STFU Parents: The TMI Pregnancy And Labor Report, Part Two
A couple months ago, I posted the first TMI Pregnancy and Labor Report column and promised that, due to my overflowing “Preggers” folder, I would one day run a part two. Well, friends, that day has come! So put on your party hats and shake up a martini (even if it’s midday, who cares?!), and join me as I showcase a few more examples of what I consider to be “too much information” for Facebook related to pregnancy and labor.
In the first column we learned about such TMI offenses as “Taco Bell” morning sickness, ways to induce labor, and the ever-popular “crowning” updates, but there’s still so much more to share. As any mother (or reader of my blog) knows, pregnancy and labor are drawn-out, complex, and often-gross experiences, and with the advent of Facebook, it’s become more and more common to overshare the details of those experiences with friends. Some do it for support, some seek advice, and others simply want to keep their friends abreast of every freaky bodily occurrence – sometimes as the event is actually happening – for shits and giggles (so to speak).
And while some of the discussions can be amusing, oversharing about your pregnancy or labor can also automatically place you in the “hide” department before the baby has even arrived. A good rule of thumb is, if your friend has shared too much during her pregnancy and labor, she’ll probably share even MORE once her kid has entered the world. So if you’re one of those moms who wants her friends to stay updated and interested in her child’s development, try not to overshare before the little one is here. Here are a few types of updates you might want to stay away from:
1. Outie Updates
Listen, we’re all adults here. I’m not “afraid” of a pregnant belly, and in many ways I see the beauty in being nearly full-term, with a large-and-in-charge belly to prove it. It’s a wonderful thing. But once I start reading about belly buttons popping and fried chicken and DVD holes I find myself asking, “Why isn’t this being discussed on a parenting forum board?” I know belly button outies are a milestone in the journey toward becoming a mother, but I’m not sure I need any goofy, greasy visuals.
2. Penis Envy
We all know that parents are fascinated by their son’s little mister once it’s made its debut, but recently I’ve received a wave of updates like Jessica’s regarding a fetus’s “manhood” being “inside” a woman for the fetus’s extended stay. And it totally creeps me out. This is one of those, “Think it to yourself!” moments. In fact, I’m trying to think of a single example in which it would be appropriate for a mother to discuss her son’s penis on Facebook, and nothing springs to mind. (Sorry, I have a pun problem.) Plus, what’s so weird about it? You’re growing a whole baby – not just a penis.
3. Mucus Plugs
I don’t know if Amy is actually planning on sharing images of her vagina “at some point” or not, but this update had me at “More plug.” Once I read those words – which say so much by saying so little – I knew I was about to read a long, TMI-filled exchange. And Amy’s friends, particularly Leslie with her “nose-blowing” description, certainly did not disappoint. This Facebook thread proves there’s a real market for a View-esque talk show wherein moms just talk about their bodies all day and crack jokes about things like mucus plugs and incontinence and queefs. It’d be like ‘The Man Show’, but grosser. Maybe Oprah can add it to the OWN roster?
4. Water Breaking
Again, language choices are key. If you want to update your Facebook friends about your water breaking as a precursor to announcing your baby’s birth, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would be overjoyed to hear it. But when you get into details about what it felt like and start reporting on the status of your cervix, it might be time to put down the phone and just focus on your baby and labor. Especially if any of the details involve “digging.” Please don’t encourage a mental picture of another person’s hands digging in your vagina. Some of us are eating lunch here!
I don’t care if you looked like a goddess, a supermodel, or, God forbid, a mere mortal when you had labor contractions – it’s just not something I care to see. It feels invasive to see such a private and life-changing experience in play-by-play frames, and frankly I think it’s a bit egotistical to post them on Facebook. Why expose yourself to the world when you can choose to share those intimate memories with just your family? There’s nothing wrong with being proud of giving birth; it’s an amazing feat. But advertising your labor and birth story on Facebook through a series of photos is tacky, awkward and wayyy too much information.
Here’s what people want to know: Are you OK? Is the baby healthy? What did he weigh? What’s his name? What does he look like (after he’s been cleaned up)? End of story.
But for the record, if you’re going to post pictures of your baby’s birth on Facebook, remember to at least keep his face in the shot. Everything else is more than we need.