I have a tight-knit group of girlfriends.
We spent some of the most important years of our lives together under a roof that should have caved in on us.
We’ve seen each other at our best, our worst and even our naked.
You can insert a bunch of college friend clichés here — they all apply. It’s been seven years since graduation, and though we’re now scattered across the country, these girls are still my home base.
These are my people, the ones who would drop everything and come running if I asked.
It’s because we’re so close that I’m completely comfortable telling them that they don’t have a clue.
They have absolutely no idea what it’s like for me to be the only one in our circle who has babies. Worse, they have no idea how hard the transition was on me.
I was the first to get engaged and the first to get married. By the time the next one of us walked down the aisle, I had a 6 month old in tow.
At first, my pregnancy was new and exciting for everyone. I was flooded with texts and emails asking for updates.
I felt special. Eventually though, the newness faded and I didn’t have many details to report. If you’re lucky, pregnancy is actually kind of boring.
My friends got back to doing their things and suddenly, our Gchat topics shifted from baby names back to blogger gossip and engagement planning.
My husband and I welcomed a daughter, and it was just as amazing as other moms said it would be. As we settled into our new life as a family of three, I couldn’t wait to share it all with my best friends.
Imagine the hormonal trauma I experienced when I felt like they didn’t care. Now that I’m years removed from the situation, I know they cared, they just didn’t know how to show it.
Truly, they’re an incredible group of women, but they all could have benefited from a copy of "What To Expect When Your Best Friend Is Expecting."
Since that doesn't exist, here's what to expect from your pregnant besties:
When I was pregnant, my body changed in some hardcore ways, and my friends couldn’t empathize.
If their lives depended on relating to the physical and emotional changes I was going through, they would have all died.
I was weepy, pukey and exhausted. There were days I couldn’t eat, sleep or poop.
I was living in a perpetual state of an anxiety, constantly worrying about the baby. Is she getting what she needs? When was the last time she moved?
I desperately wanted to talk to my friends about it, but the conversations were understandably one sided.
After all, what could they possibly have to say about it all?
When we did have conversations about my pregnancy, they typically took scary turns.
Somehow, we always got to talking about the bad stuff and the gross stuff.
They all wanted to tell me about that one obscure pregnancy statistic they read on a friend of a friend’s Facebook Timeline.
They were projecting anxiety without knowing it, and it was the absolute last thing I needed.
The hardest thing I dealt with as the first of my friends to get pregnant was constantly having to hear, “I am so not ready for that!”
They were referring to how a baby was the last thing they currently wanted. I totally get it. Different people want different things at different times.
But, it always rubbed me the wrong way when they launched into monologues about all the reasons they didn’t want babies.
Without even realizing it, they framed having a baby as the worst thing in the world.
It was almost like they were subtly saying, “Man! You’re crazy!”
After I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby girl, I felt more distant from my friends than ever before.
Six weeks passed before everyone was able to come together to meet my daughter. We sat around my living room together laughing and talking.
Everyone took a turn holding my baby, but she was back in my arms in less than 15 minutes.
No one asked many questions about my new normal, and we all got back to talking about relationships and jobs.
I had a fleeting moment of importance, and then poof: We were all status quo once again.
I thought they were unengaged, and I had less time to engage them.
Free time became a distant memory after I returned to work full-time. My days were packed, and my schedule was to the minute.
I could chat during my commute, but it wasn’t convenient because of the time difference(s).
I realized my friends were making time for each other without me, and I had a really hard time coping.
Things that seemed like a huge deal to me didn’t even register with my friends.
As babies do, mine started reaching milestones. My friends and I had entire conversations and sometimes, some of them wouldn’t even mention her name. In a way, I was heartbroken.
These all felt like very real problems when I was experiencing them. Many of them even drove me to tears. But, after the hormonal dust faded, I could see clearly.
My friends were so far removed from what I was going through – both physically and emotionally – it wasn’t fair to hold them to expectations I’d never made them aware of.
If I needed more, I should have asked for more. Looking back, I can see they were each excited for me in their own ways, but they didn’t know how to appropriately show me that, especially with the distance between us.
If I had to boil this all down to one piece of advice for someone about to step into my shoes, it would be this:
Unless your friends have worn the mesh panties themselves, they aren’t on your level.
Proceed with patience, ask for more and know your hormones can play tricks on you.