Nov. 5, 2009— -- For many people, it's one of life's most intimate moments. But for a 23-year-old Minnesota teacher, the birth of her first child will be an event open to anyone in the world.
For the past few months, Lynsee (who asked to keep her last name private) has been sharing daily details about her pregnancy on the social network MomsLikeMe. When she gives birth in the next few days, more than a thousand women who follow her online -- plus anyone else with an Internet connection -- will be able to watch a live broadcast of her child's birth from their computers.
"We wanted to share this experience," Lynsee said about the decision she made with her husband Anders. "If I were in a classroom, I'd be teaching about development. It was a way for me to teach… A way for me to use myself as a textbook."
The day Lynsee found out she was pregnant, she joined the MomsLikeMe site for the Twin Cities area. She and her husband had just moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul and, not knowing many people, she found the Web site to be a good way to meet other women and learn about local resources.
Soon after joining, she answered a message from the site's manager asking pregnant women in the area to contact her. And before she knew it, Lynsee wasn't just a member of the online mothers' network, she was a contributor.
After talking it over with her husband, the young woman agreed to share every last detail of her pregnancy through a daily blog, and then finish off the project with a live Internet broadcast of the delivery.
How did her husband feel? "He was a little hesitant at first, as was I," Lynsee said. But after MomsLikeMe assured them that the video would be shot tastefully, the parents-to-be embraced the idea.
"I shared pretty much anything -- it's pretty much a tell-all blog," Lynsee said about her online postings.
When she gives birth, a cameraman will be in the hospital room with Lynsee, her husband, her mother and her midwife. A second camera will be mounted in the corner. Lynsee said there will not be any graphic shots taken from over the midwife's shoulder.
In addition to the live broadcast, anyone registered with her group on MomsLikeMe will be able to chat with Lynsee while she's in the delivery room.