This is the story of me and my friend and former co-worker, Danielle. With her permission, I’m sharing our sometimes tumultuous pregnancy story. Due to length (and maybe for a little suspense), I’m splitting into two parts. The second, A Tale of Two Babies, will post tomorrow.
Danielle and I found out we were pregnant on the same day. We weren’t very typical in that we were sharing our personal efforts early – perhaps because another mutual friend and co-worker Megan had just had her own bouncing baby boy. The two of us shared our hopes for a future family over lunch hours and then during the day around our cubicles. In retrospect, we weren’t very quiet about it, which thankfully never caused us any problems. Brian and I tried for 3 months before success, Danielle and her husband were pregnant after just 1.
We arrived on that day with little smiles of success written all over our faces. We knew immediately that it was useless trying to keep it to ourselves. It wasn’t long before there were questions and advice requested of our friend Megan for details on her own pregnancy (of hers I hadn’t paid as much attention to while it was occurring! Unlike Danielle and myself, she was quieter about her pregnancy). We already guessed at that point that we had the same due date, but it wasn’t confirmed until I had my first doctors appointment at 8 weeks gestation. Danielle went in to see the doctor immediately for confirmation.
We shared stories and compared our baby sizes to fruit. I was relieved to be able to share my story of scary blood loss after the standard PAP smear they performed. I had sympathy and complete understanding, which was wonderful.
Then Danielle found out that she had placenta previa and for a little while there was a weird dynamic between us. We of course enjoyed each others’ moments: like hearing heart beats and looking at ultrasound pictures. Danielle chose to find out her baby’s gender, and when she came in the next day announcing it was a boy after months of believing completely that it was a girl, I didn’t jab at her.
But there were fits of jealousy on my part because suddenly Danielle’s higher risk pregnancy seemed to get more attention (it’s also important to note that I had switched departments, and already felt a bit of an outsider to Danielle, Megan and the rest of my former team); because she got to get more ultrasounds and appointments; and also because she knew her baby’s gender.
Additionally there was annoyance (oh my goodness, will she shut up), which I’m sure was probably mutual. We were both in the midst of important changes in our lives and wanted to be the centers of attention. Do I sound shallow? It’s okay if I do: the feelings that happen during pregnancy run the gamut of possible emotions, and I’m not afraid to admit to some of those baser ones.
Thankfully, Danielle’s placenta previa did resolve itself as another issue came up: elevated blood pressure. She was put on blood pressure medication and shortly thereafter began going to the doctor twice a week. Around this time, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which as unfortunate to my diet that it was, in an odd way made me feel better. Now we were on level ground again, as I was going once a week. We were both being given NSTs (non-stress tests) and shared stories about our babies who didn’t want to move around enough or had to be prodded into kicking around for a measure of their heart rate.
The problems that can occur related to high blood pressure and gestational diabetes made us both high risk pregnancies. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!
Danielle and I are both prepared to answer any questions you may have about our diagnoses or pregnancies. However, remember everyone is different, every pregnancy is different.