Everything in this slideshow
A Rough Road
Dylan is nervous as the day of my C-section arrives. Previous miscarriages, plus a few bouts of bed rest during this pregnancy, have made him—and all of us—fearful. Add to that my four-day hospitalization the previous month for skyrocketing blood pressure (brought on at least in part, no doubt, by being evacuated from our home during the San Diego firestorms). No wonder he's emotional.
A drape helps keep the surgery area sterile. Luckily, it also keeps me from viewing my soon-to-be-exposed innards. Though I'm not strapped down, I'm feeling decidedly like a turtle on its back.
My OB-GYN, Sean Daneshmand (he insisted we call him Sean), reaches in to deliver the first baby (Baby A). I don't feel any pain—just pressure and tugging. And anticipation: Jeff and I have elected not to find out the babies' genders (much to the dismay of Dylan, who repeatedly begged Sean to tell him).
Baby A takes her first breath
It's a Girl!
Sean waits for Jeff to announce the gender. He takes a bit longer than I'd anticipated, wanting to make sure that Baby A is, indeed, a girl. (She is.)
It's a Girl!
A big reward: my first view of my daughter. My shriek alarms the operating room staff, who worry that I'm feeling pain. I'm not—just sheer delight.
The Lucia twins, aka Baby B (left) and Baby A (right, with a major outie), make their debut in November 2007 in San Diego.
Even though each weighed about 5 1/2 pounds, both babies have minor respiratory distress. They get some help with their breathing before they're admitted to the NICU. I'm not overly worried; the NICU staff and Sean have assured me that this is precautionary and both babies look very healthy.
One, Big Happy Family
After the surgery is finished and I've been taken to recovery, Jeff and Sean visit Baby B in the NICU (Baby A is nearby). Jeff still sports his protective clothing from the OR. All family members are encouraged to hold the babies as much as possible—after thorough hand-washing, of course.
The babies are hooked up to various monitors, but breastfeeding is still encouraged. Though they have mastered the suck/swallow pattern (some preemies have difficulty with this), they nevertheless have some problems nursing; they're so young that they tire easily.
Hello, Baby B. (Boy, that is.) What more could one mother hope for?