Amelia cannot have kids of her own and begins to ask if surogacy or adoption is an option
| Amelia watched as her best friend Caroline opened gifts, wishing she were the one who was soon to be a mother. “Oh! Rachel, this is so adorable!” Caroline squealed, holding up a blue and green striped onsie.
“Precious!” the other guests chimed in.
“I hoped you would like it, Rachel replied. “I saw it and instantly thought it would look darling on a baby boy. Plus, if your baby has your skin tone, it will look fantastic on him.”
“Well, thank you Rachel. I am sure it will.” Then Caroline set the clothing aside and picked up the next gift. “This one’s from Amelia.” Caroline tore open the gift and gasped in surprise. “Where on earth did you find this?”
“I looked everywhere and finally found a website that sold them,” Amelia replied.
Caroline took out a wool blanket. It was midnight blue with yellow stars and a crescent moon in the corner. Caroline pressed the blanket against her cheek and sighed happily. “Just as I remembered,” Caroline whispered.
“What do you mean?” Laura Smith asked.
“It’s exactly like the blanket I used to carry around with me when Amelia and I were younger,” Caroline answered.
“I thought that any child of yours would love the blanket as much as you did,” Amelia explained.
“Well, thank you so much Amelia. It’s beautiful.” Caroline then stood up slowly with a hand supporting her back and ambled over to her friend to give her a hug. As they embraced, Caroline said to Amelia, “just wait until you have children. You will be a wonderful mother, just as you are a wonderful friend.” Then Caroline pulled away and Amelia gave her friend a small smile. Caroline made her way back to her seat and while she continued to open gifts, Amelia sighed inwardly. Out of the ten women there, Amelia was the only one who wasn’t a mother or soon to be one. What Caroline didn’t know was that Amelia and her husband James couldn’t have children.
It was the summer after junior year of college. Amelia and Caroline had gone to separate schools and Caroline had an internship in New York while Amelia went back home to Pennsylvania. A week or so after finals ended, Amelia started experiencing pelvic pain. After a week of this, Amelia’s mother decided to take her to see a gynecologist.
At the appointment, Amelia was checked out and given a Pap smear test. “Okay, Amelia. We should have your results by tomorrow. In the meantime, I am going to prescribe you some painkillers. Go on home and rest,” the OB/GYN instructed.
Amelia snapped out of her flashback when Caroline announced it was time for games. Suddenly, Amelia didn’t feel well and stood up from the couch. “Hey Caroline? I’m so sorry but I think I am going to head home. I don’t feel very well.”
“Oh! Do you really have to go?” Caroline asked.
Amelia nodded. I’m afraid so. But it was a lovely shower.”
“Thank you. Well I hope you feel better! I will call you later,” Caroline replied, giving Amelia a hug. Amelia hugged her friend back and went to grab her coat.
On her way back home, Amelia began to get teary eyed. She was very happy for Caroline but also couldn’t help being jealous. Soon, Amelia began to sob and had to pull over to the side of the road. She began to take short breaths as she tried to calm herself down, but it didn’t help. Taking out her cell phone, Amelia called her husband.
“Hey babe how was the shower?” James asked when he answered. Amelia sniffed. “Oh God, Amelia. What’s wrong?” Amelia could sense the sudden change of tone in James’ voice.
“I just…I had to l-leave. It was too m-much,” Amelia sobbed.
“I am so sorry baby. I knew going to a shower was a bad idea.”
“It wasn’t the p-party. It was something Caroline said,” Amelia replied.
“Oh boy, what did she say?” James asked worriedly.
“Nothing bad…she just s-said th-that I would m-make a good mother someday.”
“Amelia, why don’t you just tell Caroline the truth?” James suggested.
“I d-don’t know. James, what if she gets m-mad at me? I mean, I didn’t te-tell her then. Why would I tell her six years later?” Amelia asked.
“Amelia, honey. Caroline’s your best friend! I am sure she won’t be mad at you. Listen, do you want me to come home early?” James said.
“N-no…don’t do that. I th-think I am just going to go home and nap.”
“All right, baby. Well call me if you need anything okay? I love you.”
“I love you too. Bye James.”
“Bye, sweetheart.” Then James hung up the phone.
Amelia wiped the tears from her cheeks and started the engine to her car. She got home ten minutes later and immediately went to bed after entering the house. It only took a couple minutes for her to fall asleep.
The morning after her gynecologist appointment, Amelia was sitting at the table eating breakfast. Her father sat across from her with his head buried in the newspaper. Amelia felt on edge because she was supposed to receive her results later that day. She watched as her father took a bite out of his bagel, his eyes never leaving the page. Suddenly, Amelia didn’t feel very hungry and took her cereal bowl over to the sink and dumped its contents. “Aren’t you hungry?” Amelia’s mother asked while making eggs for herself.
“No. Not really. I don’t feel very well,” Amelia replied.
“Oh, honey…are you nervous? I am sure everything will be just fine!”
“You can’t know that, mom. What if there’s something seriously wrong?”
“Amelia, have a little faith. Everything’s going to be okay,” Amelia’s father said, looking up from his paper.
“Yeah…okay dad. Whatever you say. I think I’m just going to…” Amelia didn’t finish her sentence because the phone rang. “Oh God…it’s the OB/GYN!” She could feel a panic attack coming on and had to sit down and take a deep breath while her mother answered the phone.
“Hello?” There was a pause. “Oh, hello Dr. Garreth!” Amelia watched her mother’s face go from happy to horrified in seconds. “Are you sure? Okay…thank you Dr. Garreth. Uh huh…I’ll tell her.” Amelia’s mother hung up the phone and turned to look at her daughter. Amelia saw worry etched in her mother’s face.
“Mom? It’s bad, isn’t it!?” Amelia asked.
“I think you better sit down,” Amelia’s mother replied.
“I am sitting down. What is it mom?”
Amelia’s mother took a deep breath and sat down by her daughter. She took Amelia’s hands in her own and looked Amelia in the eyes. “Amelia…your pap smear came back with some…abnormalities. Dr. Garreth wants you to come in for more tests.”
“T-tests?” Amelia stuttered. “For what exactly?”
Amelia’s mother sighed. “For cervical cancer.”
“Amelia?” James said, shaking his wife. Amelia’s eyes snapped open and she looked up at James. “Amelia, honey…are you okay?”
“Yes…why?” Amelia replied.
“You were crying in your sleep, baby.”
“Oh…um, it was just a nightmare. I’m fine.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Amelia nodded. “ I dreamt that I was back in my kitchen with my mother and father. It was the day after my appointment at the OB/GYN and they had just told my mom that my pap smear had showed some abnormalities.”
“Oh, babe…I’m sorry,” James said quietly. He pulled Amelia into a hug. This made Amelia’s eyes tear up and soon, she was crying into her husband’s shoulder. “Shh, shh. It’s okay baby. It was just a dream.”
“James…I wanted to have ch-children so b-bad when I was l-little! It’s n-not fair!” Amelia sobbed.
“I know sweetheart. I know.” The couple remained in each other’s embraces and continued to rock back and forth for the next hour. After awhile, Amelia’s eyes dried up and she began to cry tearless cries.
A week after Caroline’s shower, Amelia and James were sleeping when Amelia’s cell went off. Amelia jerked awake when she heard the Friends theme playing. She groaned and groggily reached for her phone. Without looking at who it was, Amelia answered the call. “What is it Caroline? Why on earth are you calling at this ho- what? Oh! Okay! Yeah, I’ll be right there!” Amelia had a sudden burst of energy and after hanging up, sprang out of bed.
“Amelia?” James said, woken up by the phone call.
“That was Caroline. She went into labor and Doug is away on a business trip,” Amelia explained. She began to put on clothes while James sat up.
“I’ll come with you,” he said.
“No, it’s okay hon! Go back to sleep. I’ll call you later,” Amelia replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’ll be fine,” Amelia assured her husband. She went back over to the bed and kissed James on the forehead. “Bye!”
“Bye, babe. Call if you need anything.”
Amelia nodded and left for Caroline’s.
Amelia tore into the driveway, killed the ignition and sprinted for the house. Instead of ringing the doorbell, Amelia let herself in. “Caroline?”
“Oh, thank God! I am so sorry to have woken you Amelia! I didn’t know who else to call,” Caroline said, ambling into the room. “My water broke and the contractions are getting closer together!” Amelia could sense the panic in Caroline’s voice.
“Okay, Caroline. Let’s get you to the hospital! Where is your overnight bag?”
Caroline pointed to the bench by the door. “There,” she said.
Amelia went over and picked up the bag. “Okay, come on Caroline!” Amelia ushered her friend out to the car and after throwing the bag in the back, helped Caroline into the passenger seat. Then she walked around to the driver’s side, climbed in and started the car. As they drove, Caroline practiced her Lamaze breathing.
“Oh God, here comes a bad one!” Caroline said.
“It’s okay, Caroline! Breathe! We are almost there!” Amelia said encouragingly. Finally they pulled up to the hospital and Amelia quickly rushed in to get somebody out to the car with a wheelchair. Soon, Amelia came out with a nurse and they both helped Caroline sit down. “All right, Caroline! I am going to park the car but I will be right back!”
“Okay, Amelia but hurry!”
Amelia nodded and went to go park the car. When she found a space, Amelia realized that in the time it took to pick up Caroline and drive her to the hospital, she had not once thought about not being able to have children. “Focus,” Amelia said to herself, and she pushed the thought out of her mind, then made her way back to the hospital. As she walked, she pulled out her cell and called Caroline’s husband.
Caroline had her baby by nine that morning. While her friend slept, Amelia thought about the miracle she had just witnessed.
After arriving to Caroline’s room, Amelia had told her that Doug would try and get the next plane home. An hour later, Caroline’s doctor informed them that she was fully dilated. “Okay, Caroline, when I say so, I want you to push as hard as you can. All right?” the doctor had said. Caroline nodded. “Now, Caroline! Push!”
Caroline began to push and Amelia coached her through it. “Good, Caroline! You’re doing it!” Amelia practically shouted.
“All right, Caroline, you can stop! Good job, you’re doing fine,” the doctor said. “In another minute, I am going to ask you to push again, okay?
It took two more tries before the doctor was able to see the head. Amelia grinned and gently squeezed her friend’s shoulders. “One more big push, Caroline,” the Doctor instructed. With all her might, Caroline pushed and soon a baby’s cries could be heard. “It’s a boy,” the doctor announced.
Amelia felt blessed to have been there for Caroline and now that the birth had been a success, Amelia began thinking again about not being able to have children. Caroline had done such a good job and Amelia couldn’t help feeling upset that she would never be able to do that. Tears began to fall from her eyes and she placed her head in her hands in order to muffle the sobs. “Amelia?” Caroline said, now awake. Amelia’s head snapped up.
“Caroline, you’re awake!”
“Yes, I am. Amelia, what’s the wrong?”
“Nothing, I’m just so happy to have been there for you, Caroline. You did an amazing job!”
Caroline smiled and looked over to where her newborn son lay sleeping. “Thank you. He’s beautiful, isn’t he?”
“Oh, very beautiful,” Amelia replied, returning the smile.
“But you weren’t so bad yourself! Thanks for helping me, Amelia!” Caroline replied.
“Don’t worry about it, I was glad to help.”
“Well I really appreciate it. I just know that when you’re in my position, you will do a fantastic job bringing a child into this world,” Caroline said.
“Yeah,” Amelia said, giving a half-hearted laugh. She looked down at her hands.
“Amelia? What’s the matter?”
Amelia looked back up at her friend. “I won’t be in your position ever, Caroline.”
“Of course you wi…” Caroline began.
“No…no you don’t understand. I will NEVER be in your position,” Amelia interrupted. “I…that is…James and I can’t have children.”
“What? Is he sterile, or something?” Caroline asked.
“Or something. Look, Caroline…let’s not get into this now, okay? You look exhausted and you should get some sleep.”
“No. I don’t need to sleep. Amelia? Tell me why you and James can’t have children!”
Amelia sighed. She really didn’t want to get into this now but knowing Caroline, she wouldn’t let it go until Amelia told her the truth. “James and I can’t have children because I had a hysterectomy six years ago.”