Sometime late in the nineties, I was seized by baby fever. In many ways it was all too predictable, last ditch effort to save a bad marriage, rapidly approaching thirty, stuck in a seemingly endless graduate school career, take your pick for the true underlying motivation. All I knew was I wanted a baby now and my then-husband just as adamantly did not. Girlfriends surrounded me with loving partners who seemed anxious to become fathers. Switching from briefs to boxers, check. Taking zinc supplements, sure. Abstaining for two days, timing intercourse to peak fertility, checking cervical mucous, whatever it took, these guys lined up eagerly.

I felt alone, ashamed and abysmal. I can’t remember quite what internet-search query led me to BabyCenter.com, but there I found salvation in the form on an online bulletin board, as they were called back in the day, titled “ready to TTC, but my partner isn’t.” From the safety of my glassed-in sun porch I could vent my frustration, pour out my angst and in general spew in ways that my reticence and pride would never allow IRL.

Fast-forward some years. Ph.D. obtained, first husband lost, I found myself unexpectedly, but quite happily, pregnant. I quickly rejoined BabyCenter thinking ‘MY TURN FINALLY.” Sadly at six weeks that pregnancy ended in miscarriage, yet during that brief return to BabyCenter I became intrigued with the interaction of women online. When I again got that BFP, I joined yet another “pregnant for the first time” group within an hour of POAS.

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