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Broken Arms & Big Burps

Submitted by Danny G., Seattle, WA

Our twins finally came in early march. We were delighted when Zoe made it out without any issues. Her sister Sidney surprised us though. We knew that we might be having one or both of them breech. Zoe wasn't, but Sidney was.

Everything was going well anyway. The doctor had Sidney's arms down by her side and was beginning to get her out. Sidney's feet were out when she decided that she didn't want to go and threw her arms up. This caused a problem because Sidney was now stuck and ten centimeters is not enough room to get a head plus a couple of arms out.

So the doctor tried to move her arms back down. For four minutes that struggle continued when she finally had to make a decision. She told our surrogate to do a final push while the doctor (a rather tiny woman) leaned back with all of her might and pulled Sidney free. The pressure was too much for one of her little arms though and the bone broke right in the middle of the humerus.

When we got word of what happened to Sidney we were already enjoying our first little girl. The nurse told us what happened as we were quickly shepherded to the NICU. Joy turned to panic VERY quickly. We just wanted to see her and make sure she was alright.

Once we got to her bedside things looked worse than they actually were. Sidney was lying in the crib breathing very heavily. Her arm was tied to her body with an ACE bandage and she was hooked up to all kinds of monitoring devices.

Immediately the NICU nurse put us at ease. He told us that for a baby who went through what she went through, she is doing well. Yes, she was breathing heavy but her oxygen saturation was 100 percent. Yes her arm was broken but it wouldn't take very long to heal. And finally, yes we could hold her just as soon as she begins to breathe normally.

A little while later Sidney did begin to feel better and was ready for her first feeding. My wife stayed with Zoe and I went down to feed Sidney.

I had never fed a baby before.

The NICU nurse was very kind and showed me how to hold her, how to put the bottle in her mouth, and after she was done how to burp her.

It was as I was patting her back that the panic finally started to wear off a little. I noticed that Sidney and I were surrounded by babies in incubators. Most had parents next to them, watching their children with equal parts joy and worry. I selfishly thought to myself that at least Sidney wasn't in an incubator and underweight. In fact Sidney was the biggest baby in the room! And right then Sidney let out an ear-shattering BUUUUUUURRRRRP!!! The room exploded with laughter, the kind that George Carlin referred to as "pent-up" where everyone is so tense that the slightest bit of comedy can bring about belly laughs from everyone in a room.

I was surrounded by people who never expected to hear the burp of a gargantuan 7 pound baby. It made them happy. Sidney at less than a day old made a whole room of people laugh. This never would have happened if it wasn't for her throwing her arms back above her head. It was then that I realized that she was truly her father's daughter because like her old man, she was willing to do just about anything for a laugh.

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