I heard about BabyCenter's Birth Clubs sometime before the last time I got pregnant. And so I peeked into the October 2007 Birth Club for several weeks before the miscarriage. But now that I'm getting back in the saddle (or should I say "stirrups"), I find myself wandering back over there a couple times a day and poking around different boards.
Did you know that the December 2008 club is already active? These are people who plan on starting to try to conceive in March 2008. Members of the January and February 2008 boards are fairly well established now. March is a mix of those who have just found out they're pregnant and those who are waiting to test. April and May are ramping up for their attempts.
I never actually post. I haven't even created an account, in part so I don't start spending more time there. And I constantly tell myself it wouldn't be worth the effort since I don't plan on going back over there again. Because I get both annoyed and sucked in every time I read. Many different things on the boards annoy me. Some of them, I fully admit, are petty, but they add up for me.
- Spelling and grammar. So many posts have the sorts of errors that just jump out at me--their/there/they're, your/you're. And even when I can get myself to look past all of that, I've come across a good number of posts that are so badly spelled, typed, phrased that it takes me a lot of work to figure out the poster's intended meaning.
- Redundancy. Different posters, but same questions, concerns, symptoms. There are slight variations on the themes and often there's enough time between similar posts that not everyone is aware of what's been said, but there really isn't much of a reason for me to read the boards regularly.
- No common ground--the lesbian thing. The boards reek of heterosexuality. I have literally not seen another lesbian in the Birth Clubs. There is a lesbian pregnancy board, but that board is more spread out than the monthly boards since there are fewer lesbians overall. I've also found that the other problems still exist. I've said this to some of my (straight) mommy blogging friends: being a lesbian is just not enough to create a friendship if there's nothing else. And from a little I've read on the lesbian board, most of those women don't feel very welcome on the other boards; some have been flamed for bringing up their sexual orientation.
- No common ground--other things. I could probably find friends among the heterosexuals, despite the above, if there were other shared areas (and I wouldn't have to worry about drawing angry responses just for being matter-of-fact about my family). But I don't think I'd fit in for my views on religion, family size, and environmental views, to name just a few.
Now when I look at the January, February, and March 2008 boards, where there are women going through this loss, an additional train of thought begins running through my head. What if I have another miscarriage? Will I be able to have another baby? Can I hold up mentally if this happens again? What would I do? My biggest fears stem not from trouble getting pregnant, but being able to stay pregnant. I know that I need to banish such thoughts and try to focus on the positive, remind myself that there is no reason to fixate on the negative. Obviously the easiest way to do this is to avoid reading these boards.
But it may take some sort of block to keep me from going back.