Storyglossia Issue 33, April 2009.

Losing It

by Brad Green


The doctor held up the sperm sample, sloshed the tube left and right. "This time for sure."

"That's all?" the wife asked. Then she patted her husband on the forearm and looked up at him from the exam table. "I'm sure it's enough." A hopeful, frail smile.

The doctor thumped the injector with his thick finger. A bubble slicked up the tube. "It's adequate." he said, giving the man a thumbs up.

The man kissed his wife's clammy forehead. "Let's make a baby now." he said and felt immediately stupid. The nurse leaning against the wall turned her face away.

The doctor looked up from between the woman's legs and said to the man, "You're not the jealous type are you?" He laughed like a walrus on dry land. "Just kidding. Here we go. You'll feel some pressure."

Her face seized and her hips jerked on the bed. "It's ok." The man patted her shoulder. She shrugged his hand away.

"All done now." The doctor stripped off the slick, purple gloves and dropped them in a waste basket already full of purple gloves. "Keep your legs and hips elevated at least fifteen minutes. Now we wait." The doctor wrapped his fingers around her naked ankle. "Expect some soreness." The man thought the doctor's fingers lingered but didn't say anything.

Then they were alone in the room, panting in the white light. She put her hand on her belly and closed her eyes. He placed his on top of hers.

"Look down there," the wife said. "It feels like some is leaking out. Make sure it's not leaking out."

He left his hand on her belly and peered around her shin into the fleshy gap that once held him in pink fascination. "I think it's just the lubricant that you feel."

"Oh God. Oh God." Her belly quivered. "It feels like it's leaking out." She raised her hips. "Another pillow."

He looked around the room. "I don't see a pillow."

"Our baby's gonna slip out. Find something!" Her eyes screwed shut, fingers fluttered in the air. "I told you to drink more water. We needed more of it. Why didn't you drink more water?"

He grabbed his jacket, zipper rattling loud in the air, and wadded that under her. "Don't push."

"I'm not."

"I'm just saying it looked like a contraction down there is all."

"It's fucking sore. Ok? You try it next time. See how you like it."

He pulled his hand off her belly and stared at the clock. The second hand shuddered to the next number. "I thought he was a little unprofessional."

"Shush." she said. "They might hear. We need them committed."

"Did you hear what he said about being the jealous type? And grabbing your ankle. Totally out of line."

"Well, we could go to the other one, but she costs twice as much."

He didn't say anything.

"Yeah. Grab a tissue and dab me clean."

The tissue hissed out of the box. He wrapped it around his index finger and leaned down between her legs. Gently, he wiped the lubricant away and decided to kiss the inside of her thigh.

"What are you doing?" She raised her head, neck creasing with wrinkles.

"Just trying to relax you."

"Stop it. We're in the fucking doctor's office. I swear."

He sat on the doctor's swivel stool in between his wife's spread legs. A pimple there on one curved cheek. A rash of bumps where she'd shaved. She'd never shaved for him even on their anniversary when he'd asked. The little roll of her belly soft in the dark. He felt a sudden urge to lay his cheek between her legs, the warm cushion of her belly swelling hotly in his ear. "I hope this works," he said. "We should paint the room yellow. We'll need door gates, those little things to put in the plugs. A car seat, damn it. We'll need a car seat too. We need so much."

She reached down and opened her hand between her legs, palm up. He wrapped his fingers through hers and pressed his cheek to her knee. She squeezed his hand. "Yes. Yes, we do."

Copyright©2009 Brad Green

Brad Green's fiction has appeared or soon will in The Blue Earth Review, elimae, Word Riot, Dogzplot, Thieves Jargon and several other journals. He's currently at work on a novel and is an editor for The Legendary. Read his blog at