I hated the holidays. I didn't used to, but for the last three years they had been hell for me. Actually, it wasn't the holidays so much as it was my mother. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my mother, but I did hate being around her. She lives far enough away from me that for most of the year my only contact with her is by phone. When I'm on the phone and she gets on her kick I can hang up, but when she visits over the holidays and the contact is up close and in person I can't get away. Her kick?
"When are you going to have kids? When are you going to give me grandbabies? Jesus Joan, you have been married six years now and it is time for you to start a family. I want grandchildren."
At first I was able to put her off by telling her that Donny and I had decided not to have kids until we were financially stable and that we had some places we wanted to go and some things we wanted to do before we settled down and started a family. It was our third anniversary when she started hacking on me.
"Donny has a good job, you are in your own home now, and I want grandbabies while I'm still young enough to enjoy them"
The problem I had with that was that I was just the opposite. I was still young enough to want to have some life before I saddled myself with kids. I couldn't tell my mother that so I lied.
"We are trying mother, it just hasn't happened yet."
It was the wrong thing to say because at least once a week after that she would ask if anything had happened yet and I would say no, that we were still trying. This went on for about six months and then she started giving me advice on things I could do that would increase my chances of getting pregnant. I would say that I would try them and in the next phone conversation I would tell her that I had, but that so far nothing was happening.
I got to where I dreaded talking to her on the phone. I bought myself a brief respite one day when I lost it and went off on her. I was having a bad day anyway and when the phone rang and I answered it and heard my mother say "Hello Joan" I just said, "Good morning mother and no, I am not pregnant." Then we got into an argument and I told her that it seemed like the only reason she ever called me was to see if I was going to have a god damned baby. We didn't talk for weeks after that.
But the holidays were the worst. Mom always came the week of Thanksgiving and stayed until the day after Christmas. You can always hang up the phone on someone, but how do you hang up on someone sitting across the table from you? Grandbabies, grandbabies, grandbabies is all I heard for hours on end.
My mother was constantly on the subject and always saying things like, "When I was your age I already had you and Sarah (my sister) and I'm here to tell you that the older you get the harder it is to raise a child. You need to start your family now."
The mention of my sister Sarah always pissed me off. I both hated Sarah and envied her and both for the same reason — she didn't have to put up with the shit from mom that I did. On Sarah's twenty-first birthday mom asked her when she was going to settle down, get married and start having kids. Sarah said, in front of all the guests at her birthday party, "I'm not. I'm gay and my significant other and I have no plans to adopt." What that did of course was push all of my mothers attention off onto me.
Donny and I had been married seven years when I finally decided that the time was right to have children. I talked it over with Donny and he seemed reluctant, but he said, "Okay, if that's what you want." The gods must have decided to make me pay for all the lies I told my mother because a year and a half went by without my getting pregnant. I even did all the things that my mother had suggested back when I was faking it and nothing happened. I went in and had myself tested and was told that I should have no trouble conceiving and bearing a child. I asked Donny to get tested and a week later he told me that he had been tested and that he had a high sperm count.
"It will happen honey, we just have to keep trying."
We did keep trying and nothing happened. We would have kept on trying with nothing happening for years if I hadn't run into an old friend from school one day while grocery shopping. Gwen and I had gone to community college together and we had kept in touch. Not really close touch, but we exchanged Christmas cards and talked on the phone half a dozen times a year. She had gotten her degree in nursing and had gone to work for a clinic. We left the grocery store and went a Denny's to have lunch and talk. Halfway through the meal she said, "Can I ask you something really personal?"
"I guess so, but I don't promise to give you an answer."
"If you don't, you don't, but I'm curious so I'll ask anyway. How is your love life?"
It wasn't what I expected and I hesitated a moment or two before deciding to answer. "It is fine."
"Good. I was worried about it. You know men, they have such fragile egos when it comes to their manliness that they will sometimes lie."
"I don't understand. Why the question and why were you worried and what were you worried about?"
"Just curious is all. Donny says your love life is great every time he comes in for his check up and to get his shot, but I never knew whether he was lying or not. Not everyone in the male contraceptive program tells the truth and that skews the data. We know for a fact that the side effects of the Cocktail — that's what we call it, "The Cocktail" — can have a limiting effect on male erection in about four percent of the sample. But that number could be lower or higher depending on the truthfulness of the program volunteers. When Donny came in and volunteered for the program he told us that you had a great sex life and you have maintained a great sex life. I was just curious."
No more so than I now am I thought as I said, "Donny never did tell me much about the program other than that he had volunteered because of the problems that I was having with the pill."
"Well, like I said, we don't have an official name for it yet, but the cocktail is a mixture of synthetic testosterone and progestin and it is supposed to inhibit the production of sperm in the male."
"I guess we can assume that it is working with Donny and me, but how about others?"
"So far it has proven to be about eighty percent effective."
"So you do have failures?"
"Oh yes, and we make sure that the volunteers are aware of that fact. In fact, we make them sign a waiver acknowledging it."
I walked away from my lunch with Gwen mad enough to kill. That bastard! That miserable bastard! "Sure honey, okay, whatever you want" and all the time he was a volunteer in a male contraceptive program. There I was trying everything I could think of to get pregnant — I even stood on my head after making love so the sperm would flow down to the egg — and Donny was doing his best to see that it never happened. I was mad! I was fucking furious and if Donny would have been there just then I would have done him some serious bodily harm. I was so mad I stopped at a bar to get a drink and calm me down.
I was sitting at a table sipping a vodka tonic and making plans to castrate Donny when I got home when I heard, "Joan baby, long time no see."
I looked up and saw Harry, an old boyfriend of mine. Actually he was an old lover. Harry was the second man I'd ever had sex with. "Mind if I join you?" and I told him to go ahead. Six drinks later I was on my back on a bed in the Bide-A-Wee Motel as Harry tried to make up for the eight years he hadn't seen my pussy. It was my first time being unfaithful to my husband, which kind of shows just how pissed at him I really was.
Harry fucked me four times that afternoon and we were getting dressed to leave when he asked if he could see me again. I was on the verge of saying, "No Harry, this was a mistake, a pleasurable mistake, but a mistake just the same" when a thought hit me — what if Harry had gotten me pregnant? Wouldn't that just serve Donny right! Donny already knew that there was a twenty percent failure rate in the program he was on. Yeah, why not.
"I'd like that Harry, but you can never, ever contact me, so give me a number where I can reach you."
He gave me his number and for the next two months Harry and I tried to fuck each other to death. We met three or four times a week during the day and I met him on Tuesday nights when Donny went bowling, but as much sperm as Harry shot into me I still didn't become pregnant. By that time I was determined to have a baby and since Donny and Harry had not produced I looked around for other old boyfriends or old lovers. By the end of the year I was juggling seven guys, counting Donny and Harry, and I had never been so sexually satisfied in my life, but I still wasn't pregnant.
.... There is more of this story ...