I woke up at 2:00 this morning, looked at the clock, rolled over and pulled the blankets up to my neck. Then I lay there thinking. I couldn't help but smile.
You see, twenty-eight years ago this morning, I had a 2:00 a.m. wake-up call. My water broke and my twins were on their way. Of course, they weren't due until the end of February, so we were more than just a little concerned. I didn't have any pains, so I hopped into the shower, washed my hair - 'cause you know you got to look GOOD while in labor. Rock Star called his mom, who came to stay with Carrie and Bobby - ages 5 and 2, and whisked me off to the hospital. It's been twenty-eight years and I can still see my childhood family doctor, sitting by the side of my bed, holding my hand and telling me that our small town hospital wasn't equipped to handle two premies and he was sending me by ambulance into St. Louis. I don't think I was ever nervous, until we hit the city and the ambulance driver turned on the sirens so he could whip through the early morning traffic. I also remember the sense of calm that came over me as they pushed me down the halls of St. Mary's Hospital and I saw the Crucifix hanging above the doors. I knew then that my babies were safe.
This was a "teaching" hospital in St. Louis - full of interns and residents and I remember that both of my doctors looked my age (27) or younger and that was more than a little disturbing. I had two doctors - one assigned to each baby. Students were coming in and out of my room at a steady pace. There were at least a dozen surrounding my bed when the ultrasound was done. The good news - both babies were between 4 and 4 1/2 pounds. The concern was that I had suffered placenta previa and my placenta was partially blocking their escape route. By 10:00 a.m. I had signed a release for an emergency c-section if they thought it was necesary. They continued to watch the placenta.
Things progressed slowly. At 1:00 p.m., I was started on a Pitocin drip because in the "old days", they didn't want your water to be broke more than 12 hours for fear of infection. The Pitocin kicked in immediately and one hour and fourteen mintutes later, with the help of forceps, Kathryn Marie Knight (4 pounds 12 ounces) made her entrance into the world at 2:14 p.m., looking like Rocky Balboa after going ten rounds with Apollo Creed. The doctors had told me that with twins, the biggest concern is for the second baby - that sometimes your body will think that it's job is done and will actually start to shut down and cause problems with the birth of baby number two. The doctors wanted to get Katie out of there so that that they could get to Colleen. I was told that after the first baby was born, I'd feel a great sense of relief and then my pains would start up again in about a half hour. Mary Colleen Knight (4 pounds 8 ounces) was in a rush and showed up three minutes later at 2:17 - feet first (a footling breach). Katie did all the work and little Ms. Colleen came out to all the glory - and nothing has changed in twenty-eight years.
I scanned in a couple of old photos that I thought I'd share tonight at dinner. The first one was taken at 8 days old - notice the hospital gowns we had to wear and photos taken through windows. The second photo was taken when they came home at a month old - both weighing just under 5 pounds. Their stylish haircuts were caused by the fact that they had to shave areas of their head for their IV lines. In both photos, Katie is on the left and Colleen on the right - I know because I was smart enough to mark the photos on the back.
And here they are today - all grown up, successful and in love. What else could a mother ask for. Even today, in almost every photo I have of these two, Katie is always on the left and Colleen on the right. What's up with that???