Friday, February 16, 2007

I have a friend who....

I first discovered online communities about 13 years ago looking for answers after suffering 4 miscarriages. In the infertility groups on usenet I found a community of women who were in the same situation. Because, sadly, miscarriage and infertility isn't something that's often talked in "real life" I found the needed support online.

When I became pregnant with my daughter I joined a "due date list", May '96 to be exact. May '96 is a group of, mostly women, who were due with babies in May 1996. They are still a part of my life today, more than 11 years later. Checking email is a part of my routine, and these women have become a part of my life. With this group, and the Oct '98 moms, I've shared the challenges and joys of being a mom. It's become common in our house when faced with a dilemma to "Ask the May Moms." When talking to real life friends I'll often say "I have a friend who..." and the friend is a May or Oct mom who's experienced something similar.

When Nicky was born friends from my list sent gifts and even chipped in to hire a personal chef to provide meals for my family. When another mom was diagnosed with breast cancer we made a quilt. When a mom was displaced because of Katrina we sent gift cards, clothing, & toys. When a husband committed suicide we sent flowers & gifts. When a mom died due to pregnancy we mourned together. We've weathered all the things "real life" friends do.

Sadly, I hadn't found that for Nicky. I joined a due date list but when he was born I unsubbed without ever telling why. I tried a few existing lists and found some support but in one case the parents on that list mostly had older kids and another there was just too much arguing and flaming. But, I'm starting to find it through the bloggers I read. There are a number out there with kids close to Nicky's age. Or their kids are younger, but the parents are experiencing many of the things I have.

Anyway, thanks to all you bloggers out there!

6 comments:

Michelle said...

I know what you mean about online groups and how they become like "real life friends" too. I joined a msg board for TTC and from there I went to a sub-board DIJuly (03). Unfortunately that board shut down and ladies went all different places. I now only keep in touch w/3 ladies (periodically). After Kayla was born I did find a msg board for Ds which really helped since, obviously, they were all going through the same thing. Have you ever checked out http://www.network54.com/Forum/244888/ It's Trisomy 21 Online and I've been "there" ever since Kayla was around 2 months old - always a very supportive environment.

Anonymous said...

How could I not leave a comment, being one of those illustrious May Moms? A common phrase in our house is also "ask the May Moms." I'm glad you have this blog. I hope it's creating a slightly different group for Nicky. Sarah R

jennifer said...

Ah well, I hope you consider me on your "list"! But we need a good name...

Shelley said...

I know what you mean. I love keeping up with my blogging community, the only pity is that it is so rare that any of us can actually get the opportunity to have our kids play together - I know that they would have an absolute blast!

I am hoping that Hannah will go to school with Kit. I also hold on to a lovely talk given by a mum whose son with DS was at a special school - she spoke so positively of the experience - I know that at some point in the future we will really need to consider that option for Hannah. I know I would feel upset if they couldn't at least start off primary at the same school - I hope it all goes well for you.

Imperfect Christian said...

The online blogging community has helped me through MANY ups and downs. It's an amazing thing to be able to connect to others who "get" you or can at least sympathise with you!

mum2brady said...

Yes - I have loved the T21 blogging community :) Of course, many of the blogs I read are those of women I met at the t21online community, which used to be the Parent's Place DS board :)

I feel very blessed!