A Christmas Wish Ch. 01bysweeteuphoria©
Note from the author:
I would like to thank michchick98 as well as l8bloom for their patience with me during the writing and editing of this story. You guys are great! Thanks! I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy Holidays and don't forget to vote!
Josh and Megan have been married nearly fifteen years. Both are well established in their dream careers and financially content. They have more friends than either could ever ask for. But something was missing, something that would make their family complete-a child.
When Megan and Josh were in their early twenties and college was finally out of the way, they began trying to conceive on their wedding night; deciding it was the perfect time for children to enter the picture. They weren't quite as well off as they are now, however, they had a nice home and money in the bank. They had dated since high school and were ready to start a family.
"I want to have children while I'm still young enough to do things with them," Megan told Josh whenever the topic came about, which was quite often especially when all their married friends were starting their families.
Megan discovered she was expecting about six months into their marriage. She was thrilled, to say the least. "I don't care if it's a boy or a girl, just as long as it's healthy," she told her mother as the two looked through baby magazines.
Josh did everything a loving husband could do for his wife after he learned the great news. He offered to cook dinner if she wasn't up to it. He would hold her head when the morning sickness controlled her. He avoided all potential arguments, never letting them start in the first place. He was so excited about becoming a father he could hardly contain himself.
He remembered back when they were first engaged and she spoke of having a large family. "Oh, that would be great! They would always have someone to play with. Not like when I was a kid," he said as they window-shopped for baby items, picturing the two of them walking down the street with the most popular carriage or driving in a minivan filled with car seats.
Things were going smoothly until her second trimester. On a scheduled visit to her doctor she learned the devastating news. During the ultrasound the doctor discovered the baby wasn't moving and no longer had a heartbeat. She had miscarried their first child.
The news shook them both for quite a while. Whenever Megan would see something referring to pregnancy or a baby she would break out in tears. The feelings of despondency lasted for months, but they didn't give up. Her doctor said there wasn't any harm in trying again, so they did. In the mean time Josh and Megan concentrated on their careers and saved as much money as they could.
After the third miscarriage, Megan's doctor suggested artificial insemination and a surrogate. Megan wanted no part in this. "I want the baby to be mine, not someone else's," Megan cried out as the doctor discussed the alternatives with them.
"I know you want a child, Josh, but I want our child, not your child created with another woman. I hope you don't think I'm being selfish here, but I want you to understand where I'm coming from. What if we go through with this and the woman decides she wants to keep the baby?"
The doctor gave Megan and Josh a list of other obstetricians for a second opinion. Josh called a few and sadly the same information was heard over and over again; Megan was unable to carry full term and in no way should she try to become pregnant, because it might cause her harm. More importantly, the baby would most likely not survive.
Megan was crushed to learn that she couldn't ever become pregnant. All her hopes and dreams of having a family were cut to shreds by the doctor's diagnosis and she started to sink into a depression.
"Honey, won't you reconsider artificial insemination? Amber volunteered and the doctors said that since she's your twin it would be the closest thing to having your own." Her husband pleaded time and time again.
The last time Josh brought up the conversation Megan broke down, "Okay. I will consider it." Later that day she phoned Amber to set up dinner plans. "We have something to ask you, sis," Megan said timidly then confirmed the time and place for dinner. "We'll see you there at seven. Bye Amber."
"Josh, will you hurry up and get ready? I don't want Amber to be waiting too long! If I know her she's already there, waiting for us."
"Yes hon, I'll be right down," Josh bellowed, irritated at the fifth attempt to get his tie just right. "Oh screw it, I don't need one tonight." He pulled the tie from his neck and headed downstairs.
"Okay! Are you ready to do this?" Megan asked, her heart pounded fiercely, hands trembled.
"Give me those keys sweetheart. You're in no condition to drive." Josh said and she handed him the keys as they walked to the car. "Where are we going again?" he asked as he put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.
"We're going to dinner with Amber, silly."
"Well, duh. I mean where? Where did you make the reservations or don't we need them?"
"We don't need them because we're just going to that Chinese place up the street from her house. You do remember where she lives, don't you?" Megan asked jokingly then giggled at her husband's nervousness, yet felt the same way.
"Okay, okay I got it, but no more questions okay?"
"Sure thing Dear. Just let me do all the talking tonight, okay, Josh?"
"No problem! I'll just be there for moral support, sweetie. This is between you and your sister."
Upon arriving at the restaurant, Josh jumped out to get Megan's door and helped her out. Customers were leaving as they approached the front door and combined scents of the different foods served permeated the air. "Mmm, that smells good, doesn't it?" Josh commented as a gentleman held the door for them. Once inside, Josh panned the room for in search of Amber.
"There she is. Over in the corner." Megan grabbed her husband's hand, pulling him behind her.
"Hi, sis. Have you been waiting long?" Megan asked as she took a seat at the table then picked up a menu. "So what looks good tonight?" she asked, no one in particular.
"Will you stop that? What are you so nervous about, Meg? What did you wanna talk to me about that we couldn't do over the phone?"
Silence fell over the table as Josh looked at Megan who looked at Amber then back at Josh. Josh nudged her gently and gave a better now than later look as he cocked an eyebrow toward her.
"Okay, here it is Amber," Megan started after a deep breath and then continued, "You know how much Josh and I've wanted a child of our own right?" she paused awaiting acknowledgement. "Well, the doctors are now telling me I will never be able to carry full term and if I try it might be harmful to my health or even the baby." Megan's voice now shaky, tears formed in her eyes, yet she continued again without hesitation. "So Josh and I discussed it and we would like to know if you'd consider being the surrogate mother for our baby. I'm guessing your genes are the closest to mine since we are identical twins and all." Megan paused to take a breath and sip some of her water.
Before she could start to speak again, a teary-eyed Amber leaned across the table and nodded as she reached for Josh and Megan's hands. "I was wondering how long it would take you to ask me. I suggested it to mom a long time ago but she insisted that you didn't want a baby if you couldn't deliver yourself so I didn't say anything to either of you about it. I would love to carry your baby for you, Megan, what an honor! Thank you for thinking of me."
"Josh, could you guys come over for dinner tonight? I have something to show you. It's a paper I received from mom's lawyer. I wasn't sure what it was all about so mom had the lawyer call me and explain it," Amber rambled on not allowing Josh to give an answer.
"What do you need an attorney for, Amber?" Josh finally had a chance to speak when she paused to take a breath.
"Oh it's nothing that important, just papers explaining my legal rights as a surrogate. Didn't you guys get one? When I went to see your obstetrician for some tests he said I should read it over, sign it and then keep it in a safe place. I just don't want to keep anything from the two of you is all," Amber said before she repeated the dinner invitation.
Josh confirmed her plan and told Amber that they would be there as soon as Megan got home from work.
"Dinner's almost ready, but while we wait I want to show you that paper I told Josh about," she said as she pulled the envelope from her purse, took out the papers and handed them to Megan and Josh.
"It's a legal form that says I am voluntarily donating myself as a surrogate for the two of you. I will carry your baby and relinquish all rights to the baby once it's born. There is some other legal mumbo jumbo too, but that's the basic idea of the contract. I will leave it with you to look over and if you have any questions you can call mom's lawyer. He has offered free advice and counsel for us." Amber said.
"Do you mind if we take this home to look over?" Megan asked her sister.
"Of course not. Take your time," Amber replied, listening from the kitchen as she brought the food to the table. "Come eat while it's still hot."
Once home, Josh and Megan read through everything, "Well, it all looks okay to me, sweetheart. Do you have any questions for the lawyer or Amber?"
"Well, there is this one thing here," Megan said as she pointed to the part that concerned her.
"This part about giving up all legal rights to the baby after it's born. I only have one concern about that. Say something unthinkable should happen to us, where would the baby go if Amber gives up her rights?"
"I will call her and together we can visit the lawyer and ask him, okay?"
"Oh! I never thought of that, Josh. Of course I'll go with you to talk to mom's lawyer. Are you going to come get me or should I meet you there?" Amber said when Josh called and told her about the discrepancy Megan pointed out.
"We're on our way right now and will swing by to get you on the way, sit tight."
"I'm sure glad I had you guys look this over before I gave it back to mom's lawyer signed." Amber said as they all got out of the car at Smith and Dean Law Office.
"Hello, you must be Josh and Megan," the lawyer said as he pulled up another chair for Amber then took his seat behind the big oak desk.
"What concerns do you have regarding this contract?"
Amber began with the concerns that Megan brought up to her after reading over the contract with Josh.
"It says here I will give up all parental rights. I don't have a problem with that. Well I didn't until my sister brought up a good question. What would happen to the baby if something were to happen to Josh and Megan?" Amber asked as she held her sister's hand, patiently awaiting an answer.
"That's a fine question. What have you two decided?" the lawyer asked looking at Josh and Megan.
"I - - we - - " Josh and Megan began together, but Josh gave Megan the floor and she continued, "We would only want Amber to have the baby. After all she is the biological mother."
The lawyer directed the next question to Amber, "Do you agree with those terms?"
"Of course I do, this is my sister's baby we are talking about here. Yes I'm carrying it, but it's theirs. I wouldn't want to have to go to court to keep the child in the family if it came to that." Amber said slightly upset, yet relieved when the lawyer typed an additional page to the contract and handed it back for all to sign.
"Oh, it's been such a long day between working and this; I think I wanna go back home and rest. Tomorrow's the big day. I'm gonna do my best to give you guys a baby!"
"Your appointment is in the morning right?"
"Yeah, first thing. I know they open the doors at eight thirty."
"Okay then, we will pick you up at eight o'clock. The roads will be congested with the morning traffic, so this will give us plenty of time to get there, park and get into the office. You take care of yourself and we'll see you in the morning," Megan told her sister as they pulled into the driveway.
At the clinic the happy couple along with Amber waited to be called into the exam room.
"Mr. Josh Hill?"
"Yes, I'm coming," he said to the nurse's call. As he walked to the door he thought about his choice of words, "Hmm, not a good answer in these circumstances was it?" he whispered to Megan, slightly embarrassed.
"Hey don't worry about it baby, I don't even think she heard you," Megan replied as she smiled at Josh and wished him luck.
"Mr. Hill, here's your container. You can go in that room right at the end of the hall. The directions are on the wall by the light switch." The nurse said with a smile, then walked back to the waiting room to call Amber and Megan.
"You are gonna come in with me aren't you Meg?" Amber asked holding her sister's hand tightly.
"If you want me to sweetie."
"I can't believe that woman - Of all the nerve. Like I really need directions for what I'm about to do, geez!" Josh said as he prepared himself for the procedure that would hopefully give him a child in nine months
When Josh finished his duty he handed the specimen cup to the nurse waiting outside then he joined Megan and Amber in the exam room after getting dressed. The procedure had already taken place and Amber was about to get dressed by the time Josh arrived. "So, how are you feeling?" Josh asked as the nurse pulled the curtain aside and exited the room.
"I'm feeling fine, you missed everything. So now if you'll excuse me," Amber said with a raised brow as she grabbed her pants.
"Oh yeah. Sure, um -- I'll be right outside, um - - " Josh stammered being caught off guard as the embarrassment flooded his face and he backed out of the room. "Man! That was quick!"
"Everything went fine sir. Amber is due back in thirty days to see if a pregnancy has occurred. I don't think you have anything to worry about here. Amber is a healthy young woman. If the pregnancy is detected she should give birth sometime in December," the doctor said as he waited in the hall for the next patient to undress.
"Okay, anyone up for some breakfast?" Josh asked as he escorted both women to the car.
"No, not me. I think I just wanna go home and rest, if you don't mind." Amber said with a yawn. "I took the day off and I just want to relax."
"Hey girl, are you ready for your appointment?" Megan asked when she called her sister to let her know they were on the way to get her.
"Sure thing! I hope this worked. I don't feel any different, but then again I've never been pregnant so I don't know for sure what I'm supposed to feel like," Amber said with a slight giggle trying to lighten the mood in the car as Josh drove to the clinic.
"So Doc? Do we have a baby on the way or what?" Josh asked in excitement as Megan called him into the exam room.
"Congratulations, mom and dad! We have a pregnancy here! The tests came back positive!" the doctor said as he shook Josh and Megan's hand.
Megan and Amber glanced at Josh, "This is it baby," Megan said as Josh pulled her close and blew a kiss to Amber as she rubbed her belly, repeating Megan's statement to herself.
"Oh my gosh! I can't believe it's your seventh month already!" Megan said while she rubbed her sister's protruding belly when Amber took a short break after attempting to put on her socks.
"Have you guys been thinking of names yet?"
"We have but Josh wanted me to run them by you first before we made a final decision."
"So, what did you have in mind, Meg?"
"Well, if it's a girl we were thinking of calling her Peggy and if---"
"Oh my God!" Megan was interrupted in mid sentence. "I can't believe you wanna name your baby after a cartoon character?"
"You know, Peggy Hill. From King Of The Hill?"
"Oops, I didn't think of that," Megan said with a giggle and then continued, "Actually I was thinking after mom's middle name."
"Please! Don't name her after mom. Remember what she said about being teased as a child and never forgiving either of us if we named any children after her?" Amber cried out almost laughing.
"Okay, well I was only joking with you sis. How about Erika or Grace and her middle name would be Rose?"
"Oh those are beautiful names. I like them both, Megan!"
"If it's a boy Josh wants to name him after his grandfather Henry, but I told him I didn't think so. What do you think about Henry?"
Amber didn't have to verbalize her answer, for her face said it all.
"Okay, like I said Henry is out. What about Douglas or Sean or even Ethan and his middle name would be Brian if we chose Douglas or Quinn for the other two."
"Well?" Megan asked still awaiting an answer from her sister. "Hey, Amber, Amber? Oh no! Amber, what's wrong?" Megan cried out when Amber wouldn't answer.
Megan shook her sister's arm gently not wanting to startle her if she'd just fallen asleep, but that didn't wake her so she shook harder; still no response. "Oh God no!" she cried out again reaching for her cell phone and pressing the number for Josh.
"This is Josh, I can't come to the phone right now." was the message on the other end.
"Answer damn it!" Megan cried into the phone then dropped it on the floor as her sister slumped over on the sofa.
She picked up the phone and dialed 911 telling the operator the problem with her sister. "Ma'am, please remain calm. I'm sending someone to you right now. I will stay on the line until help arrives." The operator said and then there was silence.
"Hello?" Megan called out into the phone, but the operator didn't acknowledge her. She called a second time, "Hello? Hello?" The operator still hadn't acknowledged Megan's pleas for help.
Megan hung up the phone and dropped it in her purse. "Oh Amber, hold on. I'll get help for you," she said as she picked her sister up and dragged her to the car and carefully slid her in the front seat. Once she secured her sister she ran to the driver's side and jumped in. Not bothering to secure herself, she sped off towards the hospital.
"Hold on Amber! We're almost there she said in a panic. "Just a couple more bloc - -"
Out of nowhere a truck came barreling through the intersection, broad-siding Megan's car and forcing her to spin out of control. A dazed Megan sat up in her seat. Her car was crumpled and resting on the curb.
Pedestrians and shoppers ran toward the noise on the corner. Everything was spinning as she tried to focus. "What the hell happened?" she asked herself as people ran toward her, but all she could hear was yelling and mumbled voices.
Then she remembered where she was and where she was going. When she looked toward her sister, all she saw was blood. There were blood splatters on the roof, on the side window and windshield. It hadn't occurred to her that the passenger side of her vehicle was right beside her shoulder now and her sister had literally been crushed by the impact.
When the emergency crews arrived, they tended to Megan first because she was most accessible, and when the second ambulance and fire department arrived, they tended to the truck driver and Amber. The wrecking crew removed the truck that had impacted the side of Megan's car so hard it made the vehicle resemble an accordion. The Jaws of Life had to be used to extricate Amber from the totaled vehicle.
Confused and dazed, Megan finally was jolted back to reality when she saw her sister being pulled from the wreckage. Covered in blood, her lifeless body lay limp as it was placed on the ground.
"Don't put her on the ground! Can't you see she's pregnant?" Megan cried out as the police officers pulled her away from the scene.