I forgot one bit that all pregnant women need to know about…. the drop guts vom. I have never heard of it, but its pretty brutal. Through all these pains back in part 2, around the time Dr Hoff was taking Mrs I off the epidural, she went very white and really looked like she was in trouble. Pail as a ghost and shaking and losing consciouness (I have seen her do this once before). I rushed out of the room and called for a nurse and they came rushing in, sat her up and she vomited a huge tub of green bile. The epidural causes the green and kids moving into position causes the vomit. “Oh” says the nurse ” you are ready, 99% of women do this, it happens when the kids finally drop into place”. It stank, I can handle some bad things, but I nearly dropped out a sympathy spu. Dad / wingmen be prepared!
Ok – lets wrap this up…
In the end – emergency caesar salad is the way forward. The pushing was going nowhere. The blood transfusion form comes in for signing and there is relief that we are moving towards a solution, but hello? no one has administered drugs and the contractions roar on. After over 90 mins of drug free labor + 30 mins of other post decision contractions (later reported by Dr – I had no idea)… all on top of the effort the night before. Good effort. Mrs I is wheeled out to surgery for prep . I am given scrubs and told to wait. I feel like someone has cut me in half being away from her and I mope a bit, missing her terribly. I get into my scrubs and I feel like I am a Dr Dreamy off some TV show only to have my visions shattered by a Mrs I cries at the other end of the building. The phone in the room right. I know its Canada checking in but I don’t have time to chat as the Dr is coming.
The Dr drops by with his arms up in that cool “I’ve scrubbed up” kinda way. He has added a pair of blue plastic boots that look like a cross between ugg boots and leg warmers, but being plastic, they also have a gum boot look to them. He looks like he’s about to go and work in some rice paddies. I log the thought and wonder how much water / fluid will be in the room!. “Very strange” the rice farmer says, “at that size they should drop out in 10 mins, not take over 90 mins and not get very far”. “Maybe they are bigger or have fat heads” I reply, thinking how fast they have grown recently and also knowing I was a caesar to my mum due to having a fat head (oh.. and being around 10 – 11 lbs in size by the way). Anyway I try to sound professional as if 2 doctors in scrubs are having a meaningful pre surgery prep discussions rather than a rice farmer and some clueless gumby in a blue outfit and shower cap chatting as if we re in a pub. “We’ll, lets go see then shall we?” he says and we head into a whole new areas under a sign stating: WARNING SURGERY, NO GUMBYS ALLOWED WITHOUT SCRUBS”
Wow – a true OR and people everywhere. Big lights, machines that go bing (for the python fans amongst you) and I my eyes are darting around looking for my wife. She is there half under a blue tarpaulin in the most missionary position I have ever seen. Her arms are out 90 degrees to her body like she is truly tied to a cross. No idea where the rest of her body has gone. It looks like she has been run over by a truck and somEone has covered her lower half with the blue tarp. The drugs are working again and she is hazy but smiles. I talk, she talks back but she has that”just about to sleep” look you get just before you go to… oh you get it. The machine that goes bing, is binging, her BP is stable and there are nurses and Dr’s everywhere. I try to take it all in. I want to look over the tarp but have been told to sit on a stool next to my wife head. We chat, “so, how you going”, “oh good” (which is Mrs I’s answer every time I ask that question.)
“Dad, Dad, stand up”. So I do. I see Dr’s chatting away and one of them who declares himself Cuban start telling me something that I have zero recollection of. The lights are shining large and its like a stage. Centre stage is a large incision in my wife guts, out of it comes this little person in a process that looks like a reverse bungy. “It’s a boy!” declares Dr Hoff, which even though everything is moving at a frantic pace I see a nice set of nuts to confirm it for myself. I know these things are swollen upon arrival, but I still feel proud. Nice set there jnr. Mr Ball Bag is handed over to a nurse who takes him over to a toaster machine and starts working him. He is clearly not happy, but yelling is good and he looks a nice shade of pink. All good signs.
Almost immediately another head sticks up and is looking at me, I can’t remember if the doc pulled it out or it popped out by itself. I suspect the former, but briefly day dream it’s the latter. Dr Hoff grabs it and holds it up in the air and pauses. Its a girl! although I couldn’t really see “her thingo” this time as things were flying fast, but I trust him. I guess you develop a trust with a guy who starts the day his hand in your wife’s bits and ends in pulling human beings out of her guts. As if on queue after the announcement of her sex, time slows, and this enormous scream comes out of my daughters mouth. She is red, bright red and has this huge anaconda style mouth as if she has just noticed a small rodent on the other side of the room she would like to feed on. Alas, no rodent eating, but a huge burst of air and this tiny tongue flapping around in the middle of this black expanse. What a cry! They whisk her off and I see them pull out the placenta where they start to retrieve the blood for the blood cord sample we have chosen to take. (I ask the doctor later if he thinks this is worth it. He does but is not sure he will see benefits in his life time and he says that given what we have seen around IVF we are probably better informed than him on the advances they are doing around this.) After they pull out the placenta what I thought I saw was a second placenta but was actually really smooth and looked like a large piece of turkey. The seemed to be taking care of it so I suspected it was still part of Mrs I and therefore useful. I had a hunch what it was, but kept my mouth shut. One Dr had his hand in there scrubbing it out on Mrs I’s tummy. Mrs I was on the table and looking like she would vomit and was rocking side to side. “whats going on?” she says, purely by the look in her eye. I give a look back of “what? I don’t see anything going on, rest sweetie, all is ok”. I didn’t give her the look of “there is a Cuban man scrubbing out your uterus on your tummy” which is good as (a) I found out later my hunch was right on this and he was scrubbing her ute on her tummy, (b) I am really not sure how to give that particular look. and (c) I am not sure it was best to pass that one on.
“Hey daddy, come and see your son” calls out one of the nurses from the other side of the room There are 2 kiddy toasters in the corner working away keeping my kids warm as a pile of nurses work away on them. They look like the fry tray at maccas where they keep your chippies warm. My son, I declare, is instant trouble. He has as oxygen mask loosely on his head and while he flails I can see determined effort in his 3 min old arms to get this thing off his head. Eventually if falls / is knocked off and he stops wailing a bit. He’s sticky with mum juices, but gorgeous, I poke him lightly just to make sure he is real. I go back to my wife, “they are beautiful”, I tell her. The man in charge of drugs is now chatting to her, “ok, now the kids are out I can give you all sorts of goodies to help the pain if you are interested.” “load me up” she responds, without taking a second to consider. I head back to the kids.
My daughter is lying there peacefully, mask on her face, no fussing almost having a sleep after a meal. Maybe she did grab that rodent while I wasn’t looking. Ms lungs is resting peacefully. Mr Nut Bag is flailing like he is free falling out of the plane. Neither seem to be stressed and thankfully, I don’t see any nurses running or also looking stressed. Is that it? Did they really just arrive? We then get in to specifics, “What is baby A’s name?” says a nurse. “I have no idea” I respond, so the stork pad has “baby A” written down. He measures in at a long 51cms (even the docs look up and make a comment about that’s rare before diving into my wife’s guts again. Subsequent research reveals that that is the length of a 40 week delivery – so 4 weeks ahead) and his little sister at a more normal 46cms.
The Dr asks what their apgar score is (test you do on freshly born kids – Appearance (skin color), Pulse, Grimace (reflexes), Activity (muscle tone, flexing etc), Respiration (breathing etc)). “both 9’s” called the nurse. Wow says the doc, that’s amazing for 36 week preemies. ” Do you ever give a 10/10″ I ask. We gave one once on Christmas day, but it was Christmas, beyond that, no.
I went off and followed the kids to the nursery for a bit but then they were fine, I was more worried for Mrs I. I went back and had a chat with Dr Hoff around IVF as he stitched up my wife. She looked alseep but when I spoke to her her eyes opened and she would chat pretty well. Still – no pain. The show was over. There appeared to be blood and guts everywhere, but it didn’t see to distress anyone. At the end of the procedure when the stitching was done he walked around between her legs, pushed every so gently on her belly and a sea of blood come flushing out of her bits. What a finale! With that done. He walked around the table looks at me and says “lets go and see your kids”. Mrs I seemed ok and drowsy, and was being cleaned up, but man, her guts where going to hurt when the drugs ran out.
There are 3-4 nurseries in our local hospital with the most critical next to the OR and the normal fat chubbers down at the far end in the no stress nursery. We walked into the most critical room and the neonatologist was there. “Where are the InBetween Twins?” asks Dr Hoff “Down with the fatties” she says. “I glanced over them. They are fine.” She continues. Result. We then went and looked at them baking slowly in their little maccas fry trays. They had been cleaned up a bit and wriggling a little bit, but were generally looking like they were basking in the sun catching up on their tans.
I checked in to find Mrs I had gone back to a private room and was relaxed and we chatted through things a bit. After a while I wanted to solve one long term issue that has been lurking for me for ~10 months and now that I have a boy / girl, I can solve my problem… which kid is the 12 cell day 3 kid? (see link https://mrinbetween.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/dawn-in-little-korea/). After his birth antics with the mask and the fact that he was the most active in Utero – it had to be my son. I called CCRM and they were kind enough (on their day off) to check into it for me. The answer blew me away – it was my daughter. Oh boy – probably means nothing, but then the conspiracy theories start… so she was the day 3, 12 cell outlier and saw what pain her brother was going through at birth and was having none of that so she log jammed him against mum cervix so when she pushed he was just bashing his head. She, of course, knew there had to be another way out and ah ha – yes – she did pop her head out at birth She knew this, she played us all…. Bwah hah hah
So the kids were tested for things in the nursery and we hung out and chilled out back in the room. Around 3pm the kids arrived. There was no one around except for the 4 of us. I decided we needed to tackle names. We pulled out our short list and read through the popular ones until we found ones we thought suited the kids. Don’t ask me how, we just kind of went on gut feel. It was very peaceful sitting there, sun streaming in, with your son in your hands trying to work out what to call him. What an honour. What a journey.
So with that… that ends the In Between world. It was a big set of changes and from reading back on the 1st post – you do transform. (Pie – hang in there). Will I blog from here?…. Probably… maybe. I thought posting to a generally female IVF community post mr IVF would seem arrogant, but then a few posted and thought it was a really inspiring story, so I bashed on. The males… the males… how many IF males are out there suffering by themselves (very quietly) feeling inadequate and useless. Boys, things can be done. I get the feeling of inadequacy, I hear ya, but do everything you can to minimise it and things can be done. I have shit house sperm. Not the worst, but bad, really bad. I hope for those of you that have lurked, I have helped or inspired.
So to end up, I need to drop out a few thanks and I will keep this as cheese free as possible. To my hard core support crew who saw me as a freak male novelty read and posted away responses and have stuck with me. Ladies – you have been unreal and carried me (and Mrs I) on the bad days. Nothing better than trawling your posts for a comment on a shitty day. I don’t get half the fan male women bloggers do, but that makes your responses even more golden to me. I wish you all bucket loads of luck and am emailing “pregnancy dust” to all of you who have yet to receive the last batch I sent. Thanks to whoever sent it to us. We have had the fairytale ending, I wish it to all of you.
To the lurkers. I have never pushed to ask who you are, (but would love to!) and I have no idea and don’t see your details, I just see a spike in my readership.There are around 100 of you. Wow – I feel special. Thanks to those who delurked recently. I hope my story helps or if you aren’t suffering the scourge of IVF, I hope you at least find it funny and if not that, well I hope my bad spelling doesn’t annoy you too much.
…..and finally to my lovely mango princess, who, while only have been married to for under 4 years have already had a pretty tough journey, but you m’dear, are a pretty amazing woman. Life with you is awesome and I apologise publicly for any characteristic quirks that slipped through schoolies tests from my family and were passed on to the kids.
I leave you with 2 tips on IVF from all we have done. Who knows if they are true, but its how we tackled infertility:
– infertility is a ticking time bomb that will suck something in your life dry eventually. Your wallet, your marriage, your sanity, your relationship with family / friends, your performance at work, you inner strength to feel happy. At some point you will just stop, either through success or the bomb going off and getting off the roller coaster. IVF treatments and tackling infertility is not a permanent state of affairs, it’s a slow and very painful race against a clock that does have limited time…. so
– do everything you can to get off the clock favorably. Take this IVF thing as your #1 priority. Stop the drinking, period. Stop the coffee. period. Get healthy. Because you think “oh just one drink” but then get to the end of your 4th, 7th, 9th cycle and that is when you are most at risk of the clock’s alarm going off. The road to start another cycle gets harder and harder and eventually the clock will win and if it does, come away thinking you did absolutely everything you could. That was my fear – regrets years and years and years from now that I could have taken this more seriously. Anyway… on that happy note…
Thank you and post a response if you want to hear a new incarnation of me from the world of dad.
Mr IVF / InBetween