Saturday, summer 2009.
I’m thankful it’s finally over. Thankful I’m through all of it. Oh Gosh, how could I’ve been so naive about laboring? When I was doing my respiratory exercises in front of the TV…
…or when Leighton was feeling and talking to my tummy…
…the thought about a sweaty and bloody labor never crossed my mind. I know I should have read some pregnancy book – so I suppose they warn you about the unbearable backaches and the burning discomfort when the baby is crowning – but then it just felt so unnecessary: it was a natural Sim action, after all. It should be easy, I should know how to do it without needing to worry about words such as forceps or breech birth positions.
It turned out I didn’t. My contractions started at 6pm just when I was preparing myself for a relaxing bath. At first, I didn’t though they were real contractions: I was enjoying being pregnant so much that I accidentally counted the days to my due date wrong. So, believing it was a false alarm, I tried to get in the bathtub anyway… What a terrible mistake. When I lift my leg, my water broke and an unbelievable pain followed.
I screamed so loud that Leighton came running to the bathroom. Well, he ended not being of much help: he panicked and started screaming himself. I had to call him to his senses by showing who the hell was in fact giving birth there. And didn’t have other way to do it then shouting with him to get that cheap car he so dearly cared about out of the stadium’s garage and quickly in front of our house.
As soon as I heard the engine, I ran out of the house. I couldn’t expect him to get in again to help me: the coming and going pain made me feel a strong urge to fulfill any wishes of an anesthesiologist if he promised me he would make the suffering go away. Leighton was completely focus while driving, he avoid known asphalt failures in the down street to the hospital and I, by my side, tried to control my breath and time the contractions.
I was SO wrong about the anesthesiologist! He came to my room just to inform me that he wasn’t giving me a spinal block because of my low blood pressure history. Come on, I had faint here and then but it was because I was too tired or too hungry: I had had bad days… that was all. And I was in PAIN! No argument is good enough to convince a doctor, I learned that night… and that dawn…
After almost 8 hours of labor, I finally gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. But it wasn’t over yet. I wasn’t expecting one but TWO babies. And that’s might have been the reason of the toughness in the labor. It seemed they erroneously read my ultrasound. If they had informed me about the frequency of twins ending up in a frank breech position I would have asked for a C-section! The pushing marathon kept going for another 4 hours before the second baby, also a girl, was born.
I was exhausted. I asked the nurse to call Leighton, who had been sleeping in the car – I didn’t allow him to stay in the room with me; it’s true he was calmer than when he first heard me screaming in our bathroom, but he still had a frightened look that was making me nervous – so we could choose the name of the girls. I had thought about some options for one, but not for two.
We decided we wouldn’t make twin pair names, with both girls names starting with the same letter or something like it and ended agreeing on Antonia and Clara, for the first and the second twin. Both names had Latin origin and strong histories associated with it: Antonia, for example, was the name of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor’s daughter, a prominent woman of the Roman Imperial Dynasties years. Clara, on the other hand, was also the name of the German composer and pianist Clara Schumman.
Strong names for strong girls. At least, I hope so.