November 24, 2011
5 years and two days ago, I went to hospital for a scheduled c-section to deliver our twin girls. It was the day before Thanksgiving and a sunny but crisp fall day. As we were putting our bags in the car, I saw a man walking his dog, “I’m off to have twins” I said. He gave me a polite and slightly uncomfortable smile. We chuckled to ourselves – what a funny thing to tell a stranger.
The nurses got me ready for the c-section and Eric put on his blue scrubs. They wheeled me into the delivery room and the staff were jovial – it was a good day. My nurse anesthetist introduced herself. Her name was Joyce – my late grandmother’s name. I relaxed a little. The operation went well and our girls were born 20 seconds apart. They were healthy and screaming loudly. Someone put the girls on my chest and Eric and I reveled in our new family. It was a beautiful moment.
Eric took the “new father’s walk,” a custom of the hospital to carry the babies to the nursery. I went to the recovery ward where I met the recovery nurse. Her name was Julia – my aunt’s name – and again I relaxed a little bit more.
My obstetrician came and I was bleeding. She tried to stop it, but couldn’t. She was calm yet focused. A call was made and we were told that there was a complication and I had to go back to the operating room. I accepted the news without concern. All of a sudden I realized that I was being wheeled back through the corridors. The nurses were running – their clenched fists punching the door buttons as they ran. People in the hallway quickly stood aside and looked at me with worry. We were racing against time.
We got back to the operating room – all the staff were masked, gloved and the mood was very serious. Immediately lots of people were prodding and poking me. Joyce was right there talking calmly but I couldn’t tell what she was saying. My body wouldn’t move. I couldn’t talk. I heard, “STOP, EVERBODY STOP!” This is it, I thought – this is it. This is how I die.