Posts Tagged ‘love’

Providing an example: How do I feel about Coconut and Snort’s sexuality?

June 11, 2010

A real life friend recently found my blog and was decent enough to email me and let me know she was reading. She also asked if it was okay for her to comment on entries. My response? Of course – I love comments.

So she came a little late to the ‘ask me anything’ party that was going on before, but did ask a question after the entry was posted. I am too lazy to go find it and copy and paste it here, but it was something like:

Do you want Snort/Coconut to grow up straight or gay (assuming happiness either way)? Do you think sexuality is nature or nuture?

I want their happiness. Plain and simple. In the arena of love, there are a lot of possibilities out there – not limited to straight or gay, I might add. *wink*

In the interest of brutal honesty, a small part of me would be very pleased if a little bit of the old gay manifested itself (uh oh, here come the conservatives who will point to me as being a dark agent of The Gay Agenda!) but I think that is because of what being queer has meant to me.

It is not just who I fancy, it is who I am. Being different in this way has coloured my perspectives, made me be brave in ways I may not have known otherwise, and opened me up to a well of creativity, joy, and diversity. I hope Coconut and Snort will have those values and opportunities no matter what their sexuality is, and they will be a bit (blessedly!) different because they have two moms/mums, anyway.

I think sexuality is a glistening, mysterious, and primal thing.

I do think we are born who we are. I knew very young – we’re talking by age five, that I was different. I have a gay male friend who knew he liked boys at age 5, me, I just knew I didn’t like them! It took me longer to figure out that my version of ‘normal’ was not society’s.

But I think nurture plays a large part in how we feel about and participate in our sexuality. Are we brave enough to take risks? Is our heart open to love? Were we taught our bodies were beautiful, or did our parents shame us when they caught us masturbating as toddlers? Do we trust ourselves? What about other people?

These are the things life will teach each of us – and at the most basic, early level, that comes from our parents. Even as an adult, I struggled mightily with my parents’ reactions to my coming out. (I came out as bisexual long before I dated an actual girl, I should add. Because being queer – I later identified as a lesbian – is an integral part of who I am, whether or not I was dating anybody!!) As I grew up, it was painfully important for me to have my parents’ approval, it still mattered more than anything else.

Because parents are supposed to love us unconditionally, and suddenly I found there were many conditions placed upon the love I was offered.

I will not place those conditions on Snort and Coconut.

Even now, as babies, I do not participate in the ridiculous competitive shit that some parents seem to thrive on. I want the message to be given to them loud and clear: I love you for who you are, not what you do. You are special, and valued, and cherished. As they grow, this will not be conditional based on who they love, though of course I hope they choose funny, strong, smart, sensitive partners. But what gender those partners are?

During my heady crazy activist years as a VERY out bisexual, I always said I didn’t fall in love with genitals, I fell in love with a person. That is still true. I hope it is true for my children.

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June 6, 2010

A love letter that rambles around.

March 30, 2010

I love you sooooooooooo much.

I love you enough to pick snot out of your nose, to persist in wiping hummous off your face even though you scream and wiggle, to bury my nose deep in your butt and sniff to see what’s going on.

I love you when you look around for me, again and again, before yelling ‘MAMA!’

I love you when you whisper, ‘Dad’ to me.

I love you both so much I almost exploded today with it all. Good exploded, not crazy people exploded. The joy you get from seeing my face, the joy I get from performing mad hand clapping, leg slapping dances to distract you from your hunger.

Mealtimes are such a joy. We’ve never had a struggle because you are in charge – the only tears have been when we’re not giving Coconut the food fast enough!

For posterity, the foods you’ve eaten:

carrot
mashed potato
sweet potato
mashed sweet potato
veggie fingers
banana
passion fruit
plum
avacado
hummous on toast, ricecakes, whatev!
ricecakes
toast
marmite sandwiches
water
prune juice
green beans
bean burger in a pita with mango and lime sauce
baby pizza
cheese on toast
panini
apricot
nectarine
yogurt in all organic and full fat varieties!
pancakes
pear
apple
broccoli
oatmeal
mango
cucumber
melon
breadsticks
squash
cheese straw
courgette
cream cheese sandwiches
pasta with strained tomato sauce, lentils, and cheese
one chip
bagel

And probably about 60 other things. You try everything. You like everything because you are feeding yourself. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll try it again and again and thus far, have not rejected any foods.

You can both feed yourself with spoons now. You can drink out of your cups.

How are you this old?? (A bit more than 7.5 months!)

Neither of you can ‘properly’ sit yet, like sitting and being left alone to do so for any real period of time (though you both bring yourself to sitting positions on your bouncy chairs – yikes, and Coco is constantly doing Pilates type crunches on the floor!). I don’t think you see any point in sitting, because you are always moving and exploring. Snort does it by rolling, Coconut does rolling and also backwards arching scooting. You are both trying to crawl.

You can stand up for long periods of time if I hold you under your arms.

You love kisses and hugs and books and toys. You can each play alone for startling periods of time (we’re talking like an hour!!), though you often roll over to each other to pat cheeks or steal toys. If you’ve been playing on your own and I come over and wiggle my fingers, saying ‘tickle tickle!’ you will wiggle in delight and reach up to me. And laugh. You laugh so much.

This morning you talked back and forth for ages, the love you have for each other just shining and obvious.

I love you enough to want you to keep growing, even though mixed in with all the awe and joy is sadness. You have gone from two teeny tiny babies into, well, grown up babies. Snort has a full head of blonde chickenfluff hair, Coconut is – uh – getting there. She’s got light brown and blonde curly hair, from what we can guess.

Blue eyes, brown eyes, delightful baby thighs, big laughs.

Oh, my heart aches I love you so deeply. I will always love you and love you and love you.

Gratitude.

February 23, 2010

I remember all the years I wanted a baby.

Right now I have two little babies cuddled to me in a wrap. Baby sleep breathing is assailing all my senses from every direction. Milky breath, soft puffs of air against my skin, beautiful little wonders curled in such trust against me.

All those years of waiting were worth this one moment.

Anyone with technical know how, hook me up.

November 22, 2009

I’ve got videos to show you. I know, I know, you are shitting your pants with excitement. I just need to figure out how, exactly, to get them from my camera onto the computer onto this blog. Stay tuned. Until then, a picture I didn’t need to set up. They figured this out all on their own:

 

I’m growing up.

November 18, 2009

Allow me my tiny moments, my tear filled eyes, my swollen heart. As I hold one, look into eyes, giggle at a goofy smile – and the other at my feet, full of sounds and kicks and laughter. I bitched throughout pregnancy. People came here to leave me comments, and more than one person emailed to thank me for not looking at things through rose-coloured glasses.

I, too, rolled my eyes at all the women who were trying to get pregnant – as we cheered each other on, they did it with blinkie signature files and I did it with telling people how my wife stuck pessaries up my vadge. As I tumbled through pregnancy, I wrote about not being able to walk, about throwing up in the bathtub, and, yes, about the tiny sweet kicks that rapidly turned into thunderous wrestling matches in my stomach.

I told the truth then, unvarnished, so you can trust that I tell it now.

Motherhood is so sweet that sometimes I am filled up, up, up with adoration for my children, for myself, for my wife. I sing to them and am amazed to feel wetness trickling down my cheeks. We hold whispered conversations, we are a daytime team of three, we can conquer the world.

Sometimes I am so tired I can barely pick my feet up. There have been two occasions when I have sobbed uncontrollably and felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. But the real seed of truth in the middle of it all? I often have an uneasy feeling, a wondering where all the terrible days are. As I read twin blog after twin blog, I read of women sobbing on the floor, sitting between their two babies, not sure who to help or how.

Me? I feel like the motherfucking baby CHAMPION, a woman so capable and strong in this new way, this fulfilling way, this way where I am talking back and forth to these two little people. She with her face that lights up, that tightens and tenses her whole body in a tall sort of happiness, her funny chewing face and sometimes solemn eyes. He with his conspiratorial glances at me, his wide mouthed and uneven smile, his laugh so powerful he surprises me every time.

We are getting the hang of it, and sometimes it’s lather-rinse-repeat of the same tasks over and over, but more and more it becomes a joy, a moment I want to live deeply in, a time I can already feel slipping away and so I concentrate on remembering every instant. Really paying attention to what it feels like to have her sleep with her right arm tucked around my back. Loving every time I change his diaper and he chats chats chats until we are both filled up with new thoughts and ways to be.

I cheer her on as she holds onto a toy and gnaws its face. I apologise to him for the ridiculous scratch mitts that are back in the game, as his poor face oozes and reddens. They reward me with their patience, their independence, their sweet baby snuggles and wide eyes as they watch the trees bend and sway in the wind.

For them, I walked this evening on my own to the doctor’s office, my legs still so weak and sore from months of being unable to walk. I almost gave up and came home, and then I kept going because I want to take them on long walks, I want to stomp in crispy leaves with them. I want to watch him feed the horses. I want to lift her up and point out the trains whizzing past.

I don’t need to look at my mornings through rose coloured glasses, because life is just rosy. I have a daughter who looks so happy and amazed just to be awake, just to be hanging out with me in our home. I have a son gulping his bottle, sitting on my leg, so strong, busy looking at everything. I know their rhythms, their likes, what it means when they move their faces just so.

Motherhood makes me feel like I am the first woman to have done this, the only one to really understand what it means. Motherhood makes me deepen myself, makes me feel a fierce love and determination to create a life for these two little people to unfold in their own ways, at their own pace, in their own directions. I want to be there in the background, my arms and heart ready to catch them when they need it, but giving them the space and freedom to make mistakes and try new things and be their own selves.

I want nothing more than this cycle of life to carry on, to continue, to grow older as I watch them grow up.  I’ve been thinking of my grandma a lot lately. How she held my mother, how my mother held me. Here we are altogether, linked by this business of being alive, of doing things that are no different than what has happened for thousands of years for billions of women.

But in here, in my heart, in this house, it is our little team of three that laugh together, that experiment with what it means to have a brother, a sister, a mother, two children. We smile when TMD comes home, their eyes widen and bodies jerk when the post comes, the cat streaks to the door on both occasions. I sing them Christmas songs, we dance to rap music, I curl up with one or the other and we read. I take naps with little baby bodies held close, their heads turned in toward my heart. I touch her smooth, soft cheeks. I rub lotion again and again into his funny chapped skin, loving that he loves that so much. We live in a world of touch, of taste, of kisses and space.

Sometimes we all do our own thing, in our own ways. Other times the three of us look at each other, burble, talk, smile. They look at each other when the other one is not looking, and sometimes they get a little worried and look at me to make sure everything is okay.

And it is.

Better than okay.

Over and over and over again, we get repeats and do-overs and try agains. Through it all, I feel this time, this babyhood, as something so painfully sweet and slippery. Every day they grow up and into themselves more, and I find myself thinking of them as teenagers – and then I yank my attention back to right here, right now, because where else would I rather be?

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.

Today is a special day. (And not just because of what happened at 4 am, though THAT ROCKED.)

September 16, 2009

Today I was alone with the babies, twice. Time one included screaming, feeding, and throwing up. Time two involved nappy changes, feeding, shit explosions, and naps. I WAS SO HAPPY.

I like being on my own with the babies. I was lucky enough to feed them one after the other, so each feed was nice and calm. I had the birth cd on and sang to each of them while they ate; Baby Girl just stared and stared into my eyes. And then I felt it – the overwhelming rush of love that was like a punch in the stomach – it made my eyes tear. Forty minutes later and Baby Boy shifted suddenly during his feed, paused, and stared right through me. How lucky was I to have a second crashing wave of love run through me?

I think it’s because I was on my own with them. I am more than capable of this. Sure, I’m going to probably cry from stress or pain or fear on occasion. But the powerful feeling of caring for these babies, my boy and girl who are so lovely and cherished? It makes me feel like the strongest woman on earth, the first woman to be so sure and solid and brave.

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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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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