The Swedish Hospital Multiples class I occasionally speak to is a 3 hour, Wednesday night, five-week series. The parents are often tired, hungry or freaked, depending on how bad work sucked that day and the night’s topic.
The panel is meant to offer real-life insight into what new parents can expect, but I always leave wondering if we’ve scared the hell out parents-to-be instead. Introductions take up half the speaking time because every mom up there feels like a POW. Given light and a chance to speak to grown-ups for the first time in memory, they relate every ugly detail of their pregnancy, delivery and home life.
Every. Single. Detail.
I won’t lie – I did it, too. One time. And then I realized that while everything I said was true, our rush to convey the scary, overwhelming details we ourselves were still processing didn’t leave nearly enough time for for FAQs like these, let alone for any of the happy surprises we found in the moments between.
- Do we REALLY need two of everything?
- How scary is the NICU?
- What is a c-section like?
- Should we get a nanny?
- Do we have to put everyone in the same room?
- What can we, as fathers, contribute?
- Did you go back to work
- And my personal favorite, “What is the number one piece of gear you could not live without?”
The fine folks at Obstetrix Medical Group took care of us throughout our pregnancy, and Swedish Medical Center, First Hill for the three weeks leading up to and after our girls birth. I am convinced this team, my husband and my sister are the chief reasons we had such a positive outcome.
The journey was scary. Our outcome was miraculous. The days after were desperate. And long. But they were beautiful. And they made us strong.
(Side note: Dr. Harding delivered our girls. He *also* did the D&C four weeks later. While this landed him forever on Travis’ DO WE GET A REFUND LIST for what is a very common issue of having missed a single part of one of two very large placentas, he is forever on my WE LITERALLY OWE YOU OUR LIVES LIST.)