Jen was taking pictures of the babies.  She brought them back for me to look at.  I was bleeding – a lot.  My blood pressure dropped. I lost consciousness.  My mom reassured Jen that it was going to be o.k.  The anesthesiologist brought me back – they’re good like that.  

I encouraged Jen and my mom to go out with the babies.  They were doing so well, the staff allowed them to the waiting room before heading to the nursery.  Jen wanted to stay with me, but I told her they were just closing me up and to go be with the babies.  The close lasted forever, it seemed.  I got nauseated and dizzy – blood pressure dropping again.  I’m just glad I never had to endure morning sickness.  My stay in the recovery room was a little longer than usual due to the blood loss, but I was in my room about 4 hours later, waiting on the babies.  

Birdie, a tired Matou in her “Lucky Mom” shirt, and Moose – about 8 hours old.

The birth experience was surreal and precious and incredible and amazing and a gift from God – all at the same time.  It was exactly as it needed to be, as it was supposed to be, and I honor the experience for what it gave us – two beautiful children that we get to watch over for years to come. 

Birdie (L) and Moose (R), 1 day old .