I did not expect to be writing this entry this soon! But here I am!
I went to bed Thursday night planning to do some hours at work the next day. But the babies had other plans. After I'd been asleep about 3 hours, at about 1:20 am on Friday, December 8, I felt some fluid leaking and I got up to go to the bathroom. That's when I realized that a trail of water was running down my leg and following me down the hall. I made it to our bedroom (I've been sleeping on the couch for the last two weeks because it gives better back support) and told Dan, who was still awake reading, "I think my water broke."
As I said it, another gush came and puddled on the floor.
We called a nurse, who told us (of course) to go to the hospital. After that, we rushed around, throwing things into bags (turns out we forgot my wallet, of all things!) and trying to find a towel for me to sit on for the 15-minute drive. I was not feeling any contractions or any other pains, so that made the rush and the drive easier. We laughed and joked the whole way, though both of us were nervous. At one point, we saw a police car's flashing lights and thought it would be really funny to get pulled over at this moment. But it didn't happen, and because of the late hour, we got there in record time.
Once we were in the hospital, things happened very fast. They got me into a gown, gave me an IV, tried to reach my doctor and sent the anesthesiologist in to talk to me and explain what was going to happen. Dan was given scrubs and changed into them. Soon I found myself being wheeled down the hall and into the operating room for my c-section. It turns out my doctor couldn't make it. He had been on call the night before and just wasn't in shape to do it. But the doctor who was there that night is also very nice (he'd been on during one of our false alarm trips).
Dan waited outside the OR while the anesthesiologist put the spinal block into me. The worst part of that was the injection to numb the area. Soon after I felt a weird, slightly tingly numbness spreading down my midsection to my legs and toes. I didn't even try to move anything down there, figuring it would just freak me out. They turned me onto my back, spread my arms out to the sides and put the screen up in front of my face. I felt a little bit like a human sacrifice about to happen. Dan came in at that point, sat down and held my hand. He later said waiting out in the hall was a really intense time for him.
What was going through my head? I was just trying to stay calm. It didn't seem real that very soon I would have babies. I remember the OB joking with me a bit (I asked him if he could do a tummy tuck while he was at it), and I remember telling the anesthesiologist at one point that I was feeling a little nauseous. I also remember asking Dan to describe the physics problem he had been working on earlier to me. He started to, but then we both lost concentration. I felt no pain, just lots of really strong tugging and shaking sensations in my mid-section, like some very strong men were pulling back and forth on something attached to me but unidentifiable.
When they pulled Will out at 3:30 am, his first cry sounded like an angry cat. I noted this to Dan. Then the cry became more conventionally baby-like. I think they had already cut his cord when they whipped him around the screen so we could see him. He looked very pink, and very angry! One minute later, they told Dan to stand up. He saw the doctors holding Ruth by her little feet, upside down, pulling her out. He told me he didn't register anything but her (so fortunately he doesn't remember anything gory!). They whipped her around the screen for my view even more quickly (she was smaller, but just as pink and angry)-and ta da! Our twins-William Markey Becker and Ruth Amanda Becker-were born!
They invited Dan to go over and watch in the other corner of the OR where the nurses were cleaning them up and weighing them. The OBs, meanwhile, sewed me up. Will came in at 4 lbs. 8 oz. and Ruth at 3 lbs. 15 oz. Dan ran back and forth between me and them, giving me updates and describing the process. In a matter of minutes, a nurse approached me (I was still just a disembodied head and arms) and showed me both babies all cleaned and wrapped up. Dan got to hold them, and the four of us spent a few moments together at the end of the surgery. Then they whisked them away to the NICU. As for me, I think I was outta there by 3:45 or so. They wheeled me into a recovery room, where my first reaction to the spinal fading was violent shivering. I lost track of time, but it seems I was in there for an hour and a half to two hours. Dan moved between me and the babies, continuing to give updates. And when they thought I'd had enough time in the recovery room, they wheeled me in my bed into the NICU to see them again.
I am now home from the hospital, where I spent three days recovering from the surgery (it hasn't been too bad overall so far; the worst part was the first post-op poop; sorry to be graphic but it's true) and hanging out with the babies in the NICU, where they will probably reside for a couple of weeks due to their small size (they're healthy at least; both got 9s on their Apgars!). I also got to know the breast pump really really well. It was very hard leaving the hospital last night without the babies, but the nurses in the NICU are amazing and we have 24-hour access. We're headed over there a little later today for the 2 pm and 5 pm feedings.
It's amazing to be a mom, and Dan finds it equally amazing to be a dad. We feel blessed, elated, tired and inspired all at once. It's been great keeping this journal. Thanks to everyone who wrote to me over the months with reassurance and commiseration. I probably won't write every week at this point, but I do plan to send one more update when they come home (and if one comes home sooner, I'll send two updates). Happy Holidays to everyone! I know we got what we wanted for Christmas.