Friday, August 7, 2015

A Day to Celebrate!!! Twenty Eight Years Ago Today ....

We knew we were going to have twins when I had an ultrasound at 8 weeks for breakthrough bleeding. There was a triplet that I miscarried. But it was all good. Twins would be a handful enough. It took me ten years of surgeries and treatment for fertility to get me pregnant. A two for one pregnancy and a boy/girl set of twins at that was a blessing. Our son Autumn let us know he was a boy during one of the ultrasounds.

They thought they'd arrive early. On Father's Day in June to be exact. I was given a drug turbutilene to stop the labor and spent a few days in the hospital. They told me to go on total bed rest until they would be near full term at birth.

The Oliver North hearings were on every major network so I watched PBS. Mr. Rogers and I became good friends.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood when my doctor told me I could end bed rest.

But then their due date came and went. Our girl had engaged but no one was moving. Well they were moving a lot inside of me and sleep came in fits and starts.

I was told that I had one more week of being pregnant and then they would either induce or do a C-section by August 10th.

We did everything we could think of to get things moving. We ate Italian with lots of garlic. I had a glass of red wine. And we walked - a lot. It was hysterical to be at the Mall and see people stare at me. People came up to me and touched my belly without even asking.

Tom and I have always used humor to get us through stressful times so he decided to take these photos of me at Star Market on Beacon Street to make it look as though I was shop lifting:

Late Thursday afternoon I called Tom at work and suggested he ditch the idea to stay late. I thought that perhaps this was it!

I called the labor nurse on call with our OB practice and she said given that I was having twins I should definitely come into the hospital. We lived in an old building on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton...on the fourth floor...and had an old fashioned elevator. I prayed that it would not get stuck.

They put us in a labor room. We put on our music - The Monks of the Weston Priory and I had my photos of the Priory as my centering photos. They hooked us up to the fetal monitor and everything was going well or so I thought and even though there were some signs of labor moving along, it wasn't enough to have me stay there. They needed the bed.

At 1 am we go back to our apartment praying all the while that the elevator would be in good service. Remember there were no mobile phones back then!

Tom fell back to sleep but I lay wide awake. At 6 am I felt it - no mistaking it - a very strong contraction. We started timing them ... ten minutes apart ... the labor nurse said we had plenty of time to get back to the hospital - but it would make sense to head back. Tom was so calm and cool until we pulled into the Brigham. "My wife is having a baby - well two," he yelled. They got me a wheelchair. Tom parked the car and came into the labor room.

They told me I needed to have an epidural at 4 centimeters in case they had to do an emergency C-section with twins. Our labor nurse, Suzanne Silvernail was amazing! The fact I remember her and her name all these years later speaks to what an important role she played in our lives that day. She got the chief resident anesthesiologist to put in the epidural and he got it on the first try. We relaxed and listened to our cassette tape from the Weston Priory where we had spent a glorious weekend before we were pregnant:

Things began moving along and Suzanne made sure I was comfortable and told me that even though I had an epidural I would still be able to push and deliver.

The day was wearing on and Suzanne's shift would end at 3;30. She told me that she'd been with us all day and there was no way she was ending her shift without seeing our twins. She said you will deliver before 3:30.

And sure enough at 3:10 pm, Ruth Anne McManus entered the world. Her brother enjoyed his new found space, turned sideways and his heart rate dropped but with the help of forceps and a skilled OB, he arrived on the scene at 3:20.

What an amazing journey parenthood has been! I have been so blessed to be a part of Ruth Anne and Autumn's lives and to experience them now as thriving wonderful adults making the world a better place through their compassion, their love, their laughter and their light.

Happy Birthday Autumn and Ruth Anne! It is indeed a day to celebrate!

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