Sold to the sheikh his i.., p.7
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       His Indecent Proposal, p.7
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         Part #1 of Sold To The Sheikh series by Holly Rayner
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Four weeks later, Mia found herself in Dr. Farber's office again, with Rami at her side. "Welcome back," the doctor said as they sat down. "How are you feeling, Mia?" Mia smiled weakly.

  "Like I've been scoured by a Brill-o pad," she said. Dr. Farber nodded sympathetically.

  "Yes, implantation can feel like that," the doctor agreed. "Are you feeling tired, achy, nauseated?" Mia shrugged.

  "Not any more than usual." She felt her eyes stinging with tears and looked up at the ceiling, taking a quick, deep breath. The hormones she'd been taking in order to produce the eggs for the procedure were taking their toll on her; Mia had had to stop watching a movie just the day before because she couldn't stop crying.

  "Well, your blood tests have come back within normal range, which you'll be pleased to hear, I'm sure," Dr. Farber's voice was reassuring, and Mia tried to suppress the nervous feeling bubbling up inside of her. Rami reached over and took her hand in his, giving it a quick squeeze.

  "What about the eggs?" Mia asked finally, steeling herself for bad news.

  "They're doing wonderfully," the doctor said. "Exactly what we wanted to see. And the fertilization is looking positive. We'll know for sure that it's set in another twenty-four to forty-eight hours, but right now it's looking very promising." Mia sighed with relief.

  "So then they can be implanted?" Rami's voice sounded almost as anxious as Mia's.

  "Absolutely. You're going to have some more discomfort, I'm afraid, but as long as nothing interferes with the fertilization, the embryos can be implanted in the next three days or so. We'll only implant a few of them-the rest can be frozen for another attempt."

  "I really hope we don't need another attempt," Mia said wearily. She glanced at Rami. "I'm actually starting to think I should've held out for more money from you."

  Rami grinned. "I'm perfectly willing to pay you more," he told her. "Just name your price." Mia gritted her teeth, trying to suppress a flare of anger that she knew was totally disproportionate.

  "I don't mean it," she said finally. "I'd just?really love to get on with being pregnant. I don't think it could be any more uncomfortable than what I've already gone through." Dr. Farber laughed, giving her another sympathetic look.

  "Many of my patients feel that way," she said. "And most of them say, once they do get pregnant, that they were right about it."

  "Good to know it's all sunshine from here," Mia said, smiling weakly again.

  "So once we implant the embryos, you will be waiting for two weeks," Dr. Farber told them. "And then you can take a pregnancy test to see if they have taken."

  "Two weeks?" Rami sounded somewhat shocked. "But if she has fertile eggs, and the embryos are implanted inside of her, how could she not become pregnant?"

  "There are still many things which could go wrong: sometimes the body rejects the embryos, sometimes the uterus doesn't cooperate, and sometimes the embryos don't work their way down into the uterine wall the way they need to. If the embryos-one or all of them-implant as is required, it takes two weeks for the hormones to be strong enough to detect in a pregnancy test."

  "More waiting," Mia said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. "I'm getting so good at waiting, I'm becoming a pro."

  "You've been incredibly patient, and understanding of everything, Mia," Dr. Farber said.

  "Yes," Rami agreed. "I really appreciate how willing you've been to go through this for my sake."

  "Well, with an offer like the one you made?" Mia took a breath and exhaled slowly. "I'm just hoping we can make this work. I'll feel terrible if we can't."

  "It can take time," Dr. Farber cautioned her. "Don't get discouraged if the treatment isn't successful this first round. It often takes several cycles to conceive this way."

  "I want to make sure we're doing this the safest way possible," Rami said. "You're sure you have enough sperm and enough eggs-and that there won't be any need for her to take the kinds of hormones she did before?"

  "We should have enough fertilized eggs to do at least three cycles," Dr. Farber said. "If we're more conservative, maybe four or five."

  "Oh man, I so hope it doesn't take five cycles," Mia said flatly.

  "Without wanting to upset you, it might," Dr. Farber told her gently. "Which is why I don't want you to feel down on yourself if it doesn't happen this time. There's a science of reproductive medicine and there's an art, and sometimes the science isn't enough."

  Mia took a sip of the water Dr. Farber had given her. "Okay," she said. "I won't get all worked up if it doesn't happen this time, I promise."

  "And remember, both of you, that if it gets to be too stressful, we can take a break for a few months," Dr. Farber said.

  "That's right, Mia," Rami told her, giving her hand a squeeze. "A break would be as much a part of this as the active part."

  "You are not going to convince me to stay in your pay when I'm not even actively trying to get knocked up," Mia told him firmly.

  "Too much stress reduces the chances of successful conception," Dr. Farber repeated. "If we're not able to get it in three cycles, I will insist that you take a month off-maybe even two-to get the hormones out of your system and build your body back up. And that's part of this process. It isn't my place to advise on your monetary arrangement, but from a medical point of view, if Rami is paying you for this process, he should be paying you for that, too." Mia looked from the doctor to her benefactor and decided that no matter how logically she argued with them, neither was going to budge on the issue.

  "Okay, fine. When can I come in and be implanted?"

  "Another two days and we'll know for sure. We'll be in touch very soon, don't you worry."

  SEVEN

 
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