(At exactly 10:12 - and then again at 10:13 - AM)
In ways I could not possibly presage, did not thoroughly fathom until, suddenly, there were two hearts, beating furiously in the world, that had moments ago echoed solely, safely, inside the cavern of my body.
Their cries piercing the hushed hum of the operating theater, the chill but joyous room where I first met my sons, and then cried out, myself, as they whisked them away, too soon. Too soon!
I squawked, demanded. (As much as a half-bodied woman, pinned to a table, being re-viscerated can be said to demand.) My obstetrician, a mother herself was supportive. I really loved her.
She was whip smart and had a wicked, dry sense of humor. She actually came in on her day off (also, coincidentally her own mother’s birthday) to deliver my boys, as at 39 weeks it was time for them to come OUT.
Hospitals are full of rules, and C-sections are very medical ways to birth babies. It’s really, truly surgery. They take a baby out, hold it up in the air in front of you for the briefest of moments, say “See, here’s your baby?” and then they whisk him away to do hospitally things to him.
As I was making noises about wanting to actually HOLD my babies, there was resistance from the nurses, they had their jobs to do. But my wonderful OB had my back. “You’ve got two, hand one over to her!” she commanded, and thus I found my son Jacob thrust into my arms, wrapped up like a little burrito in one of those ubiquitous striped hospital blankets.
I held him close to my face, peered into his.
The moment my son and I locked eyes has forever been seared into my brain. I had never experienced love at first sight before, never known that singular moment when everything turns betwixt one breath and the next; a shift of axis wobbling proportion.
And here, now, was that for me. Because here was the face of my son, unknown until the moment before, and now emblazoned on my very soul; and I knew with unwavering certainty that it was the beginning of our story, a lifetime of love.
And I knew that here was someone, one of two someones, whom I would die for. Someone for whom pacifist me would fight, tooth and claw, for; whom I would throw myself in front of a bus for.
And then, when they took Jacob from me and handed me Ethan, my heart doubled up, while remaining the same. An unexplained phenomena that just is: how a heart can be full to the brim and then fill again without ever emptying, expanding infinitely but remaining intact.
My heart was still firmly encased in the cage of my body, and yet now also walking around the world beating away inside these two tiny beings at the same time. How can that be? Shhh, that’s one of the secrets of motherhood.
Finally they were done putting me back together and I was sent to the recovery room next door, my boys to the maternity ward upstairs.
I sent my husband with the babies, to join the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who were gathering to meet the newest family members. I went to recovery alone. And thus began the longest two hours of my life.
This is another piece of the long story of my boys' beginnings.
Earlier this summer, I showed the world how I "rocked my bump" in a post I wrote to link up over at Shell's place.
Last year, I wrote a letter to my sons on their eighth birthday, recounting my joy at their coming into the world.
I thought I would have told my whole conception, pregnancy and birth story by now. I thought I would have had the time, that my life might be less of a whirlwind this year (foolish me). And yet it seems to spin, if possible, even faster still.
But no matter how quick the dance, I must pause each July 29th to give thanks, to marvel again at the miracle (modern, medical) that is the existence of my two beautiful boys.
Hello, my loved ones.
Happy Birthday, Ethan and Jacob.
Jacob and Ethan.
Today, nine years ago you graced the world with your presence.
Today, nine years ago you made me a mom.
My world has never been the same.
Thank you, from the top to the bottom of my heart.
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