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Author's Chapter Notes:

Alyssa receives some unsettling information.


Chapter 22 - A Sterile Revelation


        The next day, Alyssa wasted no time in calling up her friends and family members to share the exciting news about her pregnancy. Of course her parents had been overjoyed with the news that they would be becoming grandparents, as were Sean's parents. She couldn't get a hold of Meg just yet since she and Scott had already left for China, but she had left her an e-mail. As for letting Stephanie know that she was going to be an aunt, Alyssa left that up to her parents. It would be over her dead body before she let her younger sister be a part of her child's life.


            Her friends were more than supportive when they heard the news. Kim and Callie were especially happy for her, knowing firsthand how much of a struggle it had been for her to become pregnant in the first place. Already they were offering her everything from old hand me downs, to accompanying her to her doctor's appointments. She'd also called Izzy, who already vowed to be with her in the delivery room just as Alyssa had done for her when Grace was born, and Teri and Tricia who although weren't exactly the children type seemed genuinely happy for her.


            There was just one person that she hadn't called to share her news with and that was Nick. She still wasn't quite sure if she should call him to tell him or just let Izzy or someone else tell him for her. Based on how weird things had been between them lately, she found herself a little uncomfortable with the idea of telling him that she was pregnant. She knew that he'd be happy for her, but it was also had to be a bit of a sore subject for him after Shayla's pregnancy stunt. He had pretty clearly stated that he didn't want kids, but she also could tell that he'd actually began to maybe look forward to a child with Shayla under the circumstances.


            She stared down at the phone in her hands, trying to will her fingers to dial his number when the phone unexpectedly began to ring, causing her to jump back from the shrill vibration. Looking down at the caller id on the front, she realized that she didn't recognize the number. That would have been really freaky if that had just been Nick, she thought to herself with an amused smirk as she answered the call. "Hello?"


            "Hello. May I speak to Alyssa or Sean Robinson, please?" a pleasant sounding voice on the other end of the phone asked.


            "This is Alyssa Robinson," she answered.


            "Hello Mrs. Robinson. This is Paula from the Lakewood Fertility Center. I'm just calling to reschedule an appointment for you and your husband to come down and discuss your test results. I noticed you were supposed to come in a few weeks ago and had to cancel, but you never made a follow up appointment."


            "I'm really sorry about that," Alyssa apologized. "It's been a very crazy last couple of weeks. My husband was just deployed to Iraq, so obviously that came first before setting up another appointment."


            "Well, would you like to care of that now? I don't mean to rush you, but we really can't hold on to your test results for too much longer. Otherwise you'd have to start the whole process all over again," she explained.


            "Actually I'm no longer needing your services. I just found out yesterday that I'm actually pregnant after all, so I guess that the tests really couldn't have been very conclusive anyway."


            The receptionist sounded a little surprised, but still kept her composure. "Oh, congratulations! That doesn't happen very much I suppose, but the world works in mysterious ways, sometimes."


            "Definitely," Alyssa agreed. "But thank you so much for everything. I'm glad that we at least went for the tests. If we didn't, knowing how twisted fate is we probably would still be struggling to conceive."


            The other woman just laughed. "Better be safe than sorry, huh? Well, good luck with everything and I'm glad that we could've been of assistance to you."


            Alyssa thanked the woman again before saying goodbye and ending the call. While she had the phone out, she called up her OB/GYN to make an appointment for her first check up, for the following week. Putting the phone down, she couldn't help but to let out a little bit of an excited squeal as she wrote the appointment down in her date book. The whole pregnancy thing still felt almost a little too good to be true to her, but maybe God had decided to grant her a miracle after all.


            Little did she know that in a few short hours, her optimistic look at her pregnancy would totally be shattered with just four little words.

            It was a little after five that evening, and Alyssa was actually cooking herself dinner, something that she'd neglected to really do since Sean had left for Iraq. Now that she was pregnant she'd made a vow to begin eating better again since she was after all now eating for two. She had decided to make a chicken stir fry and was just cutting up some vegetables for it when the phone rang loudly.


            "Hello?" she answered it brightly, figuring that it maybe was one of her friends or relatives that she hadn't gotten a chance to reach just yet who heard about her pregnancy from someone else.


            Instead of hearing a familiar voice though, she was met with a gruff sounding male voice. "Is this Alyssa Robinson?"


            "Yes, this is she," she answered, frowning uncertainly.


            "This is Dr. Beard calling from the fertility clinic," the voice continued.


            Alyssa's frown grew as she wondered why exactly the doctor had called her up personally. Hadn't she just explained to the receptionist earlier that afternoon that they wouldn't be needing another appointment with them? She'd thought she came across pretty clear, especially in actually telling her that she was now pregnant. Maybe the message had gotten lost somewhere along the way? Whatever the case, Alyssa did her best to hide her confusion. "Oh, yes! Hello, Dr. Beard. What can I do for you?"


            "Paula's told me that she called you today about rescheduling your appointment to discuss you and your husband's test results, but you told her that it wasn't necessary because you're already pregnant?"


            "That's correct." Alyssa felt her eyebrows knit tighter together in confusion. "I just found out yesterday. I guess that Sean and I really were stressing over nothing after all."


            The doctor hesitated for a moment, making her stomach flip flop, and not in the pregnancy sickness type of way. "Have you seen a doctor yet to confirm this pregnancy?"


            "No... Not yet," she slowly answered. "I just made an appointment to see my doctor next week. Why? Is there a problem?"


            Dr. Beard sighed. "Technically I'm not supposed to discuss any test results over the phone with a patient, but when Paula told me that you were pregnant I was a little concerned. I looked over your test results again and it appears to me that there's some discrepancy. See, if you are indeed pregnant there's no way that Sean could be the father." He took a deep breath and then said the four words that changed her life. "Your husband is sterile."


            Alyssa froze, so stunned that she nearly dropped the phone. Her mind raced in a million different directions all at once. It couldn't, she argued with herself. Those tests have to be wrong. I mean what are the chances? I only slept with Nick twice and... Fuck. How could she have been so stupid? The thought of using a condom hadn't even crossed her mind. Quickly she worked out the calculations in her head and she cursed herself for not considering this possibility sooner. It made perfect sense. All those months that she and Sean had been trying to get pregnant with no avail and then of course she slept with Nick and bam! There obviously had to have been something wrong with Sean, but she'd just been in too much denial to really consider it. Her mind drifted back to Meg's suggestion during their phone conversation a month or two beforehand. Yea, but maybe he's shooting blanks? Her older sister had called it right then and there, but still Alyssa had refused to believe it, choosing to pin the blame on herself instead. How could I have been this blind? she wondered.


            Finally finding her voice she managed to sputter out, "What?" Her mind still refused to fully accept the prognosis.


            "His test results show that he is completely sterile," the doctor explained. "The cause is unknown and although it is uncommon in men his age it's not altogether strange. Most likely it could be a result of some kind of illness he had in his past or some kind of environmental effect, but we can't really say exactly. All we do know is that he is unable to bear children naturally. So, it is completely impossible that he could've impregnated you. I'm sorry. Maybe you took a defective pregnancy test or something?"


            She could tell just from the doctor's tone of voice that he was only trying to placate her. Deep down underneath the words he knew how Alyssa had wound up pregnant and it filled her with shame. Not being able to stand another minute of the conversation she hurriedly tried to end the call. "I... I have to go." Without waiting for a response she hung up the phone and let it slip out of her hands onto the floor.


            What the fuck am I going to do? she wondered. The moment she had been looking forward to most in her entire life was now all but ruined for her and now more than ever she was full of regret.