I had no idea I was so wedded to Facebook baby announcements – until my sister decided not to make one.
My sister gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl recently. It took her over a week to announce it on Facebook.
We all know the rules about babies and social media:
- Never announce a birth before the parents.
- Never-ever post baby photos before the parents.
- Publicly condemn anyone else who announces a birth or posts baby photos before the parents.
Usually the rules are pretty easy to comply with. These days smartphones are taken into the delivery room and pics of sweaty, knackered looking mums and wrinkly, slightly gunky babies are posted within hours, sometimes minutes, of the grand separation of mother and child.
I had my first son several thousand kilometres away from most of my family and friends. I already had the SMS list set up on my phone.
The notification hierarchy was:
1) telephone immediate family,
2) send SMS to friends and extended family,
3) post on Facebook for general ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aaah-ing’.
This was a great plan until my waters broke on the Saturday morning, labour didn’t establish properly until Saturday night and after 24 hours of fairly fruitless back labour I had an emergency c-section late on Sunday afternoon.
I was exhausted, on a pethedine drip, in shock and a rather a significant amount of pain.
But I was determined to send out that damned SMS, as scheduled.
The needle for the pethedine drip wasn’t inserted quite correctly. Every time I pressed the button for another shot of sweet relief, the back of my hand stung like hell for a couple of seconds before the cold liquid flowed through and started to creep up my arm.
Then I had a minute or two in which to add a few more names to the SMS (the list I had so carefully constructed in the weeks prior had somehow deleted itself) before I started to nod off as the pethedine took effect. A period of time later I would surface and repeat the process, each time adding a few more names.
Yes, I know. I was insane. The post-childbirth hormones make you do some weird things.
The Facebook post (text only, no pics) went up the next morning. I had to wait until my husband brought the laptop into the hospital – this was before the days of widespread mobile internet.
Four days after that I posted 112 photos. Yes, you read that right. No, I didn’t accidentally put in an extra ’1?. One hundred and twelve photos. Hmm.
Five days after the birth of my niece there were ZERO photos and no announcement. As far as Facebook was concerned, she was still tucked up inside her mum kicking and punching her internal organs and generally making a nuisance of herself.