Telling the Internet You're Pregnant: Some Dos and Don'ts

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Don't post pictures of anything you peed on.

Unless you are a very special person, you probably shouldn't share your bodily fluids with the world. Really, I'm just thinking of you here. You need to be careful. One day you're posting an innocent picture of a piece of plastic that's been optimistically doused in your urine, then before you know it you're sharing your child's first crap with the internet. It's a slippery slope, my friends. Literally.

Do tell rambling stories about knitting. 

Unsolicited scan pictures I can frankly live without. When you've sat in a darkened room looking at a horribly still picture on a screen, other people's happy scans kind of lose their appeal. Even my own happy scan inspires mixed feelings. I had an extra early scan this time and immediately lost the slip of paper they gave me with the blobby picture on it. I think this bodes well for my parenting skills.

Don't promise not to change.

Everyone promises they won't turn into a boring baby drone. Then EVERYONE TURNS INTO A BORING BABY DRONE. It's fine - it's a fairly major life development, after all - but let's not lie to ourselves and each other, mmkay? You are probably going to mention motherhood once or twice or a million times. That's ok! It's your blog/twitter/instagram/life! You can talk about whatever you want! Own it, girlfriend!

This is my way of saying I'm probably going to mention the fact that I'm knocked up on the blog, at least once or twice. I've always written about whatever's on my mind, and the pregnancy has been weighing heavily on my mind (and on my bladder) for the last 18 weeks or so. Coincidentally (or not), my blog has gone to shit over that time, because I couldn't write about the one thing that I couldn't stop thinking about. This explains my recent reliance on silly pictures and few words (in fairness though, I can't really claim that's a new development).

Do be gracious, do be grateful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your lovely comments, emails and tweets yesterday. (Side note: if further evidence of the decline of blog commenting in favour of social media were needed, I received easily double the number of tweets compared to comments here. All congratulations, compliments and hugs are of course welcome in any form, but I so wish there was a way to preserve those tweets forever!) 

I was painfully conscious when writing yesterday's post of not wanting to cause hurt or distress to anyone who is struggling to conceive, has lost a baby or for whatever reason finds news like this upsetting. From my own meagre experience I know how difficult it can be to hear, and I don't know if I managed to find the right balance or not.  It's been such a sweet relief for me to have something positive to focus on and tell people, rather than my usual tale of woe, that it's easy to get carried away. If that happens, you have my blessing to channel Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation and say, "I mean sure, congratulations, whatever, but ooh! No! Boooooo!" *thumbs down* (Why is there not a gif of this? There really should be.)

For my part, I'm so grateful to have received such huge love and support from all of you and feel very lucky to have made it this far. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you guys are the best.

Do create a sneaky secret Pinterest board (or four).

Secretly pin pictures to them for months, then make them all public at the same time. Realise belatedly that this makes you look like a psycho who pinned seven thousand pictures of babies hanging out with dogs and pregnant women who probably didn't buy their outfit in Mothercare in one giant, late-night, hormone-fuelled Pinterest binge.

Don't use the word "sperminated", even though it's clearly the best word ever.



20 boats moored

  1. I'm so glad I received an exemption ;) I do promise never to post poo pics though! I swear! xx

  2. Two days of big at-desk crying! Sperminated is genius!

  3. The question of being sensitive to people who can't experience baby joy or who have been through miscarriage is a really tricky one, but I err on the side of caution and good intention. Some hurt might be inevitable, especially if people haven't told you about their losses or struggles, but you're not shoving it in people's faces. You're allowed to talk about it and be happy about it, Kirsty, *especially* given what happened last year.

    I know you know this, but it's worth saying again.

    I'm so happy for you. And sperminator is clearly excellent, I say go for it.

  4. I was so hoping that you would have a maternity style pinboard! I searched for it last night but didn't see it and was afraid to ask because I'm 9 weeks and didn't want to out myself!!!! Also, thanks for the tips; I have a couple cousins with severe IF and who have been through several miscarriages, so I want to be very sensitive. I did text my sister a picture of the pee sticks, but she was being really nosy about when I peed on a stick and whatnot, so I figured she deserved it.

    1. Ooooooh now I can't wait to find out who you are!!

  5. Oh... so I tried to be careful and gracious while writing about pregnancy*, but I did actually post pictures of our pregnancy tests and then some ultrasound pics . I am sorry if that caused you (or anyone else) any hurt at the time.

    I actually struggle whether or not to write about things like breastfeeding, choosing a stroller, how motherhood feels so far... because I have been there and I know how painful it can be. I just took a walk in the glorious warm spring warmth that we are enjoying (20ºC !) and I was praying and hoping that my walking with our baby was not causing pain to anyone who saw me, and might be struggling to conceive.

    However I DID find hope in reading those kind of posts back when we were going through the whole process because it gave me something to look forward too.

    *hence my trimester-updates as opposed to the constant rambling that would have been writing about what was in my mind but did not really dare to speak too much about, for the reasons you mention.

    About the poo... you are right it is such a slippery slope. Not that I will be posting any photos, but we are THOSE parents, you know, the ones with the color-coded spreadsheets on the fluids of the kid (must be the science-medical nerd in me).

    1. Amanda, you totally count as a special case for pee sticks! I think anyone who has struggled to conceive and been through as much as you has earned the right to post as many scan pictures and pregnancy tests as they damn well please. I think one of the hardest things about having experienced the loss of a pregnancy or fertility worries is the inability to really enjoy pregnancy if it does happen - there is so much anxiety and fearing every twinge, it can suck the joy out of what is meant to be a happy experience. Ultimately, if people find pregnancy announcements or baby chatter upsetting, they can gracefully step away from the computer or look away from the giggling baby (I know I have done all of that) - ultimately, we each have to find our own threshold for this stuff and give ourselves as much space and care as we need. So don't feel bad! I felt nothing but pure joy when I heard you were pregnant and when Yulia was born. Such long-awaited, happy news xx

    2. This is so true. Also, this is *your* spectacular news - in your own words: own it, girlfriend! You are amazingly thoughtful and gracious, and that is hugely appreciated by the likes of me, but those of us with empty womb syndrome need to remind ourselves that the status of other people's wombs has no bearing on ours whatsoever. (Admittedly, this can be terrifically hard to remember at times.) Of course people struggling will no doubt feel sadness or jealousy or any other of a myriad of potential emotions, but that's their stuff. People will feel however they feel no matter how you tell them, though an approach as thoughtful as ours will no doubt earn you extra babysitting credit. But ultimately this is your wonderful news and you absolutely deserve to celebrate it. xx

    3. <3 I totally understand you on the anxiety. I am sure you read HappySighs-Liz's series on how babies are scary... I think it will never end, the fear, life is so precious, from conception onwards.

      I wish that all will continue to go well.

      And yes, sometimes you need a time out, to look away, to get out of Facebook... to let it out and start again. For me random Facebook updates of not-so-close acquaintances were the hardest, after all, I do get to choose which blogs I read, and yes, I also choose who I am connected to on Facebook, but somehow there you have less control of what will suddenly pop on your feed.

      Thanks so much for being there Kirsty!

  6. What is up with the tweets instead of comments? Down with that nonsense! (Spoken as a renewed blogger.)

    Also, I love you very much. xx

  7. Kirsty as someone who is openly talking about my infertility issues you posted the most perfect announcement ever yesterday.

    Enjoy this moment and all those special moments that are yet to come, as you say if people are struggling they can look away but don't feel that you need to hide your joy. I'm looking forward to a wee mention here or there (hoping for lots more though!) of pregnancy and baby. Smidge is going to be the best big sister :)

  8. It's much harder to lose a baby than to lose an ultrasound picture of a baby. So I hear, anyway.

  9. What lovely news! Congrats to you and Fin xx

  10. Yeah I did the pinterest boards! ha! and the stick photo I had on my phone and weirdly, I kept thinking of showing people, and then would have to stop myself and remember that none wants to see pee-covered plastic in a photo. :)

  11. Very guilty of posting scan pics. In the words of Hagrid; Sorry 'bout that!!

    I truly hope I've never discussed the Peas poo with anyone other than Gav... unless it gets everywhere in which case it's funny and everyone deserves a laugh. xx

  12. Decidedly unpregnant but taking notes. Great news, and many happy baby returns!

  13. Congratulations. To all three of you! Such good news.