Co-Parenting - Book cover


EL Koslo

Awkward Conversations


There was no way that Hank really understood what this would mean. We were friends, best friends, but this would totally change the dynamic of our relationship forever.

“I’m serious, Delia. I’ll give you a baby, and I’ll help you raise it.”

What was in that wine?

“Hank, no. I don’t think this would be a good idea. It’d be weird, wouldn’t it?”

It would be so weird. Even if he was great with kids and I knew that he wouldn’t flake on me. No. Just no.

“D, think about it. We’re already practically best friends, we know just about everything about each other, we make a good team at work. Why wouldn’t we make good parents together?”

He made some excellent points, but this had to be the worst idea he’d ever had.

Because my idea to co-parent with a stranger was so stellar.

“But do you even want this?” I knew my question sounded weak, even to my own ears.

“Do I want to have kids? Absolutely.” He nodded. “Do I want someone I unconditionally love and trust to raise them with? Yes. It might not be how I imagined it all going down, but I can’t say that I don’t want a child right now. I was just content to wait a little longer.”

“You love me?” It came out as a squeak, and his expression softened as he looked over at me. I’ll deny till my dying breath that the warm flush coursing through me wasn’t from the wine.

“Duh, crazy girl. You’re my best friend. Of course I love you.”

“This is just too fucked up.”

I sighed as he reached over and opened my fists, massaging my knuckles with his much larger fingers, which made me fight back an inappropriate moan. And then a facepalm that I’d had that kind of reaction to Hank. Seriously.

“Let me do this. Let me give you a baby.”


What else could I say? He was too charming for his own good, and he’d turned my idea around and convinced me we could actually pull this off.


Twenty-four hours later, we were back on my couch preparing to have “the talk” about what was going on.

Typically, having a talk with a guy involved me letting them down quickly, but this was going to be ten times more awkward.

“So…how exactly does this work?” His eyes were heavy with something I couldn’t quite identify as he leaned against the back of the couch and turned his gaze in my direction.

“I don’t know.” I really, really did not have any answers anymore. I may have made myself a few drinks after work to help me deal with this interaction.

Hank had been out at client meetings most of the day and then went out for drinks with his brother-in-law Emersen at happy hour.

This was probably a conversation we should have been having sober, but the liquid courage was a necessity at this point.

“Do we go about this the old-fashioned way?” His eyebrows bounced up and down as his hips thrust up lightly from the couch. Yup, he was definitely not sober.

“Oh my god. Stop. You are such a twelve-year-old boy.” I swatted him in the stomach with the back of my hand. His very, very firm stomach. Ugh.

“Last time I checked, I was a boy, yeah. But I’m definitely no twelve-year-old.”

“Gross, Hank. I just ate. Quit being a perv.”

We both laughed, and it lightened the tense atmosphere a little. I was well aware he wasn’t a twelve-year-old, but imagining him young gave me the fleeting thought of how pretty our babies would be.

Baby. Our baby. Not babies…

“You’d better get used to nausea from what I hear, darling. And I’m offended. Am I really that disgusting?”

“Um, no. But I don’t think that I could”—I waved my hand in the general direction of his crotch—“do…that.”

“Ouch. Okay, okay. I get it. Your best friend is repulsive.”

You’d think his fragile male ego was broken with the look he was giving me—time for a subject change.

“From the things I’ve read, we just go to a fertility clinic. You give them a sample, and they inject it in me. If it takes, then we go from there; if it doesn’t, then we can get them to implant a fertilized embryo with IVF.”

“You make it sound so…clinical.”

His distaste was apparent, but the alternative was not ever going to be an option.

I couldn’t go through with it—no matter how blue his eyes were or how attractive he looked with his tie loosened and the scruff he sported from not shaving this morning.

Stop looking at the attractive man on the couch, Delia.

“It is clinical. We’re two single people making a baby using science, not some drunken one-night stand.”

“We could go that route as well,” he laughed as the eyebrows started wiggling again. He really was enjoying poking fun at this, but I could see the tips of his ears turning bright red.

“As much as I’m flattered, Hank, I think I’ll have to pass. It can take the average couple up to a year to conceive the first time. Do you really want to be stuck having sex with me for over a year?”

“Regular sex for a whole year? I think I could force myself,” he smirked as he tipped back his beer and finished it in three large gulps.

I watched his Adam’s apple as it flexed and for a minute, I contemplated what it would be like to let Hank have it his way…

Nope, can’t do it.

I shook my head to rid it of inappropriate thoughts, sat down beside him on the couch, and turned to face him, pulling my legs up underneath me.

“I don’t want to make things weird between us. If this is something you can’t handle, I need you to tell me now.”

“I can. I’m sorry, it’s just awkward. I didn’t exactly see this coming. I didn’t realize that my weekend would be this interesting,” he joked. “I just thought I’d go out to a bar and maybe make out with some random chick, not agree to impregnate my best friend.”

“I don’t want to cramp your style, Hank. I’m serious. You have to be a hundred percent ready to have and raise a child and be linked to me for the rest of your life. It’s not something to joke about. I really want you to think about this.”

“I have.” He nodded, put his empty bottle on the coffee table, and turned to face me. “I’m ready.”

At least one of us was ready.


The following week, I had an appointment with my OB-GYN to talk things over. The fertility clinic that I’d researched required a clean bill of health and a total fertility workup before they’d do a consultation.

“Ms. Waltham?” Dr. Christiansen asked as she settled onto her stool and put her laptop down on the counter.

I’d only been seeing her every other year for annual exams. I was sure she was wondering why I was here for more than the usual downstairs probe.

“That’s me,” I mumbled nervously as I shifted on the paper covering the exam table.

I’d always hated my yearly appointments. It was so weird sitting in a gown with slats down the front, no underwear, and only a tiny sheet to cover your lap. That stupid white crinkly paper always stuck to your exposed ass cheeks.

“So it says here that you want your yearly exam done with a baseline fertility test. Are we contemplating pregnancy?”

“Something like that.” I nodded as she put on a pair of gloves and urged me to lie back on the exam table.

“Does your partner know that you’re seeking fertility testing, Delia?” She was giving me that assessing doctor look.

“Um…I guess?” Hank was pretty much my partner now, but not in the traditional sense.

“Well, it might be a good time to have a serious conversation about it if you’re looking to conceive.”

She arched an eyebrow as she began to palpate my breasts. I didn’t understand how gynecologists could just feel up boobs all day like it was no big deal—not to mention being wrist deep in other areas.

“It’s complicated,” I found myself confessing. I was sure she was used to nervous people oversharing.

“Hmm,” she mused as she moved down to the edge of the table and began to lift the sheet covering my lap up my thighs. “It’s been a year since your last pap?”

I nodded as she made eye contact.

“Everything was normal?”

“Yes.” I winced. Damn, that metal torture device was cold.

She went about her business and screwed the lid onto my sample, placing it on the little cart next to my head.

“I need to do a pelvic exam, and then I’ll send you down to the ultrasound room for them to do a full reproductive scan to make sure both your ovaries are healthy.”

I kept waiting for her to ask questions about why my partnership was complicated, but she had probably heard it all.

“Okay,” I sighed as she began to prod around down there some more, nodding and humming.

“Everything looks and feels normal. Once you start trying to conceive, if you have any discomfort during intercourse or any concerns, feel free to call the office.”

“Yeah, that won’t be a problem.” I hadn’t meant to blurt that out.


“There won’t be any intercourse.” I could feel my face burn bright red as she gave me a skeptical look. “I’m doing IVF. Well, probably—it depends on how things go.”

“Do you have a history of infertility I don’t know about?” she asked as she took off her gloves and threw them into the trash.

“No.” I shook my head as I sat forward awkwardly to see her reaction.

“Using a donor?”


He was technically a donor of sorts, but the situation had gotten a little muddy. Best friend baby daddy was a complicated situation to explain to people.

“All right, Delia, if I’m going to go through this pregnancy with you, I’d appreciate it if you’d just be honest with me.” I cringed, and she sighed as she sat back down. “Getting information out of you is like pulling teeth.”

“My male best friend and I are going to use IVF to have a baby. Together.”

“Is he gay?” she mused, but I could tell she wasn’t judgmental about it. It was a valid question, considering what she’d heard.

“No,” I laughed. Hank was very much not gay.

“Are you planning on raising the baby alone?”

I shook my head.

“So, let me get this straight. You and your friend are going to have a baby using artificial means and then raise it together?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” I nodded, realizing how crazy it sounded.

“Well, I thought I’d heard everything,” she laughed as she shook my hand and walked toward the door. “Well, good luck. Once you get a positive pregnancy test, call the office to schedule a blood test. Usually, we schedule the first prenatal exam for between eight and ten weeks.”

“Thanks,” I muttered as I clutched the sheet on my lap, feeling like an idiot.

I don’t know why it was so weird for me to tell people my situation. I’d better get used to it—I’d be explaining it over and over again for the next eighteen or so years.

The ultrasound was uncomfortable but quick, and before I knew it, I was headed back out to the waiting room where Hank was huddled in the corner, looking a little freaked out.

I hadn’t wanted him in the exam room for obvious reasons, but he’d wanted to come for moral support.

I think a room full of unavailable women, quite a few in various stages of pregnancy, made him a little uncomfortable.

“Have fun?” he asked as he stood up and took my hand.

“Oh yeah…” I rolled my eyes as I towed him toward the door.

“Hey, at least you didn’t have to have a finger up your ass like I did yesterday,” he joked as he opened the car door for me and ran back around to the driver’s side.

“Gross, Hank. I do not need to hear about you being probed.”

“Just saying.” He winked as he started the drive back to my apartment.

I kept waiting for the part where it was going to get less awkward. But I didn’t think that was going to happen anytime soon.

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