Sunday, 29 January 2012
Facebook is bad
Before I start please can I apologise? If you are reading this it is possible you may think that I am referring to you in this post. Really sorry. Can I just say I don't aim to offend you but need to write about how I feel. And can I also add that if you are currently going through a pregnancy after a loss or infertility issues then it's highly unlikely to be you I am referring to in this post. So please don't be offended. xx
Facebook is fabulous and bad. It is a source of great comfort, joy, friendship and amusement but also pain and sadness for me.
I want to tell you about both the good and the bad but I have decided to split the post into two. Today I am afraid is all about the bad. I will concentrate on the good in my next post which knowing me might not be for a couple weeks!
How can Facebook possibly be a source of pain and sadness you might ask? Well to be fair to Facebook it is not Facebook itself that causes these feelings but instead it is a few of it's users, some of my Facebook friends to be more exact. Not most of them, just a few - the pregnant ones mostly. Not all of the ones in that category. Some don't bother me. The ones who do are the ones who like to incorporate their pregnancy into the vast majority of their status updates. Or who install apps on Facebook that automatically update all their friends weekly with the number of weeks they are in their pregnancy along with a detailed description of their unborn child's developmental status and usually a picture.
Some of my friends are ingenious in their ability to incorporate their pregnancies into their statuses. They manage to find ways to express their joy and excitement in the most mundane of posts. Here is an example (a fictional one):
"Amy Pond is looking 10 weeks further along than she actually is after eating a massive takeaway meal. So happy to be pregnant!"
Then you get the posts where the women are in their third trimester and like to share how they wish they were no longer pregnant:
"Amy Pond is so fed up. I feel fat and bloated and my feet hurt. Can't wait for this pregnancy to end."
Or how about the announcements? Women who aren't even past their first trimester announcing their pregnancies on Facebook. Don't they know the chance of miscarriage is high in the first trimester? Most women wait until they have just had their dating scan at 12 weeks when they assume everything will be fine and announce their pregnancy in interesting ways. Often they post a scan picture. Then of course you get later scan pictures too....
For a mother who has lost a baby these status updates can be difficult to cope with. Maybe not all women in that category get upset. Perhaps I need a more specific category of women to describe here, maybe you need to be someone feeling fragile who has not only lost a baby but also miscarried a few times and then struggles to get pregnant and is not pregnant when she sees the status updates? Me for example.
So for those of you who have no idea how I feel this is how you would feel if you were me, but be warned this next bit isn't pretty it is all about jealousy, grief, bitterness and just feeling sorry for yourself. If you were me:
1. When you see pregnancy statuses or pictures on Facebook yes you are happy for your friends but also you are sad. Their pregnancy reminds you of your dead baby. You remember how you felt at their stage in pregnancy and remember you are not currently pregnant and do not have a baby.
2. Comments on statuses make you feel sad and jealous - you doubt whether you will ever get pregnant again and even if you do you wouldn't put anything about it on Facebook (in my case even before Orson the first mention of any pregnancy or baby related posts by me was me saying I was home from hospital with M). So if you were me you would be thinking that you will never get to have comments like that from your Facebook friends. And you would be feeling sorry for yourself. Things go wrong. If you get pregnant you will never assume at any point during your pregnancy that everything will be okay and that you will get a living baby at the end of your pregnancy.
3. You get surprised that your friends who are aware of your loss do not stop to consider you when they update their status or upload scan photos. They know your baby died. You wonder why they don't they stop and consider that maybe they are making you sad when they repeatedly post about their pregnancy? Don't they care?
So there you go I have said it now. Sorry for the negativity I know it is childish and borne out of all the emotions we are not supposed to show or admit we feel but I honestly have heard so many women who have lost babies complain about this that I can promise you I am not alone in having these emotions.
Next time will be better, next time is all about how I cannot live without Facebook.