Seven reactions to your first friendship group pregnancy announcement

My childhood friend just confided some very happy news. The happiest of news.

She’s the first of us to announce she’s growing a tiny human inside of her. This is big, the breaking of the watershed (or the waters?!). The first flagbearer in a pregnancy parade that I assume will define our next 20 years.

Much the same as that time when we were teenagers and we got the very last tickets to see our favourite band play locally, I reacted as follows:

This initial elation paved way to a whole array of somewhat less predictable emotions, which all battled for the spotlight at the news that my friend’s life will never be the same again. How many of them do you recognise?

1. Loyalty

Clear my schedule, I should quit my job and move nearby to be #1 babysitter. Whatever she needs I’ll be there. We’re in this together

2. Awe

Did I mention SHE’S GROWING A PERSON INSIDE OF HER?!

3. Competitiveness

Must secure status as Godparent material by knitting baby boots, posting emotional status on social media and affirming friend’s parenting capability (she truly will be a great mum).

4. Love

This child will always know they are unconditionally loved and accepted. I will do everything I can to keep them safe and happy.

5. Creativity

What role shall I carve for myself in their life? Agony Aunt, #1 role model, starter of their instagram fame… the possibilities are endless.

6. Broodiness

Ovaries I don’t care how much you’re calling to me right now, you’re not producing anything like that any time soon, ok?!

This breadth and depth of emotion for my friend was overwhelming; from the fiercely protective love to the realisation that this child will grow up in a new world, with horizons drawn in very different places than those I gazed upon as a child.

Yet these feelings pale in compassion compared with those felt by people who are faced with the daunting prospect of parenthood in a few months time.

All around the world, this happiest of news is being shared, relatives are making a space among the family photos and all sorts of futures are being imagined for these tiny humans-to-be.

Though in certain places, places like rural Malawi, this happy news might come shadowed with concern. Most women will already know someone who has lost her life giving birth. I’ve met the friends who were left behind. I’ve heard how their birth stories ended in tragedy.

Maybe this is why when the emotions started to settle my final reaction wasn’t one I would have expected…

7. Solidarity

It’s time to do my bit. Twinning my friend’s pregnancy links her up to her ‘twin’, a mum at risk of complications in childbirth. It gives her twin a better chance of writing a different birth story, with a happier ending.

All around the world people are sharing this happiest of news. Wherever that is, we truly are all in this together.

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