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  • Writer's pictureAngie Dotson

Connections

My next assignment is to reflect on the connections we have with other people. I thought on this for a while and decided to tell the story of how a virtual connection with a special group of ladies helped me through a challenging time in my life, long ago.


When I was young and newly married (the first time), all I could think about was becoming a mother. Every time I was bored, I'd think "If I had a child I would definitely not be bored right now." I watched mothers with their children and yearned to have that connection, to create a little human of my own that was part of me.


The first time I saw two lines on that pregnancy test, I was elated! I would be a mother! However, a few weeks later, on Mother's Day no less, it became apparent that this baby was not meant for this earth. Devastation does not feel like the proper word to describe all I felt. I felt like a failure. What had I done wrong? I was desperate to find the "why", and my online research eventually led to we website, babycenter.com. This site had a lot of information, but also all kinds of message boards that acted as a forum for other mothers in every imaginable situation.


This is where I ran across a group named "TTC#1 After a Miscarriage". I began to lurk in the shadows of this group, reading what the others were going through and realizing I was most certainly not alone. Here's the thing about having a miscarriage with your first pregnancy... you don't KNOW for certain that you're even able to carry a child to term. You are completely unaware if motherhood will ever be a promise for you. Every lady in this group was in my same shoes. We were all dreaming of becoming mothers, and we were all unsure if it was meant for us.


Eventually, I started to post in the group. Some members came and went, but over time it became apparent that we had a core group of ladies that were in it for the long haul. We'd all post every day, talking about our daily lives, our families, our husbands, as well as the details of our fertility, our cycle charts, our daily temperatures and sex lives. Nothing was left off the table. My every day began with a check-in to the group and the friendships built with these ladies that I had never even spoken to in person became a daily lifeline for me. Month after month, we'd support each other through the negative pregnancy tests, stresses of daily life and eventually, we were able to start celebrating positive tests as well! Over time, one by one, our core group each became pregnant again. The group was suddenly a pregnancy support group, discussing symptoms, fears and baby names. It was such an exciting time, and having these ladies to share it with was such a blessing for me! We held virtual baby showers for one-another, collecting money from each other and sending baby gifts through the mail, over the miles. Our ages ranged from 20 to 40, and we were spread out all over the country, but that didn't hold our friendships back.

Babies were born and we again transformed into a support group for new moms. I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through it all without them. These connections that were made over the internet were as strong as some of my in-person friendships. Our daily discussions, commiserating about our lives, good and bad, created some bonds that I never would have guessed possible.


Over the years, the group has not kept in touch as much as I'd like, but we all remain virtual friends on Facebook. We've watch each other's babies grow, gain siblings, and we lost one of those kiddos way too soon. Some have gone through divorces, remarried, changed careers or moved. Our babies are now Juniors and Seniors in High School, unbelievably.


I still think of these ladies often. Even though I haven't ever gotten the chance to meet any of them in person, I still consider them friends. We are all forever connected through the moments of sorrow and celebration that we shared through the magic of the internet nearly 2 decades ago.

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