Unbearable: Dear Pregnancy.com, I’m Not Pregnant Anymore. Please Stop Emailing Me.
Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.
In an attempt to track useful information for advertisers, plenty of parenting websites ask you the ages of your children or the date when you expect to have children. In fact, with the advancements in data analysis and consumer tracking online, some companies don’t even need you to enter the information into a database. Companies like Target are able to accurately predict pregnancy even before you start sharing the information with your loved ones.
The fact is that if you spend a decent amount of time online, routinely shop with a credit or debit card or want to research baby names on the web, the world of marketing will figure out that you’re with child.
Why do all of these magazines and retailers worry about the state of your uterus? Because they want to sell you stuff of course. They want you to decide whether you’ll be a Pampers or a Huggies mom before your child is even born. They want you to read their new mom tips, with swaddling directions and nursing techniques right along with the invaluable products you’ll need to complete these motherly tasks. Advertisers want your new mom money.
All is fair is reproduction and capitalism, right?
Except all those algorithms and newsletters don’t do a great job accounting for women like me. Women who have lost a child.
When I started researching the cramping I was having at seven weeks, I automatically went to sites like Pregnancy.com and Parenting.com. These are great resources with tons of information for first-time or fifth-time expecting moms alike. And each time I went to another site, I entered in my due date. It was August 15th, my mother’s birthday.
Immediately after I lost my baby, I started unsubscribing to the mommy mess I had created in my inbox. For those that wouldn’t go away, I started spamming them. Overtime, the updates died down. Only an odd advertisement for Similac or nursing pads makes its way into my email regularly. Because I clearly don’t need to buy any of it, I’ve become simply amazed at the number of products marketed to new moms. I’m also impressed by just how many “partners” all those websites obviously had. News of my pregnancy and the millions like it must have been distributed to every mildly baby-centric company or retailer in the country.
Then, every once a while, a baby update will sneak through. Some website will remind me that my child would have been 23 weeks along by now. I would know the sex and already be calling him or her by name. He or she would weigh a little more than a pound and I would be able to see the kicks, as well as feel them.
These emails sneak through my unsubscriptions and my spam filters, bringing me to tears and stopping my heart for just a few seconds.
Sometimes, I wish for a button that would let the internet know that I’m not longer carrying a child. I want an easy way to tell all those advertisers that they’re wasting their time and their coupons. I won’t be buying diapers or baby food anytime soon. It’s hard enough to explain things to distant relatives or confused co-workers. Pregnancy.com, I don’t need you anymore. I am no longer pregnant. And those weekly updates just remind me of that over and over again.