Monthly Archives: May 2018

Keeping things private in public.

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No baby yet?

I feel like that has become the new hello for me in the past 3 weeks. Sometimes the sassy, large, seemingly stubborn baby makes me want to answer in a sarcastic way,

However, I just choose the general,  “Not yet,” or “She is just taking her time.”

This is just one of the many things people tell you to expect when you are expecting.

There will be lots of questions, comments, and advice, even when you didn’t ask for it.

Aside from bloating, cravings, pains, nausea, I think dealing with all of the words of other people is a pregnancy side effect that has probably been in play since the beginning.

The main difference between the pregnant ladies of the past and the ladies of today is social media.

I have always been an pretty extroverted person. I have a public job where my pregnancy has been on display. My husband has a public job. He is literally the first person you meet with at Wal-mart Home Office.  We both volunteer at church. My husband is a student ministry leader.

We are used to leading a very public life. There are several times people come up to me and talk because they know my husband or I led their kid in Children’s worship.  Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know who they are. Most of the time, the people loving and extroverted side of me doesn’t care. I even embrace it.

However, upon learning last October that I was pregnant, this introverted, desire to be private switch turned on in my heart.

I’m pretty sure it all started right when I saw the pregnancy test. My husband and I talked it over and decided to tell one friend/prayer partner to be an extra support in those first couple weeks before you go to the doctor. It was kind of nice to have something for a few weeks that pretty much just between us.

Slowly, we involved more family and friends, and let more people into our story. We did announce publicly at 14 weeks, which is a lifetime to some. At 16 weeks, we did a gender scan, and planned to surprise our families on Christmas. We then told our friends, small group, and co-workers. I think we had been sitting on the info for almost 4 weeks when we finally made a public announcement.

From there, we had registries to plan, nursery colors to decide on, equipment to pick out, and showers to go to. We were very blessed by so many people. We are very grateful for all the love and kindness. Still, all of these things made our little baby bubble become a LOT larger.

Week by week, I didn’t do belly pictures. Not because I wasn’t proud, but because I didn’t feel the need to. I had ultrasounds every month, but never felt like sharing. I was sick from 15 weeks until about 30 weeks, but I mostly just asked close friends for prayers.  I unfollowed everyone on Facebook to make my time spend on social media more intentional and not just a mindless things. I updated privacy settings across all the mediums I use, and mostly just posted pictures of my cute dog.

Now, I am in NO way saying that people who like to share all of the details about their pregnancy on social media are wrong. More power to all of you! I enjoy seeing your posts.

I am writing my thoughts and plans on the subject, because I feel there may be other moms and dads to be that feel this way too and need inspiration.

My husband and I have read articles and blogs trying to find a plan for our child and privacy that we felt comfortable with. I have decided to share to let people know our plans and give others searching for how to keep their family life private some inspiration, for lack of a better word.

As far as the labor process and our new baby, these are the guidelines we feel comfortable with. We understand they may be inconvenient and not what you would personally do, and that’s okay. Again, we aren’t trying to judge or say our way is the right way, just what we have prayerfully considered and decided is best for us.

The McCarty social media baby plan:

  • When we leave for the hospital, our communication with people will be either through text or calls. We have a few people picked out to help us communicate progress and prayer requests. Mostly the people we involve at this point are either people I picked to help me out, help out with Annie, or our prayer partner. We aren’t taking pictures during the labor process.

 

  • After delivery, we plan to update family, friends, and people that we want to update. If we send you a picture and birth details, please don’t post it. We have waited 9 months to present our child to the world, and we want to do it in our own way. Plus, I have a list of people to contact that we want to tell personally. Social media is not that personal to us.
  • Please don’t congratulate us through social media until we have posted ourselves.  It kind of gives the secret away.
  • As you come to visit, we ask that you not check into the hospital, our house, Bentonville, on social media. Again, it gives the secret away.
  • Our plan is to make a public announcement through social media, church updates, etc. once our baby is home. We may include a picture, and if we do, again we ask that it not be shared publicly. Anthony and I have worked on our privacy settings and we trust who can see our picture.
  • We welcome visitors into our home to meet our baby. Please just let us know when you are coming. We will probably even take pictures so our baby will know all the people that care about her.
  • We are limited our baby’s presence on social media. We are happy to let you see her or send pictures, but we don’t feel it’s fair to document every minute of her life before she even knows what’s going on.
  • When I say limiting, I don’t really know what that will include yet, but we will figure it out and as her parents that is our choice.
  • You are welcome to take pictures when you come to visit, but please don’t share on social media or make our baby your profile picture. I know I would be weirded out if I was somebody’s profile picture, so I would not like to do that do our baby.

 

Whoa, I feel like I just went all teacher on everyone. I know some people will have opinions about our view. They may say we are too protective or shouldn’t care so much. I almost didn’t want to share our decisions publicly, but I know others may benefit.

We are excited to bring our child into the world. A big struggle with living in a social media age is feeling guilty or “like it didn’t really happen” if it’s not shared. We are going to be proud parents, regardless of how much is shared or how many “likes” we get.

As a teacher, I see the effects of a generation ruled with parents who have shared every detail of their child’s life. I see kids who have had devices in their hands since before they could talk. We want our child to grow up in a way where she knows she is part of a community, and something bigger than herself,  but where she is not the center of the universe who needs every moment documented.

Our baby will soon make her way into the world.  We are excited for that and appreciate all the people that already care and love her. We promise that aside from God, we love her more, and want to what we feel is best.

 

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