There are some things I need to say, dear friend. For you are busy growing a tiny human right now, and I want these words to stay with you. I want you to read my words, hear my voice in your head, and keep bouncing on that pregnancy ball while stuffing your face with a can of frosting. Because, dear friend, this is important.
This is it. Things are about to change. You are about to become a mama, and I am here for you. Just as you’ve been here for me.
I am here for you through these last few weeks of torture. I am here for you through the frantic cleaning, the bi-weekly appointments, and the anxiousness that comes with the final ticks of your gestational clock.
But, as you’re busy nesting (or not nesting), sleeping (or not sleeping), and nicely denying well-meaning advances by belly rubbers (or not so nicely), I’ve got some things that I need you to know.
Our friendship extends past this stage of our lives, the stage where one of us is deep in the trenches of motherhood, and the other is standing on the edge of the pool getting ready to dive in. My experiences won’t be your experiences, but they’ve gotten me to this part where I am able to finally help support you.
I am here for you. I’m going to calm you when those contractions start coming, hold your hand when the tears start rolling, and encourage you when you need it the most.
I am here for you. I’m going to show you how to swaddle, and cradle your baby in my arms, just like one of my own. I am going to love your baby, just like one of my own. Because your baby is a part of you, and I love you, my dear friend.
I am here for you. I’m going to make you meals, buy you chocolate, and make sure your water bottle never runs dry. I’m going to wash your clothes, make you take the time to take a shower, and drive you to the zillion baby appointments that will follow.
I am here for you, mama.
And I’m here for the gritty stuff, too. I’ll sandwich squeeze your breast to help you get that “there it is” latch. I’ll change that lingering meconium diaper and only complain a little bit. I’m going to ask the tough questions, the questions everyone else is afraid to voice. Like, are you sleeping enough? Are you having a hard time finding the joy in this moment? Are you feeling scared? Are you OK?
And if I notice you’re struggling to find an answer to the tough questions, I’m going to ask the even tougher ones. Have you thought about hurting yourself? Do you want me to make you an appointment with a counselor?
Because we’re the kind of friends who prioritize mental health. We get that a broken leg can be easily acknowledged, but a broken serotonin balance needs a little more teasing out. We celebrate cancelled plans and mental health days, and we check in on one another. We’re those friends, and I’m going to keep being that friend for you. Panic attack or mastitis, not getting out of bed for the entire week or cramping, I’m here. I’m going to always be here.
There’s going to be stuff that’ll be tough for me, too, but I’m going to do it. I’m going to leave you alone when you most need it. I’m going to quarantine myself when my kids bring home the flu so they don’t sneeze into your baby’s mouth, too. I’m going to park my car at the end of your driveway and block off the people you least want to see, even when it’s myself included. I’m going to see you cry, see you struggle, and it’s going to hurt me. But, instead of distancing myself and avoiding your hurt, I’m going to brush you off, pick you back up, and carry you through it.
Because I am here for you, dear friend. I am here for you.
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