16: The Pregnant Gals

16: The Pregnant Gals

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

The Pregnant Gals

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

~Rod McKuen

I babysat when I was a teenager to make money to spend at the mall. But it was more of the “feed the kids, plop them in front of cartoons, and set the clocks ahead one hour to put them to bed early so I could chat all night on the phone with my girlfriends” kind of babysitting. Not the kind of babysitting that requires Early Childhood Education units, CPR training, and age appropriate play projects that today’s parents look for when choosing a babysitter.

Fast forward to age thirty-nine and pregnant. I didn’t know anything about pregnancy, let alone raising a child. My whole life, I’d been a career woman. I used my education, time, and expertise on work, not children. I could whip up a project in no time flat. Projections, spreadsheets, reports, marketing, retail, and customer retention came quickly and easily to me. Going through pregnancy and raising a child did not.

Where on earth could I get a crash course on pregnancy and child rearing? What I needed was CliffsNotes, if you will, on everything I needed to know, and the stuff I didn’t really want to know, but probably should. Of course, I went to the Internet.

I searched for pregnant women in my area who might like to get together. Nothing. I thought briefly of going to the local parks to look for pregnant women to ask if they wanted to hang out. Creepy. I thought how nice it would be to have a site, much like a professional matchmaking site, which would put fun groups of like-minded women together. A little more searching and I found the perfect one!

I typed in my zip code and found… nothing! So, I started my own group. I called it the Pregnant Gals. I touted it as a group for pregnant women to get together to share education and information, talk, laugh, cry (hormones, you know) and drink coffee (decaf, of course). Within the first week, I had twelve members!

In the beginning, we got together every week and shared our experiences. We took our ever-expanding bellies for long walks on the beach, drank decaf for hours at the local coffee bar, and tried the new hot restaurants downtown. Boy were we a sight! People commented often. We got everything from, “How sweet. Reminds me of when I was pregnant,” to “Honey, I’m sure glad I’m too old to be in your club!”

We swapped stories about baby names, anxiety, weight gain, nursery colors, in-laws, and birth plans. Having such deep topics to discuss bonded us together faster and deeper than I’ve ever bonded with any other women.

As we approached our due dates, some girls began to drop out of the Pregnant Gals club to deliver their babies. Amazingly, we all delivered within six weeks of each other.

A couple of the Gals moved away, some we never heard from again, but six of us still remain extremely close. We see each other at least once a week, sometimes more. Our husbands get along with each other, so we expanded our group to the guys as well. We babysit and grocery shop for each other. We have lots of play dates with our little ones. We go wine tasting, and even manage a group date night once a week. We now call ourselves the Not-So-Pregnant Gals.

I love my new life. Lunch dates have turned to play dates. Morning meetings have been replaced with morning feedings. I no longer whip up projects; I whip up eggs and oatmeal. I love that I now know how to do all of these things, and I love that I was able to learn all these things from such wonderful women.

~Crescent LoMonaco

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