Crammed in the back seat of my mother-in-law’s Dodge Omni on a February morning, I held hope as she rushed me to the hospital.
I was pregnant with twins.
“I think I’m bleeding back here,” I urged, in between my hee, hee, hee, hooo’s of Lamaze breathing.
“It’s just sweat,” my mother-in-law countered, gripping the steering wheel white-knuckled.
With the soles of my winter boots braced against the back door, I twisted my arm toward the middle of my back and tried to reach the wet spot with my hand. The cramped space restricted me, so I gave up and re-focused on my breathing. My voice fell silent. I knew the truth anyway.
The news of twins arrived only three weeks before, when a sudden growth spurt in my uterus caused my doctor to suspect a very large baby, or multiples. An ultrasound confirmed two things: twins and polyhydramnios—an excess of amniotic fluid. I knew this pregnancy would be a challenge, but never imagined this.
At the hospital, the contractions grew in frequency and intensity.
With each pang, I pushed my babies towards the world—knowing this entry was too early for them. I was barely six months pregnant.
Then, my contractions stopped as if somehow my body put on the brakes—decided this was enough to bear.