Last year today the boys had surgery. It was a fifteen minute “procedure” that involved an incision running along the perimeter of the shoulder blade, gentle push to get the lungs out of the way, and a little metal clamp to solve the whole issue of “an open valve to the heart that should be closed.”
The surgeon and anesthesiologist (who came from Children’s Hospital of Oakland so we didn’t have to take an ambulance transport to them) were about an hour late. I spent that hour with my hands on Michael, giving him “compassionate touch.” Or as I like to think of it, a micro-preemie hug.
I had meant to spend equal time with each twin, but Wagner’s veins kept collapsing. By the time they had a decent open line, we felt he’d been through so much; it was better to let him rest before his surgery.
Michael was always the one who was more agitated during their time in the NICU, so maybe it worked out for the best that I spent more time praying over him than I did over Wagner.
The surgeon performed three surgeries that day, back-to-back-to-back; two in Room 2 and one in Room 3. Matt talked to the mom of the baby in Room 3. She was very young. Had twin girls. I had meant to talk to her, ask her how she was doing. But I didn’t do it that day and before I knew it, her twins were well enough to go home.
Michael went first. When he was done, he was all laid out on the base of his isolette bed, also the cutting table. It was the first time I saw him on a bed, not a in a box.
The nurse asked me, “Would you like to give him a kiss?”
Really? Give him a kiss? What about the germs?
It took a while to find a stool high enough to climb on so that I come down to kiss him from above. I gave him a kiss on the belly. You’d think that my arms would have ached because, up to that point, I still hadn’t been able to hold him, (and still wouldn’t for another week.) But they didn’t. The kiss was enough. A sweet kiss with a golden timbre, a warm rush through my body. Another bonding moment with my baby.