Our baby controlled our world, and they weren’t even here yet. I slept when they wanted me to. I ate what they wanted me to eat, and I cried at whatever they wanted me to cry about. Kevin became an amazing father overnight, tending to our every need. Our relationship was new, but being pregnant with Kevin’s child helped me understand him better. I knew our baby would be his twin. As our family grew, we grew as people, parents, and a couple. It was such a beautiful experience. We both had prepared for this moment even before we knew the other existed. We were excited and ready. Oh, so ready.
Our families and friends were just as excited. This pregnancy was a cause for celebration, and celebrate we did! Kevin’s parents took us by surprise by announcing our pregnancy to a house full of relatives and friends during thanksgiving dinner. Given that some relatives had just met me that day, this was a huge shock, but nonetheless, they welcomed me into the family with open arms. My siblings were ecstatic when I shared the news and asked them to wait to tell mom until we came to visit. My mom was in Virginia at the time, and I lived in California, and we were planning to surprise her with the news in person. As the baby of the family, it seemed as though everyone was looking forward to welcoming “their baby’s baby.” Even my dad, who had passed away less than two years prior, showed up in my dreams with a huge smile on his face carrying a cake and bottles of alcohol and ready to drive me to a party he had planned for us. I woke from the dream feeling that my baby and I were safe and protected. After all, my dad was in heaven looking over us!
Although we were excited, we decided to keep this news private until we got closer to our baby’s due date, and when we found out he would be a boy, we called all our loved ones one by one to officially share that our baby had a name, Kevin Dagoberto Brown. Kevin after his daddy and paternal grandfather, and Dagoberto after my dad and brother. Everything was perfect. All that was left was to share the news with my mom.
Kevin and I made the trip to Virginia and gathered all the kids (my nieces, nephews, and God babies) to join in on Abuela’s surprise. My siblings and childhood friend made signs for the babies to hold, sharing the news with their abuela that another grandchild would be added to her list of heartbeats. My best friend’s mother, a second mother to me, sat with my mom holding her hand as she started putting the pieces together one by one until finally receiving a framed ultrasound in a gift bag from my God-daughter, telling her that I was pregnant. She immediately broke down in tears, thanking God for answering our prayers. I say OUR prayers because we all prayed for this child. We all yearned for this child; he was finally on his way. My heart was whole, the baby was healthy and growing, and I knew he was feeling the love. Kevin and I returned to California ready to be the best parents to our son and hopeful for what was to come.
Time was flying, my belly was growing, my nose was widening, and I was glowing. KDB, as we lovingly called him, was so active, especially whenever I ate mangoes, mangoes were his favorite, and he told me by doing what felt like flips whenever I would eat them. He grew so fast and made me sleep so much that I knew he would be tall like his daddy. Despite the exhaustion, I wanted to be as healthy and strong as possible, so I stayed active. I would walk in the mornings and at night and no matter the time his daddy never let us leave the house without his reflector belt. We were so careful.
Despite our precautions, in the early hours of February 27th 4 months before his due date, I woke up to excruciating back pains and an urge to use the bathroom. I sprung out of bed and made my way to the restroom. Kevin must have felt the urgency because, within seconds, he was at the bathroom door as my water broke. “We need to go to the ER. I think I’m in labor.”