Article by: Cynthia Hamouche
In my family, we used to start preparing for Christmas in November, including a huge Christmas tree, decorations, gift shopping, and a delicious Christmas Eve menu.
That year we didn’t even think about Christmas.
We were focused on the twins; we didn’t actually believe they would come. Although my mum insisted, my husband and I decided not to put up a Christmas tree. We couldn’t stand the thought of something bad happening, and if the twins were ok, our home would be full of baby decorations.
There was no place for Christmas decoration that year.
On the December 13th, Karim and Yasmina came into the world after a hard and almost impossible pregnancy. We waited for them for so long, but we knew they would be born prematurely. When I heard them crying, it was the most beautiful sound in the world.
A few minutes later my husband, Charbel, who was with me during the C-section, told me Yasmina was healthy but Karim would need to stay in the incubator; his lungs were not fully developed.
Three days later, I returned home with my beautiful tiny 1.87 kg daughter, leaving
Karim in the hospital. Yasmina didn’t know how to drink milk. My mum had to feed her using a syringe since I was too scared to do it. Between a newborn at home, congratulation visits, post-operation pain and going to see my son in the hospital there was no time left for sleeping, eating and even less for thinking about Christmas.
I didn’t want festivities while my son was alone in the hospital.
On the 23rd of December, Charbel called me from work and asked me, “Do you think you can drive? The doctor told me to come and pick up Karim.” I couldn’t believe it. I drove to the hospital. My husband was already there. The nurses dressed up Karim, gave us some instructions and we left. It all happened so fast it was hard to believe.
Charbel drove back home while I was sat in the back with my son. He was the sweetest thing ever and slept the whole way.
Karim and Yasmina were reunited at home the day before Christmas Eve. The next day would be their first Christmas Eve in their home; we suddenly wanted to get into Christmas spirit. On the 24th, we improvised a small Christmas tree, we decorated the house, we purchased gifts from nearby shops and we prepared dinner knowing that most probably we wouldn’t even have time to sit and eat. We dressed up the kids but kept them in an overheated room because we were so scared they would get cold. It was a miracle. After years of struggling, we were finally able to spend Christmas with both of our children.
Since that day, Christmas has taken on a totally different meaning for us. It is now all about them, how to make them happy, how to make them feel the joy of that special day.
I realized that year that Karim and Yasmina were the most precious, most wonderful Christmas gift, and every year I remember that blessed period that changed our lives.