4 Days of Labour, 3+ Months Premature and 2 Miracle Babies!…in 1974

The Story of my Miraculous Birth

{ My mother holding my twin brother. ( He was allowed to be held eventually ). Note the size of her hand compared to the size of my twin • Ottawa Civic hospital • Oct 1974 }

“Mr.Flood? I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room now please,” said the doctor to my father after my brother had been born. I was still hanging out in my ‘womb. My chance of survival was low.  Living would take a miracle…

Would you like a little brother or a sister?” my mother asked my 6 year old brother. “Both” he said with confidence. I imagine the universe at that moment coming and saying, “And both you shall have!” I also imagine the 32 year old part of my mother saying,  “I don’t know if I could handle two more…then again, kill two birds with one stone…have ’em both a once and the other part of her saying to my brother, “You got it Pontiac!”

And so she did. They did. My father and mother. Eventually after one of the ultrasounds they were told they were having twins! I have no idea what my 34 year old father was thinking at the time! And this was all natural. They did not know however know the sex of their twins or if they would be identical or fraternal.

Fast forward to October 1974. My mother was only near the end her second trimester. She was only six months pregnant. Three more to go. My father and her designed a beautiful home that was to be finished in time for our birth…in January. She was now standing in our big beautiful white kitchen on the red and burnt orange checkered linoleum floor hanging out with my older brother. And what happened next would turn into a very long 4 days. “Mommy! Why did you pee on the floor?” Obviously my mother had not peed on the floor. Her water broke. Three months early. It wasn’t time. It really wasn’t time. There were twins in there. It really really wasn’t time. As the story has been described to me over the years my mother did say she was panicked. She knew it was way to early. She was also at the house in the country alone with my brother. I’m not sure if they had a second vehicle then, but even if they had, would she had been able to drive herself to the hospital? I know she was also worried for her little 7 year old son in front of her. Trying to contain her panic. She called my father at his office and I don’t know how that conversation went, but I was told that my father drove like a bat out of hell to make the ~ 20 minute drive to get to her. And then again once she was in the van to bring her to the hospital. I’m sure my father wished he still had his 67 Stingray that day to burn his way to the hospital.

I don’t know very many details of the hours that turned into days that followed of course even though I was there! I only know the things my mother always shared with me. I know that she was in labour for 4 days. I know that there was much confusion because of this situation. I know that there were many, many nurses and doctors there trying to save the twins trying to be born 3 months to early. I know that there were even more doctors and nurses because Ottawa’s best hospital, the Ottawa Civic is also a teaching hospital and there were many residents wanting to watch and participate. On the fourth day at 9:00pm,  my twin brother was born.

This is what I know of what followed. My father was there for my brother’s birth. Once my twin was born, the doctors placed him  in a mechanical ventilator to help his breathing.  I learned once that the lungs do not fully mature until the 3rd trimester. My twin, for now, was safe. I on the other hand, was not coming out. No way, no how. Not moving. I was tucked up way high and not coming out. The doctors had a very difficult time reaching me. There was quite a lot pf panic in the room, numerous doctors and specialists trying to figure out what to do with me. I think they contemplated leaving me in at one point…you know to bake for another 3 months kind of thing. This was a passing thought. Not possible! Then, the doctors turned to my father and said, “Mr.Flood, we’re going to have to ask you to leave the room now.” My mother used to say at this point she was just pleading, “Save my babies, save my babies!” to the doctors. I believe my younger brother was outside of the room for some of this time. Could not have been very reassuring for  a seven year old. When my mother would recount this story to me I asked her why they asked my father  to leave the room. She told me, “Katie, the doctors, we, had no idea if  you were going to make it or not. They would not want your father to see if you came out alive or dead.

To be continued…

{ If I get any more details or clarifications from my father I will add accordingly.}

Listening to: Bruce Springsteen
Locale: Ottawa by the canal.
• State of mind: Happy to be out of a crux.


A broken Ventilator, a Nameless Crib and 2 Baptisms…

The Story of my Miraculous Birth Continued…

{ Baptism Celebration at Home • Manotick, 1974 }

I must have made up my mind, because 15-20 minutes later, I was born. I recently came home for thanksgiving birthday weekend to see recipe cards my mother had written with a few details of our birth. My father had found it and I had never seen it before. It’s really neat to see old stuff, all the more if you’ve lost a loved one, seeing her handwriting has the power to just put you back there in front of her reading it.  After she wrote the time and distance between my twin and I’s birth in parenthesis she had written, (The longest 15 minutes of her life!). Hilarious! I was born, but not off the hook by any means.

The doctors were not able to place me in my mother’s arms as per the norm, but in order to save my life placed me in a mechanical ventilator. As soon as they placed me in it the damn thing it broke on them! Can you imagine? I can just hear the semi sighs of relief that they finally got me out after 4 days, but they have to keep me alive and then to put me in a piece of equipment designed to keep me alive and it breaks! I think this next move it is  funny one. They a look at my brother who was doing ok in his ventilation machine and immediately took him out of his and placed me in his ventilator! Love it. (Sorry bro!) I don’t know when my father was invited back in. I do know that on top of this 4 day labour my mother had to go and have surgery.

{ My “2nd baptism” @ the church • Mom and Dad holding me • Ottawa, 1975 }

You see, one of the reasons her water broke is that she her gallbladder had ruptured. I don’t know the details of the following days except that Tim and I were placed in incubators to keep us alive and to help our tiny bodies grow. My parents were not allowed to hold us either yet. I would like to find out more details, but essentially we stayed in those glass incubators for weeks that turned into months. My mother had her surgery and eventually returned home and my father to work.


There’s another entry coming as I chopped this one in half.

I have  about 5000 words a day to complete 50,000 for the Nanowrimo Write a Novel in 30 Days deadline!

Show your support and drop me a comment or visit the FB page…

What do you think so far?

Listening to: (itunes on shuffle:) Blue Light, Red Light { Someone’s There} by Harry Connick Jr.
Locale: Chapter’s/Indigo Starbucks Main Branch
• State of mind: Looking forward to seeing Canadian jazz artist Mat Dusk perform shortly.