Fertility. Short Story.

Sandra walked slowly down the road, enjoying the sunshine, it was a particularly lovely day and that made the walk so much better for her. She pushed an old and heavy Victorian style pram, it had been a present, one that had to be used. Her final destination was the park, where she would circle the pond and then return, it was the same path she followed every day, regardless of the weather. They both needed fresh air and a little sun never harmed anyone. She looked down at her baby, swaddled in blankets to keep him warm. He rocked back and forth slightly with the pram, occasionally giving a little squirm. Everything about him was perfect. Well, she didn’t know it was a him, but she had a strong feeling, it just made sense. So she wrapped him in a blue blanket, the nursery room was painted a light, sky blue. It was just a bonus that blue was Sandra’s favourite colour. She patted the smooth, white surface of the egg, caressing it slightly, making sure it was still warm enough. She had been assured that wrapping it in blankets would be enough, but she still worried sometimes. The egg itself was quite large, about the size of a basketball. So far no one had stopped her to look inside the pram, but she had been told they would see a normal, healthy baby as long as she used this pram. She of course believed this too, as why wouldn’t she? Everything else they had told her was true, so why not this? She had taken care of the egg since it had been laid almost six months ago, when it was just the size of a baseball. She didn’t know how or why it grew the way it did, only that everything was normal and fine. She had been given some books to read and a list of warning signs, both of which she practically memorised. Now she only referenced them occasionally, when she was second guessing herself.

She had been trying to have a baby of her own for years now, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive fertility treatments, including IVF, but none had worked. She had been told she was infertile many times, but she didn’t listen. Sandra knew she was supposed to be a mother, she had always known this and nothing would stop her having her own baby, it was her destiny.

Sandra had never wanted to adopt, she knew that someday she would probably do so, but at the time, it seemed so wrong. She was supposed to be a mother, to a baby that had lived inside of her. While waiting for one of her many treatments, a man in a suit approached her, told her he had heard of what she had gone through and that he might have a solution for her. He had handed her a business card and left. After the treatment, she gave his company a call, just out of idle curiosity. She had shook slightly when she made the appointment, listening to the woman on the phone it sounded as though she would finally get her chance to be a mother, a real mother.

She had to go through some blood tests and some other tests which she didn’t quite understand, but of course that was all to be expected. She didn’t even have to wait, at the end of the day they told her they would be ready to proceed. They explained to her, quite simply, that it was a new and revolutionary procedure in which they’d take samples of her DNA and combine them with a suitable males DNA, then they’d implant the new embryo into a hard shelled protective casing. In a few months the protective casing would break open, revealing her new born baby. It wasn’t the same as carrying something inside her, but it was the closest she would ever get to her own baby. She had expected them to ask her to pay exorbitantly, but they didn’t, it was all free as she would be one of the first trying it. In fact, they even said that they would pay her, and pay for the child’s needs for the first eighteen years of its life, including college expenses if the child choose to go to college, how could she refuse a boon like that? She agreed almost instantly and, a few days later she returned to collect her egg. In that time she had studied the information given, going over it as much as possible. She of course had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, valid until the company decided they were going public with the process. It would change the very fabric of society. They had offered to tell her the sex of the child, but she refused, she didn’t want to know, not until it hatched. She wanted to be surprised. Sandra already knew it would be healthy, they had assured her of that and that was all that mattered.

She walked around the pond, looking at the ducks as they herded their ducklings, smiling, she continued on. Soon she would have a baby, and if this turned out well, the company hinted that she may have another. How wonderful that would be, two children, fully her own. As she walked, she wore her ring, it was one of four, it was an engagement ring, one that ensured she wouldn’t have any untoward advances from men. She had been down that route many times and it had lost its allure. Four times she had been engaged and four times it seemed to just fall apart around her. She didn’t want to go through that again, and now, she didn’t need a man in order to have babies of her own.

Back in the house, she moved the egg into the cot and pointed the heat lamp at it. They had told her that they wanted the mothers to bond with the egg, before the baby hatched. It would ensure the parents would be responsible. They had apparently done all the testing in labs first and there were twelve babies which had been lab produced, but hers would be the first to be cared for in a home. Her child would be unique, before it was even born. As she watched, the egg shook slightly, almost like a little shiver, Sandra smiled and moved the heat lamp closer. Soon her baby would hatch and her life would be perfect.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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