The light from the hallway shone into the room giving off just enough light for Janet to watch her sleeping children from her spot in between the bassinet and crib. Eddie walked in the room and wrapped his arms around his wife, pulling her close. Their daughter sighed in her sleep and pulled her blanket closer. Their son rolled over onto his side kicking his blanket off. Janet pulled out of Eddie's arms and covered their son up.
"Look at our babies." He whispered.
"Shh. You'll wake them." Janet gazed lovingly at their children. "They are perfect aren't they?"
"They are. After everything that we have been through seeing them sleeping here at home makes everything worth it doesn't it?"
"We finally have the family we were meant to have."
"Janet, you are not pregnant." Dr. Harper told her patient.
"That can't be. I haven't had a period in three months. I don't feel right. I'm hot all of the time and I have acne. I haven't had acne in years which are pregnancy symptoms."
"I'm sorry. Your blood tests confirm that you are not pregnant."
"Then what in the heck is wrong with me?"
"You have a condition known as pre mature ovarian failure."
"What the heck is that?" Eddie asked.
"When I got your negative pregnancy results I considered your symptoms and did more blood tests. I ran what is called an FSH and an LH. Those tests allow me to see the status of your follicles or eggs. Your levels came back very low which tell me that you have no eggs."
"I don't understand."
"Every woman is born with thousands of egg follicles. Your FSH and LH hormones will stimulate those follicles to become mature eggs. Your body isn't producing enough of those hormones for your eggs to mature."
"You will never be able to conceive a child."
Tears filled Janet's eyes. She and Eddie had only been married for six months. They weren't even trying for a baby but when Janet missed a few of her periods and had a couple negative pregnancy tests she went to the doctor and now, she was wishing she hadn't. She was only twenty five years old and one of her biggest desires; to have a baby one day; had been torn away from her. It wasn't fair to her or to Eddie.
"Is there a cure?" She managed to ask without breaking down.
"No. I'm sorry. The only thing we can do is treat your symptoms."
"I…we will never have a baby?"
"Not the way you are thinking Janet. One option for you is using an egg donor. Your husband's sperm can be joined with a donor egg and implanted inside of you."
"But it won't be my baby?"
"That's correct." The tears that Janet had been holding back began to fall. "I will give you guys a few minutes." Her doctor excused himself; giving his patient and husband some privacy.
"Oh Eddie." She sobbed. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry."
"Shhh baby. "He whispered. "Shhh. It's not your fault."
"If you want a divorce, I will understand. You deserve someone who can give you a baby."
"Don't be stupid Janet. I said through sickness and health and right now we are in the sickness phase of our marriage."
"But we are never going to have our own baby."
"There are other ways to have a child Janet. We will figure it out. I'm not going anywhere." Janet wrapped her arms around his neck, buried her face in his neck and cried for all that was lost and never going to be.
Over the next couple of weeks Janet read the information the doctor had given her regarding the egg donor and adoption as well as anything on the internet that she could find. She realized that their plans of having a family weren't totally hopeless; there were options. She and Eddie discussed it and decided to wait, like they had planned to and when the time came to start their family, they would revisit these options.
One Year Later
"No Eddie. I am not doing it."
"Aren't you even going to consider it?"
"No." Eddie sighed in irritation.
"Janet you told me that the worst thing about this was that you would never be able to experience a child growing inside of you. This way you can."
"No. I can't have the baby you made with another woman inside of me."
"Baby, it won't be my baby with another woman. It will be our baby inside of you."
"No it won't. It will be another woman's baby." A few tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Another woman's egg, yes but sweetheart you will be the one nourishing and taking care of it. That baby will depend on you; it's mother."
"What will people say when they learn that the baby inside of me isn't mine?"
"It's no one's damn business."
"I…I don't know if I can."
"Ultimately, it's your decision babe and I will support any choice you make but at least think about it okay?" She wiped her tears and nodded. "Promise me. Say it."
"I promise to think about it."
Janet did as Eddie asked. She thought long and hard about what he was asking. One of the options she had was IVF. A donor egg and Eddie's sperm will be fertilized in a dish and then implanted into her uterus with the hope that the fertilized embryo will implant itself. She made a list of pros and cons but regardless of how many pros she had, she wasn't sure if she could get past the fact that she would be carrying another woman's child. Eventually, it was her own words that Eddie reminded her of that helped make her decision. She wanted to experience a child growing inside of her.
"I want to pick a donor that looks somewhat like me." The two of them were at their fertility specialist, flipping through binders of egg donors.
"I really hope the baby looks like you. It will just be too weird if it looks like its mother." She mumbled.
"No matter the baby looks like you need to remember that you are its mother okay?"
"I'll try. "
They spent the next two hours looking through every profile in every binder that they were given. Choosing the woman whose egg they were going to use was a big decision and they wanted to make sure that they made the right one. They finally chose a woman with blue eyes, dark curly hair with an excellent personal and family health history.
"How many eggs would you like to fertilize?" The doctor asked.
"Two." Eddie answered.
"And how many embryos would you like implanted at once?"
"One." Janet told the doctor. There were two reasons why they only wanted one embryo implanted at a time. If the implantation didn't work, they would have a second chance and if it did work, hopefully they could implant the second embryo so their child could have a sibling.
"According to your cycle your uterus will be ready for implantation in two weeks."
"Really that soon?"
"That soon. The only thing we need now is a sample from you Eddie."
"A sample?" He asked, knowing what the doctor was requesting.
"A semen sample." The doctor stood, went to the cupboard, pulled out a sterile specimen cup and handed it to Eddie. "Before you leave today, deposit your sample in here and the next time I see you two, there will be an embryo ready to implant."
"Thank you very much." Janet said to the doctor.
"You are very welcome." Once the doctor left Eddie went and locked the door.
"Care to assist me in obtaining a sample?" He asked his wife with a grin.
"With pleasure." She jumped down off the table and reached out for his belt buckle. This was going to be fun.
"Well?" Eddie asked anxiously.
"Nothing yet. There is still two more minutes." Janet had the fertilized egg implanted a week ago and she was taking her first pregnancy test.
"Really? Two minutes? It's only been a minute. Who knew three minutes could take so long?" Eddie let out a big breath in hopes to calm his nerves. "Do you feel pregnant?"
"I feel the same as I did last week before the implantation but that doesn't mean anything right?"
"I could be pregnant and feel the same."
"I'm no pregnancy expert but I would say that you are right." Eddie and Janet linked hands and waited in silence for another minute and a half. "It's time."
"You look at it."
"Are you sure?"
"Are you coming with me?" She shook her head.
"I'll wait here." Eddie nodded and walked into the bathroom and Janet paced the living room until Eddie returned. The instant she saw his face, she knew the result. "It's negative isn't it?"
"I'm sorry baby."
"It doesn't mean that I'm not pregnant. Dr. Weible said depending when the embryo implanted will determine a positive pregnancy test. All this test means is that the embryo didn't implant right away."
"Are you okay?" Janet bit her lip and nodded.
"We'll try again in a few days."
A few days later, Janet took another pregnancy test and that one was negative as well but Janet didn't allow that to discourage her. She still held out hope that the embryo was implanted but her body just didn't realize that. She didn't give up. Even after a third negative test she would not give up. She wouldn't give up until the doctor himself told her to give up.
"Okay Janet, even though all of the pregnancy tests were negative you could still be pregnant so I want to do an ultrasound."
"How could I be pregnant and have a negative pregnancy test?"
"Your body may not be producing enough Human Chorionic Hormone, which is the pregnancy hormone. At the beginning of pregnancy, you body may not be producing enough of that hormone to come through in your urine and that's why I want to do an ultrasound. So go ahead and lay back and pull up your shirt." Janet did as instructed. As the gel was placed on her belly, Eddie took her hand and they watched the ultrasound screen light up. They stared hard at it but couldn't see a thing which meant nothing since they had no idea what they were looking for or at.
"I'm sorry Janet. The embryo did not implant."
"Why?" Eddie asked.
"I can't answer that. The uterine environment was perfect for implantation. There is no medical reason for not to happen."
"Well than was it something that I did or didn't do?"
"No Janet. It was no fault of yours."
"What is the percentage of the next embryo implanting?"
"If I was going to give you a percentage, I would have given you a 99 percent success rate with the implantation we just did but as you can tell, I was wrong. I can't give you a percentage. With this information and after what happened today, do you still want to implant the second embryo?"
"Honey, it's your decision."
"I want to try again. When can we try again?"
"In two weeks your uterus should be ready for implantation. Do you want to try then?"
"Will the embryo be okay if I wait until the following month?"
"The embryo will be fine. Do you want to schedule for about six weeks?"
"That sounds perfect."
"Okay then. Eddie, Janet I will see you in six weeks."
During the next six weeks Janet read everything she could get her hands on when it came to getting pregnant with concentration on the implanting part. She wanted to be prepared and have every advantage when it came to the next embryo implanting.
"Okay Janet, you know the drill. Lay back and lift your shirt." It had been two weeks since her second implantation and so far all of her pregnancy tests were negative. This time around she wasn't as positive as she was with the previous implantation and expected the ultrasound to reveal nothing like it did before. Eddie took her hand again and they watched the screen but like last time, they saw nothing.
"What? Congratulations?" Eddie gasped.
"Does this mean...?" Janet couldn't finish her thought.
"You're pregnant." Dr. Weible pointed a tiny dark spot on the screen. "This right here is your embryo."
"I'm pregnant? Are you sure? I don't feel any different."
"The proof is right here." Eddie stood up and stared at the screen for a few minute and then he turned back to Janet with tears in his eyes.
"Look Janet, it's a baby. Our baby. We did it." Janet stared at the screen in shock, unable to respond. She thought for sure she wasn't pregnant and now, the doctor was telling her she was.
"That blob is a baby?" She asked in disbelief.
"It sure is." Tears of joy fell from Janet's eyes as the doctor's words finally sank in. She was pregnant. She was going to have a baby. She and Eddie were going to have a family.
"Eddie, we're having a baby." He wiped her tears away.
"We sure are."
Over the next six weeks, Eddie and Janet were living on cloud nine. They tried to keep their exciting news to themselves but it didn't work. Just one look at them and seeing the glow on their faces gave it away. Janet felt great. No morning sickness. She was tired but it was nothing that she couldn't handle. The joy she felt about becoming a mom overcame any fatigue she felt. They couldn't wait until the day the baby would be born.
One morning, when Janet was eight weeks pregnant she was at home, sleeping in because she was working the afternoon, early evening shift at Sully's. Sully had been giving her more late morning shifts which she appreciated because she was really tired which according to her "What To Expect When Expecting" book was exactly what she should be feeling in the first trimester.
When her alarm went off and she officially woke up she knew immediately, something wasn't right. She was wet between her legs and as she knew she didn't wet her pants. She got out of bed and went into the bathroom where she discovered that she was bleeding. Returning to the bedroom she grabbed the phone and called Eddie.
"I'm bleeding." She cried into the phone.
"Bleeding? Do you mean…"
"I need to go to the hospital."
"I'm on my way. I'll be there in about twenty. Will you be okay?"
When Eddie arrived home twenty five minutes later he found Janet on the couch clutching the ultrasound picture of their little baby blob with tears streaming down her face. She didn't even look up when he entered the room. She never took her eyes off of the picture. He went over and sat on his knees in front of her.
"Hey baby, I'm here." He whispered, taking her hand.
"Eddie…I…I lost the baby."
"You don't know that."
"I do know. There was so much blood. The baby is gone."
"Come on; let's get you to the hospital."
A few hours later, Eddie and Janet were back from the hospital. Janet was right. She did lose the baby. The doctors did an exam, determined that the baby passed out of her body on its own. She was given condolences and sent home with some Ibuprofen for the cramping.
"Everybody wanted to come over but I asked them to wait until tomorrow." Eddie explained to Janet. He had been on the phone since they arrived home.
"We shouldn't have told anyone."
"I'll admit, things would be easier if we were the only ones who knew." Janet was lying on the couch. Eddie gently sat her up, took the seat where her head was and replaced the cushion with his lap. "But who can blame us? We were excited."
"I'm so sorry Eddie."
"Don't be sorry sweetheart. It's not your fault. It just wasn't meant to be."
"After the first implantation didn't take, I didn't get my hopes up for the second. I went in for that ultrasound thinking that I wasn't pregnant but then he told me…told us that we were having a baby. He showed us the baby blob and then I got my hopes up. There was going to be a piece of you in this world and nothing could make me happier and now we lost that piece of you. The world will never know the joy of another person the Latekka DNA."
"We can try again."
"I can't Eddie."
"Yes we can. Dr. Weible said that we can try again."
"I know that but I can't do it. I can't go through this again."
"We spent so much money and the only thing we have to show is heartbreak." Tears rolled down her face and landed on Eddie's jean covered leg. "Eddie, I can't do this again." She sniffed.
"I thought you wanted a family." Eddie whispered.
"Aren't we a family?"
"Of course we are. I didn't mean it like that. I meant that I thought you wanted kids."
"I do but not like this. Not again."
"What are you thinking honey?" Janet sat up, wiped her eyes and looked into Eddie's eyes.
"I want to look into adoption. With this egg donor, a baby isn't guaranteed but with adoption, I feel like a child is guaranteed or at least more so than what we just did."
"Are you sure? I want a child any way we can get one but you told me how much you wanted to experience being pregnant. I don't want you to have any regrets."
"This experience has made me realize that it's not the pregnancy that's what I want; it's a child that I want."
"That's what I want to."
"Really? I feel like I am letting you down or disappointing you."
"Really Janet. It's what I want. We agreed to implant two embryos. We did that and it didn't take. If you wanted to try again, I would be game but it's not my body. I'm not the one who had to go through the losing the baby. That was you. If you want to start the adoption process I want to start the adoption process. To me, it doesn't matter how we get our child. I know that I…actually we will love that child no matter how we get him or her." Fresh tears fell from Janet's eyes as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"That's exactly how I feel." She cried into his neck. Eddie tightened his arms around his wife and hugged her tightly. "Thank you." She whispered.