Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome to the world

Rhys and Quin were born at 8:54pm and 8:55pm on January 29th, at 33 and a half weeks gestation. In retrospect, I suppose they had no choice but to arrive early. Ten days earlier, at my baby shower, I was threatening to run a marathon come 35 weeks if they were still "in there." I just wanted them so badly. After waiting through three years of infertility, nine months felt like a cruel joke to me. I couldn't admit that while pregnant.

I also couldn't admit that I didn't particularly enjoy pregnancy. I don't hide my feelings well, so most people who know me kind of got that anyway. Now that it's over, I can finally say it. I didn't enjoy being pregnant. And I don't want to do it again.

But I'm in LOVE with my babies. So much so that I want to nibble their rosy little cheeks right off. I am amazed by their sweet perfection.

I can't decide what to write about their birth, or how. Which is sort of amazing, considering my penchant for drama. It doesn't get much more dramatic than that night. And when I'm in person, and somebody so much as alludes to the circumstances of their birth, I follow the obnoxiously predictable path of so many women - it's cringe-worthy - I share my war story. I'm processing.

The reality may be that I'm not sure when I'll feel up to the task of writing about everything that was encompassed with their birth. Leading up to my due date, I looked forward to a battle during labor. I wanted, maybe even needed, to fight through labor to give infertility one last big old FUCK YOU. And like so many things in my life, in all of our lives, I got what I wanted. But the package looked nothing like I'd imagined.

My last hurrah over infertility didn't take the form of a sweaty yet fulfilling labor. It took the form of a serious and immediate placental abruption, massive blood loss, and the near loss of life for myself and both babies. And it didn't end there. My last hurrah over infertility took the form of me becoming a mother who left the hospital with her husband but had to leave her babies behind while they grew strong enough to come home from the NICU.

Throughout my pregnancy, I couldn't figure out where infertility fell for me. On some level I suppose I realized that my work in becoming a mother wasn't over yet. For whatever reason, my path to motherhood remained a challenge even after my babies were born. My first weeks as a mother didn't involve waking up at night to screaming babies, but instead to a screaming alarm clock reminding me it was time to pump again. The first time I changed my babies' diapers was through the port-holes of their heated isolettes. I don't know when my babies' cord stumps fell off. One day I arrived at the NICU, changed their diapers, and their little stumps were just gone. My babies lost their last physical ties to me while I was at home sleeping.

Becoming a mother was the most rewarding, challenging, and heartbreaking journey I've ever been so lucky to take. Everything that broke my heart along the way gave me the strength to push past the next obstacle. Scar tissue worked in my favor.

And now my babies are home. They are healthy, happy, and starting to smile. I've done my best to make up for those first few weeks in the NICU. I watched their eyebrows grow in, their little eyelashes take shape to frame their perfect blueberry eyes.

I have become a mother.


Tiffany Krause said...

ahh, nearly brought me to tears when reading this. i have my own "war story"...let me know if you care to share, swap, vent. we moms must stick together. i also must recommend a book that helped me get it all in perspective after my emergency c-section, dramatic and heartbreaking's called rebounding after childbirth. some of it is too much psycho-babble for me but parts of it are amazing and help understand the pain that you never released and how to work with it and bond with the babies. i am an open ear if you ever need.

Jilliane said...

Great Post! I always say there is no such thing as perfect...but then Rhys and Quin entered the world and changed my mind. They are two perfect little babies, in a perfect home, with the perfect parents. I'll never forget the first time I saw took my breath away. What is even more exciting is to watch them grow!

sarah said...

What sweet babies! So happy they are here and now everyone is safe and home!

Cassandra said...

Congratulations!!! I'm sorry to hear that their start was so harrowing for all of you, but glad that everyone is doing well now.

Best wishes to all of you!

Amanda said...

Here from LFCA

Congratulations on your beautiful little miracles! They look like amazing porcelain precious.

I'm with you...pregnancy was not enjoyable and I think I'll not do that again, thank you.

WannabeMommy said...

What a beautiful post, you made me cry!! These babies are perfection. You give me true hope, April. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

April, you brought tears to my eyes yet again! I hope you do feel strongly about the birth and accept and embrace it for all that it is in your life. Being a fellow emergency C-section mommy, I know how it feels to give yourself up to this, but then to come down from's different, but it's a birth nonetheless. And the result was well worth the process! LOVE YOU!

Christa said...

I am so glad you are back to blogging. Your boys are beautiful and perfect. This post really hit home for me and brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations!