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I chose this photo because it’s not us

My Friend’s Pregnancy Is Hard For Me, And Even Harder For Me To Admit

When she told me — I thought I was ready — but reading the text was a lot sharper than if she had said it out loud. The words were like bolts of reality glaring from my well-lit screen.

She met him on the night that I desperately needed to meet a guy — like the one she met — after she tossed my tipsy ass into a cab and went back inside for another round. That was when he swooped in — after following her steps to the bar.

She proceeded with caution after she found out how old he was.

I remember the weeks after when it was clear that things were escalating into something good — the doubt in her voice as she convinced me that nothing would save them from the inevitable demise of a highly-charged fling.

Almost three years later — the fling has progressed into two lovebirds — moving in together — as they nest — in anticipation 0f the baby that will arrive early next year.

The joy that grabbed me when the text appeared — quickly dimmed into a guttural stance that forced me to fight back with all my might.

But there was no way to deny the pangs of jealousy as the image of her feeding her newborn as the man in her life cradles them both — challenged me to erase her face — for my own.

When people used to query the meaning of my name — they always smiled when they discovered that it means — “good mother.” Their response would be: “I’m sure you’ll be a good mother, someday.”

These days, the questions tend to be rather direct: “Are you a mom?”, “How many kids do you have?” or “Do you have any kids?”

When I confirm my motherless status — the next treatment is the assurance that I dodged a bullet. I wish I truly felt that way, but fortunately I don’t.

Perhaps the curse of having a name that assumed more than I could deliver — did me in, or maybe motherhood just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Either way — the dilemma of accommodating my friend’s good news and finally listening to her convey it with the wild abandonment of a woman who is happy as fuck that she could conceive at forty — left me famished from the expenditure of misplaced hate.

I hated that her pregnancy was infringing on my mental trajectory.

I hated that I resented her buckets of good luck. I hate how the visions of her and her impending family — implode the darkness — as I’m sprawled on the bed — wet from sweat and the damning indicator that my body is done with me. I hate that the fantasy of us being preggers at the same time has been ruined by deficiency on my part. I hate that I’m the pathetic forty-something who despite a disciplined diet and workout routine — still falls victim to the brutal effects of what can happen when your body is simply done with you.

I hate that I more than likely will never give birth or even be able to provide and care for a kid that I didn’t give birth to.

But none of that shit is relevant when she gleefully warns me that she is texting the snapshot of the ultrasound. When the image comes through — I smile because of the irony. She has a gorgeous life swelling up her belly and I’m not sure what’s swelling mine — but I know when I find out — it won’t be so damn easy to share.

Her happiness is infectious. As I listen to her admit how nervous she was before the tests — and the sigh of relief she released when the results were positive — I’m once again the girl I recognize. I’m also relieved.

There are many months ahead and I will be there as much as I should be.

But, I can’t deny the pain of listening to someone detail what I so very much wish I could experience. When she complains about how nausea is preventing her from enjoying food — I try to cheer her up. When she vents about how much weight she’s gaining — I ask for a pic — and when she sends it — I make her feel good about why her body is no longer under her control.

I can’t ever confess how hard it is for me to be faced with her blessing when my life at the moment is so far out of reach — that I can barely stand. She can’t comprehend what it’s like to be inching closer to the team that isn’t revered for its popularity — while also holding on to dreams and aspirations that won’t ever be realized.

This isn’t my pity party. I don’t need empathy or the reminder that “life is what you make it”, or “it’s never really as bad as you think it is” or my all-time favorite — “everything happens for a reason.”

I know why I feel like shit and I also accept that a lot of what I’m dealing with can be traced to the youthful virus — that makes you believe how capable you are of never aging past — twenty-four.

Growing up is hard to do whenever friends make it even harder — by involving you in the event of their lifetime. She may be carrying extra weight, but I’m also being subjected to a similar task — except for me — there isn’t a due date.

I’m in that place that we all strive to avoid — for good reason.

We may shoot ourselves over the argument of whether or not Muhammad and Jesus would’ve gotten along back in the day — but when it comes to finding The One and multiplying — the consensus seems to rank this particular goal — as the most relevant.

Hollywood has produced its fair share of hits that prove how formidable love can be — even when the odds are packed against it. As a young girl — I grew up with the automatic persuasion towards the fantastical. Snow White, Rose Red, Cinderella, etc — they all had skin the color of snow — and yet, I still gripped the fairytale ending with authority.

I wasn’t trained to know exactly what to do — when the ending you hoped for— is reimagined through someone else’s lenses.

She misses me and wishes I could visit soon. At that moment — I’m almost grateful that she’s in New York and I’m in Los Angeles. Although, as I stare at the picture we took in South Beach — the last time we were there — I’m tossed into a healthy dose of nostalgia.

I miss her so much! I want to track her growing belly. I want to watch her waddle about as she tries to get me a glass of water — and we both laugh at how she finally has the rounded butt she always wanted. I need to help with the nursery and follow her to a doctor’s appointment.

I want to hold both hands and thank her for getting pregnant and making it hard on me — because it’s now easier for me to admit how hard it’s been.

And why.

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say!

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