The Unconventional Family Idiosyncrasy
Penny was sitting in her apartment with a bottle of Smirnoff. She'd already polished off a bottle of Captain Morgan's. She didn't even bother to use a glass; opting to drink directly out of the bottle. She supposed it was her own fault; after all, she'd been the one to dump Leonard.
A week ago, Leonard had come over to invite her to see some new state-of-the-art laser at the university. Penny, still feeling guilty for enjoying Sheldon's accidental touch to her breast (especially since it was much more thrilling than Leonard's touch), had snapped at him.
"Why the hell would I want to see your stupid laser?"
"Because it's cool?" asked Leonard uncertainly.
"It's cool? It's cool? Leonard, get over it! It's just a laser for God's sake!"
"It's not just a laser! It's a brand-new state-of-the-art laser! It's by far, the coolest laser in existence! I thought my girlfriend would want to look at it!"
"Well maybe I don't want to be your girlfriend!"
"No I don't!"
Penny knew she could've handled the whole dumping thing better. She knew in her heart that Leonard hadn't deserved that. He was the best boyfriend she had ever had. So why did she dump him? Well there was no spark, she decided, taking another swig of vodka. For God's sake, she felt more of a spark with Sheldon; the man with no apparent sex drive. Wait, that wasn't true, he'd felt her boob and clearly hadn't wanted to let go, and he he peeked at her when she was naked. She took another swig of vodka.
Knock knock knock. "Penny."
Speak of the devil, what was Sheldon doing here?
Knock knock knock. "Penny."
She got up and stumbled to the door.
Knock knock knock. "Penny."
She opened the door.
When the door opened, Sheldon looked at Penny. She had definitely been crying. A quick glance at the interior of her apartment told him she had also been drinking.
"What do you want, Sheldon?"
He held out the pile of clothes he was holding and said, "I have come to return the clothes you left in Leonard's room."
"Oh? And why didn't Leonard return them?"
"I'm not entirely certain. Leonard said it was because you had just broken up. When I asked what that had to do with it, I was told that if I didn't return the clothes, he wouldn't watch the commentary of the new Star Trek movie with me."
Observing Penny's obvious look of distress, he asked, "Is something the matter?"
"You think, Sheldon?"
He really hoped she wouldn't want to tell him what was wrong since he knew it was unlikely he would be able to help. However, he'd been told by Howard Wolowitz that when a girl was visibly upset, it was a non-optional social convention to ask her if she wanted to talk about it.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Sheldon was confused about what happened next. Penny wrapped her arms around him and held him quite tightly, sobbing uncontrollably into his Green-Lantern t-shirt. He tried to ignore the feeling of her bosom pressing into him while simultaneously using his free hand to pat her on the head and say "There, there."
Sheldon decided this conversation would be better off it took place inside Penny's apartment rather than in the doorframe, so he moved forward while getting Penny to move backward into the apartment. When Penny let go of him, he handed her the clothes and reached behind him for the doorknob.
"Penny, if you would stop crying, I would be able to understand what it is that you are saying."
Penny wiped her eyes, took a deep breath, and started again: "It was all my fault! Leonard was so sweet and good to me! And what did I do? I dumped him! Just because we had no spark! Is that a good reason to dump someone? I mean, Leonard is such a good guy, but I felt more of a spark with you, Sheldon, the day you touched my boob! I know you felt it too! I know you're not a robot! If you were a robot, you would have let go of me right away! If you were a robot, you wouldn't have looked at me naked! I know you like me!"
Sheldon realized that Penny was speaking was the truth. He needed to ponder the implications of all this, but he couldn't very well consider it at his leisure with the very source of his distress sitting next to him. He stood up and, feeling embarrassed, said "I have to go."
When Sheldon got home, he went straight to his bedroom, closed the door, took off his shoes, and lay down on his bed. He was surprised, that was for sure, that Penny had suggested that he liked her. Could he really be attracted to Penny? He had never actually considered it before.
His background knowledge in this area was limited, to say the least. He had always liked females, in a clinical sort of way. He knew that they were essential to the procreation of the species, and he knew that someday he, would want to procreate, but he'd never given the logistics of it, very much thought.
Secretly, he had always wondered if there was something wrong with him. Yes, he was aware which females society dictated he find attractive but, he had never been attracted to any woman in particular. When he masturbated, he only had vague images of the female form in his mind; there was never any face.
So was he really attracted to Penny? Maybe he could ask Leonard, Howard, or Raj - they seemed to know a lot more about the subject than he did. He decided asking one of his friends for help was not a good idea. For one thing, they'd most likely mock him and, while they might know more about sexual attraction in general, he was only really interested in his own feelings.
He decided to test his hypothesis by thinking of Penny and seeing if he became aroused. He recalled the feel of her breast under his palm and the way her posterior looked naked. Yes, there was definitely arousal. His hand wandered down into his pants, and a few minutes later the best orgasm of his life told him that yes, he was unquestionably attracted to Penny.
It took Sheldon two days to come to terms with the fact that he, or at least his subconscious, found Penny to be a viable sexual mate. Now he had to decide how he was going to proceed with his newfound knowledge. He had several options: do nothing and just continue to do nothing (easy, no messy emotions); openly moon over her for months on end (too much like Leonard); go over and ask if she wanted to have sexual intercourse (too much like Howard); ask her on a date (terrifying); or ask her to marry him (what was he thinking...). It seemed best to just to wait until he saw her again and see how she felt.
It had been two weeks since Penny had dumped Leonard and one week since the day that Sheldon had come over to return her clothes. She decided she should go over to see the guys and let them know that she still wanted to be friends with them; Leonard in particular. Since it was eight o'clock on a Sunday night, the guys would most likely be there.
Penny walked across the hall and opened the door to the guys' apartment, only to find Sheldon sitting in his spot, using his laptop. He looked up and said "Hello, Penny. Come on in."
"Hey, Sheldon! Where is everyone?"
"Leonard and Koothrapali are at the university, doing something with the new laser. Wolowitz is accompanying his mother to a viewing of a romantic comedy, commonly known as a 'chick flick.'"
This little endeavor was not turning out as Penny had hoped, considering that only Sheldon was there, but since she was already here, she might as well talk to him.
She sat down next to Sheldon on the couch and said "I'm sorry about last week, when I was drunk."
Sheldon put his laptop on the coffee table and said, "Inebriation has well established side-effects including, but not limited to, loss of motor function and poor judgment. I generally do not condone it. In this case, however, your inebriation has got me thinking. Penny, may I ask you a question?"
Penny, as usual, had no idea about half of what Sheldon had just said, but she decided to roll with it. "Sure, Sheldon."
"When you were drunk, what did you mean when you said there was a spark when I touched your breast? I did not see nor feel any electrical spark, so you must have spoken of something with which I am unfamiliar."
Even though Penny only vaguely remembered what she said, she knew Sheldon would remember the conversation verbatim so she didn't try to deny what she had said. After a little bit of thought, she replied, blushing furiously, "Sheldon, I meant that I was sexually attracted to you."
He seemed to consider that for a moment before replying, "Oh good. Penny, I want to tell you something. You were right. I am not a robot. I did feel that 'spark' you spoke of."
Penny was shocked. Sheldon was actually telling her that he liked her. She looked at him, surprised. He was looking back at her, slightly confused. "I am not sure how to proceed from here," said Sheldon.
Penny felt the blood rush to her cheeks. First Sheldon, that is, Mr. Asexual, admitted he was sexually attracted to a girl. And not just any girl; he was attracted to her. And Sheldon wasn't bad looking. She had actually thought he was pretty good looking when she had first moved in. Besides, she found his intelligence sexy.
She realized that she was starting to feel a little turned on. In order not to completely shock Sheldon, she said "Remember what you said to me about Schrödinger's cat right before I went out with Leonard?"
"Penny, need I remind you, yet again, that I have an eidetic memory? I do not forget anything."
Penny took that as a "yes," so she said "Sheldon, I'm going to try the same thing on you that I tried on Leonard."
With that, Penny leaned in and pressed her lips against Sheldon's. She felt him go completely still, but then, after a few seconds, his lips slowly began to move against her own. Well two things were for sure: Sheldon was very inexperienced, but the cat was alive! Even with Sheldon's inexperience, it was definitely one of the best kisses she had ever had.
Sheldon was confused. First he had admitted his insecurities to Penny and then she, of all people, brought up Schrödinger's cat before kissing him. Well, she had applied his previous advice correctly, but now that it was directed at him, he wasn't sure what to think! He had a feeling the cat was alive. He decided that his move was to go to his room and plot his course of action carefully.
He decided it would be rude to just leave without any explanation so he said "I'm going to my room. You may remain here and watch TV if you wish." He then got up and went to his room, closing the door behind him. He took off his shoes and sat down on the side of his bed, the taste of Penny still on his lips.
He immediately heard the door open and he looked over to see Penny standing in the doorway. "Penny, people can't be in my room!"
"Oh, come on Moon Pie!"
"Don't call me 'Moon Pie.'"
"But I think you're nummy nummy and I want to eat you up!"
Sheldon wasn't sure what to make of the situation. What on Earth was Penny doing? She had never looked at him like that before.
Suddenly, Penny was sitting on the bed next to him. Before he had a chance to react, though, she leaned over and started kissing him again. If she was going to insist on kissing him, then he might as well enjoy it. He closed his eyes and stopped thinking.
Penny was really into kissing Sheldon. Sure, he was inexperienced, but there was something about him that made her heart race. Maybe it was his clean, male scent; she wasn't sure and she didn't really want to think.
She repositioned herself so she was straddling him and reached under his shirts, feeling his skin. She felt something hard poking at her from the direction of his crotch, which just turned her on all the more.
After awhile, she managed to get Sheldon out of both of his shirts. Realizing that he didn't know what he was doing, she whispered into his ear "Help undress me!"
He complied by helping her remove her shirt. She felt his hands running all over the bare skin of her back and her front before stopping at the bra. She needed to get it off as soon as possible and didn't want to wait for Sheldon to figure out the clasp so, gasping, she said "Here… let me."
Torsos bare, she pulled Sheldon back into a kiss, reveling in the exquisite feel of his tongue in her mouth. He tasted a little like toothpaste mixed with something else, the taste of Sheldon.
She found her hands working on getting his plaid pants off. He eagerly wiggled out of them. Soon, he was wearing only his brown striped socks and his briefs. As he removed his socks, she slipped out of her shorts.
"Why aren't you wearing any panties?" she heard him ask.
"I don't know," she replied as she straddled him again. She reached inside his briefs and touched something warm and hard. She let it go before he came.
As she licked his neck, she heard Sheldon ask "Are you using some form of contraceptive?"
"Yeah," She replied, "I'm on the-" wait, no she wasn't. After dumping Leonard, she'd been too depressed to pick up her prescription. Well, she had some condoms at her apartment. "No, we need a condom."
"Leonard has some in the bathroom. He said I could use them if I let him keep them in there."
Penny reluctantly got up and followed Sheldon to the bathroom, where he opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out a condom. After Sheldon closed the medicine cabinet, Penny walked up to him, pulled his head down, and kissed him again.
Sheldon sat down on the toilet and Penny climbed onto his lap, never breaking the kiss. She felt Sheldon grow even harder beneath her and she was totally ready, so she whispered "Let's go to your room."
As they stumbled into his room, Penny managed to stammer, "Find a tie. Put it on the doorknob in case Leonard gets home."
By the time Sheldon had found a tie, tied a quick four-in-hand, placed it on the doorknob, and closed the door, Penny had walked the few feet to his bed, and laid suggestively on it. "Come here, Sheldon," she said.
Sheldon dutifully walked over to her. She reached, wrapped her arms around him, and put both hand under his briefs, against his butt. Sheldon inadvertently moaned. She raised her hands to the waistband of his underpants and said "Let's get you out of these."
With both of them completely naked, Penny decided enough was enough; it was time to get down to business. But first there was the matter of the condom. She reached over and picked up the foil packet beside her on the bed. "I'm going to put this on you," she said.
"It's got to be done correctly or it won't be effective," she said, cutting Sheldon off. "You can research how to do it properly later, but this time let me."
She opened the foil with her fingers, being careful not to rip the delicate latex inside. She placed the condom at the head of his dick before pinching the tip and unrolling it. "Okay," she said, "We're ready to go."
Afterwards, Penny was surprised that the sex had actually been pretty decent, between Sheldon's being a virgin and the lack of lubrication. However, thoughts of decent sex were soon wiped from her mind when Sheldon pulled out and she noticed that there was no ejaculate in the tip of the condom. Carefully, so she didn't freak him out, she took the condom from him. "I'll be right back, I have to go to the bathroom," she lied. The last thing she needed was for Sheldon to freak out if there was no need for it.
She took the condom and went to the bathroom. She turned the water on lightly and placed the condom under the stream. She looked at the tip and saw the drip, drip, drip of water. Damn. It was time to freak him out.
Leaving the condom on the rim of the sink, she raced back to Sheldon's room. "Come on!" she said as she hurriedly put her clothes back on in case Leonard showed up, "Put your bathrobe on and follow me."
"I don't understand what's going on," said Sheldon.
"You will if you put your robe on and follow me." Reluctantly, Sheldon did as he was told.
When they got to the bathroom, Penny walked over to the sink and motioned Sheldon to follow her. She picked up the used condom and said "This is the condom we used."
"Yes, it appears so," said Sheldon, agreeing with her. "Shouldn't you throw that out?"
"I will," said Penny, "After I show you something. It's an experiment."
"An experiment?" asked Sheldon.
"Yes," she said, turning the water on. "You see, after we were finished, I noticed there was no, uh, no stuff in it. Now, you know this is supposed to be water-tight, but I got worried so I did this." She put the condom back under the running water. When she took it out, she said "Watch what it does closely."
"It appears to be dripping," said Sheldon after about a second of watching.
"Yes, Sheldon, it's dripping!" said Penny, exacerbated.
"Are you upset?" asked Sheldon.
"Yes, I'm upset. And you should be too!"
"I should be… Why should I be upset?"
"Because, Sheldon," said Penny, wondering how a man with an I.Q. of 187 could be so oblivious, "It's dripping. That means that the condom was… How do I put this? Compromised? Yes. The condom was compromised."
"The condom was compromised?" asked Sheldon, who clearly was still not getting it.
"Yes, Sheldon, it was. That means that in less than a year, you could possibly be a father!"
Sheldon felt the blood drain out of his face. While he realized that a baby was always a possible result of sexual intercourse, that didn't mean that he was ready for one. For one thing, he hadn't yet won a Nobel Prize! For another thing-
"We have two options," said Penny, cutting off Sheldon's thoughts.
Sheldon realized that Penny, having a lot more experience with sexual intercourse than he did, was clearly the expert here so he decided it would be best if he listened to what she had to say. So he asked "What are the two options?"
"Well, we could either wait for a pregnancy test or I could take the morning after pill."
Sheldon was horrified at the thought of the morning after pill. Sure, he wasn't ready for a baby, but, according to his mother, the morning after pill was right up there with abortion. While he didn't believe in most of the things his mother did, he definitely did not believe in killing, not even the unborn. Finally, he said "Let's wait for a pregnancy test."
Penny did as Sheldon requested and waited to take a pregnancy test. She found the two week wait to be agonizing. Was she or wasn't she? Finally, on the evening two days before her period was due, she could take it no more. After googling "most accurate home pregnancy test," she went to Walgreens and bought a two pack of First Response Early Result tests.
She hadn't taken a home pregnancy test in awhile, but the directions stated she could either pee on the stick directly or pee in a cup and then dip the stick into it. Penny opted for the latter method.
After dipping the stick in the pee, Penny put it on top of the toilet tank, disposed of the pee and the paper cup she had used, and walked into the living room to wait the three minutes until she could check the test.
Penny paced around her apartment, checking the clock every five seconds or so. Time had never passed so slowly. Once the required three minutes had passed, Penny went back into the bathroom to get her results. She picked up the test. Right on the stick it said that one line meant negative, two lines meant positive.
There were two lines. A zillion thoughts went through her head. Her life was going to change forever. Should she get an abortion?
Well there was only one thing to do; she had to tell Sheldon.
Sheldon was quite busy lying on his bed reading the latest Spider-Man comic book, so he was not overly happy when he heard his bedroom door open. He looked up to see Penny walk in. "Penny, people can't be in my room," he reminded her.
"Not now, Sheldon. I have something important to tell you and I'm sure you wouldn't want me to tell you this in front of Leonard."
Sheldon quickly ran through his mind all the possible topics which Penny would want to speak to him privately about. Only one thing stood out in his mind. "Does this have anything to do with when we had coitus and the condom was compromised?"
"Yes Sheldon, it does. I took a pregnancy test and-"
"Penny, you couldn't have taken a pregnancy test!" Sheldon hadn't meant to interrupt; he knew that it was rude to interrupt. However, Penny's period wasn't due for another two days and therefore a pregnancy test taken now would not be accurate. "If you took a pregnancy test now, the result might be a false negative!"
"It was positive, Sheldon!"
"Oh. Well why did you take the pregnancy test now when it could've lead to a false negative?"
"Because I couldn't stand waiting anymore and this one is supposed to be accurate five days before your period is due."
Sheldon had not known that so he remained silent.
"Sheldon," continued Penny, "what are we going to do?"
Sheldon was genuinely confused. What did she mean what were they going to do? "Penny, I am not sure what you are referring to. If you mean that we have to decide what to eat for dinner, I have already eaten soup from Souplantation. If you are referring to what activity we should do this evening, need I remind you that it's Halo night?"
Penny stared at him, suddenly frustrated. She had just told Sheldon that she was pregnant with his child, asked whether or not to get an abortion, and his response was that he had already eaten and tonight was Halo night?
"No Sheldon, I'm asking whether I should get an abortion or not!"
"You can't get an abortion!" said Sheldon sounding horrified. "Abortions are killing. Killing is wrong."
He was right; killing was wrong. Besides, how should she kill her own child? She may be pro-choice, but she just didn't have it in her to abort her own child.
But what about money, or emotional support? She knew the guys would be there for her and most of her girlfriends just loved babies, but could she seriously handle the life of a single mother? Working combined with 2:00am feedings would be stressful. So she said "What about adoption? That's not killing."
Sheldon, looking upset, replied "Why would you wish to place our child up for adoption?"
"Because," replied Penny, "I don't want to be a single mother. For one thing, I can't afford it. I can barely support myself. And my apartment is not large enough; it's only got one bedroom. Where would I put the nursery? Also, I don't think I can do 2:00a.m. feedings and work at the same time. Plus, how would I be able to afford daycare on my current salary?"
"Don't worry about money," replied Sheldon, "As it is my child too, I have no problem financially supporting it. As I have previously told you, I only use 46.9 percent of my earnings after taxes; therefore I am perfectly capable of supporting our child. As for you other dilemma, why don't you move in here? This is a two bedroom apartment. I suppose Leonard could take your apartment and we could use his room as a nursery. In addition, if you move in here, I will be able to help with the child."
Well that did answer a lot of her problems. Besides, truth be told, she didn't want to give her child up for adoption. Still, she had one other concern. "Where would I sleep?" she asked Sheldon.
"You would sleep with me," replied Sheldon, as if it was blatantly obvious.
"What?" replied Penny, "Wouldn't that be weird?"
"In what way would it be 'weird'?"
"Well, we did have sex…"
"Yes, I know. I, for one, found it to be most enjoyable. I hope you did too."
"What are you saying Sheldon?"
"I'm saying that if you are not adverse, I would like to continue our sexual relationship."
Penny thought about what Sheldon was saying. Sex with Sheldon had been enjoyable. It would certainly solve the problem of how she would get some while pregnant. And what was so weird about sleeping with the father of your child? "Okay," said Penny, "I'm in."
The next morning, it occurred to Sheldon that he should probably notify Leonard about the upcoming change in living arrangements, especially since it concerned him. He figured that the sooner he told Leonard, the sooner Leonard could find new living arrangements if he did not want to live in Penny's apartment; although he could not see why Leonard would not. Leonard earned a sufficient amount of money to afford the rent.
Sheldon walked into the living room to see Leonard writing on his board. "Oh good, Leonard," said Sheldon, "You aren't busy."
"What do you want, Sheldon?"
"To tell you that you are going to have to move out," he said. At Leonard's blank expression, he continued, "You are going to have to move out because Penny is pregnant and she is going to move in here. You are welcome to live in Penny's current apartment."
"Penny's pregnant? Why would she tell you and not me? And why is she moving in with you?"
"Because Leonard, I am the father. So when do you think you could reasonably be out by?"
"You… You had sex with Penny? And got her pregnant? Hey, isn't she on the pill?"
"Apparently, after you broke up, she was so upset that she forgot to refill her prescription. So we used one of your condoms."
"You used one of my condoms?"
"Yes Leonard. You said I could use them if I let you keep them in the bathroom. But it doesn't matter because the condom was compromised."
"But I don't really understand how you got to have sex with Penny to begin with!"
"She said something about a spark she felt when I felt her breast when she dislocated her shoulder."
"You felt her breast when I was on that camping trip? We were together then!"
"Well, yes, but she was naked and she told me not to look while I was dressing her and I missed her arm and got her breast instead."
"Well that makes me feel a whole lot better!"
"Sarcasm? Anyway, I feel we are getting off topic here. When do you think you can move out?"
"I don't know, Sheldon, let me get back to you on that."
It was 7:12am the morning after Penny had told Sheldon she was pregnant. She was eating frozen waffles and wondering how she was going to tell Leonard she was pregnant. Scratch that; she was wondering how she would tell Leonard that she was pregnant with Sheldon's child.
There was a knocking at her door. It wasn't Sheldon's knock, so she figured it was probably Leonard. Who else, besides Sheldon, would knock on her door before 8:00am?
She opened the door and said "Hey Leonard."
"Hey, Penny. I have to talk to you. Can I come in?"
After Leonard entered the apartment, Penny closed the door. She sat down next to him on the couch and resumed eating her waffles.
After a long, awkward silence, Leonard said "Sheldon says you're pregnant and that he's the father."
"Why did he tell you that?"
"Because he wanted to know when I could move out so that you could move in. He said that I could move in here if I wanted."
"Yeah," replied Penny. "My lease isn't up until September, but I can sublet it to you until then."
"Well, okay, I guess that works," replied Leonard. "Just one more question."
"Yeah?" replied Penny.
"Why would you have sex with Sheldon? I mean, its Sheldon! You dumped me because I was too nerdy and then you had sex with Sheldon! Newsflash; Sheldon is ten times more nerdy than me!"
"No, Leonard, I didn't dump you because you were nerdy," said Penny. "I dumped you because we have no chemistry. Sheldon and I have chemistry."
When Leonard didn't say anything in response, Penny said "So are you interested in the apartment? Because I can move out the first weekend of March, if you want."
That evening, Sheldon decided to go online to do a little research on pregnancy. He learned that Penny was only supposed to be drinking one cup of coffee a day and that she should visit an obstetrician in four weeks time. He went over to her apartment to let her know, going through his typical knocking routine. When Penny opened the door, she said "Hey Sheldon, come on in."
"I'm really only bringing my clothes, toiletries, stuffed animals, and computer to your apartment," said Penny as Sheldon closed the door.
"That's all well and good," said Sheldon, a little irritated that Penny hadn't asked him the purpose of his visit. "I have been doing research online and I wanted to tell you two things. The first is that you should only be drinking one cup of coffee per day during pregnancy."
"I know that, Sheldon!" was Penny's reply.
Sheldon ignored her and continued on. "The second thing is that it is recommended that you visit an obstetrician before your eighth week of pregnancy."
"Okay, I'll call my gynecologist in the morning."
"Isn't that a little premature?" asked Sheldon.
"In what way?" asked Penny. "I'm already two weeks pregnant."
"Actually, you aren't," said Sheldon. "Pregnancy is usually counted from the first day of the last period. Ergo, you are four weeks pregnant. Anyway, shouldn't you call around and make appointments with several different obstetricians?"
"Why would I do that?" asked Penny. "I've been seeing Dr. Morrissey for years. I'm comfortable with her and she's a great doctor."
Sheldon sighed. He could tell he was going to have to really guide Penny through this pregnancy. "Just because Dr. Morrissey is a great gynecologist is no guarantee that you will find her to be a satisfactory obstetrician. What are her views on water-births? What's her rate of cesarean sections? How many people does she allow in the delivery room? What are her views on childbirth education classes? What's her policy on inductions? And Penny, how do you feel about all these things?"
Sheldon watched for a moment as Penny just stood there with her mouth wide open. Frustrated with her silence, he said "Well?"
"Uh, I don't think I want a water-birth," said Penny. "I know I don't want a c-section unless it's absolutely necessary. I guess I want one or two people with me in the delivery room. You would be one, of course, but I don't know yet if I want someone else. I suppose taking some classes couldn't hurt, especially since I have no idea what inductions are, Sheldon."
Sheldon suddenly had a thought, so he asked "Would you like for me to come to the appointments when you interview prospective obstetricians? I think I would like to ask some questions too."
"Sure Sheldon, since you seem so up on this stuff, I guess that's a good idea." Penny's answer surprised Sheldon, but he was happy with it.
Penny scheduled an appointment to interview Dr. Morrissey as well as Dr. Johnson, an obstetrician of Sheldon's choice. Penny didn't know what the hell Sheldon knew about obstetricians, but she figured it couldn't hurt to humor him. Besides, it wasn't like she had any other ideas.
Both interviews were scheduled for the following week, on a Friday, due to Penny's work schedule. She was secretly happy when Sheldon grumbled about having to take off work in order to go with her. Sheldon stopped his complaining; however, when Penny pointed out that he didn't have to come along if he didn't want to.
They arrived at Dr. Morrissey's office at nine forty five in the morning, fifteen minutes before their scheduled appointment. Penny was relieved when Sheldon quickly got absorbed in a brochure about the importance of monthly self-breast exams and the proper way to do them so she could fill out the forms she had been given in peace.
When Penny's name was called, the nurse's aide escorted them into an office rather than an exam room. Penny and Sheldon sat down. It was not long before they were joined by Dr. Morrissey.
"So," said Dr. Morrissey after the introductions were made, "I see you're pregnant. Based on the forms you filled out, your due date is September 28th. Congratulations."
"Thank you," replied Penny, who was starting to feel a bit embarrassed. After all, this was the doctor who had been giving her yearly pap smears since she had first moved to Pasadena. She looked at Sheldon.
She was relieved when Sheldon spoke up. "What are your feelings about prenatal vitamins?"
"I always prescribe them," replied Dr. Morrissey.
Penny thought that was a good answer, but apparently Sheldon did not, because he said "Are you aware that prenatal vitamins are also available over the counter and cost less money that way?"
"Yes, but the prescription ones are better."
"In what sense?"
Penny, feeling thoroughly embarrassed at this point, hissed, "Sheldon, move on! Next question."
"Moving on," said Sheldon, "What's your rate of c-sections?"
"About 60 percent"
"About? You don't know? And isn't 60 percent rather high?"
"Sheldon!" Penny hissed warningly.
"Okay, next question. What are your feelings about prepared childbirth classes?"
"They don't hurt anything. Parents can take them if they want, but honestly, I don't see any real benefit to them. The baby is coming out whether the parents are prepared or not."
Sheldon scowled but moved on to his next question. "How many support people do you allow in the delivery room?"
"Two for vaginal deliveries, one for c-sections," was the doctor's answer.
"But what if one plans on having a vaginal delivery, has two support people there, and then finds out that they need to have a c-section?"
"Well then one of the support people will need to wait in the waiting room."
"Finally," asked Sheldon, "What is your policy on induction? That is, will you allow patients to go up to forty two weeks assuming both the mother and baby are healthy?"
"I suppose I could," replied Dr. Morrissey, "But I generally like to deliver by forty one weeks at the latest."
Sheldon left Dr. Morrissey's office glad that he had talked Penny into interviewing another obstetrician. "Penny," said Sheldon after they were seated for lunch at an Indian restaurant of his choice, "I really don't know what you see in Dr. Morrissey. I was very disappointed with her. I sincerely hope that Dr. Johnson proves to be much more satisfactory an obstetrician."
"You know, Sheldon," said Penny, "I still don't see what's so wrong with Dr. Morrissey. I mean, I know she doesn't fit some of your requirements for an obstetrician, but for God's sake, Sheldon, I'm going to have a baby! Don't you think I might want to pick my own doctor?"
Sheldon noticed that Penny had started to cry. He supposed he should try and comfort her, like in the waiting room at the ER when Penny had dislocated her shoulder. Even though it pained him to do so, he reached across the table, patted Penny's shoulder, and said "There, there."
Penny started hiccoughing. "I'm going to get fat! I won't be able to drink for forever! I'm going to get stretch marks! I don't want stretch marks!" At this point, Penny started sobbing uncontrollably.
Sheldon realized that "There, there" really wasn't going to cut it. Since they weren't home, he couldn't offer a hot beverage. He supposed he could offer her words of wisdom. "Penny, you will not be fat, you will be pregnant. Pregnant is not fat. While it may be true that you will get stretch marks, think of the positive."
"Your breasts will enlarge. Also, if it is any consolation to you, we will be spending a lot more time together."
"Is that sarcasm? Because if it is, you should know that does not make me happy either."
The interview with Dr. Johnson went much the same as the interview with Dr. Morrissey; that is, Sheldon did most of the talking and evaluated the answers the doctor provided. To Penny's relief, Sheldon liked all of Dr. Johnson's answers. She reluctantly admitted to herself that she was glad she had given in to Sheldon on this one, especially since she liked Dr. Johnson more than Dr. Morrissey.
That night was Chinese food and vintage video game night. Penny was flattered when Sheldon had told her that she was welcome to join the guys for both the food and the gaming, but she was feeling rather tired so she decided to just join them for the food.
She arrived at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, soon to be her and Sheldon's apartment a little before Leonard arrived with the Chinese food. Howard and Raj were already there. When Penny sat down next to Sheldon, Howard sniggered and Raj looked away.
"What's so funny?" asked Penny.
"Oh, nothing," replied Howard. "It's just a little weird now seeing you and Sheldon together in the same room."
"Oh? And why is that?" asked Penny, even though she had a pretty good idea why.
"Well, it's just that Sheldon knocked you up."
Before Penny had a chance to reply, Raj whispered something in Howard's ear. Howard's expression changed a little. He turned to Raj and said "I'm pretty sure it's true."
"What's true?" asked Penny, unable to contain her curiosity.
"Oh, Raj was pretty sure that this whole 'you getting pregnant by Sheldon' thing was some sort of elaborate joke Leonard was playing on us and couldn't possibly be true."
"Excuse me," interjected Sheldon, "But why couldn't it possibly be true? Did you think there was something wrong with my sperm count?"
"Nobody thought there was anything wrong with your sperm count," said Howard, "We thought… oh, never mind."
Raj whispered something in Howard's ear and Howard said "I'm not going to tell him what we really thought because it would only start a fight."
Just then, Leonard walked through the door with a bag of Chinese food. Everyone got distracted as Sheldon interrogated Leonard about the low-sodium soy sauce, the brown rice versus white rice, the good hot mustard from the Korean grocer, and whether his Kung Pao chicken had the extra chili peppers he'd requested. As usual, according to Sheldon, it was all Leonard's fault that the dish was not prepared to Sheldon's satisfaction.
"Sheldon, I have a jalapeno in the fridge. You are welcome to have it if you just shut up and eat!" said Leonard.
"Why would you want a jalapeno?" asked Sheldon.
"Because your food is not hot enough?"
"Leonard, the chili pepper and the jalapeno pepper are grown in two different regions of the world; ergo it would not be appropriate to use a jalapeno in a Chinese dish!"
"Okay, then don't use the jalapeno and eat your Kung Pao chicken."
"But my Kung Pao chicken is not hot enough!"
"Just shut up and eat!"
Penny couldn't help but laugh at the entire exchange. Seriously, Leonard should've known better than to make any suggestion to Sheldon when he was in this state. Penny's thoughts were interrupted when Leonard said "Don't laugh. Soon you'll be living with him you'll and never hear the end of it if he's not happy."
"Oh, I don't think it'll be that way," said Penny.
"Why not?" asked Howard.
"Because I'm a hormonal, pregnant woman," replied Penny.
The next morning, Sheldon walked into the kitchen to pour his cereal and was irritated to find the light had been on all night. He flipped the switch down and decided that since the day was promising to be a very stressful day, he would need to eat a high fiber cereal. After pouring his cereal and two percent milk, he settled down to watch Dr. Who.
The show was just starting when Sheldon heard a series of noises coming from Leonard's room. Sheldon sighed and stood up to investigate. When he got to the room, he found the door to be open. "Leonard?"
"Yes, Sheldon?" replied Leonard.
"What are you doing? You are disrupting me from watching Dr. Who."
"I'm doing some last minute packing."
Sheldon turned to leave, but stopped when he heard Leonard say "You know, Sheldon. You may be irritating, but you've been a good roommate. I'm going to miss you."
"Thank you, Leonard," said Sheldon. "While it pains me to say this, I'm going to miss you as well. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to watch the rest of Dr. Who."
Penny groaned when the alarm sounded at seven. She knew she was crazy to be getting up at seven, but the guys had said that they would be here at eight to help her move. Some of her stuff, such as her couch and her dishes, she was giving to Leonard since she now had no need for them and Leonard did. She was giving her bed to charity since it was the right thing to do and Leonard had his own bed.
Her bureau was coming with her. She had discussed the matter with Sheldon, and while he was not exactly happy about having to rearrange his furniture to make room for it, he did agree that she needed a place to keep her clothes. Penny was happy that Sheldon was being, for Sheldon, so understanding.
She looked at the clock. It was 7:06. She groaned again and rolled out of bed. After she had showered, dressed, and had a cup of coffee, she looked at the clock again and noticed that it was 7:58. This was good; she was on schedule.
At exactly 8:00, she heard Sheldon knocking. She opened the door and said "Good morning, Sheldon."
"Are you ready?" asked Sheldon.
"Yep, all except for some last minute stuff."
"What sort of stuff? Shouldn't you have packed that stuff last night?"
"Sheldon, relax," said Penny. "It's just stuff like my toothbrush and last night's sheets."
The day progressed smoothly with only a few minor hiccoughs, the biggest of which was a dispute over who got to keep the PS3, since apparently both Leonard and Sheldon had paid for it. In the end, after several rounds of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock, Sheldon got to keep the PS3. This somewhat made up for the fact that Sheldon was losing Rockband 2 and Halo. Leonard assured Sheldon that they could still have Halo night every Wednesday night, just at a new location.
After all the stuff had been moved, Penny was lying on the bed in an exhausted heap when Sheldon walked in, carrying his laptop. He sat down on the bed next to her and opened up the laptop.
Penny vaguely wondered what he was doing, but she didn't have to wait long to find out. He said "Penny, now that we are living together, we need to work out a roommate agreement," said Sheldon. "I have started by modifying the agreement that I had with Leonard. Some of the changes I have made include that we will be sharing the same bed, we will share the milk since you are not lactose intolerant, and I will do all the laundry since I've seen how you do yours and I'd prefer not to have to think about that. However, we do need to talk about bathroom arrangements. You should know that I use the bathroom at seven am and move my bowels from eight to eight-twenty. At what times will you be using the bathroom?"
"I don't know, Sheldon. Whenever I have to go," said Penny, sleepily.
"Okay, fine, just make sure it doesn't interfere with the times I use it. Now, I have more things that I wish to discuss with you pertaining to our roommate agreement, but, since it's after six, instead I'm going to ask what you would like for dinner."
Penny looked at the alarm clock and realized that it was 6:14 and that she was, in fact, hungry. More importantly, she realized that Sheldon was asking her what she wanted to eat. Penny wondered how often Sheldon cared enough to ask anyone else what they wanted to eat. So she asked "Why are you asking me, Sheldon? Don't you have something you always eat on Saturdays for dinner?"
"I do not. I try to leave weekends open for the unexpected. So, I reiterate, what do you want for dinner?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Penny, not really wanting to move. "Something simple so I don't have to drive anywhere or cook. How about a bologna and cheese sandwich?"
Sheldon looked horrified. His face started to twitch. Penny quickly realized that she had made some kind of judgment error, so she said "Sheldon, if that's your bologna, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to suggest I eat all of it. I'm just so tired."
"It's not that, Penny," Sheldon managed to get out. "It's just that you shouldn't eat deli meats while pregnant. According to the FDA, deli meats may be contaminated with listeria and may cause miscarriage or stillbirth. However, they may be eaten if reheated until they are steaming hot."
"So microwave the bologna, Sheldon."
"Alright, and if you don't mind, I will use some of your cheese to also make myself a bologna and cheese sandwich, although I think I will have mine cold," said Sheldon.
"That's fine," said Penny, "let me know when the sandwiches are ready."
After dinner was over and Sheldon had cleaned up, he went to the bedroom. Penny did not join him because she wanted to watch a Lifetime movie. This was fine with Sheldon because he wanted privacy anyways.
The reason that Sheldon wanted privacy was that he wanted to masturbate. It was true that he masturbated on a monthly basis anyway in order to prevent nocturnal emissions, but for some strange reason he found himself wound rather tightly today and he had decided that the stress relief of an orgasm might help. Either way, it certainly wouldn't hurt.
As Sheldon masturbated, he remembered the feel of Penny on top of him and around him. He imagined that her chest was flushed with desire; that her breasts were against his chest. He imagined her calling out his name in the throes of passion.
Sheldon felt himself getting close. Inadvertently, he moaned "Penny!" He heard a small intake of breath coming from the bedroom door. He looked up. Oh drat!
As Penny stood in the doorway watching Sheldon handle himself, she felt herself getting more and more turned on. She remembered how Sheldon had felt inside her; how silky his hair had felt when she had run her fingers through it. Suddenly, she heard him moan her name and she couldn't help it; she gasped.
When Sheldon looked up, Penny saw his face starting to twitch. Before he could totally freak out, however, she walked over to the bed and kissed him. It took a couple of seconds, but then she felt Sheldon's lips start to move beneath her own.
As she pulled up for air, she heard Sheldon ask "What happened to your movie?"
She kissed him again before saying "I got tired."
After the next kiss, Sheldon asked "Penny… what are you doing?"
"Remember how you said we could keep having sex if I wanted?" She asked before giving him an especially long kiss.
"Yes," said Sheldon rather breathlessly.
She kissed him again before saying, "Well that's what I'm doing."
Afterward, Sheldon pondered why this encounter was so much more satisfying than their last. He was more comfortable this second time, so he'd participated much more actively. And he had to admit that without a condom the pure sensation of Penny had been overwhelming. Finally, and this was the most embarrassing to admit, the thought that he, yes he, Sheldon Cooper, had gotten Penny pregnant, was what Howard had referred to as a turn on.
As for Penny, judging from the noises she had made when they were engaged in coitus, she had seemed satisfied as well. The sound of Penny moaning "Oh, Sheldon!" and "Oh my God!" had only enhanced his experience.
As Penny lay snuggled up next to Sheldon, several thoughts went through her mind. The first thought was that the sex was astoundingly good. She wasn't sure if she'd ever had sex that good before at all. If this was sex with Sheldon without a condom, well then she was never using a condom again!
Also there was the fact that Sheldon was actually letting her cuddle with him. She was sure that the apocalypse was going to strike at any moment. Either that or a minor miracle was occurring.
Then there was the issue of the bed; it was way too small. "Sheldon?" she said, determined to settle this matter right away.
"Yes, Penny?" she heard him answer sleepily.
"Tomorrow we're going bed shopping."
"Why? This bed is perfectly comfortable and is of solid construction."
"Because," said Penny, "this bed is too small for two people. We need a queen."
The next day, Sheldon accompanied Penny to Macy's at the Glendale Galleria. Macy's had been Penny's idea, and Sheldon had given in because he liked the idea that they could make all of their purchases in one place. Being a morning person, he was secretly happy that Penny was scheduled to work the dinner shift that day so that meant they had to be there when the mall opened at eleven.
After the doors to Macy's had been unlocked and they were inside, trying to locate the mattresses, Sheldon heard Penny say "Sheldon, I'm sorry."
"Why are you sorry?" asked Sheldon.
"Because I got pregnant," replied Penny.
"There they are," said Sheldon, pointing at the mattresses. "There's no need to apologize for that. Your reproductive system is simply doing what it has evolved to do."
"You mean that, Sheldon?"
"Yes I do. How is it your fault that your body is doing what it is meant to do? I believe that if it is anyone's fault at all, it is mine for ejaculating into you."
On Tuesday, when Penny was working the dinner shift and therefore was home most of the day, the new bed was delivered. After she had made the new bed, she lay down on it. As she lay there, she started thinking about her life.
Sure she was now pregnant; that in itself meant things were moving really quickly and she wasn't sure what to make of it. However, in a lot of ways, she was lucky. The father of her child was not only supportive, but he was actually letting her live with him. As for her parents, she had yet to tell them. She supposed she might as well tell them now and get it over with.
Penny pulled out her cell phone and dialed her parents' number. As it rang, she suddenly got a case of cold feet and started to silently pray that nobody would pick up. No such luck.
"Hello?" came her mother's voice.
"Hey, Mom," said Penny.
"Penny!" said her mother, "what a pleasant surprise! You should really call more! You really have no idea what it's like to worry about your child!"
"I have a feeling I'm going to find out soon enough," quipped Penny.
"What are you talking about? Are you dating someone with a child?" asked her mother.
"No, I'm not really dating anyone. I dumped Leonard. So anyway, how are you?" asked Penny, making small talk.
"I'm good," replied her mother. "Weight Watchers is really working. I lost a pound this week."
"That's great, Mom! I'm so proud of you!" enthused Penny. "How's your knitting coming along?"
"My knitting is fine. I'm knitting an afghan for Mrs. Carson. Poor thing is eighty-two and all alone."
"You're so sweet, Mom. And how's your mahjong playing coming along?" asked Penny, trying to delay the inevitable.
"My mahjong playing is fine. And what's going on with you? Something must be up because you never ask about my mahjong playing."
Crap, Mom knew that something was up. Penny decided to just spit it out. "I'm pregnant."
"Leonard got you pregnant? AFTER you dumped him?" asked Penny's mother, incredulously.
"No, Leonard didn't get me pregnant! His roommate, Sheldon, got me pregnant. Well, his old roommate. I'm about six weeks along and I'm now living with Sheldon and subletting my old place to Leonard."
"You moved and didn't tell me? And why didn't you tell me you were pregnant?"
"Mom, I'm telling you now! Anyway, I only moved across the hall. Focus on the positive; you're going to be a grandmother!"
"Yes, that is wonderful, a grandchild that I'll hardly ever get to see," said her mother sarcastically.
"Mom, we'll get to visit plenty. Could you do me a favor, though?"
"Sure thing, Honey; what is it?"
"Could you put Dad on the phone?"
After about a minute, Penny heard her father say "Hey, how's California?"
"Oh, California's fine. Oh, by the way, I moved across the hall."
"Why'd you do that?"
Penny got very nervous. When she told her Dad the news, he would be forced to accept that she was not a boy. Oh well, he'd find out sooner or later. "I'm pregnant. I moved in with the father. His name is Sheldon."
Penny heard silence on the other end. "Think of the positive, Dad. You'll be a grandfather!"
"I'll be happy about being a grandfather when you marry this Sheldon. You are going to marry him, right?"
"I don't know, Dad," said Penny truthfully. "Sheldon isn't really even my boyfriend."
"I don't like this."
"What don't you like?" asked Penny.
"I don't like how you ran off to California to be an actress. You have yet to have a paid acting job and now you're pregnant and the father isn't even your boyfriend! Do you remember what I told you before you moved?" asked Penny's father.
"Have a good flight?" asked Penny, trying to remember exactly what her father was referring to.
"I told you that no good will come of this move. This proves that I was right. Now I have a slut for a daughter; a slut that I'm not sure I want to associate with."
Sheldon was pleased that he and Penny continued their sexual relationship. He noted every time that they had sexual intercourse in his journal. He wasn't sure how often most people engaged in coitus, but twice a week seemed like a lot to him.
The next week, on Wednesday, when Penny was exactly 7 weeks along, was her next visit with Dr. Johnson. Sheldon accompanied her to the appointment. He knew that he was starting to experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy, since she complained to him about them. Her breasts were feeling tingly and she was a little upset because according to the scale at home, she had already gained a few pounds. Another thing that was bothering her was that she was breaking out. What bothered her more than anything, however, was the lack of morning sickness. While Sheldon assured her that this was perfectly normal, he was a little upset that she still wanted to ask a medical doctor about it.
During the appointment itself, Sheldon gloated when the doctor reassured Penny that some women simply do not experience morning sickness and that every pregnancy is different. The doctor also assured Penny that acne during pregnancy was normal. When Penny told the doctor that yes, she was taking her prenatal vitamins every day and no, she was not drinking more than one cup of coffee per day; Sheldon beamed with pride. Yes, he knew Penny complained about being pregnant quite a bit, usually to him, but he could tell through her actions that Penny really did care about their baby.
The best part of the appointment, however, was when the doctor said that at six weeks, the baby's heart starts beating. Since Penny was seven weeks, the doctor decided to do an ultrasound to see the heartbeat. When Sheldon saw the heartbeat on the monitor, it really hit him that yes, there was, in fact, a new life growing in there. Sheldon nearly fainted. He felt more lightheaded than when Penny had given him the napkin with Leonard Nimoy's DNA on it.
As Sheldon thought about it, he decided that this was even better than a clone of Leonard Nimoy. This child would be a propagation of himself. Like he had once told his sister something similar, this would be Sheldon version two point zero.
He turned to Penny, who was he noted was crying, and said "Thank you, Penny."
Thursday, the day after the ultrasound, Penny had a long day at work. She was exhausted, in part, because her boss, who did not know that she was pregnant, had asked her to work an extra two hours. Why, she had agreed, Penny thought as she made her way wearily up the stairs to the fourth floor, she did not know and it was a decision that she heartily regretted. Her feet ached to the point where they felt like they had been stepped on by elephants. She was also drained, both physically and emotionally.
The phone conversation with her father was still on Penny's mind. While she had always wanted her dad to think of her as a girl rather than a boy, she did not want him to think of her as a slut. Also, much as her relationship with her father was dysfunctional, she still wanted to continue to talk to him. It greatly upset Penny that her own father was not sure that he felt the same way.
Penny was still thinking about her relationship with her father when walked into the apartment. What she saw made her catch her breath, and she wasn't sure it was in a good way. Piled on the coffee table were a number of books. Penny decided to look through them. The first one was titled What to Expect When You're Expecting. Looking through the pile, she also found Your Pregnancy Week by Week, What to Expect the First Year, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, The Baby Food Bible: A Complete Guide to Feeding Your Child, From Infancy On, Stress Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child, and Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems.
Penny briefly wondered what was going on. She realized, however, that it was obvious what was going on. Clearly, Sheldon had decided to read up on babies and anything related to them and he was going about it in his usual obsessive way.
It irked Penny a little that Sheldon had, judging from the title of one of the books, assumed that she was going to breastfeed. She decided to let that go since Sheldon clearly had good intentions. Besides, it was sweet that he clearly wanted to be an involved parent.
She decided to go find him and tell him how sweet she thought he was. She thought he might be in the bedroom. However, on her way to the bedroom, she saw the door to the future open. She went inside and looked around. There, in the room, was a white bassinet and the walls were a pastel yellow.
It was all too much; Penny started to cry. "Hello, Penny!" said Sheldon, joining her in the room.
Penny felt a tidal wave of rage build up inside of her and she rode it. "You!" she all but yelled at Sheldon, "Tell me one thing! Why?"
"I really do not know why you are referring to," replied Sheldon.
"Why did you buy all the damn books on babies? And what makes you think I'm breastfeeding? Why did you paint this room? And why did you get a bassinet?" Penny did not feel better despite having vented her rage.
"I will answer your questions in the order in which you asked them," said Sheldon. "I bought the books on babies because, in case you have forgotten, in just a few short months we will be having one. I, for one, know virtually nothing about caring for an infant. I do, however, intend to become an expert on the subject.
You will be breastfeeding," continued Sheldon, "because it is much better for the baby from a nutritional standpoint. Breast milk is the gold standard in which formula companies seek to imitate. Also, studies have shown that babies who breastfeed have fewer illnesses and have higher IQs. There are additional benefits for you as well. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed lose weight and heal faster than those who do not breastfeed. There are also emotional benefits to you as well since breastfeeding aids in bonding.
I painted this room because, as I understand it, it's the social convention to paint the nursery before the arrival of a new baby. I believe it's called 'nesting.'
I got the bassinet because cradles seem just too scary for an infant. Imagine being rocked side-to-side without being able to see a thing! I refuse to do that to our infant!"
"Sheldon," said Penny, nervously, after Sheldon had finished his speech, "that's all nice, but what I really meant is why are you doing all this now? You're moving really fast!"
"It's better to be prepared early than not at all," replied Sheldon.
"Sheldon, I'm not sure I can do this!"
"Do what?" asked Sheldon.
"This whole baby thing!"
"You don't want our baby?" Sheldon sounded shocked and enraged all at the same time.
"Sheldon, that's not what I meant!" said Penny defensively. But it was too late; Sheldon had run off. Penny did not have the energy to chase after him.
Sheldon sat, not saying a word, on the left side of Leonard's couch. He wasn't sure what to think. Penny was expressing doubts. While he didn't exactly know what those doubts were about, he had his suspicions.
Leonard, meanwhile, had excused himself to go get the bottle of Excedrin. He had said something about being sure that he was going to need it. Sheldon had barely even noticed.
When Leonard returned, he turned on turned on the XBOX and said "Want to play Halo?"
"But it's not Halo night!" exclaimed Sheldon, shocked that Leonard would even suggest playing Halo off-schedule.
"Sheldon, you don't have to do everything on a schedule," said Leonard. "I know you feel like you do, but you really don't."
Sheldon sighed. Obviously, he would have to yet again explain the importance of scheduling. "Leonard, without a schedule, chaos will follow and then it won't be long until we descend into anarchy."
"Here," said Leonard, handing Sheldon a controller, "Play Halo. You have to get used to not doing everything on schedule."
"No I don't," said Sheldon, not seeing any reason why he would ever have to give up his schedule.
"Sheldon, you're going to have a baby!"
"Yes, Leonard, I know that. Why are you telling me this?" asked Sheldon.
"A baby is not going to fit into your schedule!"
"Leonard, I am not a stupid man," said Sheldon. "Only a stupid man wouldn't know that, and, I repeat, I am not a stupid man."
"So do you want to play Halo?" asked Leonard.
"Alright, but we can only play for an hour because Wolowitz and Koothrapali are coming over for pizza. I assume you'll be joining us as well? I'll order you cheese-less."
Penny was getting worried. While it was typical for Sheldon to freak out, Howard and Raj were coming over soon for pizza and Sheldon was still not home. She supposed that Sheldon had gone across the hall to Leonard's apartment, and she was just about to go over there to remind Sheldon about Howard, Raj, and pizza when the door opened and Howard and Raj came in.
"Hey Penny! Good to see you! What's up?" asked Howard.
"I'm worried about Sheldon," said Penny, as Raj settled down on the right side of the couch.
"What's wrong with Sheldon?" asked Howard.
"He got this crazy idea that I don't want the baby."
"Why would he think that?" asked Howard, sounding concerned.
Penny glanced at Raj, who was now thumbing through Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, and said "I'm not sure. I came home and found all these books, he'd had the nursery painted, and he'd bought a bassinet."
"That doesn't sound too bad," said Howard.
"It's not. It's just that I'm only a couple of months and I'm not sure I can do this and I told Sheldon that and he ran away."
Raj got up and whispered something in Howard's ear. "I don't know why Sheldon would buy a book on breastfeeding," said Howard. "Maybe he's decided to breastfeed on Penny. I know if I had the chance, I would," Howard added creepily.
Penny started to feel a migraine coming on. It had been awhile since Howard had hit on her, but she supposed there was always room for him to back-track. Before she could say anything, though, she heard a voice coming from the doorway.
"I suppose it's a good thing that you don't have a chance," said Sheldon, who was now standing in the doorway with Leonard. "I bought that book for Penny so she could have some aide in breastfeeding our child. But I now regret buying the book since Penny doesn't even want the baby so there is little chance she'd be interested in feeding it." Sheldon turned towards Penny and said "That last sentence was sarcasm."
Penny was about to snap back at Sheldon that unlike him, she recognized sarcasm when she heard it; but she stopped herself. Sheldon really did have good intentions when he bought the books, painted the nursery, and bought the bassinet. Also, he had just defended her against Howard. She figured she owed him one, so she said "Sheldon, I do want the baby. I was just a little scared, that's all. What you did today was really sweet."
"Thank you for saying that. As you know, I don't feel comfortable displaying my emotions, but I want to tell you that I'm a little scared too."
Penny couldn't keep the tears out of her eyes. Sheldon had just told her that he was scared too; they were in this together. "Oh Sheldon," she said, before impulsively hugging him.
She heard Leonard say "Oh my God," while she felt Sheldon go stiff and then awkwardly hug her back.
A month had passed and now it was two days before Sheldon's birthday. Sheldon was not particularly looking forward to his birthday. This year, his mother had informed him that she was coming to visit him as her present to him. He was not really looking forward to this particular gift. For one thing, social convention dictated that he would have to reciprocate in kind by visiting her in Texas, a place he wanted to avoid. Another thing was that he was sure his mother would make a huge fuss. At the very least, he could expect a cake and singing.
Now another problem occurred to Sheldon. When Leonard's mother had come to visit, Leonard had picked her up at the airport. This was quite possibly a social convention that he was unaware of. This was a problem because airports were full of foreign germs and in order to get there, he would either have to take a bus or a cab. The bus drivers didn't like it when he lashed himself to the seat with a bungee cord and cabs were full of germs.
Suddenly, a solution presented itself; he didn't know why he didn't think of it sooner! He went looking for Penny. He found her in the bedroom sitting on the bed, using her laptop.
She looked up at him and said "Hey Sheldon!"
Sheldon decided to cut to the chase, so he said "Penny, are you amenable to doing something to benefit our friendship?"
"What do you want, Sheldon?"
"I need you to drive me to the airport tomorrow afternoon."
"Where are you going, Sheldon?"
"Nowhere, except the airport," said Sheldon.
"Okay, why are you going to the airport?" asked Penny.
"Because," said Sheldon, "I have come to understand that, even though it causes me distress, social convention dictates that when one's mother comes to visit, one is supposed to pick said mother up at the airport."
"Wait a minute," said Penny, "You're mother is coming to visit?"
"Well obviously," said Sheldon, "if she was not coming to visit, I would not need a ride to the airport."
"Why is she coming to visit?"
"She says she's coming to celebrate my birthday," said Sheldon, sighing. "I just hope it's not a repeat of childhood birthdays in which I was forced to wear conical-shaped hats and endure various forms of humiliation, such as piñatas and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Anyway, as I was saying, I need a ride to the airport."
"Sheldon, Sweetie," said Penny, "I know you have a lot of bad associations with birthdays, but can you try to focus here for a moment?"
This annoyed Sheldon because Penny still hadn't told him whether or not she'd drive him to the airport, but he decided that his best course of action would be to remain silent.
"How long is your mother staying? When did you find out she was coming? Does she know we're living together and having a baby?" asked Penny.
"She's staying for three days," said Sheldon, resigning himself to answering all of Penny's questions. "I found out she was coming two weeks ago. Come to think of it, I did neglect to mention that Leonard moved out, you moved in, and we're having a baby. Now, will you drive me to the airport or not?"
"Yes, I will drive you to the airport."
Penny was driving home from the airport. Sheldon was in the passenger seat beside her and his mother was in the backseat. It annoyed Penny to no end that Sheldon had not said a word to his mother about their situation.
"Penny," said Sheldon's mother, taking Penny away from her thoughts, "I know Shelly here won't say anything, so I want to thank you for driving."
"Oh, you're welcome," said Penny.
"Shelly, dear," said his mother, "I think it's very nice of your friend Penny to drive us, but tell me, why didn't your roommate, Leonard, drive?"
Penny became nervous that she would have to say something, but, luckily, Sheldon saved her from that by saying "Mom, Leonard is not my roommate anymore."
"What happened?" asked Sheldon's mother, "Did you two have a fight?"
"No, nothing like that," said Sheldon.
"Well then what?"
"Penny moved in with me and Leonard moved into Penny's old apartment," said Sheldon.
"Now why did that happen?" asked Sheldon's mother.
After a few moments of silence, Penny, with a feeling of dread, decided she would have to say something. "It happened because your son got me pregnant and then decided it would be best if we lived together."
Penny looked in the rearview mirror and saw that Sheldon's mother had turned visibly red. After a moment, Sheldon's mom said "Shelly, the Lord must've sent you to me as a test. But, as Jesus said, love the sinner, hate the sin. What's done is done. Now there's only one thing to do."
"What's that, Mother?" asked Sheldon.
"You two will have to get married."
Penny nearly choked, but she managed to sputter "No thanks, Mrs. Cooper."
"Poor girl…" said Sheldon's mom, "Sheldon, you set her straight."
"Absolutely not, Mother," said Sheldon. "I do not wish to marry Penny."
Penny was glad that Sheldon didn't want to marry her; at least they were on the same page. She knew that getting married for the sake of a child did not end well most of the time. Case in point was her friend, Maria. Maria had eloped with her boyfriend when she found out she was pregnant. Maria was divorced before her daughter was six months old.
"Think of your baby who will be here… when exactly will the baby be here?" asked Sheldon's mother.
"Penny is due at the end of September, and no mother, I will not marry Penny."
Penny was impressed that Sheldon was standing up to his mother. However, she knew that Sheldon's mother was his kryptonite so she decided she'd better help him out. "Mrs. Cooper," said Penny, "Sheldon and I are very happy with the way things are. I hope you can accept that, because Sheldon and I both feel that since us being in a relationship is pretty new, we are not ready to get married."
"We're in a relationship?" asked Sheldon, sounding slightly surprised.
"Sheldon," said his mother, "I know you are not good with people, but even you should know if you are in a relationship. Now, when we get home, we're going to start planning your wedding, because, like it or not, you're getting married."
Penny was outraged that Sheldon's mother was treating him like a stubborn child. Okay, Sheldon was being stubborn, but he was not a child. So she said "Mrs. Cooper, Sheldon is a grown man and can make his own decisions!"
"Oh, look," said Sheldon, "We're home!"
Sheldon was very happy when his mother finally left as her visit had been very awkward. While it was nice seeing her, he really didn't like the tension that he had pretended not to have felt. He had a suspicion that Penny felt the same way.
As he sat in his spot watching a rerun of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he started to overhear Penny on the phone with her mother. He was curious as to what she was saying, so he eavesdropped. For the most part, Penny chattered on about unimportant stuff such as her job and her father's new wart. What caught his attention, though, was when Penny said "We find out the baby's sex next week."
That hit him like a ton of bricks. They still hadn't talked about so much stuff, such as names and whether or not to circumcise a boy. Also, according to his books, it was about time to order nursery furniture. Penny would like shopping for nursery furniture since she liked to shop.
Penny was feeling frustrated. She and Sheldon were at Babies R Us shopping for nursery furniture and of course Sheldon was making it extremely difficult. He had done some research on the different brands of nursery furniture and had made a list of all those that were acceptable to him. Unfortunately for Penny, Babies R US only carried one of those brands. Penny thought that brand was rather ugly. Sheldon was insisting that looks were not of primary concern but rather safety, construction, and customer service.
Since Sheldon was not giving in, Penny gave in on the condition that she got to pick the furniture's finish. Sheldon pouted a bit, but agreed that was fair. She ended up picking out a nice, espresso finish.
After the furniture was ordered, they decided to look at crib mattresses. While Sheldon was squeezing them all in order to find the firmest one, Penny said "You know, Sheldon, we really haven't discussed names."
"The last name will be Cooper," said Sheldon in a tone that left no room for argument.
"Okay," said Penny, as she had assumed the baby would be a Cooper anyway.
"I've been thinking that if it's a boy, we should make his middle name George after your dad."
"No," said Sheldon, "My father was a raging alcoholic and was not kind to me or mother. I will not be naming my child after him."
"Okay," said Penny, thinking quickly, "if you don't want to name the baby after your father, would you mind if we named it after my father? Either Robert or Robin."
"That's fine. I just want to make sure the first name is a good name; nothing silly."
"I was thinking Dylan for a boy and Riley for a girl," said Penny.
"Penny, Dylan and Riley are both surnames. Surnames should not be used for first names. Clearly you don't understand this."
Penny was annoyed that, as usual, Sheldon was assuming that his opinion was the only one that mattered. But, as she thought about it, she decided that he did have a point. But alas, she didn't have any other ideas, so she asked "What names have you been thinking of?"
"I was thinking of Jacob for a boy and Isabella for a girl because those are the two most popular names in America. I want my child to have a normal name. I got beaten up a lot because my name is Sheldon."
Penny could understand Sheldon's desire to give their child a nice, normal name, so she said "Sheldon, I understand that. But I don't want to name our child anything in the top ten; how about we pick something else out from the top hundred names in America?"
Over the next few days, both Sheldon and Penny compiled lists of names that did not include surnames. On the evening before the big ultrasound, they read their lists aloud to each other. Sheldon, in a fit of kindness, allowed Penny to go first.
"Okay," she said, "For girls I've got Alexis, Brianna, Hailey, Lily, and Victoria."
Sheldon winced at some of those names, especially Alexis and Hailey. Brianna was tolerable, Lily was pretty, and Victoria was actually on his list.
"For boys," said Penny, "I've got Zachary, Evan, Nathan, Nicholas, and Gavin."
Sheldon didn't like Evan and Gavin. However, Zachary and Nicholas were alright and Nathan was on his own list.
Sheldon realized it was his turn, so he cleared his throat and said "For girls I've got Gabriella, Victoria, Alexandra, Amelia, and Julia. For boys I've got Julian, Sebastian, Dominic, Nathan, and Matthew."
"Wow, that was easier than I thought," said Penny. "We've both got Victoria and Nathan. We've got our names."
Penny and Sheldon were at the OBGYN. Penny was excited about both seeing the baby and finding out the gender. When the ultrasound technician asked if they had any names picked out, Penny gladly shared the names they had picked out the night before.
When the ultrasound went on for about half an hour. At first the baby was uncooperative, but then it spread it's legs.
"It looks like you've got a boy in there," said the tech.
Penny felt her heart skip a beat. A boy; they were having a son! It was a wonderful thing! She was ashamed that she had been secretly hoping for a girl.
"If you're planning to circumcise," said the tech, "you should ask your doctor for a consent form."
"Okay, I'll do that," said Penny, not knowing that circumcision was something to be worried about this early.
"No," said Sheldon, "you won't do that."
Penny was pretty sure she was asking for it, but she just had to know "Why aren't I going to ask for a consent form."
"Because our son is not being circumcised," said Sheldon.
"Why not?" asked Penny. "It's cleaner, and besides, you are and he should look like you."
"Penny, it's not cleaner. That's a myth. The likelihood that anything bad would occur to an uncircumcised male that would not occur if he had been circumcised is very, very small; around 0.1 percent, give or take. That's like saying I should cut off my toe to prevent an ingrown toenail.
"There are many nerve endings in the foreskin making sexual intercourse more enjoyable. Also, without the protective covering of the foreskin, the head loses sensitivity, again making sexual intercourse less enjoyable. Also, why interfere with what evolution has put there?
"As for me looking like him, I really don't think we are going to sit around and compare genitals. I asked Raj, since he still has his foreskin, how he cleaned his penis and he said that he was not going to discuss it with me."
By the end of the speech, Penny's head was whirling. Why she had even asked was now beyond her.
"Is he always like this?" asked the tech.
"Yes," replied Penny.
The baby shower was thrown a couple of months later by one of Penny's friends. Sheldon was instructed to stay out of the apartment during the shower, which was fine by him as he had no desire to stick around and listen to a bunch of women talk about shoes. Luckily for him, the shower took place during his work hours.
As he attempted to unravel the mysteries of the universe, he found himself distracted. He couldn't get his mind off of Penny and the baby. Soon, despite having his not marrying Penny, they would be a family. They would be an unconventional family to be sure, but they would still be a family. He had never envisioned himself as a father or with a family, so the fact that all this was happening to him blew his mind.
He was still distracted when he sat down to lunch at a table with Leonard, Howard, and Raj. He barely heard their discussion about the anatomy of marsupials. When he failed to make a comment after Howard saying something about male marsupials having forked penises so they could get double the action, Raj said "Sheldon, is something wrong?"
Sheldon didn't want to say what was on his mind so he said "No, nothing's wrong. Why do you ask?"
"Because you haven't said a word all of lunch," said Raj.
"Also," added Howard, "You're eating with a three-tined fork."
Sheldon looked down at his three-tined fork and shuddered in horror. "Fine," he said. "Penny is currently having her baby shower."
"What's wrong with that?" asked Leonard.
"You don't see it?" asked Sheldon.
"If you mean, Penny's belly, yeah, we've seen it," said Howard.
"Yeah," added Raj, "Penny's belly is huge."
"Penny's belly is not 'huge,'" said Sheldon, "It is a perfectly proportioned size for a woman at her stage of pregnancy; and no, that's not what's bothering me. What is bothering me is that this baby shower makes it all so real."
"I'm pretty sure it was real before the baby shower," said Leonard.
Sheldon sighed, shook his head in frustration, announced he was done eating, and left the cafeteria.
The nursery was all set, Penny's bags were all packed, and she was four days past her due date. Penny was feeling absolutely miserable. The baby had dropped so she was experiencing a lot of pelvic pressure. She'd been having lots of Braxton hicks contractions for the past few weeks. She wanted this baby out now!
It was around noon on a Saturday and Sheldon had gone over to Leonard's apartment. Penny had just been woken up from a nap from pains in her stomach, stronger than her Braxton hicks contraction had been. Penny decided to time the contractions.
The next contraction came 8 minutes later. Another contraction came 8 minutes after that. The contractions were regular; the baby was coming!
Penny called the doctor. The doctor told her to come to the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart. He also warned her that since this was her first baby, it might take awhile.
Penny headed over to Leonard's apartment. When she got there, she found Leonard and Sheldon playing Halo. Sheldon would not be happy about being interrupted.
"Sheldon," she said to get his attention.
"Hang on, Penny," said Sheldon.
"Sheldon, it's important!"
"Penny, I'm about to defeat Leonard at Halo!"
"Sheldon, the baby is coming."
"Oh my God," said Sheldon.
"I'll drive you guys to the hospital," said Leonard, "so you don't have to call a cab."
"Thank you Leonard," said Penny, "but right now the contractions are eight minutes apart and the doctor said to wait until they are five minutes apart."
Penny felt another contraction coming on so she looked at the clock. That one was seven minutes, so they were getting closer together. Maybe it wouldn't be all that long after all.
It was an hour later when Penny, Sheldon, and Leonard set off for the hospital. When they got there, Sheldon was both nervous and excited. He was going to be a father. What would this mean for the rest of his life?
Leonard bid them a quick goodbye as he left to go back home. Penny and Sheldon were then escorted to a labor and delivery room. Before Sheldon was allowed in the room, he was instructed to put on scrubs.
After a couple of hours of labor, Penny was five centimeters dilated. This meant she could get an epidural. Sheldon was disappointed when she seemed excited by that prospect.
"Penny," said Sheldon, "You shouldn't get an epidural."
"Sheldon, don't start!"
"But Penny," said Sheldon, genuinely concerned, "epidurals slow down labor, increases the risk of caesarian section, and-"
"Sheldon," said Penny, "bite me! I am in a lot of pain, and if you interfere with me getting an epidural, so help me God, I will rip a page out of one of your comic books!"
It was 3:06am when Nathan Robert Cooper was finally born. He was immediately placed on Penny's chest and covered with a blanket. When Penny looked at her son, it was love at first sight. She couldn't believe that she had actually considered aborting him or giving him up for adoption.
"Hi Nathan," she said, "I'm your mommy and this is your daddy."
"Nathan," said Sheldon, "welcome to the world."
"Would you like to cut the cord?" the doctor asked Sheldon.
After Sheldon had cut Nathan's umbilical cord, the nurse took him to check him out. He was weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long.
After Nathan was cleaned up, it became apparent that he had inherited his father's light brown hair and his mother's nose. It was still too early to tell what color his eyes were because, like a lot of newborns, they were a dark blue. However, his eyes were shaped like Sheldon's.
A few hours later, Nathan needed to have his diaper changed. The nurse asked Sheldon if he would like to do it. Sheldon didn't want to. Penny helped him out by explaining that he was a germophobe.
"Don't be silly;" said the nurse, "you can wear gloves."
Sheldon, despite his trepidation, took off his son's diaper. What he saw nearly made him pass out. Inside the diaper was a thick, green, sticky, tar-like substance. Sheldon knew from his books that this substance, called meconium, was completely normal for a newborn's first bowel movement, but not even the books had completely prepared him for the crazy glue of the intestinal world.
"Oh, good," said the nurse, "he pooped."
A couple of days later, they were preparing for Penny and Nathan's discharge from the hospital. Penny was carefully dressing the baby while Sheldon tried to be helpful by pacing.
"Sheldon," said Penny, "if you don't stop pacing, I'm going to go crazy."
"Is that sarcasm?"
Penny's phone rang. She looked at the caller I.D. It was Leonard, who was giving them a ride home. "Hello," she said, answering.
"I'm in the lobby," said Leonard's voice.
"Ask him if he has the car seat," said Sheldon.
"Sheldon wants to know if you have the car seat," said Penny.
"Yes," said Leonard.
"He's got the car seat," said Penny.
"Good," said Sheldon, "because besides being an important piece of safety equipment, they won't let us leave without it."
After Leonard showed up and the hospital was satisfied with the car seat, they were finally discharged to start a whole new chapter in their lives.