I look back at myself on that day. Scared. Excited. Terrified. Hopeful. Out of mind with worry and every other emotion imaginable. Praying that Bobby and Maya would be okay... That they would take a breath... That they would live to see a long, healthy life... That if someone had to die that night, that it would be me and not them, as though somehow I could barter my life for theirs. I remember the look on Peter's face when he was shown back to the prep room. I remember my 2 favorite APU nurses, Kim and Janet, still there with me. even though their shifts were coming to an end. Janet rubbing my back through contractions (and herself about to pop with her Halloween baby), Kim holding my hand and finding the babies on the TOCO, assuring me they were okay and that she wouldnt leave my side.
She didnt, either. She traded shifts with a delivery nurse so that she could be there. She held me when Dimitri, the anesthesiologist, gave me the spinal. She held my hand when the blue curtain went up and they brought Peter back. She leaned in and, even though her face was covered, I could tell by her eyes that she was smiling when she told me that Dr. M. had arrived and was suiting up and updating Dr. B. on the phone in the hallway.
The surgery was over relatively quickly in the grand scheme of things. Babies didnt cry. They were whisked away where two women I'd come to know and love over our NICU journey, Michelle and Kerri, took care of them, along with a team of neonatlogists, respiratory therapists, and other nurses. They showed us Bobby wrapped in plastic; he was so tiny, so pink, so beautiful. Maya was wheeled by in an incubator and I remember that gorgeous hair, brilliant like a ray of sunlight... those scrunched up eyes... An image of sheer lovliness... A fighting Irish temper even then. Peter left me in the capable hands of Dr. M. and Kim, and followed the babies to the 6th floor.
In recovery, I remember Kim and Janet, long after they should have gone home to their own families, coming back to give me an update. They'd been upstairs and had checked in on the peanuts, telling me they were healthy and doing great under the circumstances. I was relieved; of all the people, I knew they werent going to bullshit me. They'd never sugarcoated the situation; to hear them say that Bobby and Maya were fine was like being thrown a life jacket in a rapid filled river. It didnt get us out of the water, but we were afloat. And, at that point, that's all I wanted.
Thursday night... The weather, not rainy if I remember, but still the start of the fall season... Leaves starting to turn and fall, but summer still lingering. Today, as I watched them climb on the huge monster of a "kidzone", as I hear Maya count to ten and Bobby sing the ABCs on the way into the garage this afternoon, as she tells me "Potty" and he leads me back to his changing table... I'm reminded of the 2 pound peanuts that were in my womb a mere 2 years ago and how, on a Thursday night, they came into this world and fought tooth and nail to stay here. We had a few set backs, but all in all, we were lucky that we got off the rollercoaster as easily as we did. And I'm grateful. To Dr. B and Dr. M.... to Kim and Janet and all the APU nurses and residents who took care of us during my 7 week stay... to Michelle and Kerri and the NICU nurses who cared for Bobby and Maya with such love during our 9 week NICU journey... to our families and friends and clergy who supported and loved us... to every single person who uttered our name in prayer or touched their heart with thoughts of us... Eternally grateful. Every day. But especially this Thursday evening.
|The first time I held them together, 9/23/09
|The loves of my life, July 2011