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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

20 Years Ago Today- The Best Day of My Life

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I can't believe it has been 20 years.

October 24, 1992. My wife Michelle and I were shopping for a crib. Michelle was seven months pregnant. We were expecting a Christmas baby.

We were in a store in the Chicago area and had spent most of the day shopping.  We were pretty  proud. Our first baby was on the way and we felt like we were really on top of things. We had the nursery set up, we had some diapers and baby clothes stock piled, and we were shopping for one of the final things we needed; a crib.

Let me take a step back.  Michelle and I had decided that we didn't want to know the sex of the baby a head of time.  Life has so few pleasant surprises that we decided to make this one of them. Twenty years ago, ultrasounds weren't the routine pre-natal tool that they are today. Our Dr. told us that since Michelle was young and healthy and we didn't want to know the sex of the baby, that there was no need for an ultrasound.

Fast forward to that crib store near Chicago.  As we shopped, I could see that Michelle was tired, just worn out. We were almost done and were discussing lunch when Michelle made a bee-line for the store bathroom.  I followed behind.

"I can't come out," I heard Michelle say.

"What's the matter honey?  Do you need some help?" I asked.

"I'm not sure what's the matter.  I think my water may have broken." she told me thru tears and sobs.

Eventually she emerged, wet pants and all.  I called the Dr.  It was a Saturday and our Doctor was nowhere to be found.  We left a message on the after hours line and headed to the hospital. I was 25 and Michelle was 24.  We were scared.

As soon as we got there the nurses in the ER asked us if we were sure of our due date. "If you are really not due until mid December, you are really big," One of them told us.  "Either your due date is off or there is more than one baby in there."

Huh?  More than one baby?  Oh My God.  Seriously?!

The nurses hooked up heart beat monitors and called the OB/GYN people.

"I have a healthy heartbeat," I heard one of the nurses exclaim.

"I also have a healthy heartbeat over here on this side," I heard another nurse say.

"There are at least two babies in there," the doctor weighed in.

AT LEAST two babies!  I tried to absorb the exciting and terrifying news. At least TWO babies. Really?

I called our parents.  I got Michelle's mom Myrna on the phone in South Carolina.

"Myrna, It's John. Chelle and I are at the hospital. Her water broke," I said.

"Oh my gosh. Is she ok?" Myrna asked me.

"She's fine. But there are at least two babies on the way."

The next thing I heard was her phone bouncing off the floor.

"Myrna, Myrna.  Are you there? Myrna?"

"My word. Seriously?," she muttered.  She never picked up the phone.

Michelle and I were transferred to a hospital that specializes in high risk pregnancies. We even got an ambulance ride.

Michelle was brave and strong. I think I was more scared than she was. The miracles happened at 3:54a.m. and 4:02a.m. Kierra Lynn came screaming into the world weighing three pounds, 11 ounces. Eight minutes later, Aimee Elizabeth arrived, weighing three pounds, 15 ounces.  They were beautiful and perfect.

My life changed forever on October 25, 1992. As I held my little girls and looked at my beautiful bride I had no way of knowing just how rich my life had become. I knew it was great day, but I had idea that it would end up being the best day of my life.

Twenty years later I have watched this miracle blossom like an amazing flower. From first words, to first steps it has been an incredible journey. From first teeth to the first day of Kindergarten it has been inspiring.  From first boyfriends to first heartbreaks it has been a roller coaster. From the first day of College to the first summer back home it has been awesome.

Happy birthday Kierra.  Happy birthday Aimee.  You make my heart so happy. I love you girls.And thank you so much Michelle for the beautiful gifts you gave me.


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