Bubsicles has been up and running for a few months now. It’s been fun sharing the highs and lows of my parenting journey here. I especially like posting snippets of our everyday activities with the girls on the bubsicles Facebook page (without the pressure of having to rack my foggy brains to conjure up a full blog entry.) All the hard work that goes into designing the site and keeping a running commentary on Facebook is Yann’s. I just like blabbing about life and kids here – and trusting that my entries get read! I thought I’d share a little about how Yann, Selene and I became friends. We hooked up on the Internet, as dodgy as that may sound. Back in 2010, I Love Children launched the MaybeBaby portal and invited the husband and I to be their resident bloggers, along with *scream* handsome celebrity man Edmund Chen, Jaime Teo (of Twelve Cupcakes fame), and Edmund Tay and Daphne Ling – well-known parent bloggers. Yes, we were the noobs with a penchant for writing, storytelling and a willingness to talk to anyone who was interested enough to listen. Our foray into blogging started before that, when we left Singapore on a year-long backpacking trip and set up the creatively-named DanYilin.Blogspot.com to keep our family and friends updated on our whereabouts (along with the mugging encounters in Bogota, having our bags needlessly opened and searched for drugs on the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, gazing at nekkid golden-brown bottoms in Rio de Janeiro…. la la la). When we returned to SG, we took up the offer to blog on MaybeBaby and switched from travel-blogging to writing about our adventures in the bedroom…or rather, the fertility clinic. We shared openly about our experiences in trying to conceive through IVF. In one particular entry, I wrote about undergoing a fertility test called a hysterosalpingogram – also known as the bizarre experience where a doctor cleans your nether regions, pumps coloured dye into your fallopian tubes and an audience of medical personnel gather around an x-ray screen to watch how far the stream of dye goes on its tubular journey. Enter Selene (who, by the way, has just written a lovely heartfelt entry on Stepping Up), who wrote to me via Facebook to share that she had also been trying to conceive and asked if I could share some information on my recent experience with hysterosalpingography. She first got to know Dan through their work in the travel industry and had been following our adventures on both our travel and MaybeBaby blogs since. We chatted openly and often – both online and on WhatsApp – about our personal journeys to parenthood. We shared small achievements – like each day during the dreaded Two Week Wait that passed without any sign of menstrual blood, and deep disappointments – on the day that the unmistakable sight of fresh blood crushed any hope of being pregnant. When we met for the first time over tea at Vivocity, cheesy as it sounds, it felt like we had known each other for years. A year into this unique friendship, Selene shared a link to a heartbreakingly honest blog entry dedicated to the writer’s future child and that was when we started following Yannisms, which, of course, is Yann’s blog. We followed one another’s online – and real – lives, left comments on each other’s blog entries and chatted frequently in our ‘Girl Talk’ group on WhatsApp. We shed tears when IVF attempts failed, sent flowers and condolences when miscarriages happened, and exchanged words of comfort and encouragement. It wasn’t all doom and gloom – the conversations were always peppered with humour and non-baby-related stories, reminding ourselves that there was more to life than chasing a positive result on a pee stick. Yann and I finally met, unarranged, sometime in 2011. I was chowing down on a MacDonald’s breakfast meal after an ante-natal class at KKH and couldn’t help but glance up at the fabulously gorgeous girl who swept into Macca’s in a bright red sundress. I recognised her immediately. We exchanged hellos and handshakes (I even remember apologising for my sticky Hotcake syrup-tainted fingers) and that was how Internet acquaintances became friends in real-life. From then on, our lives merged even further. Selene and Yann became colleagues. Selene and I linked up over common work projects. We visited the others’ homes. Exchanged Christmas gifts. Got to know one another’s other halves (with the exception of Selene and Dan, who already knew each other). It’s funny how, although the 3 of us don’t meet up that often, it feels oddly quiet if a day or two goes by without our phones buzzing with a message from the others. With the arrival of Elliott on 3 March 2014, all 3 of us became moms, well, not in the sense that Elliott made us all moms. Now, this is where this little friendship circle gets all the more precious. While we swapped tips on pee and poop, carseats and strollers, engorged boobs and sleep-adverse babies, motherhood didn’t turn us into ‘mummy friends’. The fact that we now all have babies hasn’t overshadowed or taken precedence over our pre-children friendship. We still swap daily anecdotes (well, almost daily – frequent texting is no longer possible with wailing infants to pacify and toddler fights to break up all the time) on “Girl Talk”, not “Mummies’ Club”. You know how other mums like to congratulate new mums by saying, “Welcome to the Club”? Although I know that the welcomes are well-intentioned, the phrase irks me no end because it’s innately patronising in how it draws the line between the have-kids and the have-nots. Motherhood is not a club where friendship is a privilege that is extended only when you have a child of your own – and neither will motherhood turn what we already have – and had all along – into one. This may sound like a cheesy tagline from a dating website, but I have to say – I had never thought it possible to make real friends on the Internet, much less build a firm friendship through blogging. So here’s to my fellow bubsigirls: 4 years on, I still marvel at how our deepest wishes for children brought us together – when they were still seemingly-unattainable concepts of future children. Thank you for being there all this while. May bubsicles continue to connect with women out there, and grow into a warm and close-knit community, where real and lasting friendships are forged.
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