Tomorrow is the day that marks the wonderful day 34 years ago that introduced me to two tiny people who changed my life forever.
Looking like I had a watermelon tucked under my shirt, I waddled into the labor/delivery department to begin my big adventure. Only 10 days before I had been in this same hospital for an X-ray of my enormous belly to determine just why it was so enormous. I already knew that I felt four little feet pounding my ribs, but they wanted proof. I was right and we made a mad scramble to prepare for our double bundle of joy. We were given no clue as to the gender of these babies, so we picked out four names.
My due date wasn't until August 26, but my doctor decided theses babies needed to come on out before I burst. Remember this was 34 years ago and technology has grown by leaps and bounds. No argument from me (the swollen one).
All prepped and ready for an emergency C-section, just in case things didn't proceed as expected, They started my pitocin drip around noon. Jill Suzanne arrived nearly four and a half hours later at 4:29. She weighed five pounds, nine ounces and looked like a little doll. Her tiny face was surrounded by a cloud of dark hair. She was perfection with all fingers and toes in attendance. They held her close to me for a good look, then whisked her away to the warmer to await the arrival of her brother.
Six harrowing minutes later, Jeffrey Irving arrived feet first. He was smaller by seven ounces. He wasn't crying, not even a little. I saw him briefly as they held him up while trying to suction his mouth. No sound and he was very blue. When I started to question them they moved out of my sight. Finally I hear him cry. Such a tiny little sound he made. I kept asking to see my baby and they kept showing me my daughter before they whisked both babies to NICU.
On the way to the nursery the babies were introduced to their dad and his mom in the waiting room that families were confined to during the birthing process. My very abrupt doctor chose this time to tell them that our son would most likely not survive. Bedside manner was not his strong point.
We stayed at the hospital for the requisite 5 days and I celebrated my 22nd birthday by actually holding my baby boy in my arms for the very first time. I was allowed to touch him in his confined isolette by putting my hands in, but not to hold him. Times have changed a lot since then.
On day five we all three took our leave of the hospital. Jeff weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces at the time of discharge. Jill weighed 2 ounces less. The two little peanuts could fit together in the infant seat with room to spare. They were as different as night and day. Jill was tiny perfection with dark curly hair and Jeff was skinny and gangly with feet and hands too big for his frame and lighter hair that soon left entirely to give me a bald baby.
Different in temperament, these two, but locked together as only roommates of the womb can be. They are still close to this day. They grew up being referred to as "the twins". One name always followed the other and they shared the same friends. Jill was the oldest and remained the dominant twin until high school. She would even choose her brothers wardrobe and all of their friends. We moved to a different city at this time and that is when the role reversal occurred and Jeff began to choose the friends (he was never in charge of Jill's wardrobe!).
Today their names are no longer locked together with each others, but with those names of their mates. They have each given me grandchildren and grown to be parents themselves. Not only my children now, they are people in their own right. I love to be in their company. I love the sound of their voices on the phone. They can make a horrible day all better with just a word. They no longer lean on me as it seems we have undergone another role reversal.
I think it is called life, this constant changing of the roles we have. I loved being a mommy and being indispensable to my children. I love being Gramma even more, though. I am content to watch them parent and do things differently than I did....and yet the same.
Tomorrow Jeff and Jill will celebrate the day they were born. I won't be able to be there to see them and hug them. That makes me a little sad, but I will celebrate them as I hold them in my heart all day long.