Pregnancy

Having A Pregnancy BFF Can Completely Change Your Life

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When you find out you’re pregnant, you get a lot of unsolicited information. You’ll hear of the joy, the impatience, and definitely of the physical discomforts – whether you want them or not. But one thing you likely won’t hear about is the loneliness.

One would think when you’re carrying a new life and are literally never alone that loneliness would be impossible. Yet it still finds you.

A big reason for this might be the uncertainty about what lies ahead. Whether partnered or not, you’ll have to make some hard decisions that only you will have the answer to. I felt a mountain of uncertainty that led to extreme loneliness during my first pregnancy. I expected the same when I was pregnant the second time.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The second time I decided to tell a close friend about my pregnancy long before I told the rest of the world. And when she laughed in response, I was both confused and insulted. The reason for her laughter was more comforting than my wildest dreams. She too was pregnant and not yet telling people. As it turned out, we were only a week apart.

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Ironically, she and I already had a ton of things in common. Our sons were born days apart and she and her husband were also the same age as me and my husband. We had both eloped to a courthouse and had long-ass hyphenated last names. It was hard to believe we would add one more commonality to our list yet now we had even one more — our pregnancies.

Over the next few months, we’d talk about things we’d never had been comfortable talking about with others and it made the experience so much better. We walked together several times a week and shared our frustrations, discomforts, and fears. We had long talks about how hard it was to parent and be pregnant with partners who traveled occasionally for weeks at a time.

Our bond was as much physical – we wanted to be as fit as possible when our babies arrived so we’d walk weekly — as it was mental and emotional.

I would soon be a mom of two, and she a mom of three. So, there was so shortage of obstacles to come between our walking plans. Somehow, we made it work.

The beginning was the hardest for me. I was severely depressed and had doubts about why I thought we could ever handle a second child. She was there for me and allowed me to talk and get feedback from someone who was in the thick of it.

I was able to briefly return the favor when she ended up moving in the middle of her pregnancy and was under a lot of stress. I didn’t always know what to say, but I knew my presence — even in silence — could mean the world.

Of course, there were still challenges.

Having a belly buddy caused me make a lot of comparisons. Our due dates were only a week apart but our experiences were worlds apart. I was gaining way more weight then recommended, and she was struggling to put on enough. We carried our babies differently. And it was so hard not to freak out each time I realized my baby was growing much slower – which we later found was caused by IUGR.

I wanted my child to be healthy and having someone so close hitting vastly different markers made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

In the end, we each had our own medical complications related to our pregnancies. They were caused by different issues but were a mutual source of panic. Having someone who understood the risks I faced as an individual, as well as a pregnant woman, provided comfort when we struggled to sleep whether due to stress or growing pains.

Naturally, we were both expecting daughters because clearly, the universe wanted us to have as many things in common as possible. And when I had to schedule an induction three weeks before my induction date, I couldn’t help but mourn the end of our belly buddy relationship.

Induction day was hard work, especially since I choose to deliver medication-free. But we made it through. When I felt somewhat sane, my hub came back from the restroom to tell me there was a surprise next door. I was irritated and exhausted, so I refused to guess.

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But my belly buddy’s husband walked in telling me she’d unexpectedly ended up at the hospital. Our babies were born within hours of each other on the same day. Neither of us could believe it. Our belly buddy relationship turned our babies into birthday buddies, both girls with “S” names.

I’m not sure what I did to deserve someone like my belly buddy in my life. She is so much stronger, smarter, and beautiful than she will ever give herself credit for. I couldn’t have thought of sharing that experience with her in my wildest dreams.

I can’t wait for things to slow down so our daughters can interact and develop their own relationship.

I know I’ll never forget my belly buddy. I couldn’t have done it without her.

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