When it came to postpartum life, it's safe to say I was barely prepared for any of it. Sure, I learned how to get my baby in his infant carseat, breastfeed (kind of), and change the tiniest diaper I had ever seen, but so much of those first few post-baby months were brand new territory. So, I honestly shouldn't have been surprised when I wasn't prepared for that first post-baby BFF hangout, either. I'll just add it to an already overwhelming list of things I didn't have a damn clue about.
My best friend is more than just a friend, but a sister born in a different state and to a different family. We joke that she's actually my soulmate, and the father of my child and romantic partner is just some guy I have decided to live my life with. She is my "person," the one who has known and seen me through the highest of highs and the lowest, most painful of lows. So, honestly, I was a little worried that doing something as life-changing as having a baby would change our relationship in some way. What if we no longer had anything in common? What if she resented me for becoming a mom, when she never had plans to do the same? What if our lives just went in drastically different directions, and it would no longer make sense for us to be friends anymore?
It's impossible to know how a baby will affect your relationships until, you know, you have a baby. Thankfully, all of my worries proved to be unnecessary when I sat across from my BFF for the first time since having a baby. Instead of seeing my worst fears realized, I felt the following:
How Relieved I Would Feel
How Much I Would Miss The "Old Me"
It's funny the way change can just kind of creep up on you. In fact, even when it's obvious (like suddenly having a baby who completely depends on you), the way you morph to meet those changes head-on is usually subtle. I didn't really realize how much pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum life had altered me, until I sat across from the person who has known me through every up and down. My BFF has always been a mirror of sorts, showing and reminding me of who I really am. During that first post-baby visit, she showed me someone I didn't necessarily recognize, and I found myself missing the person I was before my son was born.
How Much I Would Miss My Baby
There I was, excited to get away from the kid only to miss him immensely all of 3.5562 seconds later. Mom life is weird, you guys. The moment you get something you think you absolutely need, you just don't want it anymore.
How Different I Would Feel
Even when I was pregnant and spending time with my BFF, I never felt like a "mom." I was just me, growing another human being like it was no big deal. I didn't really talk about "mom stuff" or "baby stuff" or anything other than what I would typically talk about on any given day, prior to, you know, the whole making-a-baby-in-my-belly thing.
However, that first post-baby hangout with my BFF made me feel awkward. I was catching myself talking about my son and breastfeeding and childbirth. I realized how tired I was, and how much I really didn't care for being out at a bar, even if it was with my BFF. I was obviously different, even if those differences didn't seem significant.
How Engaged My BFF Was In My Baby's Life
While my BFF is literally my soulmate and a wonderful human being, I would be lying if I said I wasn't kind of worried she would low-key resent me for having a kid. It was such a drastic life change, and I was determined not to allow procreation to put a strain on our friendship.
Yeah, that was ridiculous. She loves my son like the aunt she really is, and was quick to ask me a boatload of questions about his life. She truly loved him, because she loves me.
How Quickly That First Cocktail Would Hit Me
Yikes. So, um, the whole not-drinking-for-40-something-weeks thing took a toll. I could not drink like I did pre-pregnancy, so damn. Let's just say I was a very cheap date.
How Anxious I Would Feel To Get Home...
It's not that I didn't want to be with my best friend, it's just that I was pretty damn uncomfortable being away from my son. It was the first time I had spent a significant amount of time without him by my side, and it felt odd. I was out of an element I wasn't entirely used to yet, to be sure, but I was ready to get back home and hold my baby.
...But How Much I Wanted To Stay Out All Night
Then again, I knew that going home meant breastfeeding and co-sleeping and diaper changes and spit up and poop and more spit up and even more poop and no sleep. It meant talking to a newborn, where the conversations are definitely one-sided. It meant an immense amount of pressure and responsibility.
So, yeah, I kind of didn't want to go home, too.
How Divided I Would Feel
I was happy to be with my BFF but I missed my baby. I wanted to go home but I wanted to stay out until the bar literally kicked me out. I wanted to feel like the "old me" but I was so happy to be a mom.
Talk about confusing. I had no idea that a simple meet up with my person would result in so many feelings.
How Peace I Would Be With All This Overwhelming Change
Maybe it was that cocktail. Maybe it was the ever-calming presence of my best friend. Maybe it was just that I had grown accustomed to always feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing, now that I'm a mom. Either way, I was so surprised to be OK with feeling so many different things simultaneously. This was life now, and it was exhausting and perplexing and difficult and beautiful and overwhelming and joyful and everything life should be.
In that moment, sitting across from my best friend with a happy, healthy baby back at home, I knew I was lucky. So very, very lucky.