Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Monday
Nov212005

End of an Era

Pregnant. That's what she said. Now my girlhood is flashing before my eyes like an eighties flick starring Molly Ringwald. My past blitzing the big screen, much in the way I imagine my life will when it's time to meet my maker. I'm kissing my youth and all it's frenzied spontaneity goodbye. What? Oh you sillies.. Not me! It's Natalie, my beloved, blonde, best girlfriend since elementary school.

I should have known it was coming. We bridge our two thousand mile divide with sporadic phone calls, texts and emails. When I recieved a voicemail, a text and an email all within the span of a week, I knew something was up. So I did what Monica does and I didn't call her back. Perhaps on some level I intuited her dramatic revelation. I have been dreading this announcement like the discovery of a lump in my armpit.
"How do you feel about being an Aunt?" she asked, her voice nearly vibrating with excitement. My cell nearly slipped from my suddenly sweaty palm like a freshly caught fish desperate to return to it's waterworld.
"Ooohh.." I rasp.
"So? What do you think?" she asked.
"Oh. My. God. Congratulations! How far along are you!" I squeezed out the proper responses like an aged accordian, wheezing and gasping for air in between strange bursts of noise. I managed to pant 'how exciting!' and 'are you going to find out the sex?' and of course, 'do you have morning sickness?'.. Really I am longing to curl up in a fetal position of my own and cry like a newborn. Sob over my lost youth, mourn the imminent metamorphosis about to transform one of the most important relationships in my life.

Being raised in the Mormon Capital Of The Universe, all good, god fearing girls get right to the business of procreating as early as nineteen and twenty. One by one I've said my farewells, paid my respects to the girls I stole wine coolers with, sneaked out to boyfriends houses with, the girls who helped me roll my mom's car down the driveway for a jumpstart and midnight joyriding. One moment we were shoplifting from K-Mart (c'mon, don't we all go through that phase.. No? Maybe it's just me.. And Winona, an obviously late bloomer) the next I was sitting on a couch at a baby shower, ooohing and aaaahing as breast pumps, diapers and miniature clothing were delicately plucked from predominately pink wrapping paper.

In high school there was Jennifer (accidental pregnancy, that one) then Heather and Sarah. Sunshine came next followed by Lisa, Oaklee and Marissa. Mandy hung on for longer than I could have ever hoped but finally succumbed to the call of the womb. Most recently Kim and Alison signed on for diaper duty.

I fancied Natalie and myself the last of the tribe. Tightly clinging to our soveriegn selves. We held the secret to successful mothering, I thought. We were working on ourselves before we had to selflessly sacrifice for another human being. I guess that concept went out the window when we got married, but still.

I click off my cell after promising to keep my lips locked until the big announcement.
"What's wrong?" The Surge wants to know.
"Natalie is pregnant."
"How exciting!" He catches sight of my crestfallen expression and checks himself. "It is exciting, right?"
"I guess" I mope.
"All right, what's wrong?"
I try to explain it to him. Try to articulate the wide range of emotions without sounding like a petulant child which truth be told is exactly what I feel like. I'm the ten year old whose mother just told her she can't have a sleep over at her best friend Natalie's house. The twelve year old who is crying into her pillow after a silly fight with her best friend Natalie. The fifteen year old fighting over a boy with her best friend Natalie. The eighteen year old green with envy of the fantastically devoted boyfriend of my best friend Natalie. The twenty-one year old fighting over tub scum and who ate all the grapes in the fridge of the apartment I share with my best friend Natalie. The twenty-five year old jealous of the charming new condo owned by my best friend Natalie. The twenty-seven year old worried that marriage will change my best friend Natalie. The twenty-eight year old terrified that motherhood will steal my best friend Natalie.

Everything has changed. And don't try to convince me otherwise because I know better. I've struggled to have conversations with friends who shout at toddlers more than they speak to me. Tried to make plans with friends who can't find a babysitter and even if they do they are too worried about the little one at home to entertain my desire to have five shots of Yagermeister and dance on the bar. And the photographs, my god the parade of photographs soon to clog my email not to mention the endles stories.. She'll be eagerly trying to explain the cutest face the baby made today while I'm trying to regale her with tales of drunken pub crawls through Brooklyn.

Don't get me wrong, I am simply breathless with anticipation. I will be the first one beating down the door of the delivery room, balloons in one hand and tiny, ridiculously expensive baby items from The Gap clutched in the other..My fridge will be cluttered with snapshots of the little one and I will beg for updates on a regular basis. So for now let me sulk. Let me mourn the loss of my friendship as I know it, my friend as I know her, before she's sleepless and 99% of her brain cells are monopolized by thoughts of baby.

One day I'll catch up to Natalie. We can spend hours on the phone dissecting the color and consistency of our babies' poop, the best formula brands, and who gained the most pregnancy weight. We can commiserate over cracked and leaky nipples, stretch marks and lack of sleep or a sex life.. All the while I'll shout at The Surge to turn down that goddamn cartoon I'm on the phone! Oh yeah, and too much TV is bad for the baby..

Reader Comments (10)

I love how she put it "How do you feel being an Aunt?"

I know the feeling Monica about best friends. It seems you and Natalie have been best friends like me and my friend Kim. She and I have been best friends since we were 4 years old. She's exactly 10 days younger than me. :)

I always thought when we were growing up that we'd share everything. Thought we would find love at the same time, thought we'd marry close to one another and even be pregnant around the same time. But that didn't happen. She got pregnant at 19. She wasn't married yet. She ended up getting an abortion. I thought she would want me to be there with her for support, consolation and just friendship. But she didn't want me there.

She was with me when I thought I was pregnant at the age of 18. She already had the pregnancy test waiting for me. What a big sigh of relief when it came up negative that morning.

She got married at 19. It upset me that she didn't want me there. I think we were going through something at that time. I dunno. She got pregnant soon after. Her daughter is now 12 I think. Then she had another daughter who is 5 years old now.

When I became pregnant with Sofia I called her. She sent me all her pregnancy books, she drove an hour to me to be with me. She was great.

I always hear of friends who are pregnant. A part of me is happy but sad. I've been there. But still even though I admantly say I don't want another child, I still have those feelings. How I want to be pregnant again. I loved being pregnant. It didn't matter that you got fat at the time. It doesn't matter that you ate two plate fulls of whatever then 30 mins later your pigging out on ice cream. But after giving birth, your swearing at yourself for all the extra pounds you have, the horrific stretch marks that have appeared. How depressing.

When The Surge finally met Sofia for the first time back in June when they played at the Jammin Java, he took to Sofia just like that. He kept telling me "She's so precious." I could see then Monica that he definitely would be a great dad. Especially to a daughter. She would be spoiled to death. Or a son he would have that boy playing guitar and harmonica in no time. I didn't know you, never spoke a word with you at the time. But just from your writing I know when you are ready for that you would be a great parent as well. You both certainly have a lot to give to a child in knowledge and even love. You may not think so but I can see it. I've seen it through Serge. No matter what you two go through physically or emotionally.

HA HA! Since I am subscribed to this blog Monica, I get the pleasure of seeing all your edits in my email to this. I saw the first one where you said the Wiggles! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't let the little one watch them. You will be singing "Fruit Salad YUMMY YUMMY" to yourself for the next 10 fucking years!!! Believe me I know. Ban the Wiggles early! REALLLLLLL EARLY!

Luckily Sofia is nearly 8 years old and she's starting to like real music. One of her favorites is "Pizzeria". LOL

Anyways we all go through those emotions and feelings of our girlfriends getting pregnant before we do. You want to share it with them in a sense. Thinking back I am glad I never got pregnant so young as my best friend or even married that young. I just was ass backwards and got pregnant first and still waiting on the marriage thing to happen if it happens. LOL

November 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
Every time I make a single edit you get an email? I didn't know that.. Sometimes I'll edit a slew of things after I reread what I've posted.. Grammar, mispellings etc.. You really get an email every time I do that? Eep!
November 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
I do Monica. Sometimes I don't know if you go back after a few weeks of it already being up but sometimes I will get something that I read 2 weeks before in my email. Not sure if you edited or what. But yes I do get it every time you edit it in my email. LOL It's funny sometimes though, because what you change in it. Like the Wiggles comment. When I saw that I knew I had to respond. LOL It can be annoying sometimes, but I enjoy reading what you write, think and have to say.
November 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
Fekk that! From now on I'll edit before I post.. Jesus.. someone should have said something.. That's a lot of freakin' emails, yo! I'm always rereading stuff and tweaking it for kicks.. Expecially when I get bored at work.. Apologies all.. Damn.. there are like, a hundred subscribers or something like that. How embarrassing. It's like a date caught me trying on outfits before the big night out..
November 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Ahhh don't worry about it. I probably should had something about it before. I guess I just didn't know if you had that many that subscribed. I figured it would be easier for me to subscribe, get'em in my email than checking the site out ten thousand times a day to see if you've posted something new.

Who'd thunk that I'd become addicted to reading your blog? LOL
November 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
I love babies.... :)
November 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Babies...ick!

Never felt the pull of them myself.
November 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I love you Mo. I can guarantee, as you know, that things will change but you will never loose your childhood friend. Change is good. If you are worried about having an on demand drinking buddy while you are in town, you can count on me. I always have a bottle of jager in the freezer.

I love your site. I can really feal you while reading your postings. Keep putting yourself in all that you do. You're amazing... I miss you.

Tell "the surge" hi.
November 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMano
I went through these exact feelings when my best friend got pregnant. I couldn't even talk to her for a while. It was really painful for me. I was so afraid of losing her. Since she lived 2,000 miles away from me at the time, I didn't meet her son until he was almost two. I immediately fell in love with him and he's now 11 and I still love him to pieces. Happily we now only live about 30 miles apart. And, his mom and I are as solid as we ever were.
November 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Just wait, your turn will come! Then, the only sorrow you will feel when a friend makes her announcement, is that you don't have an announcement of the same to share back! Besides, you know Greg & Nat will make the cutest of kids, I can't wait to see "it"!
December 11, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

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