The rest of the day is a bit of a blur now.
As my wife was being patched up in the theatre I was ushered off to a side room with my gorgeous new twin babies. In hindsight I probably should have been more worried; I was more just overwhelmed by the 2 utterly helpless but utterly beautiful tiny little sleeping people I suddenly found myself alone with & responsible for. We had already developed a huge admiration for the expertise, professionalism, humanity & compassion of the lead Obstetrician so I trusted & was reassured by her & her team. It couldn’t stop the unease fighting with the elation as I found myself alone with my 2 new helpless children while my wife was still in the operating theatre.
The main thing I remember is their frequently waking up & crying & my efforts to get them back to sleep. I wheeled them around the room in their cot; the motion seemed to soothe them. Then I kept having running battles with staff who came in, opened the curtains & turned on all the lights, then ran out again. Result: immediate crying. So I’d go around closing the curtains & switching off the lights, resulting in peaceful sleeping babies: until the next 1 came in. Some staff did actually come in & do apparently important things, so I let them keep the lights on 🙂
I also soon found that sticking a finger in Jake’s mouth sent him back off to sleep as well. That boy has got 1 powerful suck: he can actually hurt my fingers! Then my little Ellie grabbed my finger with her hand, wrapped her tiny little fingers around it & wouldn’t let go…
It was a moment where it felt like that up until then I hadn’t really lived.
Eventually my wife was wheeled in & we were all led off to the HDU: High Dependency Unit. What happened there? Not really sure! I seem to remember lots of people coming & going, doing tests, asking questions, giving us bits of paper to read or sign. At 1 point a Paediatrician tried to take blood from both babies for tests: by pricking a heel then shaking & squeezing. She seemed to take forever, & the babies seemed really distressed. After a bit she came back & told us she still didn’t have enough blood & needed to do it again. We couldn’t stand to see our helpless newborns so distressed! After finding out why they wanted the blood, & deciding it wasn’t urgent we asked them to postpone: which they did.
My lovely wife has always been keen to get them breast-feeding as soon as possible. In hindsight this was very ambitious. It’s especially difficult with twins apparently & a lot of mothers don’t even try, after her worse than expected C-Section she wasn’t really in a fit state for it.
We did seem to have some success, & their different personalities, even though newborn, were already emerging. Jake was & is never happier than when on his mother’s breast: the suction in that mouth is incredible! Ellie on the other hand mostly just wanted to sleep, & didn’t seem to want to feed much at all. Jake’s a little trier too: he seemed determined to get his food at all costs, & my wife – although loving every second – was finding it quite painful. No photos: I value my testicles & I’d like to keep them where they are please.
I left them (my wife & babies, not my testicles) in the capable hands of the midwives & other staff to head home at around 8.30pm, very tired, very hungry & very happy.