I know I said pregnancy felt lonely and isolated sometimes. But other times, my pregnancy was something I shared with the various communities of which I am part. I found many support systems: other pregnant women, new moms or moms who were around my age, new dads, doctor friends, supportive colleagues and friends.
One of the most useful was my Preggy/Mommy Talks chat group. Din, wife to our friend and fellow geek Beej, got pregnant in October of 2015. My sister-in-law announced her pregnancy in November (or was it December?) of 2015. And my friend Shey found out she was pregnant in January this year. The three of them set up a chat group on Facebook to share their pregnancy questions, woe, rants and exuberations. As soon as Ate Hazel found out I was pregnant too, she wanted to add me to the thread!
It was in May 2016 when we announced that we were expecting. We were at the wedding of geek friends Mark and MR, and we figured it was a good time to tell friends in person that we had a little bun in the oven. As soon as Beej found out, he told Din, and I was added to the thread post-haste!
Each pregnancy is different, and each woman feels differently about her pregnancy. And the four of us are very different women! Ate Hazel had a high-risk pregnancy, and like us, it took them quite a while to conceive. Early in her pregnancy, they knew she had to give birth via scheduled CS. Shey and Din got pregnant within a year of getting married. Both gave birth via emergency CS after many hours of difficult labor. And all three women had girls!
Throughout the months of our overlapping pregnancies, we learned so much from each other. Our OBs gave different advice. We had varying hospital experiences. Even if we all had cesarean births, our recovery experiences were different too.
I think I gained the most from the thread, being the last in the group to give birth. I learned what essentials to pack for the hospital, for myself and my baby. From observing Ate Hazel and Ron in the hospital, I knew what else we needed that the baby blogs didn’t list. From their stories about the first few weeks, I had an idea of what to expect.
I also inherited stuff! Clothes for me and Lucas, diapers (also for me and Lucas, haha), a belly support band (such a lifesaver).
Now, as I deal with my newborn, I still turn to them. Should I wake Lucas to feed? What happens at the first pedia visit? My little joys and excitements, I can share with them, because I know they’ll understand. They cheer when I give Lucas a bath, because they know that used to scare me. We talk about the costs of vaccines and our hospital stays, and budgeting for the baptism, and shopping for baby clothes. And I think we’ll continue to share tips and stories as our kids grow up.
Thanks, mommies. You’ve been awesome. ❤