Your Best Friend’s Pregnant: Here’s How It’s Going To Change Your Friendship

How not to be a dick when two become three

Your Best Friend’s Pregnant: Here’s How It’s Going To Change Your Friendship

by Nell Frizzell |
Published on

Earlier this year I stood in the middle of Bold Street, Liverpool, tears pouring down my face, as I waved goodbye to my best friend.

She wasn’t really going anywhere. Nor was I. But we both knew that the next time I saw her, she would be somebody’s mother. And so, in some fundamental way, we were saying goodbye to a life we’d shared for the last 15 years. At least, I think that was what happened – she might have just been crying because her body was flooded with hormones and she really needed a piss. Maybe I should ask her.

When a good friend – a so-close-you-feel-you-grew-out-of-her-spare-rib friend – becomes pregnant it is, of course, a Big Thing. It may be a cause for celebration, if they’re celebrating. It may be a time for support, if they aren’t keeping the baby. It may be a time for help if they’re trying to decide if they want to be a mother. It may be a cause for your own sadness if you’ve lost a baby or can’t have children.

But even if they’re keeping the baby and you’re happy for them, it can be a tricky time. For both of you. You don’t want to be selfish, but you may feel just a little unsettled by the idea that you’ll never again be the most important person in someone’s life. Even if you recognised at the time how lucky you were to be so.

You may feel hard done-by at the idea of losing a drinking buddy for a couple of months. You might be irritated that they’ve beaten you to it. You might be angry that you’ll have to start smoking outside or that they’re going to give up their job.

It’s also, obviously, hard for them too. Their life is about to undergo a hugely significant transformation and they need their friends around them more than ever. They need people to talk to, people to reassure them that they’ll be OK and, in a couple of months, people to help them take off their shoes.

There are some almost-universal no-nos when your friend tells you she’s pregnant. As the comedian Cal Wilson says, there aren’t many expecting mothers who want to hear: ‘You’re enormous. That baby must be huge. And you know that’s got to come out your vagina?’ Similarly, ‘Oh god, who am I going to get drunk with now?!’ isn’t great, either. The actor and comedian Sara Pascoe advises against the trusty, ‘You know you’ll poo yourself when it comes out,’ while TV producer Ahrani Logan warns against, ‘Your hips are too small to push out a human.’

Asking someone if it was planned is the same as asking them to tell you what contraception they’re using. Asking who the father is depends, quite a lot, on the circumstances and their sense of humour. Asking them if they’re keeping it may result in a difficult question (but one they might want to have), while Julie Ballard on Twitter could probably have done without ‘Pregnancy's like running a marathon. Giving birth's like being hit by a truck after the marathon.’

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous for reasons that will hopefully become clear, told me: ‘Babies are quite boring for people who don’t have babies. I had a finite amount of interest during the pregnancy, but I really need to get back to chatting about other things as well. How about 60% baby talk, 10% politics, 10% bitching about relationships, 10% culture, 10% jobs? Rather than just talking about how the other mums at the NCT class are really annoying.’

Pregnancy also, she noticed, may bring into stark relief just how little you and your friend actually have in common when you’re not pissed. As she puts it, ‘A friend’s Tory leanings start to really grate when you’re just out for a cuppa instead of off your face in some bar in Dalston, stroking each other’s face.’ Well, quite.

But, while those nine non-drinking months may put a strain on some friendships, for others it can bring you closer together. As something of an early riser, I loved that I now had a friend who wanted to leave the warehouse party at 11pm. I liked that there was always someone able to drive if we needed it. I loved watching my friend’s body transform and grow, and was excited beyond words to see her slowly prepare for motherhood.

She’s now had the baby, of course. That’s the way these things tend to play out. And I can honestly say that I have never loved anything the way I love that baby. He’s funny. He’s tough. He loves people, smiles at my jokes (wind), eats more often than I do and has a great collection of dungarees. He’s the best of both his parents and, considering that one of those parents is one of greatest women I’ve ever met, that means an awful lot.

So, sure, your friend is pregnant. Things are going to change. But play it right and this might also be the start of an awfully big adventure.

Like this? Then you may be interested in:

Things You Only Know If Your Younger Sisters Have Babies Before You

14 Things Every British Woman Should Know About Having An Abortion

How Not To Be A Dick When Your Friends A Recovering Alcoholic

Follow Nell on Twitter: @NellFrizzell

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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