I haven’t seen one of my really good friends in seven months. I know this because there is nothing like pregnancy to make you realize how fast (or slow) time flies. I moaned to my fiance recently about how this friend never calls me anymore even though I’ve left her a bunch of voicemails over the past few months.
”She just doesn’t want to hang out with me because I’m pregnant and she likes to party,” I told him. I’m not over-exaggerating. In fact, I’m being completely realistic, which is a change from my first pregnancy nine years ago, when I was really immature and would get angry at friends for what I perceived as ditching me. My friend does love to party. And, well, I simply can’t.
I have bad timing when it comes to being pregnant, it seems. Meaning, the first time around, all my friends weren’t ready to have kids, so I was pretty much the first woman in my group of friends to get knocked up. I remember being extremely sad at points throughout that first pregnancy, when I’d call my friends and they’d be busy at work (while I was nesting) or going out to bars all night (while I was practically hibernating because of my weight gain, which made me really insecure).
This time around, the pregnancy was planned, but it’s still bad timing when it comes to my friendships. Now all of my friends are not only done having children, but their children are mostly 5, 6 or 7 years old and they’re just starting to taste their freedom again. And this means they are going out late again, drinking and living the life they sort of had before children. So, again, I find myself in a lonely position.
Still, I picked up the phone the other day and tried my friend again. This time she called back. ”We haven’t spoken in so long!” she exclaimed. ”Yeah, I know. I think the last time we talked was when I told you I was pregnant and now I’m having that baby next week,” I told her. Which means months and months had gone by without us speaking or seeing each other. I invited her to stop by the following day and she did. I couldn’t believe how much I had to catch her up on (how it’s going with my fiance’s children, how big I’ve gotten, how the fiance proposed, what it’s like living together most of the time).
She caught me up on her life and all the going out she’s done, her divorce, her new boyfriend, her new job. It was a nice catch up and we promised to keep in touch. But, realistically, if I hadn’t seen her in seven months and I’m about to have a baby, when will the next time truly be?
The fact is, I’m not even complaining about the number of friends who I think could have been more supportive, if that’s the right word, while I’m pregnant this time around. It hit me, and not in a bad way and unlike the first time around, that other people’s lives don’t change just because your life is about to change in a big way. Another one of my friends I have kept in touch regularly on the phone. But every time we tried to make plans, she would bail on me. I did get upset about this, but then again, I knew what was going on in her life. Which was, she got laid off, was worried about money, and going through the roller coaster ride of figuring out what next to do in her life.
Another one of my friends is going through a horrible divorce and another one of my best friends has four children she is constantly chauffeuring to extra-curricular activities. When I was pregnant the first time around, I would get very upset when my friends chose to be hungover instead of talking to me or meeting up with me for decaf coffees. I would get very upset when they told me about the fun nights they had, while I was watching re-runs of Sex and the City and eating Big Macs alone.
But this time around, while I get sad knowing that some of my friendships have gone off the tracks, I’m not getting mad about it. (Or rather, I do get mad, but I get over it very quickly.) Because I now really understand that other people have their own lives and issues to deal with, whether I’m pregnant or not. This time around, I don’t get envious of them going out and partying, because I have been pregnant before and I know there is an end. Not that I’ll be going out and partying any time soon, but I know my friends will be there for me.
“The world does not stop just because I’m pregnant,” I tell myself each and every time I feel slighted by a girlfriend who doesn’t check in, doesn’t return a phone call, or bails on me. Because being pregnant, the weight gain, finding my true love, is everything that I wanted. So how can I really complain?
(Photo: Patrizia Tilly/Shutterstock)