“They’ll be small!”

….. famous last words from my obstetrician 

Story #6 for Daily Post Writing Challenge

December 30, 1981

When I started this blog I wanted to share memories of my childhood and life in general with my family and friends. Over the last nine months (how ironic) my family has grown to include the blogging community. Today I celebrate the 31st birthday of my twins.

The memories of that day are vividly clear. It’s not because I was going through hours of agonizing labour. In fact with this pregnancy there was no labour unless you count the five separate occasions when I experienced false contractions. Actually the contractions were real but they always stopped just before I was ready to make that trip to the hospital.

Back in late August of that year I was informed over the phone that the results of my ultrasound showed that there was definitely more than one baby in my womb. I must have been in shock because I didn’t ask how many babies they actually saw. The doctor on call did inform me though that I probably would have these babies earlier than my due date of January 7th. On average twins are born 22 days early.

A week later I saw my obstetrician and he assured me that there were only two babies on the ultrasound pictures, although a few weeks later he did question me as to why I was so big. Apparently he was so busy that he completely forgot I was having twins when he made that comment. Once again I wondered how many babies I was actually carrying.

As my due date drew closer I continued to drive the car and I routinely had to readjust the seat so that my swollen belly didn’t hit the steering wheel. I gained a total of 56 pounds but luckily I had lost a lot of weight before I became pregnant and I actually weighed less at the end of this pregnancy than I had with my first.

I loved being pregnant. I experienced very little in the way of morning sickness and all the complications that I was warned about never happened.  I looked forward to each new stage. Being pregnant with twins certainly draws a lot of stares from strangers. My first memory occurred early in the pregnancy when a complete stranger asked me my when my baby was due. At the time I was only 3 months into my pregnancy but I was already wearing maternity clothes. I just assumed that because this was my second pregnancy it wasn’t unusual to show earlier. I remember how shocked the woman looked when I told her my due date.

The other thing that my husband and I discovered was that older people who found out that I was having twins all had stories how one or both of their twins or someone else’s twins DIED. My husband was furious but I didn’t let it bother me.

I was secretly hoping that my babies would be born on Christmas Day. That wish didn’t come true. As the days wore on and Christmas came and went I knew that these babies didn’t care about arriving early. So much for averages. I was so large that my 2 year old daughter could hide herself under my belly and I could use it as a shelve to rest my cup of tea on.

As we got closer to the end of the month, my doctor and I decided to prebook the surgery for my C-section. We always knew that it would probably end up this way unless the babies came early and were small enough for me to deliver naturally. The date was set; December 30th, 1981.

The morning of my surgery I started to feel that things were different. I often wonder if the twins would have come on their own that day or on New Years Eve but I was happy to finally have it over with. I didn’t know if I was having two boys or two girls or one of each. For some reason I really didn’t want two boys. I grew up in a family of all girls and I think I was a little leary of raising boys. I also hoped that If I had two girls that they would be identical. I can’t imagine the conflict that could ensue if one sister was prettier than the other.

As I was being prepped for surgery my doctor informed me that these babies would be small. Famous last words. I was awake for the procedure so as soon as each baby was pulled from my womb they were held up over the drape so that I could see them. The first baby was a girl and I felt a sense of relief. She was beautiful and weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces. The second baby was a boy. I remembered that he was long and not as round as his sister but he weighed in at a respectable 7 pounds and 4 ounces. So much for small babies. I had carried almost 14 pounds of baby in the last month of my pregnancy.

So the day is memorable on many counts. I had two healthy babies, one boy and one girl. My son was the first male born on my side of the family in over 50 years and my husband’s father was happy because he finally had a grandson to carry on the family name. It would be another 7 1/2 years before another child would be born into our family but once the first cousin arrived the other 3 followed soon after.

The miracle of birth is just that; a miracle. It doesn’t matter how they’re born, where or when. Each child is special and brings new life and hope to this sometimes bleak world. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and productive New Year in 2013.

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