In case you are like me and you don’t generally have time to read anything other than your gmail in a day, you may not have seen the two articles that have my face plastered on them as the poster child for crazy people who post videos of themselves taking pregnancy tests on YouTube. Slate Magazine has named this phenomenon “WombTube”, and thefrisky.com jumped on the bandwagon and drew out the controversy by asking commenters “Is posting videos of your pregnancy test sweet or creepy?”.
First, I do wish that the video of me that is “going viral” had not been taken at 6:30am with no makeup. But that’s kind of beside the point.
The point, in my opinion, is that when our pregnancy test video (first posted here) is taken out of the context of our blog, I totally get why people think it’s weird. I mean, I also understand why people think that having a blog about things as personal as pregnancy is strange and self-obsessed and a prime example of how our culture has gone off the deep end in the age of oversharing.
But there’s another side to that coin.
When Benjamin and I were two young, healthy people struggling to conceive, our blog became a way for me to let out my emotions and exchange information and, most importantly, connect with other people going through similar issues. Every day I found more and more blogs of more and more women who were struggling with the same issues, and it became, for me, a source of incredible support and sisterhood at a time when I felt like I didn’t know anyone in my real life going through what we were going through. I created relationships that eventually helped me stay positive until we were able to get pregnant.
I cannot even express how happy I am that we caught that moment on video. I will never, ever be able to harness that emotion again. If and when I see another positive pregnancy test, I will never, ever have that same reaction. Until that moment, I literally did not know I would be able to have a baby. That moment was not just “Oh yay, we’re pregnant!”. It was a rush of emotions that I had been bottling up since I first went off birth control and never got my period. The stress and pain and frustration of trying and knowing that my body wasn’t cooperating just melted away.
So I can’t comment on why other people post their pregnancy test videos on YouTube for all the world to see. But I can tell you why I did. After all the time I spent cultivating and growing my community of people struggling to get pregnant, I felt that I owed it to them to share the joy of that moment. Without their openness and support and willingness to share their stories, I might not have ended up where I was in that very special moment. In many ways, I wanted that video to shine like the light at the end of the tunnel for other women struggling to get pregnant. To show them that there IS a happy ending for many people in their situations.
And as all of you who continue to read the blog know, our over-sharing didn’t stop with the pregnancy test video. We had just gotten started! Since then, we’ve shared so many other special moments with the world — even Owen’s birth. Believe me, I understand why some people think it’s crazy (hence the sarcastic undertone of the articles I’ve been featured in recently and the comments they have generated). But I would argue that it is also incredibly amazing to be able to share a story that may help others if they are struggling to conceive. I cherish every email and comment I receive that says something like, “Just reading your story has helped me so much. I had the exact same problem and now I’m pregnant!” or “You are an inspiration” or even “I’ve learned so much from reading your posts and your comments”.
The bottom line is that I wish these authors had done a little more digging than just seeing my face on YouTube. There’s a real story here, and I’m not just a crazy person posting a video of my pee on the internet for all the world to see. And, beyond that, many of the commenters said that this phenomenon is gross and TMI. My response to that? Don’t watch them! There are a lot worse things out there on YouTube, I guarantee it.