Being told at the age of thirty-seven that I was having twins was a bit of a surprise but not an unhappy one... in fact quite the reverse....I felt very special. It's like winning a prize in a raffle or entering a competition and actually getting something from it.....you've won something extra, something that hundreds, thousands of people haven't won! Yep! it was quite a prize.
There were a few hits and misses in the early days of pregnancy and on one particular occasion when I really thought I was going to miscarry I phoned the doctor in pain and very upset, I was about eight weeks pregnant.
"If you're going to miscarry, you will miscarry, nothing we can do about it"
I didn't miscarry but I insisted on having a scan, at about ten weeks. This was when I found out that I was having twins.
Fast forward....by thirty seven weeks I was begging to be induced. Doctors were making fun comments like...
"The other week we thought this women was having twins, but when she delivered they found a third one hiding and she had triplets!"
Let me tell you that when you are thirty seven weeks pregnant and you have difficulty in getting on the examination table let alone relax, the doctor has his cold, oiled, gloved hand in a place that you reserve mainly for the male species pleasuring you, with the exception of child birth, the menstrual cycle, your lifesaving cervical smear, cystitis, thrush ....... not much pleasuring really in what is most women's last bastion of privacy..... I wonder, has anyone done a survey on how many men have had the pleasure of your holy of holy's... in the line of duty, I mean not pleasure. I bet it's more than most people would think.....
I digress.....it wasn't funny....doctors do have a sense of humour, most people in the medical profession do....but I don't think it transfers to their patients a lot of the time.
Anyway happily it was only two, Pippa hiding along my left hand side made her entrance first, being first she was somewhat beaten up, with a wizened face, like a bloodied prize fighter, which she was and is, of course, looking like her Nan, with her jet black mass of hair and Sarah-Jane, twenty three minutes later, looking quite calm and unfazed, with her round face and downy head.
The next day when the paediatrician made the rounds and told me that one of the twins had a problem, I immediately thought of Pippa as she had looked so battered when she was born. Then I heard the words chromosome and knew that she meant Down Syndrome. It was a surprise, no not a surprise, a sort of disbelief, like someone had made a mistake, surely, she's lovely..... they're both fine, five fingers, five toes, nothing missing.
After the paediatrician had gone I picked up Sarah-Jane and held her in my arms and stared and stared at her, then she yawned, her head lolled back, her mouth became slack, I noticed the eyes slant, which I hadn't noticed before.
I was sad, not for me but for Sarah-Jane, I thought at the time that she would never feel that heart-wrenching, unconditional love that I felt for each of my children and continuing to love them unconditionally until your heart beats for the very last time. There is an old saying "they make your arms ache when they are babies and your heart ache when they are grown" how true that is.
Sarah-Jane may not yet have had a baby. But I don't think the same eighteen years later.
Have to go, SJ has just come to complain that her cereal has run out.....and she is starving....