It was really cold in November 2010 I was really heavily pregnant. I had 3 weeks till my due date and i was housebound because of the heavy snow. Insomnia had kicked in good and proper and I would spend most of my nights surfing the net on my phone, usually reading gossip, and occasionally the news.
At the time I used to use Twitter for mainly gossip and to see what the celebrities were upto. Once i’d flicked through the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry I’d move on back to Facebook and maybe even read the Daily Fail if I was desperate.
Then, one evening, I read a story in the papers about a girl who had very recently given birth to a baby boy and who had tweeted through most of her labour! Immediately, I went to have a nosey on Twitter and, sure enough, her timeline was filled with tweets about contractions, eating crumpets and about how cold it was outside (It’d been snowy and icy and sleety). I was about to have my own baby in a months time so I wanted to know everything about what labour was like. She made it sound quite easy and it put my mind to rest. I added her to my timeline (She was a celebrity after all!) and went about my way.
(She is called Rachael by the way… And on Twitter as @InceyWinceyMum)
Eventually I had a nosey at the people she followed and discovered something special. I’d found a whole community of online mums. Loads of them! Mums who had babies, mums who were due to have babies same time as me, mums with toddlers, working mums… It was like walking through a door to an undiscovered little treasure.
And there were blogs!! Blogs! I’d never really come across these before but people were actually blogging about their experiences of bringing up a baby, some about family life and others about topics like post natal depression. It became a very quick and very strong addiction. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I gave birth to my Baby Boy mid December via C section and the next few weeks were hard. I couldn’t drive for 6 weeks. I had a very new baby in my arms, I was totally knackered and tonnes of snow meant I couldn’t even go out for a walk. Not that I felt much like it but i felt a bit trapped at the same time as feeling my life had changed. Completely. I was responsible for a baby and I didn’t have the first idea of what to do.
Tweeting other mums during those first few weeks was an absolute saviour. Why was my baby throwing up so much? What was reflux? How could you control it? How the hell do you latch a baby on?… Other mums out there, in the same boat, provided helpful suggestions based on their own experiences and it helped me from freaking out or feeling like a failure.
The absolute best thing was having other mums on Twitter during night feeds. It made me realise how little people actually sleep, mums especially. And at a given point during the night there are a bunch of new mums awake doing a night feed. Most importantly, it kept me awake during the period when baby was feeding every 2 hours.
My Twitter feed is now more real life and less celebrity. I’d much rather know about baby clothes than the latest designer shoes!