I touched a little in my last post about the fact I am a member of a birth group. I am a member of a few little groups and a few parenting ones. And I feel that sometimes they get some bad rep and I don’t really feel it’s justified.
When I first found out I was pregnant I popped on to BabyCentre, as I knew a friend had done a few years before. I was able to chat with other mamas who had just found out they were pregnant too, and we were able to chat about similar things and concerns that we had. From worrying twinges that had us in panic mode at 3am to sharing tips on how to keep the morning sickness at bay, I found a community of women who I could confide in.
This then led to a Facebook group being created, where those of us who wanted to could talk away, share bump photos and our day-to-day concerns. We unfortunately lost some mamas and bumps along the way, however we became a little group of friends who relied on each other. I would spend hours upon hours each night laying there with heartburn and would have so many questions about the massive unknown that was before me, and some of the mamas had already had children and I found their knowledge invaluable.
We were a February birth board, (Evie was due late January and everyone thought I would go over, so I psyched myself up for the long haul) however Christmas came and some of our naughtier monkeys started coming a tad earlier, including Evie. These mamas were there when I was taken in to hospital with reduced movements on Christmas night. They were there with me as I lay there, scared and alone on a side ward waiting to find out if I was being induced the next day. My mom and Matt had to go home, and all I could hear was crying newborns around me whilst I lay there panicking if my baby was ok. They reassured me, talked with me and kept me calm. And when Evie was finally born I could sense the relief and happiness from these women who had genuinely grown to care for Evie, and me, as I cared for them too. They helped me when she was treated for jaundice and was under the lights in her little fish tank. Told me their stories about their older kiddies who had to do the same and how they were fine, quicker than I’d realise.
Over the next few months the babies were all born, and each birth announcement was just as exciting as the last. Finally all of our babies were here and it was wonderful. It was like having 24-hour access to a fountain of knowledge that I never even imagined I could have.
Of course there were a few tiffs, there is always going to be when you have that many women on a forum all together. Though I think we are at a point now where we all agree to disagree when it comes to some of the tougher subjects.
We have been through so much together, marriage issues, illnesses, loosing jobs and even deaths. We have been there sending love for when one of us need it the most, we have helped each other out when times are hard and when some of us have hit our rock bottom. I know these ladies have been there for me when I have needed them the most, when my depression was at it worst and when my mom was ill. They were my safe place, where I could rant and rave and they supported me no end.
I was lucky enough to meet a load of them this year. I have met a few over the years, however this was something different. We had a large meet up, just us moms. We took over Manchester and had the most amazing time ever. It was so brilliant being able to meet all these fantastic people who I had spoken to over the years, from every corner of the UK. We had mama’s from Wales, Scotland and even Ireland come over for a weekend celebrating just us. I can’t even put into words have absolutely fantastic it was, or how much I enjoyed myself. These are women that I have been speaking to for over 4 years, from the moment I knew I was pregnant, and there we were, meeting each other finally.
I was worried it would be awkward, meeting in the flesh. Worried they would think I was super different to how I was online. That they wouldn’t recognise me or would find me boring. However it was so good, I was able to let my hair down with other women who knew exactly how it felt to be a mama to a 3 year old right now! It was like I had known them all my life, and it was truly the night off I so needed.
I don’t think I would be the type of parent I am today without their influence. They have taught me things I would have never known about parenting, keep me calm when I am being irrational. They are a safe space to talk about embarrassing, emotional and silly problems and they care so very much. They really are amazing.
So to my Flabbers, past and present, this one is for you. Thank you ladies.
Until next time …