[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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2020 Vision

Male Pregnancy

(Rehearsal Transcript)

First aired 14 November 1997

What is 2020 Vision?

(A nurse wheels Robert J. Sawyer in on a gurney. He's lying on his back, wearing a hospital gown. His belly is huge. He props himself up and looks at the camera.)

God, I'll be glad when this is over. They say you're supposed to glow, but I guess that doesn't happen to men. I just feel huge, and there's this pressure on my bladder and stomach. Maybe all those people marching outside the hospital are right: maybe men really aren't made for this. But, well, I wanted to have a baby. I'm not the first man to go through this, of course, but there still aren't very many of us. Someday, though, this'll be common, and those TV commentators will stop calling "male pregnancy" an oxymoron.

Still, my boss is clearly against it — it looks like I'm going to have to fight to get paternity leave from work. And I hear that you sometimes end up in real battles with the egg donor — but at least I won't have to go after a deadbeat mom for child support.

So why shouldn't a man have a baby if he wants one? Technically, it's not that difficult; they were doing male-pregancy experiments with animals over thirty years ago, back in the 1980s.

My body is fully capable of providing nutrition for a fetus. They only had to do a bit of day surgery to set up the place in my abdominal wall for the zygote to implant. It's like an ectopic pregnancy in a woman — except that in this case there should be no complications.

Sure, the birth will be by Caesarean, but so what? At least I don't have to go through labour pains or contractions — no birth canal, after all.

And, no, I didn't opt for activating my dormant mammary glands — I know, I know, they say a parent's milk is the best thing, but the new baby formulas really are quite a good substitute. Still, maybe I'll do it for my next one. Oh, yes — I'm going to have my whole family this way. This one's going to be a baby boy — nice thing about doing in-vitro fertilization is that it's easy enough to choose. Next time out, I think I'll have a daughter.

I just hope my kids remember to get me presents on both Father's Day and Mother's Day . . .

(The nurse returns and wheels Rob out of frame. Fade out.)

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