Chapter One: Doctors
Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Juno or anything else you recognize.
Summary: Jack and Juno Payne find out that they are infertile. They decide to adopt a child. Will Juno's past come back to haunt her?
My name is Juno Payne. I'm 34 years old and married to the greatest guy in the world, Jack. We've been married for two years.
We don't have any kids.
It really sucks because I can tell that he wants a kid sooo bad. I wouldn't mind having one either, really. I mean, I know they're a lot of work and they cry all the time and stuff, but I can't help but wonder what it would have been like had I not given my first one up 18 years ago.
Jack and I moved back to Saint Cloud six months ago because Dad and Bren were getting older and we needed to be with them. I ran into Paulie Bleeker in the grocery store a few weeks back… he's married to Katrina Dvort and they have three kids. I haven't seen Vanessa Loring anywhere and I don't know if she moved away or where the kid is. He'd be 18 years old this week and not a day goes by that I don't think about him.
Jack and I have been trying for a baby for a while, but no luck. He says it's about time that we go see someone and figure out what's wrong with us. I'm anxious about the whole thing and I don't want to. But I can tell that Jack is worried, so I might as well give in. It's not like there's really anything wrong with us, right?
I'm just scared of what we might find out.
I hate waiting rooms.
Always have, always will. There's nothing worse than sitting in an impersonal, surgically clean room, waiting for someone to take you into an even more surgically clean room and poke you with needles and draw blood and open your legs and stick some long thing up your vag to examine you. I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Jack squeezes my hand. I look up at him.
"Junebug, don't worry about it… everything's going to be fine."
I peered into his blue eyes. "You don't really believe that, do you?" I countered. "You're the one who wanted to come in here, just to make sure. What if something is really wrong? What if we can't have kids at all?"
"I don't know, Juno. I honestly don't know."
I paused. Jack was usually one to fight back, to come up with a reason… any reason to make me feel better. For him to be completely out of answers was a first. It made me feel really insecure. I turned around in my chair and glanced at the door anxiously.
"Payne?" a nurse called, walking out the door.
I got up and looked back at Jack nervously. He followed suit and grabbed my hand and together we followed the nurse to the room.
She took down all of the necessary information, weighed us, and asked us a few more questions before assuring us that the doctor would be in with us soon.
Dr. Jain came into the room about fifteen minutes later.
"You didn't tell me this guy was foreign!" I hissed in Jack's ear.
"Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Payne," the doctor said in halted English. I could barely understand him. He kept smiling at me and then at Jack. I wanted to smack him.
"Mrs. Payne, come up on exam table?" he asked.
"Uhh… no thanks. I'd rather have a woman examine my vag, you know? I'm not really into the whole spread 'em wide and peek inside regimen."
Dr. Jain looked at me in confusion.
Jack was trying to conceal his laughter as he spoke. "Honey, Dr. Jain is the best of the best. I think he really does know what he is doing."
"Jack, why don't you ask him to stick that probe up your ass, then?" I said.
Dr. Jain left the room and came back with another doctor. This one was quite noticeably female with blonde hair pulled up into a ponytail. Her name tag said Dr. Vanarsdale.
"Is there a problem I can help you with?" she asked me kindly.
"Yeah," I said. I really don't want some foreign guy I can't understand poke a spec-whatever up my vag. I'd rather have another female do it," I said flatly.
Dr. Vanarsdale's eyes widened a bit before she shook her head.
"Okay, then. Dr. Jain, you can go talk to the patient in Room 413 if you wouldn't mind. She's got a few questions that I couldn't answer."
Dr. Jain nodded.
Dr. Vanarsdale proceeded with the exam. She finished and threw the gloves away and looked back at Jack and me with a sad expression on her face.
"I'm guessing you've figured out what's wrong?" I asked, getting scared.
"I think so," she said. "Mr. and Mrs. Payne, please come into my office."
Jack and I walked into her office and sat down.
"Have you ever heard of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?" she asked, sitting down at her desk.
"No," I said.
"PID is a disease that can affect any of the female reproductive organs. It's a bacterial infection. Have you had more than one sexual partner, Mrs. Payne?"
"No," I said, getting angry. "Of course not."
"I'm sorry, but I'm trying to figure out where you would have gotten the bacteria from. It is sometimes contracted during abortion or childbirth. Have you had an abortion or do you have any other biological children?"
I looked at Jack. He didn't know about the baby I'd given up for adoption. We'd never discussed it. I looked back at Dr. Vanarsdale.
"I gave a baby up for adoption when I was sixteen," I said. I could feel Jack tense up beside me. I grabbed his hand and he squeezed it.
"Mrs. Payne, judging from the extent of the damage to your reproductive organs, it is highly unlikely that you will ever be able to carry a fetus to term. I would suggest looking into surrogacy or adoption."
Her words hit me like a brick to the face. I had never thought I would be faced with infertility. I figured it would be so easy for Jack and I to have a baby whenever we wanted to, especially since I had already had one.
Jack and I went back out to the car and I sat down in the passenger seat, shocked.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Jack asked, looking at me hurt. "We've been married for two years and we dated for four years before that and not once did you bring up the fact that you had given a child up for adoption!"
"I tried blocking it out of my mind. Vanessa was so happy to finally have a child after so long and I was only sixteen… I couldn't have taken care of that baby, Jack!"
"So, somewhere out there, you've got an 18-year-old son, and you don't know where he is or anything…" Jack broke off, looking at me.
"He's not mine. He's Vanessa's. I might have carried him for nine months, but I was in no way, shape, or form ready to have a child. I might regret it now, but at the time, it was the best decision for everyone involved."
"So what are we going to do, Juno?" Jack asked, changing the subject. "Do you want to adopt? Do you want to look into surrogacy?"
"Does it matter to you, not having a biological child? Do you want a child of your own or do you just want a child?"
"It doesn't matter to me," Jack said, at last. "I just want to be a dad."
I nodded. "Then let's adopt," I said. "Let's give a kid a home that needs one."
Jack smiled and leaned over and kissed me.
"Okay, then," he said. "Where do you we start?"
"I have an idea," I said, grinning foolishly at him.
So, I know Juno seems to have lost a little bit of her spunk, but she's a 34-year-old woman now… I didn't see it fitting for her to be running around yelling "home skillet" and stuff.
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