My Mother-in-Law Bought Me the Best Mattress – I Was Terrified When I Learned Her True Purpose

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Larissa considers herself fortunate to have won the “mother-in-law lottery” with Julia, who has been a pillar of support throughout Larissa’s struggles with infertility. Despite the challenges of conceiving, Larissa finds solace and encouragement in Julia’s unwavering presence.

However, months after the birth of their baby, Larissa’s husband makes a discovery that casts doubt on Julia’s role in their journey to parenthood, leading them to question the true extent of her involvement.

“When I married Toby, I felt like I hit the jackpot with Julia as my mother-in-law,” Larissa reflects. “She embraced me wholeheartedly, treating me not as an outsider but as her own daughter.”

“I always knew she cared for you deeply,” Toby reassured Larissa, echoing her sentiments of gratitude towards Julia.

Despite her advancing years, Julia exuded vitality and enthusiasm. She would often breeze in and out of our home, eager to lend a hand in the kitchen.

“I’m here to feed you guys,” she’d insist whenever I offered to cook for her instead. “Besides, I don’t have much else to do except catch up with the ladies over drinks,” she’d add with a chuckle.

Our kitchen sessions usually evolved into joint cooking endeavors, with Toby returning home to the sounds of music and laughter emanating from the kitchen.

With my parents residing across the country, having moved here for college and eventually settling down with Toby, Julia seamlessly filled the maternal void in my life—albeit in close proximity.

After three years of marriage, Toby and I decided to embark on the journey of parenthood.

“I’m ready if you are,” Toby declared one day. “I think it’s time.”

I wholeheartedly agreed. I was eager to embrace motherhood.

Thus, our attempts to conceive began. However, despite our best efforts, months passed with no success. As time wore on, the reality of our situation began to sink in—perhaps biological parenthood wasn’t meant to be for us.

“What do you want to do?” I inquired of Toby. “Should we keep trying?”

Toby’s nod conveyed his silent determination. While I knew he would never pressure me into anything, his longing to become a father was palpable.

Feeling torn, I sought counsel from my mother-in-law, Julia. She guided me to a wellness coach, arranged fertility massages, and even surprised us with a new mattress.

“Perhaps your body just needs proper rest,” Julia suggested. “We need to give your body the best chance possible.”

As we settled into our new mattress that night, I couldn’t help but question the necessity of Julia’s gestures.

“Seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it?” I mused to Toby.

“Normally, I’d agree,” he conceded. “But maybe Mom’s right. Our old mattress was terrible. This might make a difference.”

And it did. Less than a month later, I discovered I was pregnant. Initially hesitant to share the news, fearing the vulnerability it brought, I realized my apprehension was unfounded. Toby deserved to know we were on the path to parenthood.

“Thank goodness,” Toby exclaimed, lifting me up in his arms. “Finally!”

Once safely into the second trimester, we joyfully shared the news with our family, reassured by our baby’s healthy progress.

Before we knew it, our precious daughter, Maddie, came into the world.

With Maddie’s arrival, my mother-in-law, Julia, stepped in to lend a helping hand as we navigated the unfamiliar terrain of parenthood. She took charge of household chores and ensured Maddie’s needs were met, particularly during those early morning feedings.

Julia’s unwavering support was a source of comfort, especially since my own parents couldn’t be there to share in our joy just yet.

However, everything changed when Toby stumbled upon something in our home that altered my perception of Julia forever.

Although Toby and I didn’t mind co-sleeping with Maddie—finding it easier for nighttime feedings—one eventful night changed our routine. Maddie’s diaper mishap led to a messy situation, prompting Toby to handle the bed cleanup while I tended to our daughter.

As I comforted Maddie in the bathroom, unaware of Toby’s discovery, little did I know that he had stumbled upon something peculiar attached to our mattress.

After soothing Maddie back to sleep, I carried her to our bedroom, intending to place her in the crib while assisting Toby with changing the bedding.

“Honey,” Toby’s voice sounded concerned as he greeted me in the doorway, gesturing towards the mattress. “We can’t use this anymore.”

Confused, I set Maddie down and inquired, “What do you mean? Did she soil the mattress?”

Toby, visibly anxious, lifted the mattress, revealing something unexpected. “No, it’s not that,” he explained, struggling to articulate his discovery.

Perplexed, I urged him to explain further. “What’s wrong with it? We can clean it—”

“No, Larissa,” Toby interrupted, his tone tinged with panic. “It’s more than just a mattress.”

Fatigued and slightly irritated by Toby’s agitation, I pressed for clarification. “What are you talking about?”

Wordlessly, Toby handed me a small silk bag containing various herbs, an item I had never seen before. “Where did you find this?” I inquired, bewildered.

“It was pinned to the mattress, underneath the protector,” Toby revealed.

Confusion clouded my mind as Toby suggested it might be fertility herbs. “But why would they be there?” I questioned, struggling to comprehend.

“It’s possible it’s an old wives’ tale,” Toby pondered aloud. “But where else could it have come from?”

With unsettling thoughts swirling in my mind, Toby suggested we sleep in the guest bedroom, typically occupied by Julia during her visits. Despite my exhaustion, sleep eluded me as I mulled over the events of the night.

As I gazed at Maddie nestled between Toby and me, her perfect features a testament to our love, I couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion that her arrival coincided closely with Julia’s gift of the bed.

Could those herbs truly have played a role in Maddie’s birth? The notion seemed implausible, yet I couldn’t shake the nagging doubt.

I drifted into an uneasy sleep, only to be roused by the acrid scent of gas. Stepping outside, I watched in stunned silence as Toby ignited the mattress.

As flames consumed the mattress, mirroring the turmoil within me, I grappled with conflicting emotions. Julia, who had always been a cherished presence in our lives, now seemed shrouded in mystery. Why would she conceal something so significant from me?

The significance of the herbs eluded me, intensifying the paranoia and fear that had taken hold since Toby’s discovery. Had Julia harbored ulterior motives, or was there a rational explanation behind her actions that I simply couldn’t comprehend?

“What are you doing?” I exclaimed, hearing the fire grow louder.

“We couldn’t keep it, honey. We just couldn’t,” he said.

Toby had a deep fear for anything esoteric – anything that bordered the supernatural was too much for him. He would have rather slept in our car than spent another night in the house with the mattress.

As the mattress burned, I kept an eye on the baby monitor, watching Maddie sleep. The silence between Toby and I was heavy with the uncertainty of what had been going on in our home.

Later, Julia came over to make was breakfast as usual. My husband took the lead, his voice steady but laced with an undercurrent of betrayal.

“Mom, why didn’t you tell us about the mattress? About the herbs?” he asked.

I poured Julia a cup of tea – despite everything that we had learned, she was still one of my favorite people. I loved her like I loved my mother.

My mother-in-law’s face crumpled, her usual vibrancy replaced by a somber guilt.

“I just wanted to help. I knew that you were having trouble conceiving, and I thought that if it worked, you wouldn’t care how. I never meant to hurt either of you. Especially not my granddaughter.”

“What else did you do? What’s in the bag? Other than the herbs?” Toby’s questions flew hard and fast around our living room.

“Nothing!” Julia exclaimed, finally registering Toby’s fear. “It’s just dried herbs. I can give you a list of them,” she said. “I’ll take you both to the store where I got them from. It’s a sweet little apothecary next to my dentist. It’s a store all about natural wellness.”

“You could have just told us,” I found myself saying. “How we can trust anything you do now? How do we know if our baby is a miracle baby or just an outcome of your herbs?”

“Does that matter?” she asked, her eyes brimming with tears. “Maddie is here and she’s ours.”

I couldn’t exactly argue with that. Of course, Maddie was ours. I was just feeling wounded that Julia had done this and not told me. I also felt obligated to be angry with her – because my husband was livid.

“I’m sorry,” my mother-in-law whispered. “I really am.”

At her words, I felt Toby soften next to me.

“We need to start over, Mom,” he said. “If you plan on doing anything like this again, you have to tell us first. We need to know what’s going on in our own homes.”

Julia nodded and smiled at us. She seemed shaken that we had discovered the truth.

I was confused – there was a part of me that was eternally grateful to her because I know how difficult it was for us to get pregnant. But at the same time, how could sleeping on a bunch of herbs actually help us get pregnant?

Toby spent the rest of the day looking for mattresses online, while Julia baked us a tart for lunch. I just reveled in spending time with my daughter.

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