Let me begin this post with a warning: If you are Facebook friends with Danielle and me and you are a woman between the ages of 15 and 45, you are probably pregnant. Our news feed has been absolutely inundated with ultrasound photos and pictures of pregnant bellies. I'm starting to suspect that we may be the Fertility Fairies, knocking up everyone in our path. So, if you haven't already, you'll want to leave your computer immediately to go pee on a stick. Don't worry. I'll wait.
(I twiddle thumbs. You pee.)
Welcome back, and congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm sure you'll want to share this good news with the Facebook world, as you have every right to do. Exciting news deserves to be celebrated. Still, whether you know it or not, you likely have Facebook friends who are dealing with infertility issues. Therefore, I have assembled a quick primer to keep your posts from getting blocked and you from being un-friended.
1. Wait a skinny minute before announcing your pregnancy. I like being in the loop and all, but I don't need to learn of your pregnancy 2 minutes after you do. Sure, your excitement is bubbling over like a shaken soda can, but keep in mind that pregnancies are so fragile in those early days. Early announcements on social media seem like you are taking a healthy pregnancy for granted. Tell your family and close friends as soon as you want, but you might want to hold off a bit before sharing your news with the random guy who friended you after you met at a mutual friend's birthday party. Random guy can wait to find out. (Unless you suspect random guy might be the father of your baby. In that, you two need to have a conversation, stat.)
2. We will just assume you are nauseated. It's public knowledge that pregnant women are prone to experiencing morning sickness and general nausea, so if you're going to post on the subject, please make it anecdotal. For example, maybe your kid said something funny to you while watching you puke your guts out. That is post-worthy. But continuous posts about how much you hate feeling queasy? Keep in mind that some of us are crazy enough to want that queasiness more than anything in the world. (Weirdos.)
3. Spare us the play by play. Because I am excited for you, I want to hear about your pregnancy and celebrate the milestones with you. Heard the baby's heartbeat? Tell me about it. Found out the sex of the baby? I want to know.
But please spare us all the torment of websites like this:
A FB feed informing me of your baby's weekly development? Oh boy!
This website is offensive on two levels for me. First of all, I don't care for minutiae-laden posts of any nature. For my family, though, the real harm lies in the fact that these posts are just weekly reminders of what we have yet to achieve. Plus, the fetus pictures are kind of creepy, right?
4. Ration your belly shots. In other words, please make sure you actually have a baby bump before you start photographing it. It is interesting to document the baby's growth on a monthly or quarterly basis. However, posting weekly shots is just annoying, and we won't be able to tell much difference anyway. It is probably also worth noting that, in general, these shots are more flattering when you wear a shirt over your belly. Just my two cents.
Of course, none of these rules are totally hard and fast. I'm sure someone could follow these suggestions but behave in ways that would be horribly hurtful to infertile couples. Likewise, another person could bend these rules a bit and be totally respectful. In the end, it really comes down to sharing vs. oversharing, celebrating your joy vs. rubbing it in everyone's face. If you're not the type to post 5,000 self-portraits on Facebook or to constantly update the cyberworld on what you had to eat today (and yesterday, and the day before that, etc.), you probably lack the temperament to be one of "those" pregnant women. For that, we thank you.
Oh, and there is a fifth rule. It is perhaps the most important one, so pay close attention.
5. Take these "rules" with a grain of salt. They were written by a person who's posted at least 30 pictures of her dog. Sleeping.