The newest smugmugs!
I’m now a dad not once, but twice over. I’m not sure it’s totally sunk in yet. In the space of less than an hour we went from being pregnant (and expecting to stay that way for at least a little longer) to being parents. Crazy!
My wife is doing a much better job at blogging this than I am, so go read hers for the regular, frequent, detailed updates. But I do have one story to tell that she can’t: The C-Section. If you’re squeamish (like I am), you may not want to continue reading…. or click any of the links below. 🙂
Those who know me well know that things like needles, blood, cutting flesh, and the like make me go woozy. I get faint enough to pass out most of the time. For the entire 7 months of the pregancy (our twins were born early at 31.5 weeks), everyone had been telling me not to watch the C-Section.
And boy, was it cool! No sign of wooziness here, I can tell you. And yes, as a good smugmugger, I had a camera with me the whole time (Baldy’s Canon 20D for those of you keeping score at home). And I got some great shots!. Almost as soon as I got in there, I peeked over the curtain as a trial run to see if I could handle it.
What I saw on the other side didn’t really resemble my wife, or any human for that matter. The surgeons had covered her entire abdomen with a plastic sheet which adhered to her skin, and then began cutting through it. It was too surreal to be gross, and things only got more surreal as the operation progressed. It only lasted maybe 10 minutes, but it was crazy.
Perhaps the strangest thing for me was that they seemed to be treating my wife more like a slab of meat than a person. They were so anxious to get the babies out that they were exerting *lots* of force on her, pulling her every which way. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t feeling anything, but she wasn’t -she felt human on one side of the curtain, but looked like a side of beef on the other.
Then, after they’d cut through her skin, fat, and muscle, I saw something white poking out of the new hole in my wife. Thinking it was some organ, I almost turned back to my wife to chit-chat a little when I realized that wasn’t an organ – it was a tiny foot! Fascinated, I watched as the surgeons tried to grab said foot, only to fail. Leia, my little girl, was busily kicking them off of her as soon as they tried to grab it!
Finally they got a good grip and *yanked* her out. I don’t mean gently eased her out – they *hauled* her out and tossed her down on my wife’s stomach for a few seconds. (Yes, tossed. Again, like a side of beef). She looked more like a baby-shaped sausage than an actual baby – all white skin and wrinkles. Certainly not the pink baby I expected, and the doctors weren’t treating her much like one either. Leia lay there for a few seconds, obviously alive but helpless. She slumped down and patiently waited to see what came next – and I was in love. As soon as they snipped her umbilical cord, though, the nurses whisked her away and began to clean her up. Almost instantly her skin got all pink and she began to cry. Elizabeth and I beamed.
Looking back, there was now a surgeon with half his arm buried in my wife’s stomach. Basically up to the elbow, obviously trying to grab another slippery, squirmy, kicking baby. Finally they manged to get Logan cornered in there (poor guy had no-where to hide!) and hauled him out too. Again, sausage which looked remarkably similar in shape and size to a baby. Again, love. This time I had the presence of mind to get more than one photo, so we’ve got a little more photo evidence of his resemblence to a sausage.
The fascinating (non-squeamish!) surgery part over, I ambled over to the two infant beds they had set up for the cleaning procedure. They were nice enough to let me cut Logan’s umbilical cord (again, no wooziness!) which was probably the first instant I really started thinking dad-like thoughts. The surgery was so surreal it hadn’t even begun to hit me that I was now a daddy. Beaming, I rushed over and told my lovely wife that I’d cut his cord, and watched her kiss her babies as they left for their reservations at Hotel NICU.
Now, a week later, I’ve gotten to talk to them (even sing a little, and I can’t sing!), touch them, change them, hold them, and (my favorite so far) read to them!
Thanks especially go out to the wonderful surgeons who delivered our beautiful babies, the nursing staff and doctors who were with us throughout the entire ordeal (short version: 2 years of infertility followed by miracle pregnancy and then 7.5 weeks of pre-term labor, with 5 trips to the hospital and my poor wife stuck in bed the entire time), and our family and friends whom we love so much. We couldn’t have done it without any of you.
I’m a dad – and my life has changed forever.