When the time finally came our twin c-section, Mom was taken to the operating room and I was taken to a hallway outside of the OR. Here’s what transpired while I waited, adorned in my scrubs, hat, booties, and facemask.
Mom had to have the spinal block put in, which required her to sit on the edge of the bed, hunched over, while the doctor guided the inexperienced attendee how to properly insert a gigantic needle into her spine.
Yes, the man who went to college for like, ten years, was giving pointers to the newbie who holding the potentially-paralyzing needle. It hurt, but got the job done.
I was called in a few minutes later. I walked into the OR to see my wife on the table, with a sheet held up around her chest to prevent peeking into the messy stuff. I sat in a swivel chair by her head and held her hand.
I had no idea what to talk about and I hated it.
Her stomach was being literally cut open and I was expected to make conversation? I probably apologized about the whole bee’s nest incident again and asked her how she felt.
She asked me if it was bloody. I told her that I couldn’t see any blood anywhere, deciding it wasn’t the right time to mention the puddle of blood spilling by my left foot.
She asked me if I had the camera. I did, and I took the lens cap off, just to show her that I was ready.
Then came Baby A. A chubby little girl who didn’t make a peep. I stood up with the camera, looked in the viewfinder, and snapped the first photo of our first child!
The camera was set to “timer” and it refused to work. (see evidence below)
I didn’t know the timer was on. I only knew that I had just failed to honor the one and only request that my wife had made. My iphone managed to sneak a photo before Baby A was taken to her incubator.
In just one minute, Baby B came out. This boy was hell on wheels. Screaming in my face with his arms held up to his head. Baby B was almost half the size of Baby A, and it really freaked me out.
To make matters worse, the doctor wanted to know how far along Mom was in the pregnancy, and why she had to deliver so soon, as if this information was never before discussed and we had just come in because we were bored at home. These are not the questions you want to hear as your preemie-sized baby is being taken from the womb. They assured us that everything was fine, and that he was just very, very small.
“Dad, you can go look at the babies while we finish with Mom.”
I probably looked over my shoulder to see if my dad was in the operating room because this “dad” term was new to me. But then I realized it was me that they were talking to.
Oh, I could go see my babies.
But I couldn’t.
I came into this operating room with my best friend. The girl that I have loved for twelve years. The person who makes me laugh on a daily basis. She needed me now. I didn’t really know those two babies in the incubators. It was such a strange feeling.
After a few minutes, I got up and went to look at the two strangers who had just become my son and daughter. The size difference was incredible. He was still wailing, and she was quietly looking up at the bright lights. I snapped some photos, cut some umbilical cords, and held two little hands.
Then I went back to Mom and stayed with her until we all left the OR together, as a family.
My new little family.