I was told that I may never have children. But regardless of what my doctors have said I felt different. I didn’t feel like I was myself, something had changed…“Pregnant” appeared on the little window. I felt instantly sick… that sickness lasted seven and a half months. I was diagnosed with hyper-emesis and was in the ER nearly every week, sometimes twice a week for IV fluids and compazine. The only woman I knew that had a terrible pregnancy was my mother and she died on Halloween 2004. She wasn’t there to help me get through it. The pregnancy was so awful I wanted to abort. On February 9, 2006 I found out I was having twins! Originally I had hoped for a boy and a girl (so I would never have to be pregnant again) however, I was delightfully blessed with twin boys. They were born via c-section, three weeks early on June 23, 2006. Baby A (Aidan James) weighed five pounds five ounces. Baby B (Nathaniel Lewis) weighed four pounds eight ounces. I did not get to see them after they were born- they were whisked away to be cleaned. Nathaniel was taken straight to the NICU. When I got back to my room I got to meet and hold Aidan. About ten minutes later he was also taken to the NICU because his respiratory rate was too fast. The doctor walked in and said that I had lost too much blood and that I was not allowed to get out of bed. I don’t recall much more after that as the pain medications were fantastic but I cried… and cried. I did not get to meet my little Nathaniel until the following evening. Over 24 hours later I was finally taken to see him and instantly fell in love. I was told that my boys would be in the NICU for “just a few days” which apparently really means two weeks for Nathaniel and three for Aidan! I did breast feed them both for the first month, but the stresses of the c-section, not being allowed to get out of bed and see my baby, the long days spent at the hospital visiting MY babies, going home empty handed every day made me extremely depressed. I couldn’t keep up with my milk production and became increasingly irritated by having to pump instead of bonding with my boys. Both babies were finally home on July 15, 2006. Although I haven’t been a mom for that long (time wise) I feel as though this is all I’ve done all my life. Being a mother is so incredibly natural for me that I don’t feel that having my boys has changed much of anything for me. I feel like they have always been with me. Below are some pictures… • The night before my C-section • A close up of my belly and the very painful stretch marks • My boys (the first time we were all together as a family) • My body now- after all the changes- weight gain of 40lbs AFTER the babies were born (11 months post-partum) • My beautiful boys now! I, by no means have anything that resembles a perfect body. I have been heavy since I was a child, and I am now at my heaviest. I view my stretch marks as the rhythm strip of life; proof of being a real woman; proof that my body did exactly what it was supposed to do. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I hate my body and wish I were just at my pre-pregnancy weight- but I would not, could not, trade this experience for anything. The hardest part for me in all this, was that my mother never got to see me get married (three months before I got pregnant), and never got to meet my boys. She would have loved them greatly.