Today, my babies, Claire and Olivia turn a year old. A full year old. So, it only seems appropriate (and nostalgic) to write a post about the day they came into this beautiful crazy world.
We were scheduled for a C-Section on February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day!) at 6am. Baby A (the baby closest to the cervix) was footling breech so there weren’t any other options for us, a C-Section it was.
February 12th we celebrated my husband’s birthday with dinner and cake at his parents house. When we returned home around 8pm, snow had started to fall and it was really beginning to pile up. We knew we had to be at the hospital the following day to do some pre-op blood work so Dan decided to shovel the driveway so it would be easier to get on the road the following day. He took Otis, our 80lbs Goldendoodle outside with him, as he always does. In the glow of the white snow, Otis spots, what we thought, was a cat across the street and makes a mad dash over to say hello to his new found friend. That new found friend wasn’t a cat after all, but rather a skunk. You guessed it. Otis got sprayed in the face, and Dan had to run out to Walmart to buy Skunkout. At 38-weeks pregnant and on bed rest there wasn’t much that I could do to help, so Dan spent the next 3hrs bathing Otis. Not wanting the upstairs of our home to reek like skunk when the babies came home in a couple days, Dan decided to sleep on the couch in the family room with Otis beside him on the floor. The following morning I woke up at 8am, as per usual but noticed something different that morning (mucus plug?). We called the hospital and they told us that they would check us out when we came in to do our pre-op blood work. I decided not to eat anything, just in case they decided to admit me (a C-section is surgery after all). We grabbed our hospital bags, two car seats and off we went.
They strapped me in and monitored the contractions. I wasn’t feeling anything but the doctor on call informed us shortly afterwards that there were mild contractions and although my water hadn’t broke yet, I was 2cm dilated. Since I was scheduled for my C-section in 18-hours, she suggested that we move up the surgery and deliver these babies today. Her concern if she sent me home, was that I would go into labour, and I’d very likely be rushing back to the hospital later that night and we’d find ourselves in an emergency C-section situation, which she said, is a very different experience than a scheduled C-section. She wanted to avoid the risk to both myself and the babies. She came back shortly after and told us that there was good news. The operating room was available, the anasthetiologist could make it and she even called my OB.GYN (who works next door to the hospital) and he would be joining the party as well! I was relieved that the doctor I was familiar with would be there. So, we decided to have these babies a day earlier.
With two hours before our new delivery time, we called our parents to let them know. Those two hours felt so surreal. I wasn’t calm or nervous. Just numb. Suddenly, I was being escorted into the operating room. They took my husband to go scrub up and escorted me into the operating room. I’ve never been in an operating room before so the white lights and sterile equipment sent me into a mini-panic. The young nurse I had with me was great though. She calmed me down and in a few minutes, I was laying on my back staring at the ceiling, with my husband near my face talking to me. I’ll never forget hearing Claire cry for the first time. I remember thinking how quick that took as I thought they were still cutting me open. Obviously, I couldn’t feel a thing. They took Claire and Dan into another room. After a couple minutes of the doctor pushing down on my ribs (Olivia was snuggled up pretty high in my rib cage), I heard her cry out and they whisked her into the other room with Dan and Claire so that Dan could do skin-to-skin while I was getting stitched up. Shortly afterwards, they brought Olivia over to me and introduced me to my daughter “Olivia” (Dan had named her in the back room and surprised me by giving her the name that I wanted most!). Claire was born first at 3:34pm weighing 6lbs 6oz, and Olivia was born at 3:36pm weighing 6lbs 4oz. We came home with our newborn daughters two days later to the faint aroma of skunk 😉
February 13th was a beautiful day and one of the most magical for me. It was the start of a twelve month journey that would take us through some emotional highs and lows. I did my best to learn how to tandem breastfeed both babies at once, and gave as much breastmilk as my body would produce. I learned how to best soothe my babies, learning their different cues, establishing schedules and routine and training them to sleep on their own. I’ve loved two little human beings more deeply than I have ever loved anyone before. I miss their newborn baby smell, and swaddling them tightly in blankets. Every moment of the last 365 days have been complete bliss as I’ve watched Claire and Olivia grow into two independent, quite different, little toddlers.