1. Going in for a routine checkup at Labor & Delivery. The nurse took my BP, her eyes got huge and she rushed from the room, grabbed the supplies she needed and stuck an IV in me immediately. I wonder what the number was. I felt annoyed.
2. My doctor showing up unexpectedly at another of those L&D appointments after I'd been waiting hours to be released. "You're gonna have a baby today!" Shock. The whole world turned upside down in a good, but very stunning, way.
3. "We'll take you in to the operating room for your c-section in about an hour. They're just finishing up another patient right now." An hour passed and the nurse returned, slightly agitated. "It'll be a little longer." An hour later, I started to wonder why any woman would be in the operating room for 2+ hours for a routine c-section? Another hour later and the nurses eyes were red and swollen. My feelings of elation and happy expectation were suddenly gone as I worried about the stranger a few rooms away.
My obstetrician eventually came in and said gently, "Can we do it in the morning? Everyone here is emotionally frayed and I can promise you'll get better medical attention from them tomorrow." Later he told us that a medical student, who had been there to observe, wanted to choose a new career after what he had just seen.
We read the news article the next day about the woman who had died in childbirth with unstoppable hemorrhaging. The baby survived.
I was the next patient in that operating room at 8:00 a.m. There were no signs of blood anywhere. I tried not to think about it.
4. The first--very loud--cry and my doctors both saying, "It's a boy!" simultaneously. The most beautiful sound I have ever heard since we knew his lungs weren't quite mature.
5. The silence that followed the birth of my twins. "Are they out??? Are they okay???" I asked nervously. "Oh yeah, everything is fine." So much personality in that lack of crying. In retrospect, that silence was as beautiful as the first reassuring cry from my first child.
6. Staring at my tummy--trying not to stare at my tummy--and thinking, "Staples? Seriously... staples? What am I? Some kind of office document?"
7. Wondering if laughter or crying would tear my stomach back open. I tried so hard not to move at all, because it all felt so wrong to see that gash across my mid-section.
8. Despite that, loving the simplicity of c-sections.
9. Holding my newborn son in my arms.
10. Holding two newborn sons in two arms with nobody in the room to help me put them down again. The first of many, "What in the world do I do now?" moments as the mother of multiples.