There are many, many things about pregnancy that are kept hidden from the general public.
I think it’s a massive conspiracy to keep the world procreating, because if women knew what they were really getting themselves into, they’d probably think twice. Snissing, anyone? (Look it up. I’m not telling you what it is)
One of the biggest changes, beyond the drastically expanding ass…errrrr, belly…is the effect this pregnancy and resulting amazing, prodigy child (duh) has over my friendships. Sean and I don’t have any friends in Boston who are currently pregnant or have a baby already, so it’s made navigating this insane life change an interesting experience.
Getting pregnant, I was concerned we’d lose some of our friends. We developed quite the reputation for our fondness for libations and wondered how that’d affect our dynamic with people. To be totally honest, we both put on a pretty good WOO-HOO front, but we’re secretly incredibly lazy and will often choose sweatpants on the couch over an evening of drunken escapades. A side effect of getting older, perhaps? I’ve done my best to rally for certain occasions and been the DD when necessary, but I can only imagine it’ll be even more difficult once the baby actually arrives. It’s much easier to cart around a giant gut than a screaming infant. No one wants one of those at their house for very long. I worry that we’ll lose touch with people as we move into this next life phase and our friendships with them will become memories and stories Sean and I trade over 3 am feedings.
Although I know it’s natural for friendships to ebb and flow over the different developments in your life, it doesn’t make it easier. My best friend and I completely severed our relationship 2 months before my wedding and it’s a scar that has left a permanent mark on my heart – particularly in regards to these sorts of major life changes. Two years and not a single word between us later, I can’t imagine going through that again with my one of my other close friends. Even in our late 20s/early 30s, we’re all still growing and changing in our personal and professional lives, so I hope we can continue to grow up without growing apart.
On the flip side of things, I’m already feeling anxious about branching out and making new friends…you know, “hip and cool mom friends”. It’s important to me that Charlotte is socialized from a young age and is around as many other children as possible; at the very least, I need to make friends for her sake. The problem there? I’m terrible at it. Small talk makes me want to bang my head into a wall. In my professional life, I constantly need to remind myself: “smile more”, “ask them a question in return”, “don’t be a complete bitch”. Sigh. Socially awkward, party of 1.
In a lot of ways the Internet is my enabler. I can actively participate in blogging and Facebook groups and pregnancy forums, but that doesn’t translate to real life very well. Although I’ve learned so many invaluable things from the wonderful women I’ve “met” through the various social media channels, I can’t neglect the friendships I’ve made (and need to make) back in the real world.
How do people even make friends at 30 – especially without the social crutch of alcohol? Do baby bottles work the same way? Do all the moms stand around in a circle holding their kid’s bottles so their hands are occupied and they don’t annoyingly fidget? Maybe I should send Sean out into the wild to find another future dad who is wandering around aimlessly, mumbling to himself about his knocked-up wife.
In the meantime, I’m just going to abide by the old Girl Scout rule: Make New Friends, But Keep the Old, One is Silver and the Other Gold. I can’t dwell on the friendships I’ve lost or the ones that I inevitably will, so I need to focus on the friends of mine that have been there through everything – who willingly listen to me complain about swollen feet for the 100th time and promise me that I’m “all belly” (kindest lie ever, by the way) – it’s friendships like those that will weather the transition our life is about to make, all the while teaching me how to be a better friend to them in the process.
TL;DR for the gif-happy crowd? Hormonal pregnant lady whines about her friendships for several paragraphs. The end.