I am pregnant. After the initial peeing on a stick, the thrill of telling family and friends, and the surreal excitement of becoming a mother began to wear off, a feeling of fear and extreme loneliness consumed me.
I am very much a people person. Without friends, support, and a community to surround me, I feel lost and alone. I need people to relate to. I need people who understand. I am sure many of us do. In my circle of friends, I was the first to be pregnant. Therefore, while I had a great support of friendships, I did not have one who could truly relate to me. As the months of pregnancy went on, I could feel the distance between myself and those friends begin to build. Our friendships changed. While we stayed close in certain ways, there were many ways in which we simply could not communicate to a point of understanding. Explaining your situation or feelings can only go so far when the other person has no connection in that way. While empathy might be there, it often cannot go much deeper.
My fears grew as the time became closer to baby being born. Would I feel completely alone in this? Would I have any support of mom friends? Would I have any play dates, or swim dates, or stroller walks, or someone to attend programs with? Would I be doing it all alone with baby girl?
I wouldn’t – all because of three beautiful moms and three simple Facebook messages.
I had received that first personal message when I was only 4 months pregnant. The one of congratulations and excitement, yet also filled with understanding and knowledge, for she herself was pregnant. While I didn’t think much of the modest message at the time, it was the start of my first ‘mom friend.’ This was the friend that continued to support me throughout the pregnancy, onto the birth, simply through online messaging. The one where we messaged each other when we struggled with feeding, when we needed guidance on napping, and when our babies began to eat solids. This mom is the one who was always one step ahead of me, had the resources and advice I needed, and was simply there to write for support.
Baby was two weeks old and I received a new message with a mom reaching out. It was at 2:30 am and I was in the middle of a pumping session, aimlessly scrolling through my phone, counting down the minutes when I could go back to sleep. I then received a quick message that only another new mom would understand; “Late night feeding?” It came at the perfect time. It was just what I needed. So, began our friendship of late night messaging while feeding, which soon turned into regular play dates where we talk and laugh about everything and anything to do with motherhood. She is the one who gets me even beyond motherhood.
Baby was four weeks old and yet again another message was received. It was a mom who could understand the struggles of breastfeeding, recognized my need to get out for a coffee, and allowed me to simply rant about aspects of motherhood that only another new mother might relate with. This was a mom whose constant guidance and advice through all the different aspects of motherhood was welcomed, because of her uplifting and encouraging attitude. From that one coffee date, grew play dates, swim dates, and someone to attend programs with. Just what I needed.
These three mothers – inspiring, loving, selfless and wise. These three mothers who chose to reach out to me. These three mothers who in the past, I had lost contact with, was never very close to, or simply had begun new walks of life, were brought back together because of the bond found between mothers. They were just the beginning. Their courage of initiating such friendship with myself, gave me the bravery to do so with others. So began more strong friendships.
These three women lifted me up from a time of anxiety, loneliness, and fear, bringing me into a place of confidence, happiness, and peace as a mother. The fear of rejection and being taken out of their comfort zone could have easily held any three of these women back. They chose to face that, to put themselves out there, and by doing so began something beautiful. I will forever be grateful for these three mothers and will forever be reminded of the power of reaching out.