This photo was taken exactly one year ago - Christmas Eve, 2008. As you can see from the picture, I am rather large. Huge in fact (even my legs. What's that all about?). Expecting twins. It never really occurred to me that my babies would be born on Christmas day. I wasn’t due until January 17th, and I had a C-section booked for January 5th, so I thought that the twins would be born in 2009. It was still 2008 on Christmas day. I was safe.
Here is what happened the very next day...
I had my first contraction at about 9am. My three year old son was still examining his loot in his Santa bag while my 2 year old had already dragged everything out and opened all the boxes and was eagerly waiting to go to his Nan and Grandpa’s for the possibility of yet more presents. After 3 further contractions, about 15 minutes apart, I calmly told my husband that I was in labour at about 10am. He laughed and told me not to be silly. Denial. We hadn’t settled on names yet. Denial. They can’t be coming. Denial.
Once we arrived and the commotion settled a little, my mother-in-law noticed my demeanour. She asked me if I was “okay”. I told her that I had been having some contractions for a couple of hours. Nothing major. Denial. She insisted that I call the hospital. So I did. Given my previous complicated obstetric history, they informed me that I needed to come in pronto. So I stole a couple of my Mum’s famous rumballs out of the fridge and headed back to the car. Four contractions on the 40 minute journey, a couple needing my attention and a few deep breaths, but I was feeling pretty good. Denial.
When I got to the labour ward, there was much faffing to be done. They tried to listen to heart beats, but the babies were having a lovely party in utero and wouldn’t comply with the medico’s instructions. After an hour or so on the “trace”, whereby the midwives confirmed that I was indeed having regular contractions (you didn’t need to be Einstein to know that by that stage!), I had the necessary examinations which confirmed that because labour was progressing so nicely it was time for the scheduled C-section. They couldn’t “stretch me until Boxing Day”. My third emergency Caesar. Christmas babies. Unbelievable! Thank goodness for the rumballs. I wasn’t going to eat again that day.
There were an insane number of people in the operating room. Most of them plucked from their Christmas feasts for the occasion. Sorry. Because the babies were 36+5 weeks gestation, the doctor said there was a chance that they may be a little small and may need some time “feeding and growing” in the NICU. I thought to myself that it would be a travesty for me to be as large as I was and for the babies to be tiny. What was occupying all that space if not the babies?
As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Dew Drop was born at 3.01pm, 25 December, 2008 weighing in at 3.24kg (7 pounds 1). His sister, The Minx, was born at 3.04pm weighing 3.365kg (7 pounds 4). Dew Drop was breech and came out swinging. The Minx was transverse and needed a forceps delivery (I didn’t know that happened with Caesars? You?). Both were healthy and breathing on their own. Phew!
It was an extremely overwhelming experience, and the strangest Christmas I have ever had. I fell in love with my new Christmas bundles instantly. I was delighted they were here and I was no longer pregnant. I was stoked they were so big and healthy. I was amused that they arrived on Christmas Day. Christmas will never be the same again. They only have themselves to blame.