I nearly didn’t get to be a Mom. It’s not something I like to talk about, but as my kidlets are turning into tweens, I have been reflecting at how many amazing moments I have been able to be part of. My story isn’t a typical story for a Mom of Multiples. You see, many times people ask or assume that it was a struggle to conceive, as many families who have sets have gone through extreme measures to become pregnant. I wasn’t one of them. The stick said “PREGNANT” after the first missed cycle and after only a few months of “pulling the goalie”. My twins aren’t rainbow babies either. I was lucky to have a pregnancy that checked off milestones after the first trimester without any big concerns. My near miss happened on their birthday. The day that I had waited for all those 38 weeks. My husband was instructed to take photos of their arrival and managed to get them both screaming and then swaddled up to head to the newborn nursery. I saw their squishy faces for only a moment before the two NICU teams took them to the newborn ward to be throughly checked.
I knew something wasn’t quite right because my OB and the rest of the team had grown very quiet in the interim between the babies arrival and their impending departure. I told my husband to go with the babies and take photos because I couldn’t be there and I didn’t want to miss a moment of their first day, but I was also thinking that if things were to go very badly, they wouldn’t let him back in if I was dying. I didn’t want him to see me die if that was what was going to happen.
My doctor had an Austrian accent, which made the conversation all that more surreal when he told me that they had massaged my uterus for 45 mins and I was still bleeding. He told me that they were giving me as much blood as they could but it was not helping. He asked me if I knew what that meant and I told him I understood and asked if I would be put under because my spinal block was wearing off. I knew that these babies would be my only babies. Then darkness.
I woke up in recovery with a woman who I knew was my anesthesiologist looking at me with a concerned brow and realized my chest hurt and it was hard to breathe. I was still bleeding into my chest. Darkness again.
I didn’t wake up for 3 days. Three days. I learned when I woke up in ICU that my mother-in-law had come to replace the Chaplain that they had asked sit with my husband while he insisted over and over again that everything was fine.
I also learned that I had gone into DIC and that most people don’t wake up from that. It a clotting problem with your blood that when treated results in massive hemorrhaging. My blood was replaced 7 times over with plasma, and the blood that they had typed and cross-matched for my twins that didn’t need anything when they popped out.
When my nurse sister heard it she went white, probably because the common name for it in some medical circles is “Death Is Coming”. My MIL staged a mutiny to bring my babies from their floor to the ICU so that I could see them maybe because she realized that they would be the best medicine to get me well.
I almost didn’t make it to be a Mom, but their birthday is still my happiest day and I feel lucky to be able to do all the things that are great and terrible for them. The worry, the pride and the stress of parenting such different people. I love it all. I can’t wish for any other story than my own, because if something had been different I might not have the same perspective on giving of myself to only them.