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From The Hulk to Mommy

Jan 30, 2014 - By Clair McFarland

Yes, the twins -- Jameson and Rowan -- have arrived

As I have the peculiar opportunity to use this column for routine countywide announcements. I hereby announce the births of my two newest sons: the twins Jameson and Rowan.

They are both well and beautiful.

And, as I write these words on a hospital food tray, I am also well, though not so beautiful.

The birth of two terrific, almost oddly healthy twins -- an event for which I had to transform into The Hulk -- enlightened me with a picture of just how many helping hands have contributed to the success of this huge event and the life changes that will follow.

God did design the twins.

The Husband... facilitated.

I "carried" them, which is my way of saying "ate sumptuously for nine months."

Our two families bent over backward to equip and encourage us for the twins' entrance into the post-utero world. Our friends did likewise, and everybody wowed us with generosity.

(At this point, The Husband also merits props for supporting a very cumbersome, emotional mommy-columnist for the duration of the twins' gestation.)

The function of this tribute column, as it chances to unfold, is to honor a far more fleeting but very instrumental character in the twins' world-entry: the delivering doctor himself.

When I was told that the likeliest time for the onset of my labor would occur during a weekend of OB Doctor Schiller's monopolistic, on-call reign of the hospital, my first impulse was to re-cross my legs and deny my contractions until Monday.

It's not that I have ever had cause to shun a medical rendezvous with the very man who delivered me (without a hitch, although my dad's young-father fondness for video cameras surely spiked my mom's blood pressure). It's merely that I had only had one encounter with him during my adult life, and at nine months pregnant with twins, I was feeling too large and irritable to endure unfamiliarity of any kind.

Sure enough, however, my contractions started Thursday night and got serious Friday morning. I was strapped to hospital heart-rate monitors by 11 a.m.

By 11:15, Dr. Schiller had popped into my room with a "Hey there! I'll be catching your twins."

I'll spare Riverton all of the gory details, which I'll reserve for estrogen-filled war-story exchanges with friends, but

this third labor and delivery experience was my most difficult birthing experience yet -- and that is in no way meant to undermine the severity of the first two. My progress was slow, inefficient and painful.

The good doctor, however, seemed to think it was great fun, and could even be caught exchanging jokes with The Husband -- jokes that were lost on the angry, large, green Hulk version of myself.

He engaged himself in more than 13 hours of medical sport, doing all he could to make my contractions stronger, my progress more efficient.

After such, I'd lost hope. A five-hour stall amidst all of this left me convinced that my contracting muscles were simply broken.

I prepared to ask for a C-section.

Note: to all you ladies who have had C-sections, or will have to, I am sure they are manageable, and even lovely insofar as they result in new life. However, I had maintained a resolve to keep my recovery as uncomplicated as possible for the sake of easing into my new role as a mother of four.

At the time of my stall, when a C-section was starting to sound pretty good, I began to form the words that might compel Doc to cut me open. But he interrupted me.

"You're ready. You can push now," he said.

Then he did the only natural thing for a doctor to do at that point. He, um, left.

But his abandonment was a sign of experience, as he knew that my slow progress would continue, and that I'd be most comfortable working alone for a while before he would be summoned to help.

He returned an hour-and-a-half later to set up room, bed, Husband, and shouting mommy, and the twins were delivered within the following 30 minutes.

During all of this, the fine nurses of Riverton acted as lifeblood for the doctor, the babies and me. Always gentle, always useful, they are not to be neglected from any doctor-tribute.

Today, I have a set of perfect twins to bring home to my family. In the end that's all that matters.

But let it be known that Dr. Schiller exhibited unfailing professionalism, exemplary care, and saintly patience -- for more than 15 hours with The Hulk. Truly commendable.

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