Warnings- talk of not being able to become pregnant.
Just a little background. I wasn’t going to write this story as the topic is very personal to me. Around a year and a half ago I found out I have something call PCOS. This stands for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Essentially, I have been told I can not get pregnant without fertility treatments and that even then I may not be able to get pregnant at all. It defiantly made me sad as I love children and since I can remember I have always wanted to be a mum. Over some time though I have come to accept that this is just a part of me and that there are tons of children that need to be adopted into caring homes. If you have something similar and want to talk about it I am always here.
It had been killing you. Dan had made you keep it in the bathroom for the ten-minute wait. He said if you didn’t leave it alone you would constantly be checking it. He wasn’t wrong but it didn’t change the fact that it was one of the longest waits in human history. The last fifteen had taken just as long of a wait but for some reason, this one felt different. This one was going to be the one. After the last heartbreak, Dan had made a promise that the next test would be the one. It was about time that the two of you saw some good news come from a test.
It had all started a few months after the two of you decided to start trying for a baby. You had your period a few times until three months into trying you were late. You couldn’t have gotten to the drug store quicker that evening after work. When you had got home you had found Dan sitting at his desk replying to emails. You had run up to him with the plastic bag in hand with a smile so big your face had actually started to hurt. At first, Dan had thought you had lost your mind until you showed him what was inside. “Look what I got after work. Do you think we should try? I’m a few days late so it could be positive.” Dan had nodded as you gave a squeal and pulled him to the bathroom by his arm.
After you peed on the stick Dan and yourself had waited for the ten minutes before looking at the stick. Unfortunately, you didn’t see the results you wanted as it was negative. You were still hopeful then. Still sure you just needed some time. You had started to google ways to become pregnant with ovulation tests and apps. You would even put your legs in the air like you had seen in movies because something had to work.
Around the sixth failed test is when Dan and yourself had started to get worried. It had been nearly five months of trying awaiting with no results. It was after that test that Dan had made the suggestion to see your doctor. “I think it is worth a visit. Maybe she has a suggestion on what we may be doing wrong. I will book an appointment with mine and make sure my swimmers are still good and you go and make sure everything is all good in the baby chamber.”
“Baby chamber? Really Daniel?” You knew Dan was trying to help lighten the mood but in all honestly, you weren’t sure anything could calm your nerves.
“What? I like the idea of calling your womb a baby chamber.” Dan gave you a light smile as he kissed your hairline on your forehead. “You and me. We are in this together.” Dan was right. But it didn’t make the idea of not being able to have babies scary.
Dan had gotten into his doctor before you did letting the two of you know there was nothing wrong with his end of the baby making program. Getting that news was good but left you with a bigger pit in your stomach. If Dan’s little guys weren’t the problem than that meant that something was in you. So here you sat. In the doctors waiting room with Dan. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair, surrounded by strangers while your ability to have babies hung in the balance in a folder of the photos from your ultrasound. As you sat there bouncing your leg you felt Dan’s hand make its way to your thigh. Giving it a squeeze of reassurance. “Don’t worry. We are going to go in there. She is going to tell us that I just need to give you a little more attention. Hmm? What do you think of that?” Just as you were about to tell Dan that the elderly lady might have a heart attack if you keep doing a terrible job whispering. But your name was called by the sweet nurse who was as short as eleven-year old’s. After she leads the two of you to the room she left you with a smile that seemed to actually calm you down somehow. You didn’t have time to tell Dan how cute she was before your doctor walked into the room. She always made you a little nervous. It was the way she commanded the room. It was like walking into the principal’s office even when you were a good kid you felt like they knew everything bad you had ever done.
“Hello, Mr and Mrs Howell. It’s always a pleasure to see you. So. I will cut it to the point. Your ultrasounds came back with a bit of alarm. We can see from them that you have cysts on your ovaries. This is what is most likely what is causing your troubles with conceiving. Now the good news is we can absolutely use fertility drugs to help the process along. It will take some time for the hormones to take full effect in your system. But we do see good results with woman who have the same cysts as yours.” All the information that was coming at you was overwhelming. All in one quick speech you learned that not only did you have cysts on your ovaries but also that you would need to use fertility drugs to conceive a child. You knew it wasn’t true but you somehow felt less as a woman. This magical thing that only woman and male seahorses you seemed to be unable to do. Your thoughts were taken over by the feeling of Dan’s hand wrapping in yours. Dan looked to you as if he was trying to read your mind.
After a few moments, you were finally able to find your voice. “Can we think about fertility drugs and when we make our decision we can come back and start the treatments if we want?” The doctor agreed, letting you know that all you would have to do is book an appointment and she would start you on the shots and teach Dan and yourself how to use the needles. You thanked her for her help and went home for some mech needed thinking, research, and conversation with Dan.
After a few days of talking Dan and yourself decided it was worth a try. The treatment was safe and had few side effects. One hopefully being pregnancy. It had been over a month of daily needles before you decided to take a pregnancy test. It had been coming up on seven months since the two of you started this journey. You were sat at the end of the bed alongside Dan waiting for your timer to go off. You had stopped counting out loud how many of these tests you had done making you sit in this very spot waiting to see if it had worked. Even if you weren’t counting out loud, you knew in the back of your head that the number was around sixteen or so.
“I don’t know if I can do this anymore after this one Dan. Maybe I was just never meant to carry a baby. There are tons of babies that need adopting in the world. I’m sad that we may never have a child with your brown eyes and adorable dimples. But I just don’t know if I can handle all the hurt of building up my excitement just to have it torn down again within the span of ten minutes.” Dan pulled you closer to him so he could wrap his arms around you. He knew how hard this was for you. Mentally and Physically the stress of trying for a baby was starting to show.
“We’re not out of options yet. There is always adoption or invitro. If it comes to it we can always have a surrogate. Being a mum and dad doesn’t mean the child has to be ours in DNA. That comes when you love another person with all your heart. We will figure it all out.” You knew Dan was right. But it’s hard coming to terms that you may never feel the kick of your baby inside of you. Never get the experience of breastfeeding your baby. All of those special moments never happening. The timer beside you on Dan’s phone went off letting you know that it was time to look at the test.
“Can you please so grab it. I don’t think I can move from this spot.” Dan agreed, getting up to grab the test off the counter in the bathroom. When Dan came back he was holding the test in his hand making sure to cover the results up with his palm. Dan returned to his spot on the bed beside you looking from you to the test. “Move your hand on three.” Dan nodded as he waited for your countdown. “One, two, Three.” Dan removed his hand from the test slowly to let the two of you know that you were……
You know what the biggest tip off for me was that Jack and Ashi were going to be a thing? There face profiles are like puzzle pieces that fit together. His forehead protrudes slightly and leads right into his nose while Ashi's Jaw and nose protrude out past her forehead. Look when they get up in each other's faces when they're in the belly of the beast and he has the beard pointing down and her hair is sticking up. It's some yin-yang stuff going on right there.
Boy oh boy anon am I ever glad you brought this up! I apologize in advance, for I have a lot/too much to say so be prepared and please be patient with me!
This stuck out to me quite a bit in episode four as they were actually being forced to spend time with each other. I’m stuck on a mobile, but I’m sure we all remember when they were arguing and their faces got close to each other. They literally fit into each other like a puzzle piece just like yin and yang. Not to mention, as you also pointed out, the way they wear their hair also goes along with that. Jack used to have a beard and wore his hair down, while Ashi had worn her hair up. Later, we see Jack (unfortunately) lose his beard and he starts to wear his hair up again while Ashi is wearing her hair down. Let’s also not forget Jack’s gi is white whereas Ashi’s… um, burnt flesh was black. Literally their whole appearances contrast each other which, as you said, is some yin and yang shit going on.
BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE!
When you think about it, just about everything they do is some sort of a parallel to each other. For starters, the reason why the two exist at all are for opposite reasons. Jack was born to continue the emperor’s bloodline which includes to complete the occasional task of defeating Aku until his usual inevitable reappearance. Ashi was born to do the exact opposite- to kill whoever fights against the demon she once worshipped, which of course means Jack. We have seen both characters go grow up in their respective environments. Despite being royalty, Jack had a good ‘normal’ upbringing. He had loving parents who treated him like a normal child and supported him. Ashi, on the other hand, had an abusive upbringing. Her mother was unsupportive and literally does not give a damn about the lives of her daughters. However, none of these stay perfectly in place. As seen in episode three of season five, Jack’s playtime is interrupted by several assassins looking to kill his father. Of course, his father stands up for himself and his family and fights. Jack rushes away from the safety of his mother’s arms to take a peek at the action, only to see nothing more but miserable violence followed by his face being splattered in one of the assassin’s blood therefore giving the poor boy a glimpse of the darkness the world holds. Later, as his father is cleaning him up, his father is giving him words of wisdom and comfort like any good parent would. Ashi, unfortunately, wasn’t this lucky. As seen in the first episode of season five, her mother doesn’t give her or her six sisters a normal upbringing. They’re forced to learn how to fight in a dark, depressing environment. Eventually, ‘Mother Dearest’ brings out a very large and brutish enemy to force her daughters to fight. Of course, they try but are too small and weak to do any damage. At one point, Ashi rushes away from the fight to get a glimpse of the outside world. It is then she sees the warmth and beauty of the world. For once in her miserable childhood, Ashi gets to see the light the world holds at times and she smiles. However, that doesn’t last long. The High Priestess coaxes her back out only to mercilessly grab her by the throat and fling her back into battle. Jack’s childhood was full of light and happiness except for the one unfortunate incident where he saw how messed up and cruel the world can be meanwhile, Ashi’s childhood was full of darkness and misery except for the one time she saw how beautiful and bright the world can be.
Hell, for those who remember Jack’s training montage in the very first episode, compare it to Ashi’s. Jack got to see the world and meet knew people and got to experience so much, whereas Ashi was trapped inside during most of her life and never got to know anything different.
For those who say “Jack and Ashi shouldn’t be together because Jack acts like an adult whereas Ashi acts like a child” there is a reason for this. Literally the short blurb I said above gives a lot of explanation. People who see or get to know the world and different people tend to gain a lot of experience and tend to act more mature. People who don’t do those things tend to have an ignorant viewpoint and do tend to act childish. However, have any of you actually noticed that Jack and Ashi have helped each other act like their own actual ages? Literally, throughout the course of the episodes Jack has slowly started to begin looking and acting like the 25 year old man he is. Ashi’s presence and companionship has helped him regain his youth. (For fucks’s sake Ashi helps Jack’s hallucinations decrease/go away). Jack does a similar thing for Ashi. Jack has pushed her into the right direction for her to understand things more on her own. Ashi has become much more mature than when Jack was forced to be with her in episode four. Thanks to that, she now actually acts like a real 18-21 year old (or however fucking old she is) adult. Ashi would have never made it this far without Jack and Jack wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for Ashi. Why is that? Because they are yin and yang! They are the missing puzzle piece to each other. They literally complete each other.
“BUT THERE WASN’T ENOUGH BUILDUP!”
It’s a ten episode continuation of a storyline that hasn’t been touched in 13 years, which by the way, was SUPPOSED to have a total of 13 episodes but Adult Swim was a greedy bastard, so we can only have ten. When you have a 13 episode plot planned out but are only given ten episodes, that’s not an easy squeeze. Approximately, he had to squeeze in about an extra 60 minutes worth of whatever was going to happen in the last three-ish episodes? (Tbh, episodes five-to-seven seemed just as rushed as episode eight but no one has complained about that.) So what can he really do? Drop the romance he has wanted to do for a really long time? Pfft, I wouldn’t want to do that! My guy, if I would make my intentional ship happen no matter what had to take in order for it to happen.
Also, about the amount of buildup, there was quite a bit:
- The buck and doe kissing
- Jack carrying Ashi bridal style in episode four
- “What did you expect, a hug and a kiss?”
- Witty/playful banter between the two
- The ladybug scene (although this can be debatable)
- The sea serpent scene (very Disney, lol)
- “Uh, I like your hair…. and your dress!”
- The way Jack held Ashi when he saw she passed out.
- The way Ashi looked at Jack when she regained consciousness.
- “Jack, you got your sword! And a little shave and a haircut…”
- The VAs teasing it on Twitter
- The entire (fairly obvious??) yin and yang point I made above
- All of episode eight LEADING UP to the kiss
Let’s also not forget that a lot of time goes by in these episodes and that it’s up to us, the viewers, to fill in the blanks ourselves. Of course as they’re traveling they’re going to grow closer! That’s just a thing that happens.
“EPISODE EIGHT WAS POINTLESS FILLER!”
…And? Literally every show I have seen NO MATTER THE LENGTH has at least ONE. Also, that argument isn’t completely true either. What if I told you that perhaps their relationship is important to the plot? I don’t know about you, but them developing a romantic relationship will deeply effect how Jack will feel about completing his mission. Ashi being this important in his life will effect and possibly reshape his goals. If that isn’t something any of you deem important to the plot, then I am at a loss of what to tell you at this point.
Jack and Ashi not only complete each other, but they make each other genuinely happy in a way that the two of them have either had very little experience with or no experience at all. They both understand the mental baggage the other carries and support each other. They are both consenting adults with an age gap AT LARGEST seven years apart (physical age and mental age are both things that go together and are hardly separate unless there’s some elaborate fantasy-novelesque reasoning for it) so it’s not like either of them are so out of loop to know what they’re doing. They both obviously care about each other, saved each others lives, and see each other as an equal. They capture just about all the aspects of what makes a healthy relationship (love, respect, trust, loyalty, etc.) and, again, they have been through so much both on their own and together. Don’t you think they deserve to be happy?
Anyway, this is just my “two cents” on the issue (although more like 50 bucks holy fuck do you see all this shit I wrote???)
I’M SO SORRY ANON THIS PROBABLY DROVE YOU CRAZY TO READ THROUGH!!❤️❤️❤️
I’ve been told
more than once that fighting for women’s rights or even being interested in the
topics of feminism and gender equality is a complete waste of time in today’s Western
There are no more issues to be had, there is no problem, all is well. To test this hypothesis I have made
a habit of thinking “Would you act the same way around me if I were a man? And
if not – why?” So, here are a few examples of suggested improvements to the
treatment of female co-humans, for biologists, other scientist and anyone else.
1) Do not
confuse your co-workers with the subjects of your studies!
especially we zoologists know all about animals, their behaviour, their
reproduction, the crazy lengths they go to in order to get laid… and in the
animal kingdom males and females are simply not equal most of the time. Beetle
ladies get their insides crushed or plugged by their male mates in order to
prevent insemination by rivals. Female cats ovulate due to the pain inflicted
on them by the tomcats’ spiny penis. Gorillas are organised in harem-like
groups of several females being dominated by a male. Many animal fathers tend
to leave their mate and wander off to inseminate their next incubator and
maximize their genetic contribution to the population. Sure, there are also the
opposites – matriarchal hyenas, seahorse daddies and free-love-bonobos (those
hippies!), but statistically speaking the ones with the sperm tend to have the
upper hand. Knowing all of this it makes it seem likely that in human animals,
too, there are some differences between the sexes, and there are – hormonally,
physically, developmentally. The difference is, however, that we are not
limited to our biological traits, so the world we live in should enable us to
overcome these dissimilarities and create equal opportunities for all sexes. In
this world my ability to be a professor is not linked to my level of
testosterone and my being a stay-at-home parent is not dependent on my
milk-leaking breasts. We are animals, we are the products of millennia of evolution,
but we are more than just hormones and instincts, so just keep that in mind.
Do not invalidate my
professional or personal choices!
Never assume that my job is
just a pastime! Yes, I measure ants for a living. Yes, that is an actual job I
get paid for. No, I am not just biding my time until the right wealthy inseminator
comes along to fill my womb with offspring. And also no, at 27 I am not
planning to have kids very VERY soon (tick-tock, ovaries!).
Also, never just presuppose
that I am the underling or assistant in any setting including older male
colleagues. That is just rude!
Just to prove that you can’t
ever get it right: If a woman does choose to have a family, go on a sabbatical
or decide to breed poodles, do not dismiss her as “not a real scientist”, as
someone who is just not driven, passionate or strong enough for the scientific
world. People can have more than one passion, we don’t necessarily have to kill
ourselves over our jobs. And if you actually do perceive that as a weakness,
please don’t blame it on her gender – men can breed poodles, too!
3) Do not make my appearance or
sexuality any more of an issue than you would a man’s!
We all know the
“#distractinglysexy” campaign (or if you don’t, just google it, it is both sad
and hilarious) where female scientists call out male colleagues for questioning
their professionalism based on their styling or wardrobe. What I wear should
not be the basis of how you judge my abilities or my intellect. You would never
call a man “slutty” or “unprofessional” because he wears shorts when it’s hot
(given the dress code at your workplace is ok with that) or consider his
sexuality nullified because he wears rubber boots and cargo pants in the field.
On the other hand, I do not wear a lab coat and glasses because it makes me a stereotypical
sexy science nerd, but because I am short-sighted and do not enjoy dangerous
chemicals on my skin.
Never underestimate the
Some people tend to belittle
those aspects of science (or life, in general) that draw in a predominantly
female crowd. There is hard, manly science, physics, chemistry, and math on the
one hand and then there is a flowery meadow full of little girls playing with
fluffy bunnies. However, my years at the university have taught me that this
trope cannot possibly be based on facts. I have spent most of my lectures
in auditoriums with a 60-90% female audience. And that was not “Cute puppies
101”, that was organic chemistry, physiology, genetics, entomology,
statistics… all things technical, complicated, full of equations, decay and
slimy bugs – and hardly a guy in sight. So, look out, world, and treat your
women with respect because there is absolutely no reason why we should not be
running the place!
The fight is not over, there is still plenty
of work and science to be done!