Beating the Odds

Jennifer and Jasper Henbridge are twins. Both are diagnosed with "Black Vein Disease" when they are just six years old, they are told that the disease will give them only a few years to live. Both children beat the odds and fight through until reaching aged eighteen. Jennifer's dreams of becoming a vet are shattered and Jasper is forced to pull out of the navy. The twins beat the odds once, but can they do it the next time the doctor says that they have months to live?

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2. Perfection

Sarah Henbridge cradled her swollen stomach, rubbing her hands over it in small circles. She looked over at her husband with a broad smile on her face, looking at his face, she saw that they both had matching smiles of joy at the memory of that morning.

 

*******

Three hours earlier

"Come in Mrs Henbridge, and lie down on that bed over there please. Wow, you are getting quite big now aren't you? I will be able to show you today the gender and whether you have twins or more!"

Sarah smiled at the nurse, then looked over at her husband, Nick, who was standing near the door. He caught the hint and helped her to get up onto the bed, he gently swung her legs around for her and helped her to lie back. Then he came round the other side to cling onto her hand, she smiled up at him and received a smile in return. Sarah pulled up her maternity t-shirt and tried to relax, like the nurse had said last time. The nurse spread the odd jelly substance over her belly and used the transducer to project a ultrasound image onto the computer positioned next to the bed. Sarah, Nick and the nurse scanned the screen anxiously looking for that precious child's first picture. Nick and Sarah had wanted a child for a couple of years now but had been having problems, when Sarah had been confirmed pregnant ten weeks ago they were over the moon. The nurse stopped moving the transducer around and leaned closer to the computer, she looked over at Sarah who had a worried expression on her face and said to the proud parents: "it's alright, the baby is still there. Let me show you something, you see this, and this here?" The nurse pointed out two blurred spheres on the screen, "these are the baby's heads."

"Heads?" Sarah's stare darted up to the nurse's face and studied it carefully.

"Yes, two. Mrs Henbridge you're having twins! A boy and a girl!" She beamed at the shocked faces of Nick and Sarah Henbridge, still taking in this piece of information.

"W... W... Wow. I can't even believe this! Oh, Sarah, our wishes have finally come true sweetheart!" Nick looked down at his wife, who had tears of joy running down her face.

"Yes Nick, it's amazing. Nurse? do we need to do anything else before we go home?" She turned to look at the nurse for the last part, gently pushing herself up to a sitting position whilst talking.

"Well, I can print a picture off for you? So that you can show your family and friends? It will only take a moment. Then you will need to fill in a form at reception before you go, to arrange your next visit. After that, you can go home!"

"Alright then, thank you nurse." Nick said, whilst helping Sarah to get down off the bed.

"My pleasure, congratulations to you both." She pressed a button on the computer and while the printer was whirring away in the corner, she wiped the jelly off of Sarah's belly. She then wiped down the transducer before putting it back in it's holder next to the screen of the computer. Nick pointed over at the printer which had spat out a A4 piece of paper with two ultrasound images printed on it. The nurse fetched it and handed it to Sarah who was making her way out.

"Thanks again, nurse" Sarah said to the other woman, while smiling down at the paper gripped in her hands. Nick reached over her and pulled the door open, the couple exited and the nurse was left to clear up.

*********

Thirty weeks later

"Oh, Sarah they're perfect! They look absolutely wonderful." Nick looked down at his wife who was laid on the hospital bed, still panting and covered in blood from the birth.

"Where... Where.... Have they... Gone?" Sarah managed to speak between her exhausted, heavy breathing. "Oh, oh. Nick, Nick! I feel dizzy. Really, really dizzy. Nicholas! Get someone please, the room is spinning."

Nick looked down at Sarah's face, horror carving his face he cried out to the nearest doctor, "help her please! She says that she's really dizzy." Sarah began to mumble incoherently and Nick leant down towards her mouth. "What honey? What is it?"

Sarah mumbled it again, "I feel sick, I see a white light. It's so beautiful. Someone is stood there, I don't know who it is. Please, Nick, I think that I'm going to throw up or something. Ugh... there's black fog now. It's coming towards me, Nick, I'm scared!"

"Sarah, Sarah! If you can hear me, accept the black fog and do not go towards the light. Sarah, please do not go to the light!" He frantically told his fading wife.

He could see in her features that she was slipping away. The doctor that was still stood next to Sarah's now convulsing body, shouted out towards the other doctors in the room. One of them pressed a red alert button on the wall which caused more doctors to swarm in. Two nurses hurried out of the room, clutching the tiny bodies of the two new babies. Nick vaguely felt a doctor grab his forearm and lead him out of the room, and away from his true love who lay dying on the hospital bed.

*********

Two doctors, Nick, five siblings of Nick and Sarah's, and two sets of parents watched the woman on the bed slowly begin to open her eyes. She looked up at the ceiling and blinked a few times before cautiously beginning to sit up. Her arms protested and she fell back onto the pillows, the two doctors rushed forward and while one supported her back, the other pulled the bed to more of a sitting position. The supporting doctor released her back and this time, when she fell back, she fell to be sitting up. Sarah looked around at the crowd gathered in her room, subconsciously, she moved her hands to cradle her flat stomach. She looked down at the sudden flatness and then looked up in horror at Nick who smiled at her. She frowned at him and looked over at the doctors, still hovering by her bed, they glanced at each other before leaving the room. A few minutes later, two nurses took the doctor's places. These two brought in the new babies with them, Sarah sighed in relief and held out her arms to accept her children. The nurses leaned over and placed them gently in the new mother's arms, so that she had one cradled in one arm and one cradled in the other.

"Nick?" Sarah ventured, breaking the silence of her room, "what shall we call them?"

"Oh, um, I haven't really thought about that. I quite like the names Jennifer and Sophie for a girl. I haven't thought of a boy yet."

"Jennifer Sophie Henbridge... Hmm, I like that." She smiled up at Nick who was considering the sleeping boy in her arms. "However, I do like a girl to have two hyphened middle names and a boy to have one. What about, Jennifer Sophie..."

"Sophie-Anne!" Intercepted Sarah's younger sister, Charlotte. She beamed at Sarah, "please? Just for me? Your wonderful younger sister. I promise that I will be a fantastic auntie for them. C'mon? Please Sarah?" She clasped her hands together in a praying action, giving the couple puppy-dog eyes.

"Oh, alright then. Jennifer Sophie-Anne Henbridge it is. Alright Nick?"

"Perfect. Now what about the boy?" Nick said, still watching the baby.

"I've had an idea. Ever since we found out that we were having a baby, I decided on a boy's name." She beamed down at the little boy in her arms.

"Well? what is it?" Sarah's older sister said, also watching the babies sleep.

"I thought of, Jasper Carlisle Henbridge." She released eventually, smiling at her family.

"That's... interesting, but wonderful. Jasper Carlisle... I really like that, babe." He looked up at the other spectators in the room, "family, we give you two new additions to our Henbridge household. Jasper Carlisle Henbridge and Jennifer Sophie-Anne Henbridge!"

Everyone clapped and whooped, unsurprisingly, the two babies awoke and began to cry. Sarah passed one to Nick, and both parents rocked the children until they both settled down after a minute or so. The nurses looked at each other and backed out, leaving the family to admire the new additions.

"Perfection" sighed Sarah, leaning back on the pillows with a smile on her face.

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