It was the Friday before Christmas, and we must have been the only two people sipping non-alcoholic drinks over lunch in an overcrowded Sydney pub. In between the gossip and the general conversation I finally blurted it out: “I’m pregnant!”
I had wanted to tell her so badly ever since she’d whispered the same words to me just six weeks earlier. But I’d only been five-and-a-half weeks’ pregnant then, and I was waiting to let the cat out of the bag.
But now it was out. And once she got passed the initial shock, she was just as pleased as I that she had another friend to share this journey with.
Friendship plays such an important part in everyday life. It can make ice cream taste better, nights out seem more adventurous, and inside jokes even funnier. But it seems friendship is particularly important as we navigate life-changing events for the very first time, like pregnancy and parenting.
I would liken having a pregnant friend throughout pregnancy to having a school friend. Sure, there are those who have walked this path before you, and there are those who are just behind you, but nothing compares to having a friend who is there, right in the thick of it with you.
Not only do you have someone to talk to about upcoming tests and appointments, but you also have someone who understands your excitement over a tiny little flutter or the smallest sight of your belly jiggling from movement.
I’m lucky to see this friend most days of the week – and as it turns out, there’s another friend we often see who is also pregnant with her first child. The three of us are all due within eight weeks of each of other, and having their support and friendship has made this journey so much sweeter.
Falling pregnant is one of life’s most precious and beautiful experiences. You get to create a little life inside you – a life that grows every single day. And every little milestone, whether it be an expanding waistline or the first feeling of movement, signifies that this tiny life is getting closer and closer to making it out on its own.
Which isn’t to say there haven’t been any challenges. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, it felt like my life stopped travelling along the same road as everyone else. I’d been picked up and placed in a special transit lane; an ever-changing lane of no alcohol, emotional instability, extreme fatigue, and lots of worry. Lots and lots of worry. The worry about what food is okay to eat, what medication is safe to take, what exercise moves are fine, why the baby hasn’t moved so much today … the list goes on.
That’s why my friendship with these two ladies has been so special. They make me feel a little more normal, a little less worried and a whole lot more excited.
Not that long ago, we would lunch together and talk of our dreams, which we housed in our hearts and minds. Now we sit there eating our sushi-free lunches and rubbing our tummies as we talk about the precious gifts we can’t wait to meet.
We also use the time together to compare symptoms, talk about upcoming appointments, discuss the pros and cons of getting the flu shot, talk about nursery furniture, and what we plan on eating once the babies arrive … just, you know, pregnancy stuff. Information we’re excited to share, but talk that would quickly bore our non-pregnant family and friends.
These two women understand me. They just get it. If I happen to pass one of them early in the morning, without any words being said, they know how I feel. They know I may have spent an hour trying to squeeze into all different outfits this morning, only to not feel 100 per cent comfortable with what I ended up wearing. Or they understand I’m tired, even though it’s only 9am. With just a little smile, they can say, “I know how you feel.”And that is really comforting.
Life, and my body, is changing so quickly, and it’s nice to know other women whose lives are changing just as fast.
So there you have it: one of your best friends during pregnancy is another pregnant friend. Oh, and Gaviscon … because heartburn’s a bitch. You know what I’m talking about, right ladies?
Nicole Thomson-Pride writes for various parenting, lifestyle and business publications. She also blogs at Splash of Pink about health, business, parenting and lifestyle for women. You can find her on Twitter.