Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chapter 11, The Birds and the Bees

***WARNING!!! My stories often contain strong language, sensitive issues, and, at times, other content that could be construed as offensive. Beliefs and viewpoints of characters are not necessarily the beliefs and viewpoints the Author holds in true life.***

Being married to my Robin was like living in a wonderful, never-ending dream. Robin frequently bought me little gifts and took me out on the town when our work schedules permitted. Family often came for visits. Work was going very well for both Robin and me; Robin wanted to be the Police Chief for Dragon Valley and I wanted to be Executive Chef at the restaurant. The only glitch in our lives was that I still hadn't fallen pregnant within the first year of our marriage.

My eyes welled with tears at the first sign of blood that signaled the beginning of my monthly courses. The pain of the all-too familiar cramping paled in comparison to the ache that was growing in my heart day by day. I was starting to once again feel like the bumbling, inept girl I'd been upon traveling to this modern time.

The very thought of failing my Robin, of disappointing him, brought on a freshet of uncontrollable weeping. It was my duty to present a son to my husband and I had yet to follow through. He had always dome so much for me, given me everything, even saved my life, and I felt woefully inadequate for not yet being able to give him the son he so deserved and needed to carry on his family name.

I must have looked a sight when my Robin arrived home and found me sobbing on the floor. Wordlessly, he pulled me into his arms and I wailed all the more. "Well now, it can't be all that bad." His breath gently blew my hair as he murmured softly into my ear.

"," was all I could utter through my strangled cries.

"Ah," he said, his strong hands caressing my hair and back. "Starting your period has never made you cry before, Alina. Are the cramps hurting you badly this time?"

"No. It's just...I thought for sure that..."

"Ah, I see," Robin said, then breathed out a long sigh.

"I beseech thy pardon, Milord, for I have failed thee. I--" I couldn't continue because another sob stifled me and shook my entire frame.

Robin tilted my chin up so I had no choice but to look at him. "There is nothing to apologize for, Alina. There is nothing to forgive and you did not fail me! Things are different nowadays and women aren't made to feel guilty when a baby doesn't come right away. Sometimes it takes longer for some people, that's all. Like I said before, we'll just keep trying and have fun while doing so. It'll happen in time, I'm sure, but for now, I'm happy with how things are."

"But Robin, you need a son to carry on your name and as your wife--"

"Listen to me, sweetheart. You are everything and more that I could ever want in a wife. You are everything to me, Alina, always remember that. Even if we don't have a child or if we do, the gender doesn't matter. I'm okay with whatever happens. Sure, it would be nice but if we don't, I'm content with that. I have you and that's all that matters." In between his words, he kissed away my tears. When more threatened to come, his arms held me fast. "I mean it, Alina. As long as I have you, everything will be all right."

"I do love you so, my Robin. I-I just never want to be a disappointment or disgrace to you." I touched his cheek, marveling at how blessed I was to have such a kind, generous man as my husband.

"You could never be a disappointment or disgrace, and I love you with all my heart, Alina mine." He put the aforementioned love into a searing kiss and my arms instinctively wrapped around him.

We stayed like that for many long moments until I broke the silence with my next words. "I just wish it wasn't taking so long for me to fall pregnant. My mother managed quite nicely, so I never expected to be barren."

"Sometimes it's just harder for some people. Nowadays, there are ways of finding out if there's a problem that's preventing a pregnancy. There are tests that can be done and treatments for problems we didn't know about even twenty years ago," Robin said.

"Then, I should undergo those tests," I said, squaring my shoulders in an attempt to look braver than I felt. I had no idea what I would endure or if it would hurt, but if they were needed for me to give Robin a son, I would gladly do it.

"If that's what you want, we'll ask your mother to put us in touch with a good fertility specialist. Knowing your mother, she'll know exactly who we should see," said Robin.

"We?" I asked, puzzled.

"Of course. In most cases, both the man and woman undergo testing to try to pinpoint a problem."

"But..." I gaped at him. "I don't understand. Why would you need to have testing when it's the woman who bears the children and gives sons if she is blessed enough."

To my chagrin, Robin threw his head back and roared with laughter. It was the last thing I expected to see and I was vexed that he'd laugh at my confusion. I reckon this must have showed, for he pulled me to him once again and buried his face in my hair. "I'm sorry, love. I wasn't laughing at you per se. It was just--" He trailed off and chuckled. "I guess I never imagined having to explain the birds and bees to my wife but looks like there's no way around it."

"Birds and bees?" I frowned in puzzlement.

"It's just slang, sweetheart. Come here, Alina. There's something I think you need to see." He guided me to the sofa and gave me a gentle push to make me sit. Then, he riffled through the bookshelves and selected a gigantic tome.

"Anatomy and Phys...ah...what is that tome, Robin?"

"Anatomy and Physiology. It's a medical book that explains all about the human body. Now then, let's see what I can find." Robin got comfortable beside me and whistled softly as he turned page after page of the tome. Upon finding what he wanted, he sent a lopsided grin my way. He scooted the tome over so I could easily see the text and illustrations. As he started speaking, I came to understand that I was given a gift that nobody in my original time had ever known about. It wasn't the woman who was responsible for a child's gender but the man! Goosebumps erupted on my arms and shivers ran down my spine. According to Robin's modern day knowledge and this magnificent tome, a woman isn't necessarily to blame when a child does not come. Things can go wrong with both males and females.

"This is a lot to digest, I know, but we can talk about it again whenever you need to," Robin said, closing the book. "Like I said, things are different and people are more enlightened and educated." He gave me that lopsided grin that always made me go weak in the knees.

"I am astounded," I said. "I had no idea."

"Well, now you do." My Robin gave me a loving kiss. "No more talk of disappointing me, okay?"

"Okay," I said, smiling for the first time that day.

We phoned Mother the next night and approached her about my worries. "Robin tells me not to fret and the knowledge he shared with me is astonishing. Still, I worry that I am, indeed, barren," I confessed.

"Oh, darling, I wouldn't worry too much. It's only been a year since you and Robin were married and you began actively trying for a baby. Sometimes these things just take time."

"That's what Robin said, but there are tests," I replied.

"I don't think it's time for that yet. Perhaps you're trying too hard. Stress is a factor sometimes when it comes to conception. Even so, I know how you are when you get a bee in your bonnet."

"Some things never change, even after hundreds of years," I sighed.

Mother's chuckle brought a grin to my lips; she always had a way of cheering me up. The sound of pages turning filled the silence, and I waited for her to resume our conversation. When she came back, she instructed me to write down a telephone number. "Ask to see Dr. Blythe Hughes. Drop Lenora's name and you'll get in immediately."

Robin and I decided to wait a little longer before calling Dr. Hughes. Three more months passed and still no pregnancy.

"I want us to call Dr. Hughes, Robin" I said forlornly as I sank into my chair.

Robin rested his hand on my sagging shoulder, then leaned down to kiss the top of my head. "All right, sweetheart. We'll call first thing in the morning."