Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pregnancy Insights: Friends with kids ROCK

My vision for this blog is to have posts about kids, and also to have posts about how the kids got here in the first place. Wait, nooooo, I am not about to start detailing what goes on behind closed doors with my husband. 

Uh, my apologies to those of you who thought I was and just became slightly excited (barf). 

Anyway... I am referring to pregnancy. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I learned of my first pregnancy, I didn't (and probably still don't) know shit about pregnancy and babies. Nope, I wasn't 16 and unmarried. I was in my mid-20s and married for over two years. 

And, not knowing anything about being pregnant, I was about to be surprised - a lot. And I was about to learn - a lot. If I could possibly spare someone else those surprises and give them a jump on what I had to figure out as I went along by sharing on my blog from time to time, then I'll feel good about that. So begins my little series about pregnancy. I truly hope some people benefit in some way from what I'll be sharing, because, well, that's my purpose here. 

And if you already know this stuff, then I hope you can laugh and reminisce as you read. I completely welcome comments, questions, and additional nuggets of wisdom if you want to share them. I would love that!

Back to finding out I was pregnant, a little background here: We weren't trying to become pregnant and had zero intentions of having a baby anytime soon when we found out that in fact, we were having one (what’s that saying? Make plans, God laughs?). In fact, upon hearing the news, my husband made some crack about breaking out the champagne. I was thinking more along the lines of a gun. Yes, I was stoked to become unexpectedly pregnant!

So anyway, I did what made sense to me: I called my gynecologist’s office. I figured they'd see me soon, confirm the pregnancy, and give me my list of dos and don'ts. (Yes, I can hear the snickers from the veteran moms, along with my own.)

Much to my surprise, they do not want to see you right away. Special circumstances aside, they want to wait until you are about 8-9 weeks along to see you, given the high chance of miscarriage in those first couple of months. 

I about died. I mean, here I am, freaking out, not sure what the hell is going on, needing to see a doctor and find out what in God’s name I am supposed to do next. I know there are things you are supposed to do (take prenatal vitamins) and things you are definitely NOT supposed to do (like drink copious amounts of alcohol) while pregnant, but what about those little things?

Can I clean the toilet with those harsh cleaning agents, or did I just get a free pass on that disgusting chore for the next nine months? What am I supposed to eat? What am I NOT supposed to eat? How strenuously may I exercise? Why am I so tired? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE???

So, this brings me to the primary point of this particular post: Do NOT be the first of your friends to have babies. Those friends with kids that you feel so sorry for and haven’t spoken to since the day they got pregnant because you couldn’t stand to hear the word “baby” one more time (or was that just me?) - they are now your New Best Friends. 

Those precious trailblazers are an INVALUABLE resource, a regular fount of information and you will be calling them 12 times a day. So don’t BE the trailblazer, as the only person you’ll be able to ask for any kind of information will be your mom, whose information is so outdated that it rarely applies, and who didn’t have the same resources we now have, like ultrasounds and prenatal testing, so in other words, she’ll have no idea what you are talking about (You will be educating her. Sorry, Mom. Love you!). 

Then you’ll be forced to befriend other pregnant women or new mommies in those horrifying mommy groups, and trust me, you have enough to deal with without that nightmare entering your life. (My apologies to those who actually enjoy their mommy group. I've never taken to them. Obviously.) 

So, I established an open connection to my good friend Mandibular, who was at the time mom of 2, now of 3. In case you didn't pick this up: I'm not using her real name. But that IS her real nickname. I'm a strange person. So is my dad, who actually gave her that nickname. Long story.

Anyway, Mandibular unfortunately lives in another state, but the phone worked just fine. It got to the point that I started calling her Doctor Dibs (another nickname- I won’t bother to explain) and I’m pretty sure she cowered in dread every time her phone rang. I’ve never asked her how many times she considered changing her phone number, but I’m sure it was A LOT. 

However, she toughed it out and was/is a fabulous source of information and for that, I am eternally grateful. I also glommed onto my bestie, A-dog (you guessed it, another nickname!), who had just had her first bundle of occasional joy (just teasing, Roo Roo, you’re the best and one of the few kids I like and I have three boys for you to chose from come getting married time). 

I am not kidding you, those friends with kids are more precious than gold. They're almost as good as someone who is willing to take your kids, for free, for the entire day. Unless they are that someone. Then, they are more than a friend. They are a saint.

So, friends with kids rock. They've kept me informed since before my very first prenatal appointment, and continue to be a valuable resource to this day. And we also serve as each others' therapists. We'll call each other after a particularly hard day or trip to the store with our kids, instead of driving the car off a ledge in some kid-induced insanity craze.

And I have great respect for those who were the first to have kids and didn't really have other friends or family to help them out. I don't know how you did it. Apparently, I'm a wuss.

Fortunately, I am comfortably ensconced in the middle, where I have trailblazer friends, and I still have friends who have yet to have babies, therefore allowing me to pass on my nuggets of wisdom (at least in my mind) as well as all the baby crap I have accrued. Win. 

So don't ditch your kid-less friends; you'll want someone to pass that stuff on to. And to pay it forward with in the helping-out department. I love being part of this Mama chain, in which I am reaching one hand up to those who have "been there", and one hand out to those who are "getting there". 

Join in the fun on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. the other ElizabethJanuary 28, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Love you!!! Just a couple more weeks here.... eeekkkk!

  2. I am so excited!! "The other Elizabeth"... you make me smile!

  3. Us moms have to stick together! Pretty sure I'd be admitted if it wasn't for our phone convos and vent sessions! You're #1 dog thanks you!


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