They say that today is the first day in the rest of your life. For
some, it's just the first day of life.
My two sons were born today. I became a father, and my wife became a mother.
Of course, technically we've been father and mother for months and months
now, but it's in a more passive way. But when they were born, lying there
helpless and vulnerable, I realized that my life had been profoundly changed
forever. Good or bad, my life will never be the same. Nothing has ever affected
my life in such a way that so much will be so very different.
I woke early this day, I had not been sleeping well. It had that kind of
strange, nervous, tense feeling inside of me, much like when you're having an
important exam, will be holding to a difficult presentation in front of an
audience, are getting married. It's also the having kids kind of nervous
feeling. Anxious. I had been sleeping at home, my wife at the hospital. She
would be under the knife, a planned caesarian, in less than 6 hours.
The reason for the planned caesarian was because my wife was showing signs of
preeclampsia, indicating that her kidneys were working very hard. Also, her
blood pressure had been steadily rising. Preeclampsia is a disorder that
occurs during pregnancies, and untreated it leads to the death of the mother.
The only cure is to end the pregnancy. However, my wife was feeling fine, but
she was showing symptoms that worried the doctors. Since the pregnancy had gone
32 weeks, and the boys were doing good, the doctors decided that there was
little risk for the babies to be delivered, and some risks in waiting for their
Driving to the hospital I realize that the rest of the world was minding
their business like nothing's about to happen. They were oblivious to the fact
that I was standing at a cliff, about to jump. On the other hand, I too am
oblivious to other people. We interact with so many people every day, and yet we
are complete strangers. The woman in the coffee shop, the guy whose parking spot
I steal, their lives being invisible to me. How many times have I been
exchanging casual remarks with someone whose feet is halfway over the edge of
the cliff ?
Hours later, entering a room full of people in scrubs and face masks. How
odd, to see one's wife on the operating table, with tubes and wires and
whathaveyou attached to her. All in all, eleven people in the room, including me
and my wife. I hope my insurance covers this, I think as the doctor motions for
me to take my seat. I talk to my wife, who is calm, but a bit dizzy from lying
on her back with the babies pressing her main artery. I don't like watching
surgery on TV, so I avoid looking at what the doctor's doing. In just a few
minutes, I hear the doctor's words: "I see a foot...". Soon after, at
12.34 p.m., they pull out a tiny, blueish/pinkish little being. At 1.422 kg (3.1
lbs) my first son Nils was an impressing sight. He opened his eyes, puzzled,
drew his first breath and let out a little scream.
Welcome. This is the world you will live in for the rest of your life, son.
One down, one more to go. This is the tricky one, since the upper twin has to
be pulled from his place down to the incision below the belly. One minute after
his older brother, Axel filled his lungs with air and announced to the world
that he had arrived. At 2.2 kg, 4.9 lbs, he will probably have an advantage over
his older brother for a while.
The poor kids look like their dad. Hopefully they will get something from
their mom... From all other things to judge, they are most likely identical.
They do not look like each other much at all, but that has probably got to do
with the difference in size between them.
One week old
It turns out that it was little Nils that was the stronger one of the two.
Just a day after being born 8 weeks premature, he is off additional oxygen and
soon after he starts eating. Through a tube down his belly, but anyway. Big
little brother Axel were a bit too big, and couldn't support his breathing by
himself. But after a few days on respirator he too managed to get his
breathing in order, and not soon thereafter he began eating.
12 days old
Both are now growing, Nils by about 40 grams a day and he needs it. He still
needs to stay in a slightly warmer environment because of his low body fat,
while his brother is in a crib. Both are eating their full amounts of breast
milk and they have started trying to eat some from bottle. They still have to
learn swallowing, but as soon as the can eat their full meals through their
little mouths, they can come home.