Mom and babies were wheeled out to the recovery room and I followed, holding my wife’s hand. As soon as we were placed in our small, secluded spot, we finally had some alone time.
The alone time lasted about 30 seconds.
Before we knew it, the nurse was taking our babies from their little incubators and bringing them to Mom, who was exhausted and still lying on the hospital bed.
She quickly pulled down Mom’s gown at the top, as if there was nothing there that she didn’t want the whole world to see. I know my wife is a modest girl, so I just kind of looked away, knowing that she wouldn’t be totally comfortable with this whole thing either.
Then they put the babies, both of them, on Mom’s chest.
Oh yeah, the whole skin-to-skin contact thing that I had heard about.
My wife was a mom now, so apparently she was expected to breastfeed immediately. They quickly put our new baby girl on Mom and instructed Mom how to ensure a firm latch. The kid was less than 20 minutes old and they were forcing her face into feeding position, squeezing her cheeks and stuff to make sure she was feeding. Then came Baby Boy onto the other side.
Wasn’t this tandem breastfeeding for like, professional twin moms?
Megg was a novice, being forced to try a pretty overwhelming task, while still pretty loopy from the drugs that were just being fed through her spine from the twin delivery. It was daunting, to say the least.
Actually, it was insane.
Again, my wife is tough. She can handle almost anything. And she can certainly put anyone in their rightful place if needed, but she laid there passively, letting this rough nurse manipulate her and our newborns. I can’t even imagine the whirlwind of emotions that she was experiencing. She just kind of laid there and succumbed to the instructions of the staff.
She was softly crying, which is a miracle, because I would have been a wreck. This was all so new to her.
Rough Nurse saw her tears and said, in a tone too judgmental for my taste, “Want to talk about it, Mom?”
“No,” was her reply.
Damn right she didn’t want to talk about it! She probably couldn’t talk about it if she tried. So lay off, lady!
Super tiny Baby Boy just couldn’t latch, so they put him on her chest where he just laid and looked at me.
Cute little guy.
Rough Nurse, who must have skipped the chapter on bedside manners when she was in nursing school, asked, “What’s his name?”
“Griffin”, I told her.
“Oh, you might want to reconsider that name. He’s pretty small.”
Strike three, you’re out.
She was implying that my perfect son, who only weighed 4lbs 10oz, was too small to live up to his name, Griffin. Just because a griffin is a mythological creature, a lion with an eagle’s head, doesn’t mean the name won’t work for my sweet son, despite his size.
At that exact moment, I became a dad. My passive nature dissolved and I defended my family.
I looked at her name tag and fired back. “You’re name is Dahlia and you’re certainly no flower.” It was my finest moment. Ever.
My wife didn’t say a word, but I knew that once I said it, she was proud to have married me seven years ago. Dahlia (stupid name anyway) backed off and let us have some time alone.
We marveled at our twins and noted how our little boy was so cute and seemingly needy as he laid on her chest. I know it sounds strange, but he reminded us of our bulldog at home. Our sweet dog, who has cost us over $15,000 in countless surgeries and health issues, also loved his mom and she loved him more than anything in this world. I told Mom about the mental connection I’d made between bulldog and boy, and she said that she was already thinking the same thing. Our big girl, who actually only weighed 6lbs 8oz, was eating like a champ. Apparently she had been doing this in the womb too, saving none for her younger brother.
Mom ate a few cups of ice chips to quench her 12-hour thirst and we waited for her body temperature to rise so we could go to the room where we would stay for the next three or four days.
Before you know it, Dahlia came back and said that it was time to bathe the babies. I stepped aside so she could grab our new little girl, Scout. (I hope that name didn’t offend Dahlia, but I forgot to double check with her.) “Come on Dad, you’re going to bathe her.”
No, that’s ok. I’m hardly qualified to touch my own newborns, so bathing them is out of the question. You can go ahead and bathe them, thanks.
Not quite. I realized that this was a case of sink or swim. Baptism by fire, I suppose. So I decided to let her throw me right into the whole parenting thing, and I bathed my daughter. Of course I was doing it wrong, wiping too gently and not actually cleaning her because I was afraid of breaking her, but by the time I had to bathe Griffin, I was a little more confident.
So with two clean babies (thank you very much), we waited for another 30 minutes or so before moving up to our room, where we would introduce our new family members to our parents and other family members.