So I’ve noticed a few of us mentioning how tough it is to see announcements and frequent pregnancy posting on Facebook. And I’ve been thinking about writing about it, so now’s the perfect time, right?
For the longest time, I refused to hide people who talked about their pregnancies. Notice the phrasing; besides an announcement, I have a lot of friends who are pregnant right now but simply don’t talk about it much. And in most cases, this goes for first and subsequent pregnancies; the kid’s appearance is what prompts more posting. The pregnancy itself isn’t something they talk about.
However, at the moment, I do have two friends who talk about their pregnancies seemingly every chance they get. I have one friend who posted “Pregnant Women Are Smug” by Garfunkel and Oates in a “Haha, I’m so not smug” kind of way, but … it did come across as smug, as do a lot of her posts about being pregnant (in a “I’m not the typical pregnant woman” kind of way). Another friend decided to point out that her baby has an appropriate sense of timing given that it was as big as a sweet potato at Thanksgiving. Well, no, that’s not it: it’s just the time of year you conceived. Coincidence? Yes. But the baby is none the wiser.
And sure, the above is meant to be cute. But to a woman who hasn’t been winning the lottery even though she’s been buying tickets just like everyone else (analogy hat tip to Erocha), these are just grating. To someone who’s measured and tracked every little thing, the cuteness is quickly lost: the difficulty of getting pregnant is a huge reality, and the lightness of what seems to be an easily gotten pregnancy is very annoying.
But as I said, I didn’t hide these people. I thought it was petty of me; I thought that working through my bitchy feelings was my problem, so I needed to suck it up given that I typically hide people for other reasons (over-the-top politics and blatant racism; I would love to unfriend the latter, but he’s my cousin-in-law, and I know an unfriending would blow the fuck up). I needed to be the bigger person, I thought. I needed to just deal.
You know what, though? No, not anymore. I think it’s okay, and even healthy, to remove yourself from situations that cause you pain. So I went ahead and hid these two, and will probably keep them hidden until I know they’ve given birth. (For some reason, seeing baby pictures doesn’t bug.)
However, all of this makes me wonder how I’ll handle my own pregnancy on Facebook. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I plan not to talk about it much on Facebook.
Will I do an announcement? Probs. Will I answer people’s questions if they post on my wall? Sure. Will I update each time the fetus does something that causes me joy, discomfort, or a momentary thought of how terrifying parenthood is going to be? No. Will I post about how I’m not smug, or how great it is to be pregnant, or how I’m working out all the time despite said pregnancy? Nope. Will I talk about the size of the baby, post ultrasound pictures, announce the sex? Nah. Much as I do with almost everything, I think I’m going to take a very conservative approach with my pregnancy and Facebook.
The biggest reason why is that, having experienced the hurt that comes with repeated posts about pregnancy, I don’t want anyone to go through what I’m going through. I’ve never been a very jealous person, but combine the difficulty of TTC with constant posting, and you’ve got a formula for some painful moments. They don’t know it, and I’m sure they would feel awful to know the pain it causes; however, I can’t hog in on their joy with my problems. Asking them to stop posting is laughable and stupid and not happening. Best thing to do is remove myself now and ask myself how I want to handle my own news later.
I think my announcement may include something about how TTC is not easy, but that it’s finally happened. And then that’s it. I will shut up for the next 28 weeks. I can answer the questions that might come from time to time (mostly from my in-laws); if I have questions, I have a group on Facebook I can go to, people I’ve been friends with for close to three years who would be happy to answer my questions and would delight in any attention-whore postings I may be feeling that day. For my general feed, though: no.
This is a cart before horse kind of post, of course. Yet it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to the past couple of weeks. I can be very discreet when I want to be; whereas I grumbled quite a bit about my old job on Facebook, I’ve kept my mouth shut when it came to this six-month stint from hell (ending Friday!). My goal was to get out; no need to talk about it on my feed. This blog served as a place to vent about my job, and will continue to serve as an outlet for my TTC struggles and into a pregnancy.
For me, Facebook is place to snark and be snarked upon. I prefer to post wry observations, talk about the books I read, and sometime post a funny thing my husband has said. I just don’t see it as a place where I’ll want to talk about pregnancy much, anyway. And given how rough it is to see someone talking about pregnancy, I want to walk the walk and keep it close to mum.
I don’t know. Someone could see my decision as smug in and of itself; believe me, I see that! You may think I’m needlessly curtailing joy by avoiding the topic for the sake of a theoretical someone who may possibly be TTC. Also see that! But it strikes me as the best thing to do in my case.