Breathing Freely

The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

Baby First bath

March 8th, 3:00pm

The nurse had just listened to little Free’s breathing and said, “You’re coming with me. Let’s go!” I stood there shocked, knowing again that something wasn’t right. My head was sort of spinning – how much more could we take? How many more surprises were there? Couldn’t ANYTHING just go RIGHT?

I snapped out of it when the nurses started taking the babies from me and putting them in one of those bassinettes on wheels that they roll kiddies around in. It was a moment that I swore to Tere would never happen and here it was, happening.

Back in the early days of the pregnancy when Tere was still at home and we would watch birth show after birth show, we saw this same situation happen. The poor Dad on the show was incredibly torn and conflicted when the nurses told him he needed to leave with his newborn baby who was having complications. His first responsibility was to his wife and he didn’t want to leave her, but his new responsibility was to his baby. He turned to his wife panicked, not knowing what to do. She emphatically told him to go with the baby. Tere turned to me and in no uncertain terms told me that if anything were to happen to the babies when they were born that I was to only go with them. In no way, shape, or form was I to even think twice about it.

I knew I was going with the babies to wherever that nurse was taking me. I turned to Tere and told her that I had to go and that I promised I would take care of our new charges and that I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to them. The doctors had started her hysterectomy surgery so I told them to “sew her up good” and with that I was hustled out the door.

Outside of the operating room, the nurse had me strip out of the scrubs I was wearing and within seconds we were whizzing down the hall to the nursery. What I was soon to realize was that the nurse wanted Free’s airway and lungs suctioned of amniotic fluid which apparently the nursery does better. Once in the nursery, they started a series of what appeared to be completely invasive techniques to be sure that all the babies’ orifices were working correctly. Honestly, it was sort of scary and comical to watch all at the same time. These poor little creatures were barely out of the womb and now were being poked and prodded in the most horrible ways.

They told me we were going to be in the nursery for awhile so I ran out into the waiting room to find my Mom. I knew she would want to see them as soon as humanly possible. As I rounded the corner, I saw her sitting closest to the end of the long hallway between us. I was moving as fast as I could without running but couldn’t get her attention so in my excitement, I yelled “Mom”! Do you know how weird it is to yell “Mom” in a Labor & Delivery waiting room? Yeah, LOTS of Moms turn and look at you!!!

Back in the nursery, the babies were washed, poked, prodded, cleaned out and wrapped back up tight. My Mom, Christopher, and Bobby all got to watch the entire process which is pretty fascinating when they’re your very own little creatures. I had no idea what to do next and probably seemed lost. The nurses asked me when I wanted to feed them. I stared at them blankly. Feed them? What, they don’t feed themselves? It was in that moment that I realized my life had changed and I was in the deep end of the baby pool – the very deep end.

There were a number of things I needed to handle –from the cord blood delivery guy, to just finding out what was going on with Tere, to NOW having to actually feed these babies. Oye! I left the babies in the nursery and went with my Mom back towards the operating rooms. Dr. C saw us go by and stopped us with “Oh good, you’re here so I can tell you what happened.”

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