Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adventures as Womb Mates

Four times a day, the nurses put monitors on Kelly’s belly to measure her contractions along with the heart rates and movements of the twins. The monitoring is meant to alert hospital staff to signs of impending labour, and to flag any signs of distress among the babies. But it also provides Kelly and me a window into what I imagine to be a great friendship, full of adventures, developing between the boys in the womb.

Last night during monitoring, we saw the twins’ heart rates start to race – first one topped 170 beats per minute, then the other. The monitors were picking up lots of movement, kicking, swiping, stretching. The monitors themselves – plastic discs about twice the size of a silver dollar strapped to Kelly’s belly – were moving up and down with the kicks as if the boys trying to shove them off.

“Those boys are happy in there!” said the nurse.

Perhaps the boys were travelling together on a trip to the moon, leaping against the near-zero gravity in huge arcs through space, defending themselves against lovable moon creatures. Or maybe they were dancing together to an amazing tune that only exists in their world, to the rhythm of Kelly’s heart. Or perhaps they were playing a game of neonatal patty-cakes that was accelerating to crescendo – we’ve seen ultrasound images of them, head to head, hands touching eachother.

A few minutes later, they settled down a bit. One of them started hiccupping. The other apparently took a nap.

I hope they can remember their adventures as “womb-mates”. I’d love to hear about them. What does a baby who’s never seen the world dream about? What does a twin think of his brother before they’re born?

Whatever the answers, Kelly and I are getting the impression they’re exploits, squashed together over the past 31 weeks, have already laid the foundation of a lifelong love.

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