What To Do When Your Best Friend Has A Baby (& How Not To Be Annoying)

{Photo credit: Alisha Rudd Photography}

A Collaboration between Dammit, Hali and The Big Blonde Brain

My friend over at The Big Blonde Brain (a lifestyle blog by Casey Sellers) just gave birth to her first baby, and in the months leading up to her due date, she and I got very close.

We spoke on the phone nearly every day and Casey felt comfortable enough to share some pretty graphic details of her pregnancy with me. So much so that I began joking I know Casey’s body better than my own.

That’s what best friends are for, though, right? She kept telling me, “I’m not going to let you go into this blind.” Which, I really do appreciate.

Even though the impending arrival of her baby boy strengthened our friendship, I knew as we got closer to his birth, the last thing I wanted to do was be an annoyance or a burden on her following his arrival.

Now that baby Wyatt is almost three weeks new — and I feel like an expert on the subject — I have compiled a list of ways to be most helpful (and hopefully less annoying) when your best friend has a baby.

The best part is, Casey is here offering a new-mama’s point-of-view on the subject and sharing what worked, what might not have been so great, and what I might have missed.

Be Patient

Everyone loves a new baby, but you don’t have to be the first to hold it. I can’t emphasize this enough. Before Casey had Wyatt, we talked about her birth plan and her communication chain (who they would tell what and when). So, when I got the message saying Wyatt would be making his grand debut, I had to fight every urge I had to hop in my car and drive straight to the hospital. Because we had talked about it beforehand, I knew she did not want that. Therefore, I had to be patient and know that when Casey and her husband were ready for visitors, they would let my husband and I know. As excited as I was to meet this new little guy, I knew his birth was not about me. Obviously.

From The Big Blonde Brain: My biggest concern about announcing to everyone that we were going to the hospital was the idea that — strictly out of excitement — the waiting room would be flooded. My husband and I made the executive decision not to let anyone know when we went to the hospital to have Wyatt. In fact, we didn’t tell anyone until after he had been born for a few hours. I did, however, let Hali know that we were at the hospital because I am physically incapable of keeping any sort of juicy gossip from her, and this was literally the juiciest. I was having a baby! Also, it felt strange not to be giving her a play-by-play update on the status of my cervix since I had been doing that for some time now. Either way, I let her know what was going on, she freaked out, and then I didn’t hear from her again until after little man was born, which was just what I needed.


Give Her Space

Bringing a baby into the world means that every aspect of her life is changing faster than she could ever imagine. She’s going to need time and space to figure out the new mom gig. That means Casey might not text me back right away (or even in the same day) and we probably won’t talk on the phone each day like we did before. And that’s OK.

From The Big Blonde Brain: I either respond to text messages five seconds or five days later. There is no in-between. So, you can imagine adding a newborn to the mix was going to increase that time by quite a bit. Matter of fact, most days now I am lucky if I even know where my phone is. Hali is very good at sending a text — which is usually something about which Duggar sister has just given birth or which Teen Mom did something ridiculous — and then being patient with my response. It’s been great having my friends understand that life just got a whole lot busier for me.


Be There For Her

Give her the space she needs to adjust to her new life, but let her know that you’re there for her when she needs or wants to talk. A simple, “Hey, I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to make sure you’re doing OK and let you know I’m here if you need anything,” is sufficient in those first few days after your bestie has a baby.

From The Big Blonde Brain: The simplicity of the “Hey how’s it going?” text is like a breath of fresh air. My support system during these last few weeks of motherhood has been nothing short of incredible. Hali is my person I go to, to simply vent about basically anything, and while I could vent to my son, it’s just not the same. He doesn’t understand girl talk.


Mean What You Say

When I was visiting Casey in the hospital, all I could think about was how I could best help her — that’s just how my mind works. I wanted to make sure her transition from hospital to home was as smooth and stress-free as possible, so I offered to do what I know best … clean. I knew her water broke at home in the middle of the night and the last thing she probably wanted to do once she got back to her house was change and wash the sheets on her bed. Therefore, I offered to do it for her. She lives one hour away from me, but dammit, I would have gladly driven those 40-something miles to strip her bed and put clean sheets on it if that meant she would be as comfy as possible once she was home.

From The Big Blonde Brain: You know the statement, “I could call her at 3 AM, car broken down on the side of the road, and she would be there?” Well, that’s Hali. Lucky for her, I was able to take care of my amniotic fluid bed (not to be confused with a water bed) before we left for the hospital. For any besties of new moms, just knowing that I had a friend standing by ready to literally do anything I needed brought me such a sense of relief especially since my husband was a little busy at the moment.


Ask Before Visiting

This should be common knowledge, but I wanted to make sure to throw it in here. No matter how close you are with someone, you should never show up to their hospital room or house without asking first. I don’t know from personal experience, but I imagine there’s a lot of very private things that happen to a woman’s body after she has a baby. She probably doesn’t want someone barging into her space unannounced when she’s trying to get the hang of breastfeeding or bleeding out of her Depends diaper. I know I wouldn’t, at least. That’s why it’s always important to call or text before visiting to make sure the new mom and dad are ready for you, and don’t take it personal if they tell you it’s not a good time.

From The Big Blonde Brain: Hali is right, there is a lot that happens to your body after you give birth. Most of which is not anything you want anyone to get a peek at. After Wyatt was born and we had settled down a bit, we started telling all of our friends that he had arrived. Our only request was that, whether they were coming to the hospital or our home, they call before arriving. The last thing my postpartum, emotional self needed was someone showing up unannounced while I was, as my husband so tenderly put it, “milking myself” (psst … pumping; he means pumping).


Feed Her {and Tell Her She’s Pretty}

I knew Casey and her husband would have lots of visitors during the first few weeks, so I figured I would wait for some of the new-baby excitement to pass and then offer to bring them food. Two weeks after Wyatt was born, I asked Casey if my husband and I could visit and make dinner for them in their home. My husband is a wonderful cook — thank God — and was happy to whip up a meal for our friends. It was our first dinner party as a fivesome, and the day was full of laughter and firsts as we navigate our group dynamic with a newborn in tow. Plus, Casey and Tyler were able to have a home-cooked meal without actually having to cook.

From The Big Blonde Brain: Hali and her hubby came over and prepared a meal for us in our home, shrimp and grits to be exact. Yeah, her husband just whips this together like it’s nothing. Something I was a little nervous about was how our friends would react to being out in public with a newborn that could, potentially, start screaming hysterically at any given moment. I didn’t feel any sense of anxiety though at all in that moment, in fact, I only felt excited to be heading out as a family of 3 with our best friends! Some advice for friends of new moms: Understand that this is life now for your friends. We went to a festival that day and Hali was right there when I needed her — if my hubs was busy chatting or grabbing a drink — helping me hold bottles, adjust clothing … pretty much anything I needed.

Are you a new mom or the friend of a new mom? Do you have something to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

What To Do When Your Best Friend Has A Baby (and How Not To Be Annoying)

Dammit, Hali+

The Big Blonde Brain

 

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