life was born out of my belly.

My muscles in my abdomen are extremely sore now. My wife said they held me open and pushed and pulled to get the babies out of the six inch cut right above my pubic bone.

I’ve held the belief that csections are the absolute latest resort and people shouldn’t give into mindless intervention, but after this pregnancy that believe has drastically changed. My understanding of my own body and emotional state has really brought forth an understanding.

The morning I went into labor – I was up for an entire two days before on magnesium. It made my entire body feel like I had the absolute worst flu in my life. I went through numerous procedures that triggered my anxiety and panic due to a history of sexual trauma.

When I went into labor I though that my favorite doctor was on call but instead walked in a man who I wasn’t completely familiar with and someone who needed to take out my pessary and preform a cervix exam on me.

I was not okay.

They had to give me antianxiety medication through my IV because I couldn’t not let him touch me.

I remember crying on the toliet – blood flowing out of me – to my wife telling her that I wish they would put me to sleep and just take them.

I never, ever realized that the history of sexual truama – something I worked really hard to “get over” – had such a grip over how I would experience the birth of my children.

That anxiety and trauma alone would have been enough to choose to not have a vaginal birth.

Except, at that point I did have an option and I had a baby pretty close to making his way out of my cervix and it was happening.

My discomfort and anxiety lead the doctor to call the doctor I was comfortable with and have her come to the hospital to take out the cerclage. They gave my an epidural and I instantly felt relief as she came and the shift changed to two other doctors who I had met and enjoyed came on.

The doctor confirmed I was in labor and that we were doing this. I only had two more centemeters to go before our first son made his way into the world. And, it was glorious, not being able to feel anything in or around my vagina when they did checks.

I could do this – maybe.

Except, after over ten weeks head down, our second son turned breech and began to hide high up in my ribs.

The doctor gave us a choice.

I could try to continue to go vaginally and birth him breech – but the risk of him losing oxygen was high and would hurt him so much more than a full term baby – or we could do an emergency csection.

All I knew was that my babies at 27 weeks were tiny and I would do anything to get them here safely.

And I was slightly relieved.

Choosing a vaginal birth would not make me a hero or stronger or more.

I choose a C-section.

I was exhausted and worried and still traumatized and I didn’t want to wait for my babies and I wanted them to come the absolute safest way possibly and my body was just done.

My wife said it was the most traumatic thing she had watched.

I felt empowered, cared for by my team of care providers, and completely at ease during the entire experience.

I remember hearing their cries and my heart jumped in surprise.

I remember them brining them over to me and I felt so much love and relief.

I didn’t feel like I gave up anything by my choice.

I felt empowered and cared for and like I gained something.

I gained a pleasant experience at the end of a traumatic few days and I remember their birth fondly with so much love.

I am walking around and driving and living my life with an empty abdomen and it’s the oddest thing not to have them inside.

Ive been off the pain medication for a few days now. My abdominal muscles are now extremely sore. My incision has healed mostly and a bit sore too – but everything is manageable and not absolute hell. I think of how I would feel with a sore vagina during this time and I get extreme anxiety.

I wouldn’t be able to handle it on top of everything.

Instead I take my time getting out of bed and I marvel at my scar and I feel so strong for bringing my babies into this world safely. I feel happy they delayed clamping the cord and that the babies were fiesty when they were pulled from my body and that they are so strong right now.

I feel strong for healing up and being able to feel like my old, pre-TTC self, and for holding up during this time of being a NICU parent.

For me, I made the best decision – emotionally and physically.

My body is strong and is healing quickly.

My babies – especially my mischievous Raja Anu who was so far up in my ribs and refused to leave me – are thriving and safe without any reprocussions from how I gave birth to them.

Birth is birth is birth – no matter if it’s from your vagina or an incision in your abdomen – you are so fucking strong and incredible and hopefully are able to birth a way that you find peace with.

Honestly, the worst part of having a csection for me, is having to wait to take a bath.


when your postpartum feels co-oped.

Postpartum is supposed to be a very special time. It’s a time of healing and taking care of the new mother and a time to adjust to the new normal.

This has been the absolute worst time in my life.

The days following my mother’s death was difficult – planning her funeral at 20, writing the eulogy, dealing with the pain of your mother dying – it was easier than this.

It’s easier than having to be away from your babies. It’s easier than having to deal with your postpartum being overrun. It’s easier than not having the space and support needed to heal. Her death was easier to accept than all of this.

This is not how I wanted my Postpartum to be. It’s not what I needed and instead I feel like I continue to give up and give way too much energy and not just be.

I feel like this has been a series of having no choice in anything that has happened.

I feel like my body is physically healing way too fast because it’s forced to instead of being cared for and honored and recognized that it carried two humans and that it just needs time to be and to mourn and to learn this new normal.

This has all been too shitty.

It hurts and is painful and I’m trying to figure out if the physical is as heavy as the emotional.

It’s so lonely.

And I just want my babies.

it’s as if they just fell out of me.

there will be a moment when
I sit down and talk about the events
leading up to their birth
and their birth.

but today I’m acknowledging that they’re here.

they came quickly Sunday morning.
thao vishnu.
raja anu.
27 weeks. 5 days.

They’re perfect.
And strong.

And as each day passes my heart
stretches to try to be with them
apart of them.

i grew these two babies
their flesh came from mine
and it feels empty wtihtout them
inside my tummy.
a aching scar reminding me
of where they were pulled from my body.

raja didn’t want to leave.
he curled inside and deeper into my body.
thao was a bit more eager.

now they’re both here in
their rainforest life environment
across the room from each other.

this is hard.
leaving babies is hard.
not touching babies all the time is hard.

and I’m greedy for them.
I’m needing to be around them.

they’re outside my body too early
like little marsupials
and my breasts weep for them
feed them
threw so many tubes.

they’re strong. and safe. and beautiful.

and this road is going to be rough.

everything is a procedure (trauma affects everything).

Catheters feel like I’m seven
I know the pattern now
standing in Jean shorts
my mom’s asleep and his hands are rough
and I don’t like this.
they tried to convince me it’s the easiest way
that I would need it.
it burned and hurt and I didn’t want it.
they finally took it out.

Magnesium feels like I’m 20
middle of the night
on my way to learn from my little cousin
that my mom has died
heavy chested with built up pressure.
my head is foggy and nothing feels right.
I’m riding a constant wave of nausea.
it’s meant to stop the birth of my children
to stop my uterus.
and I lie here, twisted, trying to push through it.
there isn’t much light in the unknown.

Monitors strapped to my stomach
holding me down
No choice.

when you’re officially residents of the antepartum ward.

I’m exhausted
I’m sleeping a lot more
My body is trying to get ready
My cervix is barely there
yesterday they shoved a donut like device
inside me to try to offer it more strength
but it’s really the point in the
story where we try anything
to get one more day.
they shoved something else up
inside me today
to make sure my waters weren’t leaking.
I feel like they’re filling me up.
while babies are dropping lower
and lower into a place that
they are as low as they can go before
taking a breath of the same air I’m

we don’t have a baby problem.

my body is squeezing and tightening
and it’s making me more achy
more exhausted
and driving them out of me.
expelling them.

and here we are on the ledge.
we are waiting in a hospital bed
sleeping toes to nose and nose to toes
cuddled against each other
two parents unready and lonely
who are holding all this on our shoulders
without others truly realizing how heavy it is.
a waiting game.
its a waiting game.
it’s a this could get intense quickly game
it’s a you could be knocked out and cut open game.
it’s a your babies could be away from your body
for so long game.

we are in a traumatic situation
trying to be strong
because we have no other choice.

so, until they come I will
sleep in this hospital bed
with my wifes feet next to my nose
cuddling close to her
in mesh panties and a big round belly
and two babies contantly moving
their way closer out of my body.

26 weeks. we made it this far.

It’s been a few weeks

I’ve been in the hospital twice.

Once, at 23 weeks, for a few nights for

bleeding and a bladder infection.

Another time, a few days after, for bleeding

and then the contractions started.

We hit viability in a hospital room.

Where I was hooked to five different monitors

and meeting with teams of doctors

and getting my cervix checked

and sitting with my wife in a room

that overlooked a wall

talking with a neonatologist going over




of what to expect if they came now.

i stayed a full monday to monday with that visit.

each day becoming less scary as they grew.

each day becoming more stressful as we

came to terms with this pregnancy.

we don’t have a baby issue –

“you have a uterus / cervix issue.”

i hear “your body isn’t capable of keeping these

two babies inside you.”

so, i swan twice a day and ate all the time

and laid completely still for hours as they tried to find

two overly rambunctious babies on the monitor.

some days were easier.

other days were harder.

and each day we held each other up.

would it feel like we were going through this alone

if we still lived near friends or family?

or is a high risk pregnancy and

possible long nicu stay just something that makes you

feel incredibly lonely?


we are 26 weeks today.

babies are healthy, thriving.

my cervix remained in tact during contractions.

they stopped contractions with a five day course of celebrex

(twinges and small contractions have

started up a day after being done with it).

we spent 8 days on the antepartum ward.

our hospital is the best for high risk / level 4 nicu

in the rocky mountain area (surrounding 7 states).

doctors released us yesterday because i haven’t bled

since i arrived.

“think of it as a parole.”

“we’ll probably see you back in a few days or a week.”

“maybe a few hours!”

well, jokes on that doctors – it’s been over 24 hours since we left.

i’m worried about bleeding again.

i would be on strike 3

which gets me a stay until the end of my pregnancy.

part of me is feeling extremely content being home.

the other part of me is extremely worried and

i miss the safety of the hospital.

i could move around more,

interact more,

go on walks and pool time.

but at home i’m on bed rest

and i’m scared of doing something

that causes an emergency

and not being surrounded by a team of care providers

equip to take care of me and the babies.

its a double edge sword.

i’m exhausted and done with this pregnancy,

i’m also scared and wanting to keep them inside me

for the next year.

they’re safe inside me,

but they aren’t.

it’s a horrible, torn feeling to feel.

this experience is a horrible, torn experience.

but we laugh, and we take care of each other,

and we desperately keep high spirits.

because what options do we have?

except to move forward.

i’m excepting an emergency c-section.

we let go of our hypnobabies dream

and the doula that came with it.

because sometimes things change

and the support looks different.

sometimes you just need each other

and, oddly, our photographers have offered

some of the best support that we could get in

this situation.

they ability to capture our story

and to offer support and hear us and to

make us feel like we aren’t failing

or that we can handle this

is uplifting.

i can’t walk this path expecting the best.

i have to be realistic.

if i fell into an emergency c-section

and a long nicu stay without educating myself –

i would be too lost.

too broken.

i have time to mourn, grieve, and come to terms

with the fact that things have changed.

i can understand the expectation of not touching my babies

-only during specific times –

when they are in the nicu.

i can understand that birth will look different.

i can mourn my body

and rewrite how my story is being written.

being realistic, having this time

i can come to terms with how this story is unfolding.

perfectly currated two first names. 

They have names – perfectly currated two first names each. I’m passionate about their two first names. No hyphen, just two names that slide out of our mouths like a prayer or like poetry that will command others to remember,to learn, to not forget one. They’ll think it’s an inconvenience, I’m sure. While I see it as showing love, respect, and giving them your full attention when you have to use both names and use them correctly. 
They deserve it. 
It’s been a hard battle. One that we are fighting so hard – we are scared, exhausted, but we are still fighting and fighting. 
I’m 23 weeks and 2 days tomorrow. Those days are important – especially right now. We are at the point where, depending on the hospital, they would try to save them if they try to slither into this world too quickly. 
We now make decisions like – does this hospital save 23 week babies? what is their NICU like? is it a level 3 or level 4? 
This hasn’t been the easiest pregnancy. 
It started out exhausting and I vomited nearly 20 times a day until we found a medication that kind of worked. I have been confined inside for weeks. We moved part way though it – across the fucking country – and things didn’t get easier. 
Then we had somewhat of a break – maybe? – a handful of weeks when things weren’t too scary. 
But, then things became too hard, too real, too scary. 
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes is nothing. 
Being diagnosed with an incompetent cervix is the thing of nightmares – especially when there are two little kids involved. Our doctor started the conversation with “oh good, you’re both here” and ended it with a sad face praising us on making tough decisions and her apologies for having to cancel my birthday trip. 
We were immediately scheduled for surgery on the day that our flight took off. 
I was scared. Terrified. The thought that my two babies, these babies that we tried so hard to make, wouldn’t make it to even the day of surgery terrified me. Terrified both of us. 
They stayed in and the surgery went well – scary but my care providers took very good care of me. 
Now, here we are, two weeks tomorrow from the surgery that extended our babies time inside me. 
We knew that a cerclage with twins was controversial. Some (horribly done) studies show that it doesn’t necessarily work but many antedotal stories say that in combination with bedrest, it can get you to viability and much later depending on the situation. 
I had my follow up today. 
I have been expecting the worst. I have been getting myself familiar with NICUs and micropremies and breastfeeding the NICU baby and success rates and risks and everything while lying in bed. I have prepared for the absolute worse (no, no, no I haven’t. I refuse to prepare for that) and let a tiny bit of myself remain hopeful that they’ll hold out until at least 35 weeks. 
Today my cervix still showed funneling. Our sweet little boy’s head has been pressing against my cervix for so long. And then, when the ultrasound tech gently pressed on my stomach, my cervix opened more and his head slipped down to my stitches. I went from a 2 to under a 1 and that was so scary. 
They had a fetal echocardiogram today and growth scan. These two little guys are so small but so mighty. They are developing right on track and they have their Amma’s petite build. And one was practicing breathing and hiccuping. 
They’re beautiful. 
They want to survive and live. 
They’re thriving. 
And yet my body is having trouble holding them close. 
Our doctor immediately recommended strict bedrest and changing from the Midwives to them, the MFM, full time. They want to monitor me very closely and he said that preterm labor was in our future. It’s just a matter of when and how long we can keep them inside. 
He recommended changing the hospital that we will deliver at and I’m thankful that we moved. The one we are moving two has the biggest, best NICU in the seven state range. These two babies have a chance. 
They hooked me up to a monitor to check for contractions – only one in twenty minutes. Then they set me up with an appointment tomorrow and sent me home. 
Home where I have to monitor myself for contractions, where I have to stay lying down, where I am trying to hard to keep them inside me. 
I’m currently in a hot bath. Ive been contracting on and off for a little while and I’m hoping it stops them. I’m waiting for my wife to get home from being away these last two days and I’m trying not to cry. 
God, I’m trying not to cry. 
It’s funny how coping mechanisms kick in so quickly. How tough I have to make myself so that I can get through the crippling fear. 
I’ve wanted these babies since I was a small child. Always, I’ve wanted to be a Mama. I fought for them and put my body through hell to make them and to carry them and I want them. I want them and I love them and I want them to know no suffering but I also want them to fight. I want them to fight just as hard as me and my wife has fought for them. 
You never want to come face to face with the possibility that your child’s life could be taken away. You never want to deal with it alone – like we felt like we have. You never want to have to make these choices and you never want to think that you’re body is simply “incompetent” at something so common like growing and birthing a child. 
We are scared, folks. We are scared for these two little boys who are growing and growing and growing and thriving and we are scared of the possibility that they’ll be taken from us. 
We want our chance. 
We want our family. 
They are real, they are hiccuping and sucking their thumbs and thumping around inside me. 
They have to stay inside me. 
Just a little bit longer.