September 27, 2011

Why Facebook & Pregnancy Do Not Mix*

Being pregnant is a funny thing. Besides all the aches and pains, there is a whole other side to it that involves everybody and their mother giving unwanted advice, their two cents, telling you exactly what kind of parent you'll be, how you should eat, etc. It's like as soon as I have this little person gestating inside of me, I am no longer an individual. I'm a breeder and I'm apparently supposed to lose all form of identity.

Wrong, folks.

Last week, a co-worker brought in cupcakes on Friday morning to celebrate the first day of fall. They were delicious. And because I am the queen of random thoughts, I shared with all of my friends that yes, it was 8am, and I was having a cupcake. Most of the responses were polite, friendly, even supportive ["For you? Absolutely! YOU EAT THAT CUPCAKE, GIRL!" or you know, something like that]. But one individual decided that I was "eating for two" and felt necessary to warn me that if I continued to "eat for two" that I would gain a bunch of weight, have a horrible time losing it just like she did and that I should probably be more careful about what I was ingesting into my body because, you know, I don't want to get fat or anything.

For the record, I have been doing pretty well in my eating endeavors thus far. Minus that week where ALL I WANTED was mexican food [I will admit, four times in one week is a little excessive] I've been sticking to healthy options. I drink a ton of water. I make sure to get my calcium/protein/veggie intake for the day. I take my prenatals. I work out when I can [but because of my hip/pelvic pain it's somewhat unbearable most days]. So sue me for having a damn cupcake.

And you know what? I ACTUALLY HAD TWO. And it was totally worth the splurge when I needed that 3pm pick me up to get me through the rest of the work day. Granted, by reading this woman's posts its painfully obvious that she has body image issues. But it didn't stop me from getting slightly upset in the beginning that somebody who barely knows me, let alone knows what I eat on a day to day basis, would interject on this subject and let me know that "eating for two" is not a good thing. When it had nothing to do with pregnancy to begin with. I read the books. I know that for now it's only an extra 300 calories a day that's needed. I'm a smart gal, y'all.

But it goes so far beyond that. Everything I do suddenly revolves around the kid that's not even here yet. Every single thing I say somehow gets turned into baby. I could write that the sky is purple and somehow SOMEBODY would find a way to bring it back around to baby. EVERY. DAMN. TIME. Last week I decided to pick up knitting again and mentioned so because I have a lot of friends who knit, and it was "where are the baby bump photos?" Um, did I mention my pregnancy or the baby anywhere? I don't think so. And yes ... I am knitting for me. Not for the kid.

I was also introduced to this amazingly hilarious website called STFU, Parents! that is beyond funny. As an infertile, and really as just a human being, there was nothing more annoying than those parents who posted 20 times a day about their kids. I even had one friend go so far once to post a photo of their kid, SITTING ON THE TOILET, doing his "first big boy poop." Seriously? Some things need to be kept a secret. Or shared only in person. And on more than one occasion, these individuals got blocked because if I wanted to hear the ins & outs of every single thing your child did, I would be friends with THEM on facebook. And when I vowed publicly that I refused to be one of those parents, I was told "don't worry, you'll be just like that. Because poop is funny."

Ok. Maybe poop is a little funny sometimes. When I talked to my best friend last week and she told me how her one month old had his first big blow out and her husband almost threw up because he was so grossed out, it was funny. But what was funny was that as a first time parent, they didn't know what the fuck they were doing. But she kept it to herself and only shared with a few. And didn't post it all over facebook. Because honestly, who wants to read that?

The simple point to all of this is that I am a person, too. Just because I am now carrying a child and expanding our family does not mean that MY life ends. I get that baby's are cute and squishy and adorable, but not everybody loves them. Hell, I don't even like other people's kids that much. In fact, most times they annoy me, with a few exceptions to those that are currently in my life. And just because I am stepping into Mommy-Land, it does not take away from the things that I still enjoy. I have been very careful about the pregnancy related stuff I post on facebook, mostly out of respect for my friends still battling infertility, but also because it does not completely define me. Not in my eyes. I'm not going to lie ... I'm sure there will be plenty of photos and "look what Baby W did today" posts. But I honestly do not want to be that person that annoys everybody else.

I will love this child with every ounce of being that I have. It doesn't mean that I will give up who I am as an individual and forget that I had a life and a personality before a baby came along. And if I have to fight to remind people of that, then I will.


Stevie said...

Y'know, this post got me thinking...and I am on BOTH sides of the fence. Heh. I felt very similarly to you when I was pregnant. "I AM MORE THAN JUST AN OVEN FOR THIS ADORABLE LITTLE BUN, DAMMIT!" And it's true...obviously, you're still YOU. And I know I am guilty of the "ooooh baby!" mentality on FB, which is something I should be more aware of. But I think part of the reason behind it is because pregnancy is both a universal and unique thing. Makes sense? Everyone who has been preggers knows the general feelings...but each individual pregnancy is unique to each person. So, for me, when I talk to/see a pregnant woman, it takes me back to when I was pregnant. So I feel like I'm sharing it with them all over again...even though what they're going through may be NOTHING like what I went through. It's consuming, I guess. And makes people (myself included) lose perspective.

Honestly, at least for me, it only gets worse after the babe is here. YOU'RE not the center of attention anymore; your little bundle of joy is. They greet the baby long before they greet you when you walk into a room. Heh. But, in this weird way, it was okay. And still is. These little humans are just so...all-consuming. I know not all mamas feel that way, and nor should they. But for me, it's okay that everything I do is about Ruby, because she's...just, well, everything to me. And if it isn't that way, doesn't mean they're not! Of course. But I guess I'm one of those that just kind of became subsumed into my kiddo...for better or worse, I figure. It is truly astonishing how it makes you lose perspective to some extent. Because I don't WANT to be that person that makes everything about the baby/pregnancy. I don't WANT to be that person who posts constantly about their kid (and I'm working on it...but she's just so entertaining/adorable/smart/etc! ;-)). I don't WANT to be that woman that is only defined by her motherhood role. Honestly. But it just happens so, so easily. It's strange.

Anyhoo, this has gone on long enough. Sorry. But I totally get where you're coming from. You made me think. I'll be really interested to see how you feel about this after Baby W gets here. And that is NOT a challenge at all, because I ABHOR that "oh, you'll see!" attitude. Hate. It. I just meant, I wonder if you'll feel (happily, mostly) out-of-control consumed by it like I do. I really am curious if other mama's struggle or even think about in the same way.

I promise to try my damnedest to remember you are more than an incubator, lady :0)!

Brittany said...

First off, i just want you to know you are not NEARLY as bad about posting things as you say your are. I should have mentioned in that bloggy rant that I don't MIND hearing about people's kids every once in a while, but I also want to hear about them as individuals, too. It's the people that post a million times a day that drive me bonkers. But lets face it, Ruby is adorable. And I love seeing her updates. :) I am totally guilty of ooh'ing and ahh'ing when a cute baby enters into the room.

I do very much appreciate when friends such as yourself check in on me to see how I'm doing. It means a lot that people think of me. And I love hearing others perspectives, because it makes me feel less alone in how I'm feeling. I guess my concern is more when I have things to say that are absolutely NOT baby related, and they get turned into baby related stuff, it's somewhat annoying. If I wanted to talk about the kid, I would talk about the kid! lol!

I know that once I actually have this wee little thing growing inside of me, it will be different, and I'm sure my opinion will change. I think you are right to say that it's normal to become completely engrossed in your child, and for everyone around you to feel that way as well. But I guess part of me wants to not forget how it feels like RIGHT NOW. I have a friend who for the first THREE YEARS of her kids life, she emailed out photos every. single. week. To EVERYBODY. I don't want to be that extreme. I also think that part of this is that right now, I absolutely do not enjoy being pregnant. And I hate that. But I have been so damn miserable, it's making it difficult to enjoy this. I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy, and there has not been a single day where I have felt good, physically. It's frustrating!

Anyways, I don't know if any of that makes ANY sense at all, but I completely get where your comment is coming from. I definitely see both sides to it, and I KNOW that my feelings will likely change once I pop this baby out, but I don't like feeling like chopped liver, either. ha :)