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Mountains, Malbec, and Men

  • Allyn Thompson thrives by setting and accomplishing goals. Engineering degree? Check. Home ownership? Check. Husband? Check and uncheck. Baby? In progress. After another negative pregnancy test following her third IUI (intrauterine insemination) round, Allyn wonders if the universe thinks she’s unfit for motherhood. Given her mom, ex-husband, and ex-boyfriend discouraged pregnancy, maybe she should abandon her quest.


    Allyn confides in her therapist that she’s spiraling, not knowing if she should continue fighting against her diminishing fertility odds. Her therapist encourages her to take a trekking trip because it has helped Allyn find clarity in the past. Hiking is her haven despite her family’s insistence that a Black woman alone in the woods is weird and dangerous.


    But then the pandemic closes trails and shutters Allyn’s ability to resolve her baby goals. When the shutdown ends, Allyn is confronted with crowded trails and a culturally changing America. And just when she figures out what her next steps are for motherhood, a close friend asks to be her partner and father her child. Instead of delight, Allyn has gnawing doubts—about him as a partner, about him as a father, and about the America her child would inherit.

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