Posts Tagged ‘lesbian moms’

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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Are your priorities screwed up or WHAT.

September 11, 2009

Fly by hi here.

It’s vom city tonight. Oh, you don’t know what ‘vom’ is? Vomit.

A special sort of vomit, when two screaming babies are finally calmed  in a dimly lit room. One is seemingly asleep, the other has eyes open but very content. Then the sleeping baby opens her mouth, voms, and a stream shoots directly onto his face and chest.

I was in the other room.

TMD should have taken a picture.

You bookend my life. Thank you.

September 9, 2009

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On the day you were born,
we brought some music into the room. On
a fluke
the evening before, we added the song
‘Beautiful Suprise’ to the CD.

And you are.

A beautiful surprise, I mean. The first moment
I saw you, I was flat on my back
with my head turned to the left,
your mum looking at you like
she’d known you her whole life. And
she looked at me
like I was a miracle for
making you.

Little boy, with your soft
deep gold hair, your heavy bottom,
your soft soft skin.

Little girl, our coconut,
with your rosy perfect lips
and tiny curled toes.

How could I have known this, known you,
imagined what it would be like?
Every day I learn you, get
to know you, watch you watching me.

I hang suspended in these moments,
in no rush to lose them to
walkingandtalking,
just here for this exact time,
in this exact way.

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on my entry yesterday. Last night as my breasts let drip after drop fall onto my stomach, as I looked at them in the mirror before gently tucking them back into bra, I wondered for a moment if I was crying. Your comments kept me sane on a sad, sad day. I read them each about twenty times, and no doubt will go back to read them again and again in the coming weeks until I come to terms with how things are.

But you know, having this son and this daughter,
I am grateful.

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Happy almost birthday, Existere.

September 4, 2009

This is my last day being thirty; tomorrow, I venture properly into this decade of being (allegedly) more confident, sexy, strong. But what a year thirty was.

The day after my 30th birthday, TMD and I did three things: went to the fertility clinic for our initial consultation, went to lunch with Corporate T and Aussie (where I cried and cried about IVF versus IUI), and TMD threw a big ass surprise party for me (the first of my life). That was roughly 365 days ago, and how things have changed.

I can’t believe it, or even understand it, sometimes. Sitting here this afternoon listening to India Arie’s Beautiful Surprise, holding our daughter in my arms, our son safely tucked into his carrycot, thinking about where I am now. TMD hanging up armfuls of muslins, my underwear, her hair slipping out of its ponytail. This is where I would choose to be, again and again.

This time last year we were making sure we knew how to get to the clinic. We were debating when, exactly, we would begin trying to make a baby. Over the last year, I learned how to give myself shots. We got pregnant with twins the first try. I grew hugely pregnant, and then got even bigger. Three and a half weeks ago, we were holding our real live babies in our arms for the first time, suddenly aware of what it meant to have two new people in our lives for the rest of our lives.

This has been a long year; this has been a short year. Individual days have dragged on. In November my ovaries were heavy, in January I was run over, I spent months on our couch. This past year, I felt our son and daughter kicking in my womb. TMD said the same poem over and over to my tummy. I gained pink and purple marks on my belly, I felt hiccups from the inside out.

And in this time, this journey from birthday to birthday, I now somehow have two more people in my family, a deeper appreciation and love for TMD (in our tenth year together…our anniversary was the 15th, just after they were born), and no small amount of wonder at the two beautiful, farty babies that lived inside me for nine months.

Happy birthday to me, tomorrow. But as far as today goes, it’s just about perfect.

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Bullet points, all slightly off target.

September 4, 2009

I know I need to write answering Jennie’s question, post the birth story, and try to keep up with day-to-day miracles as well. But in the meantime, I am trying to:

  • figure out how to return a breastpump in the least expensive way
  • not worry about the vomit-a-thon that just happened here
  • be alone with the babies who are BOTH just waking up while TMD runs to the store quickly to get a box (for the breastpump)
  • remind you that I still cannot lift either baby, so even if just one wakes up screaming it will not be fun for any of us!
  • beat facebook into submission to post more photos
  • sort out birth announcements
  • bask in the memory of the giant poo I did earlier
  • remember to put thrush medication into Mano’s mouth
  • figure out a way to file down the nails on their right hands
  • make 25 zillion phone calls (we have all the forms for TMD’s parental responsibility filled out – a long story in its own right – and just need to figure out which ones to send where)
  • soak up the last few days of TMD being at home with us full time
  • pretend I will be able to sleep soon
  • rub my lips along baby hairlines (not as fucking creepy as it sounds, I swear)
  • remember to write about Corporate T’s new (requested) identity and just generally tidy up around this blog
  • ASK YOU FOR HELP – how do I save a copy of this blog in a READABLE format to my laptop?? Not the crappy way WordPress offers. I want a copy that I can read, read, read. I would be heartbroken if something ever happened to WordPress and I lost the story of my pregnancy and birth!

Little butterball turkeys.

August 29, 2009

Babies weighed yesterday, and both are now over their birthweights. Getting heavy, yo. But as TMD says, after holding Baby Girl, Baby Boy feels like a toddler. He is now 7 lb 11, she is 6 lb 10 and a bit. Both are in 9th centile for heads and weight, which apparently means they are perfectly in proportion. And both 9th? Twins, yo.

Did you see that? A double ‘yo’.

TMD did every single baby thing last night so I could sleep (she is worried about me and wants me to heal). This had the curious double effect of giving me a good night’s rest, while also making me feel a bit distanced. And now I sit on the couch pumping (and the left side of the pump has stopped working. A very expensive thing to happen.) while everyone else is in the bedroom. I am going to hobble back there and hang out, me thinks.

Thank you for the comments on yesterday’s entry. I don’t know if I am feeling better, worse, or the same. I do know I am feeling more and more pushed aside, through nobody’s fault. At least they are still getting some breastmilk. That makes me feel better. (I’ll write about feeding soon, I promise. It is a work-in-the-making.)

Thirty-eight weeks. (Or: today is your REAL due date.)

August 26, 2009

Thirty-eight weeks ago today Рexactly Рmy eggs had been collected, and the two embryos that would become our son and daughter had already been mixed with sperm. We would find out three days later that all our embryos had done well, but two were absolutely perfect in every way, and these would be placed back into my womb for a loooooooooooong  journey.

‘Thirty-eight weeks’ sounds like so short a time, so little space occupied in the expanse of a life. But in that time you went from a few cells to¬† beating hearts to hiccupy madness….to real people.

As we hold you today, you are already both so different than you were two weeks (and one day) ago. More alert, more awake time. Tummy time times two, hanging out on beanbags, beginning to make little baby noises. You both hold your heads up so well.

And while you look so different (to us, anyway – medical professionals keep asking if you are identical, which is a little offputting because you would think the whole penis-vagina thing, not to mention medical training, would clue them into the fact that you are non-identical twins), you make such similar facial expressions.

Little girl, you are hungrier than your brother. You have just had your lifetime record of 150 mils, and now you are blissed out in the beanbag while we watch you for signs of abrupt vomiting of this gluttony. You wake up quiet and wide eyed, and you go to sleep the same way. You like to curl up like a prawn, and maybe that’s because you were that way in the womb. Poos make you scream.

Little boy, you are much noisier. You pee everywhere, including on your sister (who also is a champion at peeing on people). You have a little bit of a tongue tie, and are a lazy feeder, and that makes mealtimes…interesting. And long. You kick, kick, kick while you sleep, you squeal, you stretch. You snort. You are a poo deceiver, appearing to be asleep while it still pours out of you.

So far, you’re both just the way you were in the womb. You sleep together at night, but during the days you mostly hang out in your carrycots attached to your Super Pram ™ and don’t seem to mind too much that you are having some alone time. You are both very easygoing, happy, and relaxed babies. Touch wood.

I know I need to write your birth story, but I sort of want to do that when I can be sure I’ll have enough time. Only today did I finally hear TMD’s version of events, especially as she experienced things quite differently than I did. I still have a huge numb spot on my ass (like my whole right cheek), but as a permanent reminder of that experience it could have been worse. Our other reminder is the scrubs I made your mommy steal because she looked so hot in them.

Yes.

Okay, time to go now. I am utterly stinky and tired, and this appears to be a very rare calm spot in the evening hours. I don’t know if I even care about showering (but the itching, oh, the itching), but I do know that should I decide to shower, you will both begin screaming the second I do so. It happens every night, and TMD is left bouncing, jiggling, getting peed on, and singing.

All this to two little eggs that came out of me, exactly thirty-eight weeks ago.

Longest entry with babies, and stinging nipples.

August 24, 2009

Today we registered the birth of Mano and Torre (names for use of blog to be decided on, and a way for you to find out real names will be posted soon!) and received birth certificates. What an entourage we were – TMD’s dad’s girlfriend pushing my wheelchair, TMD pushing the giant double pram, and her dad snapping away with two cameras. This was our first real trip out, and Mano and Torre both behaved themselves in a fashion befitting Perfect Lovely Little Babies.

We are slowly trying to organise everything else we need to do – get TMD parental responsiblity, attempting to book apts to get them passports for Country A, etc etc. When this is all over and done with, we will have seven passports between us. Mental.

I want to write about some of the glories, and some of the real challenges, that have been part of our little family. Some of the areas make me nervous to write about, particularly in regards to feeding. I know people have very strong opinions on this matter – and rightly so – but it requires a little more awakeness to write coherently, and a little more time to do it thoughtfully. Feeding has been our only real challenge thus far, aside from what I assume is the ‘normal’ sleep deprivation and time issues.

I think about people with only one baby (please please please do not take offense!) and I wonder what it must be like to have such an easy life! I also wonder what it would be like to not have two little human beings bopping around, which seems inconceiveable to me. Since before we knew we definitely were having twins, since before we knew I was definitely pregnant, we have always expected to have these two little ones. Life is more fun, more hectic, more tiring. But we love it. I don’t know what we would have done with ourselves without that ‘extra’ person. (Thank god it’s not triplets, though. Seriously.)

At this point, Mano and Torre naturally gravitate towards being on the same schedule. But it’s like cars waiting to turn at a junction – when I was a child, I never understood how sometimes the blinkers/indicators would be in sync, only to then get completely opposite to each other within seconds. Twins are like that, or at least ours are. They are good little sleepers, though. If only there was not so much to do when they were asleep and TMD and I could occasionally nap as well!

My SPD is still really bad. Going to have physiotherapy at home, and have been told it will probably be five to six months until I recover. This is personally very challenging for me. I can’t do all the things normal moms do – change diapers, pick up a baby, walk around with a baby, make feeds, pick out outfits. It’s funny, as I worried about TMD feeling left out as the non-biological mom. In reality, I feel very left out and frustrated because I am missing out on all the babydom things I want to be doing.

It also means a lot of the weight of things is on TMD. Even if I do all the night feeds, for example, she still has to be awake to get the bottles, clean the breast pump, hand me babies, change diapers, etc. I think she felt awkward the other day, though, because she took them for a lovely walk in the park (again, I wonder when I will be able to take them out – or even take MYSELF out, for that matter) and no one commented on the twins….this is odd because they are twins (aka attention grabbers). She said she felt like people thought she was an au pair because she clearly had not just given birth.

Regardless, we soldier on.

Mano and Torre are both incredibly aware – easily able to focus on my eyes, etc. Torre is a particularly strong little girl, considering she’s a pound lighter than her brother. The babies are both very into cuddles….crap, I think Mano is stirring.

Okay. Going to have to come back later.

Do any of you have any questions about us, the babies, etc? Feel free to leave a comment with one, two, or seven questions. I am online when pumping, and short entries requiring only one hand could be useful for me! At the moment both kidlets are asleep and we have done a LOT in this….yes, Mano awake and snorting. Like a little pig.

Or a donkey.

See you on the flip side.

haiku, it takes less time.

August 22, 2009

one-handed typing
pumping like a big moo cow
from my left boobie.

standards of hygiene
appear to be slipping fast
vomit on my arm.

happy to say that knickers
finally fit me and, oh joy,
have some room to spare.

last night tmd
brought me a baby and a
big ass milk carton

the sort adults
pour on cereal. she gets
confused at nighttime.

also gave me breast pads
when i asked for inhalers,
bless her cotton socks.

my cotton socks house
swollen ankles and talon
toenails. roar! beware!

have i mentioned that
we think our babies are awe-
some? we really do.

let’s see, what else to
say. spd very bad,
five to six months to clear up.

almost time to switch
boobs. have so much more to say.
will try later on.

in the meantime, folks,
i have a son and daughter
who need some lovin’.

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Love is in the air.

August 10, 2009

Dear TMD,

You are the best partner I could ever have. You have done so much for me this pregnancy, without complaint, and usually while making me laugh. I can’t believe our little babies are going to be in our arms tomorrow, and who else would I rather share this with?

I love you.

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Dear babies,

I am sort of scared about being your mom. I know Mommy will be there to help me with you, but sometimes I think she is much more grown up than I am. I still don’t believe we are going to meet you so soon. It seems like yesterday we were so proud of your eight celled selves, and now look at you. See you soon.

I love you.

PS – Please have mercy on us.