Wednesday 8 November 2017

The Facebook Birth Groups

When I found out that I was pregnant with Aoife, I downloaded a pregnancy app where I could chat to other women who were due in the same month that I was.
This led to a secret Facebook group being created to ensure that everyone was who they said they were. We had everyone you could think of; the nervous first time mums to those who were on their eighth child.
The group was a safe place where we could laugh, share advice, complain together and create bonds. We had losses, both early on and quite late; we all cried together and during those times we wished that we all lived closer.
As a first timer with a partner who worked overseas, these ladies were my lifeline. They were there for me during my pregnancy aches and pains, they shared my joy at each scan and that first kick, they spurred me on with their supportive messages whilst I was in labour and they provided me with invaluable advice in those early days.
They were also there for me through my low points; when I ended up going to hospital for reduced movements by myself, to helping me through my breakdowns when I thought that I wasn't a good enough mum.
When our little ones were around ten months old, a weekend away in Nottingham was arranged. There was an instant connection with these women, despite having never met before. We drank, laughed and danced the night away; the next morning we were hit with the realisation that we were now having to part ways.
A year ago this weekend, a few of us rented a beautiful farmhouse in Wrexham for three days, in the middle of nowhere. Those three days were honestly the best time that I have ever had with friends. We drank wine in the hot tub, took a country walk, explored some old ruins and went on a midnight ghost hunt. The weekend was filled with laughter, tears and hugs.
Over time, especially the last year, the group dynamics began to change. The original Facebook group disintegrated and a smaller one was created. As you can imagine, a group of hormonal women with strong personalities and opposing views can cause conflict and, due to this, some friendships dissolved.
If you had told me years ago that I would have met my best friends online I would have laughed. But, I can truly say that I have. I talk to these women more than what I do with some friends who are living twenty minutes down the road and they probably know more about me too.
We may not see each other often but the connection we all have is incredible, especially as our pregnancies brought us all together. When one of us experiences a dark time, we all do. We band together to support those who need it, despite hundreds of miles separating us.
I really do believe in friendship soul mates and I'm so lucky to have found mine. They accept me for who I am, potty mouth and all. These girls will always have my back, but will also be the first to tell me when I'm being a bit of a knob.
April 2015 ladies - I love you! x

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