Thursday, July 12, 2007
Happy Birthday, Boys!
Left to right: Dylan, Mo & Indi, making music
In a very short time, it will be July 13th, which marks my twin sons' fifth birthday. Hard to believe it's only five years, it feels much longer since they were born.
At 38 weeks, I was in induced labour for about twenty minutes, after problems with the lead twin's heartbeat fluctuating over a series of days, then suddenly the room filled with people and I was handed a consent form for an emergency caesarean section. Dylan's heartbeat, as lead twin, had dropped through the floorboards because of cord compression, and they told me if he wasn't delivered immediately, he would die. It was an awful moment, not least because I'd been hoping to give birth to them naturally.
An incredibly short time later, probably less than half an hour, I was sitting up in a recovery room with two tiny red-faced babies on my chest.
Now they're five years old, and both beautiful, high-spirited and extremely affectionate boys. Mo is the one under the bucket!
Here's the poem I wrote for that birth - and thanks to Anon (see comments below) for showing me how to indent the line!
(for Dylan and Morris)
We do not know you yet, you are nothing
but bone and fluid and mass to us.
They lift you out through your necklace
of cord, slippery and indignant,
and suddenly you’re inspired, all lungs,
pure beetroot. Your brother,
tucked up tight beneath my breast-bone,
does not want to wake. His mild eyes
open in surprise to a world of gowned figures
and white masks.
and emptied from the waist downwards
like a breakfast egg, I lie back
with my arms full of babies. Your father sits
with a perpetual grin on his face
like a man in a Greek comedy.
These lights above the bed are your first stars.
Urgent with milk-haze, you root
for the breast and I gather you in, begin
with your own names.
This poem appears in my second collection, Boudicca & Co, published last year by Salt Publishing.