“Why don’t you just let yourself be bored for a while?” Joel asked. “I hear it’s an amazing feeling!”
The gene for boredom was long-ago extinct in the Hilchey DNA, so the twins instinctively set about adding some new projects to the list. Not wanting mom to spend even one more full night being bored, they broke the water at 11pm.
Kathleen, who had just climbed into fresh bedsheets, moving with the reflexes of a cat and all the agility of a dancing goat, miraculously left the sheets fully suitable for the houseguests who were destined to follow.
By 2:15am, the induction was started, and by 1:30pm she was fully dilated. By shortly after 3pm, it was time to head to the Operating Room for the delivery. While everyone hoped there would be no actual operation, it’s standard procedure at McMaster to deliver twins in the O.R., just in case.
It was a real cocktail party in there, and apparently everyone got an invitation: The obstetrician, the OB Resident, the OB student, the midwife and midwife resident, the anesthesiologist, two “Neo-natal” teams of 3 (a team of a pediatrician, nurse, and respirologist for each baby), a nurse for Kath and, we think, 3 other roaming nurses, and another random student observer rounded out the professionals. Although we didn’t see him personally, we think we heard someone selling popcorn and beer. Kathleen and I brought the total count to 19, but the real guests of honour were yet to arrive. As Kathleen was wheeled onto centre stage, spotlights on, and told which two people to listen to (strangely, the husband was not one of the two…), she mustered the energy to quip, “This party is an introvert’s worst nightmare.”
So, on Monday, January 15, 2018, Kathleen pushed out the boy at 3:54pm “sunny-side up” (that’s the technical term for face up…), which apparently is even harder than the face down way (Joel likes to call that way “over-easy” – he thinks it’ll catch on… check the textbooks in a few years). After a brief hello to mom and dad, baby boy, “twin A”, got a quick once-over before calmly settling back with dad. Meanwhile, we hoped that the wiggly-squiggly girl had stayed in place despite her new-found uterine real estate. She did! So mom got to work pushing her out too, and with the path already ploughed through the snow drift, she was out just 13 minutes after her brother, at 4:07pm. Over-easy!
The twins are quick learners – they picked up tandem breastfeeding, and they are generally pretty happy to gaze at each other in the cot. Mom has picked up tandem breastfeeding too (imagine a running back holding a football, except she’s carrying two balls instead of the standard one, and she’s playing on the “skins” team). This has left both of dad’s hands comfortably free to occasionally rub mom’s swollen feet and feed her water. We’re now investigating camelback dispensers, or those really long curly straws. But dad’s favourite thing to do is take off his shirt and lie down with one of the little creatures on his chest. Everyone is in good health and managing well, although Joel says his hip is feeling a little off. That’s probably unrelated.
Although he was a little nervous, our older son, who’s now two and a half, has been a great big brother so far, visiting us in the hospital every day for dinner, sharing stories with friends at school, and even being brave enough to hold his new brother and sister. He has asked many questions, including, “Do they have feet?” and “Could I see their feet?” and “Do they have heads?” No doubt, he’ll have many more questions in the coming weeks.
As we were visited in our room by midwives and doctors and nurses and audiologists and lactation consultants and probably other professional people we can’t remember right now, and as we think back on the cocktail party in the O.R., we can’t help but feel lucky that we’ve paid zero dollars for the privilege of this help. Actually, that’s not true. We had to pay $42.38 for the breast pump kit. What a privilege to live in Canada.
Grandnan, with the help from a few Grandmas and Grampa, helped by holding down the fort at home with our son, AND bringing special meals – we were definitely the best fed patients in the unit! We headed home four days later, and we've been trying to get into a routine with some new projects on the task list!
We’re grateful for the three healthy babies we’ve been able to add to planet earth, but for those of you wondering, the project list does not include any future fetus production or O.R cocktail parties. If we seem a little tired for awhile, now you know why!
Thanks for all the love and support!