“Prepare to be dazzled. . . . Multiples Illuminated will guide you through multiple madness with mindfulness, humor, and joy. Stories about real-life parenting experiences combined with sage expert advice will help you recalibrate the emotional equilibrium between the yin and yang of raising multiples—heroics and heartache, antics and agony, bliss and burdens.”
This is a blurb that I wrote for a wonderful new book titled Multiples Illuminated by Megan Woolsey and Alison Lee. It is a collection of personal stories from the authors and guest writers about infertility, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and NICU experiences. Since the two main authors are parents of multiples, they have compiled a compelling array of topics that will resonate with many other parents of multiples.
The following excerpt from Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice from Parents of Twins, Triplets and More—from the essay “Outplan” by Jackie Pick—gives a glimpse into the heartwarming and entertaining stories you will enjoy. The publisher has given its permission to republish this excerpt on my website for the purpose of a blog review.
It was time for my doctor to arrive, the one who knew my history, my barfing-on-the-table phobia, my babies, and my tendency to make terrible jokes when I’m nervous. However, she’d been called out of town, so her partner, whom I’d never met, snapped on her gloves and stepped in. I introduced myself to her with as much dignity as I could muster while naked and hunching over a nurse so I could receive my epidural in this excruciatingly well-lit space.
Once the epidural hit, I had space in my own body again. I watched, immobilized except for my uncontrollable shakes, as my twins’ medical teams came in. It was standing room only, and soon enough two more little people would join us.
You may be asking yourself, as I was in very colorful language, where my husband was. He was the only person within a four-mile radius not in this reverse-clown car of a room. Like every first-time father, he was off getting a sandwich, having heard from his medically reliable poker buddies that first births can take upwards of seven weeks. A nurse was dispatched to find him.
Finally, my husband was shoved in the room by what I assume was a Japanese subway packer. I asked him if he’d washed his hands. The doctor gave a pity laugh, at which my husband jumped.
“Hi, Charlie,” said the beautiful young doctor, her eyes blazing from behind her mask. Ever the bright one, I asked, “Do you know each other?” I could tell by the way my husband shifted in his shoes that they shared quite a history.
I made a mental note to cross “Have husband’s ex-girlfriend take a gander at my privates while she removes two babies from my bulging midsection” off my bucket list. Visions of a wonky C-section scar that spelled out “he never called me back” flashed before my eyes.
By the time the doctor uttered the words, “You’re going to feel some tugging,” Baby A was out. Who was that squirmy little mole rat they were holding up? They held him up to me for approval, like a bottle wine. “Cute,” I said, not entirely convinced, but he was my mole rat and I loved him.
Baby B followed two minutes later, with no cry. It was the first of a lifetime of worried moments. He was whisked off for oxygen and brought back moments later, pink and confused. I nuzzled my two little mole rats. “Hello,” I said. “Remember it’s your birthday, because some day, 400 people will ask you.”