About a month before our final transfer, we got together with our good friends Amy and Sheldon. After bringing them up to speed with all the plans and preparations for our transfer, Amy announced that she had her IUD removed and they were officially trying for baby #2. "So, you know they are totally going to become pregnant before us." I told Husband as we drove home. "Of course!" he replied. "Do you think this is my first time playing this game?" Once we made it through our betas and had at least two scans, I couldn't resist taking a victory lap. As Amy hadn't announced a pregnancy yet, I felt free to declare, "We beat a fertile couple!" as Husband and I high-fived in a truly immature fashion.
I felt a bit guilty being so gleeful, especially as she called me on Thanksgiving morning to ask how I was feeling and to see if I had any food requests. We had them for dinner around the Christmas holiday while my parents were still visiting. As she and my mother spoke about my pregnancy, I felt badly for her. Even when it is relatively easy for you and you have no major obstacles, it's still hard to be present while others are talking about something that you want. I started to wish that she would become pregnant soon in the way that I wish I had magic fairy dust that could make all deserving couples pregnant.
So, I was a little alarmed when she send me a text message to ask if she could call me later in the evening. I mean who talks on the phone any more? What did she have to say that couldn't be told over text? After engaging in small talk, she made her announcement, "I'm pregnant!" I issued my congratulations and she followed with, "I'm really pregnant." "Twins?" I guessed. "No, I'm 18 weeks." she informed.
No My God! She was only one week behind me. As she started talking about how we'd be on maternity leave at the same time, and could take our babies on walks together, my mind started tracing back over the past few months. When I told her my final beta result, she was probably just getting her BFP. She was just as queasy on Thanksgiving when she called to ask about my needs. I noted that she wasn't drinking when she came over for dinner, which we all know is universally equivocal with being pregnant, so I suspected she may be in the very early weeks, not nearly at the end of her first trimester. I asked her when she started showing with her pregnancy and she probably giggled to herself and thought, 'which time?' I was one of the first to know with her last pregnancy, although it was because she had a positive home test the morning they left for Hawaii and she wanted to know which fish she could eat. Why did she wait so long to share this news? I didn't dare ask, especially as I still haven't told everyone at my work yet, I can't really question anyone else who keeps her pregnancy a secret. Husband suspects that she wanted to let me have the spotlight for a while. Knowing Amy as well as I do, I think he's right.
It was my turn to focus on her pregnancy. She was pretty sick in the beginning, but not as bad as her last pregnancy when she also picked up food poisoning in Hawaii. Genetic screening was negative and the sonographer seemed to think it might be a boy from their NT scan. Already feeling lots of movement. She feels much bigger this time around. Her doctor thinks she is a good candidate for a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) and suggested that they could schedule a repeat C/section between 41 and 42 weeks to allow her time to go into spontaneous labour. Alas. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. My pregnancy may be cut short due to life threatening complications, while she was being encouraged to go into overtime just to have the experience of pushing a baby out her hoo-ha. One of these things is still not like the others.
When I first came to terms with the fact that I have chronic hypertension, I found a silver lining with the knowledge that I would not be delivered past my due date. After all the uncertainty during years of infertility treatments, it felt good to be able to say, 'by this date, our baby will be here.' An earlier delivery between 38 and 39 weeks is recommended for women with chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, lupus due to concerns about placenta insufficiency. My Lead Physician, who is now officially my obstetrician, indicated that she would want to deliver me at 38 weeks for the fact that although currently controlled, when my blood pressure does get high, it sky rockets. That sounded really good to me. Baby would be full term and I could skip out on those final days of being very uncomfortable. If the placenta previa persists or becomes an accreta, the delivery date could be even earlier. I've been finding benefits with less weight gain, less potential for stretch marks or varicose veins, but it doesn't seem right to view those as favourable against the risks of prematurity. At the same time, extending a pregnancy nearly two weeks just sounds insane.
We beat a fertile couple, just barely. Although there is only one week difference between our official due dates, the difference in the actual birthdates could be a month or more. Makes me wonder what I really thought I was winning.