Lebanese Tales You Don’t Hear Everyday

She was blowing the candles off her 35th birthday’s cake. This would definitely be her year. She had a man by her side she was marrying in a few days. She had a loving family. Her wedding preps were going smoothly. And yet, there was this one thing gnawing at her head: how was she going to tell him that he wouldn’t be the first, that the skin on which all dignity lay was not really there, that there were several men before him, that she had even had one ectopic pregnancy which she obviously aborted?

She had gone to her gynecologist a month prior. She asked for advice. She wasn’t worried like other women would be at that point. She knew that medicine can do wonders in that regards those days but she didn’t want anything major. So he stitched her up.

What if I didn’t bleed? She asked. Her doctor told her then that only around 35% of women bled on first intercourse, that the myth with which she was troubling herself was unfounded. But she wouldn’t take those odds. Who knew how those Eastern men thought, she told her doctor. Would any of those men she had slept with in years past marry someone like her?

He recommended she’d get a tube of her own blood with her and hide it. So on their first night of marital bliss, she faked being in pain as her husband thought he was giving his wife a new experience. Faking it all the way to the bathroom, she spilled the blood in the tube on a white towel and returned with it to her husband, clutching her abdomen as she faked the insufferable pain all the way the bed.

She was relieved. He was happy. And she told this to her doctor giddily.

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He was rounding on his patients as he normally does every morning, making sure their night had gone smoothly. After a weekend, Monday morning rounds are more complicated because they require you to catch up with two days of work which you hadn’t attended.

So there she was, a girl his age, suffering from a complication that happens in 1% of assisted reproduction therapy cases. She sat in her bed, obviously worried. But why would she be worried, he wondered. There was nothing about her condition that was troubling if it’s under the control similar to hers.

Mom, can you leave the room for a bit? She asked just as she saw him making his way inside. Her mom obliged. She gave him the bag of medicaments she was on: hormones here, hormones there. He went through them quite fast, still wondering why someone his age, who wasn’t married, would be on a therapy designed to eventually get women pregnant.

But she didn’t want to get pregnant. She was getting her body prepped for something far less motherly – She was preparing her ovules for sale.

It was against the law, sure. The hospital she was in had no clue and would never do such a thing, certainly. But no one was allowed to know.

I’ve got myself covered, she said when he asked her how she intends to carry on with her plan. Just don’t tell my mom.

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