Hello baby, goodbye friends
Stacey is mother to two beautiful little girls, Grace and Emily, and adores spending every waking second with them. She hopes once they're older she can go to university to become a midwife as she loves babies and pregnancy.
Seeing that little white stick with two blue lines was one of the happiest moments of Staceys life. But why didn't her friends share her joy?
I'd found out I was pregnant and after those important announcements to the family I couldn't wait to tell my friends. I picked up the phone and called my very best friend to tell her the exciting news. The response I got wasn't quite what I'd expected. She just said: Oh, OK.
Instantly my bubble of happiness popped. It was obvious she couldn't care less. This was the same girl I'd shared everything with. The same girl who jumped up and down and clapped her hands excitedly when I got a new haircut. I'd even held back her hair in the nightclub loos while she was sick after one too many drinks. So why was it that now, when I had the most important piece of news, she wasn't interested?
Not only did she not care, she actually started to push me out of her life. Ah, I thought, never mind. She'll be back when she has her own bun in the oven.
Through speaking to other mothers, I've found out I'm not the only one whos had to kiss friends goodbye when a baby is due. Pregnancy means no alcohol so surely that must mean you can't go out anymore, right? Having a baby bump, it seems, means you're not as desirable to have as a friend.
Having a baby was the best and worst time of my life and I wanted to share it all with my friends. I was left wondering what I had done that was so wrong. Add to this all the hormones that were running through my body and a close relatives death days after I had my baby, and I became a wreck. With no friends I felt terribly isolated. Like many women, I ended up with postnatal depression. I desperately needed someone outside my home and family life to have a giggle with and remember what it was like to be me and not just Mum.
"Having a baby bump, it seems, means you're not as desirable to have as a friend."
I started making new friends who were also mothers, which made me realise I wasn't the only person going through this isolation. Through our shared experiences and empathy towards each other we became close and built a new social life. Then, after all the isolation and effort to solve it, a text came out the blue. Guess what? I'm pregnant!
Yep, one of the friends who ditched me during the most important time of my life was suddenly interested in me again. I was fuming. It seemed I wasn't good enough, until she found herself facing the same loneliness and isolation that I had, then suddenly she wanted me around again. But instead of wanting genuine friendship, I just became an outlet for all the bragging. Everything became a competition: Oh I had such a terrible birth, way worse than yours must have been, but I coped so well, or oh little (insert absurd baby name here) got her first tooth today, your baby didnt get hers until she was 7 months, is that right?
It infuriates me that friends desert you only to come back and make you feel even more crap about yourself a few months down the line. On the other hand, it really makes you realise who your true friends are: Those who will stick around when hormones are ravaging your body and a baby is stealing all your sleep.
So, just a little message to those out there with a pregnant friend: If you can't be bothered to stay in touch when she needs you, don't expect her to welcome you with open arms when you come running back for the same support. And don't throw away years of friendship just because you think she's not the same person anymore; believe me, she is.
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