When Ali was born nearly four years ago, I felt like a Social Media Pioneer (even though it would be a couple more years before the term “Social Media” was coined), because I was the first person I knew to nearly-real-time publish birthing information and baby photos on Facebook.
And, really, it wasn’t a big deal back then, because it was basically just me and Mark Zuckerberg that were even using Facebook, anyway.
But now I find myself a heavy social media user, which presents quite the complications and issues when it comes to big events.
I have been analyzing and pondering the specifics of how I plan to use social media for this birth, and who’s going to complain or be offended.
- Who’s most likely to get upset if they find out via Facebook that I had a baby, rather than a personal call?
- Who’s going to say, “Ewwwwww! TMI!” when I post a Twitter status about the birthing process?
And so, to attempt to solve all of the world’s deep problems in one document, I offer to you, my official…
Social Media Policy for Labor and Birth.
Section 1: Use of Social Media during Labor:
1.a: Updates will be provided via Twitter, Facebook, and my blog in that order in the amount of updates provided. In other words, I will have the most real-time updates on Twitter, less frequent updates on Facebook, and even less frequent updates on my blog.
1.b: Updates may be provided by me personally, my husband, or Ali, if I can teach her to tweet in the next few weeks. Updates are not promised to be witty, dramatic, or otherwise riveting, depending on how much medication is in my system, how much puking I’m doing, and whether or not I’m sliced open at the time.
1.c: If you do not wish to receive these updates for fear of too much information, you are welcome to unfollow, unfriend, or ignore me for the duration of the birthing process. No complaints will be accepted regarding these updates (See section 4 for Petition options and rights). However, there are some guarantees of things that you will NOT see in said updates, which are covered in Section 2:
Section 2: In the interest of not providing too much gory, disgusting, or otherwise undesirable information, these are contractually guaranteed words and phrases that I will not use on Social Media updates regarding my birth. These are:
- Mucous Plug
- Episiotomy, Rippage, or Perineal Tissue Issues.
- Blowing Chunks (Although puking and vomit are approved verbage to describe aforementioned action)
- Bloody Nasty Mess
- The Smell of Burning Flesh Due to Cauterization
Section 2 Addendum: Visual Updates:
Addendum 2.a: No pictures that contain blood, gore, or any other undesirable substances will be posted on Twitter or Facebook. However, one of our favorite pictures of Ali’s birth is the first photo taken as the doctor lifted her up after cutting the cord – and yes, it was a slightly gory view of the miracle of life. If this sort of photo is taken, it will only be available on my blog, where you must voluntarily enter to be subjected to my updates.
Addendum 2.b: Despite my wishes, my overly-excited-new-Dad-of-a-husband posted a very unattractive, swollen, and worn-out-from-12-hours-of-labor-and-a-C-section photo of me after giving birth to Ali. It has been made very clear to him (via our Internal Birthing Policies and Contracts) that no unapproved photos of me shall be posted on any form of social media this time. If any such photos are seen of me in this state, please report them immediately.
Section 3: Notification Privileges beyond Social Media.
The following people are guaranteed two (2) personal notifications, consisting of a) the beginning of labor and b) the birth of our child (but not all of the details in between which will be available to them on Social Media) in the following manner:
3.a: Phone Calls: Noah’s Grandparents only will receive phone calls, regardless of the time of day or night that labor begins.
3.b: Text Messages: a small group of people will receive text messages, assuming that the time of day that labor begins is during an acceptable texting period. This group includes Noah’s Aunts and Uncles, Noah’s future Godparents (sorry, Becca, not Noah’s Godsiblings), our Small Group, and a very limited number of other friends.
Section 4: Petitions, Complaints, and other various forms of whining.
4.a: If you are not sure that you are included in a group in Section 3 but desire to be, you have five (5) days to file a petition. Your petition will be reviewed by the Parental Committee for Viable Communication, and you will be notified as to whether you are approved to be personally notified, or you really just need to quit complaining and be happy with finding out via social media.
4.b: No complaints about anything covered or not covered in this policy will be accepted during or after the birth of our child. If there are any disagreements, objections, or clarifications needed they must be filed before the beginning of the birthing process and reviewed for exceptions. If an acceptable term cannot be reached, mediation and arbitration will be available.
4.c: Whining to other people, if discovered, will result in us saying nasty things about you to Noah for the rest of his life. So don’t do it.
This concludes the Labor and Birthing Social Media Policies. The floor is now open for questions and clarifications.