Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy Birthday, noisy boys!

I complain about my kids plenty on this blog. I don’t mean to complain, I just describe what is, and it sounds like I’m complaining. For the record, I love my children more than anything else on this earth.

Let me tell you just a little bit about my life five years ago. My husband and I had moved across the country and had few-to-no geographically close friends; I was pregnant with twin boys; my husband was unemployed. Okay, you’ve got the picture. 26 weeks along in my pregnancy, I went into premature labor and was admitted to the hospital. It was the day before Thanksgiving. At 4 cm dilated, the doctor didn’t expect me to make it through the night without giving birth. They gave me a shot of steroids in an effort to develop the babies’ lungs and started me on a drip of magnesium sulfate to try to stop the labor. It wasn’t stopping. They prepped me for an emergency c-section and a neonatologist came into my room and gave me all kinds of scary statistics that I think she thought would reassure me. All I could think was, “This is not happening. These babies cannot come tonight. If they do, they’ll die.” I told the neonatologist to leave. Now. And then I told my doctor that my babies would not be coming tonight, and I would do everything in my power to stay pregnant until 32 weeks. My doctor laughed and told me to try to hang on a few more hours. My husband prayed. I prayed. And then the medication took over and I couldn’t form a coherent thought, but in my soul, I prayed still. And the labor slowed down.

I spent that first night throwing up while my husband and an angel nurse soaked towels in ice water and draped them across my burning-up body. Magnesium sulfate, among other things, causes hot flashes and nausea. I didn’t think I would survive, but I did. I named our noisy boys that night and let myself imagine that they would live. I dreamed of the noisy chaos that is now an everyday part of my life.

And for the next 6 weeks, one day at a time, I stayed pregnant. My doctor couldn’t believe it. Nurses went on vacation and came back, amazed that I was still there. Nobody tried to explain away the miracle. I went in and out of active labor; on and off of the magnesium sulfate. A few times, I got to get out of bed and take a shower. And on January 2, 2002, one day shy of 32 weeks, my noisy boys were born. I wept with relief, both that my ordeal was over and that they would both live. In the end, they each spent 6 weeks in the NICU. And today, they are healthy, happy five-year old boys who have no idea why their Mother holds them so tightly and cries on their birthday.

So, for all of the days I complain about the noise and the mess of raising these boys, let me balance it out by saying I wouldn’t trade my noisy boys for anything in the world. They are gifts from God. And, for the record, I haven’t missed a shower in the five years they’ve been alive!

No comments: