Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chapter 12, Treatment

***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.***

I was a bundle of nerves as I sat with Robin in Dr. Hughes' office. He held my hand, squeezing it reassuringly. I was grateful for his presence, for I dreaded enduring this alone.

"Mr. and Mrs. McIntyre, the doctor will be in shortly." The brusque voice of the nurse startled me. I gave Robin a weak smile and gulped audibly. 

"On to the slaughter," I whispered, squaring my shoulders in an attempt to be braver than I felt.

"It won't be so bad, sweetheart," Robin said, kissing my cheek.

Dr. Blythe Hughes was a pretty, smiling woman with a kind expression. I shook her hand and arranged my lips into what I hoped was a friendly smile. "Thank you for seeing me right away. My mother said if I mentioned Lenora Landgraab's name, you would agree to see us quickly."

Dr. Hughs' smile widened. "I owe Lenora a lifelong debt. She helped save my life and taught me everything I know about...certain things." She paused before saying the last two words as if pondering a secret she was reluctant to tell.

"We know of your circumstances, Dr. Hughes. Lenora is my aunt and Alina is the daughter of Mathilda Kelly. I'm sure you're familiar with her," Robin said.

The physician's eyes widened, her smile turning into a grin. "Any witch or wizard would have to have lived under a rock if they haven't heard of Mathilda. Of course, I know who you are, now that you've mentioned being Mathilda's daughter." She beckoned us to sit. Although she was still smiling, a look of great concentration came over her face. "Now, why don't you tell me why you're here."

I blushed and looked down at the floor. "I am having difficulty falling pregnant," I whispered and felt tears sting my eyes.

"I see," Dr. Hughes replied. She patted my hand and handed me a wad of tissues. "It happens more frequently than you probably realize. In many cases, a situation can be turned around and a pregnancy is achieved fairly easily. There's no need to be embarrassed or nervous. Let's start from the beginning so I can advise you to the best o my ability."

Haltingly at first, I began expressing my concerns. Dr. Hughes' kindly expression never wavered and with her encouragement, the words came easier. Robin chimed in whenever appropriate and squeezed my hand when I became tearful. Dr. Hughes listened intently, let me ramble, and nodded in the right places.

"Well, the first thing we need to do is give you both an examination. That will often give us a clue as to the next steps we'll need to take," Dr. Hughes said.

Robin stayed with me as I was poked and prodded. I nearly succumbed to embarrassment when the doctor wanted to examine my most private area. "I'll tell you everything I'm doing as I do it," she said, giving me an encouraging smile. "I promise to be very gentle."

Robin endured similar treatment, his cheeks filling with color when he was asked to give a sperm sample. However, he grinned wickedly at me and winked when we were directed toward a room that was, apparently, specifically designed for such things. "Take all the time you need," Dr. Hughes smiled. "There will be a button on the wall to push when you're through. I'll look things over and we'll discuss our options at your next appointment."

I was unsure of what to expect from this aforementioned room, but what I saw exceeded my wildest imaginings. I squawked indignantly, buried my burning face against Robin's chest, and closed my eyes. "Robin, it is indecent! I could never..." There were magazines with scantily clad women, movie discs with men and women in extremely compromising positions, and other things I could not bring myself to view.

To my chagrin, a barrage of laughter escaped Robin. I felt his chest heave with mirth and when I looked up at him, he had that wicked, sexy grin I loved so much. His eyes danced as he attempted to get his laughter under control. "All of this is to get us in the mood," he explains.

"In the mood for what? I mean, if we're to have Bedroom Time, think you we should have it in our own bedroom? This is..." My cheeks flamed again and I groaned helplessly.

He leaned down to brush his lips against mine. "There will be plenty of Bedroom Time for us, Alina, my love. For now, in this room, I'll need to..." He grinned sheepishly and held out some kind of plastic dish for my inspection. "I must ejaculate into this rather than inside you so Dr. Hughes can see if the...uh...swimmers are swimming okay."

I shook my head, then allowed it to flop against his chest. There are things I know I will never understand about this time I now live in. "Do we need to do anything with...?" I made a vague gesture toward the magazines, discs, and other unmentionable items.

Robin tilted my face up so he could look at me. "I think we'll do just fine without the visual aids." His voice took on that husky tone he always had before Bedroom Time. The flame of desire burned in his eyes as he studied me intently. Then, his lips were on mine and I lost track of everything.

The next few months were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I always thought that falling pregnant was so easy and natural, that it came from love if one is truly fortunate. For Robin and me, there was no longer any romance and intrigue to it. Even the act itself was cold and regimented. I endured artificial insemination, numerous examinations, tests, morning temperature taking, and even hormone boosting injections. Not only was I feeling highly depressed but more times than not, I became terribly ill from the hormone injections. We were tense as we waited to see if any of the treatments worked. When they didn't and it became clear, month after month, that I was not pregnant, I dissolved into uncontrollable fits of tears. Robin would always hold me during those awful times, comforting me as best he could. However, in many ways, I began to feel him pull away from me. I reckon I, too, retreated. We slept in the same bed but we no longer snuggled at night. I lay curled in a ball on my own side, my back to Robin. I ceased to smile easily, and there were times I could barely look into his eyes. Regardless of what he'd always said, I knew I'd failed him in the worst possible way a wife could fail her husband; I could not give my Robin a son.

Robin began staying at work late, and I, too, threw all my energies into my job. To me, that was the only thing I had left that I could do well at. As Robin's late work nights increased in frequency, the fear of him taking a mistress took root. The very idea of him being with anyone other than me made me feel nauseous. However, I could not blame him if he did. I was a sub par wife, and perhaps a mistress could give him the son he deserved and needed. Even so, the thought of it hurt more than I could say.

One rainy night, I was feeling even more out of sorts than usual. I was alone when I discovered that pregnancy had evaded me yet again. Surprisingly, I did not weep this time. Mayhap I had no more tears to shed right now. Instead, I heaved a defeated sigh and let the horrible sense of resignation engulf me. There would never be any sons produced from me; motherhood would not be in my future. I was barren and I would have to live with that.

During the fertility treatments, I was advised not to drink. But, what did it matter now? It was over and I desperately needed to drown my sorrows. Robin was out doing Ariadne-knew-what and I was home. I was alone.

I riffled through the bar and found a full bottle of Jameson whiskey. I preferred wine but liked a good shot of harder liquor now and again. I loaded a cocktail glass with ice and poured a generous measure of whiskey over it. "Here's to Alina McInyre and her barren womb," I muttered, lifting the glass in a mock toast. "May she always suffer in Hell." I swallowed a large mouthful, sighing and wincing slightly as I felt the burn make its way to my stomach.

Author's Note: I used Cottonwood Medical Center by Martine for the doctor's office and finagled things around a little to set up what I needed for this chapter.

Blythe Hughes made a couple of appearances in another of my stories, "Forever in Time." We will be seeing more of her in this story as well as "Forever in Time." You can find the link for "Forever in Time" in the sidebar of this blog in the "Other Works By Me" section.