Not My Blessings

A young family soon discovers their twin children are not the blessing they thought they had received, but instead a true horror.

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1. Blessed

 

In a quiet hospital room a young woman lays. As the clock on the wall ticks, she waits for the doctor to bring her the news she fears worst, yet knows could be true.  She ponders the hope that her newborn twins are healthy and well, and just needed a jumpstart to help them breath.  And even though she knows she is getting her hopes up, she finds this the best way to cope with the agonizing minutes that pass.  She holds her mother’s hand, finding no comfort.  She asks her mother what she thinks, and she replies.

 “A young woman such as you should not fear the illness of her children, for the Lord would not give such a healthy and beautiful woman sickly and weak children”.  The young woman looks up at her mother and asks, “What do you truly think?” Her mother brushes a strand of her daughters red hair from her face and speaks in the gentlest tone.

 “Laura, you are a twenty-five year old with a teaching degree and a husband who brings home twelve grand a week. You don’t smoke and rarely over-drink, and you’re asking if the Lord would not grant you the chance to build a family; on Christmas Eve, the night his own son was born.  Goodness gracious.” Laura begins to ponder this thought, wondering if the Lord would be that cruel and heartless.

 

            The door opens, and in walks the doctor with her husband, Darrell, following in behind him.  In the doctor’s arms are two bundles, one pink and one blue.  The room no longer seems dark and gloomy, but light and joyful.  Laura sits up and allows the doctor to place her two children in the cradle of her arms.  The little girl, Jessica, has green eyes and blonde hair.

 “Just like her dad”, says Laura. 

“And he looks just like his mommy, just look at those blue eyes and red hair” says Darrell, sitting on the bed next to Laura.  Everyone in the room wears a grin, especially Laura.  Then the doctor speaks.

“What are their names?” he asks with a certain quality about him.

            “Cody Dean and Jessica Lai”, pipes up Maurice, Laura’s mother.  She has waited for these two “miracles” as she called them, since April 27th, the day she found out she was to be a grandmother.

 

            Laura had been born into a family of six.  She had three sisters, Molly, Wanda, and Kristi.  Wanda was on welfare, Kristi was unable to have children, and Molly had been born paralyzed.  That meant that Laura was the only one who could have children.

 

            Laura decided when she was twenty-three to marry a succeeding man who she loved beyond her wildest dreams and raise a small family.  When she found out she was pregnant at twenty-five, she notified everybody she knew.  As she approached four and a half months, she noticed she was a little large for her gestation, and decided to go to the doctors for expert advice.  She had an ultrasound, and before she was in her car Darrell and Maurice knew.  And here she was, five months and one week later, holding her two precious twins.

 

As the doctor left the room, he said that she would be checked out tomorrow morning, and that she better be ready for trouble, that these twins were natural fighters, and would grow to be inseparable.  He told her how they weren’t breathing at all in different incubators, even though she had carried them past term. However, when a baby in worse condition came in and needed Cody’s incubator; which was the last one, he was forced to put them together, and they began breathing like it was nothing, something they see rarely in twins, but on every occasion they had the twins always turned out strong-headed and attached to each other.  Everyone chuckled, and the doctor left the room.

 

            That night, as Darrell and Laura snuggled, listening to their children’s steady breathing, Laura realized how blessed she was and how lucky she was to overcome that obstacle of fear and torture.  As she drifted off to sleep, she remembered how those bundles had appeared one after another, no more than 30 seconds apart, and how overwhelmed in despair she felt as the seconds passed and she waited for the cries of her babies, and how the doctor, the nurse, and Darrell had ran out of the room, leaving her mother and herself for about thirty minutes.

 

            After this flashback passed, she pondered the thought of what it would have felt like losing her babies, and decided she would have felt as though she had been struck dead.  After all those cravings and kicks, and carrying them around for nine months and three weeks, and seven hours of labor, three of which she pushed almost constantly, all that, for nothing.  Suddenly she felt so grateful that she began to cry, then sob, and finally weep.  After a moment or two, she quieted down and fell asleep.

 

            The next morning, she got up and into the wheelchair the nurse had brought her, and she held her sweet little darlings in her hands as she was wheeled to the front desk and into the car, where she handed them to Maurice while Darrell helped her into their new SUV, bought especially for the twins, now asleep in their car seats.  As they pulled out of the hospital parking lot, Laura thought only of their new life and how much she would enjoy this blessing, almost looking forward to dirty diapers and spit up. Her mind drifted to presents as they drove home in the crisp Christmas sunlight.

 

         On the way home, Laura noticed the twins breathing became irregular, at times speeding up stupendously, at others slowing with long intervals in-between. At one time it became so rapid that it seemed like they were hyperventilating, and just as Laura and Maurice started to reach for them, a corvette pulled in front of them, and they rolled. One they stopped rolling, Laura became aware only of her children in the back and climbed back there, despite the intense pain in her ankle, and looked them over. The SUV had landed in an upright position. After reaching Cody and Jessica, Laura couldn’t seem to grasp that they were uninjured, and were actually looking up at her, grins on their faces.

 

      After being reassured by Maurice that she could handle them, Laura began the painful crawl back to the front seat. She found Darrell, blood seeping from a gash on his head, but otherwise uninjured. Minutes later, the ambulance had everybody loaded up and back on their way to the hospital. Laura, Darrell and the twins were in one, Maurice in the other.

 

      Back in the hospital, they were all confined to one recovery room. The twins were unharmed, a bit bruised from their seat-belts and with small cuts, but otherwise fine. Maurice had a broken pelvis, but it was only a hair fracture and despite being sore she would also be fine. Darrell had to have three stitches, and he had a minor concussion, but was relatively uninjured. Laura was the worst. She had a shattered ankle and  a dislocated shoulder. She also had a shard of glass in her thigh, but other than that was fine except for the bruising and cuts they all shared.

 

      The doctor made Laura stay, and decided to run some tests on the twins based on what Laura had said about their breathing patterns. Maurice could go home, which she did, and Darrell decided to stay with Laura and the twins. Laura had an estimated staying time of two days, but that depended on her progress and how she felt about perhaps leaving the twins if they found something.

 

         The doctor who had helped deliver the twins decided to transfer over to help them. He said that he was the one of three other doctor practiced in birth, but since he had worked for twenty-five years on his degrees, he was also practiced in the trauma department and therefore could be assigned to them. His overall diagnosis was that Laura’s shoulder would be sore for a few days, but her ankle wouldn’t be healed for six weeks. Luckily, she could walk on it, painfully, in two.  The cut where the glass had entered her leg was deep, but had stopped bleeding. He told her how lucky it was that it didn’t hit her artery, and then told to try and avoid putting pressure on it and that it would soon heal. Laura thanked him, and he left her to her family.

 

        After an hour, the doctor came in, and he began to tell them about the corvette owner. “His name is Dan Gimeno, and he’s fifty-two. His injuries include a broken spinal column,  all but one vertebrate broken, his right leg amputated, his left arm completely shattered, and his head needed forty-two stitches. He also has a whole lot of money to give up, between your medical bills, his medical bills, the SUV, and his ex-wife’s deceased brother’s corvette. He has an estimated of three hundred seventy-seven thousand seven hundred dollars to pay, plus a ten thousand dollar fine for reckless driving. Also, you have been given the right to speak with him. You also have the choice of having an attorney with you should you chose to speak to him”. Laura and Darrell looked at each other for a moment, considering. Then Darrell spoke.

“We will talk to this Dan, without an attorney present please”.

 

       Laura was wheeled into the room by Darrell. A Nurse brought in the twins, and Maurice came from home because Darrell requested her presence. Dan lay on the bed, looking like a battered rag doll. Darrell was the first to speak.

“ Look around. This is the family of victims that you injured. Here are two newborn twins, who miraculously were in no worse condition than scratches and bruises. Then here’s the mother them, who had just encountered seven hours of labor yesterday. She also had to deal with the fact that Cody and Jessica over there couldn’t breathe and had to be put on life support for twenty-five minutes. She has a shattered ankle, a dislocated shoulder, and she had a twelve inch shard of glass removed from her thigh. Luckily, it only entered about a half inch. Here is the new grandmother. She just experienced a car accident with the only daughter of hers that is able to, and did, have children. She has a fractured pelvis. And finally, here’s me, the new dad, with a concussion and three stitches. Maurice and I have it pretty easy compared to Laura, and the twins will also as soon as all of their tests are done. Now, let’s hear your story on all of this. Are you sorry, or were you purposely trying to destroy our new family, huh? Come on now. Why’d ya ruin my family’s life?” yelled Darrell.

“Calm down Darrell, please.” whimpered Laura. Maurice went and held her hand, and Dan began his story.

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