Let’s do the time warp. It’s still two weeks after the embryo transfer, but since pregnancy is counted from the date of your last period–not the date you actually conceived–you end up gaining two weeks. It’s week two, but now it’s also week four.
My best friend, Mary, is the first person I call with the news. When she and I were in our early 20s, we made a pinky swear that if one of us got pregnant, the other one would have to get in the family way, too. We didn’t really worry too much about logistics, like, what if she got pregnant while I was single? (Since Mary is golden and beautiful and I am made mostly of nose and teeth, it was more likely she would get scooped up first.)
As it happened, Mary got pregnant in 2010, two years after I got married. Matt and I had recently moved back to Richmond from Brooklyn and were still pretty gun-shy about kids, so Mary kindly gave us a six-month extension. By the time we began fertility treatments, Mary was already on her second baby. I really owed her one. As soon as we find out we are pregnant, I call her up and get her voicemail. “Pinky swear fulfilled,” I tell it. She’s at my house in a flash.
Next I call my mom. My mom is the grandmother to 11. She’s usually babysitting one to four grandkids at any given moment, so phone conversations are often paused so she can feed someone a baloney sandwich or wipe their butt. This time, however, I get her alone. “That’s wonderful, hon!” she says cheerfully. She’s as excited as someone can be can be at the thought of having another dirty butt brought into her home. After I get off the phone with her, we call Matt’s sister, Katelyn.
We had just seen Katelyn the week before. I was in the midst of my it-didn’t-work doldrums and was telling her our sad predicament over lunch. “Look, guys,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and if it doesn’t work this time, I want to carry your baby for you.” Matt and I glanced at Katelyn’s boyfriend, Peter, sitting next to her. “Are you OK with this?” I asked. He laughed nervously. “I guess?”
Only the most amazing people in the world are willing to share their their uterus for nine months, or date a woman who is pregnant with her brother’s child. As touched as we were by Katelyn’s offer, we are pretty excited to be able to turn it down–for all our sakes.
Katelyn’s been waiting by the phone for our test results, so she picks up immediately.
“Katelyn,” Matt says. “We have some bad news.”
“Oh, no,” she says. “What?”
“You’re not going to be able to carry my baby. Kate’s pregnant.”
The sound that comes out of the phone is absurd. It sounds like a Muppet gang bang.
“OK, Katelyn, calm down,” he tells her. Incoherent shrieks, babbles, and sobs keep pouring out of the receiver. Matt turns on the speakerphone and the sounds of Katelyn’s hysteria fill the room. We are laughing so hard we’re crying.
Having someone be that ecstatic on your behalf is pretty much the best feeling in the world. Whether it’s from relief that she doesn’t have to carry our baby, or just happiness for us, it doesn’t matter. Katelyn’s cacophony is music to our ears.