The Baby Maker's Club

By: Penny Wylder


As I walk into the waiting room, I have a sudden urge to walk right out again. I don’t think I can do this. I’m ready for a child, but I’m not ready to have sex with some random guy someone else has chosen for me.

“Kate, your room is all ready for you,” Nadia says from the front desk just as I’m deciding to leave. She comes around the desk and motions me to follow her.

Damn. It’s too late to back out now, I suppose. Besides, I’ve already paid the first installment and there is a strict no refund policy. I work too hard for my money to waste it.

I take a deep breath and follow Nadia.

We go into an elevator. She chats about the weather, her busy morning, about how the phones never stop ringing and how they are so busy these days that they are going to be hiring another receptionist to help her out. I’m barely listening though. I pick up on enough details of our one-sided conversation to make small comments, but really all I can think about is what’s going to happen when I enter the baby-making room. Is there going to be a gynecologist table with stirrups? Will there be someone supervising the act to make sure we don’t break any of the rules? It doesn’t say anything about the procedure in the paperwork they gave me.

When we get out of the elevator, we walk down a long hallway lined with doors. Each door has a number on it. Nadia has a chart in her hand. I glance over her shoulder and see my name with the number eleven next to it. We walk past doors one through eight, and the butterflies in my stomach are frantic. My hearts beating faster as we pass ten, and I feel like I might pass out.

Shit, I’m sweating. That’s not good. I don’t want to be all sweaty when my pants come off. It starts to feel like a sauna in here. This hallway feels less like a luxury hotel and more like the hallway in the The Shining when all the blood spills out of the elevator.

I stop. Nadia is still prattling on. She stops when she notices I’m no longer following behind her.

She turns to me, looking confused until she sees my face. A slow, reassuring smile plays at her lips. “Nervous?” she says.

“That’s an understatement.”

“It’s perfectly normal. But I assure you that this will be a great experience. If at all you start to feel uncomfortable, you can stop the process. And if you don’t find our choice in partner to be to your liking, we will find someone different.”

I’m flooded with relief from her words and she can see it. She laughs. “Maybe I should have mentioned that part earlier.”

“It might’ve helped,” I say good-naturedly.

I start to follow her again until we reach my room and then we stop. “I will leave you to it. Here is your keycard.” She hands me a hotel type card with a magnetic strip on the back. “Only those with a card can get into the rooms, so never open the door for anyone who doesn’t have one of these. There’s a phone in the room. Call down to the front desk if you need anything.”

I nod. “Thank you.”

Nadia leaves and I continue to just stand there, staring at the door. I guess this is it. I’m about to make a baby with a complete stranger. I square my shoulders and try to summon as much courage as I possibly can. If I want to have a baby, I have to do this. It’s now or never.

With a deep breath, I scan my card and turn the door handle, then I walk inside.





3





I’m early, so luckily, I’m the only one in the room. I want to get a feel for the place before we jump into the action. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting the room to look like, but it was nothing like this. I guess I was thinking the experience would be more like a doctor’s visit with vinyl chairs, tile floors, whitewashed and smelling of disinfectant. But it’s nothing like that. The room is cozy. The bed is plush with an expensive-looking bed set in rust colors. There are candles all around that smell like vanilla, but they aren’t lit. And there’s even a gas fireplace. If I didn’t know where I was and what this place was used for, I might’ve thought I was in a high-end hotel.

The last three nights without sleep are starting to catch up with me. I’m suddenly feeling exhausted. I kick off my shoes and stretch out on the bed. It’s cozy. Out of habit, I look around for a television remote, but then I remember this is definitely not a hotel room, and this room serves a single purpose. No use for distractions in this room.

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