A long, long time ago, in the late summer of 2007, I joined an Internet forum for pregnant women, in particular I joined a thread call ‘Due March 2008′ at the time I was expecting my second baby, having lost the first following a miscarriage at 18 weeks it was with some hesitation that I plonked myself amongst this group of random women all expecting babies at the same time as me. If I’d been told then that I’d still be in touch with most of them almost 5 years later I would never have believed it, but believe it you must because the ‘Due March 2008′ mummies have become great friends!
Having guided each other haphazardly through our pregnancies we quite literally laboured together going online in the early hours to check whether our babies were actually on the way and immediately afterwards sharing our birth stories, some good, some traumatic, all different and each of us finding our lives changed forever!
Amongst us there was a miracle when one of the babies was born an astonishing 17 weeks early in the November of 2007, there have been a number of weddings in the years since, some of us have gone on to have more children, we have seen relationships break down and new loves found, some of us have moved from one end of the country to the other and some have started new businesses and our lives are unrecognisable from how they were when we first met in 2007!
Of course saying that we ‘met’ isn’t really true, you see we haven’t met, well not all of us, some of the girls met up when the March ’08 babies were still babies and others amongst us have met one to one with those in our local area but since we are spread to the furthest corners of the united kingdom getting us all together isn’t easy! Today however, I had the great pleasure of meeting one of them for the first time!
We’ve chatted online for so many years, I’ve talked to these girls about things I wouldn’t even mention to my best ‘real life’ friends and I’ve looked forward to meeting them all for a really long time! So today one of them stopped in to visit me in Southampton on her way to Portsmouth after a long drive from Llanelli in Wales, no sooner was the door open than our two girls, just weeks apart in age but never having met before, had scampered off to play on the trampoline together as if they had been friends for years!
My husband has always questioned the time I spend chatting online to what he calls ‘strangers’ but after today I am confident once again that Internet ‘friends’ are in fact just as special, valuable and real as those friends we see face to face and talk to every day!