Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stupid things people say on Facebook to congratulate expectant parents (or "The best way to ruin an otherwise lovely Sunday afternoon")

For those dealing with infertility, social networking sites can feel like a minefield. And thanks to status updates and "the newsfeed," Facebook is quite possibly the worst.
As humans we want to share our milestones and life accomplishments with as many of our loved ones as possible, and rightfully so. I can't really begrudge anyone wanting to share a cutesy preggo announcement, sonogram or positive pregnancy test pic. But I can judge the stupid things people post in reply. Remember, if you voluntarily post something online, you're giving the world a free pass to critique it. And no, the irony of this statement appearing in a blog isn't lost on me. Thanks for asking.
So here are the responses I wish I could post to well-meaning yet oblivious well wishers.

Post: "It's about time you two!"
First off, it's glaringly obvious this person has never battled infertility. Second, why would you scold somebody that you perceive has been "holding out" on having a baby? Did they do it to spite you? Are you really so invested in their reproductive habits that this response is appropriate? Grow up.

Post: "You better catch up on sleep now! Lololol"
Seriously? I know this is meant to be humorous, but they've probably been pregnant for about a minute before the advice starts. I could go into how this response could either be viewed as spiteful or patronizing, but really it's just overused and ultimately not worth it.

Post: "You better hope for a boy!"
I'm sorry, did we just teleport back to Henry VIII's England? Does the presence of a Y chromosome still bestow endless blessings upon the new parents? Nothing sums up the fact that misogyny is alive and well like this statement. I object to this not only as a female, but also as an infertile woman. I'm just gonna go ahead and hope they have a successful pregnancy and healthy baby, m'kay? But good luck with the whole male heir thing.

Post: "Children are such a blessing from God!"
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this statement except that it makes me feel like my heart is in a vice. Children are indeed a blessing from whatever higher power you believe in. But it hurts to think about. So... fuck you.

Post: "There's no greater feeling than when you see your baby's face for the first time! You're gonna love it!"
No seriously, fuck you.

It's worth mentioning that not one of these statements is likely to offend me when they're in response to my own good news. And this admitted hypocrisy makes me question whether or not I'll even invite the ol' FB into my pregnancy. If I do, I'll probably limit it to family and close friends. You know, the people I love no matter what stupid shit comes out of their mouth.

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