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My brother told me the bare fact about reproduction (penetration) and it sounded so complicated that I figured the man and woman had to go to a doctor to get the thing done. They would stand facing each other and then the doctor would carefully guide the man's penis into the woman. There would be a very professional medical quality to all of this and great embarrassment for the man and woman...but it was the only way.
My parents told me that a man and a woman had to do "something special" to make a baby. However, she didn't specify what this "something special" was, nor did I quite understand about pregnancy (I was very little). I'd also been told that babies came "from God" if you prayed for one, so I put the two together, and decided there must be some sort of special baby-creating prayer/ritual. I had vague mental images of my parents lighting candles and chanting until a baby spontaneously appeared in the room.
When I read the book "Where did I come from?" in second grade, it mentioned that you didn't have to be married to have a baby. I thought that meant that sperm could travel out of the man, down the street on on the sidewalk, into a lady's house and up the legs of her bed, through her sheets and into her vagina while she was sleeping. A couple of times I peered over the edge of my bed to see if any of them were coming my way.
I used to believe that babies were put on backorder for 9 months and when they arrived, the hospital would give you a call and you could go pick it up. I just thought the big belly part was because you ate too much because you were really excited about getting a new baby.
When my daughter, LIzzy, was almost two, I sat my four year old son down to tell him that we were thinking of having another baby. He burst out crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I want to keep Lizzy."
My brother used to believe that when a couple left the church after they got married, there was a big wicker basket by the door with a selection of babies in it, so that they could choose one on the way home!
When we were little, my mother had bought us a book titled, "How You Were Born". In this book, there was an illustration of a sperm under a magnifying glass. For years, I thought the magnifying glass was a frying pan and was totally mystified by where and how the frying pan fit into the reproductive process.
To make a baby a man and woman touched parts of the body and that would make that part of the baby. So if they held hands that would make the baby's hands. If they kissed that would make the baby's lips. They had to rub butts in order to make the baby's butt. There was no doubling up. It wasn't like if they touched hands multiple times the baby would be some octopus monstroid. The parts would float around in the mommy's tummy until it was completed. The parts were good for up to 9 months. So you had to complete the baby in 9 months or you had some parts over.
I had always known about sex; I was never told that old one about the stork. However, I didn't learn the specifics until I was twelve. I came up with a truly brilliant theory, though. Men and women had magnetic force-fields around them, men were north magnets and women were south magnets. Babies were conceives when men and women got so close together that the magnetic fields touched, and had to spen a whole night like that. As you can tell, I spent much thought on the subject, and was convinced that if I held two ordinary metal magnets together for a whole night, more metal would appear in nine months.
I thought that a woman could never have sex during her pregnancy. I was completely ready to wait the whole time when our first was conceived. I think my wife wishes now that she had let me believe it.