“What?!?” I scream-typed back in a text.
“I’m pregnant!” she responded again, as if we had different English teachers growing up and I was now somehow unable to read.
“I AM SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS AND WHY ARE WE STILL TEXTING?”
Three seconds later I heard her laugh as she picked up the phone. After 33 years, no “hello?” is necessary when we call.
One of my life-long best friends is finally pregnant. She was the smart one of the rest of us and waited to get married until she was thirty-five. I think that’s right. Since I feel about a thousand years old right now, I cannot remember how old she actually was but it was roughly seven or eight years ago. The only other thing I quasi-remember is that I wore a horrible dress to her wedding and she came to both of mine. Even Steven.
“Yeah. We are thrilled. But I’m scared. I have NO idea what to do,” she admitted out of the gate.
That makes two of us in the parenting realm, I thought. “Ok, well, get the vitamins, some Ritz, 7-Up, and the obligatory books STAT,” I advised, ever the ready at the helping helm. “And seriously? Between Chels and me? No worries. We got this.”
Chels had both her kids without an epidural. I had wanted to, but after I got to 8cm dilated, a SWAT team and Liv’s Dad had to pry the bathroom door open where I had barricaded myself in and was hanging on to the handicap rails, squatting like I was in a gas station, trying to give birth on my own. Apparently that rendered me in trouble so my wishes for completing the task in isolation were overlooked amidst the confusion.
I continued to reassure her with the minor details. “We can tell you the difference between so many things, like breast-feeding or not, a natural birth vs. having an epidural, oh and also I don’t think she had to have an episiotomy either.”
“What’s that?” she asked, her voice telling me I needed to shut up 5 minutes ago.
“Oh nothing, let’s talk about it ALL in person because you know Chels and I are totally having a baby shower for you!”
We said our goodbyes and I wondered if I still remembered everything, especially how to throw a party right now.
The entire time I was on the phone with her feigning loud enthusiasm, my heart was breaking. Trying to hold back tears, I listened to her tell me how she was going to decorate the nursery, go shopping with her Mom, pick out necessities, and buy teeny-tiny baby clothes. It was the clothes that threw me into hysterics. I pushed MUTE on my phone and started walking in circles.
At some point during our conversation I had been folding Liv’s clothes and habitually placed them in the spot in the hallway which signify two things to her: she has to put them away and I love her.
“Are you still there?” I vaguely remember my almost 43-year-old BFF asking, interrupting her nursery decorating harangue.
I had no idea how to answer.