I have two children, two sons. Neither child was ever the only child, such is the nature of twins. After being induced at 37 weeks, and being in labor 20 hours, dilating enough, and my children still not coming; we were taken back for a cesarean section.
I have no regrets about it. I believe you reach a point in labor, possibly before, where you release control & only want what’s best for your child(ren). I had a wonderful epidural and a great team of professionals the whole time. I got sick before the cut because (surprise, surprise) I’m allergic to various anesthesia. I remember it all so clearly. I remember shaking from the medicine and lying spread out on the table with Nathan on my left and the anesthesia technician rubbing my head. I remember them saying I lost a liter of blood.
& then there was Lincoln.
That’s my son. My happy, busy, joyous son. At 12:13 a.m., wiggling fiercely in Dr. Schlechter’s hands. Perfectly healthy. I didn’t cry, but the technician said, “Honey, breathe, you have to breathe.” I’d stopped breathing as he took his first breaths, and I hadn’t even realized. Time stopped right there. Right then, when my son was born, everything just stopped. It felt like the operating room moved in slow motion.
& then in fast forward as they handed Lincoln to Nathan. I’d never seen Nathan’s face look like that. The time between I believe is a unique experience to multiple moms. Most parents have months or years between their children. Their first born is a true first child and experiences their parents’ alone, my children do not really know this experience.
I just had a son…but I was still on the table. While I had joy to see my son, it was fleeting, and gone as he moved out of my line of sight. More doctors and nurses approached the table, splatters of blood hit my doctor. The time between, filled with concerned faces. I watched them all. Scrutinizing expressions, waiting for the cry, or the look of success.
I had a Lincoln, but he wasn’t with me anymore. He was being cleaned up. My baby wasn’t with me. My other baby, still unborn, struggling. How can a mother feel joy & panic at the same time?
It was the worst 3 minutes of my life.
& then there was Logan.
& time stopped again. At 12:16 a.m. “He was really hiding out in there.” My healthy son, my quiet, goofy, musically-inclined little guy. Immediately hungry from the start. His skin was darker, I remember repeating myself many times asking, “Is he okay? Is he breathing okay?” But his skin lightened with each passing minute. He was okay.
& time sped up again. Both my babies were with Nathan and things were okay. As the doctor cleaned me up & sewed me closed, she told me how Lincoln’s refusal to drop into natural delivery saved Logan’s life. How his umbilical cord would have hung him in natural labor. My brave little guys, one protecting the other from day 1.
The time between, those 3 whole minutes, can be filled with one word: Incomplete. The time between where my husband became a father and my entire worldview changed. The time between where I ceased to worry about the surgery, my health, or anything other than my children. Those 3 minutes where anxiety became a permanent fixture in my life, the only 3 minutes my children had ever been separated.
& Lincoln knew his brother was missing. The nurses were talking, “He’s looking for his twin,” and “He knows something (ahem, someone) is missing.” But God blesses these children and they were born unto us, cleaned & wrapped, placed together, sleepy and wiggling.
Perspective. In 3 minutes, 2 lives entered the world while countless more would be forever altered by them.