A good friend of mine found out she was pregnant in late 2011 and announced her little bundle of joy by posting a picture of her urine-soaked pregnancy test on Facebook for all to see. “We’re expecting!!!” she wrote joyously.
I was one of the first well-wishers on her wall. “Congratulations! Very excited for you!”
I realized then that we are in a very different era, one where every single aspect of motherhood is Instagrammed, Facebooked, tweeted or YouTubed. I’ve seen it all—from ultrasound photos as profile pictures, to weekly belly pictures to show how much the baby (and mama) is growing each week, to blogging about what cravings they’ve been having lately.
And even though my kids are 6 and 4 and social media wasn’t nearly as pervasive back then, I still remember using social media to keep the people in my life informed about the babies in my belly. But even then, I remember waiting until I got home from the hospital to post baby’s first photo to Facebook.
Now there’s live-tweeting the birth. Several of my friends have done it. The hourly updates of progress took me off guard at first.
“Nurse says I’m 2 centimeters dilated! Time to get this party started!”
“4 centimeters…hanging in there!”
“Whew! That last contraction was a doozy…breathe in, breathe out.”
“Just got an epidural….Ahhh.”
“Getting ready to push! This is it guys!”
And then, usually about an hour or so after baby has entered the world, there it is: Baby’s photo has made it’s debut on social media.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with posting during your labor in the broadest sense. But let me tell you—they’ve made me feel like a chump because there was no way I was picking up a phone or sliding over to my laptop to update anybody on anything during my Pitocin-fueled march to motherhood. No, ma’am.
But things are different now. I don’t know if there’s an expectation of updates, but certainly we live in a technology-crazed world where it’s second nature to keep people abreast of what you’re eating, drinking, seeing, cooking, listening to and so on. So why not the actual “big events” like childbirth?
I admit that I did post a lengthy description of my labor after both my kids were born, but I figured it was more for me than for anyone else. I wanted to have a record of what happened to share with my kids before time erased all the details, but also, it was helpful to simply share a link with all the people who kept asking me how it went.
If I were to have another kid (hahaha!), I still don’t think I’d be live-tweeting it, but hey, if you like it, I love it.
What do you think? Have you tweeted during labor or know someone who has? Is it the best way to update everyone on what’s going on or can it wait until later?
Tara Pringle Jefferson is the founder of TheYoungMommyLife.com and the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she’s too tired to remember.