'You're smart enough to realise my baby died' Woman's plea to social media companies following stillbirth
"Didn't you see me Googling 'Is this braxton hicks' (false contractions) and 'baby not moving'?"
A woman has shared a heartbreaking open letter to tech companies following her baby's stillbirth.
Gillian Brockell asked the likes of Twitter, Instagram, and Google why they could figure out that she was expecting a baby due to her online activity, but not that she had lost one.
The journalist wrote that she were served ads related to pregnancy when she was pregnant, but when she had a stillbirth, the tech companies didn't seem to know.
"I know you knew I was pregnant," she wrote on Twitter.
"It's my fault, I just couldn't resist those Instagram hashtags – #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, stupid me!, I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up.
"But didn't you see me Googling 'Is this braxton hicks' (false contractions) and 'baby not moving'?"
— Gillian Brockell (@gbrockell) December 11, 2018
Brockell asked whether the companies tracked her three day absence from social media, which would have been abnormal for a "high frequency" user like her.
"And then the announcement with keywords like 'heartbroken' and 'problem' and 'still born' and the two-hundred teardrop emoticons from my friends? Is that not something you could track?" she asked.
Brockell went on to say that there are 26,000 stillbirths in the US each year, and millions more around the world.
She detailed just how crushing it is to return home from the hospital after such a loss and be met with all of the ads she had been used to seeing during her pregnancy.
"Let me tell you what social media is like when you finally come home from hospital with the emptiest arms in the world, after you've spent days sobbing in bed, and pick up your phone for a couple of minutes of distraction before the next wail.
"It's exactly, crushingly, the same as it was when your baby was still alive. Pea in the Pod (maternity wear). Motherhood Maternity. Latched Mama. Every goddam Etsy tchotchke (decoration) I was planning for the nursery."
"Please Tech Companies, I implore you," she wrote. "If you're smart enough to realise that I'm pregnant, that I've given birth, then surely you're smart enough to realize that my baby died."
Brockell's tweet has been shared almost 20,000 times on Twitter.