May 1st…..The twins….Our Twins!
Today is a special day in my memory from oh so many years ago and I would like to share my story with you, my dear friends.
You might want to grab a cuppa coffee and sit for a spell. 😉
It is a story of sadness, faith and hope and joy.
I remember it as if it were yesterday.
You see, our amazing, incredible, wonderful twins were born at 7 1/2 months!!! …. on May 1st…May Day!
My little May Baskets of Joy!
They were born prematurely, as many twins are.
My pregnancy was full of swelling feet, cravings for crushed ice and a general overall feeling of not being able to get comfortable in any position, whether it be sitting, standing or lying down.
My other pregnancies were a piece of cake compared to this one!
Only Daughter had been a challenging one, she was born a few weeks before her due date….but she was born healthy and able to breathe on her own and was able to go home from the hospital on schedule.
As for the twins, I had my 7 1/2 month check-up on a bright sunny morning in Dallas, Texas… and after examining me, the doctor ordered complete bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy!
In those days, it seemed hospital rest was the norm, but I wanted to be home instead of the hospital and I promised I would go home and go to bed and be very careful.
And I did just as the doctor ordered….but early that very same evening, I went into labor, and 9 hours later, two precious little bundles of joy were born.
The good news was their weights were good….but that was misleading.
The bad news????
They couldn’t breathe on their own, nor did they have the ability to suck…those natural reflexes were not there.
They had to be fed intravenously and in addition, Baby B (as the hospital had named them) had tubes in his stomach and Baby A had needles stuck in both sides of his head just above his temples.
My newborn babies with their thick dark hair had parts of their heads shaved to accommodate all the needles and tubes.
They both had small tubes connecting to bags of fluids.
I was so frightened as I tearfully placed my little ones into God’s hands.
I knew the meaning of praying without ceasing.
When the doctor came into my room….I had so many questions.
I was overwhelmed at all the information and details he was giving me.
He explained what could happen and what might happen and chances of survival and he used such big words and special conditions and percentages that it was very hard to comprehend.
You would think I would have had it all under control as this was not my first birth.
But healthy births were not the case here.
I remember gingerly walking down the short hallway to the Intensive Care Unit of the nursery, as a nurse let me in the small room.
I sat in the rocking chair that had been set up beside the two incubators, labeled with large blue tags that read Baby A and Baby B.
I stared at the monitors and listened to the beeping which was the only sound in that room.
The ICU nurse moved quietly about the room as she checked this, adjusting that and making notes on the clip boards attached to the incubators.
Every now and then she would look at me a smile.
I could feel the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital in the distance, but my focus was on my babies in this small ICU room.
There were tubes everywhere.
I remember wishing I understood all the graphs and monitors.
….and I prayed with tears streaming down my face.
And the questions that kept repeating themselves in my head.
Would my babies live?
And if so, would one or both have issues?
What would the future hold?
What would tomorrow bring?
And way deep down in my heart, in the place that holds the darkest fears….
….I prayed for them to beat the odds of preemie babies.
Day after day.
Night after night.
There were so many tests and screenings and I watched as my little baby boys yawned, hiccuped and in jerky little movements, moved their little arms and legs.
And the monitors kept beeping.
And then the day came for Baby B to have his tubes removed.
I was so excited that I would finally be able to hold him in my arms and I sat in that rocker beside the incubators in the ICU and cuddled him close.
I was given a bottle of formula that had a bright red nipple. It had a large X cut into the top. Baby B still didn’t know how to suck and I had to literally pour the formula down his little throat…ever so carefully… so that he would not choke.
But I was elated! What a victory! No more monitors for him although Baby A was still connected to all kinds of tubes.
The nurses and I were on a first name basis….that happens when these babies stay so long in the ICU.
I found out that the night my twins were born….2 other sets were born also. Two little girls and a boy and a girl. They all got to go home shortly after their births. I was glad for them, but sad for us.
I can’t say enough about these dedicated nurses. They really care and they cared for our two little boys like they were their own.
Baby B was moved to another floor and out of the ICU….and now my babies were separated for the first time since their birth.
And then I was allowed to take him home, with a book to keep track of feeding times and amounts of formula, etc, etc that was closely monitored.
It was bittersweet.
I felt happy, empty and guilty leaving the hospital with one baby, while my other little infant remained in the ICU.
At home, I would sing to my little baby.
There was a popular song out at the time and I changed the words a bit and would sing to him as I cuddled him in my arms:
It went something like this:
My name is Stacy, I have a nickel, I have a nickel all shiny and new. I’m going to buy you, all kinds of candy…that’s what I’m gonna do! do! do!
His little brown eyes would smile back at me. I’m sure of it!! A mother knows these things.
A week later, I was back in the ICU again staring at tubes and machines and beeping gadgets and hearing the words the doctor was saying, but all the while shaking my head no!, no!, no!
I refused to accept what he was saying! He told me that they were running more tests but he thought Baby A had spinal meningitis!
With tears streaming down my cheeks, I told him in an almost eerily calm voice that I gave birth to two babies and I was taking two babies home and that there was no way my baby had spinal meningitis….no matter what his tests reported.
I stood over my baby wrapped in a pale blue blanket, with his little head shaved on each side (tubes) as his little fingers clutched onto my finger.
And I prayed aloud as I wanted him to hear his mommy praying for him…..and then I told him that he did not have this horrible disease, that he was going to be just fine.
You see, I believed.
God answers prayer.
I clung to the verse in Luke 11:9 “Ask, and it shall be given to you”
Later the doctor told me the tests came back negative, but he still wanted to keep Baby A for a little while longer.
Two weeks later, we were able to bring our second baby, Tracy … home.
It had been so long since I had seen them both together that I placed them in little infant seats and all I could do was stare at the two of them together.
I looked up at my husband through tears and said…“We have twins”!!!!
He smiled back at me…“I know.” he replied.
The pic above is of Oldest Son, Only Daughter, back row is Twin #2 (Baby B) and Twin#1 (Baby A)….and of course….Me!
For more pics of the birthday dudes…check out this link: