Today I went to the hospital to visit a family member. While there I stopped to use the washroom and the moment my hand filled with the pink antibacterial soap I was transported back to the Special Care Nursery and the delivery of my twin sons.
I am always amazed at the power of our senses but smell seems to be the most powerful to me. The smell of this pink soap (used in every hospital I have ever been to) reminded me of all the times I washed my hands thoroughly before I could be admitted to the nursery to see my boys. The soap, while innocuous in presentation was a symbol of the barrier that existed between myself and my babies. I can remember standing there and seeing a nurse hold my boy through the glass and wishing he was in my arms.
My story is similar to lots of women who for one reason or another have their babies in a NICU or Special Care Nursery. I went into labour naturally at 32 weeks. I had a quiet night at home. I had watched Mad Men with my husband and when we decided it was time to bed, I went to the washroom to get ready. While urinating I felt a strange “pop” and I realized that my water had broken. Unfazed by this (even though I was two months early) I innocently called the hospital and asked if there was any need for me to come in right away. I thought that since I was not having contractions that there was no real rush. I distinctly remember the nurse on the other line getting my details while I sat strangely on the toilet. Once she heard I was 32 weeks with twins she asked me to “rush in.” For some reason the sense of urgency didn’t hit me so I gave my husband instructions to get a bag packed, to get everything we needed and head off. Being the control freak that I am, I insisted on driving myself. I was concerned about the upholstery in the car so I had Martin put a garbage bag on my seat for me to sit on.
The story from this point is long, dramatic and scary. The short version is that I ended up being airlifted to the closest major city, undergoing an emergency c-section under full anesthetic and delivering my boys alone in an operating room. Not the birth experience I had envisioned. But, in the end, I was okay, the boys were perfect.
My husband arrived (he had to drive two hours from home) after the boys were born and took these beautiful pictures of our amazing boys.