Thirty~nine years ago today, my sister and I made our great escape…

Shontel and Daenel aka "The Twins"My sister and I have always known the dramatic story of our birth.  Mom used it as a way to highlight my our need for attention since birth.  And as I tell you the story, you’ll understand that we come by our dramatics honestly.  Thank you, Mom and Dad

It was about 2 AM on a Saturday morning in 1973 when  my dad went racing down the streets of Washington, D.C. in his little Datsun.  With dual horns blaring and my mother tensing up in labor, my dad violated every traffic law on the books.  Really, what do stop lights mean when your wife is about to give birth to your twins?  Motorists were moving over to the side, hand gestures of all sorts were flying and police sirens were screaming.  It was a scene straight out of a movie ~ a movie about a very pregnant woman being driven through the streets of Washington, D.C. by a mad man but a movie nevertheless.

At some point one of the police cruisers whipped in front of my dad’s car with the intention of forcing my dad to stop.  Panic stricken, my dad quickly assessed the situation…  What person in their right mind wants to hit a police car?  That’s just asking for trouble. Unfortunately, my dad had only two options ~ slam on breaks and hit the police car or slam on breaks and hit a metal telephone pole.  He chose to hit the police car.  Do you guys remember those big ol’ metal telephone poles?  Yeah, his chances were soooo much better with the car. As my parents braced for impact, my mother’s labor pains intensified and my sister started crowning.  Bet you didn’t think you were going to read that in this birth story, did you?

In the ensuing melee, Dad was put in the back of the ambulance and Mom ended up in the back seat of a police car where Shontel was delivered by a stranger.  We never learned the man’s name because he wasn’t supposed to be in D.C.  He had told his wife that he was going to be elsewhere for business, instead he was in D.C. with his girlfriend.  However, he did come to the hospital to check on us.  So, whoever you are, if you happen to stumble across this blog and you remember that day, I just want to say “thank you.”

About 45 minutes later, my mom was at the hospital and she started telling the E.R. doctors that “another one” was coming but they thought she was in shock and ignored her.  Lo and behold, between the emergency room doors, I came into the world.

We Were Drama Queens from BirthAs you can tell by the newspaper article, my dad was charged with multiple traffic violations, all of which were dropped.  But our story doesn’t end there….

My sister was released from the hospital after a few days but I was kept in the NICU because of respiratory problems.  Yeah, my dad wasn’t having that.  He felt like my sister and I had been conceived together and incubated together, therefore, we should go home together.  He started yelling at the doctors and threatening to take the hospital hostage if they didn’t release me. My dad was the original King of Dramady.  After a few hours, Mom and Grandma Vaughn were able to talk him down and he let me stay in the NICU and he took Shontel home.  But you better believe, my dad was at that hospital bright and early on my release date.

So there you are, the story of our dramatic entry into this world.  And someday, I’ll share the story of my twins’ birth.  Let’s just say it involved a car, contractions and a drive through three states.