The Baby Maker's Club

By: Penny Wylder


“Don’t worry about that. You’ll find our service won’t break the bank like traditional fertility clinics. We also have very reasonable payment plans. It matters more to me that someone who wants to be a mom gets that chance.”

I’m so relieved by her words that I start to choke up. I swallow and stand when she does. She reaches a hand out to me and we shake. This time her grip is looser, less business, and more of a friendly gesture.

“Wait here and Nadia will be right with you to finish up with the paperwork. You’ll need to sign several NDAs before you leave.”

“NDAs?” I ask, confused.

“Non-disclosure agreements.”

“Oh, right, of course.” I feel like I’m becoming part of something special. A secret society. Which, I guess I sort of am.

“Once you’re finished with the paperwork, we’ll figure out when you’re fertile and schedule appointments for that window.”

“Thank you so much.”

My heart races. I’m so excited. To think, I’m going to be a mom. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.





2





The next week passes and I can’t think of anything else. My nerves build until I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. What if it doesn’t take? What if I never get pregnant? I never thought of that being a possibility before, but now the doubt won’t leave my mind. I wasn’t always careful when I was with previous boyfriends and I never once had a scare. My periods are so predictable you could set your clock by them. This has to work.

Running errands in the days before my “date,” I notice babies everywhere. At the market, an adorable little girl catches my eye. She’s dressed in a red gingham jumper and clutching a well-loved stuffed bunny. Her chubby cheeks are red with health and her little laugh fills the frozen food aisle. I have to stop myself from touching the halo of soft hair on her head. She’s perfect. The baby I’ve always dreamed of.

But then, a few feet away, I see a man and a woman. Her parents. They walk back to the stroller smiling at each other and holding hands. As soon as she catches her daddy’s eye, she lights up and squeals for him, lifting up her chubby arms. How is it possible she could be any happier? That’s when it hits me. Am I right to deprive my future child of a father? A man who will dote on and adore a child of his own? And the way the parents look at each other, sharing the joy and delight of their perfect creation. I’ll miss out on that, and the idea feels achingly lonely.

I also calculate my budget again and again. My job provides me with excellent benefits and maternity leave, but having a child is a big financial responsibility, especially in an expensive city like Los Angeles. I don’t have any family around to help me, and all my friends are busy with their own lives. If I do this, I’ll really be on my own. Me, myself and I will be the sole provider for this child.

Ultimately though, it occurs to me, with this baby, I won’t be alone any longer. I’ll finally have someone who loves me. For the first time I’ll have true love, the kind of love that’s unconditional and dependable. I decide there will never be the perfect man or the perfect circumstances to have a baby. So despite my nerves, I keep my appointment.

It never occurs to me to be nervous about the act of making the baby itself until I get back to the club for my first appointment with my donor. I was so worried about getting pregnant and being a single mother that I forgot all about the critical step. I’m going to have sex with a strange man. Today. I guess it’s a good thing I never miss a wax appointment.

My mind starts to spin out. What if he’s not attractive? I’m sure he won’t be ugly. This place wouldn’t be as successful as it is if they let in some creepy troll off the streets. But everyone has different tastes. Megan’s husband, for instance. He’s a good-looking guy, I suppose, and Megan thinks he’s just the sexiest thing in the world, but he would not be the guy I would choose for myself, or someone I would want to share DNA with my child. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mosaic never said anything about choices. She just said they would be picking the man for me. How do they choose?

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