What do you say to people when you have to break news? How do you do it? Who do you tell? Especially, when it is something so personal and makes you feel that you have let everyone down. How do you hold it all together to do all that needs to be done at a time like this? You take a deep breathe, put your head down, and just do it.
As we drove, I quickly contacted people I needed to tell. A quick note to work, "They sent me to the hospital. Lost at least one. Don't know when I will be in next. Will keep you updated." Not sure what passed through my supervisor's head. Hopefully, he hugged his own twin daughters a little harder that night.
Then my best friend, who was expecting me for quiz bowl practice just two days later: "Won't be in Wednesday. Headed to the hospital. Pray for me."
Next, I had to tell the most difficult people, my mom, grandmother, and husband something. I knew hubby was still working so just sent, "Call me as soon as you are free." I didn't want anyone to worry. My grandmother, who was watching my then three year old, got, "Heading to the hospital. Be home late." Finally, my mother, who had been most excited about this and maybe the biggest disappointment she would ever get, "Going to hospital. Will be home late. Bad, just bad."
We arrived at the hospital and my dad asked if it was ok for him to come in with me. The security guard had to escort us up to maternity and said, "Oh, exciting day, huh?"... Like, read the room, dude. As we reach the desk upstairs, they had decided to skip the triage room and send me directly to a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and situated in bed still waiting to hear from my husband.
The specialist arrived with his equipment and scanned and searched. Then, I'll never forget, he said, "We need to have an adult conversation." In a multiples pregnancy, the babies are labeled by how close they are to the exit. They could't find a heartbeat on Baby A and Baby B was not doing well. I had a choice to make: do nothing or have an emergency c-section. (The nurses in NICU would later tell me that they were under the impression that the staff was pressuring me to let the babies go.). I asked how much time I had, said I just wanted to talk to my husband, and asked what Baby B's chances were.
One hour. They needed to start the process and perform the section within the hour and maybe Baby B would have a 50/50 shot. I, finally, was able to talk to my husband who also spoke with the doctor, but really, I had made my decision. If we had a shot, we needed to take it.
The whirlwind began. IVs, a shot to help surfactant production, and a fetal monitor that a nurse had to sit with me and hold in place to try to watch the baby's vitals. They asked if I wanted my dad in the operating room.
"Yes. He's a pastor. He needs to baptize them. Does he need to be in the room to do that? I need to make sure they are baptized." The consensus was that yes, he would need to be in the room. The nurses brought him operating room gear to change into. One kind nurse noticed my phone and asked if I would like her to take pictures. I wouldn't realize til later how grateful I would be for those shots.
We headed to the operating room, and the anesthesiologist did her thing. They laid me down and got me situated, but all the medication made me so sick, I felt like I had tunnel vision as I projectile vomited over my left should. I told them frantically, I felt like I couldn't breathe and it was in my nose. They must have given me something else because then, I calmly stared at the wall as I felt all the pressure and pulling of the procedure. They had asked me if I wanted to see the babies as soon as they were delivered. I said that I would rather they get all the medical attention they needed first.
Later, my dad noted how busy the room was and I would think about how much I had traumatized my father. There was the doctor, anesthesiologist, dad, me, and fifteen nurses. Five busily attended to me, five to Baby B(who he rushed over to baptize), and five who just stood around...there was nothing they could do. A cleaned up Baby A was brought to my dad on my right side and I watched, trying to keep it together, as he baptized her.
From the drive over to the hospital to when I was sitting in recovery, less than two hours had passed. Less than two hours and everything had changed. So much had happened in those two hours, and there was so much more to come.
Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore