Parenting

My baby was born at 26 weeks and I shared it all on Instagram

Social media is about connection. For me, it was a lifeline to others as I laid in my hospital bed, waiting to deliver my baby extremely prematurely.

Tor came into our lives like a lightning bolt. I had tried for nine years to have another baby, struggling with infertility and the financial mountain of IVF. I had quadruplets in my late twenties and thought having just one baby would be a dreamy experience. Instead my water broke in the middle of the night at 26 weeks. My heart broke. The night I went into the hospital, I posted one of my only alone selfies. I felt the need to connect. I believe people gravitate to motherhood struggles because we all have them, albeit different ones. People made me laugh and sent incredible love and support. It was humbling. I really needed it. It’s hard to share the scary stuff.  A mom with her son
My son is a hashtag

I’m not sure how, but the followers came. My biggest spike occurred when I tagged Gwyneth Paltrow for her cookbook, which I was reading while Tor recovered at home. Gwyneth reposted it on Goop, and it exploded—and not in a good way. People said Tor looked horrible, wrinkly and sad with his oxygen tube. They railed against Gwyneth for having such a baby represent her book. I didn’t receive any negative comments on my post—but I did gain a couple thousand new followers. I quickly posted a welcome and request that everyone respect my feed as a positive-only space. Happily, they do.

The best part about chronicling Tor on Instagram is being able to scroll back and replay it all. Often you’re too close to the moments to notice how much your baby changes from week to week. The worst part: caring even for a moment if something gets more likes than something else. The biggest surprise has been finding such amazing people out there. If you only watched the news, you would think the world was falling apart. But by connecting, you realize the opposite. People are dynamic and have beautiful, complex lives. Why not learn from one another?

Check out Breakfast Television’s new podcast Moms in the Middle. Episode 3: To Share or Not to Share?

Read more:
Why I told everyone on Facebook about my baby’s birth defect
Hate-following other moms turned me into a cyberbully