# Is Rick’s baby Shane’s?

The question of whether Rick’s baby is actually Shane’s has been a hot topic among fans of The Walking Dead ever since Lori revealed she was pregnant. While Rick and Lori were married when she got pregnant, Lori had also been intimate with Shane right before the zombie outbreak. This has led to speculation that perhaps Shane, not Rick, is the biological father of Lori’s baby. In this article, we’ll analyze the evidence and timeline to determine if it’s possible or likely that Shane is the father.

### When did Lori sleep with Shane?

Lori revealed that she had sex with Shane just once, the day before Rick was shot and ended up in a coma in the hospital. This was obviously before the zombie apocalypse had started. So Lori slept with Shane probably less than 48 hours before the outbreak began.

### When did Lori discover she was pregnant?

It’s not entirely clear how much time passed between the start of the outbreak and Lori discovering she was pregnant. But we know Lori took a pregnancy test at the CDC when they went there seeking a cure, so she likely realized she was pregnant within the first few weeks after the initial outbreak.

### When did Lori and Rick reunite?

Rick and Lori were reunited after about 2 months of the initial outbreak. Rick woke up from his coma to find the hospital abandoned and the world overrun by zombies. After some time on his own, he eventually made his way to the Atlanta camp where Lori, Carl, and Shane had settled. So Rick and Lori were apart for about 2 months before reuniting.

## Timeline Analysis

To determine if it’s possible Shane is the father, let’s lay out a timeline of the key events:

Event Estimated Timeline
Lori has sex with Shane Day 1 (right before outbreak)
Outbreak begins Day 2
Lori discovers she is pregnant Around Day 30
Lori reunites with Rick Around Day 60

Based on a typical human gestation period of about 40 weeks, Lori likely got pregnant from having sex 1-2 weeks prior to taking the pregnancy test. This fits with her sleeping with Shane around Day 1.

So chronologically, the timing works for Shane to possibly be the father, since Lori slept with him right before conceiving.

### Is the timeline definitive enough?

However, the timeline is not definitive enough to say with 100% certainty that Shane is the father. Some key questions remain:

– Exactly how many days elapsed between Lori sleeping with Shane and the outbreak starting?

– Exactly how many days elapsed between the outbreak starting and Lori discovering she was pregnant?

– Did Lori have sex with Rick in the 1-2 day gap between being with Shane and the outbreak?

With a tighter timeline that answers those questions, we could determine paternity more conclusively. But with estimates of 30 days and 60 days, there is room for ambiguity.

## Scientific Factors

Beyond the timeline, we also need to consider scientific factors that relate to conception:

### How long do sperm survive?

– Sperm can survive for 3-5 days inside the female reproductive tract under optimal conditions

### When does ovulation occur?

– Ovulation typically occurs about 14 days into a woman’s menstrual cycle
– However, stress can delay ovulation

### When does conception occur?

– Conception typically occurs within a day after ovulation
– The fertilized egg then takes 7-10 days to implant in the uterus wall

### What does this mean for Lori’s case?

– Lori’s egg may have already been fertilized by Rick’s sperm before she had sex with Shane
– Or the stress of the zombie outbreak may have delayed her ovulation
– This introduces some uncertainty about whether Shane’s sperm could have reached Lori’s egg

## Who is more likely to be the father?

Given the available timeline and scientific factors, it seems **Rick is statistically more likely to be the biological father** than Shane for a few key reasons:

### Lori and Rick were actively trying to conceive

– Lori admitted she and Rick were trying to have another baby
– This means they were regularly having unprotected sex in the timeframe leading up to Lori’s pregnancy

### Rick and Lori had more opportunity

– Shane and Lori had sex once
– But Rick and Lori as married partners likely had sex multiple times in the relevant window
– The more times they had sex, the higher probability Rick fertilized Lori’s egg

### Stress may have delayed Lori’s ovulation

– The zombie outbreak would have been an acutely stressful event
– It’s plausible this delayed Lori’s ovulation by a few days
– By the time she ovulated, only Rick’s sperm may have still been viable

## Conclusion

In summary, while there is some possibility that Shane could be the biological father of Lori’s baby, the available evidence points to Rick being the more likely candidate. The exact timeline is ambiguous enough that we cannot say definitively one way or the other. But weighing the timeline analysis, scientific factors, and Rick and Lori’s relationship history – Rick remains the presumptive father of the baby. The show will likely continue keeping it ambiguous, but the clues lean toward Rick as the daddy.