So — I kinda have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.
I love it because I have connected with past friends, and seriously love some of those renewed friendships. I love seeing pictures of my nephew. I love my 2 support groups I have where I can post in the middle of the night, and I receive prayers and encouragement right then! I love having a platform to share my blog, and a way for it to spread around the world.
But then again, I also hate Facebook.
Mostly because of it’s uncanny ability to set my emotions reeling so quickly and unexpectedly.
Those of you who have gone through a loss or have struggled with infertility probably know what I’m talking about . . .
The unexpected announcement of a pregnancy. Or belly pictures. Or ultrasound pictures.
I get that I’m in the stage of life where this is normal. And when I was pregnant with Olivia, I was innocently wracking my brain to figure out a fun, creative way to announce our pregnancy. (I was going to take a picture of a Starbucks’ cup with our baby “order” on the side. Never quite figured out what to write — but being in the NW, I thought it would be appropriate.)
Now, though, I am not sure how I’ll announce another pregnancy (if we have one). However I treat it, it certainly won’t be the same.
Because now I know that my announcement can hurt other people.
I know that pregnancy should be innocent. That announcing a new little life should be a celebration. (As my mom said, Every life should be celebrated. No matter how long they are with us.) But I also can’t ignore this horrible feeling in my gut every time I come across a pregnancy-related post. I WANT to feel happy for that person. And no matter whether I’m happy or not, I still get this sadness that comes from deep within every single time.
I’m not asking everyone to stop posting about their pregnancies. I’m not even trying to complain. And I’m not saying that your FB life should revolve around sensitive people like me.
But I do have at least one suggestion to help those of us that are hurting . . .
Before you begin posting about your pregnancy, and you know someone who has recently gone through a loss or struggles with infertility, please let them know privately about your news before sharing on your main page.
My sister and a few friends have done this for me. And allowing me to process those feelings before it’s all “public” has been very helpful for me to not get that sadness in my gut whenever they do make that big announcement … or subsequent posts about their pregnancy.
And please give your friend your blessing if they choose not to “like,” “comment” or even view your posts.
Your sensitivity and understanding will go a long way in helping those women for whom checking Facebook is akin to walking through an emotional minefield. You can really help your friend navigate those mines with just a little forethought, respect and sensitivity.
P.S. A friend who has also gone through a loss commented on Facebook that she agreed, but she has added two feelings that I want to include here because I also feel the exact same way, and wish I had included them in my original post:
1. MY pain does not and should not negate HER joy.
2. I feel awful that her blessed event evokes a reaction of extreme sadness in myself.