27 Minutes

February 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

The following was a piece I submitted for publication in an anthology which, I just found out, did not get chosen for the book.  So, instead, I thought I’d share with the class.

Tuesday, July 19th 2005 began as a carbon copy of the previous eight months of pregnancy. The scene featured me, sporting a whale-like physique, sprawled on the couch, resting from the exhausting ten yard trek to the sofa from my bed. Despite carrying two babies, and the normal exhaustion associated with general gestating, I’d experienced few hurdles while growing my twins, a stark contrast to the months leading up to discovering my scenic route onto the road to Motherhood.

After several months of disappointing, negative pregnancy tests, I sought advice from my OB/GYN to investigate the possible causes of those saddening single lines. Off to the lab I trotted for a battery of tests which ultimately revealed what I feared most; I suffered from primary infertility due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I lacked any preparation for the sudden possibility of never bearing children.

My doctor designed a course of treatment beginning with oral fertility medications which proved fruitless. Next, he suggested I move to injectible medications in preparation for an Intrauterine Insemination. It all seemed so drastic, but my husband and I wanted a family, badly, and felt compelled to exhaust all our options which presented the best chance for a pregnancy before we entertained any alternatives. After one failed cycle and one miscarriage, something finally took. My first ultrasound verified a multiple pregnancy and a few months in, our perinatologist confirmed I was carrying twins, a boy and a girl.

I called my husband that Tuesday morning immediately following a strange pop I felt from within my oven full of buns. Not a minute after our disconnection, when I stood up to fetch myself breakfast, came the gush. My son’s water broke. This was not a drill, I repeated to myself between fearful and excited shrills. Game on. I glanced at the clock on my way out the door, to the hospital. 11 Am. Duly noted.

We arrived at the hospital to fanfare, as my doctor’s office phoned in my ETA and status as expectant Mom of twins. Throw in the four weeks of prematurity, and you’ve got full-on welcome wagon. The loveliest of nurses checked us into the last room at the inn and got me settled in with a gown, monitors, IV and, most importantly, the TV remote. The next time I saw the clock, it read 12 noon.

I experimented with my tolerance for pain, holding out for hours through contraction after controlled-breathing contraction before caving and asking for the epidural. 4pm. Soon after my request, the anesthesiologist delivered news about my low platelet count possibly hindering my ability to receive anything other than a spinal block. She re-tested my blood. Relief came in the form of a rather large needle to my back. 6pm. Not long now.

8pm, check under the hood from the doctor. Coming along slowly, he said, should start some Pitocin.

Off to the OR for delivery. 11pm. Not a drill, repeat, NOT A DRILL.

Time lost, temporarily, despite 57 clocks donning walls around operating suite.

I counted seventy five people, give or take 20, milling around me just before delivery. They rolled me to the operating room as a standard precaution during a vaginal delivery of twins. Just in case something went awry, I’d be prepped for an emergency c-section, but my doctor would give me a crack at some pushing first, just for fun.

Ow, ow, OWWWWWWWWW…Push, push, PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH. 12:26am. My son, Max, all 6 lbs 9 oz of him burst into the world with that melodic first spin of the lungs that’s music to any new Momma’s ears. Nurses and a thousand other staff packed into another room wiping Max, weighing him, taking measurements and soon he emerged in the arms of a masked nurse, wrapped as the most adorable newborn burrito I’d ever seen.

Soon after Max’s birth, I sensed something amiss. My doctor milled about my nether regions with immediacy and concern. Other staff mumbled phrases like, “breech” and “need to turn her” and “stuck”. According to an ultrasound taken just following Max’s delivery, our daughter lay across my uterus, crammed up near my ribs, giving every indication she’d like to stay a few more days.

Before I could protest, my doctor began the excruciatingly painful process of trying to manipulate our little girl in position for delivery. While trying to change her position, my doctor inadvertently broke her water. She now began to descend rear-end first, a presentation not conducive to a normal delivery. Suddenly, the prospect of having a traditional and c-section delivery became very real.

My sojourner of a doctor announced, “I’m going in”. I had no idea what that meant, so I asked my husband who remained at my side throughout the whole ordeal. He explained the doctor planned to reach in, grab our baby’s feet and pull her out, with me completing the extraction by pushing out her head. No time to think and the procedure began in earnest.

The anesthesiologist jacked up my pain medication which, to my surprise, had worn off just before I delivered Max. The entire operating suite, which seemed to include half the labor and delivery staff, stood silent and still, awaiting my high sign that I was numb enough to endure this radical yet necessary route. Finally, I felt ready.

Inside of just a few moments, a nurse yelled for me to push. I tried combating the sensation-less effects of the epidural, as she coached me along.

Without much warning, a gurgle, then a cough, then a cry from the littlest person in the room. At 12:53am, our daughter, Sara, at 5lbs 4oz joined her brother as the second and final addition to our little family, 27 minutes after her brother’s arrival.

It seems ages since that evening we welcomed our twins, and I’ve spent much of that time wondering what the next day will bring. Despite the overwhelming uncertainty that is the future, the dreams I carry in my heart for my kids won’t ever change. I want for my children to find happiness, independence, culture, information and answers to questions. I hope they never experience loneliness or hardship. I’ll remind them that, like the roadmap that took me to them, life most often gives you the scenic route to your destination, so be prepared. Most of all, I wish they find no greater distance between each other than those first 27 minutes.


Entry filed under: Blogging, Momma Drama.

The Day We Both Learned to Smile Kreativ Blogger

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carrie  |  February 28, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Amazing post!! So worth the wait!! I felt like I was in the moment with you! I cannot believe this didn’t get published. There is nothing quite like hearing the first cries of new life!!

  • 2. Carrie  |  March 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Sherry, I always love reading your stories!

    I have awarded you with the Kreative Blogger Award!

    Stop by my page to pick it up (just click on it and then copy and paste it to your blog)

  • 3. Mom101  |  March 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Eh, anthologies are overrated. This is wonderful. Kreativv with two vs.

    And God bless epidurals.


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