Sunday, February 05, 2006

Friends

I had the most amazing day today! I was going to do a Say-it Sunday post about it but everytime I tried.... the words just wouldn't come so I decided to try writing it down.

Many years ago, before Hannah came into my life, I looked on the Internet for a support group of women who were over the age of 35 (gulp!) and trying to conceive.... in other words...people in the same boat I was. I was looking for support and friendship during a real tough time in my life.... I had just lost the only baby that Gary and I had conceived in 13 years and we were adamant about trying again. I came across a place called IVillage and joined a group there. The women were amazing and so full of knowledge on the subject of fertility. Did you know that eating baby carrots can help your mucus? And so can Tussin. And if you don't have luck with that..... you can try plain old egg whites. Just shoot them up there and get the party started. With their help and knowledge, my cycles started to make sense. I understood why things were happening and what to do about them. It's hard to admit that I was 35 years old and didn't know a big heck of alot about my own cycles.

It was months and years of riding a rollercoaster of life. All the ups and downs of trying to conceive were out there for everyone to read. We posted our most intimate details of EVERYTHING happening in our lives, jobs and families and we became very close. Once in awhile one of the women would be successful... having the thrill of announcing a positive pregnancy test or BFP(big fat positive). Those were always the bittersweet days. You'd be elated and thrilled for the happy woman but at the same time, licking your own wounds that were ripped open raw by the news. More often than not, that same woman would be back later for support.... having lost the pregnancy and knowing there were many kindred souls who would understand.

A few years ago, IVillage decided to change the format of the boards. It's hard to explain but suddenly, the whole safe world we were so used to for years was suddenly different. Posts looked different, the set-up of the board was difficult to maneuver around on. In a nutshell it totally sucked. Some ladies stopped posting on a regular basis because it was just too difficult to wait for pages to load if you were using dial-up and once you got the board open, there might not be anything new. It was the pits. I started up a new board at Network 54 and we all headed there. Things were back to normal and life was good again and that's where we've been since then. Many of those original women have had a child or two and some have not. Some have used IVF, IUI, adoption, donor eggs or surrogacy to achieve parenthood. It's truly an amazing group of friends. The board has morphed into a friendship board now but it's hard to forget what the original reason was we all came together.

The reason I explained all that was so that you could understand how excited I am to tell you that today I was able to meet three of my friends from that board in real life! It was incredible! We didn't do anything more than all get together for lunch but to be able to sit down with them and start talking about things was the strangest feeling. Truthfully, for me, it was like visiting with my sisters and I couldn't get over the comfort level I had with these women. Usually when I meet people for the first time my tongue gets all tied in knots and then my stomach gets all tied in knots. My anxiety starts to come alive and before I know it.... I'm having to excuse myself or have a full-blown panic attack right there. Today was so relaxing and pleasant. I was able to eat and swallow my food, talk to my friends, try to keep Hannah in line and enjoy myself.

All in all.... I'd say this was one of my best days!!

16 comments:

Stephany said...

Sheri that is so great that you got to meet your friends!!! It is so great to have supportive friends through rough times, even if you know them or not. It is wonderful to hear that you had such a good day!!!

Julie said...

I know how you feel Sheri. It's a wonderful thing to talk with people online that you don't know in person and then you DO meet them in person and it's like you've known them all your life. Online communication has certainly changed my life in many ways.
I'm so happy for you that you have meet up with some of your buddies that you can talk with about personal intimate stuff. I know Mel and I would never have found each other if it weren't for online communication. AND SHE'S MY SISTER IN-LAW! I think I like the open ways you can talk to people online. Hope you have many more exciting days like this one. Hey~is Gary home yet?

Chicka said...

Sheri, were you a cl? I think I know you! (Well, not in person, but I'm still a cl, in spite of myself. I got blackballed, but managed to hang on to a membername and a board they haven't shoved me off of - all because I was vocal about the changes and what members really thought about them.)

Still, I've made some of my best friends on my old boards and met a few of them in person.

. said...

When i was going through my divorce I hung at a Forum or Message Board caled Saving My Marriage and then switch to Surviving Divorce (I think that was what it was called). It was such a life saver for me.

As for the Robin in the other post, Friday morning I heard a Robin chirping outside and thought...No NO NO!!! Isn't this simply absurd. We DID get an inch of snow Saturday but it is supposed to be back in the 60's by Tuesday. TAKE THAT greedy GAS company!!!

ccw said...

How wonderful!

I often think that when you are going through something personal and difficult it is often easier to do it with "strangers"; especially when they are going through the same thing. Having support and genuine understanding is priceless.

So glad you got to meet your friends.

Sarah said...

That's fantastic you got to meet and hang out...the connections we make online can be incredibly intense and wonderful.
I have found so much joy and love here...it it wasn't for email, Pete and I would never have been! ;-)

lime said...

how wonderful that you got to meet face to face! it is amazing the ties we con form through this format isn't it? thanks so much for sharing a positive story!

Timestep said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. I hung out on the TTC after 35 board a bit. It was such a wonderful place.

I know when I met a group from the TTCAM board, it was so easy.

Glad you had a "Best Day"

Sue said...

How neat! Maybe someday we will meet some of these bloggers in real life!

melodyann said...

Sheri, that is so incredibly wonderful!!!! Did you get a look at their socks? hahahahahahahaha

Cylithria™ said...

Oh wow Sheri, this sounded excellent for you!!! I'm so glad you posted it. It gave me the shivers (good kind) to read! Thanks for sharing this

Mike Todd said...

Dude, you rock.

Kim said...

yay! I'm so happy for you Sheri, you've needed a good day for a while.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sheri - this was a great post. I often lurk on your blog just to see how you are doing. You know, I really wish I could have been one of the women at that lunch. One day (hopefully sooner rather than later) we will all meet!

Donna

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just caught up on your blogs (I was sick last week) and I had tears in my eyes! I really hope that group of our can grow to a larger number of us for a whole weekend!

Jane

Heidi said...

I think it's so cool that you got you meet your friends in real life... Especially after all you have shared together.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Sheri. I am so happy you had a wonderful time with your friends, you deserve it, hon! :)