BabyCenter? It’s like a match.com only for moms trying to hook up with other moms… as friends… Mind out the gutter guys. That’s how I would explain BabyCenter and the friendships I have created there. In August of 2006 I googled, “How can I stop the excessive saliva while pregnant?”. I had already slammed my, What to Expect book against the wall a few times because it didn’t really address anything I was going through, so that didn’t work. I went to Barnes and Nobles and tried reading advice written by experts and there was still a giant disconnect and these “experts” and I were not hitting it off.
My google search came up with the question of excessive saliva being asked by another pregnant woman on BabyCenter and a plethora of answers and solutions from women experiencing the same thing. “Suck on lollipops.”, “Chew on gum”, (enter every group’s controversial person) “The spitting is gross. I never spit. You are doing everything wrong. “, “Stop your salt intake.” and my favorite solution to oblige to, “Eat a lot of carbs.” Those women had helped me more in 3 minutes than I had been helped in 7 weeks.
That day, I joined BabyCenter and since it was 2006, kept my internet friendships secret from everyone.
Me: “Oh! My friend, she just gave birth to a boy! Everyone thought it was going to be a girl and it is a boy!”
Husband: “Uhhh, what friend?”
Me: “Oh! No biggy, you don’t know her, she’s awesome.”
As the years have gone by (almost 9) and our virtual friendships have grown, our tiny thread has moved from social network to social network. We have traveled to meet one another. We have been shoulders to cry on, the best divorce support group with tons of references to a DH (figure it out), hosted virtual baby showers for one another, created care packages and I know in my case, what I found was people that listen more than any friend that I have ever made in RL (get with the lingo). I cannot fathom getting through my miscarriages and lady part problems without these women. They were my rock through it all, still are. We get each other and share the biggest life experience, we became mothers at the same time. Whether it was our 4th time becoming a mother or our first, we share that. Our children are all cute at the same time, many of them began school on the same year and finally, now that they are big kids, many of them are being complete a-holes… All at the same time.
Today, I give my expecting friends a one way ticket to BabyCenter. 1. I don’t really care to hear about their symptoms and worries, 2. I don’t really care about any of their baby’s milestones and 3. I know that they will create the same deep bonds that I have with these women. Yes, perhaps one or two of them are an overweight man who is sitting in his mother’s basement trolling and if that is the case, I can tell you that he is super sweet and gave me the best pajamas during the pajama exchange.
Fast forward to 2015 and my mom, husband, friends all know about my BBC moms. No shame, honey. No shame. My husband knew I was meeting up with my good friends from Arizona last night and after a few meet ups under our belts, he didn’t even call to see if I was alive. Instead, he texted me at 10PM to ask me how my night was and if they were as funny in person as I thought. They were. Thank you to all the spectacular people I have met through BabyCenter. You ladies (and Joe in the basement) are the best. Here is to 8 more years of meet ups, hugs, tears and friendships.