Author's note: I wrote this story as a final assignment for my high school Writer’s Craft class. We were asked... Show full author's note »
A Happy Childhood“Mister and Misses Harrison,” the doctor began, staring down through a pair of rectangular spectacles at a collection of papers in her hands. “I have good news. Looking at your test results here, there are no physical problems permitting you from conceiving.”
“Oh thank God,” Keira sighed as she placed a hand against her throbbing heart. It slowed slightly. “Thank you, doctor.” Her eyes began to well up with tears as her husband removed her shaking fingers from her chest and intertwined them gently in his.
“See, my love,” he said. “There is nothing to worry about. It will happen. It has only been a year. Perhaps it is just not our time yet.”
She looked up at him through a pair of sparkling hazel eyes. She fought with all of her might to avoid allowing those sparkles to leak and fall down her cheeks. Crying in front of people had always made Keira uncomfortable. Gazing at her husband’s confident smile and that adorable dimple it had formed, a wave of pleasant warmth washed over her. Her toes unclenched, her shoulders relaxed and the dizzying feeling in her head began to subside. She discreetly wiped away a tear building in the corner of her right eye and swallowed easily with the realization that the lump that had been in her throat had disappeared.
“Maybe you’re right, Isaac,” she said almost in a whisper. She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. “Our time will come.”
“There could be other reasons why you have not been successful that have nothing to do with your physical health,” the doctor continued. “Factors such as stress or a possible psychological issue can interfere with your chances of conceiving. Unknowingly, you could be telling your body that you are not ready for a baby quite yet. It may not be conscious, but your body responds to these messages.”
“A psychological issue,” Keira repeated as though the words sounded funny on her tongue. “I’m not quite sure I understand.”
“It may not apply to you,” the doctor assured her. “It is merely a possibility. There have been many cases in the past where women with childhood issues have unconsciously prevented themselves from having children. They fear their own children suffering the same fate as they did and thus their bodies keep them from becoming pregnant as a type of defence mechanism.”
“I had a happy childhood,” Keira looked from the doctor, to her husband, and then to the doctor once more. She tossed her curly brown hair over her left shoulder to allow the air conditioning to cool down her burning neck. “I mean, I may not be able to remember much of it but from what I do remember, I was more than happy.”
“Well then it is probably just stress-related,” the doctor stood up, indicating that their conference was over. “My advice to you, Keira, is to take a day or two off from work to relax and recharge your batteries. Perhaps it could help if you stop trying for a while as well. When it comes to babies, people seem to have the most luck when they’re simply enjoying their relationship.” She laughed warmly and escorted the couple to the door of her office. “If you have any more questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call.”
“Thank you so much for your time,” Isaac said as he stepped out into the hallway. Keira followed closely behind him with her hand still wrapped in his. She felt her hot cheeks and wondered for a moment if she could be getting sick.
“Yes, thank you, doctor,” she said weakly.
When they had reached their car, Isaac turned towards Keira. She was focusing on what appeared to be the glove box, her eyes wide as though displaced from reality. The only part of her that was moving was her fingertips against the leather seat.
“Sweetheart, are you okay? Smile, love! There is nothing wrong with us!”
“I know, honey,” she began, placing her hand on his shoulder. “I am thrilled, I really am. I just feel like the reason we don’t have a baby by now, or at least on the way, is because of me. What am I thinking or doing that is keeping this from happening? I don’t understand.”
“Keira, it’s not your fault. Please stop blaming yourself. Do what the doctor told you. Take the day off from work tomorrow. Relax! Enjoy the beautiful weather we are having. I heard it’s supposed to be a scorcher.”
She shifted her focus from the glove box to her husband’s face and forced the corners of her lips to curl into a feeble grin. “Thanks love. I guess I could just leave my exam reviews with a supply teacher tomorrow—give the kids a work period.”
“There you go!” Isaac exclaimed as he pulled out of the parking lot. “We will have a baby someday, Keira. I promise.”