Over the next few weeks, Specter and I talked about kids. We did research into expense then spent another few weeks talking about how we were going to have kids. Most expensive route was our own kid with one of us get the male womb thingiemabob surgery. Another idea was a surrogate. Or maybe adoption, though with my lack of history it would be a bit difficult. The other two would be difficult, too. Still–we were hopeful and began saving up our money. We wanted to have enough to get whatever procedure we wanted done plus have enough for redecorating one of the rooms.
We bought books on multiple subjects to study which usually meant him doing the reading and then explaining to me. I didn’t know half the words used in the more complex books but found a really cute book about becoming a daddy. It was out one day when Uncle Kay came to visit and when he saw it, he asked about it.
I told him about me and Specter and then Uncle Kay rubbed the back of his head as he said, “W-we could help. My sister and–and I. We–we–w-we… we were… th-the ones who–who first rep-replicated male pregnancy.”
My jaw dropped. “What?”
“Yes, we were–were trying to replic-cate it in our s-search for ext–extra–ahh, aliens.” He looked like he wanted to say more but remained silent.
“Would Doctor Green-Eyes be able to help?” I asked, as I hadn’t gotten out of calling her that. Not that I ever said it to her. Not that I ever really talked to her.
Uncle Kay shrugged. “I’ll t-t-talk to her.”
I was so excited I wanted to tell Specter the moment he came home but was trying my best not to do things like that. But I was unable to hold it back very long so as soon as he flopped onto the couch it all came rushing out. But Specter smiled and was excited about it too. “I never even thought about the doctor,” he admitted. “I didn’t know she… originated it… I thought… wait…” He got up and went over to the computer. I bounced around behind him (falling twice) as he did whatever it was he was doing. Finally, “Ahhhh! The first male pregnancy was done illicitly and illegaly in the labs in Sunset Valley by Doctor and Professor Redding. So. Their name is Redding. Oh!! Ohhhh! Oh.”
“What is it?”
He closed the page and spun the chair around. “Nothing.”
I stopped bouncing and just stared at him. “It’s gotta be something.”
“Their test subject was a Danevbie.”
“Ahh. Well. That explains how they’re related to me then, huh? If Uncle Kay is my, um, multiple-greats-grandpa then he…” I crinkled my nose up. “Hmmm. Well. I guess male pregnancy runs in my family then.”
Specter choked and then made some garbled sounds which I realized were just choke-y laughing sounds. “I, uh… apparently so.” After some strange silence he asked, “Has the Professor been asking you to… contact…?”
I nodded. “Mhm. Sometimes.”
“But you still…”
“Not right now.”
“You keep saying–“
“Not right now!” I tried to sound angry but it came out as whiny. And I was sure my angry face looked more pouty because Specter was giving me his ‘you’re-so-cute’ smile. “Am I a bad person for–for this?”
He got up so he could put his arms around me. “I don’t think you are. You’re just nervous and scared. Nothing bad about feeling like that. No matter your choice, I’ll support it.”
Uncle Kay talked to the doctor and I think Specter did too. At first she didn’t want to but eventually she relented, if I agreed to undergo a few experiments. Specter was extremely opposed to it until she explained it would… uhhh… intain? It would be taking me to a few graveyards and seeing if I could interact with the afterlife that couldn’t be seen normally unless with technology, or in a ‘hot spot’. It took ages for them to come to terms about things but finally an agreement was made.
So shortly before my 22nd birthday I found myself in the uncomfortable position of sitting in a car alone with Dr. Green-Eyes. At least she played nice music that I recognized. She didn’t talk, though. Neither did I except a couple times when I asked where we were going. All she responded was a snorting sound. At one point I wondered if she was kidnapping me… but, just before dusk, we arrived at a graveyard.
“Sit on the bench and write down anything unusual you see and hear,” the doctor said, giving me a notebook and pen.
“It’s dark. I can’t see the paper,” I said and she looked at me over her glasses. “Okayyy.” I got out of the car and went into the graveyard. It was kinda really super creepy which was weird since I had been in graveyards a lot. I lived in graveyards.
I sat there, extremely bored, for what felt like hours (but according to the clock wasn’t even one hour) when I started seeing things. Glow-y… see-through things. Ghosts. They were as clear as they ever were for me. I wrote that down. One ghost looked curiously at me and I wrote that down. Two ghosts began talking and I wrote that down. Then I got up and left, kinda reluctantly. But she didn’t tell me to interact with the ghosts and I remembered how ghosts felt about the living being in the cemeteries after dark.
“You need to spend more time in there,” the doctor said.
“I saw the ghosts,” I said and handed her the notebook.
She read the few lines I had written down. “Flying saucer your writing is atrocious!”
“It was dark,” I sniffled.
“Your spelling is atrocious.”
“It was dark,” I repeated.
She glowered. “There was decent enough light and even in the dark you should know there’s no ‘G’ in … is this word supposed to be ‘curiosity’?”
“I wrote that word down but, what?” I took the notebook and squinted. “That is not a ‘g’.”
“It’s a ‘q’.”
She stared blankly at me then snatched the notebook back. Not another word was spoken between us on the entire trip back. I was half-asleep by the time we got back to my home and I stumbled in. Specter was on the couch, asleep. I didn’t want to wake him up but I didn’t want him to spend the rest of the night on the couch. Although it was almost 2 in the morning and he needed to get up in four and a half hours. So I just grabbed some blankets and made a little nest on the floor next to him to sleep.
Specter was extra-grouchy in the morning since I didn’t wake him up. He grouched all through breakfast then asked about my night. “I can see and hear ghosts like I did before,” I said, licking some syrup off my fork. “It was so weird. It was kinda sad.”
“That was who I used to be… but it’s a world I had to leave behind. I’m not one of them anymore. I guess I never truly was in the first place,” I added quickly, “but I just wasn’t cutting it as a… a… ummmm… frog.”
Specter squinted at me. “Frog?”
“Frogs go underwater and land too?” I asked, worried I mixed it up, but Specter confirmed I was right. “I was in the ghost world and living world. But I couldn’t do that. And even though I can see and hear them, usually ghosts don’t like the living being around them. It’s inva… inavading.”
“It… is?” Specter actually looked startled.
“Yeah. I don’t remember a whole lot about my time in graveyards but it’s kinda like if someone just walked into our house right now and started chilling on the couch and yelling at us to speak to them.”
Specter drummed his fingers against the tabletop. “I never thought of it like that. I guess–I guess I never thought of them–being in their home… or that ghosts even had homes…”
“Or feelings,” I reminded him teasingly.
“Ehhhhhh. So, will you be going with her again for further studies?”
“I think she wants me to go and since she’ll be helping us with the baby thing then I think it’s a good thing if I help her, otherwise she might go back on her offer and then we’d have to go to a hospital and that’s gonna cause problems.” I poked at the waffles and then frowned deeply. “Do you think I’ll be a good daddy?”
“I think you’ll be an amazing dad,” Specter said without any sort of hesitation. “I’m the one that will need a lot of help.”
“Nooo, you’ll be a good daddy,” I protested. “We’ll learn together. And have lots of cute little babies.”
“L-lots?!” He looked dizzy. “How many are you–are you wanting? I mean, kids are–a few kids are… a few… but… lots…?”
I giggled. “A few, then. More than one! I want at least one girl and one boy. At least.”
“What if we keep getting girls or boys?” he asked.
“Then we’ll keep trying.”
He continued to look dizzy but didn’t say anything else, just polished off his breakfast and went to finish getting ready for work. After he left I curled up on the couch and thought about the lots of kids we might have and also began daydreaming about names.
Doctor Green-Eyes began dragging me out to graveyards at least once a week, sometimes more. Usually I’d just sit on a bench and write down observations and then show them to her and have her make rather annoying remarks about my spelling. I spent a lot more time with her than I would have liked. She even tried to get me to go on my birthday but I completely refused.
Our old plan had been another cruise but we decided not to spend the money on it and instead save for the baby. I wanted to started decorating the baby’s room right away, of course, but Specter gently suggested we wait till there’s actually a pregnancy. But for my birthday he took me to a baby shop and I had so much fun running around and looking at all the cute little baby things. I fell in love with a crib and just stared wide-eyed at Specter until he grumbled, grouched, hmphed and then bought it. We got it in the car and when we got home we took it up the stairs carefully. Specter wanted to take it up by himself but I demanded to help and didn’t trip!
“We’re not setting it up,” he said when we got it in the room we decided would be the nursery. “We’ll have to dismantle it to paint or wallpaper–whichever we do–and put down carpet. So we’re not putting it together right now stop giving me that look, I bought it. I’m not putting it together.”
I sighed and gave in on that point.
Between the time of my birthday and me and Specter’s second anniversary I began undergoing examinations by the doctor. She gave me some treatments and eventually decided it was safe to put in the womb. I was gonna be the pregnant one since I didn’t have a job, and Specter did. Financially, this way made sense so Specter wouldn’t have to take off as much time than he would if he was pregnant. Pregnant Specter sounded hilarious although when I laughed about the image, he just glowered.
“So by spring we should be able to–to start?” I asked after I woke up from getting the surgery. My body ached so much and I was fascinated by the stitches along my belly. Specter grabbed my hands to stop me from messing with them.
Doctor Green-Eyes pushed her glasses up and sighed. “Yes. Late winter, perhaps. For average male pregnancies it would not take this long however due to your unusual nature I believe it would be better to wait.”
“And no sex?” I asked unhappily.
Specter blushed as the doctor rolled her eyes. “No. Do not overexert yourself for the time being. You will be here for another two nights as I monitor you and when you return home, bed rest for another three days.”
It was hard obeying these orders until Specter bought a little TV to put in my room and brought up two of my gaming consoles. After that the hard part was not messing with the stitches, especially when they started itching–and then when they were taken out it was so itchy and icky and I hated it. Except Specter held my hands a lot more often since it was a surefire way to stop me from scratching. Sometimes I pretended to scratch just to get him to hold my hands.
We didn’t go on a cruise for our second anniversary either and over the winter I traveled often to the labs with Specter so the doctor could check me over. After that I would spend the day with Uncle Kay in his room. We watched a lot of sci-fi movies and TV shows and stuff. We talked about kids a lot, too. Especially names. Cause I had a lot of names I really liked, although I hadn’t talked to Specter about the names quite yet.
“B-boy or g-g-girl?” Uncle Kay asked.
“Both, one of each at least,” I said happily.
“Always a ch-chance of that happening right away,” he said and I tilted my head. “M-multiples run lightly in y-your family.”
I had never even thought of that happening. Twins. I talked about that the entire car ride home while Specter nodded and grunted. I asked if he was opposed to twins and he shook his head. “I know you, and I just don’t want you thinking you will have twins and then get all sad if you don’t.”
“I wouldn’t!” I complained but then tried to lower my hopes of having twins just in case we happened to not have twins. But a teensy part of me wanted twins…
In January, at the end, I was told everything had worked out fine. The procedures had gone fine. My body was ready, but the doctor wanted to hold off till the end of February because she wanted to make sure my body continued to be okay with the womb and stuff–since I had had so many nutritional problems when I became alive. Before two weeks had gone by I was so ready. I talked to Specter and he said he was actually getting very anxious to start our family. More anxious than I expected him to be.
On Valentine’s Day he said he would talk to the doctor the next day. “You are healthy,” he grumbled. “There shouldn’t be any problem.” I wanted to agree with him about that but also thought we should listen to the doctor. But I wanted to go ahead and get started. But, but, but–there were a lot of buts and I wasn’t sure which direction to go.
But I guess the next day he talked to the doctor who upped the appointment to a week away. A week. I was extremely nervous and found myself wandering around the house and staring blankly. What would it be like? Would I be a good daddy? What would pregnancy be like? Cause I was only just getting used to pain. Not really used to, but I no longer wailed that I was dying every time I got a headache. The books all said giving birth was painful but I was gonna be ana… aneth… anth… knocked out and cut open, and the doctor and Specter and Uncle Kay all said I wouldn’t be able to feel it–but I would be going through some of labor and that was horrible.
I was terrified by the time the day came. “Is it gonna hurt to have this happen?” I whispered to Specter on the trip. “What if I can’t be knocked unconscious for anything? What if she has to do things to me when I can’t be asleep?”
“It will be fine, you’ve been anesthetized before.”
Specter sighed. “When you had the womb put in you?”
“It will be fine, I promise.”
“I love you.”
But then at the labs after I got prepped and stuff and was about to go under, Specter leaned in to kiss me and he told me he loved me. I smiled sleepily and said something that I don’t think anyone understood (it was supposed to be ‘I love you too’ but I think it came out… I don’t even know). And then the next thing I knew I was waking up in another bed (our old bed, actually) and my middle ached a bit. I pulled my nightshirt up and saw a little bandage on my belly.
“Morning.” I looked over at a tired Specter who was yawning and stretching. “Feeling all right, there?”
“I think so. Is it done?”
“Yes.” He moved the chair closer. “We’ll know for sure in a couple weeks.”
I settled back on the bed and couldn’t stop the grin. “We’re gonna have a baby! Aren’t we?”
Specter grinned back. “Our baby.”
“If it’s a boy, and he’s born with a beard I’m gonna hit you.”
Specter laughed at that. “Well, I was born with a beard–“
“No you weren’t.” The doctor came sweeping into the room, looking very unamused. Specter rolled his eyes at me and I snickered. “How do you feel? Any pain? Lift your shirt.” She began examining me, taking blood pressure and stuff. I expected to have to stay at the labs for the night but Doctor Green-Eyes told me I could go though I’d have to come back in the following day to make double-y sure.
The days went by and every morning I woke up and did the same things. First I got some ginger-ale and saltine crackers in case of morning sickness and then after not getting sick I would weigh myself. Specter kept telling me it would be a while but I kept doing that every morning. I was just excited. After the week was up I couldn’t even sit still on the trip to the labs. I was very disappointed when the doctor said she still wasn’t sure and we’d have to wait another week.
“We need to be patient,” Specter said when we got home. “It takes some people a long time to have a baby. It might take us a long time.”
I reached down and wrapped my hands around his. “I know. But I am. I can feel it.”
Specter opened his mouth but then shook his head, not saying anything to that. I just looked down at my stomach. I knew it sounded weird… but I knew I was pregnant.
“You are pregnant.”
I screamed and leapt onto Specter, hugging him and kissing him. He hugged back, actually grinning the biggest grin I think I ever saw him with though it swiftly disappeared so he could set me down and ask the doctor, “You’re positive?”
“Yes,” Doctor Green-Eyes said, looking rather put-off… put-out… output… whatever… annoyed that Specter asked that. “I checked multiple times, through various ways. All indicate he is pregnant. I suspect the baby’s due date to be November twenty-seventh, although that is a mere guess at the moment.”
I beamed so much it hurt. I beamed all the way to Uncle Kay to tell him the good news, and he beamed back. “C-c-c-congratulations!” he said, giving us a thumbs-up.
“Eight months and a couple weeks and I’ll be a daddy!” I wanted to bounce, but I didn’t want to make the baby motion sick. Could that happen…? Hmm, I’d have to look into that. But I wanted to be as super careful as I possibly could. I wanted the baby to have the easiest time I could give it. Him. Her. Oooh! “How long till we can find out the sex?”
“Not for a couple more months,” Specter answered, putting an arm around my waist. “And we’re not decorating the nursery yet,” he added when I opened my mouth. So I closed my mouth and stared at him. He glared back. I kept staring. He kept glaring. Finally, he gave a loud groan. “Fine we can go look at wallpaper and carpeting! Happy?”
Through the remaining weeks of March we went to stores to figure out how we wanted to decorate the nursery. Since our crib was a cute little animal-y type crib we decided to go with that, decorating in yellows and greens.
In April I watched as Specter carpeted the floor and got the wallpaper up. I didn’t help as much as I probably could, but I was trying to take it as easy as I could. Besides, wallpapering was a bad idea for me since it meant going up on a ladder. Even Specter agreed that it was a bad idea.
I spent my time, when I wasn’t playing video games, practicing carrying around a baby. Specter got me a little doll baby to carry around and I did that for a while–making sure I didn’t drop it. I even practiced slowly going up and down the stairs though only when Specter was there, a few stairs below me in case I fell but I never fell. I was careful. Excited, happy, and careful.
Of course I went to the labs a lot so the doctor could keep a close eye on everything. I had loads of pills and stuff to take. Prenatal or something like that. My diet was changed a little bit, too. I followed all the orders without much complaining though I did grumble a bit about having to cut back on sweets–still it was completely worth it. Uncle Kay helped a lot and gave me loads of advice since he knew a bit more about pregnancies and kids than his sister did, since he actually liked kids.
In May I finally got Specter to talk about names. He wanted to wait until the sex was found out but that would be a while longer since I was just ten weeks in and I didn’t want to wait another ten weeks… and besides, having a list of names would help when we got the sex. So Specter grumbled and complained and finally agreed to at least discuss names for our baby.
“Okay,” I said, trying not to bounce in excitement. “I have an idea and it’s kinda weird but I like the name and it fits well with ‘Danevbie-Greyson’ cause yeah there aren’t millions of names that works well with that or even thousands but this one I think sounds good and–“
“What is it?”
“Oh!” I grinned. “For a girl, I like Tifa. And for a boy, Cloud.”
Specter narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me?”
“Cloud! Cloud Danevbie-Greyson. Or Tifa Danevbie-Grey–“
“We are not naming our kids after Final Fantasy characters!”Specter growled.
I frowned. “But I like the names.”
“Well what did you come up with then, Mr. Name?” I asked, folding my arms and feeling kinda angry he just shot down my names so quickly.
“I don’t know, I don’t really.”
“But not Tifa, and not Cloud.” My voice was a bit dark and low, and Specter must have noticed since he gave a very loud sigh and tried to put his arms around me but I backed away. “How can you say my names are stupid when you don’t even have names?”
Specter spread his hands. “I don’t want to name our kids after video game characters!”
“So you’d dismiss a name like… Bryan?”
“There are loads in video games with that name,” I said, sticking my chin out.
Specter pushed his hair back as he gave very annoyed sounds. “That’s not what I mean, Chance, and you know it. Names like Bryan are–are often found outside of video games. Names like Tifa… you really want our daughter going to school as Tifa Danevbie-Greyson? Plus add a middle name into the mix. Cloud is just… hippie.”
“It’s not hippie!” I complained, feeling even worse. “Fine. You can name our kids. I’ll just sit back and–and not.”
“Hmph.” I spun around and stormed up the stairs. When I got to the top I turned around and shouted, “And since you don’t seem to appreciate anything I put effort into, you can make dinner tonight!” I stomped to the bedroom and slammed the door. I felt awful. He made me feel so stupid. It upset me so much that I began crying noisily into my pillow. He didn’t appreciate me, he never appreciated me. He just took me for granted and he probably thought I was stupid. He just dismissed me. He just dismissed my ideas I put so much thought into and made me feel like I didn’t matter and–
“Chance?” The door cracked open.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” I threw his pillow at the door. “And you can sleep on the couch tonight, Specter!” I picked up my own pillow and put it over my head, crying even more. Specter said something but I couldn’t really hear it very well, and I didn’t respond. Then I heard the door shut and, after another minute, I got up so I could go into the bathroom. I filled the tub with warm bubbles, sniffling still and feeling sorry for myself. I sank down into the water, thinking about things until I began crying again.
I pretty much stayed in the bedroom by myself all night, except when Specter cautiously set in a tray of food for my dinner. I ate what I could but it wasn’t much. I slept alone, hugging a pillow and missing Specter desperately. In the morning I went downstairs and shook him until he woke up. Then I threw myself into his arms and cried. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I don’t know what was wrong yesterday.”
He hugged and began kissing my face. “You’re pregnant. It’s not like it doesn’t do anything to your hormones. You know damn well I appreciate you, though… don’t you?”
I nodded into his chest. “Yes. I’m sorry. I just–I’m sorry.”
We kissed and made up, though just wound up fighting the week after. I found myself getting easier to annoy and his response of ‘hmph’ or a growl started getting on my nerves a lot more than it ever did. Poor Specter did his best to put up with me and I could see he was having a hard time dealing with my emotional outbursts. I was worried my moodiness meant something was wrong but everyone assured me it was fine.
Somehow we made it to July. I was gaining weight like crazy and had some new clothes. Mostly sweatpants and t-shirts or tank tops. Super comfy sweatpants and tops. Our electricity bill went up because I needed the AC on all the time, and needed the house to be nice and cold. I had loads of weird food cravings, too. Specter did his best to give me what I wanted but sometimes I couldn’t get the food I wanted. Apparently having cream cheese on everything wasn’t completely healthy. In any case, in addition to food cravings I had craving for something else but we did not do that. As much as we both wanted to, we decided since we didn’t know how this pregnancy would go we wouldn’t do that. So… lots of cold showers for both of us.
At the start of the second week of July, we went to see the doctor. She did her usual check up, made inquiries into my health, and then told us she could tell us the sex if we ‘so desired’ and of course we desired, and she said, looking bored, “It’s a boy.”
A BOY!!! Specter and I grinned at each other and when we got back home we went up to the nursery and just held each other, imagining our son. My moodiness left me and things were so wonderful as the following week passed by. Both of us were super happy, going shopping for little boy clothes and even discussing names (even though he kept turning down the name Cloud).
It was so wonderful. It was so perfect. How could I possibly imagine what was about to happen to our dream?