The Facebook Dilemma

16 Jul

We’re coming up on 12 weeks now which is when we agreed we would start telling people.  I know, the books say 13 or 14 weeks is officially the beginning of the second trimester.  But we made this decision before we read that.   And we’re both kind of anxious about starting to tell people.  So we’re sticking with 12 weeks.  It seems like a nice normal thing to do.   Like we are a normal fertile couple.  Ha!

Which leads to me to the great debate.  What to do about Facebook?  We plan on giving our parents some time to tell the families so they can get their bragging in.  And of course, we would tell those that we want to tell personally during this time as well.  We’ve already told some friends but there are others that we were waiting to tell until it felt a little safer. 

Even though sometimes it’s nice to pretend we’re normal – like when we made the 12 weeks decision – we’re not normal.  And so the Facebook thing is a sticky situation.  One that my husband probably doesn’t care about since he’s not into Facebook.  But it’s one I’m grappling with.  I know that the majority of the reaction will be generic congrats.  But I’m worried about two reactions.  One will be one that I will never know about.  But it kills me knowing it’s out there.  It’s the reaction of heartache by someone who is going through infertility struggles and will be devastated to hear of another baby in this world that isn’t theirs.  And the second one will kill me less but will annoy me more.  Well meaning family members or friends who don’t know about our issues who will post things like “Finally” or “We had all but given up on you” or “Well it’s been 8 years, hasn’t it?”

So there are the cons.  But there are some reasons I do want to post it on Facebook.  One is that everyone kind of expects it.  And as an infertile, I’m always kind of thrown off when someone posts a pic of themselves eight months pregnant with no announcement ever.   Or you have to piece it together like a puzzle when their friends start throwing Congrats up on their wall but there’s no reason for it.  WTF?  Were you going to tell anyone?  That kind of hurts just as much as the announcement sometimes.  Also, I’m getting excited.  I’m starting to feel like this is really happening.  And I’m starting to be ready to celebrate.  I want people to know.  I want to be happy about it.  And making a big announcement just like Fertile Myrtle would make it feel more normal. 

So I was thinking of writing a post that acknowledges what we had been through.  To let the infertiles know that I’m with them and I know their pain.  And to let my family know that a “what took you so long” will not be appreciated.  But I’m nervous about that.  As excited as I am to share the news of my pregnancy, not everyone knows what we went through to get here.  And that’s more personal than the pregnancy I think.  The pregnancy is personal but it’s happy.  The infertility is not.  It’s still an open wound.  And I don’t need anyone to say anything snotty about that either.  And I realize I’m 32 years old and shouldn’t care but I don’t want to get attitude from my mother about making an announcement like that.  “You know you shouldn’t tell people things like that. It’s very personal.”  I know it’s my life, but my mom’s criticisms can still pack a punch.

So I was thinking of something like this. If I’m brave enough to do it.

After many years of heartbreak and struggle, I’m happy to announce that we are expecting our first child in February.

Addresses the infertility (without going into any detail that might offend mom) and then announces the news.  And no one needs to comment to tell me what a people pleaser I am.  I know.  I so so so know.

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5 Responses to “The Facebook Dilemma”

  1. E and R July 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    I think that is a great way to announce it on FB – I had the same concerns and was apprehensive about making the announcement. I also wanted to acknowledge our struggles – though I had been pretty open about it (to a degree) so my announcement was “Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, we are happy to announce that we are expecting our first child in January” – a little more informative than your idea – but still lets people know that this wasn’t easy or an ‘accident’ that you are pregnant.
    At the end of the day, you have to do whatever you think is best – and what you feel will offend the least amount of people.
    Good luck!

  2. Erin W July 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Hadn’t visited the blog for awhile, so I thought I would mosey on over. My God, you are preggers! Just to say “congratulations” sounds so prosaic, so how about this? I don’t even know you in real life, but I’ve followed you and your (beautifully-articulated) pain online, and hearing that your tunnel had a light at the end of it gives me some faith in the universe. I could not be happier for you, really.

    By the way, I have no personal experience in either the worlds of infertility or fertility, but I think the FB message you suggested is perfect. Some people might want or expect you to just gloss over the past as a dark period no longer worth mentioning, but your strength and perseverance through that time are worth acknowledgement.

  3. FCblacksheep July 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I didn’t announce on Facebook and I’ll share an unexpected consequence of that — friends we don’t see regularly not knowing for weeks and being surprised by it. I don’t think it really upset them too much but it has gotten kind of awkward at moments. If I had to do again, I might do it differently. Now it’s too late.

    I think the way you propose to handle sounds excellent. Also, I have two friends pregnant at the same time both of whom went through infertility issues and they both announced normally like everyone else. They had dozens upon dozens of congrats because so many knew what they’d been through, It was heartwarming more than anything.

  4. chon July 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    I think alluding to the fact that you didn’t sniff the toilet seat and get pregnant potentially avoids hurting someone that is a closet infertile and if you can help one of us then that is a great thing!

  5. Jackie July 29, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Love your proposed comment! I hope to be able to steal it one day 🙂

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