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Do I Tell My Pregnant Friend the Truth?

One of my best friends is seven months pregnant, and when I’m not being genuinely excited for her and all things new motherhood and new baby, I’m staring at her belly wondering how to keep the real deal about what her next few months are going to look like to myself. I’m also chanting to myself NEVER AGAIN. NEVER. AGAIN.

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The good news is that “never again” will undoubtedly be the case, chant or no chant. I’m way past baby making prime, I have two kids already and I am currently separated. I look at pregnant women now and think how the hell did I do that? Supporting a friend through her first pregnancy makes the whole thing look so overwhelming. And while I had the world's easiest pregnancy, there is nothing like those last few weeks when you are just “so over it already” to quote every single pregnant friend I’ve ever known. Every mom is telling her how amazing it all is, but what if I told her the truth, the real truth, that it only gets harder from here on out?

I loved being pregnant more than anyone I know. Especially the first time. I felt amazing, was never sick, exercised daily, didn’t get even a little stretch mark and the weight came off without a hitch within six months. I had a pre-planned easy C-section (due to my bilateral hip replacements), and everything went as smooth as can be. I was happy and high as a kite postpartum, in love with my new baby and my new mom life, and everything was awesome. The second pregnancy was equally drama free, but I was a little more over it, a lot earlier that time around. I was bigger sooner and more uncomfortable with it, and couldn’t wait to be on the other side. Even for the happy-happy-joy-joy pregnant mama, there is no denying that carrying a baby, birthing it and figuring out how to keep the little being alive can be the hardest, scariest and most challenging thing a woman can do.

Everyone talks about swollen feet, hands and ankles, but no one talks about what the heck is up with the giant vajayjay.

Part of me wants to tell her it’s really going to start to suck soon, that sleeping becomes almost impossible and that you may wake up with a burst of scars around your boobs that may, or may not go away. Ditto some lovely varicose veins. Everyone talks about swollen feet, hands and ankles but no one talks about what the heck is up with the giant vajayjay. The pressure down there becomes so intense those last few weeks, its feels like the baby might fall out any minute. OK, enough moaning and groaning about the physical woes, we’re bringing life into world, right? All that stuff is (mostly) temporary. And on the other side will be a beautiful, bouncing, burping bundle of joy! But even if I was 30, you wouldn’t catch me making another baby.

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Forget the giant question mark of the birthing process. It’s those first few hours after delivery: the excitement, awe and shock and the knowledge that this little being is all yours, and it wants and needs nothing more than your breast warmth and love to survive—that’s the real doozy. Now that my kids are older I realize how much I take for granted. Even though they can run to the fridge and grab a cheese stick as a snack instead of me having to get up and do it, they are still just as dependent. Their whole existence depends on my providing for them. And there is no room to mess up. In other words, my dear friend will never catch a break from here on out. Should I tell her?

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