I had heard stories about the prolonged length of time it can take to get pregnant, and though my husband and I made the conscious decision to start trying for a baby, we were surprised when it happened so quickly (less than a month!). I was suddenly acutely aware that I was alone in this pregnancy (none of my friends have kids) and so I questioned whether I’d be able to navigate the unknown. Suffice it to say, there have been some surprises along the way. Here are the things I learned from being the first of my friends to get pregnant.
1. Friends Become Family
When I first found out I was pregnant, my initial thought was that my friends were all going to ditch me. It’s not to say that we lead vastly different lifestyles (in actuality, we’re all still early to bed and homebodies). The first thing I asked them after telling them about the baby was if we would still be friends, only half joking. They not only assured me that they would, but were incredibly excited when I told them. My best friend even cried tears of joy. Those girlfriends who saw me through breakups and all night dance parties were all of a sudden now “aunts” to my future daughter.
2. Resourcefulness Has No Bounds
With no friends to lead by example, I’ve had to be resourceful in finding information on pregnancy and birth. In a sense, it’s been freeing because I am not being bombarded with unwarranted opinions and advice, and instead can seek out the information I’m specifically after.
3. Ordinary Days Feel Like Date Night
Even if it’s reheating leftovers to eat in front of the TV, I’ve come to savor the banality of our everyday lives. Before, I’d be itching to go out to dinner on a Saturday night, but these days I find immeasurable joy parking myself on the couch watching Shark Tank with my husband.
4. You Will Feel Lonely at Times
It would be nice to join the champagne and oyster happy hour with my girlfriends, but I have to listen to my body when it tells me to stay home and rest. I wasn’t surprised about being tired all of the time, but I also wasn’t prepared for the loneliness that came with it (not by any fault of my friends). It can be isolating to go through a huge life change before other people in your group do. In that vein, it’s also okay to tell your friends that you feel left out. The good ones will plan a dinner sans alcohol that guarantees you’re home by 8pm.
5. Suddenly I Want to Be a Kid Again
Part of it may be because I’m the first of my friends to be pregnant and also that I’m an only child (and hence, the first child of my parents to have a baby) that I suddenly want to be a carefree kid again. Having this massive responsibility on the horizon makes me want to rewind time and savor in a moment when everyone was kind of doing the same thing. At 10, everyone was in soccer together. At 21, everyone was running through the bar circuit. Now that I’m 31, people are veering off into different places in their lives, which makes me crave the predictability of years past. Luckily I’ll be able to parlay that into fun activities with my daughter in no time, from apple picking in the fall to going to the zoo on a regular basis.
Were you the first of your friends to get pregnant? How did you handle it?
Image courtesy of Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere