Our Town Ch. 02byBonnevilleFlats©
The following story is strongly influenced by the pulp erotica of the 1950's and 1960's, an era where authors had limitations on how explicit they could be in their descriptions of scandalous sex. This story is told from the perspective of people who witnessed an incestuous relationship between a mother and son over a period of decades. The two principle characters do not tell their side of the story. For this reason the story is less explicit than most stories published on this site.
All characters involved in sexual situations in this story are over the age of eighteen.
Dr. Robert Kirkland, PhD: It is dubious to comment on a case you have no direct knowledge of, especially when the only information you have has been gleaned from reports in the media. So anything I say regarding the Siebert case must be taken with a grain of salt. I've had no contact with the couple through my practice and no access to any psychological reports.
This appears to be the type of mother/son incest case where the son, as he matures, replaces the father -- who is usually absent or otherwise ineffective -- as his mother's significant other. The emotional bonding precedes anything sexual. In fact, there are far more cases of what is called "emotional incest" between a mother and son where there is no sexual contact whatsoever. When the relationship turns sexual it is often an attempt on the mother's part to prevent the son from leaving home and starting a family of his own. The interesting thing about the Siebert case, from a psychological standpoint, is that the couple has had a long term, ongoing sexual relationship, living as husband and wife for several decades. That is rare in these cases. Usually, the couple is intimate for a relatively brief period of time, maybe a year or two at the most. Then the overwhelming psychological pressure of an ongoing incestuous relationship between a parent and an adult child forces the couple apart, the breakup having all the emotional impact of a bitter divorce or other family estrangement. Most cases where a mother and son spend decades as "significant others" is when no physical contact has ever occurred. The son is usually perceived as a "confirmed bachelor" who appears to take care of his mother and has no apparent interest in a long term relationship with a woman.
How did Rebecca and Allan Siebert end up sharing a marriage bed for over 25 years? My best guess is that two things happened. First, something extraordinary -- far beyond the typical case of a lonely, single mother bringing up a son on her own -- happened to create this bond. The second thing that may have occurred is that the sexual contact between the two of them became ritualized. It happened in the context of something that became a part of their daily lives, something that could never be replicated with another partner. How did their intimate life turn into a ritual? That is the mystery.
Michael Anders: Aunt Becca and Allan have always been the proverbial elephant in our family's living room. My father and step-mother pretend not to see the obvious, that the two of them wear wedding rings and share a bed whenever they visit. To my children they are simply Aunt Becca and Uncle Allan, the kids not yet old enough to ask those sort of questions. As far as my sister is concerned, the matter is a bit more complicated. Aunt Becca is her surrogate mother; the one who carried her in her womb for nine months.
I know what you are thinking, that my sister's real parents are Aunt Becca and Allan and my parents agreed to raise her to avoid a scandal. That's a natural conclusion and, admittedly, the thought did cross my mind that the surrogacy story only masked a family secret. But after the story of my aunt and cousin broke my sister had her DNA checked and her biological parents are indeed my father and step-mother.
It was the early days of in vitro fertilization when my aunt agreed to carry my father and step mother's baby. I was ten years old and already had rudimentary knowledge of how babies were made. Once it was apparent that Aunt Becca was not going to miscarry my father explained in detail about zygotes, fetuses and how even though Aunt Becca was the one who was pregnant the baby in her belly would be my half sister not my cousin.
The doctors at the clinic insisted on weekly contact with my aunt while she was carrying so my father leased a condominium in Los Angeles for the duration of the pregnancy. Allan left college to stay with his mother. It was great having my cousin around. I was an only child and had secretly wished for an older brother. Allan was always taking me to the movies or Dodger games the year they were out here. On weekends I'd stay with them at the condominium.
When I stayed over I would sleep in Allan's room while he and Aunt Becca shared the queen size bed in the master bedroom. That never struck me as strange even though Allan's room always seemed to be exactly the way I'd left it the previous weekend.
The three of us would watch television, me on the floor while the two of them snuggled up on the sofa underneath a comforter. Later on in the pregnancy, when Aunt Becca had a visible baby bump, Allan would lay across his mother's lap, his hand inside her sky blue satin robe as he stroked her belly.
"Did you feel that?" she'd ask. "Our baby just kicked."
"Yeah, she got me real good that time."
"She's going to give her handsome daddy a black eye or a bruised cheek. We wouldn't want that."
"No," Allan would say, raising his head. "Mama would have to kiss it and make it better. Let me put her to sleep"
Allan would kneel on the floor as his mother lay across the couch on her back. He'd untie her robe and run his hands in a counter clockwise motion around the upper perimeter of the baby bump. He'd go on like that for several minutes as Aunt Becca closed her eyes and leaned against the arm of the sofa.
"I think she's asleep," Aunt Becca would whisper.
She would pull Allan close, caress his face with her fingertips then kiss him gently. Allan would rest his head against his mother's bosom while she ran her hands through his hair and massaged his scalp. At this point I knew it would only be a short time before Aunt Becca said, "Time for bed, kiddo," and shut off the television set. I'd go into Allan's room as the two of them walked into the room across the hall and close the door behind them.
Ann Spear, RN: I have been a nurse at the fertility clinic for almost forty years now. I am proud of the pioneering work we have done in the areas of in vitro fertilization. It has allowed many couples to start families who otherwise would not have been able to.
Rebecca Siebert's case is memorable for one reason; she was well into her forties when the implantation procedure was performed. Although today it is common for women in their fifties and even sixties to carry a child through in vitro fertilization, this was the first time our clinic worked with a woman past menopause. For this reason we monitored the pregnancy closely, seeing her twice a week for the nine months she was with us. It was a gestational surrogacy, the biological parents being her brother and sister in-law. Other than that, it was unremarkable.
In the third trimester Ms. Siebert began childbirth classes at our clinic. She was accompanied by her son Allan who served as her coach. At that time we used the Bradley Method of natural childbirth which emphasizes the role of the baby's father in the birthing process. The couple is trained in relaxation techniques where the mother respond's to the her partner's voice and touch.
My experience is that couples with a strong intimate bond do best in the delivery room. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about a couple's intimate life just by observing them during the pre-natal massage instruction. Couples with serious intimacy issues need special attention during this phase. Because Allan was a son instead of a husband I decided it would be best to work with the Sieberts privately.
Just before the Sieberts arrived I set up a massage table in an examining room, turned off the lights and had several candles burning. A tape of the ocean waves was playing to create a relaxing atmosphere. I told Mrs. Siebert to go into the room and get ready while I spoke with her son in my office.
"This is an important part of preparing for labor and delivery," I explained. "We are at the point where you are going to take a more active role. If you don't think you are ready for this, please let me know. We can always arrange for a doula to take your place in the delivery room."
"We've discussed this," Allan said. "I want to be in the delivery room."
"Good. We start the preparation for childbirth today with the nightly massage. You will be doing more than just easing your mother's aches and pains. She needs to be completely comfortable with you at her side. In many ways your roles will be reversed, with you being the parent. I hope the idea of seeing your mother naked doesn't -- how do you teenagers put it -- freak you out?"
"Not at all," Allan said. "I've seen my mother with her clothes off."
"This is a whole lot more than just walking in on your mother while she's getting undressed. You will be seeing her with her hips spread as she is pushing a baby through the birth canal. She will most likely be screaming in pain. Your mother will need you to encourage her in a calm and loving voice telling her that she is doing fine. She will be depending on you in a way she never has before."
"It has been just the two of us since my father died. We depend on each other."
"Okay then. Today I will need you to talk to your mother as you are giving her the massage. You need to say things like, 'I know your back is aching from carrying the baby, let me help you relax those muscles.' It is your voice as much as your touch that will soothe her."
I used a diagram to show Allan the appropriate strokes for various parts of the body. I also showed him which areas to avoid during pregnancy.
When we entered the examining room Allan's mother was laying on her side, a white sheet wrapped around her waist, her head and hips supported by pillows. The candles flickered, casting a shadow over her exposed breasts. I reached for Rebecca's hand and moved her arm over her head and pressed against her hips with my other hand.
"This stretches the muscles," I said to Allan. "You try it. And remember what I told you."
Allan held his mother's wrist with his right hand as he rubbed her waist gently, then pressed.
"Just relax, mother," he whispered. "I know that carrying our baby has worn you out. It's nighttime and we are on the beach, just the two of us. I'm going to make you feel so good."
I squirted some massage oil onto my palms, rubbed them together, then began to work on the area on either side of her spine. I motioned towards the bottle of massage oil so Allan could prepare his own hands and take over. The moment Allan made contact with his mother's bare skin she let out a long breath and her shoulder dropped slightly. I could see the tension leave her body as her son worked the area round her spine and then upwards to the shoulders and neck. Allan leaned towards his mother's ear and exhaled lightly.
"You are doing so well," he whispered. "Such a wonderful mama."
He kissed his mother on the neck just below her ear.
"Hmmmm," his mother moaned quietly.
I guided Allan's hand along the side of her torso, following the curve of her hips and staying away from the area around the sacrum. Allan made circular motions with his left hand as he massaged his mother's lower back and pelvic area. With the fingertips of his right hand he lovingly caressed the spot where her neck met her shoulders. I lowered the sheet from the hips, draping it across her thighs, then stepped back and watched as Allan went to work on her hips and buttocks. In the flickering candlelight Rebecca was the very image of a Rubens painting; pale white skin, flared hips and a plump, valentine shaped derriere.
Allan squirted massage oil onto his palms and began to knead the area where her ass joined her thighs.
"I know those hips are aching from carrying our baby. Let me take care of that, mother."
Next, I had Rebecca lay on her back so Allan could massage her feet and legs. I propped her knees with a pillow and placed the sheet over her waist and baby bump. Her milky white breasts spilled to either side of her torso, the nipples protruding from the pink areoles.
Avoiding her ankles, Allan rubbed the arches of her left foot. Rebecca looked down at her son as he worked and playfully mussed his hair with her right foot. Her feet were surprisingly dainty given her size and her toenails were painted a dark shade of burgundy. There was not a whole lot of swelling which allowed her to wear a gold bracelet on around her right ankle.
"Mama needs a foot rub because her feet ache so much."
Allan kneaded his mother's calves, working his way upwards. When he reached her knees I reminded him that the thigh area is prone to blood clots and requires a very light touch. Her thighs were pale and thick, the fat deposits gave her flesh appearance of curdled cream. Allan rested his left hand on his mother's outer thigh and began caressing the soft, pillowy flesh of her inner thighs with his fingertips. Rebecca's face went flush. She turned her head to the side and exhaled.
"Like that, mother?"
"Oh yes," she whispered. "My baby knows how to make mommy feel good."
Rebecca spread her legs then lifted the sheet above her pelvis, resting it on top of her pregnant belly. Her dampness made her pubic hair glisten in the candlelight. Unhurriedly, Allan continued to explore his mother's inner thighs with his fingertips, making circular motions as he traced his way upward. Rebecca clenched her jaw as she moved her head from side to side. She began to writhe slowly on the massage table, then grabbed her son by the wrist and guided his hand to the exact spot that was crying out for attention. That was my cue to leave the room for a while and afford them some privacy.
"So much for the two of them having intimacy problems," I said to myself.
That wasn't the first time I ever had cause to leave the room during a couple's massage. It happened from time to time and almost always meant that their bond was strong enough to withstand any complications during delivery. Obviously Rebecca and Allan's relationship was way too close to be healthy and if he'd been a minor I'd have been obliged to report them to the authorities. But the nature of their relationship really wasn't any of my concern. Since this was an in vitro fertilization we knew conclusively that the baby was not the result of any union between Allan and his mother.
When I returned to the room Rebecca was lying on her side facing her son. She had her hand around his waist as he stroked her hair and massaged her scalp. I told them that the day's instruction was over and that there were some pamphlets on the countertop to guide them at home. I turned on the lights and left the room while Rebecca got dressed. Later, I watched as the two of them left the clinic, walking arm and arm like any couple about to be parents for the first time.
As Rebecca approached delivery my major concern was how she would react after relinquishing the baby. There was a major risk for postpartum depression. That she and Allan were so close was actually a good thing in this instance. She would need someone to rely on in the weeks and months after the baby was born. If Allan could fill the role of a loving husband there was much less risk of a psychological breakdown. A woman on her own in that position? Very risky. During counseling we offered Rebecca the option of bromocriptine or other medications to suppress lactation but she told us she preferred to let her milk dry up on its own.
On the morning Rebecca's water broke Allan drove her to the hospital. The orderly wheeled her to the birthing suite where the staff began to monitor her. Our hospital was one of the pioneers in the use of birthing suites. There was no delivery room to move the mother in and out of while she gave birth. Everything was done in her own private room. There was even a sofa that converted into a bed so the father could spend the nights with his new family.
The birth itself went smoothly, a testament to Rebecca's "child bearing hips". Allan stood at his mother's side, encouraging her and applying pressure to her hips when the contractions became intense. He sponged the sweat from her brow, coached her breathing and fed her ice chips. Once the baby's head crowned it took only a three pushes for the birth to be finished. The baby was brought to the nursery to be cleaned up and meet her family for the first time.
About an hour after the delivery I went to check on Rebecca. I knocked on the door to the suite. When there was no answer I tentatively entered the room. The lights were dimmed. The curtain was drawn part way around the bad. I peeked through the space in the curtain. Rebecca was upright in the hospital bed. The rail had been lowered and Allan was seated at the side of the bed, his head resting against his mother's chest as she held him close. Rebecca didn't seem to notice that I was in the room. She was upright in the bed, cradling her son as she ran her hands through his hair and caressed his brow.
"How sweet," I thought.
As I got closer to the bed I could see that her pale blue robe was undone, the flap partially covering Allan's head.. Her eyes were closed. She cradled Allan with one hand as she supported her bare breast with the other. Allan's arms were inside the robe and wrapped around his mother's waist. From where I stood I could hear a suckling sound.
"My baby, my baby," Rebecca whispered.
Rebecca began to hum a lullaby as she fed her son from her breast. The two of them looked absolutely at peace with each other. I turned around and left the room quietly. It was a scene that, in a way, was played out everyday in the maternity ward; a new mother breast feeding her child after giving birth.