TWO TINY LINES
Emily studied her ovulation calendar and for the first time since those wonderful months before life happened, Ethan and Emily lay entwined in each other more than their usual four times a month. As much as she enjoyed their love-making, Emily had hoped that she would get pregnant right away and eleven months later, when her period was still stubbornly right on time, she decided to see a doctor to do some tests.
Nervously, Emily handed over the results.
“Well, there’s good news, Mr. and Mrs. Mendonca, there’s nothing physiologically wrong with either of you.”
Emily released Ethan’s hand, which she had held in a vice-like grip, and breathed a sigh of relief. “Then why haven’t we got pregnant yet, Dr. Rao? We’ve been trying for almost a year now.”
“These things can sometimes take a lot of time. Some women get pregnant without even wanting to while others have to try harder for much longer. Since you are both fine medically, there are no pills I can prescribe to speed this along. If you want to get pregnant naturally, I cannot advise you to do anything other than to continue trying. Don’t worry. You’ll be pregnant sooner or later if you keep at it. Till that happens, why don’t you two enjoy the process?” At that, he winked at Ethan.
Emily, distraught and angry, almost punched her doctor in the face. Ethan hastily steered her away towards the door mumbling his thanks for the doctor’s time.
On their drive home from the clinic that evening, Emily was very quiet. Ethan tried to defuse the tension by saying, “Why don’t we take a break Em, let’s give it a rest and then try again later?”
Emily looked at him and flatly said, “No.”
“No, Ethan. If we take a break it will only take so long before we fall back into our old routines. If we take a break, we might as well stop trying and to stop trying for however short or long a period of time would be like we have given up on having a baby. I don’t want to give up. Do you?” Emily looked at Ethan and then continued without waiting for an answer, “I want to keep trying. We have to keep trying. Even the doctor said to keep going. How can you say we should stop? Don’t say stop just yet…” She ended her monologue, almost pleading with Ethan.
Ethan didn’t say anything. He wished that he could tell Emily that there was a tiny part of him that was glad that she hadn’t got pregnant yet because he was beginning to make headway in his research, but he knew that that would break her heart so swallowed the argument.
Other than that tiny selfish part of him, the rest of him wholeheartedly felt that they were under too much pressure to have a child and not only because conventionally the ‘time was right’ for them to take on that role. He no longer felt as good as he was sure sex ought to feel. Having to get aroused and perform sexually on pre-determined dates every month was not working for him. However, he couldn’t tell Emily that either.
Their families – extended and immediate – were not helping the matter. They had begun discussing openly how they hadn’t grown in number although they had been married for more than a few years. He had been able to ignore it most of the time. On occasion, he had noticed that Emily became very uncomfortable when anyone, especially his mother, mentioned babies around her. She saw it as an indirect hint that Mummy wanted to be a grandmother and Emily was failing in her most important duty as her daughter-in-law – producing a child. She also always looked longingly at the babies that their cousins seemed to be birthing with no difficulty at all.
Ethan really didn’t know how to respond to Emily. When she prodded him for a response, he jerked his head in unwilling agreement.
So, the two of them kept at it for almost another year before Emily in tears as she got her period again, said in a low defeated voice that she no longer believed that they were meant to get pregnant.
Ethan thought it was all for the best, even though he felt bad for Emily, and concentrated his extra time on his research project.
As sometimes is the case, it was then, about six months after the two of them had decided to stop trying that Emily, busy at work, suddenly realized that she was late by almost ten days. In the evening, with hands shaking, she stopped by a pharmacy and bought herself a home pregnancy test. The instructions said to wait for morning and Emily could barely sleep that night. She didn’t want to tell Ethan and get him excited until she had some hope that the two of them were pregnant. So, she bore what she hoped was a happy burden alone and restlessly passed the night.
In the morning, in her locked bathroom, she waited anxiously for the test results and when the instructed two minutes were up, with her heart racing, she checked them and collapsed on the floor.
She was pregnant.
Emily is on her way to motherhood at last. Not every woman’s dream, but it was most certainly hers. Catch up on the earlier chapters here.
Post 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.