A few months before we started trying to conceive, a (now former) colleague (also a queer woman who, at that point, was pregnant with her first child after a long haul of trying to get pregnant) recommended I check out the GLBT board on bab*center (I am altering the full name because I don’t want weird adds or whatever might come with even casually affiliating myself with the giant baby machine that is bab*center) – so I did.

I found a very helpful group of mostly fellow lesbian or queer identified ladies. There were enough folks there to get lots of information, but it was slow enough moving and small enough in population that people got an opportunity to actually get to know one another and have an investment in these stranger’s lives. Indeed, I have a few fellow bloggers and ‘friends’ here who came to me by way of the bab*center GLBT board. The IVF thread, in particular, is full of folks who have a deep level of care for one another. One woman even donated her embryos to another who was looking into donor egg IVF but couldn’t afford it. It’s like seriously tear jerking stuff, y’all.

After a few months of trying to get pregnant, I stepped outside of my GLBT board comfort zone and started occasionally posting and reading the thyroid board and the male factor board (since our donor has low morphology) and while I didn’t find good community there in the same way, I did get my questions answered by lots of thoughtful and smart folks who had more experience than me. So that was cool.

In the last few weeks, I made the decision to take a look at my “birth board” on bab*center. These are individual message boards set up for each month, and the idea is that you can form lasting relationships with the folks in the group based on a shared due date. It sounded like an ok idea – after all, I had some questions about pregnancy that I didn’t want to pose to my friends still trying to conceive on the GLBT board.

I went for that reason. I have stayed because of my (sometimes sick) sociological fascination with human interaction. And because a lot of the posts affirm why my job (as an advocate for comprehensive sexual health education in schools) is still relevant and necessary.

Here are some of my observations and thoughts about the mainstream bab*center board:

1. Those bitches are MEAN. I dunno if y’all have noticed, but I do my share of snarking. That said, I usually give people a small amount of grace or at least limit my condescending comments to my head. But the women on this board have 0 qualms about just sayin’ whatever shitty thing comes to mind. Sometimes the shitty things don’t even really make sense, that’s how carelessly flung about they are.

2. There is a sizable portion of the BBC posting population who don’t have any sort of grasp on reproductive biology. I’m going to admit that, prior to getting into my career and even then, before embarking on project make-a-human, my solid knowledge of reproduction was a little hazy. For example: following an ill-advised one night stand where the condom came off, I immediately stopped at the grocery store and bought a home pregnancy test, and was relieved when it came up negative. No matter than conception could have very well been happening at that very moment, I was sure I was in the clear. Thank God I actually was in that case. I got shit-all for sex ed (one of the reasons I feel strongly about people getting it now) and despite my general smarts, I wasn’t very well versed in how to get (or not get) pregnant. However, I did have the basics down about where babies come from, something some women using BBC don’t seem to have. This is not laughable, it’s depressing.

3. EVERYONE is terrified of miscarrying. For some reason, I thought the  all-consuming fear of miscarriage was more limited to those of us who are infertile or have had repeat losses. Not so. Just about every other post is someone asking if X or Y means they are having a miscarriage.

4. Google is totally the devil. Google + limited reproductive knowledge is dangerous. I’m not saying I haven’t done it, I’m just saying it’s really, really bad news. The more data our doctors give us, the more we compare it to google searches. The more we come up with the least likely scenario ever.

5. Many, many people do not realize that the most effective way to find out if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

I hope to continue updating as my experiment continues. because, y’all, I cannot stay away.

In other news, just four days before her scheduled spay, Hilda the Baby Bulldog went into her first heat. Let me tell you, I find it difficult enough to manage my own vagina, I did not want to have to manage my dog’s vagina. But, a dog can’t be spayed while in heat, so La and I will be finding ways to manage the dog period for the next 15-18 days – as that’s how long these things usually last. We have enlisted our neutered boy dogs to protect their little sister’s innocence, but OMG this is so stressful.

Upside? We bought her the cutest puppy panties!

IMG952014082095173138 IMG952014082095173416

Tomorrow is 8 weeks, and our first visit to the midwife, where we can be regular ol’ pregnant lesbians, instead of awkward fertility patients. Of course, the RE saga is not over. One more ultrasound there on Monday afternoon, then weaning off the meds. Can’t say I’ll miss the daily needle to the ass, or the rings of sticky on my belly from the patches. I still mostly feel like puking all the time. Also I had the absolute most intense constipation cramps of my life on Tuesday and I maybe had a moment where I thought I would die. Is this swollen uterus related? Because as a life long constipation sufferer, I really thought I would have a handle on this particular side effect.  I need to get back on my pooping regimen, because this cannot continue, and I know the traffic jam is only gonna get worse from here on out.


20 thoughts on “

  1. I have noticed the same insanity. It’s why I don’t get involved on the boards anymore. The birth board moves too fast to even find useful stuff. and I can’t handle the ignorance of so many of them. It’s appalling. Just pick up a book, or even read the articles on the site and you’d know the answer. It’s just mind blowing.

    I found constipation got better after the first trimester. Stool softeners should be part of your daily pills now.

  2. I’m with you on the meanness and the dangers of visits to Dr. Google. I never visit any board but DE and Reproductive Immunology anymore for that reason – where women are so beleagured by the crap we’ve been through to get there it is full of compassion and kindness.

    More importantly, however, I stopped by to say that your girly bulldog is freakin’ adorable in those hotpants! That and I’m empathizing on the pregnancy-induced constipation. I don’t remember it getting loads better until it was all over though there were better and worse days. 😦

  3. OMG I love your dog and those puppy panties! I am a strong believer in positive, truthful and relevant sexual education. I’ve always seen myself as the type of logical person who self-educates where certain knowledge is lacking (cue: Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler). I grew up Catholic (but I NOT practising) and barely had any sort of sex ed beyond God makes babies, babies are made from love, blah blah blah. Anyway, my friend decided to get married Catholic and had to do those weekend pre-marital classes. She called me afterwards stating the best part of it was everything she learned about fertility through their family planning section. It reminded her of everything I’ve shared about tracking ovulation, etc. This pointed out to me the fact that most women DO NOT know how their bodies work. These conceptions should be taught way before the time a woman actually starts trying to conceive. Women should get to know their bodies better. Unfortunately, those boards are too often full of the uneducated, demanding attention types. Stay where you feel welcome and get the most support. 🙂

  4. Oh man, my friend-with-a-baby showed me those boards recently. She did the same thing while pregnant and found a lot of humor and horror in the posts. I just… I can’t stand that level of ignorance, especially when, as you said, the correct information is -right there.-

  5. I hung out at the Taking Charge of Your Fertility boards when we were TTC. Now I follow (and actively post at) a Due Date Club on the same website (which means, a closed group for women who are due the same month as I am). I really like it — a fairly intimate group that has gotten to know each other quite well, and a GREAT place to ask each other questions, share information, and just generally talk about how things are going for us, both ups and downs. I also tried a Due Date Club at mothering.com but it was too big and fragmented, with a whole lot of woo going on. :p

  6. Lol. Great post. When are you due? I just joined the BabyC*nter due date club for April. I’m probably one of those paranoid miscarriage people on there. The threads move so damn fast though, it’s hard to keep up with. I’m also not getting much out of it, aside from entertainment value. Puppy diapers are cute! I’m glad our girls were spayed before we had to deal with all of that. Controlling other people’s vaginas reminds me of that Prince song.

  7. A friend of mine is on the BBC message boards for her son’s birth month – her son is 17 months and she’s been reading since becoming pregnant. She always shares the shit show stories and anecdotes from there, and I am always aghast (but eager to hear!).

    Your poor puppy with her panties…what a pain in the @ss for you guys, but she’s adorable!

  8. Yay for puppy panties! This reminds me of the episode of Orange is the new black where half the women didn’t know they had three holes downstairs and took turns with a mirror looking. The scary part is that often they’re the ones doling out the medical advice! Yikes! Hope all goes well at your appointment tomorrow 😉

  9. Those puppy panties tho?!? OMG adorable!!! And i just stay away from those sites…i wish they had like a buzzfeed where they put the most ridiculous ones together. That would be awesome AND entertaining! And 8 weeks! Holy smokes that was quick!

  10. I was obsessed with my birth club! I passed so much time on there and found it fascinating for many of the reasons you listed above. For the women who posted on there regularly they did form a community similar to the GLBT boards, but on the other hand they were kind of a cliquey mean girls group– but the posters they picked on kind of had it coming. So many “I smoked pot throughout my pregnancy now I’m worried they’ll take my baby” posts. I still lurk on the GLBT fertility board because there are still a few ladies trying who were supportive of me during my journey and I can’t wait for them to get their bundles. I think now everyone who was trying when I was has now officially gotten a bfp as of this week!

  11. My girl dog is 8 years old and spayed, but I seriously want those puppy panties for her. Too flipping cute. Hope everything is wonderful with the midwives today!

  12. Dude, I wrote this post last year when I was pregnant. There are so many crazy bitches on Center of Baby. I was excited at first until I realized how nuts these women are. Talk about neurotic and paranoid. As soon as I ditched those boards my level of paranoia went waaaaay down. I just don’t know how some of these people have the energy to be that negative.

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