Jake woke up for work, I begged him not to leave. Something was off. I got in the shower thinking the warmth would help my aches. I lasted literally ten second. I drank water, layed on my left side. I cried, "I think it's time."
Jake grabbed the bags, he helped me dress. In the car I thought I'd puke everywhere, my nerves were getting the best of me. He drove as quickly as he could, we detoured morning traffic. At 7:30, I was checking in at L&D. The nurses were looking at me like I was crazy as they hooked me to the monitors. They found the babies heartbeats and nothing else. My OB was paged, and an "veteran" Midwife came in, she believed me when I said "These are contractions." She moved the monitor and sure enough, 3-4 minutes apart. My OB called her while she was in our room and said he'd be there at 10 am.
What should have been "hours" seemed like minutes. My OB walked in with a look on his face that said it all. I laughed a little and said "I don't get a choice do I?", his answer, "Nope. I'm going to check to see if you've dilated, the Perinatologist is on his way back to check on the babies. You're not dilated," He said to me. "Book the OR, and call the NICU" to the nurse. "Your babies will be here at lunch time."
My last question, "We shouldn't expect to hear them cry right?"
"No most likely they won't, their too small. I promise I'll take great care of you and them both, we'll all do the best we can," and with that he was gone. (I later found out he spent the next two hours with the NICU staff discussing our case and making them promise they could handle these babies.)
Jake called his parents. I called my mom, she got there first because she only worked two blocks away. One of my Uncles brought my grandmother to me. My sister in law sent us a text message saying she was praying, it would all be ok. I sent messages to my three of our closest friends to let them know. One demanded answers, answered I didn't have. I turned my phone off.
I was moved to another room, and my "labor nurse" came in and got me prepped. They called hospital clergy to pray with us. I sobbed from then until, in the OR when I knew it needed to be still for my spinal to be placed. Jake was finally allowed in the OR.
I hated my c-section experience, absolutely hated it.
At 1:10pm, Addison made her grand entrance, the NICU team took over with her and were working on her from the corner of the OR. I remember two faces vividly, neither of which are my children. The Nurse Practitioner came by with Addison in the isolate and said "Say Hi, to Mommy" and showed me her face and she was gone, it as a blur, I don't remember what she looked like. The Neo who we met during one of our many trips to L&D gave me a brief report on Addison and then she rushed out to be with her.
Blake arrived at 1:11pm and moved to the next OR room where a NICU team worked on him.
While my OB worked to get me closed up, the second NICU team came in and told Jake to hurry over to the next OR and say hi to Blake before they took him up to the NICU. In seconds he was back, "He's gorgeous," he told me. I didn't even get to see my little boy.
We never heard our babies cry in the delivery room. I didn't get to hold them to my chest, Jake didn't get to cut the cord. In a flash it was all over and I was back in L & D recovering. I could hear mom's nearby screaming as they pushed, babies crying as they took their first breaths. It was so very cruel. I was being handed a piece of paper with weights written on it, that was it. No babies to hold. A piece of paper that read "A - 1lb 10oz/740 grms, B - 1lb 14oz/820 grms".
Later once they were ready to move me to the Mother/Baby unit for the duration of my stay, they arranged to have us stop in the NICU and meet our babies. I saw Blake but immediately our attention was called to Addison. Clergy was at her bedside and addressed us, I will never forget his words. "It's my understanding that you wish to have a Baptism take place, we only do these in emergent situations. I've been informed by the staff that now would be the time to do this for your daughter." They didn't expect our baby girl to make it. (Much later I found out that before we arrived she had coded and was down for few minutes before they could get her back.)
Words I couldn't speak, instead a head nod. Addison was Baptised as two L&D nurses, my husband, the Clergy and Addison's nurse held hands and prayed. I was moved to my room right after that, no time to linger and visit. It would be many many hours before I could see them again and before I could go back up to visit the Neo came to see us (a Neo who I'd never met before) and give us the grim outlook on Addison. I'll forever remember the fear in his eyes as he broke the news and asked just how far we wanted him to go. He listened to us and took our advice. Nurses prayed over her as they worked to keep her alive.
A year ago today, two of the most amazing, precious, and strong miracles were brought into this world making us parents for the very first time.