Posts Tagged ‘lesbian family’

Holding pattern. (and lots of parentheses!)

April 24, 2012

We are waiting. Waiting for the flat sale to be complete, for a car, for bikes, for a baby.

‘The baby’ is often talked about (rather carefully if little ears are around) – or maybe it just seems like that because I think about it constantly. The hospital bag we will use, TMD in labour, the wrap we’ll use in the early days.

How we will need to save the bikes (you know, the ones I have yet to order. I think Coconut is too short for even the smallest ones!) as the baby will use them one day.

When we will pick up the baby gear we let some family borrow. About how Snort and Coconut will finally get some more booby milk (in cups, as I suspect they’d never be able to latch).

Ideally I wanted all the kids (!) to be much closer in age, but feel like that’s impossible with twins. Most people I know have a singleton and then twins. I know next to no one who expands their family again once twins hit the scene.

I suspect we have interesting conversations ahead of us. I would love another set, but realities mean that would be so difficult (TMD is tiny; could she go full term? Financially she would need maternity leave earlier even if full term, and if early and needing a stay in special care, with two three year olds already? Ugh. Etc…) 

So the aim is one baby.

For now. Muhahaha! (I made reference to a third pregnancy/fourth baby the other day and she was not keen.)

Where are we at, TTC wise? TMD has had her AMH bloods done – a new policy by the clinic. When I did ivf I had my hormones tested individually, but I guess this is different? Either way, it checks fertility and suitability for egg sharing. If she is eligible, then all the millions of further tests are now free (they weren’t when I did it! Bastards!).

Chromosomal analysis, every disease known to man (some repeated throughout process), etc.

She’s got all the paperwork already for us to fill in, which we will bring along to the consultation, which we haven’t booked yet. We decided to go with her eggs this time if possible. I’ll still be young enough to share eggs in a couple of years if we do go for that fourth pregnancy, which would be her again – I want desperately to be pregnant but don’t think my body could take it.

So that’s where we are. Edging slowly forward. I think the plan would be to move forward with the actual ivf process once we are back from Country A this summer. Cross your fingers for our two three year olds and one baby vision!

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Ironically, it’s the classiest tree we’ve ever had.

November 28, 2010

I feel pretty much as happy as a person can be. We went shopping this morning, and it was my first time seeing them both in one buggy!

They are growing so fast; while on holiday last week, Coco was learning 3-4 new words per day. Freaky. They are both walking out to the car and back into the house.

And now?

We’re getting ready to decorate for Christmas. The CD we’re listening to has a little ditty that goes ‘I’m the happiest Christmas tree, ho ho ho, hee hee hee.’ Coconut JAMS out to this song.

So: this is what my life is, what my Christmas is now.

A little girl dancing around to music, bouncing up and down, stomping her feet, clapping, beaming with joy. A little boy carefully examining the strand of lights sitting on the couch waiting for the tree to be erected. Grabbing the top third of the tree (oh yes, it’s artificial!) and dragging it over to us.

A quite tired little girl who likes the lights but may be afraid of the tree. A little boy in awe of the tree and entranced by the lights.

Two years ago I was undergoing IVF. Today I am happy. Plain and simple happy.

Being a parent is better than I ever thought it would be, and I have to say, I had pretty high expectations.

Sure, everything is different, adjusted. We are not getting out any of our normal tree decorations. We’re not, in fact, decorating anything but the tree – with the special shatterproof baubles we bought this weekend, and some garlands. We may make some homemade ornaments, we may save that for future years.

Everything is different. Everything is better.

We let Snort pick the decorations. We held up a tube of all purple, and a tube of red and gold. His face lit up and he reached for the all purple. Coconut was shown both tubes twice and shook her head no both times.

Snort is a Christmas geek, it appears. What do you think of his choice?

He’s even helping us hang the baubles, while Coconut is twirling them around in her hands.

I love, love, love my children, my wife, our family.

Happy early Christmas, from my happy heart and family to yours.

Edited highlights.

January 30, 2010

Taking the babies into ‘a leading global city and one of the world’s financial centres’ (thanks, Wiki) today for a birthday lunch with Compadre.

As we have missed most of his birthdays – even pre-children – he must realise how much we love him to bundle them up and take them to The Big City. We’ll have to be on guard to make sure they don’t run away into a life of debauchery or crime. (Ha, we are totally going to this posh area where we used to live and the worst crime is probably a rich twenty-something vomiting in public at 3 in the morning.) In fact, I know a non-rich girl who may have vomited up red wine on the sidewalk once. She lives in our house, but she ain’t me. Just sayin’.

There is snow on the ground, so hopefully all the dumbasses in this area who never see snow and assume that cars cannot be used with snow – but go out anyway, sliding around like fucking bumper cars – will decide to stay in for once.

Don’t know where this weather has come from. Yesterday afternoon it was so sunny and gorgeous and I thought to myself, ‘Self, you’ve got to buck up. Take the babies for a walk. You will all like it.’ Got them strapped to me, got outside, got to the furthest point away from the house, and suddenly weird white balls were falling.

I thought, ‘Leftover petals from this tree? Styrofoam balls, why are there so many fucking styrofoam balls?’ Then I realised it was hail. Giant hailballs that only increased in size and were pelting down. Coconut was NOT impressed. Snort didn’t seem to care too much. I made right for the house while trying to stop Coconut’s face from being blasted off by the killer hail.

Anyway.

We go into the city today, for the first time since our trip to the Embassy to get them their passports/foreign birth certificates. We may try to cram them into their snowsuits, which probably won’t fit, but if you see a two mom family with what appears to be giant teddy bears strapped to their fronts, make sure you stop and say hi.

They are wearing their new amber teething necklaces and looking hawt, so we’ll have to closely supervise Compadre and C Dawg to make sure they don’t spirit the babies off to join them for the pub crawl due to start after our lunch. We’re planning on skipping that part!!

Love to you all.

Everyday miracles.

December 18, 2009

Curved from both sides, a little bit lumpy and a little bit smooth

the day before you both came out from under my heart.

And when you came, carefully birthed from the cut in my

stomach, I really couldn’t comprehend where

these two beautiful children

had come from.

Such beautiful twins, they said, such a good size.

So healthy, they said, so wonderful.

We just looked at you

and our hearts delighted.

Now you grow, grow, change every day

into curious, happy, wondering little people.

I carry you both now, tucked against me, curled against my back, my front.

Tiny little sighs puff against my neck, a cheek rests on my breasts.

I sometimes look at you and think, Can this be real?

Are you mine, ours? Are we yours?

Rounded from both sides, a little bit lumpy and a little bit smooth

this day as I wonder at my body.

Each stretch, each tear, each kick I felt as you pressed against

my skin

from the inside out.

This time last year we had just found out you were

inside me. Your hearts started to beat the day after Christmas.

This year, you are here.

Yes, you are here.

Lesbian bicontinental mummies.

December 16, 2009

What’s on my mind tonight? Immigration.

When we set foot on the soil of Country A this weekend, a lot is at stake. A ‘normal’ family would just pick the ‘citizens’ or ‘foreign nationals’ line and line up together. Fill in one form.

Us? I am a citizen of Country A and Country B, as are the babies. TMD is only a citizen of Country B, as Country A is a giant big fat redneck ho-down of ignorance in terms of gay rights. Country A can actually refuse her entry into its hallowed fields of grain, etc etc as she is legally married to little ol’ me. (With a legality that is erased and unrecognised by the unbelievable arrogance of the federal laws of Country A.)

Before we had children, we would separate at the immigration lines without being coupley at all. We went through our independent lines. I was never questioned about anything regarding relationships, though I faced a fair number of questions like this: Why don’t you want to live in our great country? What is wrong with it? Why would you choose to live somewhere else? I’ve had my bags ripped apart, I’ve been shamelessly flirted with by male customs and immigration men, I have been questioned and had my answers recorded into their giant database thing.

TMD has had the odd question as well. Coming here for Christmas – what, aren’t your family mad about that? You’ve been in this country a lot recently….why is that? Do you have a boyfriend here?

I have felt belittled and angry about having to be closeted at all. I have no shame about myself, my wife, and our family. But I’ve kept my mouth shut because, well, sometimes that is easier, particularly when the people you are talking to have guns and shiny badges.

With children, things get a lot more complicated. For me, I’ll be asked to prove that I have the right to be taking them abroad on my own – I suspect this will be a bigger issue on the return trip home rather than going into that country, but still. The issue is there. I’ll be asked who I’m travelling with, as I’m actually not able to fly alone with two four month old babies.  We both have full parental responsibility for Snort and Coconut, which makes things even messier. TMD and I do not want to lie. But we don’t want to overshare, either.

I was supposed to be in a wheelchair in both airports, but have decided I will probably try to walk in Country A. This means I can go alone through the citizens immigration line with the babies and TMD can go through the foreign nationals line. Hopefully no one will want to fuck around with me too much, as I will have two babies and a giant ass twin stroller (we need it for the car seats!).

We shouldn’t have to have conversations about whether we should split up or go through as a family. We shouldn’t know that to go through as a family is inviting questions at best, TMD being detained or deported at worst. We shouldn’t be planning all of the documents we will need – including TMD getting a letter stating that she has a full time job over here and is due back at work on 5 January.

TMD shouldn’t be crying because she is scared that somehow, the unthinkable will happen and she will have to spend Christmas alone. (Incidentally, we would fly back with her…assuming they would make provision to find the babies and me seats…but why would they, if they were already fine with not recognizing us as a family?)

I shouldn’t be angry about the fact that only a few years from now, the babies won’t be babies any more and we’re going to have some tough discussions about why immigration is so different here in our home as compared to Country A.

While I know it’s very unlikely either of us will be questioned that much, and that there is no way they could stop her entering – we have a life in this country, a mortgage, full time jobs, she’s clearly not looking to make an illegal and lifelong move to The Country That Time Forgot – it’s still upsetting and scary. I won’t get my wheelchair, true, but what’s a million times more important is that we are going to be treated as less than a fully human family.

So fuck you, Country A.

I am speechless, and that doesn’t happen often.

November 2, 2009

Reading the story of a funky, big hearted lady about to give birth to her baby, who was a lovingly donated embryo – from another blogger!! People amaze me.

So does this video, which I shamelessly ripped off of her website. It made me cry cry cry…happy and sad tears.

When people are united by those things we all want – love, acceptance, hope – how powerful we are both as individuals and as a community.

I really recommend you taking the next three minutes to watch this. Love is stronger than fear.

Can’t figure out how to embed this into this entry. Any help is appreciated!

 

Don’t quit your day job.

October 21, 2009

Mornings are my favourite time. Coconut and Snort make clucking and whimpering noises, respectively, and I lift them out of their crib. We move into the lounge, where each baby goes into a bouncer. I sit on a beanbag in front of them and talk, sing, tickle, boop their noses. I am rewarded with at least thirty minutes of smiling, laughing, wiggling before they want to eat. They are the ultimate receptive audience.

Snort particularly likes (and Coconut doesn’t mind, either!) a song I used to sing when I worked at camp. It goes a little something like this:

Ding ding ding ding ding
Here comes my wagon, my wagon,
I think I hear my keeper calling meeeeeeeeee.

Ding ding ding ding ding
Here comes my wagon, my wagon,
To take me to the funny factory.

(You want the rest of the lyrics, you just let me know.)

But somehow this morning, whether I was singing that song, or even just giving them a rambling monologue about bottle preparation, I kept drifting off into some sort of trance state. That’s all I can describe it as, because whenever I snapped back into reality, I was singing that good old Venga Boys song. You know, the one that was my favourite when I went to the gay club with OGS every Thursday night. The one with the big honking horn in it.

Yes, that’s right: We like to party. We like, we like to party. The venga bus is coming, blah blah blah blah blah BLAH blah. When I say I kept singing this song, I mean for like an hour or two. I would consciously change songs or start talking again, and then the fucking Venga Boys would sneak up on me, climb into my ears, and come out of my mouth. At top volume.

I don’t get it.

While feeding Coconut, I decided to combat this problem (‘problem’?) by pretending I was a songwriter for the Disney Channel. You know, earnest and heartwrenching songs aimed at the core 8-12 year old audience who believe in true love, et all. The result was quite stirring, if I do say so myself.

You…are looking at me…
Looking at you.
You don’t seem to know what to do.
I….am looking at you….
Looking at me.
Feeling this was…meant to be.

I know, I know. Close your mouths, because your jaws have no doubt dropped to the floor in amazement at my mad songwriting skillz. I only wish you could hear the melody.

My kettle boiling skillz, though. What the fuck. In baby bottle land, you need to boil a kettle with fresh water, let it sit 15 minutes, and then decant it into bottles. I have boiled that fucker three times while writing this, because I can’t manage to take note when it stops boiling – and then set an alark clock for fifteen minutes time – BECAUSE I WOULD NEVER REMEMBER I HAD BOILED IT.

Perhaps I should write a song about this.

For now, I decided I would give Coconut and Snort some twin time. You know, there is tummy time, talk to them time, feed them time, change their nappies time. Why not a time when they can play next to each other? I think they are being raised quite singleton-ish-ly, though no doubt being twins is already influencing their behaviour and development.

All I know is that I spread out a Hello Kitty blanket on the floor, plopped them both on it (Snort is making himself miserable in his attempts to roll over, so I figured throwing him on the floor would help. You know, because rolling out of a bouncy chair probably wouldn’t be the best start to your Move By Yourself career.)

Coconut actually turned her head and looked at Snort. For a good long while.

They are becoming more and more aware of each other – this is a key difference between singletons and twins. Rumour has it within the next few months they will be entertaining each other for hours on end, staring at each other and giggling. So I’m fostering that with Twin Time, because it is so easy to not have them together you wouldn’t believe it.

I am so, so, so lucky. My little/big babies are healthy, happy, gorgeous.

They may be starting to ‘set each other off’ (in previous weeks one could repeatedly punch the other while screaming at the decibel level of a rock concert and the other one would sleep through it), but those few times Snort starts crying because Coconut is poking him when he’s trying to sleep? Totally worth them becoming more and more aware not just of myself and TMD, but of each other. It’s miraculous, and I don’t care if it has happened for centuries with every set of twins.

Just because something seems ‘everyday’ doesn’t mean it isn’t spectacular.

Advice for parents-to-be of twins.

September 25, 2009

Six weeks in, and all I can say is: relax.

While you may have imagined two babies screaming non-stop, or two little angels gurgling away – or probably something in between, you didn’t imagine it correctly. How could you? Don’t blame yourself. There you were, mammoth and pregnant, and all the cute little socks and fancy prams were gorgeous – but was it really possible to imagine two little people would be in those socks?

We were very anti-pacifier. We didn’t know about the glory of vibrating bouncers (buy two now). We were hardcore about breastfeeding.

Six weeks in, and our babies aren’t very into pacifiers…but the thing is, sometimes they are. And it helps. You’ve got one baby on your lap, feeding it and possibly holding the bottle in place with your mouth while your other hand tries helplessly to mop up the rivers of milk flowing down the side of a little face and pooling into the crevices of the neck. And let me tell you, formula does not smell nice when it has been allowed to fester in fat folds.

So your upper body is busy. You have also, of course, wedged one foot into the frame of a bouncy chair holding the non-feeding baby – because while the vibrations are great, when a baby is really hungry you might as well have placed them on a bed of spikes. You are trying to get a good, strong rhythm of bouncing going ….while not disturbing the delicate balance of bottle-in-your-mouth. Your other foot is probably sockless, while you use your toes to grip a muslin, soft book, or other toy and lift it carefully. Your aim is to somehow fling the book up at your own face, so that you can stop wiping the milk river for a minute and hold the book in front of Baby Two, who is still merrily howling away, in increasing levels of high pitched agony.

You may decide to stop feeding the first baby and give the second a nibble. You may keep switching back and forth. One thing you can be sure of, while you are engaged in this mental dance of Who Shall I Feed And How Should I Do It, you will not wind the babies enough. They will spit up. All over their fresh outfits. (For this reason, ALWAYS have a muslin draped over those expensive vibrating bouncy chairs, because otherwise you need to sponge clean and it leave it empty while it dries. This is not good. An empty chair is a wasted chair). If you do manage to get the worst of the burps out, and somehow also manage to fully feed both babies (who will be inclined to pass out once they have eaten a certain amount, what with you ignoring them to feed their twin), there is no doubt one or both will get the hiccups.

Hiccups make the least burpy baby on earth dribble. And sometimes you just sit there and watch the spit-up cake their cheeks, necks, clothes – because you are locked into some crazy ass feeding position with the other twin.

All of this is trial and error. Most of the time your babies will be really, really happy. They are possibly at their happiest on completely opposite schedules, as they get all one-on-one time….and you, of course, literally never get a second of time to yourself. Being pregnant with twins is excellent training, because that constant feeling of needing to pee? It gets you used to it, which is a good thing because you will have to have a bladder of steel if you want to keep the baby cycle going.

Of course, you are free to leave the babies both screaming while you take the time to pee, with an added luxury of wiping.

Put handwash by every sink. Invest in a thick, non-smelly lotion for every sink, too. While your hands will be cleaned and sterilised to within an inch of their lives, your knuckles start looking like you are an eighty-year-old woman who has made her living by taking in other people’s washing.

Relax. If the chairs work, they work. If the pacifiers do – and you are against them, ease up on the guilt. Life with two newborns is about flexibility, love, a sense of humour, and being honest with yourself. Because you will be tired, you will be snappy, you will feel a guilty relief when you shut the door to the bathroom and excuse yourself from motherhood for an hour – shoving the baby duties onto your equally tired partner. Every baby is different, every adult is different, and every family is different.

Be creative. Try new things and don’t be afraid to mess up. You learn a lot from getting vomited on and peed on at the same time, believe me. (Want to know how to stop your baby boy from peeing everywhere? Let me know. I AM THE MASTER.)

People (and the endless books) will tell you that everything is definite. You must form a routine for twins immediately. You must use black out curtains. You must do this, you musn’t do that. I’ve found that if you just use a bit of common sense and match things to fit your lifestyle and personality, you’ll probably be just fine.

I have spent the first six weeks quite happily, and messily, mucking along. Feeding on demand, completely following each baby’s lead, etc. While no book advises this and says it causes mothers huge amounts of stress, things have been okay. Really okay.

But in the spirit of flexibility and longer stretches of sleep at night, things may be changing soon. In the meantime, we are sleeping them in the same cot (you win a prize of honour or horror, depending on who you listen to), feeding on demand, having playtimes whenever it can be assumed they won’t vomit, talking loads to them, having them sleep on us during the day when we feel like it, etc. We even have them sleep in rooms that are not pitch black…shudder, horror. Things are fine.

This is my last week with Mil here. Next week I’m completely on my own the whole week. You may see less of me in this blog, but rest assured I am probably wearing very comfortable pants, my hair pulled back into messy buns, and I am spending a lot of time kissing little cheeks.

If you are expecting twins, you can expect to be surprised a lot – by how capable you are, by how tired you are, by how special it all is. You can also expect to spend a lot of time thanking various deities that you did not have triplets.

Love to all.

Birth story. (Or, really, a love story.)

September 12, 2009

I always wanted to be pregnant, but never really believed it would happen – and certainly didn’t expect twins. I didn’t plan for a c section, either. But with all these things, I must say that I had an ideal birth. My wife and I laughed a lot, it was pretty relaxed on the whole, and I really enjoyed the experience. Here it is…

I slept surprisingly well on Monday night, but this might be attributed to the fact that I didn’t really believe my stomach would be cut open and babies pulled out the next morning. That sort of thing is surely science fiction?

We awoke very early on Tuesday, and got to the hospital at 7:50 (ten minutes early). We rocked up – well, I was wheeled down – to labour & delivery, who promptly apologised and said someone else would be the first section of the day. This person was an emergency section after a long labour, so I didn’t blame her too much. We were sent to the antenatal waiting room, where I spent some uncomfortable time sitting up in The Wheelchair of Doom, watching Friends, doing arrowwords, and trying to be calm. Eventually they moved us into the ward to be prepped, where I had to wear a giant hospital gown on the front of me and a regular sized one on the back because nothing would fit over The Bump ™. I was shoved into hospital stockings, filled in a questionnarie, etc. The lady across from us in the Waiting For A C Section section apparently recognised me/us from the week before when we’d been organising the section (it pays to be a lesbian couple with an earth-sized bump and wheelchair…makes you memorable).

We were then sent back to L & D, ahead of the other lady, much to my relief. TMD was told to put on scrubs (she looked HOT), and about a zillion doctors, nurses, midwives, etc kept popping in to ask questions and introduce themselves. I was a bit nervous at this point, especially because we had had all the extra waiting time. Then it happened – stupid ass lady from upstairs went into labour and got to have her section before we did.

At this point I grumpily climbed into bed and sort of drifted in and out of consciousness, because I had not had any water or food in so fucking long. We took some pictures, but mostly I kept snapping, ‘What time is it? Has it been an hour yet?’ We also laughed a surprising amount, and all worry sort of leaked out of the situation. Then a guy with bright red clogs came and said it was time to go!

TMD pushed me into the operating theatre, and the first thing I saw was the two infant heater/bed/resuscitation things – which made it more real. They also had little steps leading up to the operating table, and I said, ‘Uh, I can’t actually climb stairs.’ So the bed was lowered, I scooched myself on, and they put the steps backwards so I could brace my feet against them for the epidural.

The epidural is the bit on tv shows where a woman might grimace, but it takes about 20 seconds of tv time. In real life, it takes about five minutes (or so we were told, afterwards). In our life, no one could sort that shit out. The lovely anaethetist had several fails, so her supervisor lady tried and had a few more. What do I mean by ‘fails’? Oh, you know, where they jammed the needle in and it hit bone. And I sucked in my breath hardcore while helpful professionals (about 700, since it was twins) said things like, ‘Did that hurt?’

TMD was very reassured by the fact that every time I said I felt something, red clog guy was like, ‘An electric shock?’ And everyone else was like, ‘Did you feel it in your legs? HOW ARE YOUR LEGS?’ So yeah. Continual jamming into bone, continual me cheerfully telling them it was to the right of my centre line (followed by utter silences, which I broke by laughing nervously and saying, ‘Well, this would be a hell of a time to find out I had scoliosis’….followed by more uncomfortable silences.)

Eventually I went into a fugue state, which made everyone constantly ask if I was okay. Jeez, people, I needed to shut my eyes and CONCENTRATE, since everyone was always pointing out the fact that I needed to be very, very still…..the ‘or else’ being implied. They were ripping through the lidocaine, thinking this would ease the bone pain, and then more and more anaethetists kept showing up. We ended up with about four, finally, with the top guy in the hospital. Thank god they were so patient, although they started talking about just doing a spinal since the epidural was clearly fucked. I said a few times that I wanted them to do whatever it took, no matter the pain, because I very definitively did not want to be put under for the birth.

The whole while I was clutching a pillow, TMD’s hand, and bent over. ‘Just curl forward.’ ‘Arch your back like a cat.’ And my favourite – ‘Pretend you are a prawn.’ That almost made me laugh until I remembered the whole paralisation thing, and was also jammed in the bone by a needle again. (People kept getting longer and longer needles. TMD really needs to tell you about that.) I was hunching as best I could over my giant bump. Sweat was running down between my boobs and blood was running down my back.

Eventually when even the top guy failed to numb my ass (literally), he suggested I lie down on my side. Har de har har. This operating table was just about large enough to treat a wounded kitten, so you can imagine how delicate and poised I was. I mean, I was as graceful as a ballerina during pregnancy – why wouldn’t I be able to lift my legs onto a table, move back, and lie down on my side?

FOOLS.

It took about eight people. When I was finally on my side, they had to use a big fucking plastic sheet under me in order to shift me – much like the sort of thing I’ve seen beach rescuers use for stranded whales. When all was said and done, I overhung the table on both sides, but at least I didn’t have to curl up like a fucking prawn anymore, right?! It was around this time that the head numbing guy managed to slide the epidural and spinal in with barely a peep, and suddenly the left side of my body was just gone. It took a lot longer for the right side to kick in. I think the odd part was when they eased me onto my back, it felt like they had forgotten to take along my left leg. I kept asking if it was still bent and to the side. I think they thought I was quite weird (but also hardcore – remember this series of shananigans had taken well over an hour, causing the anaethetist to actually miss her clinic, and multiple people to refer to my ‘high pain tolerance.’ High pain tolerance? Bullshit. I am just a people pleaser and ass kisser when it comes to medical professionals.)

At this point, the twenty other people in that room and the next started to stir into action. (Oh God, I want to remember the bee keeper type lady in the next room, her clear face shield and the way she jumped when I screamed, ‘Ow ow OW.’ The way they all just stopped talking and stared at me, all of us frozen in a terrible dance of waiting….waiting….waiting.)

I made a few nervous jokes about them needing to test I was actually numb before cutting into me. They whipped out this ‘ice cold’ spray and started getting all willy nilly with it. ‘I’m spraying your arm. Feel how cold it is? Okay, I’m spraying your stomach – tell me when you can feel it. Okay, you feel it – now, is it the same temperature it was on your arm?’

They also broke out what looked like a thumbtack and were poking away. I was like, ‘Uh, yeah, I guess I can feel it. It’s not actually sharp, is it.’ The lady fucking poked hard at my arm with it and I barely blinked (maybe I do have a high pain tolerance?). I heard her worriedly whisper to someone else, ‘Well, it feels sharp to me.’

Then they decided I was numb enough, but not too numb, etc etc. The blue curtain went up, TMD took her spot at my head, and we just looked at each other. ‘Babies,’ I said. (I seemed to say that a lot on the day.)

The anaethetist (one of the few who stuck around to witness the birth of twins from the fucked up medical marvel that was their epidural-resistant mother) was kind enough to let me know when they had started cutting. Oddly, this allowed me to fully relax because I then knew I couldn’t feel it. It seemed like a very short time – probably around five minutes – before someone said, ‘Okay, Existere, you are going to feel some pressure and pulling sensations now.’

It still felt odd, unreal, unbelieveable. Then someone said, ‘Here is your son!’ and held him up over the screen, so I saw his face for a few seconds before he was taken to the side and things continued. Exactly a minute later, they exclaimed, ‘You have a daughter!’ and I only saw her tiny foot over the screen.

I was still on this table, wondering what the hell was going on. Someone had grabbed TMD’s camera and took loads of pictures (we even got a nice shot of the placentas in a big plastic bucket!! They were MY kind of people, let me tell you), TMD was over by the babies, cutting their cords, and people were still apparently rummaging around in my stomach. Both babies were over at the baby tables for a while – being weighed, getting Vitamin K shots, being wiped off, making sure they were a-okay, etc.

Then TMD came over, a baby wrapped in a thick towel (neither of us can remember at this point who it was – is that terrible? I know they were worried about Baby Boy a little, and Baby Girl was fine from the get-go, but TMD definately was holding him and that is my memory…possibly faulty.)

TMD’s face was shining; she looked complete, radiant, knowing. Her eyes were sparkling with tears, and she held our child like she’d already done it over and over again in her dreams. Me? I felt a bit of panic, a bit of, ‘What? Who is this child? Can this really be our child?’ Then someone else came over with Baby Girl, and I reached out to touch the side of her face. Lying there, with two babies in front of me, my wife beside me (as well as the helpful Extra Baby Holder Lady), was surreal. That moment lasted forever, and also was over too quickly.

TMD and the babies were taken next door into recovery, while the staff kept congratulating us on how beautiful, big, active, and healthy the babies were. They acted like it was the first birth they had ever witnessed, and I am amazed and grateful about that.

Me? I hung around in surgery for maybe ten more minutes max while people counted cotton balls and knives, making sure that ‘whatever they put into me had come out.’

I was taken into recovery, and both babies were immediately given skin-to-skin contact and put to my breasts. One midwife held each baby with one hand, and a nipple with the other! TMD stood there watching and taking pictures. Baby Girl was a breastfeeding champ from the get go, while Baby Boy took a bit longer. I think that is when it hit me – how odd it was that this was not odd. I had two naked infants (in tiny, tiny diapers) pressed against my naked chest, and they felt like they were supposed to be there.

I still won’t say I was overwhelmed immediately with a crush of love. It was more like a steady, strong, obvious feeling that all of us belonged to each other.

Then I threw up.

And up. And sideways. And across. People looked at me, and I would smile cheerfully (see? a good patient) and say, ‘I’m fine now, feel much better. NO WAIT I AM LYING. Going to -‘ and then throw up violently green acid yet again. Ah, morphine. If I ever feel the need to go on a vomit bender, morphine will be my drug of choice. We stayed in recovery for a good bit of time, what with the vom-ing and all of us attempted to get two individual babies sucking on my nipples.

I was happy.

It’s a month later, and I still am.

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