As silly as these listicle exercises are, they can be funny or revealing, and I understand why people participate in them. But as with every freaking fad on Facebook, the concept quickly splintered into more specific niches such as "Facts About Books I Love" or, in the case of moms, "Facts About My Pregnancy." Because moms are the most active posting group on Facebook, newsfeeds went from including the occasional generic "Facts About Me" status update to featuring multiple "Facts About My Pregnancy" updates, slowly causing the average Facebook user to go insane. What's interesting about the dozens of submissions I've received are the many similarities and differences that reflect women's experiences with pregnancy and labor. It's no secret that women who have carried children have a certain "bond," and reading through the submissions, it's easy to see why. Even though every woman has her own tale, her own journey to labor and delivery, there are universal commonalities that all women share. It's precisely this set of traits that motivates women to share their "facts" and drives their friends to fill my inbox with frustrated observations.
And it's not just non-parents who are wondering about these lists; like any category on STFU, Parents, both parents and non-parents have been wondering why their friends are relaying their pregnancy stories in bullet points on Facebook. One person wrote, "Her kid is five, and her Facebook friends have already heard all this stuff before. Why is she telling everyone this private information again?" While the women participating in the "Facts" fad might feel a special connection to other mothers, everyone else is wondering why they're broadcasting details about their past morning sickness and cervix dilation. Some people were so perplexed, they wrote in to complain.
Since when am I not God? This reader's got me pegged all wrong!
Several people also "spoke out" on Twitter:
Oh, I've done more than see them; I've printed out all 50+ submissions and bound them in a book to give as holiday gifts to friends and relatives!
The "Facts" fad is most popular on Facebook, but there are some generous fact-givers on Twitter, as well. Complete with a #factshashtag, #ofcourse.
"Noooooo" is the sound of a person who's officially hit her "Facts" threshold.
"Facts" may bring mothers closer together, but they're also capable of tearing Facebook friends (and sisters!) apart.
And herein lies the crux of the argument being made against the pregnancy facts trend. Let's check out some exciting examples to further understand why.
1. Childbirth Was A Breeze
Lori's List™ reminds me of the column about birth junkies and sanctimamas. Sure, I could write a list of reasons claiming that writing a book was "a breeze," but anyone who's written a book would know that claim is total horseshit. Just like everyone who's had a baby knows that Lori should stick to writing about "Facts" that are actually true. Also, why mention having a personal trainer? Lori, you're superficial side is showing.
2. Best Diet Ever
I enjoy the way Lindsay praises her guardian angel/doula/birth photographer and her OB, but still manages to slip in that Robbie was born on the 13th instead of the 15th, that little early bird fuckface. And again with the med-free-before-emergency-C-section shaming. Ladies, that is not what the pregnancy facts activity is for! Besides, it's quite simple: Robbie's head was too big after consuming all that nutritional powder, so he arrived via C-section. That's what you get for delivering an infant body builder, Lindsay!
3. Semi-Coherent Thoughts, Divided
Rebecca employs the IDGAF method to her list(s), both in terms of facts selection and grammar/punctuation. It's no surprise that Walmart found a place in this hodgepodge of a list. I'm especially impressed by the name she picked after having a "random thought in a deer stand." Any literature teacher will tell you it's those types of details that really bring a story to life (so to speak). I can totally picture her crouching in that deer stand having name epiphanies, y'all.
4. Nausea But No Tail
Almost threw up on the table on New Year's Eve" is another one of those visceral descriptions that I'm sure Alona's friends were elated to read. Forget about knowing a person's political views about funeral selfies;these are the details that matter. What a person ate during nine straight months of pregnancy sickness, the fact that she didn't grow a tail, the fact that her kid loves the color yellow because he consumed so much yellow food in the womb -- THIS is the stuff that Real Friends share with each other. It's the little things!
"Oh, pregnancy game!" has actually replaced "O Christmas Tree" this year, so take your traditional festive songs and shove 'em! Haha, just kidding. But really -- what the hell is Jocelyn talking about in some of these facts? She was "convinced" she wasn't pregnant, but she hadn't taken a test? She text her mom to let her know she was pregnant in the same text that she told her she was moving home? (Because texting those things makes about as much sense as texting that you've got stage 4 cancer.) She had to "hold in" the baby during delivery because her doctor went home to eat some chicken teriyaki? And yet it all worked out because her little purple ball of beautiful survived nearly dying? Yep, I think that about sums it up. Thanks for playing, Jocelyn. The pregnancy facts game is everyone's favorite game, and you've tastefully illustrated why.