How to Thaw Your Unborn Children, Part 11

Duggar FamilyReaders, I am not allowed to write about my sexual relationship with my spouse.  Who knew that she was reading along all this time, quietly suffering the horror of knowing that any day or week or month she could be this site’s next unsuspecting victim.

“I don’t want you to write about our sex life,” she 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, okay, she didn’t exactly say that.  I said it.  What Lynn said was a lot crankier and ill-tempered, mainly because Lucy was up crying all night for no reason, and I made her stay up with her because I had to edit a blog post about editing blog posts while Lynn stayed up all night with a baby that was crying for no reason.)

“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 blog.  It’s horrifying.”

“I told her not to read the ones that were password protected,” I said.

Lynn started to refold a huge basket of laundry that the twins 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.

Don’t worry, though, readers. As soon as I’m through with the Thaw series, I’m going to get into podcasting (let the interviews begin!) and then webisodes. A webisode, for those neophytes out there, is just a show on a website. I’ll cast it as fiction, but only you and I will know the truth.

“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 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 the girls got a little older and started showing signs of potty training.”  She tried to regard me with 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, dear readers, is because she’s afraid I’ll run out and sleep with somebody in order to conceive. I don’t understand why this is 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. Bring it. I’m looking around — let me know if you can think of a contender.

“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 (read here about that). 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.

Readers, 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 of this blog post.  I refuse to go the fertility clinic route again. It’s an exhausting, stressful process, and I’ll tell you why next week in the 12th installment of the Thaw Series.

Anyway, 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.

Stay tuned, and as always, thank you for reading.

Next week’s post will be about how we conducted the process of ordering and defrosting our eldest child, Ray. And who knows?  Maybe this series will end in a fourth pregnancy where only you, I, and thousands of other people on the internet know how I conceived.  Shh.  Don’t tell Lynn.

Back to Part 10        How to  Thaw Your Unborn Children Part 12


  1. I knew this would happen when you moved from the bungalow in Tivoli to that mansion in Kingston. But nothing says you have to fill extra bedrooms with kids. What about a Craft Room or Reading Nook? You know you’re going to need a Music Room when your little chamber group gets older. Or perhaps a File Room for all those letters you’ll be getting from upstanding citizens of Ecuadorian descent? Whatever. You know I’ll babysit and give you a group rate.

  2. You are not at all insane! I want to add a set of twins myself! 😉

  3. Or . . . you could find a puppy, and get that sex life thing going with Lynn.

  4. I grew up the oldest of 8, in a technically two-parent family. I helped my mom with the younger kids’ care, (read I didn’t take a bath without a toddler at my ankles and an infant in my lap) and was also in charge of the care of illegally-procured pets (falcons, parrots, ferrets, dogs, pirhanas, etc.= obvious overwhelm) until I ran away at 14 just to get some quiet (and yes, of course it was more complex than that).

    Fast-forward to my current phase of life: 53 year-old mother of two smart, beautiful, kind, and engaging daughters and aunt to 19 nieces and nephews. Our holidays are filled with your described level of chaos; laughter, fun, kisses, big noise & mess, since 9 of those 19 nieces/nephews range in age from infancy to age 10. I love walking into that cacophony and can handle it in short burst of 12-hour holidays spent together. But I still know in my heart-of-hearts that I personally needed the spacing of 6 years between my two children so that I wouldn’t temporarily lose my mind and use one to beat the other. (not really, but close).

    All that said, sounds like the two of you are reveling in your family, so more may truly be merrier! Question: Can you maintain a check-in process between you both to nourish the feeling of partnering along the way? Sex or the shared thought of sex and other adventures are great ‘bookmarks’ or check ins. I believe these can prevent you from waking up in year 12 across the breakfast table from someone you once knew, with a sea of kids, dirty dishes and laundry between…. (problem part = the stranger across from you, not the sea of kids and belongings…).

    PS. I am in love, in year 15, in my current partnership (after 18 years of marriage to the girl’s father), so I have been lucky to experience both in my life; a partnership that wasn’t fed well and one that is.

    I look forward to hearing more of your and Lynn’s choices for your family!

    • Thanks for writing, LH. I hadn’t heard from you in a while and was wondering if you were still out there. I’m glad to see you’re still reading and that you’re up for commenting. All best to you during the holidays. And tell me more about running away at 14. xx ABZ

      • Running away

        I didn’t live at home from age 14-17. I ran away and kept running away until my parents let me live away. At one point they institutionalized me and I ran away from there. I was fortunate, I never lived on the street. I stayed with strangers, friends & family. I lied about my age, got a job, went to school at night, and lived with roommates. When that ended, I moved in with my grandparents. The next period I lived with my divorced aunt and her children. All the while I did lots of therapy. And I achieved my goal of getting away from my family, which made me realize that to live without any contact with my family didn’t work either, so I re-engaged.

        Why the strong need to leave?

        1.) The short answer? I read The Drifters, by Jame Michener and wanted to experience the wind in my hair.

        2.) Teen parents aren’t necessarily making the best choices. As the firstborn of teens, it was rough. I experienced a lot of my parents unexamined urges that were better worked out with the later kids. I knew by age 10 I had to leave or risk my dad accidentally killing me, since I was a kid who spoke up and wouldn’t back down. He was raised in violence, so this was a bad match. I saw myself as the defender of my siblings; there are 8 of us.

        I ended up returning home at 17 to finish high school and save money to move out. By that time, my parents had also improved their lives and gained some ease; my father’s business did well, they moved into a larger home that accommodated the family, my mom had some help. They welcomed me back home. I stayed for a little less than a year and then moved away.

        • Thanks for sharing this story with me. It’s fascinating, sad…so honest. It sounds like you have a story to tell. I’m sure others could relate as well. Have you thought of writing more about this? Perhaps you have already?

  5. Thanks, Amy. I have many stories of family disfunction spanning 5 generations. Haven’t written much about it. Perhaps if time allows…

Something to say?