What to expect when your friend is expecting

What to expect when your friend is expecting

When groups of friends start to have babies the dynamic can change. Mainly because no one can really explain what it’s like to carry a teeny tiny human, birth him or her and then wing it through motherhood. 

It became apparent to me recently that I have friends, really good friends, who aren’t yet parents for lots of different reasons. One of them explained that it’s quite difficult to experience a bestie getting pregnant because you just don’t know how to support them if you haven’t been through it yourself. 

True that, I thought. Pregnancy can be rough and being a mum-to-be is the best thing ever but the absolute pits as well. Time to expose all those things your mama never told you so you can be a true friend to your blossoming or ballooning bestie.

Your friend in trimester one: (week 1 - 13).

  • A flood of pregnancy hormones hit her like a tonne of bricks. She’s in line for a few aches and pains, sore boobs, fatigue and even flatulance! It’s bitter sweet because they are all signs that baby is developing but she won’t be too thrilled with the symptoms either. 
  • Vomiting, sea sickness, going off good food and wanting salt or sweet treats is pretty much her life right now so you may have to listen to a fair few moans. Contrary to belief, she might not have cravings in particular but hormones will put her off certain foods and strong smelling ingredients can make her feel queasy. Try popping round with a really cool low caffeine drink to quench her thirst, some herbal tea or some mum-to-be peppermint sweets to kerb the sickness.
  • She feels pregnant but doesn’t look that pregnant, just bloated. That annoys her. Really annoys her because she want’s a little cute bump to stroke. The mood swings also kick in by week five of pregnancy so expect her to be a little up and down.
  • Yay 12 week scan, she can breathe a sigh of relief because baby is on screen and the heart is beating. She decides to announce to a group of you that she’s pregnant but you want to say ‘bore off’ because she’s the third friend out of the same friendship group to do this in the last six months. Try not to roll the eyes and give off a fake ‘whoop’ because it’s the single most important thing that has ever happened to her.
  • Do realise that she probably can’t sleep easy because having to birth a baby can be an overwhelming thought at night time but on top of that she’s absolutely knackered because in the first few months of pregnancy the baby is growing organs and zapping her of all her energy.
  • It soon becomes a realisation to her that when she’s ill (and pregnant people always get ill) the doctor won’t prescribe anything so she is left to battle the flu with honey and lemon and get through a season of hayfever without any antihistamine. Not cool.

    Your friend in trimester two: (week 14 - 26).

    • For some women this is the most comfortable time because the nausea can disappear, energy levels are on the up and the belly bulge turns into a bit of a bump. It means you might get your bubbly friend back for a while. She might also fancy going out and showing off her bump. 
    • Heartburn can however make her life a misery. The growing levels of hormones rise and so she could also have a few nosebleeds or snore due to the blood flow increasing the body’s mucous. Yak!
    • The blood flow can also make her dizzy, so she could do with taking it easy, drinking plenty of fluids and eating smaller meals throughout the day. 
    • This trimester also features the 20 week scan and gender reveal. It’s probably a really good time for her to have a little spending spree on baby. Even if she choses to keep baby’s gender a secret it’s still a super-exciting time.
    • If she works hard, she’s probably finding it quite tiring, all she wants to do is pull a sicky but doesn’t want to be THAT pregnant person. Lots of tiny battles going on in her brain that she might want to share with you because her partner or husband is literally at his limit of caring.
    • Your friend may also be feeling pretty livid about putting on weight because her clothes don’t fit. It’s an odd feeling because she knows it’s good that baby is growing but her body has literally become a vessel and she might feel like its no longer hers. 
    • Just so you know, she’ll be going to midwife appointments and having to pee in a pot for glucose level checks. In fact she’ll be peeing quite a bit by now and up during the night numerous times too because the growing baby is putting quite a lot of pressure on her bladder. 

      Your friend in trimester three: (week 27-40).

      • She feels huge, she can’t see her feet and the baby is jabbing her in all directions, even in the woman parts at every god dam hour.
      • Let her whinge in these final stages? Know why? Because her uterus weighs about 2.5 pounds and her symptoms will now include; shortness of breath, haemorrhoids, swollen ankles, constipation and sleeplessness. 
      • Something called Braxton Hicks can cause her all sorts of issues. It's sort of practice labour pains and her womb will tighten it's pretty uncomfortable if they are strong.
      • Nine months is enough time to plan baby’s arrival but also a long time for people to ask you the same three questions; 1. Awwww how far along are you? 2. Do you know what you are having 3. When are you due again? 
      • She’s probably wanting other forms of chat, don’t alienate her from all the fun stuff just because she’s about to drop. Your friend is still in there, behind the puffy face (which you of course say is glowing) and the growing belly (which you say is sooooo neat). 
      • The body and brain is malfunctioning. It requires chocolate, cool magazines, some witty WhatsApp chat and helpful encouragement (check out my pin badges).
      • Her mind will be full of worry and excitement, plus she has to get a birth plan in place, prepare a birthing bag and make sure everything is ready at home. This makes it the ideal time to throw a baby shower, afternoon in the garden or surprise day out. It’s also the prime gifting time. Often she’ll be given lots of cute baby clothes and helpful new-born things but what about her? The Mrs Rawlinson new mum gift boxes have been lovingly put together and are packed with products made for new mums to put her first.
      • When the birth is imminent, DO NOT KEEP TEXTING TO SEE IF THERE’S ANY MOVEMENT. It will drive her absolutely insane, particularly if she’s overdue. She’ll be being told so many old wives tales on how to get that baby moving so that last things she needs is a reminder that she’s not given birth yet.

         

        It’s important to acknowledge that when your friend does have a baby, she will feel extremely distant from everyone around her because new mumhood is intense as hell. She’ll only feel important for a few days while there’s a big hype and newborn pictures are shared to ‘oh my ovaries’ type responses. Try to ask her questions about her new normal. There will be days soon after the birth of her baby when she is overjoyed and others where she feels like she is going to crumble so make some time for her. 

         

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