New Dad Panic (that didn’t take long)

On the second day in the hospital, Scout started making choking noises and I instantly panicked.  Normal behavior for a guy who’s only been a dad for two days, right?  Right?

This panic led to me pressing some button on the wall, hoping someone would come to help our rescue.  I had no clue that this button was actually the “Code Blue” button that should only be pressed when your baby stops breathing.  My bad.

We heard an announcement of “Code Blue”, followed by our room number.  I looked at Mom and wondered if that was for us.  In a matter of seconds, three nurses and two doctors ran into the room and I told them that Scout was choking.  They rolled their eyes at each other (which was really meant for me), held her on her stomach, and calmly slapped her back.  As it turns out, it wasn’t really an emergency (to them).

I apologized and explained that I didn’t know what the buttons on the wall were for because no one explained them to us.  They were kind and explained the purpose of each button.

They also said that when babies are born naturally, a lot of their mucus and other fluids are sort of squeezed out of their chests, but that sometimes c-section babies retain some of this mucus.  They advised us to keep her upright for a while so she doesn’t choke again.  No problem.

Mom asked me if I was okay and I told her I was, so she tried to get a little sleep.

As she was sleeping, and I was holding Scout upright, I noticed that Griffin’s hat had come off his head.  I remembered the instructions I was given earlier in day: Make sure you keep the babies swaddled and keep their hats on at all times, especially him, since he’s so small.

New dad panic hit me again.

I needed to get the boy’s hat back on his head.  Like, now.

Holding Scout in one arm, I used my free hand to put Griffin’s hat back on.  But I couldn’t get it on with one hand.

I tried again and again, but the stupid hat refused to go on.

I was convinced that Scout would immediately choke and die if I laid her down for two seconds while I put Griffin’s hat on.  That was literally the scenario playing in my head.

But Griffin would also freeze to death if I didn’t put his hat on.  I imagined my son’s body temperature dropping two degrees for every second I delayed.  Probably crazy-person thoughts, but I then again, I was probably a crazy person.

I didn’t want to wake up my exhausted wife.  She had been through a lot and she had little time to rest because of the constant visitors.  I was a dad now, so I had to handle things.  By myself.  But I couldn’t handle things and I started to seriously panic.

I walked over to Griffin and held his hat in place with my free hand, while holding Scout in the other arm.

How am I going to raise two babies once we leave the hospital?  I can’t even put the kid’s hat on with one hand.

So I just kind of held his hat on for a few minutes and started crying to myself.

I wasn’t cut out for this twin stuff.  There’s no way I can do this.

I felt bad for my wife because she was teamed up with a dud (me).  I pictured myself in gym class, with two captains picking teams, and my wife (who would definitely be a captain) had to reluctantly let me on her team because I was the last turd left in the class.

She woke up and asked me if I was okay.  I explained the guaranteed-death scenario that I was faced with and she took Scout, while I secured Griffin’s hat on his cold head.

Disaster averted.  She helped me laugh it off and told me I was crazy.  And all was right with the world.

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Our Stay in the Maternity Ward

Our time in the hospital was often occupied with visiting friends and family, which is exactly what we wanted.  It was neat to see everyone so excited over our two new babies.

Coolest thing about having twins: When two people visit, they can both hold a baby!

We tried to snap a photo of each guest holding both babies at the same time.  People’s faces instantly light up when they’re holding two newborns.  I mean, it’s not something that you do everyday, right?

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Fine, I’ll just say it so everyone knows: I didn’t spend a single night at the hospital with my wife.

She insisted that I went home each night to be with our dogs, who were still the loves of her life.  But really, I think she just wanted to have sleepovers with her best friend, like she had been doing since their friendship began in first grade.  This is a great place for an old photo of these two BFFs.

Each night at 8:00, Katy would walk into our room wearing sweatpants and carrying her overnight bag and pillow.  I’d stick around for a few minutes and then take off, passing the baton to Katy-Daddy.  Katy helped Megg with night feedings and diaper changes and kept meticulous notes about feeding and dirty diapers.

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I woke up each morning, fed and walked our dogs, gave them kisses from Mom, and reported back for the day shift in the maternity ward.  I would find the two girls having breakfast, holding babies, and being besties.

It was perfect.

My wife got some rest, our best friend got quality time with the babies, and the dogs were still feeling the love.

The rest of our stay was routine, or as far as “routine” can be with twins who are just a few days old.

Because our friends were just down the hall, and we wanted to live our lives as normally as possible, we had a small get-together one night, complete with snacks and beers, like we have done for the past few years.  Nurses would pop in and see that patients from down the hall were in our room.  They would check their charts to make sure they were in the right room, and we would explain our friendship to them, while hiding our adult beverages like we were sneaky high school kids.

This whole twin-parenting thing wouldn’t be too bad!

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On our final day, Mom was still pretty exhausted and recovering from her c-section, and we decided that we would ask for another night in the hospital, mostly so we could continue to make the most of their amazing staff.  We made sure that we rehearsed our lines for the plea, in order to make our case as powerful as possible.

Then the time came.

The doctor heard our request and came to discuss it with us.

We didn’t really have to make too much of an argument actually, and the sympathetic doctor did all of the work for us.

She literally took my wife’s hands in hers and said, “Mom, you just had major surgery and now you have twins.  Babycakes, it’s a no brainer, you’re staying.”

I swear, I almost hugged the woman.  We were prepared to cry and beg, but we didn’t even have to!

What a relief.  So we hunkered down for our final night