My first pregnancy was spent feeling very lonely. I had great people surrounding me, many of whom were mothers, but no one else was going through what I was going through. They didn’t remember (or know) if those pains shooting through my crotch were normal (they are, by the way), they forgot how tired pregnancy makes you and how grouchy you can really be, they expected the same old Sarah because I didn’t make a big deal out of how ridiculously sick and tired and uncomfortable I felt. I was desperate for someone in my life who got it and could commiserate with me.
I finally turned to an internet community. I’ve never done that before. I got married a few years before “internet dating” was popular. I had never been in a chat room (I KNOW!) or belonged to a community of people with similar interests/needs/life experience as me. But with no one in my life to hold my hand through the journey of pregnancy, the internet seemed like the only place to turn. And it was really great. I “met” a lot of women who were around my age, asking all the (dumb) questions that a first time mom-to-be asks, and giving advice as much as they could.
It felt SO AMAZING to ask a question and get feedback from people who were practically walking in my shoes. When I shared my fear of exercising while pregnant (completely unfounded, yes, but real to me), they were so supportive and many of them actually felt the same. When I said I was going to use disposable diapers because I knew I couldn’t keep up with the laundry required to do cloth (just being honest here people), they were responsive to my decision. In all, despite the trolls that roamed the board looking to pick fights with overly hormonal, big as whales, women, my experience in an online community was amazing.
This time, it’s different. I have friends in my life who are actually going through the same thing. In fact, one of my favourite friends is having her second baby (our first children are the same age!) right around the same time I’ll be having baby #2. She’s my sounding board for every crazy thought that roams through my head.
And this pregnancy doesn’t seem quite as scary. It’s certainly different then my first pregnancy, but I don’t feel the overwhelming fear that I felt every moment of every day when I was pregnant with The Boy. I’m better at saying NO when I’m tired and just can’t do it. I complain a lot more;) But the best part is that UrbanMoms gave me the opportunity to write this blog all about my pregnancy- it’s more cathartic then I could have ever imagined!
Recently, a girl I work with went on very early maternity leave. She just couldn’t handle the stress of working full time and the stress of the third trimester of pregnancy (you know, the aches and pains and unbearable fatigue). She didn’t have a community to lean on for support. She pretty much had me and her doctor to get her questions answered and squash her normal pregnancy fears. It made me feel awful because I knew how hard that lonely feeling could be and I was so glad I had someone (virtual or not) to hold my hand through my first pregnancy
Moms- how did you create your own community during your pregnancy/pregnancies? Did you go online, meet people in your neighbourhood, or rely on friends/family for support? Where do moms-to-be find the support that they need?