Tea Leaves and Opal Necklaces

Reproduce, Tips, and Friends

Match Five: Reproduce, Tips, and Friends:

-Ju-

So, yes. Yao and I decided to try for a baby.

Our nights have been busy and I stopped taking my birth control. Yao kept to his mouth that he would support my decision.

“Are you sure you want a child?” he asked a few nights ago. I looked at him from my desk.

“Yes,” I said. “And yes, I have thought about this.”

“I understand,” Yao said. Since then, we have been trying. Now, I like sex. I have liked sex since I was a teenager. My Western friends are the reason for my sex positivity. But when you throw in babies, sex kind of becomes off-putting. I figured the best way to go about this is to have fun with it. I started off with cute underwear. Yao enjoyed my little fashion shows. I decided to go with pink with a strawberry print. My husband sat up, smiling.

“You like?” I asked, turning around.

“It’s… rather… provocative,” Yao said, clearing his throat. I gave him a little pout.

“Oh come on, honey,” I said. “You’ve seen all of my lingerie.” I crawled over onto the bed. My face came within inches of his.

“You. Don’t. Have. To. Be. Shy,” I said. To me, it sounded fake. Was I trying too hard? Nah, I thought I was doing fine. Yao grabbed onto my ass and pulled me beside him.

“I’m not shy,” he said. “Just intrigued.” He kissed me on the lips. I threw my arms around his neck. Every night, we try to keep it interesting and not think about babies. That was my only rule for doing this.

“It’s going to turn me off,” I said. “We both have to be in the right mood for this to work.” My husband tries to appease me with this plan. Sometimes, I let him suggest sexy things to do.

“If you would like to tie me down to the bed again, I would enjoy that,” I offered one night. It took all of his self-control not to grab me, push me down onto the table, and do me right then and there. He does seem to be making this as enjoyable as possible. The main key to remember is being patient. I had learned to deal with it through distracting myself. Behind my senior year of college, business work with the clan, and my uncle and Junjie, I have found many chances to try and not think about if I’m pregnant or not. The only thing I have to focus on is getting help and trying for that first born with my husband.

However, we are taking this reproduction process really seriously too. During the day, Yao goes out and buys parenting books. The clan has taken to giving me tips to help. This week alone, the parents kept giving Yao and I different foods and advice for a healthy baby.

Let me give you a run through of everyone through the week.

On Monday, Bik came by to see me. I had just gotten up when the doorbell rang through the house. I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet.

“Wha?” I asked. “Babe, who is that?” Yao was still sound asleep beside me. The doorbell ripped through the air again.

“Coming!” I shouted. I threw on and robe and hurried down the stairs. When I opened the door, Bik stood in front of me, grinning.

“Good morning!” she said in the type of perky voice that would make you want to punch something for waking you up this early in the morning.

“Huh?” I asked. Bik leaned in closer to my face. I about fell stumbling backwards.

“Gah!” I shouted. She smiled and tried not to laugh.

“How are you this morning?” she asked. I rubbed the back of my head.

“I just woke up,” I mumbled. “What are you doing here so early this morning?” Bik looked around for a bit. She tried to lean into my ear again.

“You and Yao start… you know?” she asked. I raised my eyebrow as I made a face at her.

“What?” I asked.

“You know… started with making babies?” Bik asked. If I wasn’t fully awake before, I was surely awake now.

“The hell?!” I shouted. She tried to shush me as she waved her hands up and down in the air.

“Shhh, not so loud,” she said. My face felt so hot. I thought I was going to pass out. I mean, I know that Bik’s nurse and she’s comfortable with talking about things like periods, bodily functions, illnesses, and things like that. But this lady was the one who changed my diaper when I was a baby. It just feels too awkward! She just had to go and make it worse.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“No,” I whimpered.

“Do you need to sit down?”

“No.” Before I knew, Bik grabbed me by the arm and dragged me into my own house.


By the time I was sitting in a chair, my nerves had calmed back down. I buried my head in my hands as I shook my head. Darn it, she got me this early! My train of thought halted when I heard “vitamins”.

“What?” I asked as I lifted my head.

“Are you taking any vitamins?” Bik asked.

“Why?” I asked.

“You will need them if you are trying to get pregnant,” she said. “I can give you a list of everything that you will need to take every day.”

“Oh, you don’t have to,” I began to say.

“No, you have to have these!” dear Bik cut in. “Here, I’m going to write down everything you need and I am taking you shopping for it!” I threw back my head and groaned.

“You can groan at me all you want, but this is important if you and Yao are going to have a healthy baby! You cannot skip steps here! Listen closely and get yourself a check-up,” she said in a sharp tone. “Do you understand me?” I gave her a long, blank stare.

“Do you understand me?” Bik asked again.

“Yes,” I groaned.

“Good,” she said. “Now go and get dressed.” I opened my mouth, but she grabbed me by the arm.

“Go and get dressed,” Bik repeated. She clapped her hands and stomped her foot.

“Okay, okay,” I said. “Geez.” I walked up the stairs, mumbling to myself.

“I’m sorry?” Bik asked.

“Nothing!” I said aloud. Most of my morning ended up being dragged around the local market shopping for vitamin. The whole time, I tried my best not to look like I wanted to run away. This wasn’t the first time I ended up stuck with her. When I was thirteen, she pulled the same thing early in the morning with my father and me. I remembered that summer too. It was either have another day of lessons or go out shopping for herbs in her clinic. To sum up, I did not have a day.

“Uh… I think I might have a meeting today,” I said.

“You’ll be back in time,” she said. Bik had her back turned to me too. I twenty-two years old now and not a kid anymore. I could just walk away and get home. I looked around for any possible exits. How long would it be before she realized I was gone? I could make it quick too…

“Ready to go?” Bik asked when she turned around.

“Huh?” I asked. Before I knew it, we were out of there. By the time I made it home, I collapsed in the front doorway. Yao looked down at me with a confused look on his face.

“You alright?” he asked.

“No,” I complained.

“What is all of this?”

“Vitamins.”

“Vitamins?”

“Yes!” That was just day one.


On Tuesday, Cai came by to see me. I was making lunch for Yao and me for the day when the doorbell rang. To be honest, I hoped that it wasn’t Bik again asking if I was taking my vitamins. (The woman already called me twice. I don’t need her coming by my house to ask questions too.)

“Hold on!” I shouted. I lowered the heat on the stove and raced to the door. I relaxed when I saw who my guest was.

“Oh, Cai,” I said. “It’s you.” Cai tilted her head, blinking.

“Were you expecting someone else?” she asked. I waved her off as I shook my head.

“Never mind,” I said. “Come on in. What brings you by?” Cai followed me into the house. She closed the door behind us.

“Have you been to a doctor yet?” Cai asked. I turned around with a blank stare.

“E-Excuse me?” I asked. She looked down at her feet as she shuffled them.

“I suffered from two miscarriages as you know,” Cai said. “Sometimes, I wished that I had my body checked out before I had gotten pregnant the first time.”

“Cai…” I said in a low voice. She lifted her head and grabbed me by the hands. I raised my eyebrow as I looked into her eyes.

“Are you… crying?” I asked.

“Promise the you will see a doctor before you end up pregnant,” Cai pleaded.

“Cai…”

“Promise me!”

I dropped my shoulders, but couldn’t get out of her grasp. “Alright.”

“Please do it as soon as possible?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t take this lately! Go to the doctor today and get yourself examined. You can’t take this lightly.”

“Oaky, okay! I promise!”

Cai bowed her head. “Thank you.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or run away.

“Uh… Cai?” I asked.

“What?” she asked.

“Could you please let go of me?” I asked. “I was in the middle of cooking and I don’t want to burn our lunches.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry about that,” she said. Cai let good of my hands and I raced back to the kitchen. I didn’t even try to make eye contact with her for the rest of the day. I’m willing to bet that Bik had a hand in sending her over here. I wouldn’t put it past her.

Oh, but wait! There are still three more mothers in the clan.


On Wednesday, Wan came by to see me. Oh, but she wasn’t alone either. She brought Chi Ju with her. Yao and I hadn’t planned on during much that evening. We were just reading in the living room when we heard the doorbell ring. I lowered my book and groaned.

“Is it them again?” Yao asked. I gave him a strange look for the way he said it.

“Let me guess, Hen-to and Fei have been talking to you too?” I asked. The uncomfortable sheepish look on Yao’s face told me everything I needed to know.

“Right…” I said. Against my better judgement, I got up and went to the door. A blank expression came over my face.

“Wan… Chi Ju… What are you doing over this late?” I asked.

“Oh, is this a bad time?” Wan asked.

Yes. “Why, no,” I ended up saying instead. “What brings you by?”

“We just wanted to talk!” she said. I looked over at Chi Ju standing next to her. Judging by the expression on his face, he would much rather be back home doing anything else other than this. I could feel his pain. Wan started to push past me and looked into my house.

“Is Yao in?” she asked.

“Why?” I asked. She pushed past me and went inside just as I had gotten that question out of my mouth. I turned to Chi Ju. He shrugged and followed his wife into the house. I threw back my head and groaned as I closed the door behind me. As expected, they talked our ears off. Wan focused on me while Chi Ju pulled Yao aside and spoke with him. Why did I say no? What the hell was I thinking? I kept looking over at my husband who was trying to be so polite by smiling and nodding. I could tell that he really wanted to run away.

"Want to try and escape?" I asked him with my eyes.

"But how?" he asked.

"I don’t know. Try anything!" I clapped my hands together.

“Thanks for the advice,” I was quick to say.

“But it’s getting late!” Yao added. “I think we might try and start on making a baby now.” Wan’s eyes lit up.

“Oh, that’s great!” she said. “Good luck. Maybe she or he won’t turn out to be so useless like Mei.” Yao and I had to about push Wan and Chi Ju out of the house. We leaned against the door, panting. Yao turned to me.

“Don’t open the door that late again, okay?” he asked. I sank to my knees as I nodded. Oh, but there are still two more days and mothers to go, people!


On Thursday, I went out with Hark to pick up materials for Szu’s senior year project. By this time, I was on my guard. I expected Hark to open her mouth and give me more advice on getting pregnant. In fact, I counted down to it. Come on, let’s just get it over with. I know you’re itching to say it.

“You know, stress isn’t helpful for the mother and baby,” Hark finally came out with in the paper section. I froze, but didn’t turn around.

“That’s kind of ironic,” I mumbled under my breath.

“I’m sorry?” she asked. I turned around with a smile on my face.

“Nothing,” I lied.

“Whenever you can, try and relax a little more,” Hark added. “That includes taking a little bit of time off from work.”

“Okay…”

“I don’t mean just you either. You and Yao have to take time off from running the clan. Let Hen-to and Fei run things for a little while.”

“But what about my uncle?”

She shivered for a bit, but tried to keep it together. “They will handle him when the time comes.” I can’t blame for how she is right now. Hark has to call and make sure Szu is already from time to time and she didn’t try to choke me out with advice. I guess I could let it slide for now.

Oh, but I still have one more day and one more mother to deal with.


On Friday, I stopped by the Man house. This time, I figured I would go to the source and get this over with. But when I rang the bell, I was not prepared for what I was going to see next.

“Coming!” a chipper voice said on the other side. I counted down for what she was going to say. Just listen, smile, nod, and get the hell out of there. My jaw dropped when she opened the door. Tse stood inches away from me with her arms filled with big bags.

“Oh, Ju!” she said. “You’re just the person I wanted to see.” I blinked and stepped backwards.

“Uh… what is this?” I asked. Tse smiled like Bik when she wants something.

“I was out shopping for dinner yesterday and walked past a maternity shop,” she explained. “I couldn’t help but to think of you. And before I knew it, I walked inside. The clerk thought I was the one having the baby. I was flattered, but said it was for my boss.” She handed me the bags. I about fell on the ground.

“Why are these so heavy?” I asked.

“They are full of parenting books,” Tse said. I made a face when I looked up.

“Parenting books?!” I asked.

“Uh-huh! I figured the others gave you more advice already, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a little more, now would it? Would you like to come in? I have more books for you if you like.”

“No thank you!” I had to waddle away with the bags in my arms.

“Okay, well the books will be waiting for you in my house!” Tse shouted. “Feel free to come and pick them up whenever!”

“Right!” I said back. I didn’t go back out for the rest of the day.


Lucky for me, I still have my friends to help me through this baby insanity. I talked to Tina about my week on Saturday. She smiled and listened to me out of sympathy. When I was finished, I was panting. She patted me on the back.

“There, there,” Tina said. “Look on the bright side.” I looked up at with a tired look in my eyes.

“What bright side?” I asked.

“The sooner you get pregnant, the sooner they will all leave you alone,” she said. My right eye started twitching.

“That’s easy for you say!” I hissed. “You’re not running a clan or even married.” Tina tried not to laugh at my misery.

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