I have been terribly lucky to have a network of friends both IRL (in real life) and online to draw on for support and wisdom and reality checks during this crazy journey I’m on.
I’ve talked about my Fairytales girls before. They continue to be a source of immeasurable help and comfort to me – if for no other reason than I know there’s nothing I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with them after 11 years of friendship. I feel like I’ve got a gaggle of auntie-friends who have all been-there, done-that and have myriad points of view on any baby-related subject. They’ve done it all for baby-wearing, breast-feeding, pumping, co-sleeping, cloth-diapering, and every other non-crunchy-granola parenting task there is. Having a one-stop-shop for several opinions really is helpful as I try to figure out what I think and believe. I’m shocked to discover I have opinions on things I’ve never really thought about before. (Oh hey! I care about this!)
But then there’s Caroline and Kelly. Current and former co-workers, who also happen to be friends. They had their first babies (daughters) within two weeks of each other last October. Since that time, I have been blessed with their first-hand experiences of what works and what doesn’t – which differ from kid to kid, I’m seeing very clearly. They both have answered myriad emails about every subject you can think of since that little stick turned pink. I continue to pester them with “OMG, what about this?!?!?” stuff at all hours – although I hope I’ve been less bothersome as of late. And what’s great is that my middle-of-the-night emails aren’t middle of the night to Kelly who moved back to Philadelphia in January of 2008.
What I’ve really been blessed with recently though, is hand-me-downs. This month, Kelly sent two boxes (!) of clothes that her little one (K) has already outgrown. One box included a pair of overalls that still send me into paradoxical squeeing every time I see them. (Babies in overalls, does it get any cuter?)
In addition to baby clothes (which started shortly after I announced was pregnant) Caroline has been handing down gear (like a tub and a bumpo seat) in addition to diapers! Caroline’s little girl (H) is growing like a weed and has outgrown diaper sizes faster than her mom and dad can strap them onto her little bum. So I have multiple packages in multiple sizes of Pampers Swaddlers – which is apparently what EVERYBODY uses.
I am so lucky to have these ladies with such fresh experience (not only of babies, but of actually BEING pregnant!) available to me and so willing to share in their knowledge. Plus, it’s really, really great to be able to chat with them both about baby stuff and have an understanding ear. They know what it’s like to have this overwhelming amount of information and questions and AWE at what’s happening to you – and the NEED to talk about it to someone who won’t run screaming after 30 seconds.
That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for the advice and responses I get here on this blog, either! While Caroline and Kelly both post here, so do Kim, Kym, Kristy, April and so many other friends who have provided insight and support. I really do appreciate each and every one of you who come here and take the time to read my blatherings, let alone respond to them. I need to get better about responding directly to responses, but please know that the comments we get here do mean the world to Paul and I, to know that so many people are already involved in our son’s life.