“Well, my dear, I must admit I am surprised but why do you look so shocked about it? One thing about same-sex pregnancy is that it certainly can’t come as a surprise!”
Gretchen was trying to give me some sort of cheering-upness but it wasn’t working well. It was the day after I had found out I was pregnant and I was pretty upset. “You don’t understand, this is a surprise,” I said, burying my face in my hands. “Preses was too. We didn’t go to a doctor for either of these. We don’t know how the first one happened, and we really don’t know how this one did either! The doctors we go to, they can’t figure it out.”
Dr. Green-Eyes had pressed me and Specter about our dreams but neither of us had had anything like the dream we did nine months before Presea was born. The doctor was really annoyed about the whole thing and asked to do a lot of tests on me but like before, we weren’t sure what might happen cause of it so I just had a couple small scans done. But the bad part was that night. Specter seemed all right the rest of the day but after both kids were in bed, he asked me if I knew what was going on. Of course I didn’t, and I told him so but he just lost his temper and said pretty much the same thing Gretchen said. Same-sex pregnancies don’t just pop up out of no where.
I demanded to know if he thought I was going behind his back, stealing his sperm and sneaking off to a doctor. He replied of course not but that there had to be an answer and it wasn’t anything he was doing. I asked if he didn’t want anymore kids and his reply was that that wasn’t point, but I couldn’t expect to go through life having a random and mysterious pregnancy once a year. The fight had gotten pretty upsetting, actually, and Specter wound up sleeping on the couch. We hadn’t spoken at breakfast and while he gave both kids a hearty kiss on the forehead, he only mumbled a ‘see you tonight’ to me before heaving off to work. That was when I called Gretchen because I didn’t want to be alone. Actually, I called Uncle Kay first but couldn’t reach him.
“How many doctors have you seen?” Gretchen asked, shaking me from my thoughts.
“One, really–where Specter works. Her brother isn’t a doctor-doctor but has, uh, doctor knowledge type stuff.” I rubbed the side of my nose, wondering if Specter would come home angry. “But cause of–” Then I realized I couldn’t tell her why we couldn’t see any other doctors. “But they’re very good, very smart. Reliable. But they don’t know what the problem is. I guess it’s not a problem, really…”
“It could be,” she pointed out. “Sweetie, I’m the type of gal who believes that children are gifts, and I know you feel the same. But getting pregnant out of no where twice isn’t good. Nor is it exactly something medically common. Unless…” She crossed her legs and didn’t finish the sentence. She wanted me to ask her what she thought, and I did. She smiled. “Perhaps it’s not so much unusual as very usual.”
“Pardon me prying, and you don’t need to answer, but you and Specter are–active, yeah?”
“Ummm, I guess so?” I frowned, wondering what exercise had anything to do with it.
She must have heard the confusion in my voice cause she added, “Sexually.”
My face went red. “Oh. Y-yes, but–but what does–how can that even be–possible? We’re both–both males.”
“Did the doctor give you an idea of how far in you are?”
“Yes, about… five weeks.”
“And about five weeks ago, were you and Specter..?”
I was even redder now. “I-I-I don’t know,” I lied.
“Don’t be silly, you’re a young couple with two very young children. I suspect there isn’t much time for you two to have for yourselves.”
She did have a point. There had only been a handful of times recently cause of the busyness of life. And five weeks ago was one of those times. And, come to think of it, the night we had the strange dream–we had done it then, too. If I were a girl it would make sense. Sex equaling pregnancy. But I was a guy. “There must be some other reason for it,” I said out loud. Gretchen shrugged, not answering. It’s not possible… is it?
“DADA!” Villy crawled at high speed to the door and bounced at Specter’s feet. Specter smiled and gave him a pat on the head. “Up,” Villy said, putting his arms out.
“In a minute,” he promised then came over to where I was setting the table. I stiffened a bit, still feeling ill about the whole fight thing. I was waiting for him to say something else or maybe nothing at all–maybe he would just ignore me like he had that morning. I glanced up when he stood in front of me and then my mouth opened when he held out a bouquet of flowers. “I’m sorry. I was wrong to act the way I acted last night. And this morning. I’m sorry.” I took the flowers, unable to stop the smile on my face or the bubbly feeling inside. Specter rarely apologized. “Please forgive me.”
“I do,” I said, taking the flowers then throwing my arms around him. “I love you!”
“I love you,” he said, kissing just below my ear. “I love you so much, Chance, and it was so fu—” He stopped and then slowly breathed out. “It was so wrong of me to react how I did.”
A lot of different thoughts ran through my head, but I figured it was best not to say them. I didn’t want to push the subject, or ask him why he had said what he said, and all that stuff. He was sorry and that was the important thing. “I talked to Gretchen today.”
“Oh?” He gave my cheek a kiss, kissed Presea’s forehead, then picked Villy up. “Is everything all right?”
“Huh? Yeah, uh, yeah. I talked to her about–about the pregnancy. I told her that these weren’t planned.” Specter raised his eyebrows high at that. “I was sc–… ummm…s-c-a-r-d. Wait. s-c-…k… no, c–“
“I know what you’re spelling,” he said slowly. “What did she say on the matter? Or maybe we should talk about it later when the kids are in b-e-d.”
I nodded in agreement and we changed the subject to a happier matter. We had dinner, played with the kids, gave them baths, and got them into bed. Then Specter and I sat down on one of the couches and I told him everything Gretchen had suggested. At first he laughed and then he thought about it for a while. Finally he said, “Maybe it’s something we should have the doctor look into.”
“Natural male–pregnancy?” I asked, trying not to laugh. “Gretchen is–is batty. It’s not possible. It can’t be. I thought–I mean, there’s just no way it can happen it–“
“Yeah, you’re right,” he cut me off. “But there has to be a reason. It’s not possible for someone to just get pregnant twice without reason. Now, I was fine–fine just dismissing Presea’s happening. I mean yeah. Miracle. Maybe aliens. Maybe magic. Who knows. I didn’t, and I didn’t care, I was just happy you and I were having a kid. But now… it’s happened again. A second time. What about a third? A fourth? Chance last night I–one of the reasons I was so upset is because I was–and am–scared for you. For your health. We don’t know why this is happening so we can’t stop it. And how often will it happen? You’re–you’re twenty-five, soon. If this happens–a kid a year–first of all, the finances will be utterly insane. But it will… destroy your body.”
My stomach clenched and I withdrew a bit at that. I knew he was right.
“Multiple male pregnancies are dangerous,” he continued. “Four, max, before their body starts having a lot of trouble coping with it. You’re on number three.”
“Three,” he said stiffly and I swallowed, realizing he was right about that. “If this happens again… next year… and the year after…” He sighed and reached over to take my hand.”So right now, nothing should be counted as outside the realm of possibility. We’ll talk to the doctor tomorrow.”
I leaned against him, sniffling a bit as he wrapped an arm around me. I hadn’t really thought much about if this kept happening. I guess it most likely would if we couldn’t figure out the how.
The next day we all went into the labs. After leaving the kids with the day care, I went to go get examined by the doctor. She was very unamused by the whole thing, mumbling over and over about the impropability of me getting naturally pregnant. “What do we have to lose by examining that possibility?” Specter said.
“Time,” she snorted but she did examine me. And examined me. And examined me. Then, after a short break which I spent with my kids and Uncle Kay, Specter and I were called back in because she had maybe found something. She showed me some scans of the inside of my body, pointing at a little container or whatever that shouldn’t be there. It was rather small and in a strange location and there was something inside.
“What is it?” I asked, peering at the picture.
“I am not sure, nor can I be sure without surgery,” she said, adjusting her glasses. “Which I can presume is out of the question until after the pregnancy?”
“You presumed correct,” replied Specter. “Is it dangerous?”
“I cannot know without surgery.”
“How long has it been there?” I asked.
The doctor sighed very slowly. “It was not there when I implanted the womb inside of you. The sac and the–the whatever is inside the sac has been placed inside of you sometime between then and now. My opinion is that the aliens inserted it into your body, and the–the chip that we cannot see is alien technology.”
“Chip…?” I frowned, not understanding that part at all.
“I believe that the item inside the sac is a chip,” she said quickly. “Much like a computer chip. It is my belief that it is alien technology, and that that is what is causing the pregnancy for it is connected to your womb.”
Specter got up and went over to the picture to examine it closely. “It’s also connected to his–ah, his rectum–and prostate–it looks possible that–that–through, uh, natural means… fertilization… is the… answer.”
Then the two began arguing about it, and I lost interest since most the things being said I didn’t really understand. I mostly just looked at the tiny blip on the picture and wondered what it was. An alien computer chip inside of me…? I shuddered and rubbed my middle, wondering what else it might be. “Can it be removed?” I asked, and the two stopped arguing to look at me. “Can it?” I pressed.
“After your pregnancy I suppose we could,” she said. “However as I know nothing about it, I do not know what removing it will do to your system. I personally suggest we leave it in and observe it for a while.”
“I guess I have a while to think about it,” I said and got to my feet, reaching out for Specter. He took my hand and I pulled him close. “Thank you, Doctor.”
She looked at me with a creepy look. I got the powerful feeling she just wanted to inprison me and study me, and then maybe cut me up. I gripped Specter’s hand tightly and wanted to get back home, far away from her. But all I could do was go back to the nursery where Presea and Villy were and wait several more hours before Specter was done with work. That was my plan but then Uncle Kay offered to drive me home. We got the car seats into his car, I said goodbye to Specter, and we headed back to my house. I was quiet the entire time though the kids certainly weren’t. Villy kept stretching over to poke Presea and she kept screaming. I never could understand how Uncle Kay, or Specter, or anyone for that matter could drive with wailing kids in the car.
We got home and Villy was set down, and Presea put in a swing, and then Uncle Kay pulled me a little bit away from them to ask, “Are y-you okay?”
“I guess–” I started but saw the worry in his eyes so I sighed and said, “No. I’m scared. How can I be not scared? There’s a–a thing inside me. Your sister seems really determined that it’s an alien computer chip.”
He rubbed the back of his head and smiled slightly. “She–y-yeah, she w-w-would be. It might not be. I saw the–the pictures too.”
“What do you think it is?”
“I d-d-don’t know.” My shoulders drooped. “But we–we’ll find out,” he whispered, putting an arm around me.
“I guess this knocks the magic theory out of the loops, huh?”
“N-not necessarily. It might be c-c-concentrated magic, for all w-we know. We c-c-couldn’t get a clear picture of it. There is s-something strange about it. Maybe alien, maybe m-magic. Magic’s always b-been a–a very… unknown force, even t-to researchers like myself.” I moved my body and pressed into his, burying my face into his shoulder. He hugged me tightly now. “I agree th-that it looks like the p-pregnancies are happening n-naturally, though.”
After a few seconds I pulled away from him and began wiping my tears off. “How?”
“The–the little sac where the strange th-thing is, is connected to–to three parts of y-your body. Now, I c-can’t be sure but I think sometimes it d-draws in–ahh, se–se–s-s-semen and manages t-to somehow… use… uhhh…” He was so red and his body was shaking just a bit. He was really bad at talking about sex. I wondered how he got through classes about bodies in school.
I thought I understood what he was saying so I interrupted him. “It’s like when girls and boys have sex only in another place?”
“Yes,” he said very quickly, looking very relieved. “The only w-way to know for certain, though, is to ob-observe… errr… to s-see what…” His hand moved in the air as though trying to grab the right words.
“See it in action,” I finished for him, and now I was red.
“Y-yes,” he confirmed, hand dropping. Then we both stood in awkward silence until I heard a crash and Villy screaming. I hurried over to find him by the bookcase, books around him, a small scratch on his cheek as he sobbed. I scooped him up, holding him close, comforting him. He wailed loudly, clutching my shirt and shaking his head. All I could do was wait. I hated this. I really hated this. But even if it was a cut or something, there was no point in giving him medical aid.
After a moment the scratch faded then disappeared. His sobs turned to sniffles and I went to cuddle him on the couch. It was very weird having a kid that had ‘rapid regeneration abilities’, as Uncle Kay had explained to me. Like Wolverine in X-Men. “You okay?” I asked and Villy nodded. I kissed his cheek and then set him down on the floor. I couldn’t think about the possibilities of what the mysterious thing inside me was. All I could do was focus on taking care of the kids right now, as well as taking care of myself for the sake of kid number three. After that… then we could remove it.
Specter turned thirty at the end of the summer. He was very, very, very grouchy that day. He grouched through breakfast, grouched off to work, grouched home, and grouched through the small party we had. The only time he smiled was when the kids gave him kisses and their presents (well, Villy gave him his present, I handed him he one from Presea). But then he grouched after we put the kids to bed, and then sulked in bed.
“You’re not old.”
“That’s not old. Uncle Kay is like, 200 years old.”
Specter’s jaw tightened and he narrowed his eyes. “In ten years I’ll be forty. In twenty years, fifty. Oh Watcher. I’m closer to being fifty than I am to when I was born. And–and what am I doing? I’m a researcher. I’m a fucking assistant. I’m an assistant.” He got up out of bed and began storming back and forth. “Assistant! There’ve been–been guys like me who have… done something worthwhile by thirty, by twenty. By–by–I mean look at all those composers you like. All those–those symphonies they composed before they–they were–I mean, how–how old was Chopin when he died? Mozart?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I haven’t read biographies, I just like listening to their music.” I got up out of bed and went over, putting my hands on his waist. “Sweetie, what’s it matter if you haven’t composed a big symphony?”
“It’s not that! I just… don’t know what–what to do. About this. About–I don’t know. Uuurggh!” He began pulling at his hair. “This isn’t fair! I’m going through a midlife crisis early. I guess it’s only right though since I got a beard so early.”
“Specter. You’re not old, you won’t be old in ten years or twenty. You’ll be my Specter. My sexy, handsome, grumpy Specter.” I kissed his chin and he just scowled. “And the dad of three kids,” I added, taking his hand and putting it against my stomach. “Or more. If we have more.”
“Do you–you want more?”
“I wouldn’t mind more. If we figure out what’s causing it, and can make it so it won’t keep happening when we don’t want. I mean, I don’t wanna get pregnant again right after this one is born but in a year or two maybe we could have another kid.” I hesitated then widened my eyes. “Do you want more?”
He was quiet for a few seconds then a tiny smile appeared behind that beard. “Yeah. I wouldn’t mind more. But maybe–maybe number four can be through a surrogate. For your safety.” He massaged my stomach lightly and I shivered as it felt like electricity surging through my body.
“Mmm.” I leaned into his touch. “Do you still feel old?”
“What if I tell you that your touch drives me wild?” I asked, grinning at him. “That I love you more now than I did the day we got married? That’s you’re the only person I want, need, or dream about?” I pressed my lips against his and held him close. “And that you’re really cute when you scowl?”
He tried to scowl at that but failed. I giggled and he sighed. “Okay. Okay, you win. But still. I would like to–to do something more with–with my life.” He tugged me back into the bed and we curled up together. “Do you ever feel that? Is there anything you want to do? Because… if there is just–just let me know and maybe we can do something. You could take college classes maybe, or even get your high school–“
I put my hand up against his mouth. “No college,” I said firmly. “I don’t wanna. But maybe…” I trailed off and let my hand rest against his chest. “Maybe it would be nice to relearn the instruments. I really miss playing piano. Or something.”
“Mmm. I’ll have to keep that in mind…”
And he did. When my birthday rolled around I was told to stay upstairs by myself for quite a while and when I was finally allowed to come downstairs, there was a piano. Specter, Uncle Kay, and Gretchen all stood by it with identical grins on their faces.
“Surprise!” they shouted.
“Pize!” Villy shouted from the floor.
I gasped, covered my mouth, and then hurried over to kiss Specter. “Oh my WATCHER you–you–you got me–you all got me…?”
“All of us,” Gretchen said. “Specter told us and we wanted to help out.”
“I kn-know how to play, so I c-c-can help you learn how t-to play with h–” Uncle Kay stopped, and gave a sideways glance at Gretchen. “I can h-help you,” he finally settled on.
I gave him a huge hug. “Thank you–I–I’d like that very much. Thank you,” I said, giving Gretchen a hug and then since Villy was repeating ‘papa’ over and over while tugging at my pant leg I picked him up and hugged him too. “And thank you, Villy. Did you and Presea help put the piano here?”
Villy looked at the piano then at me, scrunching his face up. “Yef,” he said with a nod.
I gave Presea a hug and kiss, and even gave Mr. Fluffy a pat. Then I sat down at the piano and as soon as my fingers touched the keys I felt like crying. It had only really been a few years but it felt like longer. Specter my his hands on my shoulder as I sniffled. “Happy birthday,” he whispered in my ear. All I could do was grin in response.
It did take a while to get used to playing the piano again and with super clumsy, ugly, meaty fingers. But with Uncle Kay’s help I was able to play. Nothing interesting a first and no where near the speed I once was but I was still playing. And it was wonderful. I still couldn’t read sheet music though. I was given sheet music but just stared blankly at it. I just learned how I once did–through listening.
As autumn dragged on I felt familiar feelings. Morning sickness being the most annoying, of course. I was sensitive to smells again like I was with Presea. And so tired–so tired! Two kids under the age of two and another one on the way. Some days I felt extremely frazzled by this. Some mornings I cried a lot because of the frazzledness. But then Specter did his best to help by bringing home dinner most nights and fixing breakfast most mornings so I didn’t have to even think about that.
One thing I did think about was Halloween! Presea was a bit too young but Vilkas sure wasn’t. So when Halloween started approaching, I decided we would have family costumes and we would go trick-or-treating. Specter teased me about how we should all go as ghosts (I smacked him for that) but we ultimately decided on a magician, his assistant, and two little bunnies.
In early December we celebrated Villy’s second birthday. We of course had no clue when his birthday actually was, but we knew the general time frame and settled on early December. Then after the winter holidays came Presea’s first birthday and her first big age-up. We were all very excited except Vilkas who sulked around and was obviously jealous. But he stilled clapped when I took Presea to the cake to blow the candles out.
Presea ‘officially’ turned one and Villy was surprised. He squirmed out of Specter’s arms and then toddled over to Presea. “Saya?” he asked and she giggled in response. He didn’t seem to know what to do about this turn of events so he just kept watching her with a really suspicious look on his face. By the next day, though, he had accepted it and was wanting to play with her.
It was really nice they were able to really play together, especially since my pregnancy was getting more, uhhh–well, more. The baby was due in April, just a few months away. And like Presea–the second trimester was the worst for me. I was scared and anxious, and tried not to be for the sake of the kids but once again every little pain I felt sent me to the phone to call someone if I was home alone. Though I was rarely home alone. Gretchen or Uncle Kay usually came in during the days to be with me because they both knew how emotionally hard this time was. Uncle Kay did everything he could to reassure me the pregnancy was fine. But until I reached my third trimester, I only barely believed him.
We decided to be surprised by the sex this time around. If it was a girl, she’d share a room with Presea, if it was a boy, he’d share with Villy. We bought a third crib and just stuck it in Specter’s study for the time being. We discussed names and again, Specter let me pick the names. I knew immediately which name for a boy but it took me a bit longer for a girl. I had just done a particular Let’s Play, and was loving a certain female character. Specter bristled a bit at the name but admitted it wasn’t a bad one.
“Just–not after the character,” he said.
“But that’s where I got the name,” I pointed out. “But not from the first one, the second one. Like, when she’s not so bad.”
He made a face. “It feels like we’re practically naming her after the doctor, if it’s a girl…”
“It’s nothing like that, and I like the name. A lot.” I hesitated, thinking about what he said. “Well I guess it is sorta vaguely Dr. Green-Eyes-ish, but what’s so bad about that? Stop giving me that look. She turned me real, you know. She’s helped us.”
He couldn’t argue that, and I knew he really didn’t hate the name. It wasn’t a bad name. Just because a character was an antagonist some of the time… But it might not even be a girl. Uncle Kay knew the sex and sometimes I thought about secretly asking him but I managed not to. Sometimes I wondered if Specter had asked–at the labs. I wasn’t really sure, and I didn’t ask. Of course I was mostly unconscious when the baby was being removed from me in April so I didn’t get to really notice his reaction. My reaction, though, was a big, loopy smile when I was told I had another daughter.
“Glados,” I said when I was less medicated, as that was the name I picked out. “Glados.” I sat up in bed and finally got to hold her. She was so tiny… I had forgotten, almost, how tiny Presea had been when she was born. Little Glados. I beamed at Specter and he sat down next to me, and we both just looked down at our new daughter.