There are good things and bad about joining an online pregnancy birth board. Enough of a roller coaster that I haven't recommended joining one to any of my pregnant friends. The ups are the friends you can make. I've made a few good ones. Mostly they live at the north end of this state, with a couple spread around the country. Belly laughs are another great thing. I have rarely laughed so hard at my computer as I have while reading posts on my birth board.
It's addictive. While pregnant with Fynn, I seemed able to only sleep up to eight hours a day. If I napped, that meant less sleep at night (good practice for those I-didn't-nap-but-I'm-still-not-getting-any-sleep nights). August 7, 2010, for example, I took a short nap. Thus, I was online responding to posts when my water broke August 8 at 2:20 A.M.
The downsides include a lot of unnecessary drama; you get 12,000 pregnant woman together and avoid drama. Not surprisingly, the hair flips have died down since babies have started sleeping more and moms are feeling more human again.
A huge drawback... and the one that keeps me from promoting birth boards to expectant and new mamas... is that someone is going to have that awful, heartbreaking experience and the rest of us are going to go through it with them at some level, too.
Watching Mini Cooper fight to live... and then not make it. It felt like losing a nephew. It still hurts. A lot.
Of course, there are the ones who do battle and win. Gavin was born within days of Cooper. He should be a few weeks younger than Fynn, but he turned nine months old about a week ago. Gavin is strong and beautiful, and I love finding out what he's up to next. You can check out the most adorable video of him giggling here. It'll do your heart good.
Sometimes a baby is born perfectly healthy and things still go haywire. Take Baby Scarlett, for example. She was born in October. Went to her two month check up, where the parents asked questions about the strange bruising on her forehead. Last month she had two surgeries to remove a tumor from her brain. The doctors got it all, but she needs to begin chemotherapy next week. In all honesty, I follow Scarlett's story, but not as closely as "my boys," Gavin and Cooper, or "my girl," Evelyn. It's hard on the heart.
Going back to the good parts of being on a birth board, people really pull around one another. Monday night when I was sitting in the ER with Fynn, I had a solid group of women sending up love, prayers and well wishes. Such a short-term event, but it really brought home for me how much that support can mean.\
So I am doing what I can to pass on that support. One of my Triple B's (uh, yeah, that's birth board buddies) has set up a scrapbooking service. She's sending 15% of profits from any sales to help defray Scarlett's parents expenses. If you could use a scrapbook, or you know someone who can, check her out. Leave a comment between now and the end of Valentine's Day on this page, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free scrapbook. And if you find that she offers a service you'd like to use, know that you'll be helping a little girl and her parents.