Countdown to Double-trouble



A tongue-in-cheek narrative of the 48 hours before the birth of my twins. If you're a sci-fi fan, you'll likely appreciate the references.

©2016  Kathe Messina

It was a chilly Thanksgiving long weekend which I had devoted to attending a two-day conference. Little more was required than sitting and listening — not too difficult, I thought, as I awaited the arrival of my twins. Under ‘normal’ circumstances, it wouldn’t have been difficult; but there was little ‘normal’ about making it to 38 weeks carrying twins.

I hadn’t seen my feet in I don’t know how long, I was incapable of standing at a counter facing any other way but sideways, and I was pretty sure I would kill the next person who said, “God, you’re HUGE!” At that stage, I didn’t need anyone’s validation to feel repulsively titanic. My mission that weekend was only to make it through the conference without bursting like something out of Alien. I remember telling my mother that I didn’t care if my water broke the second the conference ended, as long as I made it through the entire thing. That was my short-term wish, and an ambitious one, given that I was a ticking time bomb.  After Saturday’s session I was half-way there, but … the mission was more at risk than I thought.

As I assumed my usual after-dinner position in my comfy recliner with my feet up, one side of my abdomen began rumbling and bulging like young Spock’s face morphing through accelerated pon farr on the Genesis Planet. Two Klingons could have beamed into my room at that very moment and I would still have been more captivated by the contortions going on inside me. You would not expect two babies squished inside one abdomen to have any space to move after nine months. Besides, I reasoned, aren’t babies supposed to quiet down and be still in the final days before they force landing? Just two days before, a scan had shown baby ‘a’ properly engaged. It was time to drop the landing gear, but not quite time to land!

I suppose I might have clued in that someone wanted off the mother ship, but my previous experience included being way over-due with no warning signals. Needless to say, I missed that communication, especially when everything quieted down after about 45 minutes. What I didn’t realize was that baby ‘a’ had just managed to turn himself feet first. I had chalked the movement up to him not particularly liking dinner that night or all the sitting that day. Was I wrong! So back to the conference I lumbered on Sunday, as if I were actually piloting this mission.

I toppled into bed Sunday night exhausted, but ever so grateful I had gotten my wish and made it through both days.  Sleep was so elusive in the final weeks — more like dozing. My mind ran overtime as to how I would manage five kids under six years old. I was nearly ‘OCD’ about organization and ritual and I knew my life was naturally about to be thrown into chaos that I couldn’t control. Then there was the crushing weight of what felt like a planet resting on something that hurt no matter how I lay.

After about an hour or two of dozing I was jolted awake by what sounded like a CRACK which came from inside me and I somehow managed to jump out of bed. Suddenly there was a puddle at my feet. Baby ‘a’ had had enough and my fourth and final voyage was nearly complete.

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