and her new family.
Not long after we posted pictures of our beautiful new daughter on the Internet, congrats came in from around the world. Even though these people were strangers in real life, their encouragement both during and after my labor made sharing the experience worth it.
They shared their own stories and experiences in the process. Friends from across the country waited, often with their own friends by their sides, to see what happened. Some comments were more encouraging, from women telling me how much my life would be different. Some were a little scarier, with a few relaying tales about how their "privates" just were never the same again. I popped a couple more pain pills and read notes from members of this virtual community I felt a part of.
Not everyone was as encouraging, however. Some people accused me of ruining my birthing experience by writing about it on the 'net. I came across topics on message boards where women said I should have focused all my attention on having the baby rather than letting others become privy to the information. They said I was taking away from the experience, which I could understand. But I didn't agree. If anything, I think that I added to the experience because I have a written account of what happened. Without my blog, July 12, 2004, would have just become a blurry memory.
When the time to have my second baby came around 18 months later, my husband asked if I planned on blogging through the experience again. I wavered for a while, unsure if I felt the need to share as much this time around. I appreciated the support I received from the community of readers and wanted to let them share in another facet of my life. When I went into labor two weeks early, I brought my computer along for possible updates, but still unsure if I would actually use it. It wasn't that I was against sharing the birth, but I knew going into it that my mind might be occupied for some or all of the day, depending on what I chose as my method of pain management. Upon arriving at the hospital, though, we soon found out that the decision was made for us: The delivery room wasn't equipped with an Internet connection, so everyone would have to wait until we returned home to hear about the arrival of Ellie's little brother.
Rachel Mosteller is a freelance writer, webmaster of The Sarcastic Journalist, and mother of two in Houston, Texas.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, March 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.