To the Friends Who 'Show the Hell Up' When Moms Need Them Most

Becca holding Gabrielle Dunn's child
Gabrielle Dunn/Facebook

In those bleary-eyed first weeks as a new parent, a whole lot of emotions can run through you. That is why having a supportive friend/relative/partner there to throw you a lifeline (and let you know that you're not alone) can make all the difference. Gabrielle Dunn knows firsthand what that's like. She welcomed a new baby in December, and she found herself overwhelmed with all the things life with a new baby can bring. But when she penned her now-viral Facebook post on December 17, she says it wasn't the stress of new parenthood that inspired her to bare her soul -- it was the overwhelming love she felt for her best friend, who stepped in to give her a hand when she needed it most.

  • "Get you a friend that will drop what she’s doing and come to you," her post begins. 

    Because that's exactly what her friend Becca Ryan had done just hours before.

    "Becca FaceTimed me last night and could tell that I was avoiding eye contact because I had been crying," Dunn wrote.

    And make no mistake, that small but caring gesture was huge. 

    "Being a new mom is HARD," Dunn admitted. "You second guess every single thing you do. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry all the time. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m sleep deprived, overwhelmed and then add postpartum emotions. It’s A LOT."

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  • When Becca came over, Dunn admitted she wasn't in a good way. 

    "I hadn’t showered in two days, I was covered in spit up, my sweet husband was at work, working a 14-hour shift and I was just overwhelmed," she continued. 

    In other words: She needed a break; she needed help. But asking for it wasn't something she was probably going to do.

    "I have a HARD time asking for help, so I don’t," she continued in her post -- admitting something that we're willing to bet about 90% of women would cop to, as well. "But Becca just shows up to my house, takes my baby and makes me take care of myself. She held her while I showered and ate dinner."

  • That extra bit of help -- that lifesaver being thrown to her in a moment she felt she was drowning -- meant more to her than Becca could have known.

    "Sometimes the kind of love I need is this," Dunn wrote. Because being a great friend, she noted, is often "just showing the hell up, no matter how many times I say you don’t have to." 

    "Thank you, Becca for loving me and my sweet girl," she ended her post. "Thank you for letting me cry to you and thank you for making me do things for myself from time to time. Even if it’s just to take a shower and eat."

  • Since writing the post, Dunn's "love letter" to her best friend has been shared more than 61K times.

    Thousands of Facebook users tagged their own best friends in the post, using it as an opportunity to publicly thank the women who have "shown up" in their own moments of desperation.

    "You did this for me and I love you for it!" one woman wrote after tagging her friend.

    "I will always be around if you ever need to shower or cry when baby girl gets here," another reminded her BFF.

    It's perhaps no surprise the post is spreading like wildfire. Dunn's words don't just highlight the unseen challenges women face when they first become mothers; they're also a love letter to the power of female friendships.

    "I love how much women positivity this has brought and seeing how many women have a 'Becca'," one woman wrote. "I am blessed with two ["Beccas"]," she continued, before tagging and thanking her friends. "I love you girls so much and thank you for all that you are literally everyday for me!"

  • Speaking with 'Good Morning America' this week, the Glenpool, Oklahoma, mom further explained why Becca's help was so appreciated.

    "As a new mom, I was terrified, I had no idea what I was doing, or what was right or wrong," Dunn said. "My anxiety was so bad, that I didn’t want to even leave her to take a shower. Even if her own father had her! When I would take showers, I would just cry, because I was so overwhelmed with doubt and fears of 'am I doing this right?'"

    Becca told Good Morning America that during their initial call, she knew her friend "wasn't OK." 

    "I dropped everything and drove the 30 minutes to drive to her house," she recalled.

    Still, she wasn't expecting the outpouring of love she got when she later read Dunn's post.

    "I started bawling my eyes out," Becca told GMA. "All I thought was I’m so blessed to have a friend who feels this way about me just simply being a friend."