“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.
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.

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