When I got pregnant I thought, I am not going to be anything like all the pregnant women I’ve known. All they ever talk about is pregnancy! It’s so annoying! I will be so much cooler!
I didn’t realize that pregnancy is all-consuming. It takes over your body and so it takes over your life. The trick is to keep from alienating your friends with your nonstop pregnancy chatter.
The thing I’ve found most useful is to have a few outlets.
If you’ve got one, and you’ve been pregnant for more than a week, they’re probably hearing an awful lot about your pregnancy. Whether you’re excited or freaked out or in constant pain, sharing what you’re going through with your spouse or partner is important.
The way I see it, we have the really tough job here. Our partners get to watch and participate as best they can. It’s important that we include them in our process. Hopefully it’ll get us a little extra help when we need it.
The other side of the coin is to be aware of hormone and mood swings. There are pregnant women out there who turn mean or sad. I have warned my husband to let me know if I really start getting too crazy so I can try my best to be respectful.
People you know with kids are a valuable resource, and your mother in particular can share some valuable insights. Maybe you go through pregnancy exactly the same way, maybe you don’t, but they’ll probably be more than happy to talk about it with you.
And be sure to chat with your partner’s mother, since they’ll want to be involved as well. Balancing the grandparents is a big job and it’s best to get started early. When I had unbearable morning-sickness, not everyone could relate, but my saintly Mother-In-Law sent me a really useful book and some ginger tea. I really appreciated her thoughtfulness.
Friends that have kids, especially friends with babies, are an excellent resource. They are usually more than happy to talk about their pregnancy experiences. Plus their recollections probably won’t be as fuzzy as your mom’s. A word of caution: you may hear some horror stories along the way. Giant babies, months of bedrest, neverending nausea, delivery complications… these things all happen and they’ve probably happened to someone you know. Try not to get too scared by them, instead ask them how they coped and what they wish they’d known.
Once you’re pregnant, you’ll find that people will tell you all kinds of things you’d never realized existed. Carpal tunnel. Indigestion. Pinched nerves. It’s rare that people mention these things before you’re pregnant, but once you join the club be prepared to hear all of it. If you don’t have any friends who have children or are expecting, consider signing up for a pre-natal class through your OB or your hospital so you can meet some other soon-to-be Moms to connect with.
Be Aware of Your Kid-Free Friends
Not all your kid-free friends will want to avoid talking about your pregnancy. Of course you should share your lives with them. But be sure you don’t let yourself go too much. Work on being the friend you’ve always been. It’ll be the same juggling act once you have kids.
I’ve never wanted to be the friend who turned into a Mom and stopped being a friend. Having a balance in my social life is important to me. I try hard to balance activities, so not all of them involve my kid and there’s plenty of chances for us to go out and do things we’ve always done.
Sure, I can’t go out for martinis with the girls. But we can have brunch. We can go to a movie. We can have coffee (them) or tea (me). Pregnancy won’t get in the way of any of that.
I think keeping your friendships strong through pregnancy is really important. I want my life to be stable and happy and surrounded by support as things get more difficult physically and emotionally. Even if it requires a little extra effort, it’s worth it.