Saints and Storks
Summary: "Rosalie and Emmett, childhood friends and high school sweethearts, have been married for five years. They have everything they could have wanted in life, except for one thing – a child. After four failed pregnancies Alice, Rosalie's sister-in-law, comes up with a plan. But surrogacy can come with unexpected complications. Will this experience complete their family, or rip it apart?"
Chapter One: Mommy Knows the Stork
AN: Welcome to my newest Em/R story! Yay! For those of you wondering about the next chapter of NWAF, I promise it's coming. This is just something I managed to type up on my Blackberry after the NWAF file somehow got corrupted. Sigh. It's not been a good year for electronics and me.
Speaking of which, Happy New Year, all! A new story for a new year? Has a nice ring to it, yes?
"Don't touch me."
"Rose," I groaned, releasing her from my embrace as she pulled away. "Don't do this." It was like this every time we got back from the hospital. I could understand why she was so upset; really I could. But it was like she was punishing me, when all I wanted to do was comfort her.
"Not now, Emmett," she said, getting out of bed and grabbing her pillow before leaving the room. I heard the door to the guest bedroom – recently decked out as a nursery after she had managed to carry the most recent child to five months – click shut and sighed. This was the fourth child that we had lost in the last three years. It was hard for Rosalie to get pregnant in the first place, and I was starting to believe that it was altogether impossible for her to carry a child to term.
We had been to no less than five doctors, all of whom had run test after test, prescribed pills, recommended treatments, offered counseling, but to no avail. We've tried everything we could, from tracking her cycle to, most recently, in vitro fertilization. Nothing worked, and each time it was like actually losing a child; one that we had already grown to love and consider a part of our family. It was like that for me, and I couldn't even begin to imagine the level at which Rosalie must be feeling it, given that she had actually carried the children.
I ran my hand through my hair as I picked up my phone to call Alice. She had taken Rosalie to the hospital when she started bleeding at work, but hadn't been able to stay.
"Hello?" she answered in her bell-like voice. At twenty-five, our sister-in-law still sounded like a breathy teenager.
"Hey Alice," I said. "I just wanted to let you know that we're back home."
"Is the baby okay?" she asked and my stomach twisted. I knew she would ask it, but I was hoping against hope that she wouldn't. It was a hard thing to say.
"No," I answered quietly.
"Oh, Emmett, I'm so sorry," she said softly. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Rosalie's not coming into work tomorrow, but I can't take the day off on such short notice. Could you check on her sometime during the day?" I asked.
"Of course. Anything," she agreed quickly.
"Thanks, Alice. Let Jasper know what's going on?"
"Sure," she said. "Anything else?"
"No, thanks. I'm just going to go to bed," I said. "Oh, mention to Jasper that I may need his help this weekend to put the guest room back to normal."
"Okay," she said. "Goodnight, Emmett."
I hit the end call button and fell back on the bed. This shit, this horrible cycle, had to end. I knew Rosalie wanted a family. Hell, I wanted a family. But there had to be a point where it just wasn't worth it anymore.
We could adopt, I guess. But Rosalie was adamant that our child should be, well, our child. That didn't mean that adoption was out, but just that it was a last resort.
Maybe we had reached the point where this wasn't worth it anymore. How many children would we have to lose before we got to keep one? Would we ever get to keep one? How many nights would Rosalie cry herself to sleep in the remainders of a now-useless nursery? How much more strain could our marriage take? I loved Rosalie more than anything, but was love really enough if you go day-to-day in a cloud of misery? I wasn't thinking about leaving Rosalie. I didn't even think I was capable of leaving her. But how much would she take before she left me?
This was quickly becoming a game of risk versus payoff.
I fell asleep with these questions running through my head, and when I finally did, I dreamed that she left me. I sat in our room, unable to move.
In the morning I felt tired, as though I hadn't slept at all.
This had to end, some way.
I parked my car in Rosalie's driveway, my eyes scanning the house for any signs of life. Every window was dark, the curtains drawn shut. I sighed, getting out of the car and walking around it to take Jill, my daughter, from her car seat before walking to the front door, her little hand clasped tightly in mine in case she slipped on the ice on her unsteady toddler-feet. I hadn't really wanted to bring Jill with me today; not because I didn't love her, of course, but because I didn't want to rub her in Rosalie's face. But Jasper's parents were busy and Angela Weber, our normal babysitter, was in school.
I truly felt for Rose. As cold as she could seem, she was one of the most loving people in the world, practically made to be a mother. It seemed unfair that less fitting people could have as many children as they wanted, but Rosalie couldn't. I smoothed Jill's hair as I searched my keychain for Rosalie's spare key. It was a nervous habit, grooming her, just so that I had something to do with my hands.
I wasn't an unfit mother, but I still felt somehow guilty about having a child when Rosalie couldn't. I shouldn't feel that way, but I couldn't help it. I knew, somehow, in the pit of my stomach, that Rosalie would never carry a child to term. I hated that feeling, but it gnawed at me every time I thought about it and in my very soul I knew it was true.
I had managed to have Jill practically the second that I went off of the pill, but Rosalie couldn't have one child in three years? Where was the justice in that?
After I had managed to get the door unlocked, I stepping into the dark house, willing my eyes to adjust. Jesus Christ, it was like night in here. I picked Jill up, deciding not to dedicate an hour to letting her climb up the stairs "all by herself" – she had taken after me instead of Jazz, and she was small for her age, so climbing stairs was difficult – and followed the sounds of the upstairs television to Rosalie and Emmett's bedroom.
I knocked lightly before pushing the door open and peering into the room. The television illuminated the room slightly, casting flickering shadows over the furniture, and as my eyes adjusted further I saw Rosalie's head peeking out from under the heavy down comforter on the bed, her eyes staring blankly at whatever daytime soap happened to be on. I sat Jill down and crossed the room, climbing onto the bed and laying down, resting my head on the pillow beside Rosalie.
"Hey, love," I said quietly. She didn't answer. I felt the bed shift as Jill climbed on as well, snuggling into place between myself and Rosalie. Rosalie stared at Jill for a second, her eyes still appearing unseeing, before she shifted, her arm snaking out from under the blanket and brushing Jill's bangs from her eyes, only the ghost of a smile flickering across her face for a moment before being replaced by that same deadened expression.
"What's wrong, Aunt Rosie?" Jill chirped.
"I'm just very, very sad," Rosalie croaked, her voice hoarse. Jill's hand came up to sweep Rosalie's bangs from her face, returning the gesture.
"Why?" she asked, and Rosalie's eyes flitted to me. I shrugged, not sure how to explain this, either.
"Well, you know how happy you make your mommy and daddy?" Rosalie asked and Jill nodded. "I'd like a baby to make me happy, too."
"So why don't you get one?" Jill asked.
"I can't," she said.
"Why? You just have to call the stork, right?" Jill asked and Rosalie smiled.
"I don't know the stork, honey," she said.
"And your mommy is very lucky."
"I bet she could call the stork for you," Jill said, twisting her head to look at me. "Can't you?" she asked. Like pieces of a puzzle, everything clicked into place. A three and a half year old had just possibly solved the whole problem. Thank you, Baby Einstein.
If Rosalie would agree with it. And that was a big if.
"It's not that simply, Jilly," she said.
"Well," I said, reaching over the two of them for the remote and turning on the Disney Channel. Jill was instantly absorbed into Hannah Montana. I sighed. Not my preference for her viewing material but well, desperate times and all of that. "She may have a point, there," I said to Rosalie. She raised an eyebrow at me.
"Alice," she whispered. "I think this whole motherhood thing is affecting your brain. You're really starting to believe there's a stork."
"No, not that, exactly," I said, rolling my eyes. At least she was joking, no matter how weakly. That was something, I guess. "What I mean is, if you and Emmett can get pregnant, but not carry a baby to term, then maybe someone else could do it for you."
"I don't want to adopt, Alice," Rosalie sighed.
"I know, but this isn't really adoption. It would be your and Emmett's baby, just... someone else would be incubating it," I said.
"Yeah. And think about it. No morning sickness, or swollen ankles, or random people thinking it's okay to rub your stomach... It might actually be nice."
"What to Expect says that carrying the child is a huge part of the bonding process between mother and child," Rosalie argued.
"Oh please, Rose, like you'd love the baby any less," I said skeptically.
"I don't want to trust some random person with the well-being of my unborn baby," she said.
"It doesn't have to be a random person," I said, the idea solidifying in my mind.
"And who do you think is going to—" Rosalie's eyes widened as she understood what I was suggesting. "No, Alice, gross."
"My sister carrying my baby? No, that has to have some sort of weird incest reprecussions."
"You're not using my genes," I said, rolling my eyes again. "Besides, I'm not related to you by blood."
"It's still weird."
"Fine," I sighed, settling further into the bed and reaching for the remote. "Think about it, though? I hate seeing you like this." I changed the channel and Jill immediately started whining. "You want to rot your brain? What did I tell you? If you watch this tripe, your brain will melt and run out of your ears. And if you thought your booster shots hurt, baby, you ain't seen nothing yet."
Okay, so I lie to Jill a lot. But given that the earliest memory anyone in my extended family could come up with took place when they were four years old, so I figured I had a few more months in which I could still make up whatever was useful at the time.
We stayed with Rosalie until Emmett came home, not breaching the surrogacy subject again that day. When I got home and told Jasper about the conversation, he just looked at me for a second and then informed me that he would be taking Jill and living with his parents during the pregnancy if it happened, for both of their safety. Apparently I'm not exactly easy to get along with when I'm blown up to twice my size and can't fit into any of my non-hideous-maternity-style clothes.
"It won't be an issue," he said when I pouted at that. "Rosalie won't agree to it. But it was nice of you to offer."
"I think we should consider it," I said when Rosalie told me about Alice's offer. She still hadn't moved out of bed, except to use the bathroom, but she was at least staying here now that I was home, instead of retreating to the guest room.
"I don't want someone else's baby," she muttered and I raised my head from where it was rested on her stomach.
"Babe, it would still be ours," I said. "It's like in vitro, right? Just, someone else's body. And it's Alice. We know that she can do it. I mean, it's not like it will be her first pregnancy. And Jill turned out pretty well."
"You think Alice, mother of tiny little Jill, can carry your potentially behemoth child?"
"I think it's worth a shot, if she's willing to do it," I said, shrugging and dropping my head to her stomach. "Let's face it, Rose, this isn't working. This could be the only way." Rosalie was quiet for a minute and I raised my head again, thinking she may not have heard me, or even worse, might be angry for what I said. She was chewing her bottom lip, staring thoughtfully at the ceiling.
"Okay," she said finally. "If Alice is really willing to go through with it, I guess we can try it. Once. I'll call her tomorrow."
I smiled, kissing her stomach lightly before moving up to really kiss her. This was our last shot, and I knew it. It had to work out.
AN: Hmm. What do you think? Should I continue, or scrap it? Thoughts?
Can't wait to hear from you!