Pregnancy is one of the most memorable times in a mother’s life. Whether you are glowing with anticipation or hugging the toilet 24/7, it’s hard to forget the time you spent growing an actual human. I was the latter of those two scenarios, but when I wasn’t busy worshipping at the porcelain altar, I was planning and preparing for the impending arrival of my tiny creation, as all mothers do. In one way or another, mothers spend all their time preparing, and sometimes, obsessing about all things baby. It’s just what we do.
During my second pregnancy, my sister also happened to be pregnant. Our boys are only 2 months apart, so she became my unintended pregnancy pal. I say unintended, because I didn’t really know pregnancy pals were a thing before I had one, but I can’t tell you how awesome it was to share the experience with someone other than my husband.
Don’t get me wrong, husbands are great and all, but their lack of a uterus prevents them from fully understanding exactly what we go through. No one plays Dance, Dance Revolution on their bladder at 2 a.m. or causes them the kind of fiery heartburn that would make Satan tap-out. Men are amazing support when it comes to back rubs and late night ice cream runs, but they don’t know the first thing about round ligament pain or the fear of accidentally shitting during childbirth.
My sister, on the other hand, totally got it. She didn’t look at me with fear in her eyes when I told her I cried while listening to Miley Cyrus’ Party In The USA. (I know that’s weird AF, but I was super emo that day and felt bad for her when she “hopped off the plane at LAX” and didn’t have any friends.)
A broad range of emotions are common during pregnancy, but bouts of spontaneous crying or irritability can be hard to understand if you’ve never experienced them yourself. There’s just no rational way to explain why you ugly-cried when you realized Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. But a fellow pregnant mama knows it was probably because your heart was set on waffle fries and your favorite dipping sauce — that’s a totally acceptable reason to cry. It’s like an unspoken sisterhood. Sobbing in fast food parking lots is a thing we do.
Pregnancy pals understand the random mood swings, the wild emotions, and everything in between. They are our confidantes when we are ready to throw a table lamp at our spouse for breathing too loudly. They don’t judge. They pick us up when we are inexplicability sad or worried, and make us laugh until we can’t breathe.
And when it comes to making mom friends AFTER the baby, Momsplained knows the struggle:
A fellow pregnant mama knows better than to say things like, “Oh my gosh, you’re huge! Are you sure there’s just one in there?” And she would never text you 30 times a day to ask if you’ve gone into labor yet. (Why do people do this?— I’ll letcha know, Brenda — stop blowing up my inbox.)
There is nothing better than shopping for baby clothes, and having someone there to ooh and ahh over every little romper and onesie only sweetens the deal. Nevermind that all those precious little outfits will be destroyed by one of those gnarly up-the-back diaper blowouts. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s basically like an upside-down exorcist.
And here’s another great thing about sharing your pregnancy with a friend: when you have those sweet little babies, they will be close in age, which means your friend will be by your side for those diaper blowouts, sleepless nights, and the inevitable terrible twos. (Which pale in comparison to the shenanigans your three-year-old will put you through. But that’s a story for another day.)
Pregnancy is different for every mama, but universally, we all need support, encouragement, and someone to laugh and cry with. Whether you love it or hate it, having a pregnancy pal to share your experience with makes it even more memorable.