As I was wheeled into the recovery cubicle I saw you both snuggled in your cribs and smiled. I was shaking and cold but overjoyed. I smiled at your daddy as I was given a shot of Maxalon in my thankfully numb thigh to stop the nausea. Harper was quickly named, it was the only name we both agreed on for you anyway. Declan you were originally Harry, but your dad was adamant it didn’t fit and that you looked just like a Declan, so Declan you became. That’s when everything becomes blurry in my memory and my recollections are far less than accurate. Turns out I am allergic to Maxalon and suffered a psychotic episode when I was given it to stop my nausea. Rare but apparently this can occur when it is injected instead of run through the IV. I began to thrash on my bed. One minute I was gazing at you both, the next my head would whip away. My arms and legs were leaping off the bed, my back jumping around, my head gaining speed, and my throat and jaw began to tighten. I got frustrated as all I wanted to do was look at you both and I couldn’t stay still long enough.
I remember your dad telling me he had called my mum, dad and sister, and asked if there was anything else I wanted him to do. This is where my recollections divert from everyone else’s. I truly believe and recall with absolute clarity replying something along the lines of “thanks that’s great but I can’t really deal with this at the moment.” In reality according to all others in the room I erupted in a string of abuse, dropping the f bomb like it was going out of fashion. Your poor dad had no idea what was going on but knew something was very wrong. It was at this point the students were asked to leave and there was talk of eclampsia, testing urine, urgently paging the senior anaesthetist and deciding to take you away from me yet again.
It had been hours since you were born and you needed to feed. I wanted to breast feed but obviously that was dangerous for you both so the paediatric nurse tried to hand express my colostrum. Yet another problem, there was none at all to be found. The blood loss and reactions to the epidural and Maxalon had taken its toll. Your first feed would be formula and I was devastated. However I had bigger concerns on my mind.
I’ll be the first to admit I had started to panic. Eclampsia? WTF I had been perfectly fine. OMG I’m going to die. My poor babies will never even get a hug off me. Niamh will hate her siblings cause they killed me. How will hubby raise 3 kids alone, let alone newborn twins …………………
Turns out paranoia is also part of the Maxalon psychotic episode reaction. However at the time I didn’t know that so while outwardly I didn’t let on, inside I was screaming, panicking and desperately scared.
The anaesthetist came and started asking if I was feeling paranoid. I didn’t want to tell him I was scared, terrified in fact. After the way I had carried on with the spinal no way was I going to act the wuss again (warped thinking hey, gotta love going crazy). So I kept it simple. NO. He asked again. Again I answered NO. There now he’ll think I’m a good mum. Strong, and brave, and tough. I doubt I had him convinced as he quickly deduced I was indeed paranoid (God knows what my face looked like to give me away so quickly, or was it the fact I was constantly telling all and sundry I wasn’t faking the thrashing and jerking – pretty good feat if I was considering I couldn’t feel 85% of my body lol) and diagnosed the allergic reaction. So no eclampsia, no death, no orphaned babies or widowed dad. I was relieved, and after a shot of morphine, had started to calm down.
Unfortunately I don’t do well with strong pain medication and became so relaxed I don’t remember much at all of that night. I don’t really remember my first cuddles, or bottle feeding you both, what happened when your sister met you for the first time (although I do remember her coming). I remember who came to visit that first night but not what was said. I remember Declan being taken to special care nursery to use their blood glucose meter as there were some concerns about your blood sugar levels being too low, but not how I reacted. I was told later by my girlfriend Bel she was surprised with how calm I was when he went but there was no other option really. The morphine had me floating with no worries in the world.
So that is your journey into this world my beautiful twinnies. It may not be as accurate as I would like, there are chunks missing, but that’s how I will always recall it. Regardless of the end stretch I am just very grateful you are both here, healthy, and a part of our family. Regardless of how scary or traumatic some parts were, knowing that the end result was always going to be the blessings that are you both, I would go through it all again regardless. You have both completed our family and brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined. Welcome to our family little ones, we love you both xoxo
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