I think I already mentioned that my husband and I had tried for several months before becoming pregnant…
My husband is older and we knew that we wanted children right away so the soon the better for us.
Several months added up to about 60 ovulation tests, dozens of pregnancy tests, frantic researching, 3 books and about 2 million texts to my small circle of girlfriends who, by the end of everything, knew the moment I ovulated before even my husband. Seriously, the night I got pregnant I group texted my girlfriends before waking up my husband to get busy…
Trying to conceive, even for the limited amount of time I worked at it, was stressful and scary and without my girlfriends I don’t know how I would have shouldered it alone. While I was thankful to have them I also knew that they really didn’t need to be involved in the process as much as they were and I was thankful that they put up with my daily ovualtion strip photos. But, at some point you really need to find people that are going through the same thing as you are.
A girlfriend of mine recommended Reddit to me as I was trying to conceive. I originally thought that Reddit was a place for men who don’t get laid to bitch about a flaw in a star trek plot or something, a place where the word “n00b” was invented. I really didn’t think I had any place in this online corner of the world. Being a social media addict though, I was curious. I created an account and started searching for groups I was interested in. I started light: pup pictures, chihuahua lover groups, Taylor Swift fans, the basics. One day during an emotionally difficult time in my quest for baby I typed in simply “trying for a baby” suddenly I was surrounded by women all over the world going through the same struggles as me! Some were YEARS in and a little bitter, some were days or weeks in, but everyone there was there for the same reason:
We wanted a baby of our own…
After a month or so I was well versed in the reddit world, I joined “subreddits” or various groups that spawned off of original groups. Groups about trying for a baby that only posted sarcastic gifs, groups about already having a baby, groups where you just posted pictures of your ovulation sticks, labor groups…you name it! I learned about different techniques, instruments and language to use; like DH (darling husband) or TTC (trying to conceive).
Every Sunday there would be a big thread on one of the groups where, if you got your positive pregnancy test, you would post your story. Every Sunday I would look forward to this thread and read about how these women got pregnant, what they did and mostly just watched the excitement they had. Until, one day in September it was finally my time to share my story!
As much as my close friends and family members were there for me and encouraging. Theres just something about a group of ladies going through exactly what you are going through. People who get how hard the struggle is and instead of telling you “relax it will happen” address your concerns and understand what its like to walk in your shoes.
Immediately after I got pregnant I was asked to join a smaller group of ladies that had come from the same “trying to conceive” group and were due around May like I was. I had finally found my sisterhood! These girls came from all over the world, had the same excitement, fears and sass that I did and it was so refreshing to find a group that I could go through this stage of my life alongside.
Eventually this Reddit group created a secret Facebook group, a little smaller and more personal as we could actually SEE who we were talking to. As the days ticked by we lost several members due to miscarriage and various other things beyond their control. We were there for each other though the heartbreak and the pain. At one point a member lost her sweet twins. Our group rallied around this woman we never met, we raised $1,000 between us to send to her as a gift for her to ease any financial pain that this experience had caused her. in essence we became, and continue to be, a family.
Now with all these pregnant, hormonal women I can honestly say there has been no cattiness, no infighting. We all come from different places, different backgrounds and we all get along wonderfully, which I think in this day and age is very very rare. When its all boiled down we straight up respect each other.
From this group I’ve gotten the confidence to really put myself out there and get to know other people. Both online and in person. I have joined a mothers group in SF where we have monthly brunches, I’ve joined other various groups of people in my area and gotten to know people in my own neighborhood expecting.
The most important thing when going through pregnancy is not feeling alone.
I feel so blessed in my world that I have so many women who are going through what I am going through that I can talk about the hard stuff with. Pregnancy is NOT a glamorous thing, it’s not a shiny instagram post where a woman with tiny arms and legs and a beautiful round bump surrounded by a forest with a wreathe of flowers upon her head…Pregnancy is rough, its emotional, its stretch marks, constipation, its doctors telling you that something is not right, its blood work, and swollen ankles. To be able to find a community to not only share these deeply personal times with but to also thrive with is the most important thing in the entire world. Your partner, friends and family can only do so much. I now have a posse of women! we snapchat daily, check in on each other, keep tabs on each other and are genuinely there for one another 24/7. We even started a group for our husbands and partners to be a part of so now they have their very own “Dad’s” group to connect with.
So thank you internet, thank you for bringing wonderful, strong, beautiful, smart ladies into my life. I don’t know what I would do without them.