The only surgery I have ever had was a tonsillectomy, so I had no idea what to expect from a c section. The spinal block didn’t hurt too badly; I think the I.V insertion hurt worse! The strangest part was how exposed I was, literally. And there are so many people who come in and out of the operating room while you are laid out for display on the operating table. My strategy throughout the spinal prep, spinal insertion, surgery prep and surgery itself was to pretend that none of this was strange or uncomfortable and to focus on what the rewards would be.
Like I said before, everything moved very fast. My OB had already begun to cut me open by the time they brought my husband in! I was definitely pretty numb, although I could feel everything they were doing to me. Everything I read describes the sensations as “pressure” but I’m not sure that is how I would describe it. It was a strange feeling every time they separated a layer of flesh or muscle and even stranger when they removed a baby. The worst part of the whole surgery was the nausea I felt. I was so afraid I would vomit, and I prayed hard the whole time that I wouldn’t.
When they pulled out the babies they cried immediately, and then I cried. I knew their lungs were working perfectly based on their screams! All I could do was try to see glimpses of my babies being cleaned and inspected while the doctors removed my placentas and stitched me up. When I tried to look at the babies my vision would cross for some reason so I had to look out of one eye! My husband was able to be with them and take pictures; eventually they brought them over to me to briefly say hello before whisking them away to the NICU due to their premature status.
At some point a nurse rolled me over to the recovery area and apparently they didn’t have a room available for me right away so I spent two hours in a recovery holding area; alone except for the nurse. I vaguely remember her asking me some question and I remember me asking her a million questions and rambling…the meds had me a little loopy! They finally brought me to a room but I wasn’t allowed to get up for 6 hours. I also had a catheter, an I.V and a pain relief pump attached to my body to there wasn’t much moving around. Six hours rolled around and I still wasn’t allowed to see my babies because the NICU had received an emergency admittance and couldn’t allow any visitors in. I didn’t get to see my new babies until 1:00am Sunday morning (8 ½ hours after they were born!)
I have to be honest and say that this was so hard on me. First they took my babies away to the NICU, then I wasn’t allowed to see them, and my husband and mother stayed with the babies so I was all alone for a long time after delivery. Having a c section and then not seeing my babies for so long made it seem like birth never really occurred. The whole thing was surreal. Having the babies stay in the NICU instead of in our room made it seem even more like a dream, as if I didn’t really have babies. This created a strange disconnect. It was so hard to believe that just hours before I had 2 babies in my body and now they were gone…having to go and “visit” our babies was strange too. They were surrounded by sick babies and hooked up to all sorts of monitors, not to mention the nurses who were always around. I didn’t have a chance to just be alone with my babies and bond with them. I hated this feeling of disconnect.
Although our babies were born perfectly healthy, without any medical complications, it was still scary to see them with all those leads attached to them which were hooked up to the constantly beeping monitors. Our babies were so tiny and delicate! Four pounds is just so small and their heads seemed as if they could fall off at any moment! I was just in awe with these tiny creatures; these compact humans…and the fact that they were mine. I know that we adopted these babies as embryos but they came out with our coloring! Baby girl is a brunette like my husband and Baby boy is a blonde like me! They both had blue eyes like me, but with hazel starbursts around the pupil (my husband has hazel eyes) and Baby boy has my pale/reddish skin tone and Baby girl is slightly more olive like my husband. The fact that we could see ourselves in them was just another blessing, a kiss from God. The funny thing is we posted pictures of them on Facebook and people who don’t know that we adopted embryos kept exclaiming about how they looked like us! How cute!
Neither my husband nor I had much experience with babies, let alone newborns, so we were both a little awkward at first. Thankfully, my insurance covered up to five days in the hospital so we had time to take it slow and learn from the nurses. We had no idea how long the twins would be required to stay in the NICU…only time would tell.