The Addictiveness of Reproduction

The following is the FINAL installment (#14) of the hilarious series by author and squirrel hunter Amy Bronwen Zemser called “How to Thaw Your Unborn Child.” Give yourself a treat and start at the beginning here. Or jump in below: all you need to know is that after divorcing her husband and having a tumultuous gay love affair, Amy eventually fell in love with Lynn, got married, and had three children with her via sperm donor… 

“I don’t want you to write about our sex life anymore,” Lynn said, recently.

“What sex life?” I grumbled.  “We haven’t had sex since the Carter administration.”

“The sex life we used to have before you insisted we have three children,” she replied.  “And became too tired to make the bed, let alone make it in the bed.” 

“Well, what if I write about that time I sprained my ankle in Provincetown and we had sex in the — “


“Or the thing with the rotating–?”

“Stop it!” Lynn yelled.  “My mother is reading your column.  It’s horrifying.”

She started to refold a huge basket of laundry that our twin girls had turned over on the living room floor. She picked up a tiny pink sock and pointed it at me threateningly.

“Don’t do it,” she said. “You can write about Mary and you can write about Moira or your ex-husband, but I don’t want to get up one morning and find out that the dean at my college knows that we… ”

And then she said something so private and personal and unbearably funny that it causes me physical pain to not repeat it right here in boldfaced print. But I can’t. She looked like she was going to gag me with that pink sock.

“Fine,” I said to Lynn.  “I won’t write about our sex life.  But can I write about another thing that’s been on my mind lately?”

“What,” she said, shaking out a pair of Raymond’s little jeans and folding them in half.

“I want to have another baby.”

Lynn shook her head.  “I knew it,” she said. “I knew you were going to want another baby as soon as Raymie was in school and the girls started showing signs of potty training.”  She tried to regard me with the greatest disdain, but she couldn’t hide how proud she was that she’d figured it all out. I know that supercilious little smirk from miles away.

“Look,” I said. “I know I’m getting kind of old and — ”

“We’re out of inventory,” she said.  “What are you going to do, pick a different donor? I like our guy. All our kids match.”

“We can talk about that later,” I said.  “But I was just wondering, you know, more hypothetically speaking, how would you feel if you came home from teaching one night and I told you I was pregnant?”

“I would want to know how it happened,” she shot back.

This was the response I was waiting for, the one I knew I would get, the answer that tells me everything I need to know about Lynn’s true feelings about having a fourth child. She would never admit this to me or anyone, but she actually wants another baby.  She doesn’t just love kids, she adores them. She has amazing patience and admiration for children, and if resources were endless I believe she would thaw them out in those little vials the sperm bank sends out by the truckload. A crib full of high voices and little feet below the kitchen table are what makes her feel like she truly belongs, like she is a part of something tiny and universal, inconsequential and epically significant. Having children lifts the focus from the self and gives us another place to show love. If you haven’t had children, you ought to try it. The giving love part. It is very great.

The real reason Lynn doesn’t want me to get pregnant again is because she’s afraid I’ll run out and sleep with somebody in order to conceive. She knows I won’t go the fertility clinic route again: it’s an exhausting, stressful process. I don’t understand why sleeping with a guy would be such a big deal, by the way. I happen to personally know a few men that would be more than willing to provide The Seed, as Ray calls it, as long as they get something out of it, too. All right, perhaps these men are not the finest examples of upstanding citizens. I would be lying if I said that one or two of them hasn’t done some construction work around our home or isn’t say, from Ecuador, but let’s not get all ensnared in the details. Having sex is just a means to an end. 

“You’re insane,” a friend of mine said, recently.  “You actually want another one?”  She said it like I was putting in a request for a second angioplasty. Also, it’s not nice when people call you insane and don’t laugh afterward to let you know that they were just kidding. I don’t think I’m insane (although I would be the last to know, wouldn’t I).  I have been reflecting upon this lately, and I can’t help but wonder if a part of it has to do with the fact that Moira took away that baby from me ten years ago. Ever since that time, I’ve been wanting to have babies. Babies and more babies. See that one? He’s mine. And her? She’s mine, too. And those two over there? Yup, mine too. All of them.  They are biologically and legally mine.  You can’t take them away from me. Ever.

Lynn is right about our donor. He has indeed sold out. Don’t get me started on how many long-lost half-siblings (Lynn and I call them halflings) will be knocking on our door in about fifteen years.

So dear reader, if you happen to know anyone that is intelligent, handsome, and disease free (married with children is a plus) and would like to donate fresh genetic material starting tomorrow, please feel free to make yourself known in the comment section below. 

Read more of Amy’s adventures on her blog,
Read Amy’s series “How to Thaw Your Unborn Child” from the beginning (start at the bottom). 

Amy on coming out, homophilia & sexual identity:
My Husband Has No Penis