When I was expecting my baby in 1958, my husband Ralph and I thought we were going to have a boy. We had decided to name him Daniel Steven.
So all those months we would pat my stomach and say “Little Daniel Steven.” We thought that since I was so huge, our boy would weigh at least eight pounds. When I went in to deliver six weeks early, I was surprised to have had two 4-pound baby girls.
My husband had gone home on the doctor’s advice, as my baby wasn’t expected to come for several more hours. But while Ralph was gone the babies came. The nurse had called him to come down but my babies were born before he arrived. Needless to say he was pretty shocked to find out he had two babies.
My husband called my mother to share the good news. He told her, “Helen had her baby.” She asked what sex it was.
“Guess,” he answered.
She said, “a boy.” Ralph said no. She then said, “Oh , a little girl. How nice.” Again Ralph said no.
There was complete silence on the phone line. Ralph said, “Mother, are you still there?” She knew that there were only two choices – a male or a female, so what could it be?
Finally she managed to ask, “Well, WHAT DID she have?” Ralph blurted out, “Twin girls!” My mother let out the most excited squeal. She was ecstatic!
A few weeks after the birth, I received a bill from my doctor. He charged me an extra $50 for the delivery because of the extra baby.
My 75-year-old mother was still working as a registered nurse throughout my pregnancy. She retired the day my twins were born to help me to take care of them. She managed to live until my girls were nine years old.
Helen Hampton is a member of the writing class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. It is held off-campus at the Norwalk Senior Center.