With both my pregnancies I signed up for the baby tracking apps. The ones which tell you your baby is now the size of a blueberry, raspberry, cauliflower and whichever random closeish sized fruit or vegetable is comparable. I loved getting the weekly updates and thinking how amazing it was that life was changing so dramatically within me.
I would meticulously log my daily vitamin intake, water intake, minutes spent walking. I was obsessed with doing the best I possibly could for myself and the life inside of me. In this obsessive tracking, I had forgotten how much of my pregnancy data was not just me and my care providers. It was being logged into some crazy database where every company seems to know that I was expecting and that I should have a little nugget arriving from every google search and baby item purchased in anticipation of birth.
The cruelty is that the same day Logan was born I deleted the pregnancy tracking app after Logan’s because there was no magic button to say “STOP REMINDING ME ABOUT MY GROWING BABY!” I so wish I could hit erase and somehow be magically taken off every list for new baby items as quickly as I was put on their lists.
A few weeks after Logan’s arrival we received a box with a congratulatory card from a formula company with a bunch of samples and coupons for diapers. The samples and coupon cards still haven’t stopped 8 months later.
Probably the most shocking was the random customer survey from the hospital who called wanting to know:
‘What could’ve made our stay more enjoyable?’
Really that was a pretty ironic question. Really the hospital could’ve had the crappiest towels, food, and only cold running water and I wouldn’t have cared if it meant Logan was coming home. What would’ve made it more enjoyable is having a baby who opened his eyes and cried after he was born. What would’ve made it more enjoyable is not seeing the panic in my husband’s eyes when I woke from the anesthesia and hearing how sick my baby was.
The random baby survey conversations become very short as I cut them off and say. “My baby died” and hang up the phone before waiting for the awkward pause and the fumbling words from the poor customer service agent who didn’t know. (well, maybe all except the hospital one, probably should’ve had those records!)
We’re only on the brink of my children’s generation which has every moment of their lives documented for the world. It’s no longer just the close family and friends who get notified when I post that my daughter learned how to sing a new song, or that she went on an airplane ride. It is becoming more abundant that our likes and family composition is being used by marketers in ways I had no idea because I was so used to being surrounded by it that it didn’t bother me. After having to try to change all my ad preferences away from babies I realized no part of the internet was safe. Heck I couldn’t even watch shows on HULU without seeing Pampers ads.
Will I be getting coupons for pull-ups and school supplies? Reminders of memories that we would never get to have.
I wish for a magical erase button from all the world that can’t seem to get the memo our son died. I no longer need your expected arrival information. I don’t need tips about sleeping through the night with a newborn. Although, if you have tips on how to sleep through the night when you’re in grief thinking about the baby who should be keeping you up I’ll take it.