13 days doesn't seem like much after decades of life but it was forever to one yet unborn.
| I was supposed to be born on Christmas Eve. I was also supposed to be twin girls. When the day finally arrived and I got into position to be born, there was a problem. I was too big.
Instead of being two small twin girls, I was one massive baby boy. I was so large that I made my mom look like she was going to have twins but that made my shoulders and massive head so big that they wouldn't fit. Contraction after contraction squeezed me and made me panic and it would not stop. It went on and on and no matter how I punched and kicked, it didn't end.
On the outside world, my mom went to her doctor, an army guy who had seen her the entire pregnancy and swore he could hear each heartbeat of both little girls on every visit. When he saw her that day, he decided it was false labor and sent her home. He assured her that she would know once it was real labor, ignoring her history of already delivering a twenty-four-inch long girl, by this same doctor. Her being only twenty-four herself probably contributed to this doctor's assuming that this was her first child and she might not know when she was in labor.
It took thirteen more days of round the clock labor pains for her to finally get back to see the doctor. I wanted to give up. It was too hard, too painful and it wouldn't ever end. I didn't see the point of enduring this any longer and was about to let go when I started to see and hear things that were not happening to me at that time.
I saw snippets of an awesome life. A toddler's point of view of climbing stacks of hay bales then jumping down with the exhilarating feeling of weightlessness before hitting the pile pf loose hay that the older kids were jumping into, then leaping out of the window of that barn into the giant puddle of water just like your sister and the neighbor kids were doing. Playing with puppies who were at the perfect stage of being fun and not yet dangerous in their play. Singing a song in a school play. Sitting in class and reading a question on a test and having that certain feeling that you know the answer before even glancing at the multiple choices below. Ice skating through a forest of skinny trees in full daylight. And on and on.
I would have gone insane if I was left on my own. Luckily there were a number of people who had an interest in me living. I was coached through calming myself and lowering my blood pressure to keep from using up what little oxygen I had access too. It gave me an early understanding of my body and how to think my way into it reacting. Even as an overweight forty-two-year-old, I can calm myself and slow my heartbeat to the low forties, to the surprise of my doctor.
Eventually, the doctor used forceps and pulled me out, leaving my shoulders so bruised, I didn't throw a ball or go swimming for over a year.
One of the weird conversations that stuck with me, I was worried about having to put on and take off a breathing mask. I was under the impression that once I started breathing, I had to keep doing it all of the time. I didn't understand that we would be able to hold our breath for much longer than is needed to put a mask on or take it off. Now that I am wearing a mask to help me breathe through the night, I understand exactly why I was so worried. Waking up more tired than you went to bed due to apnea isn't fun, the mask isn't fun either but is worth the better sleep.