The July heat didn´t bother me at all, but I worried that the end of August would be a hard time to give birth.
Doctor Moore´s office was never overly crowded, so I´d be in and out in a few minutes. The secretary called out, "Mrs. Martonfi, Dr. Moore would also like to see your husband this time." Why would she want to see him, I wondered?
"Is anything wrong?"
Dr. Moore appeared in the door, "No, no, no Donna. Just wanted to stress to Darko the importance of him talking you out of the idea that you´re having TWINS." She continued, "There´s only one baby, one very large baby. ONE heart beat. ONLY ONE."
I couldn´t accept that. Darko was now interjecting, "You know something doctor, I´m beginning to actually believe her. Not only has this idea kept her from worrying about this pregnancy -- I haven´t worried. Couldn´t you send her for an X-ray?"
"If that´s what it´ll take to convince both of you, okay. I´ll make out the requisition and you can go over there right now. Prepare yourself for a letdown, better now than in the delivery room."
I could hardly breathe. In a few minutes I would know, for sure. "Drive faster, faster, Darko."
We sat looking at each other in wonderment, anticipation, expectation and fear.
"Okay. You may go now," interrupted the technician.
"GO? But -- but -- "How many are there?"
"How many? Wait and I´ll look." It was the longest wait of my life. Coming back, she nonchalantly said, "Oh, there´s two."
"Please, could I see?"
"I don´t know what you´re going to see, but come on in."
Barely able to see through tears, I gazed upon the most incredible sight; "They´re -- beautiful."
"No, no those are your hip bones. This is ONE head," she pointed, "and there´s the other -- already in the birth canal."
"They´re certainly larger than my hip bones. Aren´t they?"
She seemed to be surprised that anyone could be so naive.
I rushed to Darko. We hugged, we kissed, we jumped up and down. The people in the halls and elevator must have wondered if we had just now learned of my condition, which was more than obvious to them.
"SHARON, ANNA, EVERYBODY! I TOLD YOU SO!" Talk about my feet not touching the ground -- I had sprouted wings and was flying.
Sharon was outside, within yelling distance, as we pulled into the driveway. "Oh Sharon, it´s true. It´s true, I saw them."
"THEM?" She threw her arms around my neck (not that easy a task, across two bellies). Wiping tears away, "Well I guess I can forgive you."
"Forgive me? For what?" I asked.
"Remember yesterday when I was slopping my dinner all over myself, trying to get it to my mouth...?"
"I was so angry -- there you were sitting nice and comfy, your plate, knife, fork, napkin, even drink -- all perched on top of your stomach, WITHOUT EVEN A TRAY!" We were almost rolling in the street with laughter.
"Oh-h-h stop -- stop -- my bladder isn´t what it used to be."
"You don´t have any room in there for a bladder. What BLADDER?"
Darko was calling from the kitchen window, "Telephone!"
Trying to hurry, I heard the smart aleck, "Dr. Moore, it takes her more than just a minute or two to get from the doorstep to the door, be patient."
She was going on and on about taking it easy. According to the X-rays, I had started to dilate. It would be just a bit too early-- they seemed small. "Promise to stay in bed or I´ll put you in the hospital. By the way, Donna, I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I am. Speechless actually. I couldn´t think of anyone I would rather see happy than the two of you. Take care, dear." What a sweetheart. I loved this lady.
About three days off my feet was more than tiring. "Sharon, let´s go to the park, I have to find a breeze." It was hot, too. I could get air conditioning in my ´pigeon´, but the HOUSE had NO holes in the floor.,
"We´d better take the fellas along. It would take both of them to carry you home if something should happen."
That night I could only get comfortable on the floor under the bedroom window. About 4:30 a.m. I woke absolutely soaking wet. WET! "Darko, get on the phone, my water broke."
Typical husband -- jumped twelve feet in the air -- "WHAT´S BROKEN?"
"It´s okay. It´s supposed to break, dummy."
Well, if Dr. "M" could be so nonchalant about waiting till nine a.m. I guess there was no panic. "Darko go back to sleep, you´ve got ´til nine."
Hmmm -- 5:00 a.m. Wonder if I should call Sharon? I´m going to wake up at least nine people. S-u-u-r-r-e, why not? This is my big day.
"Hello? Sharon? Do you want to come over for a cup of coffee?"
I could hear her -- not through the phone -- she was at the front door, trying to break in. I hadn´t even finished talking. Poor Sharon was all out of breath and almost knocked me over as I opened the door. "Did you call an ambulance?!"
"Why would you think I needed an ambulance, I merely invited you in for coffee?"
"Donna, stop joking. You wouldn´t call at 5:00 a.m. unless THIS WAS IT."
"It is, but I have no pains -- nothing."
"By nine o´clock we´re going to need a sump-pump. No wonder I´m so big. Did you ever see so much water?"
By 7:30 we decided I should let my mom and dad in on the fun. They lived six minutes away (by car). They were at the front door in three.
"R u krazy? U vant to hav dem here?"
"Dad, where are your teeth? You can´t talk. Go get your teeth." Mom joined in the commotion, "Never mind his teeth -- someone call the ambulance."
Everyone was moving or pacing, here, there, everywhere. It didn´t take long to persuade me that I should go by ambulance. It was the fastest way to get away from all this fuss. Now the attendant´s asking if I need help. "No, I´m fine, I´ll walk. I´m going to have twins!" I boasted.
"Only TWINS? I would have thought there were at least five in there." Finally someone with a sense of humor. Darko, my parents, even Sharon, were half hysterical.
I heard Sharon yell out to my dad, "Daj pusu." A phrase she thought meant "good-bye", because she had heard me say it many times to Darko over the phone. If my dad hadn´t forgotten his teeth, he would have lost them there and then. ´Daj pusu´ means; ´give me a kiss´.
9:30 That Evening
I was starving. If they wouldn´t feed me, at least they let me smoke. My stomach had reduced to half the size of when I came in. Gallons of water had flushed out, but, still no labor pains.
"Mr. Martonfi, you look tired," a nurse directed her comments toward where he was lying in the next bed. "why don´t you go home? She´s not ready. Could even be tomorrow."
"Yes Darko, go. I´ll be fine. I´m in great shape now that the second heartbeat has been detected. Go on home." (Their little hearts had been beating simultaneously).
"Okay mum, but they have to call me the minute you have your first pain." With that, he left.
"Nurse!" Something had only now come to mind. Something I´d tried to block out. "What day of the month is it?"
"Why, ummm, it´s July sixteenth."
JULY SIXTEENTH ... OH, -- if they could only come tonight. Not tomorrow. Tonight. OH GLORY! This was so appropriate. God repaying two on the same day He took Diana. We would never mourn the day she died; instead, we´d mourn the day of her birth, December the seventh.
"Nurse, then you´d better catch my husband, I´ve just started labor."
Not very much later, I´m inquiring, "Where´s my epidural?"
"Oh you don´t get one with twins. We´d have problems with the second baby." I hardly recognized her in this get-up. "Is it bad?" Dr. ´M´ asked.
"No, but if I can´t have an epidural, then you better run and get my cigarettes .... By the way, I´ve been meaning to show you something, doctor."
"Is she kidding? What did you let her bring IN HERE?"
Half in panic, a nurse was apologizing, "Nothing, NOTHING!"
"No, no, it´s on my neck." I said, pointing. "Since I´m here, could you remove this large cyst? I grow them all the time." I was completely serious. "The last time I had one removed, in this same spot, they went and lost it."
All the laughter and calamity that erupted attracted Darko´s curiosity from the hall. "This sounds more like a wild party! What´s going on in there?"
"Out! GET OUT! Stay out in the hall. Here comes the first head -- yes -- yes -- push once more."
A baby´s cry penetrated the room.
"Is it all right? Dr. Moore, IS IT ALL RIGHT?"
"Yes, yes, ´Baby Boy A´ is fine. Lay back, push again."
In my insurmountable relief I relaxed against the bed, searching the room for a clock. 11:35 p.m. Baby Boy ´A´ made it. Still on July 16th. 11:35!!
"Push Donna, come on -- you don´t want them to have separate birth days. Push."
´Baby Boy B´ checked into the world at 11:42. Neither words, nor pen and paper could capture what was in my heart. Healthy. Both perfect. I tried desperately to focus through the tears at these two precious gifts. Laying side by side, ´A´ screaming to let the world know he arrived; ´B´, one leg dangling over the side of the bin, yawning, looked like he was wondering why this other fellow was making such a racket, keeping him awake. This one´s going to be like DADDY.
To a young mother who was apprehensive about her babies´ state of health in the first place, some very commonplace things that happened, ended up being terrifying incidents. About the third night after my delivery, a nurse over anxiously rushed to the side of my bed asking if I could contact my husband right away. I almost fell off my bed. My instant reaction was that one had died. "No. No. Your husband´s been calling and the switchboard disconnected him twice. He must be furious." I was furious! Couldn´t she think?
Day four: While ´daddy´ and I were standing at the nursery window, a nurse walked to the incubator of ´Baby Boy B´, took him out, and proceeded to insert a tube down his throat. I collapsed on the floor. He must have stopped breathing! "No, no, that was a gavage. Their sucking instincts hadn´t fully developed. It is much faster and easier to pour the milk into their stomachs."
When other moms were resting, I was at the nursery window, my eyes fixed on the two incubators. The palms of my hands shot to the window as I watched a stream of water shoot out from my baby onto the incubator glass.
"My baby´s sprung a leak in his side!" My heart and emotions had bypassed logic. My daughter had a hole in her back and now I had reasoned that he was imperfect too. Fortunately, I was unaccustomed to little boys. Little boys in oversized diapers.
By the time I left the hospital, I needed a hospital. I was a nervous wreck. When would my mind accept the fact that they were healthy? Tiny, but A okay! I was more than happy to leave the hospital though, even if I had to leave them behind so that they could gain some weight, before being brought home.
The world was in a tizzy about three astronauts landing on the moon, on this same July 16th. Big deal, I´m not impressed.
Takes a lot more than that to impress this mommy. Imagine taking the limelight away from my boys. Some good is bound to come of this lunar landing -- one astronaut´s name was Michael. MICHAEL. Michael Martonfi. I like that! Perfect, as a matter of fact, especially since I felt he was sent from ´outer space´. Always planning to call my first son Daniel, baby boy ´A´ became Daniel and baby boy ´B´ became astronaut Michael.
I would have thought Martonfi would be hard to match up. Darko, Donna, Diana, Daniel --- Michael? Would he mind not starting with a ´D´? No, of course not, he´ll be the only one out of the lot they´ll be able to find in the phone book. Anyway, you can´t have two DOCTOR D. MARTONFI, M.D.´s.