“Take a seat and we can talk about the future.”
Sally sidles slowly over to the plush upholstered chair next to the counsellors desk, grabbing its supportive back to keep her upright as she walks around to sit down, making a brief sound of exertion as she situates herself.
“Now, here we are! The METAL womb is all fitted and you’re good to go for baby-formation. Now, the next few months are going to be tough as you familiarise yourself with the technology but I think you will do fantastic. Is there anything you want to ask me at this point?”
Sally glances down at her belly under her pyjamas. She thinks about the time she has spent in recovery, and the painful few years she has had leading up to this point. She has only one question.
“When will I have my child?”
“Brilliant first question. So, the way we have configured the womb to your own particular regeneration cycle, you should have your son, daughter or non-conforming little one (no judgements here), in approximately 18 months.”
“18 months?” She shifts in the chair and exhales a long slow sigh.
“It is longer than the advertised 9 months but consider this, won’t you want to make sure when your little treasure comes out you’ll be fighting fit to take care of it in these changing times? Who knows where we will be in 18 months after all. The 9 month option simply wasn’t available for you considering your age and current physical wellbeing. However, extending the period to 18 months means you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that deep within your METAL your child is being created piece by beautiful piece.”
The nurse was enthusiastic, that was for sure, but Sally couldn’t help feel like she was being sold the concept as if the womb had not already been fitted into her body.
“Let’s cover what you’ll be doing on a daily basis.”
The counsellor flicks a gesture on her tablet and the blinds slide across the window and a screen descends from the ceiling, infographics flick across as the counsellor explains the process of METAL womb.
“The METAL womb does not create a baby from nothing. We have programmed the technology to take the parts of you that you normally discard and form those cells into healthy living embryonic structures allowing you to grow your child from within just like any natural biological birth. Think of it as a new wave of IVF but we’re looking at it from a tech side rather than a medical side.”
Bespoke graphics fly across the screen, showing the augmentation process that Sally has already gone through. Several previous IVF methods bounce off the illustrated figure as the METAL womb intertwines itself into the patient.
“Now comes the fun part. The womb needs the time and energy from the patient, you’ll be required to commit two hours a day to the growth process. We recommend distancing them, to aid even growth, and the two hours cannot be within your own sleep cycle as the process uses your vitality rather than restoring it. You’ll find there are side effects, these can vary and we do not have a full understanding of the extent but they can be things such as: hair loss, nausea, breaking of the surface skin, and general deterioration…but what pregnant person can say they’ve never experienced morning sickness? Am I right, ladies?”
The nurse laughed, she obviously loved that anecdote. The infographic splits as it shows several different people, all with METAL wombs. One sitting at home, one in a quiet space at work, one on a train and one in a park.
“We recommend spending this time stimulating yourself mentally to cope with the growth process. It is a tough and intensive journey and we want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well as your little one. Shall we give it a go? We can chat while you concentrate.”
Sally reclines in the seat and attempts to get comfortable as she begins to concentrate on the womb within her. She feels the tingle as the device begins to recognise her intention and her body tingles. Small electric prickles flicker along her arms and pinch her fingers as she squeezes the arms of the chair in surprise.
“It’s an entire body experience, isn’t it? We have found people get used to it but feeling it for the first time must be incredible.” The nurse has a glint of wonder in her eye as she watches the womb drain Sally’s energy, physical material and mental vitality to feed the child.
Sally feels her scalp itch and scratches it for a moment, the feeling of her hand touching her scalp was sharp and confusing. Her skin ached yet it felt like physical contact was explosively colourful, scratching her scalp never felt so good before.
She moaned, and she blushed.
Sally lay in bed after the session and considered how the next 18 months would change her. Waddling back to her room she felt that little bit heavier with the METAL inside her, tucked cosily beneath her stomach. She lay in bed and concentrated on the feeling and felt it waken within her once more.
“18 months? Pfft, I’ll do this in 9.”
If she had have been looking in a mirror at the time, she could have counted the wrinkles around her eyes as they deepened.