Oh, Henny. My little Hen-Bo. Chubby Henny Penny.
This small bundle of joy jumped into the world feet first and never looked back. He screams and sometimes only dogs can hear it, it's so high pitched. He smiles and the world is a happier place. He scratches Luke's head while they're nursing and Luke just looks up and smiles at him. They are best friends already.
So, where were we?
Oh yeah. Luke arrived! Or fell out, depending on who you ask. And it was magical. It always is. I don't care how much pain you're in, or how stressful the situation is, the second that baby is out it is the best feeling in the world. And so I looked up at Josh and smiled, both our eyes filled with tears, so happy it's ridiculous, and then a split second later I realized - there's another one in there and he has to come out.
The brief pause we had for Luke's birth was suddenly over and the OR erupted again into a flurry of chaos. People were yelling, nurses were flinging things, I'm pretty sure a maintenance guy was in the corner mopping an invisible spill. I still wasn't on the OR table, but it didn't matter, my doctor pulled the zipper up on her wet suit and dove into my vagina, fist first.
Oh, but not just the vagina. (I guess I should take a moment to say, I'm not hiding anything, so if you don't want to hear certain words, just look at the cute pictures of Henry. Please and thank you.)
No! Just the vagina would be too easy. I'm on kid number four here people, and kid number two for the day, you could put a motorcycle in my vagina and I probably wouldn't care. However, babies don't live in your vagina, they live way up there, and Henry was so far up he was practically in my throat. My doctor plunged herself in there, past my cervix, deep into my mother lovin' uterus, and was trying to grab a hold of Henry to "guide" him out.
Let me just take a sec to remind ya'll the epidural they made me get? STILL WASN'T WORKING. That's not true, it was numbing a small portion of my right side. So if an ant wanted to crawl on my right leg I woulda been cool, but since THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH CHILDBIRTH I was definitely not feeling cool. I was feeling like there was an adult trying to reverse-birth herself into me. And she was yelling things like, "Get me the hook!", and I was like, "Uh, no. Don't get her a hook. Why do we need a hook on top of all of this? Get her a Xanax or a glass of wine, NO ONE HAND HER SHARP HOOKED OBJECTS PLEASE."
But it was all good because the nurse was all, "We're all out of hooks!"
And then the doctor was like, "This is the OR, we're supposed to have hundreds of fucking hooks," (she said that with her eyes, not her words).
And the nurse who could read said looks said, "I wasn't set up for this to be happening yet, so all the hooks are somewhere else.
And I was all, "Could you guys please stop saying 'hooks'!"
And then my doctor was all, "It's fine! I just broke his sac with my finger." Because apparently she's like a mother bear in the woods breaking sacs with her bare fingers and teeth and whatever she can because the OR was not ready for my hyper-speed delivery of twins. I half expected her to rip up her scrubs to pieces and start tying it around things to flag where she'd been at some point.
Meanwhile, Josh never lets go of my hand. Not ever. Not once. Because he is the one I was supposed to love and have kids with and be partners with forever and ever amen.
Ok, so she rips the sac and I'm thinking, great. Let's guide this sucker outta there. But, and here's where it gets really fun, she can't find his legs. And the nurse who's helping with the ultrasound can't find his legs, and I'm like, "I know he has legs, he's kicking the shit out of me!" and then the anesthesiologist leans down so close to my ear I almost think he's going to lick it, which would be weird, and he says very softly, and very gently, "Amy. . . can you feel that?"
"By 'that' do you mean the grown woman up to her elbow in me trying to fish out a seven pound baby?"
"Yeah, that's what I mean."
"YES I CAN!"
"Ok, great," he says. "You're doing great."
"Fuck your face I'm doing great!"
I didn't really say that, but I thought it. I was not doing great you guys. Not at all. I was very grunty, and whiny. Like, not valley girl whiny, "Mawm, like why can't I like have BOTH cars for like my birthday?" but the kind of whiny you hear when a guy is stranded in a cavernous ravine and video tapes his final days, and he's strangely optimistic that he will be found on the first day, but by day fifty-one he's out of water and hope and just sort of groans before the battery dies and they never find him. That kind of whiny.
And then just when I think it can't get worse, my doctor starts firmly telling anyone who will listen to her to page another doctor. And then another. And then she is rattling off all the doctors in her practice and quietly and gently not-yelling for someone to get them in the damn OR. So a bunch of doctors rush in, and there's already about ten nurses, and extra people to . . . hold things? I don't know why there were so many people. One of the doctors I've met before balls up both of her fists and thrusts all of her weight onto me, and my doctor finally finds a leg and starts pulling.
AND THEN she yells (but not a real yell, a stern command), and here's where I can't type this without crying. . .
She yells, "Page peds. We're gonna need peds in here right now."
Peds, as in pediatric, as in there is something wrong with my baby. My baby. My baby who is not even out yet, she knows there's something wrong. And even though it seems impossible, suddenly I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. I am numb, and I am cold, and I am so laser-focused on her face, she is the only person in the world as far as I am concerned. I am not even there. I'm not floating above my body, like some people say, I am right there in my body, more aware of it than I ever have been in my entire life, and all I want, all I can think about is my doctor and helping her somehow get my baby out so that he can be ok. And that's how it remains for the rest of the time, I feel absolutely nothing, and I can think about nothing. It is me and her and Henry. And I can see her fighting. I can see her trying so hard to get him out as quickly and deftly as possible. And then all of a sudden she does. All of a sudden she's telling me to push harder and Henry comes out.
But it's not euphoric. It's not a relief. It's totally terrifying.
He immediately gets handed to the pediatric doctor who does a quick apgar and he scores a one. Which is bad. He's not breathing, he's not crying, and I can't see him. I'm trying to get up on my elbows to find him, as if my eyes on him will help things, and I start to breath again and panic and suddenly someone is shouting and I want them to stop because it's so distracting and sad, and then I realize it's me. I'm the one shouting.
"Is he ok? Is he breathing? IS HE OK?!?!"
And my doctor starting shouting back, "Amy. AMY. Look at me. LOOK AT ME."
So, I do.
"He's ok, and you're ok. Those guys are just cleaning him up and giving him some oxygen, take some deep breaths."
And I wait.
And I wait.
And I wait.
And he cries.
And suddenly everyone is smiling and my doctor says, "See, he's crying. That's good. He's going to be fine."
And I break and start sobbing.
Someone hands me Luke and he his perfect, and smells perfect, and I kiss his smushed up face. Then the doctor comes by with Henry and tells me they need to take him to the nursery, give him some meds and oxygen, and do some tests and make sure he's ok and I beg to hold him, just for a second. Like, I beg. So, they hold him right up next to me and Luke long enough for me to kiss him and then he's gone. And it's just me and Luke and Josh and a hundred hospital employees left.
And we are overjoyed and hearbroken. We are relieved and anxious.
After that everything really was fine. My doctor made some jokes, people high-fived each other, a nurse came up to me and said, "Well, that was a career first!" Everyone was jovial and happy, and just as quickly as we were surrounded by an army of birthers, we were suddenly abandoned and alone and so grateful for the calm and quiet.
Henry turned out to be fine, and about six hours later I finally got to see him, and hold him, and smell him. Surprisingly, Josh was almost more upset about all this than me. Almost. He was allowed to go in and check on Henry in the nursery because his legs worked (oh yeah, my epidural finally kicked in AFTER the whole thing was done), and every time he came back he was like, "You really need to see him. He needs to see you." And I just nodded because every fiber in my body just wanted those two boys on me forever. I knew I needed him. I knew he needed me. And he was great, and he nursed right away, and clung onto me and Luke, and that's where he has stayed ever since.
My little lovey clinger.
His favorite spot.
My first two seconds with both of them.
Our first real meeting.
First time holding both.
So happy to be together finally.
He opened his eyes the second I picked him up.
"What took you so long, Mom?"
Home and snuggy.