Reflections – The Arrival

This was it.  They were coming.  My heart jumped into my throat, and my stomach heaved.  I got Christian on the phone and told him that we were scheduled for that afternoon and to get his butt to the hospital.

My entire bed was rolled back over the the L & D wing, coincidentally back to the same room I was first admitted to.  It was nice to see my old room again, but my nerves were a wreck!  Plus, I had realized that my L & D room didn’t have as many TV channels as my antepartum room.  Bummer.  

I was officially back on the mag, not to stop labor like the first time, but to control my blood pressure during surgery.  I wanted to cry when they told me they were putting me back on it. Right away I started feeling the warmth running through my body, and it seemed like the loopiness set in immediately.  Christian arrived, and all we could do was count own the few hours until delivery.  Oh.  Bumped back half an hour? nGreat.  Like I wasn’t nervous enough. Apparently there was a full house of babies being delivered that afternoon by my doctor.

Then the time came.  Most of what comes next is a blur to me, but I’ll do my best.  Nurses started rushing in and out, getting me ready for the event.  Taking my fingerprints, checking my IV’s, making sure the babies’ names were spelled correctly on their little wristbands.  My breathing was very intense, and a nurse asked me if I was okay.  Just nervous.  You’ll be okay, she assured me.  

My bed got wheeled down the hall to the OR.  I had to say goodbye to Christian as they got everything situated in the room.  It was cruel and unusual punishment.  I just laid there in my bed, taking in my surroundings.  Next to me was the operating table. Above it were huge lamps.  Among the people shuffling around in the room, I saw a girl in the corner making a lot of racket, so I looked over.  She was sorting instruments.  Surgical instruments.  I shouldn’t have looked over there.  I closed my eyes and tried to keep from vomiting.  They eventually moved my onto the OR and had me sit on the edge of the table.  Time for the spinal block.  They said that they would have me lean over as far as possible, insert the needle, and my legs would immediately start to go numb, and they would swing me back around onto the table.  Um, had any of these people actually been pregnant before?  How the hell do you lean over when you have this ginormous belly?  But a really lovely nurse held my hands and helped guide me into the right position, and didn’t even scream as I squeezed the crap out of her hands when they put the needle in.  Kudos to her.  And they weren’t kidding.  My lower half lost all feeling right away, and they heaved me back onto the bed and started cleaning off my belly.

Finally Christian was allowed back into the room.  Finally!  He held my hand as they prepared to start.  All I remember is how terrified I was.  I prayed under my oxygen mask that God would get me through this and keep my girls and me safe.  Then…

Here’s Claire!!!!  A tiny, bloody, red little baby was whisked past my head and taken into the next room where a team of doctors and nurses awaited her, ready to get her cleaned up, warmed up, and breathing.  

Here’s Rachel!!!!  Another tiny, bloody, red little baby flew past my line of vision and was taken into the next room.  I had no idea what to think, but I do remember thinking that they were bigger than I had imagined a 3 pound baby being.  Thank goodness.

Christian left my side in order to follow the girls next door.  He diligently documented their first moments of life, getting rubbed down with warm blankets, having yucky mucus sucked out of their mouths, even Rachel getting fluid sucked out of her insides through a tube.  But one of our worst fears was met with hope – both seemed to be breathing quite well on their own, in fact, well enough that they could swaddle them tightly and bring them to quickly say hi to me before they had to go upstairs.  Claire came in first, wrapped up with a little cap on, so sweet and cute and sound asleep.  I gave her a kiss on the head and told her I loved her.  Then came Rachel, also wrapped up with a little cap, and I kissed her too, told her I loved her, and nuzzled her little head.  They looked like little dolls.  Then they were off to the 8th floor.

It all happened so fast, and then they were out and gone.  One second they were still in me, and the next they weren’t.  I didn’t know what to think.  All I could do was lay there, listening to Dr. Binford talk to the nurses about old TV shows and actors while she stitched me up. Leigh Ann, are you listening to our conversation?  Yes…  Well, obviously everything’s going well if we are talking about old TV shows!  Funny.

I was doped up for the rest of the day and the next, still on the mag.  Ironically, that’s when everyone comes to see you. Not just friends, but social workers, since we were now NICU parents, neonatologists, lactation consultants.  We want you to start pumping today! Seriously?  All I want to do is sleep.  But we need to get your milk in ASAP so the babies can start receiving it.  Yeah, like I remembered one thing that the LC said to me that day including how to work this stupid pump.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  Luckily Christian was following the girls’ information in the NICU and fro the neonatologist that visited us in my room, and all in all, they were doing well.  

They were here.  We were parents.

…to be continued…
This is my first time meeting little Claire Ann and little Rachel Leigh.

Join the Conversation


  1. My goodness Leigh Ann you went through it all girl! What a brave and good Momma you are. So glad the girls are doing as good as they are today. It is amazing how great they look! This is truly a very happy and blessed birthday for you guys.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *