Emily: Chapter Fifteen

Untitled

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?”

“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.

Advertisements

Emily: Chapter Fourteen

Untitled

…THEN COMES MARRIAGE, THEN COMES…

Days passed by in a calm happy manner for almost five years, by which time, aunties with noses much too long for their own good began asking Emily why she hadn’t had a baby yet. It annoyed her at first. Then as she thought about it, she realized that she was ready to have a child. Perhaps Ethan was too. So, one evening, with no preamble what-so-ever, she sat down with Ethan after dinner and said, “E, I think we’re ready to have a baby.”

Ethan, who as usual had been reading something on the computer about the newest advancements in surgery, looked up a little startled and ran his fingers through his wavy hair. “Say what now?”

“We’ve been married a while. I’m ready to have a child. Aren’t you?”

“Erm…”

“Look, there is never going to be a perfect time to have a baby. Something is always going to be wrong with the world and we can’t wait for everything to be all peaches and cream. If we do, that baby isn’t coming. We’ve got to have her and raise her right, so she can grow up and make the world a better place. Or he can; whichever it turns out to be.”

Ethan looked at her and opened his mouth to ask her where the desire for a child had suddenly come from then shut it abruptly, changing his mind. Instead, he began mentally calculating the possible expenditure a child could bring with it. As the numbers grew, almost as if she could read his mind, Emily said, “I know it costs a bomb to have a child, but we can afford a baby. We don’t have to give her the world, just lots of love, care, and joy.”

Ethan smiled a closed lipped smile and thought to himself that it was exactly like Emily to naively ignore the financial aspect of having a child. They could perhaps afford one child. If they had twins it would be a financial nightmare. Plus, most women wanted to be mothers. He also thought about how he would have to rework his schedule to fit a baby. It would not be impossible, just extremely difficult.

He sighed.

Out loud he said, “Sure Sweetie, let’s make a baby.”

Emily threw herself into his arms and after years, the two of had another night to remember.

******

Emily’s back today. Hope you’ve been following along! To catch up, please click here.

UBC Post 18!!!

#MeToo

It’s everywhere. That hashtag. I saw it up as a friend’s status on Facebook. I made it my own a few seconds later. That was yesterday. Today, a very large percentage of the women on my list of friends have the same or a variant of it as their status.

img_9958

I look at those stupid buttons that Facebook has developed to react to things and I don’t know what to click.

Like? No, I don’t like that it happened to you too. That you are part of the population that has to take part in a movement like this. I don’t like that at all.

Love? That’s what I’m sending you because you’re my sister in this. It was you yesterday. It was me the day before. It could be her tomorrow if we don’t do something.

That amazed button? Because I’m in shock that you too have experienced what I have.

Tears? Because there was no one to protect you when it happened, like there was no one to protect me.

Anger? Because the nature of the issue is such that no one is spared. No one is safe. No one.

I don’t know how to react. All I do know is that it’s time sexual harassment and assault – to whatever degree – is taken seriously.

It happened to you?

#MeToo.

******

Post 17 in the UBC this month.

Emily: Chapter Thirteen

Untitled

HER NEW LIFE

Emily had to resign from her job when she got married and so for the first few months after the wedding, she enjoyed her time off and loved her new role as ‘Mrs. Mendonca: Wife and Homemaker’. She found joy in the littlest things, like being introduced as Ethan’s wife to his colleagues, or arranging the photo frames and cook books on the shelves she had put up by herself. It was such a drastic change from the mundane old nine to five routine that she had been used to that she had a lot more fun than she thought she would.

There were many times during those initial months when meals were left half eaten as even something as small as a gentle caress of the shoulder or an accidental touch or even a certain look would catapult the two of them into each other’s arms and into their bedroom. On some days, the ones she loved best, they weren’t able to restrain themselves till they got to their bedroom.

However, all good things come to an end and that phase didn’t last as long as Emily would have liked. Once Ethan got involved in his work full-time again; he became very busy at the hospital and was on call all night at least four times a week. Emily spent most days with only the oven for company and meals that had once been left uneaten thanks to urges of the flesh, were left untouched because Ethan was home only in time for breakfast.

During the day, when she had very little to keep herself occupied, Emily went for long walks in the park near their apartment. One afternoon, she chanced upon a group of women playing basketball. Wonderful memories of matches she had played all through school and college came flooding back and without really knowing what she was doing, an otherwise reserved Emily called out to them. “Can I play?”

“Sure! We could use another player. We’re usually two against three – would be good to even up the odds.” A tall young woman, the others called Leanne, with short hair dyed deep purple shouted back.

Emily ran onto the court to join the game. Her team lost, but she had more fun than she had had on her own in a long time.

A great camaraderie formed among the women in a short time even though they were all in different places in their lives. Emily was able to escape a little of her loneliness thanks to their company. Yet, she was bored at home the rest of the day and it wasn’t long before she was wishing she was back at a desk in front of a computer screen again.

After about six months of refreshing her e-mail every half an hour hoping to see a response from one of the companies to whom she had sent her resume, it came. Emily made it through a grueling three rounds of interviews and landed a great job. She loved being back at work, even though it meant that she had to give up her trips to the basketball court. Sadly, with time, she lost touch with almost all the women with whom she once played.

Life fell into an easy, pleasant routine. On the commute back from work, Emily would think about what she could make to tantalize the taste-buds and would scour the internet for interesting recipes. Whenever Ethan was at home, he enjoyed her culinary masterpieces and slept on a content stomach. Unfortunately, he was usually at the hospital.

Being as busy as he was, Emily noticed that apart from everything else, even their love-making began to follow a schedule – once a week, on a weekend and sometimes not even then if Ethan was at work. She had got the idea that men spent a lot of their day thinking about sex from all those sitcoms and soap operas she had watched over the years. Ethan appeared to be an exception to that general rule. She was finally forced to conclude that for him, a relationship was much more than sex and his work, she thought despondently, was probably a little bit more important to him than that. Besides, she reminded herself, the passion he had for research in his field was one of the reasons she had fallen in love with him in the first place. So, she didn’t question but accepted it, as the priest had advised in his homily on their wedding day.

******

Still more Emily to come tomorrow. Hope you’re enjoying the story so far. Click here to catch up!

Post 16! UBC…I’ve gone past the halfway mark!!