Samantha Redstreake Geary’s Picture Choice: Both
We’d tried to have a baby...seven times. Although, Andy only knew about the first four.
I stopped telling him about plus signs when they stopped being a positive.
I’d traveled through the realm of traditional medicine with nothing but a bundle of blue bills and pink slips. Years passed with nothing but dust collecting on the pastel pieces of our neglected nursery. Andy was losing patience with procedures. I was losing my mind.
I walked away from my last appointment, heart crumpled and torn like the latest test results I’d shoved in my bag. A sympathetic nurse passed me a form on my way out the door. I shook my head. I was done. I couldn’t survive another disappointment.
“Trust me. This is...different,” the woman whispered.
I read through the tiny block print, my head swimming in legal jargon. I flipped the page and there, in bold were words I’d never seen in the mountains of painful paper.
A week later, I was donning a familiar flimsy gown, sitting on a starched linen cot waiting for the inevitable barrage of tests. The underground lab was cut from slick stones, its polished surface surrounded by glass. Slippery silver gadgets were strewn across stainless steel tables. A cylindrical column of water, akin to an aquatic tank, pulsed with a blue glow.
A swarm of white coats marched in, scattering like ants to their assigned posts. Between the impressive technology and sheer manpower, it felt as though a shuttle mission was underway, not an experiment in fertility.
I was escorted into the water chamber, its warmth enveloping me up to my neck. I never had a spa treatment before--this was new. Slowly, a tingling sensation rippled across my skin. The currents skittered along my nerves, its intensity increasing, sharpening into stabs of pain. The light quivering in the water grew brighter, its tendrils reaching, stinging like a sea of jelly fish.
Something was wrong.
A scream clawed its way up my throat moments before I surrendered to darkness.
“Aiden! We’re gonna be late!” I yelled upstairs, running behind as usual.
Aiden came stumbling down the stairs, his hand rubbing furiously at his right eye. “Mommy, my eye feels funny.”
“Lemme see, kiddo,” I picked him up and sat him on the kitchen table. Brushing aside his moppy hair, I peered into his eye.
My breath caught.
“Is it bad?” he asked, lips trembling.
His iris was flooded in pulsing liquid silver. They told me this might happen. I thought we had more time. I thought...God help me...
I hugged him close, inhaling the coconut smell of his hair. “It’s gonna be okay. We’re on our way to the doctor’s now. They’ll take a look and get ya all fixed up.”
I buckled Aiden into his car seat, pressing a kiss to his feverish forehead. I wasn’t ready to face this...this secret hidden beneath cherubic cheeks and dimples. He was my baby. Despite where he came from...what he is...he’ll always be my baby.
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