I've never been a girly girl. I don't make friends easily - oddly I have managed to remain friends with all my exes (the non-abusive ones). So, when an awkward, yet joyfully fulfilling friendship unexpectedly snuck up on me I was cautious. After all, I had been bitch-slapped by every attempt at female friendship since a certain crimp-haired, denim skirted gal left me in second grade when her family moved to the deep south.
Slowly, I allowed myself to trust that this girl did in fact care about me and wasn't just humoring me as I rambled endlessly. It was freeing - somehow I had become one of those girls who had private jokes, who I felt safe with and eventually, I could reveal my deepest secrets to... which is how it came to be that we discussed our feelings on babydom (as in the having-of). I've always felt breeding is not a public conversation - it is not acceptable to ask people when (or if) they intend to "try". We had both been married for several years, so people expected we might be weighing our options... and we were. It was liberating to hear she also found the thought of babies completely terrifying and I understood when she told me she wasn't sure she would ever be able to make such a difficult decision, so her decision was not to "start tyring" but the "stop preventing".
It hit me pretty hard when she told me she was pregnant, but I resolved myself to the fact that our relationship would change and that adding a baby to the mix did not mean I was losing her. I threw myself into letting her know I was there for her. I threw her a surprise shower, gave her little gifts, I stifled my anxiety/detrimentally low self-esteem and attended her official shower. On the day she was induced I worried myself almost to illness while perpetually texting her husband and then afterwards rushed over to meet my lil faux-niece.
It was wonderful, and peaceful. That infant was the only baby who has ever swayed me towards potential babydom... and then the anticipated changed began.
When I lost almost entire contact with her I began spending more time with my husband and some other friends. I recognized that she was sleep deprived and hormonal so I tried to understand when she essentially accused me of replacing her with those other friends. I explained I'd simply been spending time with them and thought the matter closed.
If only. That little one is now 10 months old and our friendship is over. Bit by bit she pushed me away with her unwavering faith in the fact I had replaced her until I was accused of causing drama at a high decibel level while I cried as I admitted to my newfound dependency on anti-anxiety meds to prevent panic attacks. Later, as I sobbed/sang I Dreamed a Dream in the shower, I realized that adorable little cherub had turned her into someone who caused me pain. Well, I learned something here, having a baby doesn't change everyone for the best - which makes the prospect of children completely unpalatable. Some things just aren't worth the risk.