On September 11th, 2001, I was home sick from work . I was (then) an attorney with a large Atlanta firm, so even though I felt rotten, the time off was nice. At that time, my oldest daughter was two years old, and she was enjoying having mommy home that day, instead of going to daycare.
I tossed and turned that night before. I was sick to my stomach, and I thought I had the stomach flu, which was why I called in sick. I finally got out of bed around 6am because I couldn’t sleep.
I happened to find an old pregnancy test in the back of my bathroom cabinet, so I took it, not even suspecting I had a reason to. My husband and I were not trying to conceive – as a matter of fact, we were having trouble in our marriage and were on the verge of seperating.
Five minutes went by – the result was negative. I washed my hands and arranged some towels on my bathroom counter, and when I looked down again I saw another line on the test. A positive. Then the tears started.
My daughter was still sleeping away in her bed while I sunk into the sofa and cried and wondered what I had got myself into. I turned on the Today show, mostly for background noise. I dozed off for about 30 minutes, and when I woke the first tower had just been struck. Still numb from my own news, I figured it was a small plane and could have caused that much damage – I had visited the WTC many times in my single days with friends in New York, and those buildings were like giant rocks that went into the sky.
I was wrong, of course. I kept watching and stared numbly as the second plane flew into the south tower. It just seemed so unreal, so impossible. I cried at the fact that I was going to be bringing yet another innocent life into this horrid world, and beat myself up for doing so.
I spent the rest of the day exactly where I started it – on the sofa. Only breaking from the awful news reports to tend to my daughter, Emily Elizabeth a few times.
I still think about those two life-changing events – happening to me within two hours time of each other. When I was about seven weeks along with that pregnancy, we found out that we were having twins. I am not a religious person at all, but I found the timing of this to be so surreal. At the moment thousands of people were about to lose their lives, two new ones were created. I wept because of this, and felt guilty of my two new lives when so many had perished so soon before and left heartbroken family members behind. It didn’t make since to me – perhaps it never will.
I did learn to be happy with the fact we were adding to our family, but the fact that I found out the twins were coming the day our country changed forever really impacted me. To this day I can’t turn away from the TV when there is something regarding 9/11 on – I am almost obsessed with it, and my husband has suggested I speak to someone about it. I have not made up my mind yet.
Speaking of that, my husband and I never seperated, but who is to say we wouldn’t have if the twins had not come along. Four months before their birth, I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom, and on April 3rd, 2002, I welcomed (a bit prematurely) Jack Henry and Harrison Miles into the world. It was a much-changed world, one that I would have many, many stories to share with them as they got older – the good and the bad.
We had our fourth child this past December – Mallory. We returned from a family trip to New York City this past week. I stood at the metal gates at Ground Zero and held back tears as I explained what it was to my older child. This is our generations Pearl Harbor, and this has been our family experience.