Two weeks ago I looked like this: 36 weeks, 6 days (February 18, 2011) pregnant with twins, about to burst. I was just hours away from heading to the hospital for the arrival of Joshua and Grace.
I was miserable and trying hard to remind myself to enjoy those last few sweet moments of being pregnant--feeling babies move and bump and twist and turn inside.
On February 19, 2011 Joshua entered the world at 10:28AM weighing 7lbs and was 21 inches long. One minute later at 10:29AM Grace joined us weighing 5lbs. 4oz. and was 18.75 inches long. It was a scheduled c-section.
We arrived at the hospital around 8AM that day, all nerves and excitement. Jacob was with his Aunt Fred. I cried the night she picked him up. I was so sad to see my baby not be a baby anymore. I knew once these babies were born he would instantly be bigger, more mature, and grown up to me than ever. Yes, I cried when he left. It wasn't any different the morning of the c-section. I cried from nerves. What was life going to be like for Jacob? Could I mother TWO babies at one time? What was the surgery going to be like?
Once we got to the hospital it was all a bit surreal. With Jacob I was in labor and we had no idea how long it would take before we got to meet him. Now, I just walked in feeling all pregnant and full--perfectly fine (aside from the usual contractions I'd been fighting off for months). They walked me back to a prep room with four beds. No privacy! It was so odd. They were expecting me and everyone knew about "the twins" who were going to arrive that day it seemed. I got dressed into my gown and the did the usual poking and prodding. I had the IV put in and that was horrible, as always. There seemed to be a blur of activity in the two hours it took for them to prep me and get me ready to head back to the operating room. A nurse came and asked me if I was ready and I was terrified. I just got up and walked down to the operating room.
Once I walked in I was terrified. There were people everywhere and activity all over the place. Two baby beds, nurses for each baby, nurses for me, students, doctors, lights, tools, etc. They had me climb up on the operating table. Also very odd. At this point I started to cry like crazy. The nurses asked me what was wrong and I just told them I couldn't believe I was having two babies and how nervous I was.
They gave me my spinal, which I was crying so much for they actually briefly knocked me out while they put it in. I was thankful for that. When I woke up I could hear my doctors voice, saw the drape going up, saw Chris come in all smiles and excited. I thought I could feel the first incision. I told the doctor I could feel it and they said I shouldn't feel pain. I told them I still could feel it. Then I was out. The knocked me out cold. I missed the arrival of Joshua and Grace, but I also missed what was apparently a pretty eventful surgery. At the end of the delivery the doctor was not able to get the bleeding to stop and there was quite a bit of work that had to be done. My one hour surgery took two hours in the end and I lost enough blood to require a 2 unit blood transfusion a few days later. I was one procedure away from a hysterectomy, but thankfully that did not have to happen.
Those days at the hospital are all hazy. I slept a lot and spent a lot of time in a drugged stupor. I vaguely remember holding Grace and Joshua the first time. Recovery was very, very slow and the hardest thing I ever had to do, especially prior to receiving the blood transfusion. On Tuesday, February 22, 2011 we came home from the hospital. Those early days at home were hard as well. Getting around was difficult and I still had quite a way to go in healing. Now, almost 2 weeks post-op I am still sore, still slow, but feeling better each day. I am still anxious about mothering three children all at once and all those things I feared with Jacob came true. He IS bigger, he is more mature, he does look like he is 5 instead of just shy of three. But he has taken all of this in stride and has been such a good boy adjusting to life with not one, but two new siblings. I've had endless help from my mom and I have yet to be here alone to manage all three kiddos at one time. Next week I have help from my mother in law. I'm not sure what it will be like to do it all on my own, but I know God is good and He will get us through, just as He provided for me to carry Grace and Joshua to term.
And so it is...we are now the Burri Five.