The Baby Maker's Club

By: Penny Wylder

When I get home from work, I kick off my shoes and throw on a pair of yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt and flop down on the couch. Some wine and a good book is what I need right now. I pick up the cozy mystery book I’ve been slogging through for the last few weeks. It doesn’t hold my attention, and I find my mind wandering back to my conversation with Megan earlier in the day.

The idea of having a baby on my own has planted itself in my brain. I’ve been jealous of my best friend for having it all—career, adoring husband, baby on the way. I thought she was so lucky. Now that I know how she conceived her baby, taking charge and getting it done on her own, I really admire her. And I’m also a little inspired by her. If she can do it, maybe I can too? I shake my head. There’s no way I’ll be able to afford a donor, no matter what Megan says, so I open my favorite dating app. Low and behold, I see the guy I went on a date with last night back on the hunt again so soon after dismissing me. Wow. The universe is really sending me a message tonight, loud and clear. I’m terribly lonely, my romantic prospects are bleak, and more than anything in this world, I want to be a mother.

Sighing, I put my phone down and fish out the business card Megan gave me. I’m so sick of dating assholes. I don’t need the stress in my life and none of these men lead to anything serious. I want a baby. I want to give a child the love I didn’t have growing up in foster care. I want to provide a life with security. I fantasize about big Christmas Eves, the kind I used to see on television when I was a kid. I imagine wrestling an enormous Christmas tree through the front door. Decorating the front lawn together with Rudolph and Santa. Building gingerbread houses together around the kitchen table. I want to experience all the things I missed as a child, and I want to have the joy of watching my own child live the life I always yearned for. I don’t imagine I’d stay in L.A. to raise my child. I’ll go somewhere in the mid-west, find one of those small towns where everybody knows everybody and all of your neighbors have your back. There will be football games, dance recitals, fieldtrips, and sleepovers. I’ll be the best mom there ever was.

And I don’t need a man to have it all. Not in this day and age. If there isn’t a single man in Los Angeles who can help me fulfill my dreams, well, maybe I’ll just have to go after those dreams alone. I shoot a quick email to Mosaic and ask for an appointment.

What am I getting myself into?

The next morning, I go to the address on the business card. It’s in a beautiful building in the swanky part of downtown Los Angeles. Inside is even more impressive than the outside. There is expensive art on the walls and furniture too pretty to sit on. It looks like a fancy day spa rather than a medical office. Looking around, I know there’s no way I can afford a service that comes out of this building. This is for the city’s elite, and that’s definitely not me. I turn to walk out, but the receptionist sees me and gives me a wide smile.

“How can I help you?” she says. She’s not your run of the mill receptionist. Her hair is a multi-colored weave, and it’s obvious it wasn’t done at the Kwik Kuts in the mall. Her nails are done in a stiletto style and bejeweled. For a secretary, she’s expensively dressed. I have somewhat of a shoe obsession, even though I don’t own any expensive shoes myself, but I know a pair of Marc Jacob heels when I see them. And I’m not talking of seasons past. The ones she’s wearing are in stores now. You can’t buy things like that on a secretary’s salary. Hell, I can’t afford that on my salary, and by Los Angeles standards, I make decent money for a single young woman.

“I’m Kate. Um, a friend told me about this place. She said Mosaic might be able to help me. I have an appointment this morning.”

“Absolutely. She helps a lot of people,” the woman says cheerily as she’s handing me papers to fill out.

After signing forms for anonymity and providing my health history, a nurse draws my blood in a pretty traditional examination room. She seems like a typical nurse I’d see at my doctor’s office, and by the time I’m waiting in the lobby for Mosaic, I have no idea what to expect from the rest of this visit. Where am I?

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