It is a truth universally acknowledged that parents can go a little overboard when they welcome a new child home. (Raise your hand if you've ever seen a 50-photo album uploaded to Facebook that is nothing but pictures of a newborn's red, squishy face. Anyone out there without a hand up? No? Thought so.) However, Lyndsey Thomas, a North London woman who gave birth to her second child on May 17th, may have set a new record in birth-related oversharing. During her twelve-hour labor, she live-tweeted her contractions, posed with doctors, and shared pictures of her newborn daughter just 20 minutes after her birth.
During the 12-hour labor, Thomas shared almost fifty tweets, most of them tagged with #lyndseygivesbirth so her followers could keep track of her experience. 10 days after her due date, she arrived around 8:00 AM at Whittington Hospital to be induced. "[Tweeting] was a way of keeping my mind off the pain and telling friends what was happening," Thomas told the Islington Gazette.
Although Thomas didn't post any photos of the birth itself, she tweeted pretty much everything else, from pics of the midwives to her first hit on the epidural. Finally, at 1:04 AM on May 17th, she delivered her first daughter, Ferne Eileen Thomas. But the whole process hasn't stopped there - Thomas has continued to tweet constant photos and updates on Ferne's first few weeks.
Thomas' decision begs the following question: where should you draw the line between sharing and oversharing? Although her desire to keep her loved ones in the loop makes sense, how come she didn't use a less, well, public medium? I mean, I thought Marie Antoinette giving birth in front of the entire French court was a prime example of making the whole thing into a public spectacle, but that's nothing compared to sharing it with 255 million Twitter users...
Who knows, maybe it's just that having kids changes your brain chemistry.
On the other hand, her tweets normalize what might otherwise be a frightening, mysterious procedure. "I had a few moms...that were about to give birth tweeting me and saying it was a really uplifting, positive story," Thomas told Loose Woman. In addition, Thomas' decision to share her experience fits with a growing trend of women documenting the less-popular details of childbirth. Last December, Ruth Fowler tweeted the at-home birth of her son, Nye, sharing naked (and, in my opinion, pretty beautiful) pictures in an attempt to "demystify" birth.
Whatever you take away from this, it's clear that Thomas isn't ashamed of her decision. She tweeted the following picture of Ferne this morning: