At this very moment, a girl I’ve known since first grade is in the hospital, waiting for her baby to be born. Two weeks before her due date, her labour is being induced because of minor complications. And I am nervous as hell.
There is absolutely 100% no doubt in my mind that everything will be okay. She is strong and healthy and the complications are very minor. But since finding out about her being induced a few days ago, I have had butterflies in my stomach.
As it turns out, we are pretty different people. We met in first grade. She had a boyfriend back when I still thought boys were icky (which, admittedly, was pretty late into high school). She started working for a company in university (oh man that’s a while back), and continues to work for them today, having been promoted time and time again. She bought a car. She met her now husband while we were in university too (I may actually have to check Facebook to confirm the timing of this). A few years later they bought a house and got married. And now, of course, they are having their first child. I, on the other hand, am really excited about my new corduroy pants and my half-stove. This is how our lives differ.
Over the years we have grown apart – I hadn’t spoken to her in a few months and didn’t even know she was pregnant until she was 29 weeks along. I’m sad that we’ve grown apart, but I can also understand how and why it happened. We live in different cities, we are at very different places in our lives, our work habits and schedules are different, and I am not the poster child for keeping in contact with people.
And yet, I am anxious about today. She is going to be a phenomenal mom. She is smart and will be an amazing role model for her child. Her husband is equally amazing and her family equally amazing and close by. I know this child will always be surrounded by loving, caring people. I am so proud of her for achieving everything that she has.
So why am I so nervous? First of all, that’s probably a natural human reaction under the circumstances. Also the idea of imagining a friend in pain (for whatever reason) is difficult to deal with. She is also the first of my friends (my own age) to have a child – and that’s a scary, grown up thing to happen to a person.
She’s a MOM now. That’s a world-changing word. There’s a tiny human being that will depend on her for absolutely everything. The same person I’ve known for twenty years will still be in there, but she’ll also have this new descriptor, a new role in life. Her whole life will now revolve around this mini-her.
This is also a reminder that we are a such different spots in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy where I am in my life and completely, 100% unready for everything that she has. She has always moved through the stages of life a little swifter and more smoothly than I have (although I wore a bra first, so that’s my claim to fame).
I also have a fear that we will have even less in common now. She will of course continue to do the things she loves to do, but she will also attend mommy and me, and change diapers, and start looking at day cares (I guess? I’m not super familiar with parenthood). I will still be partly-employed and doing weird and wonderful challenges, and I won’t have a way to connect over the new things in her life. Will we grow further apart and see each other even less? Or will it be a reason to visit more and reconnect? Hopefully the latter.
So, all day, I’ve been checking my phone and refreshing my Facebook feed, in the hopes of getting a peak at a picture of a new baby, or getting a progress report. I’m pretty much an obsessed person, and I’m alright with it. After all, she’s paving the way for the rest of us.
Update: Mom and baby are both happy and healthy.