Way back when the test stick showed those two amazing blue lines, I, like a lot of women joined a well known pregnancy and baby forum for Mums-to-be due in February 2013. Initially I joined to shout from the rooftops that I had just got my BFP and to seek reassurance from complete strangers that the photo I had taken of our pregnancy test did show those two clear blue lines and I wasn’t imagining it. For the first couple of months of my pregnancy, I dipped in and out of the community seeking reassurance that the symptoms I was experiencing were normal (luckily they were!) and offering advice and support to others who were having a much more challenging pregnancy than myself. Eventually, a group got created on a well known social networking site and the fun began.
Twelve months and more later, the group is still going strong. We’ve gone from being complete strangers all over the UK, Europe and further afield to being good friends sharing stories about our babies and more over coffee and cake. Over the last year, we’ve all shared (and overshared, Zoe!) lots of personal, exciting, boring, normal stuff. We’ve had the good, the bad and quite frankly, the ugly. We’ve all shared our stories and experiences of becoming a Mummy (there were lots of first time mummies like myself and mummies having their second, third or fourth children) so there was a great mix of advice and support available on the group as well as Mummies from a huge variety of backgrounds.
We’ve had a fair bit of drama on the group but mostly it is a really lovely place to speak to friends about absolutely anything, not just our February babies. We’ve all made some brilliant friendships and there’s been at least one group ‘meet up’ in all the corners of the UK. I’ve met quite a few ladies from the group and everyone has been just as I had imagined them to be (obviously we share photos, some share videos and some share more than we want to see, Emma! so we all know what each other looks like) I’m good friends with a couple of the ladies who live locally and we see each other regularly to catch up and let the babies see each other and play together. Little Mr even takes his swimming lessons with J, my bump buddy, now my good friend’s daughter.
There’s been a lot of love on the group as we’ve got to know each other and our babies and it’s got to be said, when the doodah hit the fan, we pulled together as a group and got through it. Hope, was our first baby of the group making an early arrival last November, three months early but is now thriving and looking incredible cute; Debs, a mum facing a gruelling battle with cancer is doing well and we’re all right behind her for her treatment and recovery; Johnny or Johnnycakes as he is affectionately known, is one of our gorgeous babies who has been diagnosed with Downs Syndrome and recently has overcome vital heart defect surgery and is doing incredibly well. We’ve all shown not only emotional support but financial and physical support too. We’ve raised quite a bit of money over the year for many causes but most notably we raised over £1,000 for Johnnycakes so we can provide some sensory equipment for his home and to secure some family fun over the next few years. Unfortunately the group has also been through sad and upsetting times and we have lost 3 angel babies. They will never be forgotten and will always be our February babies.
One of the newest members of the group is a very cute and cuddly bear named Weaver. He’s a cute little bear, donated to the group by Kiddicare who has travelled far and wide amongst the group. He started life with Little Mr and I, here in the West Midlands and has travelled as far as Switzerland to date. Weaver has his own website documenting his travels and showing off his postcards and has recently starred in the Kiddicare blog. Everyone loves Weaver as he joins in with family fun and sees the sights of all our February babies hometowns. I’m hoping he’ll be able to get round all 265 members over the next few years, he might need a patch up or two by then but he’s quickly become a bear in demand.
I personally would like to thank each and every lady on the group for being there. My maternity leave has been fantastic and when I haven’t been gallivanting across the country I always check in with the group and someone has been there to talk to (especially in the early days when Little Mr woke up two or three times a night). It’s like having over 200 friends in my pocket. Some people get bored on maternity leave, but not us! We’ve had our ups and our downs but the ups certainly outweigh the downs. So thank you ladies, you are all individually brilliant, your babies are adorable and I have loved having your friendship, advice and support over the last 12 months. Long may it continue and here’s to the next twelve months…. x