The FB effect

First a quick update: I have made it through 11 weeks of pregnancy!  I still look pretty much the same as I did 6 weeks ago, although sometimes my gassy bloat makes me look like I'm showing... the way it did at the wedding I was at a week or so ago, and all my friends were rubbing my tummy...  Yeah, that's not weird at all.  I just let them think it was a miracle they were carressing, and not the burrito I had for lunch.  The morning sickness never got too terrible and I think it may be fading at this point.  I'm still really tired though, and I managed to catch a cold somehow so that's not helping matters.  And now it's like 178 degrees outside today, so I'm holed up in the coolest room in the house with the lights off drinking ice water.  This does not bode well for my productivity factor.

Okay, on with the show.

Over the past few weeks I've found out that like eight other people I know are pregnant.  Holy crap, everyone must have read Fifty Shades of Grey over the summer because I haven't seen a baby boom like this in years.  (And yes, I too read those books this summer.  Not that I attribute my condition to them, but they could have had a hand in it, who knows?)  As is the norm of late, many of these women have made announcements via Facebook.  Which is what brings me here today.

I always said I would never announce a pregnancy on Facebook.  My reason for that is solely because of my history with infertility.  Getting blindsided with pregnancy announcements as I casually scrolled through my newfeed always hurt.  And actually, it still does sting.  But I've given it a lot of thought lately, and I've noticed that it stings regardless of the way the information is conveyed - on FB, in person, via email or text... It's all the same.  For me I think it hurts because I figure those people don't ever have to consider what it might be like to always be on the receiving end of those announcements and never be able to make their own.  They always seem so carefree, almost flippant (especially those ultra-cheesy ones, like when there's an accompanying photo of a jar of pasta sauce).  So because those announcements have always stung me, I swore I wouldn't make an announcement that would sting anyone else.

There are a couple of problems with that promise, though.  For one, I didn't realize how excruciatingly tempting it would be, especially when so many others are doing it and you've waited so long to get your turn to do it too.  Getting - and staying - pregnant is a big deal, especially for infertiles.  Hell it's the one thing most of us want more than anything in the world, and lots of times the one thing we least expect will ever happen.  So doesn't that give us at least as much right as anyone else to shout it from the rooftops when it does happen?  I think so.  Absolutely.  But for many of us, the journey to that point has made us very sensitive to our audience.  And for those who didn't become so sensitive (I'm sure I'm not the only one who's seen an infertile post a pregnancy announcement to FB mere minutes after getting a positive pee test), us sensitive IFers can sometimes be not very forgiving.  *Ahem*  I am referring to myself, and the comments I've made to Hubs and others about how tacky and stupid it is to announce so soon when one should know better.

Another problem is how damn convenient a FB blast is.  Although most of my friends and all of my immediate family know I'm pg, I have a huge list of extended family members, a few other friends, and yeah, some acquaintances too, that I would like to tell.  This list is apparently too long for one email, as FB cuts you off from adding more names once you get to #65 or so.  Plus, if you try to go alphabetically, rather than typing in the whole name of a person you want to send a message to, it won't necessarily bring up everyone's names.  I think it goes by the people you communicate with the most.  And frankly, I can't remember each individual person who I want to tell off the top of my head!  My next thought was to create a list of friends who I thought might not appreciate seeing yet another pregnancy announcement in their feed (and any subsequent pregnancy-related updates), posting a status update announcement and hiding it from that list.  But 1. That just seemed wrong; maybe some of them actually would want to know, and maybe some others that weren't in the list wouldn't.  And 2. Most of those people already know that I'm pregnant anyway.

Is this making any sense at all?  I guess what it comes down to now is that there's no way for me to predict who will be happy vs. hurt by any announcement I made.  Even if I sent an email to only my family members, there might be someone who gets stung.  Even if I never made any announcement and just let the word spread, someone might get stung.  And even if I told everyone who already knows to keep it to themselves until the baby was born, eventually everyone would know I had a kid, and that could sting for someone too.

So what am I gonna do?  I still don't know.  Feel free to comment with your opinions on the subject.


Emily said...

Damn, social media is so good, yet so bad. This is really a personal choice, but just remember you are never going to make everyone happy, so if it feels right, I say go for it. Anyone that knows your history will be over the moon happy for you! I don't think I made an official pregnancy announcement on FB, b/c like you, I knew I had friends that this would hurt to see. Most of those friends were you guys from the WebMD boards... and like you said, most said friends already knew I was pregnant b/c the boards were much more active then. I'm pretty sure word got out by people posting on my wall or seeing pictures, etc. If you still feel uncomfortable making a big announcement to everyone, I know I tried to let the people I thought may hurt them know first when I was ready to announce, that maybe hearing it from you personally will take the sting off, I don't know, it's such a hard situation. But this is the most fabulous news I have head in a long time, and I am shouting from the rooftops for you!!

My Vegas said...

I never posted a facebook announcement. I did post a picture of A shortly after he was born. Everyone was like " Hey CJ--is that your baby?" or at least everyone I do not talk to on a regular basis.

I thought that was more fun.

I still dislike the FB announcements and the ultrasound photos, but now that I am miraculously pregnant from having sex (ha!), I can get why people do post such good news. I was so friggin excited with my BFP, I wanted to announce it to the whole world.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

I always thought the same thing. I waited until in knew Charlotte was a girl before I announced it on FB and I made sure my FB message stated everything we had been though without pushing it in everyones faces. It took me two weeks to figure out what to post! Good luck!

Christina said...

I think you should post something at least. I know that both times we waited till around 11 weeks to announce it because we were just so excited. Maybe wait until your "big" ultrasound to announce the baby and the sex??

Sarah said...

Kitty, this is something I struggled with as well. I never made an official announcement on fb but I did post when I found out Ellie was a girl. Then I got several responses that people didn't even know I was pregnant. It's really up to you and what you feel comfortable doing.
I'm glad to hear you are doing so well!!

Erin said...

Kitty, it's your turn. You've been through hell to get here. Talk about it as you wish. It's a very special time in your life.

Kate said...

We ended up doing a FB announcement, b/c C couldn't keep his mouth shut if he tried.

We attempted to make it an honest representation - that after a long wait we were happy to announce that we were expecting twins. I very seriously considered outing ourselves with regard to our IF journey, but C's family is not very open minded with regard to that at all, so we didn't say anything about it.

Some friends asked about the 'long wait' and I messaged them personally with a few details and found a few that were struggling quietly with IF as well.

If it seems right, go for it. After all, you beat IF - that's worth telling, right!?!?!

M said...

When I was in the throes of fertility treatments, FB pg announcements hurt, but I didn't fault the poster for posting the announcement. Practicality wise, a FB announcement is a good way to tell family and friends that you don't regularly talk to or see maybe due to distance. I made Facebook announcements with both my pregnancies but my webmd/blogger friends knew about the pregnancies well in advance. I think if you are sensitive to let those who you know may be hurt by an announcement know ahead of time, you will minimize the hurt of "yet another FB pg announcement "

Anonymous said...

First of all, YIPPEE!!!! 11 weeks OMG!!!

And yes, totally blame that bloat on baby!!

Can you even imagine being a carefree fertile? I know we've all talked about this before, but IF makes us SO much more sensitive to these things. After all, we couldn't even post happy news on webmd without starting with "Trigs". I was afraid to tell my very bestest friend in the world that I was pg, as her IUI had just failed and I was so afraid to hurt her. I don't know if it stung at all, because when I did tell her she was so wonderfully happy for me she never let any hurt show. And I really think that's how the rest of the IF'ers will be when they hear your news. All of us who care about you are so thrilled, and know how very much you deserve this.

So yes, scream from the rooftops if that's what you feel like doing. You earned this Kitty! No one has a right to fault you for spreading your long awaited, amazing news!

Congratulations again!!!! xoxoxoxo Jen

Alex said...

I never posted I was pg on FB, but I'm not generally a huge poster anyway. I did post after Alex's birth, and there were people that were shocked I was even pregnant. Next time (if I'm so luck) I'll probably post something, but in a nice way. I don't know how open you are about your struggles with the general public, but if you say something like "after thinking it would never happen for us, we'd like to announce we're expecting our miracle baby" or something like that. Something that shows a little of the backstory. So excited for you!