I woke in the intensive care unit with a nurse looking at me, telling me everything was fine.
I was so tired. I remember a warm blanket was on top of me and I could feel the weight of it on my body. They rolled me into another room. I felt like it was a section of the emergency department, but it wasn’t. There were other beds beside me, but I don’t remember if they were full.
I remember my husband, my mother, my sister, my in-laws, all coming in to see me and congratulate me.
But where were my babies?
The doctors had taken them away as soon as the c-section was finished. They had a team in the room. Some were for me, some were for baby A and some were for baby B. At least that’s how they called them.
Hours had passed and I hadn’t even seen my babies, when just before they were living inside me.
Finally, with my husband by my side, a nurse rolled in my bed to the NICU. Each of my twins had their own incubator. I couldn’t hold them, or nurse them, or be with them all that long. I just had a moment to see them there, in their little homes, all wrapped and wired…it was a strange sensation. I knew they were ok, I knew they were being well taken care of, but I felt so disconnected to these little babies who just moments ago had been with me for the last 33 weeks.
My twins were born prematurely, as are 58% of all twins.
At 29 weeks, I had what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions, but it was the beginning of a long journey in the hospital, on bedrest, hoping and praying that those little guys would stay put for more weeks in my tummy.
Our weeks to come were challenging. For five weeks, I woke up alone in the hospital to the sounds of new families celebrating their newborn babies. I also heard many babies being born! And probably the hardest thing I heard were the families leaving the hospital. One after the other, day in and day out, while I lay there, feeling like I was doing absolutely nothing except missing my oldest baby and husband at home. But I know now I was doing a lot. I was helping my twins continue to grow and get strong.
The nurses were so sweet, they checked on the twins twice every single day and found their heartbeats (which was sometimes always challenging). I tried to narrow down baby names, settled for hospital food, tried to sleep, binge watched Grey’s Anatomy, wrote, and prayed. And if we’re being honest, I cried every day as well. It was so hard being away from my first little baby, luckily he was too young to be too upset and Papa MOE was with him around the clock, and Grandma MOE visited often.
Then at 33 and 3 days, my little twins decided they had had enough. I went back into labour and at that point, the doctors were not going to administer any medication to stop the process. My twin babies came into the world on the birthday of my oldest son. That’s right! They all have the same birthday! It was weeks before my husband and I were able to hold our twin babies. It’s hard to believe that, but it’s true. And from the moment we could we held them so gently and carefully. We became pros and the kangaroo (skin to skin contact, to keep baby warm).
Looking back now, it is a lot easier, seeing how my three boys are so close, and how they love each other and have each other. And so far, birthdays have not been an issue and they love that they can celebrate together (we’ll see what happens when they are teenagers!)
November 17th is World Prematurity Day. I write something about my experience every year since I first heard about this awareness day. To see my other posts click on the titles below:
As well, please check my other blogger friends that are mamas of preemies searching for the hashtag #WorldPrematurityDay on Twitter and other social media platforms.
For more information on how you can help and spread the word, visit MarchofDimes.com