Many people hold highly critical opinions of online social media, online communities such as Facebook and twitter, or the more specialised ones such as Babycentre and Mumsnet. They cut you off from real life, prevent you from making and maintaining “real” friendships, are the perfect forum for bullying and abuse.
When I lost my first pregnancy I joined Babycentre seeking companionship from others in the same situation, support and advice and I found it. When we started trying again I joined another community for people trying to conceive and we shared stories and tips and hopes. When I got pregnant I joined one for others due in December 2012. We called our babies our Christmas
With those ladies I shared everything. I shared my fears and dreams, I shared far too much information about what was happening with my body, and I read theirs. At times I think I would have gone quite mad if it hadn’t been for those ladies. Say what you will about online communities, but having fifty comments following a question or fear all offering advice and reassurance is priceless.
Pregnancies were lost and we all grieved. Babies were still born and we cried together. Then babies started making it into the world and we celebrated and clutched at our stomachs in desperate excitement that we might be next.
Miss Rose was one of the under cooked puddings born in November, and when I posted her photo and my birth story I had pages and pages and pages of comments. Everyone celebrated her, everyone praised her beauty and my bravery.
Nearly a year on I have many of these women as my Facebook friends as well as keeping up with them all on the main community page. Every day I see Molly, Maisie, Cohan, Poppy and so many more. These beautiful children reaching landmarks with Miss Rose. And the sharing of stories and advice continues, we keep in touch continually even if its just the liking of a picture, the smile on a status. I truly believe that as eighteenth birthdays are reached and our little babies start flying the nest we will be weeping together and celebrating the beauties they have grown into.
If you’re pregnant I can’t recommend joining one of these groups enough. Hormones fly, not everyone gets on, and you go through pain and sorrow together, but the support and love that shines through is worth every second.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.