“How do you do it?”
The question everyone asks. People are in such wonder of twins and how could you possibly raise both of them!
“It’s all we have ever known, we don’t know how to raise one, we have always had both of them”.
A simple enough response, but the cloud of mystery on an inquisitive face instantly vanishes. It’s all they have ever known, of course! This is usually followed by a “oh bless you!” Or other phrase insinuating saintly parenting. Sister Serendip might draw some similarities there. So here it is, about a month out from having a “singleton” I pause to reflect on “how I do it”
When you mix Jose Cuervo, a beach ironically named Pleasure Beach, and unprotected sex you are pretty much taunting the powers that be into gifting you with offspring. Now I’m not a learned doctor but combining those three things to me seems more effective than fertility treatments. On said night we had been out at our friends Matt and Noah’s playing cards, having a blast. As the night wound down Diana and I decided to end the night at our favorite beach. On thing led to another and we were twenty yards out on a floating platform recreating what I feel is probably the start to ninety percent of slasher films. Two drunk kids having sex in the middle of the nowhere. while Jason Vorhees didn’t surprise us at climax another surprise certainly occurred.
Flash forward six weeks, three fights, and one box of pregnancy tests we found out we were expecting. A week later we found out it was “double trouble” I remember when the ultrasound technician said ” Oh, there’s two in there”
“No we only asked you to find one”. I responded in shock and disbelief. There it was, Killian and Nicolas, baby “A” and baby “B”.
For people not familiar with two aliens growing in a body, multiples don’t enjoy staying full term. Our boys weren’t any different. On March 30th, 2013 the wife wasn’t feeling top notch. It turns out she had developed a form of preeclampsia known as HELLP syndrome, Google it, shit is scary. With her blood pressure skyrocketing the doctors were forced to do an emergency c-section.
Did I mention this was apparently the one day of the year our OBGYN was out of town. I was living the movie knocked up. So I’m in a room with my drugged up wife while some dude I’ve never met uses a medical tool set I assume he bought from a Dexter memorabilia site. At 10:05 I heard Killian for the first time, at 10:07 Nicolas. As I tried not to faint while cutting umbilical cords (no one told me it would squirt blood at me! The whole cutting of the umbilical cords could be a blog-novel itself) something else was occurring.
My wife had become unresponsive. As monitors began to beep alarmingly I looked around confused but completely knowing what was going on. Now everyone is covered head to toe in scrubs and protective wear. Their eyes though, I can see the worry in them. Still reeling from the umbilical cord debacle of a minute prior I was already faint and woozy, everything was tunnel vision. The anesthesiologist and a nurse immediately tried to usher me out to see my newborns. I loved my kids from the moment we found out about them, but I wasn’t going to leave my wife’s side.
Sitting there watching your wife slip away is a surreal experience. It was only a matter of minutes but I spent an eternity staring at her expressionless face. What was I going to do? How would I survive? Diana has always been the calm to my storm. As my insides rage her anchor kept me from going adrift. To lose her, the thought of it even was incomprehensible. All of a sudden it was too real. As future birthdays and anniversaries flashed through my mind without, something inside Diana sparked. She began to stabilize and come back to me. When her eyes fluttered open a collective sigh of relief was exhaled by doctors, nurses and myself. When I knew she was ok I could focus on being a new father.
A few days in ICU for the wife, a week and a half in NICU for the boys and finally my family was home and exhausted but whole. Diana was on bed rest, I was all too happy to take care of the boys though. Schedules were set, responsibilities divided and we began our adventure.
It seems eons ago that I watched my wife die and faced the possibility of being alone in this world with my boys. That brief moment lasted an eternity. Fortunately for our family it was only a moment. My boys are blessed with two loving parents but for that brief window, I was a widowed father of twins. Mentally I have lived that life, it was very real to me.
“How do you do it?”
The question is so loaded, usually the person asking it doesn’t even realize.
“It’s all we have ever known”