Just over 5 years ago thousands of women from all across America got pregnant. And–like many newly pregnant women in this decade–we scoured the internet for information. We wanted due date calculators, nutrition advice, information on yet another pregnancy side effect, ways to predict the gender, and on and on. Eventually hundreds of us landed in a forum for moms due in January 2009. And like most (all?) large online communities the chatter was sometimes encouraging and helpful, but also sometimes snarky and judgmental. One mom, tired of the snarky and judgmental bit, started a private forum and invited the entire community to join. About 60 women showed up.
We started asking questions and answering questions about pregnancy and childbirth. Those who already had a child were encyclopedias of information. Those who were having their first baby were supportive. We shared heart rates, ultrasound photos, first kicks, and nursery decor. And we shared stories about our lives. We talked about TV shows we watched, hobbies we loved, places we traveled, our baby’s fathers, mother-in-laws, weird neighbors, work, new cars, politics, religion and sex.
The goal of this smaller community was to have a safe place. Someplace free from the internet trolls who just want to bring people down. We wanted to lift each other up. So even topics like politics, religion and sex were welcome. We weren’t perfect. There were some dust-ups. Hey, we were pregnant and full of hormones.
As we had our babies, celebrated first baths and first steps, and first birthdays, some moved away from our community. Now, over 5 years later, there are 31 of us left. Many of us talk online every day.
We come from 23 different states (from Maine to Arizona and Florida to Alaska). We come from different families, some strong, some broken, some just odd. We have differing views on politics, religion, vaccinations, diapering, co-sleeping, schooling, breast feeding, discipline, and the best drink to order at Starbucks. We only really have one thing in common: Our January 2009 babies are about to turn 5 (actually, a few came early and have already reached that milestone!)
Over the past 5 years we’ve celebrated new siblings, new homes, college graduations, and new jobs. And we’ve supported each other through illnesses, family drama, divorces, and deaths. One refrain repeated often is “I never would have gotten through this without you ladies!”
Here is our world. Please join our conversation but do play by our rule: Be kind, be civil. Trolls are not welcome here.
Meet the ladies…
Amy S (California)
Amy St (Maryland)
Ann Marie (Minnesota)
April (North Carolina)
Bree (South Carolina)
Gena (North Dakota)
Jen C (Connecticut)
Jen K (New York)
One last fascinating note, we have 88 kids–and counting!–between us.
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