By: Heather Somaini
March 8th – 3:00am
I’d been desperately trying to get some sleep in preparation for what I’d assumed would be the craziest, busiest, most emotional day I’ve ever had in my short 38 years. Tere is essentially an insomniac and is used to odd sleep patterns. But she took it to a completely new level while she was in the hospital. Every few hours they would wake her up to take her vital signs and check on the babies. She was a complete trooper by this point and trained to the nurses’ schedule. I, on the other hand, was not so trained.
This was the moment in time that I mentioned, as the slingshot was being pulled back slowly. Everything seemed to take forever. Two hours in between “checks” felt like an eternity. Time itself was stretching and creaking all around me. When Dr. C removed the cerclage , Tere immediately dilated to 1cm. Nine hours later, she was barely at 2cm, so at 3:00am they broke her water. I figured we’d go back to sleep – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in the calm before the storm? Not Tere.
She and the nurses decided to have a mini-party in her room. They were all wide awake, laughing and having a great time. If I could have overcome my utter anxiety of what was about to happen, I would have joined in. Instead, I knew that only sleep would help my condition –-I needed to completely forget, be knocked out to all the clutter in my head.
I wonder what soon-to-be dads feel like at this moment. There had been a huge sense of responsibility up until this point but now it was starting to sink in that two living, breathing, incredibly fragile babies were about to come into the world, and I was going to be responsible for everything about them. And where I was only responsible for me at one point, and then Tere too (in a way) when we married – now two barely breathing creatures would need me in a way I had never known. I think I had been so stressed about them even making it to this point that I really hadn’t had the energy to worry about their actual arrival. We never really knew if this day would even come. There were so many opportunities for this to go another way. But we had made it.
And now they were almost here. I realized that if I gave the anxiety too much room in my head, it would take over and I might become paralyzed in a way that was absolutely unacceptable. Tere needed me more than ever to be strong, to handle all of the details that would be coming at us in short order and to be clear when she wouldn’t be able to.
I started to doze back off, listening to Tere and the girls giggling and making jokes. She was happy which made me happy. I’m sure she had a ton of anticipation running through her; she had worked so hard and sacrificed so much for this day. She deserved to laugh and have fun.
I loved her more than she knew and finally fell back to sleep. It was good that I did, as the rest of the day was going to give me a run for my money. That slingshot was about to let go.