Serendipity and Dr. Emily
Ok, so this was my blog-idea for yesterday that I didn't remember until I was almost done writing yesteday's blog.
This blog isn't about Dr. Emily, well, sort of, but not really. It's about a great group of women that I know...that I have known for about 9 years now.
When I was about 6 or 7 weeks pregnant, a friend told me about due-date bulletin boards. I searched around and found one for women due in November 2001. I think it started as a board through MSN. At one time, we probably had about 100 members, some more active than others. Now, there are probably about 40 of us who still post to the board. Though, with the popularity of facebook, the activity on the board has dwindled. But, each and every one of us knows that we can rely on eachother. And, we know how to get our mommy friends over to the board if we need a virtual hug or high-five.
Anyway, we went through our pregnancies together. Some of has had morning sickness (see Laurie wildly waving her hand). Some of us found out the gender of the baby (I didn't). Some of us were having our first (obviously, I was). Some of us were teenagers when we got pregnant. Some were in their 20s. Some were in their 30s. Some were married. Some were not. We covered the gamut of religious and political beliefs. We came from all walks of life.
During those in-utero months, we talked about first kicks, how big our "beans" were, swollen hands and feet, and our excitment and fears of bringing a new life into the world. That was a discussion that came up a number of times, but it was never more meaningful than on and around September 11, 2001 as we were all nearing the end of our pregnancies. Since, as a group, we were scattered around the country, and at that time around the world (though most of the women who weren't from the US or Canada dropped off over time, though some of the moms are still in touch through email), we shared a spectrum of emotions and reactions.
We talked a lot over the days that followed about bringing a child into a world where something as horrific as 9/11 could occur. I remember writing about it on the message board and thinking about how all these babies about to be born could be part of the making the world a better place. I don't want to dwell on 9/11 in this blog, but that was an especially meaningful time during my pregnancy and I'm glad that I had this fabulous group of women to talk to about it.
After the babies were born, we shared our birth stories. How long labor lasted. C-section or not? Epidural or not? (Heck yeah for me on that one). We shared the length and weight of our babies. And, we posted pictures...lots and lots of pictures. We talked about sleepless nights. Colicky babies. We had some, um, heated debates...nursing vs bottles. Co-sleeping or not. Cloth diapers vs disposable. Stay at home mom (SAHM) vs working mom. We shared all the typical milestones...first smiles, first roll-overs, first sleeping through the night, first teeth, first steps, first words and more....
It's crazy to believe that all these babies will be 9 this year. It's been so great to see the kids grow over the years. Some, I've met in person, some I've only seen in pictures. Some, I've talked to on the phone, but never met. And, with some, I've just shared posts. One lucky Canadian once got a whole lot of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts because, for whatever reason, they don't sell that flavor in Canada.
This group of women was so incredibly supportive of me when my marriage started to fall apart. It's funny when I think about this. Some of the women just "lent an ear". Others just told it like it is...tough love. But, at the end of the day, each one cared.
When the kids were really little, we would often muse whether we'd still be together when the kids were however old. I guess none of us thought a message board could have such sustainability. I don't know if the whole concept sounds strange or hoaky to people who haven't been part of such a forum, but it's really been a very natural and wonderful experience.
We even joked at one point about trying to get on Oprah. I think someone may have tasked me with writing a letter to her (which i never did). Sorry ladies. At times, we might have been better suited for Jerry Springer as various moms have had their share of differences with other moms.
We've shared joy and loss. Happiness and pain. But, above all we've shared friendship, love, and the joy of watching a bunch of babies grow up into wonderful kids. We've each claimed needing to have the Bad Mommy Award sent her way. We've each shared moment of triumph over a stressful mommy moment.
We've paired up for birthday buddy swaps so each kiddo would get a present from one other kiddo. We had one cookie swap. Oh, and the best is our holiday gift card exchange (which I admit to be a better recipient of than a sharer of cards). I'll put that on my list of things to do this year.
It's funny, when I lived in Los Angeles, I felt like I got to meet so many people. I guess Southern California is a popular place to visit. It was also great coming back to NY to visit my family and getting to see my mommy friends. When the kids were about 16 or so months old, we had a big get together in Central Park. We must have had about 20 moms there. I'm pretty sure the kids were 15-16 months old because Jeremy wasn't walking yet (he started at 17 months). I remember when Jeremy was just a few weeks old meeting one of the SoCal Moms at Jerry's Deli and the waitress asked if they were twins because they were perched in the same plaid Graco carrier. Dang, what was the name of that blue and yellow pattern. Grrr...that's gonna bug me.
Ok...anyway, I'm sure I could have said this much more eloquently and certainly in a much more organized way, but c'est la vie.
Anyway, to all my fellow (ironic choice of word) November 2001, I love you ladies and appreciate all that you have done for me over the past 9 years. Can't wait to see the Prom pictures!!!!!!
For everyone else, Dr. Emily was part of the board for a period of time...until blew her cover....perhaps a blog for another time.