Monday, January 29, 2007

I Don't Know How to Think or Feel About This . . . Part 3

It was a rough beginning to 2006, with a miscarriage and a terminated pregnancy in the first three months. My wife and I each went about dealing with things in our own way. I went on with my teaching, which at least gave me something to do and a reason for living, even though I only had eight hours of class time a week. The rest of the time I filled with doing research on the Internet for future lessons, just surfing around, or doing Sudoku puzzles.

In the afternoon, I played basketball, to prepare myself for my duties as the basketball coach. A couple weeks later, I spent from 5 to 6:30 or 7 running practice. At night, I was in charge of the drama production being put together for the school competition. That helped, but there still was a nagging hurt and emptiness inside, that kept coming up like a bad meal repeating on you.

My wife had a more difficult time. For the first couple of months we were here, we stayed in the workers quarters. They looked as if they hadn't been maintained since they were built over 25 years ago, and they probably weren't in such great shape when they were first built, either. Even though there was plastic screening over the windows, all sorts of strange flying insects made it into our place, attracted by the lights. It was an entomologists dream, and a normal persons nightmare. Sometimes she would suddenly scream for me to kill a nasty looking something that was flying or crawling around. I ended up getting stung a couple times by wasps, one time on my lip when I rolled over onto one when asleep. My wife ended up with these strange looking marks from some unknown creature on her neck. Whenever we left our quarters, we had to close the windows, so the monkeys wouldn't come in and tear the place apart.

My wife would talk with the neighbors, and they were teaching her how to speak Malay. In the afternoon, while I was coaching basketball, she would play badminton with the gardener's family, and the daughter of one of the cafeteria workers. She really enjoyed that. Other than that, she did the household chores, and played "bookworm" on the computer. We had no TV, no radio, no refrigerator, no stove, just our clothes and the few things we were able to stuff into Mr. Wong's car.

I know it was difficult for her, but I tried my best to make it easier for her. We went for walks around the Lake Gardens, or walked through them to get to town to get something to eat from the hawker stalls. I brought her into the staff room after school was over, so she could check her email. I tried to get her involved with the drama, but she wouldn't have anything to do with it until the day of the competition. Then she acted as den mother for the girls, and was a great help. She was fantastic with the girls, they really looked up to her. I was so proud of her. She also didn't get involved with the basketball team until we went for the zone tournament near the Thai border, when she acted as an unofficial manager and assistant coach.

So I tried to be supportive, but also give her some space. Still, sometimes she would start crying for no reason. At least she stopped saying she was sorry.

We made love with out protection or precautions, but nothing happened. Not that we wanted anything to happen. We made love because we loved each other, not to make another life. We didn't want anything to happen other than to show our love for each other.

Despite my efforts, she was still scared. She said words that I thought I would never hear from her:
"Honey, I don't think I ever want to have a baby".

I couldn't blame her. To be honest, I felt the same way, but for more selfish reasons, because I thought that a baby would interfere with our intimacy, and the good thing we have going. Plus there was the insecurity- how am I going to support a wife and child? What kind of father would I be? So I was willing to let things pass. If something was going to happen, it would happen. We would leave it up to God, and see what happened.

Then we both had the same dream. In it, she was carrying a baby, protectively, just like a mommy would. Me, I was holding the baby up and away from me, like a proud father displaying his child to the world.

After that, her attitude changed. Now, it was, "Honey, I want to have a baby", just like it was before. I didn't cooperate at first, and that puzzled her. She wondered why I didn't sow my seed inside her. I explained, and she remained puzzled, but sweet thing that she is, she loved me just the same. After a few days I came around, and figured Que sera, sera.

So we tried for a few months, and hoped. A couple times she thought, or more likely hoped, she was pregnant. The first month after the dream, she was even a couple weeks late. The home pregnancy test turned out negative, and she had her period.

After that, she kept saying and hoping that she was pregnant, but it didn't happen. Doubt set in, and we both started to think that maybe we had lost our chance, that we wouldn't have a child. In the back of my mind I even thought that maybe God was punishing us for terminating the second pregnancy.

School was over, and in the middle of November, we headed to the Philippines to visit her family.

The first night in her parents house, we made love in the bedroom, very quietly, because the her mom, sister, two nieces, and nephew were sleeping in the living room, on the other side of a very thin wall. The delicious naughtiness of it all was very thrilling for her, and amusing for me. Afterwards, she fell asleep in my arms.

The rest, shall we say, is history.