Having A Baby DESTROYED My Relationship With My Best Friend

Photo: istock
losing a friend
Heartbreak, Self

We were BFFs. Then suddenly, we weren't.

I met Jaime on our first day of college, during freshman orientation. She was from New York, fast and funny and quick with a retort, and I was the wild Southern girl, all long vowels and purple Jesus.

We hit it off immediately. It helped that we were both pretty, but in different ways: her with the long dark curls, me with the bleach-blond corn-fed look. Guys wanted one or the other — or sometimes both, at the same time, which made us laugh and toss back another shot.

I was there for Jaime when her mother died. She comforted me when I was date-raped. We shared rooms and clothes and secrets. And after college, we went to grad school together: her in poli sci, me in English. We threw massive parties in our two-bedroom apartment and always did duo Halloween costumes: an angel and a devil, Bonnie and Clyde.

We were best friends. Everyone knew it. You rarely saw one of us without the other outside of class. Our boyfriends had to pass the test: did her boyfriend like me, and did my boyfriend like her?

Our friendship stretched off into forever, to red-hatted middle age.

Our friendship cooled a little when I met the man I’d end up marrying. We double-dated with Jaime and her man, but what were the odds we’d both meet our mate at the same time?

She eventually broke up, and I got a ring. Suddenly, I was shuttling between my fiancé and Jaime. But she stayed true-blue. We still threw parties, all of us together, and my fiancé didn’t mind. But then we got married (Jaime was the maid of honor), bought a house, and...our parties turned into election-watching feats, not drunken debauches.

Jaime and I drove around in her car, and incongruous minivan, smoking pot. “Just don’t start popping out the babies,” she said. “Give it time. And remember, nursing gives you tribal boobs.” I laughed. Nursing, we thought, gave you boobs like a National Geographic spread.

But one drunken night, my husband and I decided to give it a shot and boom: I was pregnant. Jaime pretended to be happy, but we both knew it was one more wedge between us. She joked about being an aunt.

I was super-sick and didn’t see much of her for months. When we finally got together, I waddled. She tried to conceal being appalled at what had happened to my body. I’d gone from stick-thin to burgeoning pregnant lady.

She didn’t visit us in the hospital, which I thought was strange. But she came to the house the next day. She didn’t want to hold my son — “I’ll drop him,” she said breezily — and my nursing grossed her out.

“I thought that gave you tribal boobs,” she said.

“It doesn’t,” I snapped, in all the surety of a new mother questioned.

She brought a present, an impractical giant stuffed animal. She sat and talked to me for a while, eyes scrupulously away from my breast, then split. She never came to my house again.

I only met her out, baby in a Moby wrap. But it wasn’t the same. I didn’t want to get falling down drunk and we had to go home early to get the baby down. You can’t flirt with the bartender with a baby strapped to your chest, either. And when he needed to nurse, and I bellied up to the bar and busted out the boob, Jaime looked like she wanted to sink through the floor.

“Can’t you get a sitter next time we go out?” she asked.

“No,” I said because we were attachment parents and I didn’t want to leave my son so soon.

“Or give him formula or pump or something?”

“No.”

“Oh,” was all she said.

And just like that, a decade a friendship dissolved. I was losing a friend. I couldn’t party the way I used to. Little kids grossed her out. That was that, and that was the end.

She didn’t stop taking my calls, but there was always an excuse, always a reason she couldn’t see me. She was still partying, still studying. I was staying home with a baby. We didn’t have anything in common anymore. It was over.

I still see her on Facebook. She’s still single, still traveling the world, still partying her face off. Sometimes, I’m envious. But I love my stay-at-home mom life. She’d say I’m wasting my education in it — she’s hinted as much  but that’s not my brand of feminism.

I miss her dearly. I wish we could have weathered the life change together. But it turns out Jaime was a party-down, fair-weather friend, no matter what we’d been through.

I hope one day she settles down. I hope one day she gets knocked up. Only then, I think, could we be close again. But I’m not holding my breath. I miss her. But she made her choice.

 

Author
Blogger

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor