First off, don't freak out!
Somewhere between the weekly Long Island Iced Teas and Gossip Girl binges, we grew up. Facebook newsfeeds went from photos of happy hour shenanigans to baby announcements and kiddie birthday parties. It’s easy to turn a blind eye and continue sipping your daily cocktail, until it happens to someone really close to you, like your best friend. So, what do you do when your bestie tells you she’s expecting?
I wasn’t necessarily shell-shocked when I found out. I had a few things going for me: It wasn’t my first rodeo, so to speak (a bestie from school had given birth a few years prior), I’m typically a calm person (or so I like to think!), and I also knew she eventually wanted to start a family. But, she was slightly ill at the time, so I didn’t think too much of her moans about nausea. Plus, the scans she took at the hospital gave no indication whatsoever that she could be pregnant. So I wasn’t shell-shocked, but I was beyond amazed (somewhat speechless, even) when she spilled the beans.
“So…I have something to tell you,” began Ran, 32. “It’s about your wedding.” I looked curiously at her. “I might need to ask you for an extra seat,” she elaborated.
“Ooh!” I squealed. “Who’s coming down?” I mentally began listing in which countries her siblings presently resided, assuming she was referring to one of them.
“No one’s coming down,” she replied.
Puzzled, I told her that her parents were obviously already invited. “Well, that’s not it,” she went on.
I looked at her expectantly, as I continued to tick off the possibilities in my head. Pregnancy was one of them, but I ruled it out immediately…given that she’d taken a scan that yielded nothing significant.
“Well the thing is, we might have an addition to the family!” Ran continued.
My confusion must’ve shown, because she blurted out, “I’m pregnant!”
“You’re joking!” I stated matter-of-factly, because, hello, the scan?
Seconds ticked by, and I realized she was serious. “Wait! You’re not joking?!” I asked, confounded.
“Nope! I’m pregnant!” she grinned.
“Ohmygod! Ohmygod!” I shrieked (not a pleasant sound, let me tell you!). Excited, I launched into a waterfall of congratulations followed by a hundred questions. I was also thoroughly befuddled, so I probed further, “How in the world did this happen? Didn’t you do a scan just the other day?”
She did. But, the doctor who conducted it was either rather foolish or forgot his appointment with the ophthalmologist, and so completely missed the baby growing in her belly. The second opinion she sought left her face-to-face with a doctor who was more competent. After scan #2, the doctor broke the news that she was 3-months along…and no one had any clue.
When your friends start sharing their major milestones, it’s easy to wonder if you’re saying (or doing) the right things. Ultimately, the goal is to make your BFF feel as much love as possible. Openly grieving the loss of your happy hour companion for the next year or so isn’t the most supportive response. And, while your mother may have always told you to not to say anything at all if you can’t say anything nice, you know that won’t cut it for your bestie mom-to-be.
So, how do you tackle this new development and give your friend lots of love, while not letting the suddenness of it all bring you down? Take note of the following:
Change is inevitable
Your friend is preparing for one of her most life-changing events and over the next nine months she will experience both physical and emotional changes. Hormones are no joke, so expect your friend to begin to frequently feel tired, experience waves of emotion, and be glum that she can’t do the things she used to. Prep for this. Console her if she needs it, go out and do fun things together, binge eat a tub of ice-cream or just ask her how she’s doing in the middle of your busy day (or date).
Conversational topics will be different
Subjects up for discussion can go from discussing your latest Tinder drama one moment to birthing plans the next, so don’t be alarmed to widely roam the girl talk spectrum. But you can expect to chat in detail about baby names, maternity leave, and anything postpartum-related. Presently, my friend and I are in a great cycle: She sends me wedding ideas and I send her cute maternity outfit options. #Winning.
Priorities will alter
It is to be expected. In a few months, her world will revolve around a tiny human and so she may opt out of regular visits to the movies, preferring to stay home taking care of her child. This is okay. But, it’s important you wrap your head around this early on. After my high school bestie gave birth a few years ago, I hardly saw her. She did want to get out for an occasional bite to eat, but she couldn’t bear to leave her baby behind. Only once her baby was older and settled into a routine with her mom to babysit, did she step out for dinner and a chat.
Give her (and yourself) something to look forward to
All relationships take work and this is no different, so plan a girls’ day out during her pregnancy and a few months after delivery. Manis, pedis, lunch…or all the above! You’ll both have something in the horizon to gear towards. And, no doubt, your friend will welcome the change. If you’re looking for something to do in the immediate future, join her when she shops for goodies for the baby. While you’re at it, consider planning a baby shower. Rally up the gang and throw her a ‘welcome-to-the-world’ party she’ll absolutely love!
Expect a little FOMO
At the least, you may begin questioning your life choices. You may not want kids right now, but a part of you might feel the urge to find a match and settle down, pronto. On the other hand, you may be quite content staying single, enjoying Friday night tequila shots and swiping right on eligible bachelors. Either way, don’t sweat the small stuff. Whatever is meant to be, will be.
Good friendships are resilient, and if solid to begin with, will stand the test of time. So, even if your relationship changes, it isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Things don’t have to take a turn for the worse—and you’ll both eventually find a balance between the cradle and cocktails. Besides, you’ll soon be an aunt. Think about how pampered the little boy or girl will be and rejoice in the role you’ll play in his or her life. Fun times ahead on the Baby Train!
Looking to surprise your bestie with a few goodies for her little one? Check out these snazzy stores.
Penelope & Pickles
On Instagram, you’ll find them listed as @penelope.n.pickles. They’re an e-commerce store and have uber cute outfits for kids, plus gorgeous decor for the baby’s room.
It’s the perfect stop for everything related to a nursery. Their collections are elegant, beautifully coordinated and designed by theme. Look out for their linen, furniture, art and accessories. Visit them online (elegantsmockers.com) or at their Colombo 3 store.
From travel gear to bath and skin care to baby monitors to food and formula, mumzcare.com might just have what you’re having trouble locating.
Pottery Barn Kids
Most of us know and love this store’s big sister, so it makes sense to check out their line of exclusive items for kids. From bedding to furniture to toys, all their products will delight and inspire! What’s even better? potterybarnkids.com ships to Sri Lanka! Yaass!
This online store has the cutest baby clothing ever! They specialise in kiddie apparel from newborns to toddlers. Little Me’s products allow tiny tots to do just about anything (from napping to throwing a tantrum to rolling around), while staying comfy and safe. Sounds too good to be true. And, yes, they ship internationally. Take a look at littleme.com.
This article was originally published as ‘My Best Friend Is Pregnant. Now What?’ in the September 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more life advice and tips, grab a copy of our latest magazine.
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