A woman's best friend

One of my very best girlfriends, Shannon, is pregnant with her first, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect--for me. Understand that I know almost nothing about babies except for a general idea about where they originate. These scant facts, notwithstanding, I’d almost prefer to believe the stork just drops the new bundle off to his or her expectant parents.

Having never been (or had many close friends who were) pregnant, I wasn’t motivated to research the subject. Ignorance was bliss until the day came when I walked in on my sister breastfeeding. The sight of her raw nipples convinced me that child bearing was entirely overrated. From that point forward, I decided to be content in my role as the nieces’ favorite aunt—that is, just as soon as the children could say “Gucci,” and not a day before.

Being a “barren” woman, as my father referred to me, had its advantages. Despite my parents’ pleas for grandchildren, I remained steadfast and never felt conflicted about whether to have children of my own. Choosing to believe my self-indulgent lifestyle was really more self-actuating than it was selfish, I thought I had it all figured out.

Then, Max entered the picture, and all my certainty about having children went the way of the stork.

When it comes to child birth and rearing, I have nothing but questions--especially now that I see a baby in my future. So when Shannon announced her pregnancy, I received the news with more than the usual joy and interest.

“You need to keep me informed. I want to know all the gory details.” I told her.

Shannon was a candid guide through her first trimester, sharing personal experiences, as well as tidbits from all the maternity books she read. She even offered to put the books aside for me, but I passed in the hopes of finding a Cliff Notes versions. Still, I appreciate her efforts. Over the last few months, she has tolerated my idiocy and answered the silliest questions. My trusted friend has assured me all the inconvenience and sacrifice associated with pregnancy is worth it.

And she almost had me convinced, until the day we went shopping for her new, maternity wardrobe at the Gap.

“You mean to tell me all the pants have elastic waistbands?” I asked incredulously.

“Trust me, darling,” Shannon replied in a soft, southern, drawl. “When you’re pregnant, elastic is a woman’s best friend.”

I was mortified. It was hard enough to accept weight gain as a precondition for pregnancy. Did I really have to go 9 nine months as a fashion faux pas, too? It hardly seemed fair that, especially after the obligatory baby shower, my child would enter the world better dressed than me.

Perhaps it was that sixth sense of motherhood kicking in early, but Shannon seemed to read my mind. Ignoring my outburst, she grabbed a few outfits, headed to the fitting, and left me alone to hyperventilate like a woman who needed to practice her patterned breathing exercises.

A few minutes later, she emerged looking like the cover model for a maternity catalog. I wouldn’t have known those demi-panel jeans had even a hint of elastic.

“How do I look?” Shannon asked, her hands resting at a slightly noticeable midsection.

And suddenly, I saw beauty--not only in the physical manifestation of my friend’s pregnancy, but also in the miracle of life that she had the privilege of helping to bring forth.

“You look great… really great.” Elastic or no elastic, I meant every word.


kenju said...

A lovely tribute to pregnancy, Diane!

As you get older, say about the time you reach 60, you will come to love elastic waistbands - trust me on that! LOL

David said...

Sounds like ya'll had a great shopping trip!!

utenzi said...

LOL Just wait until that hammer drops on you, Diane. I just can imagine the rearing that child will have with you and Max guiding the way.

Suvii said...

Diane, if someday you decide that you want to embark on the rollercoaster adventure that is motherhood, you will discover that it can be the most wonderful thing that ever happens to you! Elastic waistband, kankles, heartburn, cravings and all the other "fun" stuff that comes with pregnancy are just faint memories once you hold that little person. Great post!

egan said...

Yeah, elastic pants are a savior when pregnant... or so I hear from my wife. It's one of the many very interesting aspects of pregnancy. Like you stated, I happen to think they can look pretty. You should ask your friend about maternity bras and undies.