I’ve never had a pregnant friend before. Well. No friend that has been pregnant on purpose and past the three-month cut-off mark. Wait, what? We’re starting this off with a tasteless abortion joke? Sorry I’m not sorry.
Anyway, it’s dead interesting- in a biological experiment kind of a way, like using a mooncup and monitoring your output, or squeezing blackheads on somebody else’s back- and I’m learning proper well loads. Like, nipples. My pregnant friend texts me all the time with nipple updates. Not unlike the areola of a fat African tribal woman now, she’ll say. Or gas. Pregnant women get hella gassy. I quite like the competition. She’ll walk into the staff room at work and apologise in advance before belching Homer Simpson-eqsue, and then I’ll do the first half of the alphabet in response and she’ll look at me with relief and gratitude and say, ‘Thank you.’
Dude. Totally my pleasure.
Pregnant women bake a lot and start feeding people with peanut butter energy bars and birthday cakes with proper fudge icing. My friend will be on maternity leave come my birthday in May, but you’d better believe that even at the nine-month mark I’m expecting that bitch to whip-up more frosting. What, your oven isn’t at shoulder height? THEN BEST FIGURE OUT A PLAN MY FRIEND. I’ve not offered to massage your colon and push your legs in-and-out to help with digestion without lusting after your Betty Crocker skill set come my 26th celebrations.
Pregnant woman also start to practise mother stuff like diplomacy and unconditional love and emotions. I see my friend do this with me. Like yesterday. I sighed once too hard and once too long as we worked in companionable silence together, and she got TOTALLY MAMA on my ass.
LOOK, she said to me. SUCK IT UP. YOU DON’T LIKE ROME- BIG DEAL. FILE IT UNDER MIDDLE CLASS WHITE GIRL PROBLEMS AND MOVE THE FUCK ON.
I was so shocked at her outburst that I felt tears prick in my eyes a bit. She doesn’t normally yell. Not at me.
THREE MONTHS. THAT’S ALL YOU’VE GOT LEFT. SO YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS AND SHUT UP MOANING IN MY FACE.
I swallowed hard.
AND YES, YOU’VE GIVEN UP SMOKING. YES, IT’S LIKE LOSING A DEAR FRIEND, AND I KNOW YOUR THROAT IS SORE AND YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING WELL AND YOU’VE GENERATED NOTHING BUT SNOT AND MISERY FOR THREE WEEKS NOW. AND I KNOW THAT ON TOP OF IT ALL YOU’RE DEALING WITH WHITNEY TOO. BUT GUESS WHAT? I’M PREGNANT. SO I WIN.
And then she punched my arm and left the room.
She text me later on that evening.
Hello darling. You don’t need to respond but I want to tell you I’m just being hard on you because I hate to see you sad and I want you to be strong and know you are awesome and that you can do it. So snap out of it and I will buy you a drink. Love, Mom.
I text back:
Are you kidding me? I was so emotional because you made me feel so loved. You only ever yell that hard when you give a shit and you gave a shit about me! This is awesome. I’M LOVED! You’re gonna be such a great mom. That unborn baby is a lucky bitch.
If eating loads and yelling at people you love is motherhood, I’m totally on board. And truly, my friend really will be a brilliant mum. She got the tough love DOWN.
I’ve got the tears on my pillow to prove it. Just kidding. About pulling myself together? She was totally right.
But then again, Mums always are.