Real Talk: 6 Women On Being The First Friend To Get Pregnant
Words: mater mea
This is what they wish someone would have told them about being the first friend to get pregnant.
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Finding out you’re pregnant is a major milestone that can be fraught with tons of conflicting emotions: Excitement, relief, fear, anxiousness—you name it, you’ll feel it.
And while there’s tons of advice out there for navigating those emotions and the changes to your body, not enough is said about how pregnancy can affect your relationships—especially when you’re the first of your friends to get pregnant.
We asked our mater mea fam on Instagram to answer the following question:
Were you the first of your friends to have a baby? What advice would you give an expecting mom who doesn't have any fellow mom friends in her crew? What do you wish someone would've told you about being the first to join the mommyhood?
Here’s what they had to say:
My friends had always felt like my soul mates before motherhood. They knew all of my dusty corners. Being the first to have a child created what felt like miles between our hearts.
At times I resented my new life for making a stranger of the carefree spirit I once shared with them. At times I resented my friends for not understanding my new life or not knowing how to support it.
The four months postpartum were overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy and guilt that felt impossibly heavy. My well was dry. I didn't give myself credit and didn't make room for vulnerability, which crippled my friends' ability to walk the journey of that first year to two with me.
I was grateful for the reminders I received to be kinder to myself; to honor the imperfections of the entire experience. Even though I didn't usually take the advice, it's still what I would share with new mothers today. We all need reassurance that we'll blossom anew, in spite of and because of that early chapter. Because all the things that have left us as women have not lost us as mothers. And our true blue friends, even and often especially those who don't relate to motherhood, can remind us of that.
The relationship will change. Just be prepared, but don’t try to kill yourself trying to be the same person you were before kids for your friends.
A lot of my friends were excited about me having a child. They thought it was cute—Dominique is wild and crazy, her baby's going to be just the same—and not the actual logistical side of what it's going to be like to parent a child. Some of them came by the apartment and held the baby and asked me how I was doing, did it hurt, do you have any pictures... very surface kind of things.
If you're not a parent or not around someone who has gone through a birth, you just don't have a reference to really care that much about the depth of change this person—who was really, at one point, very close to you—has just gone through.
I don't recall, thinking, “Hmmm, let me have a few sit-down meetings with some friends who have babies and ask them what it was like to get pregnant or have a baby or how much money do I need or how much time do I need to take off?”
I didn't do that early on, and if I did it later on, it was very superficial. [They weren’t saying], "Hey, you remember how you liked to read at night or work on your poetry or edit that film or talk to your husband? You're not going to be able to do that anymore for two years, so prepare yourself for that. Prepare yourself for maybe resenting the fact that you can't do what you want to do with your time and that other people around you can."
If you're a naturally jealous person or angry person, you're going to have that times 10. Everybody has their own reactions to things, but these are the emotions that come up. Or even resenting your own partner who doesn't feel the same pressures as you. Isn't breastfeeding like you. Isn't carrying 20 extra pounds [and] feeling sluggish and not cute.
Especially if your social circle is young, single, happy people who are stylish and doing things and you're [feeling] like this frumpy mom. Maybe you can get out once or twice a month and join your friends, but you're not going to feel like them. But it's not going to be exciting to you, anyways, and you're not missing out on anything, so don't care about it that much.
I would definitely say that pregnancy can be so very lonely. Take that time to establish a spiritual connection with your baby. Be appreciative of those who ARE supportive of you and who check on you.
I was NOT prepared for the relationship shifts at all. It’s almost like when you get pregnant: a) Once people find out, they are thinking about how THEY are affected by your pregnancy before thinking about you, and b) The months that you are pregnant, people can be distant from you and then want to bathe in the excitement of the babies arrival when really they have abandoned you during your pregnancy.
You have to be mentally strong for yourself and your child. I was lucky to have a supportive partner.
Start building your mom tribe while pregnant, if possible. There will be times when you want to vent and your current friends will not understand or be able to relate.
If you cannot find mom friends (or family members that you trust) to connect with, consider finding a therapist. 💗 The pregnancy journey can definitely be lonely and isolating, but you’ll be fine.
Finding other moms or soon-to-be moms is critical! I took advice from people who had never walked in my shoes. Now we are at a point where they are pregnant or have children, and they have apologized for their lack of understanding and some of their advice.