On September 14th, we had a lovely rendez-vous with Katherine, a wonderful woman, who we signed up to be our post-partum doula. Friends with twins said she was the best and we should sign her on for the overnight shift. So, with a due date of December 17th and Dr Polon's thoughts that I would only make it to 34 weeks, we decided that she would come on in November when the babies would come out early. She would work 5 nights a week - on from 10:30pm - 8am, so we, the over 45 parents, could get some sleep!:)
I swam that afternoon at the lovely pool at the Austin Motel near our little house. At about 6pm that evening, I started bleeding - just a bit, with some slight cramping. My whole pregnancy had had scares like this, so I calmly called the amazing Dr Clive Polon. He responded in his wonderfully lilting South African accent, "Don't worry, sweetie. Keep careful watch and call me if it gets worse." So, I tucked myself into bed, the bleeding slowed down, but the cramping continued. Being a rather slim woman and carrying a bellyful of twins, I had almost constant menstrual cramping throughout the entire pregnancy up until this point. But I was worried and couldn't sleep. I made Evan stay up almost all night with me - quizzing him aloud from that month's Texas Monthly issue on Texas History. We sang, we talked, we called Dr Polon several times.
The next morning, Dr P said to come to his office right away. He took a look (I'll spare you the details) and said, "Sweetie, the babies are fine but something's not right. You're having contractions." My cramps were actually contractions! What did I know, having never been pregnant before!? I was admitted to Saint David's, hooked up to 3 heart monitors, one for each baby and one for me. They gave me a shot of magnesium sulfate to slow down the contractions - assuming they would abate and that I would be able to go home after a day or two - as well as a shot of steroids to assure that the babies' lungs could handle breathing on their own "just in case" they had to come out early. That was at 10am...Evan starting making the calls...Dr Polon checked in .... the nurses were on surveillance...the cramping worsened....at 4pm, the nurse came in and saw me, "I know that look," she said, "You're in labor." She then proceeded to stick her fist into my uterus and I screamed in pain. "What the fuck are you doing?"
Dr Polon came in at 6:30 pm. He calmly told Evan to go home and get everything we needed - a camera, my bed pillow, whatever else, make the calls...the babies were to be taken out. I cried, "They're too small and not ready." I was a mess. He said that they were fine, but they wanted/needed to come out before something started to get worse. They weren't sure what it was...
My sister Shakti, my sister and brother-in-law: Claudia & Lee, friends Laura, Kat & Don, Victor & Laura: our Katrina refugees from New Orleans - they were all there...the C-section room was freezing. The wonderfully amazing epidural raced through my body and they strapped my arms down in crucifixion mode as my body started shaking uncontrollably. The sheet was put up across my chest and Evan stood holding my hand. I talked of Texas History with the anesthesiologist - he said that was a first during any of the deliveries he'd assisted. Dr Polon stood on my left and out came Baby B, my little boy who quickly became Baby A in the delivery order. Then came my sweet little girl, Baby A became Baby B: born second at 10:32pm. I cried to Evan, "Where are they? What do they look like?" He replied, "Long, grey squirrels."
There were 14 people in the delivery room, besides the delivery team, etc., there was an neonatologist for each baby, their assistants and then some...a real party! I remember Dr Polon holding up Zelda before they whisked her away - she lifted her tiny, skinny grey arm and her eyes were open. They had no names yet...
Zelda at 1 month old
Creed at 2 months old
Happy Birthday to my dear Toxotwins!!!