Just over three weeks ago I welcomed my little twin boys into the world. It was amazing to finally meet them and to find out their gender, but it was a pretty crazy few days in the lead up. My surgery had been scheduled for the morning of the 15th, but the day before I was advised it could be delayed due to an influx into NICU from out of town.
Things got weird after that. I was told I could be flown to Timaru for the surgery, but that my family would have to find their own way and we’d have to find our own way back. Zombie and I spent the day stressing and putting plans in place, but hoping that the surgery would just go ahead as planned.
The night of the 14th I went nil by mouth in preparation in case the surgery went ahead. Then on the morning the surgey was postponed til the afternoon. After that I was all gowned up, had my IV inserted and ready to go for the afternoon slot when the surgery was cancelled due to me having eaten two crackers a few hours earlier (I’d been nil by mouth for 18 hours by this point aside from that).
I was then booked for first thing that following morning, but ten minutes before we were due to go into theatre I was bumped down the list again. Luckily this was the final delay and a few hours later I was making the walk to the theatre.
I was a lot less nervous this time round. I knew how the surgery would work and what to expect, so I didn’t spend the buildup freaking out and practising breathing exercises to calm myself down.
Of course this time it was different. Zombie wasn’t allowed in until after the spinal block had been performed, which of course was the part I was the most scared of. And then there was the fact that the spinal didn’t work properly.
The anaesthetist did all the temperature checks and prick tests as normal, I could kind of feel them and wasn’t convinced that we were ready to get going, but the fact that I could feel the ice colder in the areas that weren’t supposed to be numb was a good sign and so they got started.
And then I felt them cut me open. It was agony and I screamed. They quickly stopped and went into damage control mode, but all my composure was gone. I have never been so scared in my life.
They covered the incision and then removed all the tape around the surgical site. Have you ever had a bandaid the size of a car wheel removed from your body in one hit? It hurts a lot. If nothing else, that would have been a great indication that the spinal hadn’t worked.
After this they rolled me onto my side, performed the spinal again (Zombie was sent into the corner so I lay there silently crying and trying not to freak out) and this time it worked. I felt my body slowly go numb and I felt calmer at the same time.
Aside from a brief moment of nausea when I was being sewn back up and an inability to throw up (I was angled upside down, cut open and with abs that hadn’t been used in months) the rest of the surgery was fine. Zombie watched the boys be removed and told me that we had more sons.
I wasn’t allowed to see Miles for a while. He could breathe on his own, but his oxygen saturation was low and he ended up being taken away to NICU for a day and a half to be given help breathing. Mason was fine however and it wasnt long before I got to hold him in my arms and feel like the whole ordeal was worth it.
The team in the theatre were lovely. One of the surgeons was a twin and two of the others had twins of their own. While they were waiting for the first spinal to work we all went round telling our best dad jokes and having a laugh. They definitely know how to put a nervous person at ease when they’re on the table.
I just wish I’d spoken up about my concerns about the spinal not working. Zombie and I spoke about it later and he told me that he wasn’t convinced it had worked either, based on the fact that I was a lot more ‘with it’ that time than when Raiden was born.
I’m relieved that I won’t have to go through it again though. Our family is complete now and although the hard yards are by no means over and there are sure to be plenty of anxiety inducing events in front of me, the years ahead of me watching my three sons grow are going to be exciting and well worth any bumpy starts we had.
Smiles and Sunshine