The first time my mother told me she was pregnant, I cried. I was scared, angry and jealous. A part of me felt rejected. I was 13 going on 14 at the time. I told her I would feel indifferent to a new sibling because I only had half brothers who were not around at the time and had been raised as an only child for most of my life. I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with a new child as a teen.
Unfortunately, my mother had what you call a “blighted ovum type of pregnancy” where there is no fetus in the sac. I remember feeling relieved and thinking she wouldn’t try again. I was quickly set straight when she said she would try one more time before she turned 40 the next year. I silently wished she wouldn’t get pregnant again. In August of 1999, she announced she was pregnant, as I hoped the same thing would happen again. I went with her to her first ultrasound and remember feeling very excited. It wasn’t until the nurse asked “Did you know you’re carrying twins?” that both mine and my mom’s jaws dropped.
What? Twins? No way. Please let it be true! That’d be so cool!
And it was. Fraternal twin girls.
On December 21, there was a bad storm in our town which left a big mess in our yard; branches, seeds and leaves lay everywhere. My grandmother had arrived just a few days before from France and was going to stay with us for the winter to be present for the girls’ birth in late January of 2000. By then, I was 15. My mother had been ordered into bed rest, but feeling anal about cleanup, wanted to clear out the debris. My grandmother helped as well, and I remember laughing and joking with them during the cleanup. I remember my dad being very angry with me and telling me that if anything happened to my mother or the twins before their due date, that he would hold me solely responsible for it. (My dad is a very stern person. Someday I’ll blog about him)
December 23rd, the rest of my family came to our house to spend Christmas with us. On the morning of December 24th, my dad comes into my room where my grandma and I are sleeping to tell us that they are taking my mom to the hospital because her water broke. I was still half asleep but as soon as I heard “Hospital. Water. Broke.” I jolted up. The first thought that came to mind was “Oh shit. I’m responsible for this. My dad’s gonna kill me. Please don’t let anything go wrong.”
I stayed home with my cousins and grandma until my uncle came to pick us up to go to the hospital. At 12:16 pm and 12:18 pm, Diane and Désirée were born. (My mother and I had picked out the names.) They were 5 weeks premature and very tiny. The skin hung from their legs like old wrinkly ladies, and they were so hairy. They were kept in incubators for 4-5 days until my mom was released from the hospital.
At times, my life becomes more challenging and difficult, but I don’t regret at all that they were born- without them, the house would be a lot quieter, and my parents might not even be together anymore. During inopportune times, I blame my parents for the decisions they made and continue to make as they have affected all of us in some way throughout the recent years. Someday I'll explain what I mean about all of this. Sometimes I wish I would have been more active in their toddler years, but am happy when I see them after a few days away from home. They can always make me laugh, and I look forward to the following years.
What were you doing ten years ago today?
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