Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note, don’t worry, be happy
Bob Marley’s lyrics echoed off the walls of the operating room. The words yielded me to cooperate, to stop my worrying and surrender to the calming whistling and percussion of Bob Marley’s reggae.
I didn’t know where to look. I knew I was being cut open, that my insides would be outside, but I didn’t want to see it.
If I looked straight up, the giant metal light was reflecting a mirror image of the location in which the doctor would make his incision. If I looked at this, I’d have a cinematic view of my own caesarean.
Which is why I fixated on Jimmy. Our faces resting together, touching. Our energy was the same, both nervous and excited. They told us this process was short. We’d be parents soon.
I felt nothing below my waist. Not the cold of the OR nor the cut of a scalpel. I felt pressure and movement, back and forth, back and forth. The movement of a baby being worked and maneuvered out of my womb.
“TIME,” shouted Dr. Holt.
“6:39 pm,” said a nurse, as she noted this on the clipboard.
I positioned my eyes just above the curtain, the only thing standing between me and my firstborn son. I waited, expecting to see him held up for me, like Rafiki did with Simba in the Lion King.
But my moment never came. I heard voices and footsteps on my left side and the door of the OR swung open and then closed. Our first boy had been taken outside, with out a sight or sound.
My eyes darted up at Jimmy. He was frowning and I was, too. And I knew we were thinking the same thing.
Shouldn’t we have heard a cry?
“TIME,” the doctor called again.
“6:40 pm,” the nurse replied. She noted that in her documents.
And a cry pierced the silence, the greatest sound I’ve ever heard. Strong and shrill, quick breathing and gurgling of new life. Relief flooded my body and a tear rolled down my cheek. Jimmy kissed my head and we let out giddy laughs.
Again I stared above the curtain, willing a baby to appear. Again, I heard footsteps to my left, voices and the swinging of the OR doors.
“Did you get to see him?” I asked Jimmy.
“I think I saw a leg?” he said.
My heart was breaking a little at a time. I wanted to see them. I wanted to hold them and count their toes and kiss their foreheads. I wanted our first family picture taken with our newly-born twins. Things I’d waited nine months to do.
I looked towards the curtain again, only to see blood splattered up the side. My blood. And suddenly, whether it be nerves for my children or the reoccurring thought that my stomach was open, I had the overwhelming urge to vomit.
I informed the anesthesiologist of my nausea and was given medication to help it subside…and a barf bag.
By that time, an incubator was rolled in to our room. The NICU representative approached Jimmy and explained that twin A (James) needed to be taken to the NICU. She asked if he’d like to go or if he’d like to stay with me.
We’d already discussed that if one of the twins needed NICU time, Jimmy would go with them while I was being put back together.
And so I was alone. Jimmy was with James (and I was so thankful for that). I wasn’t sure where John was. I laid and waited and prayed for this surgery to be over so I could meet my children.
I continued dreaming of what they’d look like, how big they’d be, who they’d look like as I was cleaned off and lifted from one gurney to the next.
Bob Marley was silenced. Surgical tools were put to the side. I was leaving the OR and headed towards Recovery, towards my babies to begin my chapter as mommy.