So ten years ago this week, ish, I found out I was pregnant with Adventure Boy.
After letting the obvious folk in on the secret, where was the first place I ran to? Well, I plugged my modem into the phone socket, keyed in my password and waited while the phone line screeched at me for a silly amount of time before Connecting To The Internet.
The Internet was relatively young then. Netscape and Demon and Windows 2003. I'd used the net since around 1994 but it all seemed so amazingly quick. I kept a book on the computer desk to read between pages loading and couldn't even dream of broadband.
So where did I go? I discovered Babycentre when Adventure Girl was a newborn in 2000. I joined the 'September 2000 Birth Club' and talked with other mums about nappies, feeding and exhaustion. I never thought of the others on the board as friends, just people to chat to. Then I joined the Trying for another Baby board sometime in 2002, and things began to change as I began to get to know Real People. I was so excited about joining another birth club right from the start, and will never forget the excitement of the BFP posts for the TFAB graduates!
So Ten Years Ago I worked out my due date, waited for the page to load for about two hours then logged on to the October 2003 Birth Club. Here's an old archive of the Babycentre mainpage, bring back memories anyone? Babycentre in Feb 2003
When I joined that club in great excitement I never dreamed that I would be making some lifelong friends and that ten years later would still be in touch with almost 30 of them via a certain Social Networking site that had not yet been invented.
So we got into the swing of being the Oct 03 club. We saw each other through pregnancy and birth. I remember you had to load each post in turn and there was no automatic signature so we used to end every post with our due date. I used to open a Word document to be able to reply to everyone. It was a lengthy process! It used to be the first thing I did in the morning, log on to see what new posts there were. Eventually I managed to get myself voted 'moderator' which meant I had to report any naughty swearing or fighting. :D
As babies were born the board's hundreds of members began to narrow down to a smaller core. We discovered Yahoo Chat and msn and whiled away hours chatting merrily away and laughing until we were crying (mnfao, anyone?) We began to arrange meet ups and swap emails. The Board had somewhere along the way become more than a place to go and talk about babies. We shared life together, the ups and downs, and gradually became so much closer than random internet strangers.
Somewhere along the way Babycentre changed, and we didn't like it, being the traditional old stick in the muds that we are ;) Suddenly there was sparkles everywhere. And Tickers. You know - my child is 3 years, 4 months, 5 days, 2 hours, 7 minutes and 55.5 seconds old. And It's Been 2 days since I shopped at Tesco. And 6 weeks until we see Great Aunt Edna. You know the sort. We refused to take part, we declined to be part of the ticker generation. Except we didn't. Slowly, insidiously, the Glitter crept in, the Tickers claimed us. The pretty signatures with pictures of our babies - yep - we bought into it all. Most of us. There were a few die hards ;) And secretly, we quite liked it really.
But then they changed it more, and wanted to chuck off the oldies like us, those whose babies were not babies anymore. So we decamped to our own site, we left on masse, shaking the dust off our feet, and never looked back. Then Facebook happened, and well - the rest is history, really.
I can't believe it's been ten years. We've been through so much together. Here's to many happy years to come, Oct 03 girls :)