Disclaimers: See Part 1
© 2012 . All rights reserved. This story, or any of its parts, may not be reproduced without the prior express permission of the author.
(Feedback is appreciated)
The first attempt of the insemination was successful. It had all gone well and it did not need to be repeated. Two weeks after the procedure. Karen went in for testing and the test was positive.
“Karen, you are pregnant.” Helena proudly proclaimed. Addy was beaming. Karen was pale as a sheet of paper. Addy came closer and kissed her.
“Are you okay, babe?” “ Helena ? Doesn't she look a little pale?”
Helena took her pulse. “It's just a case of nerves. She's fine.” Talking to Karen, she explained. “It appears that you are very fertile and that we had very healthy, strong sperm. I have to admit that even I was surprised. Sometimes, we have to repeat the procedure several times before we get a positive result. So, this is wonderful news!”
Karen was speechless looking at the women in front of her. Who the hell knew! I'm fertile! Shit!
“So, Helena, what now?” Addy asked, as she continued to look at Karen who appeared to have been paralyzed by some sort of dart.
“Well, I would like to check her next week, after that, if all continues well, you can go home. I will send the medical records to Dr. Tiffany Clarkson who will be looking after you when you return home. She's excellent. You will like her. She's experienced, very good at what she does and is fantastic with first timers because she is very warm and caring. Oh! She is also a lesbian, and lives with her partner of 25 years. We are actually good friends. We went to school together, so I know of her first hand. So, I will schedule you for next week. We'll see you then. Congratulations!”
“Thanks!” Addy was all smiles, while Karen managed to barely grin.
As they left, Addy was exhilarated. Karen was still in quiet mode. Addy was talking, about every possible thing, but the baby. She was trying to distract Karen. She thought that Karen needed time to process and accept the information she had just received. She thought that once they got to the apartment they could talk about what they were going to do next. The last two weeks they had been pretty much homebound because Helena had recommended rest. So they rented movies and taken small walks along the river park in front of their apartment but had not done much else. Yes, they did get in the hot tub and made love more times that was probably advisable, but apparently, the extracurricular activities had not affected the events taking place inside of Karen. This baby apparently took hard to Karen's womb and plenty of love was dispensed in the peripheral areas to reassure that it was very welcome.
Now, that the insemination had been successful, they could maybe get out a bit and enjoy some sightseeing.
On the way home, Addy continued to talk. “I still can't believe it. It's either a miracle or it was meant to happen. I mean, even with all the extracurricular activities we've been having! It's not like we've been careful or anything like that! Who would have thought? I really thought we were going to have to go through this about two or three times before we were successful. I thought that the bed and the mirror were going to be our doom and as it turned out maybe it all actually helped to get your hormones and all the juices flowing in the right direction! I also think this is a sign. This was meant to be! This baby really wants us!”
Karen remained quiet. Addy and her signs! When they got inside the apartment, Karen went straight to the bedroom and landed on the bed belly down and started to cry.
“Ker, what's going on why are you crying?”
“I don't know…..I just need to cry!”
“Okay. Is there anything you want me to do? Anything I can do? Do you want to talk about it?”
“Can I lie next to you and hold you?”
Being in Addy's arms was always comforting for Karen. So she agreed nodding in the affirmative. Addy felt relieved that she was not being totally excluded from this crying event.
She got in bed next to her and held her. “Ker, I want to be part of everything. I need to be part of the good and the bad things. I want to be with you in everything. Please, don't shut me out. I need to know how you feel, if anything is bothering you, and if there is something I need to do to make you feel better. I need to know these things. I don't know what's going on inside your head if you don't tell me. Please, baby, I want to be there with you 100%.”
Karen turned around and hugged Addy. “I'm scared.”
“Oh, baby.” Addy kissed her lovingly and held her tight. “Remember that we are one. We are in this together. Everything will be fine. I promise you. I love you, baby!”
“I know.” Addy gave her a million little kisses everywhere she could set her lips on, while trying to think of ways to cheer her up. “Hey, about this mirror, maybe we should get one for our bedroom.”
Karen pulled away from the embrace. She was all teary but the idea of the mirror had put a spark on her face. “Are you serious?” Karen couldn't help grinning a bit, as she dried the few tears from her face. The bed and the mirror had certainly been a fun addition to their already fully enjoyable activities.
“Sure. I'm all for the mirror, but the only problem I see is what are we going to tell our child when he or she asks why do we have a mirror on the ceiling? That we want to see how we look in our jammies?” Karen began to laugh. Bingo! Karen was laughing again. Addy loved the sound of her laughter. It was a healthy, genuine, heartfelt laugh. Addy was happy to see Karen laugh. Anything was worth seeing her happy. Even having a mirror over their bed!
“Well, you know! Kids will believe anything and when he or she turns 15 or so and starts asking, we'll take it down.” Karen continued to laugh as she talked. Although they never got the mirror for the cottage, they'd always refer to the ‘mirror effect' when they had that uncontrollable urge for each other that took them desperately, and quite often, to bed no matter what time of the day it was. So, Addy's secret signal to Karen when she wanted to leave any particular place due to certain circumstances requiring immediate attention was to refer to her as ‘blondie.' Karen's secret word was any reference to a mirror. Like for example, “babe, we need to go because we need to see about that mirror.”
The following morning the phone rang and it was JP. He and James were also anxiously waiting.
“Hi, JP. I know, James was terribly worried…” Addy was trying to act as her normal self, trying to put off her mind the conversation he and Karen had.
“What? No! Why would you say that? I'm the one who is a pack of nerves here waiting to know if I'm going to be an uncle or not! So, what happened? Did you guys go to the checkup? Is the blonde one pregnant?”
“Very pregnant….” Addy was overjoyed communicating the news.
“Oh my God!! I feel faint, I think I need my salts, Oh my poor baby!”
“JP she is the bathroom right now, so let me tell you before she comes back. Please, be supportive! She is very vulnerable. I think it's a hormonal thing. She is very sensitive, so, PLEASE! Be very careful with what you say.”
“Oh, sure, honey. I will be a darling. But her health? Is she fine?”
“Yes, she couldn't be healthier. She is just emotional.”
“Ker, JP is on the phone. He wants to talk to you.”
Karen rolled her eyes and took the phone.
Addy was apprehensive waiting to see how the conversation developed. .
“Sweetie, congratulations! I hear all went well.”
“Yeah, yeah, all is well.”
“How do you feel?”
“JP I really don't feel any different than before. I don't see the fuss to all this.”
“Oh well, I guess that's a good sign. Well listen, I have to go, I just wanted to know that you were well and I will let James know the good news. Now, you take good care of yourself! By the way, when are you guys coming?”
“I think we are going to stay for at least another two weeks. Addy wants to make sure that everything continues well before we leave. I'd leave tomorrow, I can't wait to get home, but ‘Miss making sure of everything' here thinks we need to stay a little longer so we will.”
“Okay, hun, we'll hold the fort here for you guys. Don't worry about anything. Good night.”
Addy looked at her and smiled.
“I don't remember ever having such a short conversation with JP, or so serious and to the point. He didn't mock me or criticized me or verbally abuse me! I wonder what's wrong with him?”
“Maybe he had a long day and is tired. I know I have. I think I'm going to bed. How about you?”
“Yeah, I'll be there in a minute, let me get some chocolate milk.” Karen suspected that JP kept the conversation short on purpose. Had they been on the phone longer, it might have given her a chance to go into subjects he didn't want to address at the moment. Karen also knew that James was home now and was not going to put him in the spot of asking him questions on the very delicate subject.
When Karen came to the bed, Addy was still awake, waiting for her. “He didn't say much did he?”
Karen got in bed snuggling to Addy. “He's a smartass. He didn't want me getting into his business, plus James was there. Son of a…” Addy hushed her with a kiss. “Happy thoughts, baby, happy thoughts.”
“I have a very happy thought, want me to tell you?”
It was Addy who was now laughing. “Noooo, I think I can see it in the mirror!”
“And do you like what you see?”
“I love what I see.”
“Me too and I want to see it all,”
Back in Scotland , JP was communicating the happy news.
“What's going on?”
“A miracle, James, a miracle! Karen is pregnant!”
James was really happy. “Wow! Those two are amazing.”
“To be honest, I didn't think it would happen. I thought they would be disappointed if it didn't happen, but I really didn't think it was going to happen.”
“Why? Because Karen is not so young anymore?”
“Oh no! Karen is a very healthy woman. I'm not surprised that it happened. I'm surprised that it happened so quickly. Most of all that Karen went ahead with it. Please don't tell them I thought that, but I thought that at the very end, Karen wouldn't do it.”
“You don't think she'd make a good mother?”
“No, it's not that. It's just that I never thought of Karen pregnant. I still don't know how this happened! I think these nine months are going to be very difficult for those two. Let's hope they can make it through. I fear that a pregnant Karen is going to be one tough cookie. I hope there's enough love there to hold them together.”
“JP, you are being negative. I agree that a pregnant Karen may be a bit over bearing, but aren't all pregnant women? I also know that Addy is going to handle her well and that they will survive Karen's pregnancy. They are a strong couple and have the kind of love that keep people together. I think they have an amazing relationship.”
The week passed uneventful. Karen was as good as ever. She even wondered if she was pregnant at all. “Maybe they made a mistake. I feel as I always do. Nothing's changed.”
They went sightseeing and they dined out and took strolls in the park and rode the river cruises and entertained themselves thoroughly in the city. At night, they'd retreat to their condo and spent the nights between the hot tub and the mirrored bed. They were really enjoying their time together there.
A week later, Karen got her clarification. “Everything is well. You are ready to go home if you wish.”
“ Helena , we talked and decided to stick around for a while longer, so we would like to make an appointment for the next two weeks, just for our peace of mind.”
“Sure, no problem.”
The appointments were made and the women remained in the city as planned. Karen had her two checkups and when everything continued to be well. Addy agreed that it was time to go home.
Even before leaving Stockholm , Addy had arranged the appointment with Dr. Tiffany Clarkson. They took a cab home and the cab driver helped Addy bring their luggage upstairs, amidst Karen's protest claiming that she could do it. Addy stopped her flat, telling her that she should not be lifting heavy stuff and that there would be no arguing over the matter. Addy tipped the cab driver handsomely and thanked him for his help. Karen sat on the sofa, not too happy.
“Look at you, poor thing! What a miserable life when people try to make life easy for you, bummer of a life!”
“Funny, Adriana. I do not intend to make my present condition some sort of handicap! I need to feel useful.”
“And you think you aren't? Who's having this baby? You are, right? My job is to take care of you and be there 100%, remember? So, let me do my job and you do yours.”
Sometimes Addy's statements made sense and left no room for any reasonable reply. Karen knew when the carpet had been pulled from under her feet. She made a funny face and remained seated while Addy opened the curtains and blinds to let some outside light in. She then went upstairs and started to unpack.
While upstairs, she heard Karen on the phone. She was talking to JP. Addy couldn't hear well and she made no effort knowing that Karen would fill her in later. After the conversation stopped, she heard the TV go on. Addy continued her unpacking.
“Addy, where are you?”
Addy answered from the staircase. “Upstairs, I decided to unpack, and relax later.”
Karen knew that Addy was kind of compulsive and had to get stuff out of the way or else she wouldn't have peace of mind. “Do you want me to help, or is that also too much work for a pregnant woman?”
Addy smiled. And the games begin! “I'm almost done, honey, you know I'm quick. I'm going to unpack your stuff also. Do you mind?” Addy was all out to please her pregnant partner and she was going to be very pleasant about it too.
“No, knock yourself out!”
Addy chuckled. She knew Karen didn't mind, but she had always been like that, never wanting to get into other people's things without their permission. And on this particular case, she was trying to keep in mind that when women are pregnant they become very emotional and that some things that were immaterial before could, all of a sudden, acquire an exaggerated degree of importance. So she was being very careful regarding Karen's emotional state.
When Addy finally came downstairs, Karen told her about the phone conversation she just had. “That was JP on the phone. Come here, Addy. There are some developments we must talk about.”
Addy had a serious look. So, did Karen.
“It appears that James moved out of the manor.”
“Yeah, he just called me. He would rather talk to you, but wasn't sure in your present condition whether you should be drawn into it.”
“Shit! Is everyone going to be treating me differently? I'm not disabled, I'm just pregnant!” All of a sudden upon realizing what she had just said her eyes became two gigantic pools.
“Oh, baby…” Addy hugged her. “We all love you and don't want to stress you out.”
“Well, these two idiots didn't get the memo and aren't doing their part!” She was drying her tears with her hands. Addy got up and brought some tissue from the bathroom and handed them over to her. I better buy extra boxes and have them all over the house.
“Thanks. Addy, on the JP-James matter, I cannot look the other way and let this work itself out. I have to talk to the two of them separately.”
“I know. I could, but it wouldn't be the same. Do it. I think it would be worse for you if you didn't.”
“Thanks for agreeing. Can you, please, call James since he called you and tell him what you just told me? I'll go see him tomorrow morning around 10? I'll call JP to tell him that I'll see him at 1.”
“Ker, can I go with you? I'll stay outside. I just….well, I don't want to be concerned about you.”
“Okay, Addy, but I hope you don't plan to follow me around to care for me 24/7 for the next nine months! I think that if you do, we might be getting on each other's nerves. I mean, most women survive pregnancy, don't they?”
Most do, hopefully me too! Addy smiled. “Yes, silly. I don't plan to follow you around all day. It's just that this is kind of an emotional situation for you and I need to know that you are going to be okay.”
“Alright. I just feel that I need to handle this.”
The next morning they drove to the distillery. They went upstairs to where the office was located. Karen went inside the office while Addy waited outside.
“Hi Karen, how are you feeling? You look great.”
“I'm fine James. Let's not beat around the bush and talk. What's happened? And, by the way, I have not talked to JP yet. I want to hear your side of the story first.”
“Well, there isn't much on my part. Some guys came in here some time ago and he started to flirt with this one guy. I think they've met after that. I brought it up and he denied everything, of course, but I know he was lying and I left. Frankly, I don't have to put up with it. I have options too. I've just been content with my life up until now.” He took a deep breath before he continued.
“As things are right now, I would like first to apologize to you for all this coming up now that you and Addy are to become parents. Second, I would like to ask you to look for someone else to take my place here in the distillery. I will be here as long as you need me to, but I must go. Being so close to him is not going to work and I know you and JP go back a long way, and well, I'm the one who has to go. I know, and I'm not going to make it hard on you. I'm already terribly sorry and embarrassed that this had to come up now of all times, when you are expecting. I just needed to talk to you because you are his friend and I felt a personal responsibility to you as his friend. I can talk to Addy about any matters concerning the distillery. You don't have to concern yourself with any of it.”
Karen remained calm. Addy was stunned. Even though she had remained outside, she could hear the conversation. Karen, the eternal, calculative mind, had already thought of all possible scenarios and was ready with her answer. “James, if this is a resignation, I don't accept it.” Outside Addy opened her eyes and listened attentively to what this wonderful woman would say. That was for sure a great opening.
Karen continued. “You've done a wonderful job here at the distillery and you love your job. So you are not going anywhere. As for what you said about me and JP, yes, we do go way back. However, if he has screwed up, he is the one who has to go. You really don't think that Addy and I are going to condone unacceptable behavior, do you? We are getting ready to raise a child and we need people of good moral values. If he has failed you in the manner you describe, he does not qualify to be around.”
Needless to say, James was stunned. He was almost choking trying to control his emotions. As per his own retelling later in life, this was a defining moment in his relationship with Karen. He thought the world of her. And his loyalty and love for her tripled after that day. She became more than a friend, she was family. She gained his eternal respect as a true person of moral character. Indeed, if he ever thought Karen would make a great parent, this moment had ratified that belief for him.
He was not the only one astounded. Addy couldn't believe her ears either. Karen's solidarity with James over her friendship with JP was a confirmation that the woman's character was above and beyond all expectations. Karen never ceased to amaze her. She was handling this in an admirable way. Addy felt an enormous sense of pride for the woman who was her partner in life and the mother of their unborn child. Not that she wasn't proud of her before, but as life revealed itself to her every day, she was convinced that she was lucky to be with a person of such caliber. There was indeed no better person on earth. She couldn't possibly love this woman more. Isn't that what she tells me all the time? Addy smiled.
James was the one talking now. “Karen, I don't want to be the cause of a rift between you and JP. You've been friends for a long time.”
“So have you, James. And you have my complete confidence as well as Addy's, and our love. Please, don't go. Let's try and fix this. Let me talk to JP and see what is going on with him. If he has screwed up, James, I wouldn't ask anything of you, this I promise.” She smiled because a thought crossed her mind -- how could their child not sound like Addy? When even she was beginning to sound like her!
James was ready to cry at this point. Karen came and hugged him.
“Maybe there's nothing going on and it was a flirt. Let me get to the bottom of this.”
“Alright, but I promise you nothing. He's hurt me.”
Karen lowered her head. “I can't tell you what to do. But, I think that if you love him, you should not walk away. I'll see what I can do. I'll call you.”
Karen came out and didn't see Addy. Addy had already gone downstairs. Karen went down and found her talking to some of the employees and sipping some Scotch.
“I leave you alone for a minute and here you are in the company of Mr. Scotch!” Karen mocked. Everyone smiled because they knew that Addy was no drinker.
“Sorry, babe, I was sampling the merchandise. I'm sorry you can't have one. Would you like some juice or some water?”
“I need a double of whatever you are drinking! Let's go home and have some lunch. Let me drive. I don't know how many of those you've had and I don't want the constable stopping us.” She grinned, knowing that she had ticked-off Addy. All the employees in the tasting room were chuckling as well. They were used to the women's banter.
“I swear I've only had the one. I am perfectly capable of driving!”
“Yeah, yeah, that's what they all say.”
Again, there was a chuckle all around. George, one of the attendants spoke. “I'll vouch for her, Ms. Larsen, she's only had the one in her hand.
Karen rolled her eyes. How is it that everyone is always on your side? “Goodbye, George!” Karen said as Addy waved goodbye to him. George was grinning. He really enjoyed the twosome. They were nice, fun and beautiful. What was not to like?
Addy was walking right behind Karen. “Ker, I hope you are not serious thinking that I've had more than one! You know that I'd have to lie down if I did!”
Karen stopped, smiled and put her arm around Addy's waist. “Hum, maybe we should go back so that you can have that second one!”
Addy smacked her on the arm. “Joker! Come on, I'm starving.”
“Yeah! I think this kid is beginning to demand nourishment.”
They got in the car and left.
“Aren't you going to ask me what happened?”
“No. I heard part of it.”
Karen gasped and kept her mouth open while smiling. “You were eavesdropping?”
“Couldn't help it. Those walls are pretty thin. We are going to have to do something about that. I had to leave, though. Couldn't hear any more. I was ready to cry. Not for them, but because I felt so very proud of you.”
Karen smiled. “Addy, I will do the right thing. James is a decent man and a very astute business man. He runs the distillery like an army, and loves what he does. I will not allow JP….to mess things up for James or for us. I'll try and get his side of the story, but I know him and I smell a rat!” During the course of the years in Scotland , James had gone back to school and had finished a Master's degree in Business Administration. He loved his job at the distillery and was a shrewd businessman. He had taken the distillery to new levels and the women had great respect for his business savvy.
“Ker, be careful. Consider the possibilities and remember what you told me about Mary and Carol. Maybe if JP applies himself, James will forgive him.”
Karen looked at her. “Who are you? Am I talking to Adriana Marcos, or who the hell are you?”
“Repeating your own words, they are not us. We don't know what they would ultimately do. Personally, you know where I stand. The unforgivable is hitting and cheating. With them, I don't know the standard. That's for them to decide.”
“You scared me there for a second. I thought you were slipping!”
“No. There are some things in life that are sacred and that I don't allow messing around with. I think you feel the same way.”
Once at home they made lunch, ate and set off to meet JP. Before getting out of the car, Karen stopped. “Addy, this is not going to be pretty. I'm going to slam him and curse him.”
“You do what you have to do, but don't upset yourself too much. Remember our baby.”
Karen nodded. “This child is going to be fire proof.”
Karen took off ahead. Addy followed with a resigned look. Yes, if this kid survived all of this, and all they sex they had in Stockholm , it probably had pretty good odds! When they got to the Manor house, Karen went into the office and Addy stayed outside.
“Hi Karen you look good!”
“Don't you ‘hi' me! What the fuck is going on with you?” Outside, Addy open her eyes, in fear, when she heard the expletive. Karen had a certain gift to use the word in a very effective manner.
“Oh my, this is how it's going to be? You displaying your best language?”
Addy closed her eyes. No this was not going to be pretty.
“JP, I didn't come here to hear you talk, or to ask for reasons. I'm here to do all the talking. Sit down. This is not going to be like the old days, exchanging notes on love conquests. This time I don't give a dam if you slept with another guy or not, in fact, if you did, I don't want to know. I want that to be very clear. You know why I don't want to know? Because it would break my heart to know that you've betrayed James.” Karen paused. She almost became emotional and had to stop.
“James is the most decent man I ever met. I rank him up there with my own father. He's probably better because he has not resorted to alcohol to drown his sorrow. I talked to him this morning and he offered me his resignation.”
“Oh my God! He has taken things totally out of proportion! And he thinks I'm dramatic!”
“Oh, shut up and listen! I did not accept it. He wants to leave because he thinks it will be unbearable for him to work so close to you and he does not want to put me and Addy in the position of having to choose between you and him, thinking that I would choose you over him because of our friendship. I told him not to concern himself with that because if it was true that you were the one fooling around, I'd ask you to leave.”
JP was very serious now. In fact, he was in shock.
“JP, the fooling around days are over. That part of life is over. I thought that you had reached a point in your life where you had finally recognized that you are never, ever in your life going to find a better man than James. If you are so stupid and can't see that, then you have only yourself to blame for your predicament. Addy and I are going to be having a baby now. We are looking forward to raising this child in a home with love and good moral values. If you cannot fit into what is required here, you are the one who needs to leave. You have a life here with James and with us, but if this is not what you want, think long and hard, and at least have the decency to break it up with him and to not break his heart or ours. Like I said, I'm not going to ask if this is true or not, all I ask is that you think and make a decision and that when you do, you stick to it.” She paused.
“You have the opportunity of a great life here, or you can continue with your old habits and go back to your former lifestyle. If you decide to stay, fix things. I don't know what you need to do! Beg, humiliate yourself, cry, whatever it takes, but do it! Also, if James was ever to take you back, get yourself tested. Make sure you didn't catch something that you might give to him. Personally, I think you deserve whatever comes your way, but he is too great of a guy and deserves much better. In fact you are lucky he ever laid an eye on you. He is, by far, a much better man that you are.”
JP was sobbing. Karen had blasted him with all she had and had definitely had the expected result.
“I don't want to see you again, if you don't fix this!” Karen started to walk out and opened the door.
“Karen, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.”
Karen didn't say a word. She couldn't. The knot in her throat was choking her. Addy had overheard everything and was in tears outside. Karen passed right by her, still unable to speak. She had to move fast and out of there before she broke down to cry. She didn't want JP to see her cry. Addy followed her with a quick step.
They quickly got in the car, Addy was driving. As soon as Addy pulled out of the Manor's driveway, Karen broke down to cry. Addy was also in tears. She pulled to the side of the road because she couldn't see well enough to drive with all the tears, and she also wanted to comfort Karen.
“Mother fucker! He is such a slut! I'm sorry Addy, I just need to get this out of my system.”
“I know, hun, I know.” They were hugging and crying on the side of the road. After a while, they calmed down some and Addy started the car.
“Are you good to drive?”
“Yeah, I'll get us home.” Once she started the car, Addy took Karen's hand in hers
Once in the cottage, Karen sat on the sofa very quiet. Addy came and held her. “Do you think it's true?”
“I know it's true.”
“You didn't give him much chance to say anything.”
“Addy, an innocent man defends himself. He didn't even deny it.”
Addy's heart sunk. She realized Karen was right.
“I know him, too well.”
“Well, will see what he decides to do and if he chooses to stay whether or not James comes back to him.”
“Yeah, it will be his choice.”
“I feel terrible. I'm sure not bringing much to our family! My blood relatives are the scum of the earth and my adopted family member seems to be a screw up as well. Geez, it seems like you are the only good thing in my life! That reminds me that when we go see Mr. Kimbell about you adopting the baby, I need to make very clear that this baby is yours if something happens to me and if something happens to both of us together, this baby goes to your side of the family, Laurie or Joey. I think it's amazing that I don't have a single relative I could trust our child to! Of course, we need to ask them first.”
Addy took her hand and kissed it. “Sure, baby, don't concern yourself with that now. Everything will be well. Why don't we go in the hot tub now and relax a bit? Or would you rather a bath upstairs?”
Karen grinned. “You and me, hot tub and then a bath?”
Addy looked at her with that look Karen couldn't resist. Her left eye brow raised, the sunshine smile and as if not enough, the killer wink. “Come on, sexy, show me what you got. Let me take care of you.”
Karen was almost tripping over the furniture. Oh my God, I'm tripping over her!
The whole JP/James debacle was put on the back burner. For now there was a more impending matter, Karen's first obstetric appointment.
They both went to the appointment. Dr. Tiffany Clarkson was a woman in her early fifties. She was a tall, built woman with red curly short hair. She had hazel eyes, big teeth, freckles and a big sweet smile. And as most of Gerry's recommendations, she belonged to the sisterhood. Why go someplace else when we have the best and the brightest in the family? This is what Gerry used to say regarding her lesbian list of doctor friends.
Indeed, Dr. Clarkson figured amongst the best obstetricians in the country. She was also a very jovial woman, and the women immediately liked her. It was one of those first impression things. Addy was extraordinarily happy. She thought that it was important to have a good relationship with your doctor.
She first took them to her office before examining Karen. “I like to get to know my patients. So which one of you is the pregnant one? Don't get to ask that question much!” She laughed loud and contagiously. Oh no! Another Isabella Ludwig? Isabella was the former owner of the winery. She had a loud contagious laugh that made you laugh even more. Addy and Karen spent endless hours with her talking about wine and places they've been to.
The women felt completely at ease with the doctor and were also laughing. Karen was the first one to speak. She felt relaxed. “Well, I didn't want it to happen this way, but I'm the pregnant one.”
Dr. Clarkson's face immediately showed signs of worry. She leaned forward on her desk and frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“I was more inclined to adopting at first…I didn't want to go through the pregnancy thing.”
“So, how come you are the pregnant one? Why are you having this baby?”
“She sort of talked me into it.”
Tiffany frowned. She was looking through her file. “You were artificially inseminated.”
“Yes, I was inseminated. But I'm having this baby for her.” Karen pointed to Addy while grimacing.
Addy grimaced, as well. “So why aren't you the one having the baby if it's you who wants it?”
“Can't. Menopause. I already have two grown children. This has to be her baby, it's for her I want it. And for us, of course.”
Dr. Clarkson looked confused. It was Karen's opinion that Addy could confuse anyone easily. Karen often looked at her mesmerized at how she could turn a simple situation into the most obscure event ever to be comprehended. This time the web was not so thick, but they seemed to have lost Dr. Clarkson already. However, she was not one to remain confused.
“So let me see if I understand the situation here. You are having this baby for her.” She first pointed to Karen and then to Addy. “And you want this baby for her.” She first pointed at Addy and then to Karen.
She leaned back on her chair. “Hum, every time I think about retiring because the job is getting boring – you know delivering baby after baby, after baby – I get a case that makes staying worthwhile. You guys may be the ones keeping me around a while longer!” She waved her hand in front of her pointing at them both. “Sounds like this might be an interesting one.”
Addy's heart went out to the obstetrician. You have no idea how interesting this is going to be! Karen's thoughts must have been the same because they were both smiling.
“So the bottom line is that for whatever weird reason, this baby is wanted by both of you. Am I correct?”
“Yes.” Both women answered in unison, as if orchestrated.
“Hum.” Dr. Clarkson seemed to be enjoying the conversation. One would have thought that her reception area was not as crowded as it was considering that she seemed totally unconcerned about whatever time she was taking with them.
“So, Addy, is it?”
“Why do you want Karen to have this baby?”
Addy explained to her the whole ordeal of the accident and that she wanted Karen to have someone else in her life besides her. As Addy spoke Karen was rolling her eyes and nodding her head. Dr. Clarkson continued to observe the women's demeanor.
“So Addy, you said you have children?”
“Yes. I was married before I met Karen. Have a boy and a girl, both in their twenties. I married young.”
Dr. Clarkson smiled. As if figuring out that this case was getting more interesting by the second. “Hum, you were married before you met Karen?”
“Yes, to a man.”
Dr. Clarkson almost choked trying to contain a laugh. She couldn't help it. The women looked at each other with amused eyes.
“I'm sorry, but you two are…..how may I say this, different? Unique? I just need to clarify something – you found out that you were gay after you had two grown kids?”
“Oh, I still don't know if I am!”
Dr. Clarkson looked more than amazed. “Oh?”
Karen covered her face to hide her smile, also looking away from the doctor's face as if to prevent a laughter attack as well. Addy smiled shyly.
“ Look Dr. Clarkson, I don't lose sleep at night trying to figure out if I'm a lesbian or not. I don't believe in labels and I certainly don't need one for us! All I know is that no other woman has ever interested me and that I'm in love with this one.” She pointed to Karen who was still grinning. “And this is not an overnight thing. We've been together for over four years now. We love each other, have a civil partnership, and have a great relationship including great sex.”
This was when all hell broke loose. Tiffany just couldn't keep it in anymore. She had a brief abandonment of professionalism and burst in laughter. Karen opened her eyes to Addy as if telling her to shut up. But neither could help smiling and laughing as well. The laughter was such that that one of the nurses came in to check on them to see if all was fine and to remind her of her other appointments.
“Yes, yes Martha, we are fine, go away. This is too good to cut short.” She continued to laugh and waved the nurse away.
At this point, Karen intervened. She thought that the voice or reason had to make some sense of this whole situation. As Dr. Clarkson was drying tears from her eyes, Karen attempted to explain.
“Dr. Clarkson, before you send us to the psychiatrist on the 5 th floor. Let me….”
“Wait I just need to know this, you are a lesbian right?”
“Yes, and I've known since I was 15 years old. The most important thing here, Dr. Clarkson is that we love each other and that we want this baby.”
“Oh dear, you don't have to tell me that! I've known that since the moment you set foot in my office. However odd you are, you two seem to be very much into each other and you appear to get along great and from what Addy says, fireworks must go off in your bedroom very often. I think you guys have become my favorite patients! This is going to be a fun nine months! So why don't I call the nurse so that she can prep you and I can have a word with Addy while you get ready?”
The women looked at each other wondering if this was how she operated and Karen went off with the nurse as soon as Dr. Clarkson buzzed for her.
“By the way, you should call me Tiffany and I will say that you came very well recommended. Gerry and I went to med school together.”
The women smiled.
“So Addy, anything you need to tell me about your partner that she didn't say and I should know?”
Addy did not hesitate. “Yes. She's a bit of a hypochondriac and she will be unbearable for the next nine months.”
Tiffany laughed. “I like you Addy. You are of one of those very sincere people, an open book type. So thanks for telling me about the bit of a hypochondriac thing, the unbearable part I was going to tell you about. It doesn't get any easier with the progression of the pregnancy, as you know. And the fact that she's not thrilled with the idea of the pregnancy will not make it easier on you. It's actually you I'm worried about.” She smiled. “I can tell you'll do well because you seem like a very patient, loving person and know her well. I'm going to give you literature to look up so that you can refresh yourself on the happenings of every trimester. You know of all the hormonal changes and the crying and the mood swings but it's good to refresh your memory. Are you coming with me in there?”
“Let's ask her, if she wants me there. But just to put you at ease, as you said, I know her well. She's reluctant to the pregnancy because she is scared. She never thought herself going through this and she also thinks she's too old. Tiffany, I know she will love that child. Trust me on this one.”
“I believe you, Addy. I just wanted to make you aware of the mood swings and all that fun stuff.”
“I know, and I thank you.”
“All right. Then let's go in the examining room.” They both walked in.
“Karen, do you want Addy in the room with us?”
“Of course! She's the reason I'm here! She's not getting any free pass.”
Tiffany looked at Addy, with a knowing look as if confirming the demands of the task ahead.
Addy smiled. She was ready for the incoming avalanche, and Tiffany got her message as well.
Dr. Clarkson found everything in order. She ordered some tests, scheduled a sonogram and prescribed multi vitamins, calcium and gave them the whole prenatal care speech. Two hours later they were leaving her office.
When they left, Karen was driving. “Let's get some lunch, I'm famished.”
“Okay, what are you in the mood for?”
“Ummm! Thai, why don't we find a Thai restaurant in the GPS?”
Addy did some searching and one showed up. The restaurant was really nice and with a normal lunch crowd. They had spring rolls and shared a plate of drunken noodles and for dessert they shared sticky rice with mango, Addy loved it and Karen enjoyed watching her eat it because every time she'd put a bite of food in her mouth she'd go “Ummmm!” Karen nodded and grinned, as she ate. Even eating was fun with this woman.
To be continued in Part 4
Return to the Academy