IMPREGNATING MOM "I'll never agree to a sperm donor," Arthur said. "But, it's been 10 years of trying," I said. "If I don't get pregnant soon, it's never going to happen. Shawn will never have a brother or sister. The doctors have said you have too low a sperm count." "I bet it's your fault. You just aren't fertile any more. I know I do my part every month when we have sex. You and your date circled on the calendar when you supposedly ovulate." "I just think you should consider the option to have me get pregnant by artificial means. It wouldn't mean you're any less of a man, Arthur, and we'd have another child." "No way! Not in a million years. I'm not going to have another man's sperm in you. You're my woman, and that's the end of it. And don't try anything behind my back, because I know everyone in the local medical community and know where all the money is, so you can't pay for it." "I wish you wouldn't be so unreasonable, Arthur." I started crying. But, my husband ignored me, walked out the door, and went to work. I sat there at the kitchen table, sobbing, until my son Shawn came in. "Mom, don't be sad. I heard everything, again for the millionth time. You know Dad's not going to change his mind." He reached around me and gave me a hug. I wiped my eyes and hugged him back, feeling how thin and delicate he was, my just-turned-18-year-old beautiful boy. My pride and joy. I didn't know what I would do if I didn't have him. "I'm sorry you had to hear that again. The same old thing. I guess I have to start facing the truth. You'll never have a brother or a sister." "Isn't there any other way, to get pregnant, I mean?" "No, Shawn. The doctors have said I'm fine, but your Dad can't produce what's needed any more." I thought of the pitiful few drops that my husband produced when I last gave him a quick handjob when he was too tired for sex. "Well, how about somebody else's sperm? We learned all about that when that lady that had all the babies was in the news." "Your father won't allow it. And it's too expensive." "How much do you really want another baby, Mom?" "Oh, Shawn, I want one with all my heart. I would do anything to know another little life is growing inside me. It would fulfill me completely. That's why it's hurting so much." "Then, why don't you, you know, fool around just once and get pregnant on that day you mark off on the calendar? Just once. Dad would never know." "SHAWN! What would make you say such a thing. I've never cheated on your father and I never will! And if I did, your father would know the baby looked nothing like him. That's a totally stupid idea." "Aw, Mom, it wouldn't be like you were doing anything wrong for the wrong reasons. You'd be doing something right for the right reasons. Just for that once and that's it so you have another child for the rest of your life. That seems like a good deal for me." I couldn't believe I was having this conversation with my own teenage son. He was encouraging me to have a one-night stand with some guy just to have a baby. As crazy as that sounded, it did have some logic to it, but I could never stand the thought of being intimate with some strange man, no matter what the motivation. That would never, ever happen. I needed to have some affection, some love for the man I allowed into my body. "Subject closed, mister. We're out of ideas on that subject." Shawn sat down and looked thoughtful. I wiped my eyes and tried not to cry any more in front of him. I would hide the pain from now on. That's when Shawn spoke again. "What about me, Mom?" "What about you?" I asked. I thought he was talking about also wanting a brother or sister. "You said Dad would know if the baby didn't look like him." "Yes, young man. That's called genetics. A baby looks like both his parents. "Well, everybody says I look a lot like both you and Dad." "Yeah. So?" I wasn't liking where this seemed to be heading, but still wasn't sure I could believe what I was beginning to suspect." "So, if you used my sperm, Dad would never know. The baby would look like both of you. Problem solved!" I was speechless. My son, my young son had just suggested getting his own mother pregnant. It was so unexpected and preposterous that I couldn't even give words to the protest my mind was thinking. I just sat there with my mouth open. Shawn continued: "Dad would think it's his. He would be happy thinking he's the big man, and you'd be happy that you're pregnant. And, I'd be happy you two weren't fighting a

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