I'm now eight months pregnant. And I still haven't officially "Facebooked" my pregnancy.
Sure, if you read my wall or browsed my photos, it would be pretty obvious that I'm with child. It's not like it's a secret or anything. But I couldn't help but feel weird broadcasting a big announcement or an ultrasound photo to everyone on my list.
I guess at first, I felt a little superstitious--about saying things too early and jinxing the pregnancy before it really got going. And then I wanted to make sure I'd told all my closest friends and family in person--not wanting them to complain that they only found out I was knocked-up through social media. And then...I don't know. I guess it started feeling too late. Like, by the way, I've been keeping an online secret from you all these months. So I finally just made the decision to wait until my baby girl is born--to officially share her with the online world. (Four weeks and counting...arghh!)
But not all women want to stay on the down low when it comes to announcing the big news to the Internet. In fact, forget ultrasound pictures--they're actually videotaping their pregnancy tests--and putting them up on YouTube to share with the world.
Yes--those pee sticks are hitting prime time, according to a recent article in Slate Magazine, who appropriately dubbed the trend "WombTube." Women saying the heck with the traditional three-month wait, they want to share their BFP moment ("big f'ing positive" in the baby bump online community) with the world. "These women would rather share their joy with a virtual community of strangers than follow that cautious custom," writes Slate's Marisa Meltzer.
And these videos are popular, too! With many averaging 50,000 hits each (watch one example below).
I guess, as a soon-to-be mom, I can understand some of the appeal. It's a feel good moment (with a lot of excited squealing and laughter) and it may even offer hope to those who are still trying. She did it--why not me? Of course, most of the videos, as you can imagine, have the foregone conclusion of a positive result. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a video where someone was excited about a "BFN"--jumping for joy because that one night stand last month didn't result into something a lot more permanent.
But still, I can't help but worry about the 10-25 percent of recognized pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Would you keep the video up after the pregnancy failed? A painful reminder of a life that could have been? Or would you take it down, the formerly joyful clip now nothing more than a heart wrenching reminder of something that will never be. People talk about how painful it is to change your relationship status on Facebook. I can only imagine this could feel so much worse. And while, sure, it's nothing to be ashamed about and you'd ideally want your close friends and family to grieve with you, do you really want every single person on your wall--your coworkers, your boss, your high school boyfriend--not to mention strangers around the world--to share in this moment of extremely personal grief? Personally, I'm not sure I could deal with that.
But pregnancy is full of personal decisions and while some people, like me, prefer to wait until their baby is in their arms to share her through social media, others are happy to get the party started the moment they see those two pink lines. And if that's what works for them--why not use the technology available to throw a virtual pregnancy party? After all, I'm sure friends, family and strangers will be thrilled at the chance to happy dance alongside the Wombtubers--joining in the celebration of new life coming into the world.
Would you broadcast your new pregnancy across YouTube, Facebook or Twitter? What are the pros and cons?