23snaps: Sharing a family story using social media

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23snaps

Editor’s Note: My wife Lindsay Davidson wrote this article for our blog about using 23snaps.

23snaps

Ben with his daughter Charlotte shortly after her birth

On March 18th, 2013 my daughter Charlotte was born. My husband Ben and I were elated and so in love, but it was a very stressful time. Due to pre eclampsia, she was delivered by C section at 31 weeks gestation. Charlotte weighed two pounds, eight ounces at birth and was 39 centimeters long. She needed respiratory aid, a central line into her belly button and an IV. She was admitted to the NICU where she spent over eight long weeks before coming home.

I first read about 23snaps in Canadian Living magazine while on bed rest in hospital. It appealed to me because Ben and I have family and friends across the globe and we would want to share regular updates of our little one once the baby arrived. I downloaded the app right away then promptly forgot about it when Charlotte arrived so suddenly.

About a week after Charlotte was born I was discharged and having to leave my fragile baby at the hospital at the end of the day was heart wrenching. It was then that I first turned to 23snaps as a way to share our sweet little one with the world she had been born into. Immediately the response we got were overwhelming, all our family felt really involved and to this day, my aunt in Scotland talks about the magic of the 23snaps app and how it helped her feel connected to us during the anxious time.

23snaps: What it did for Me

When you have a baby in critical care you are beyond exhausted and emotional. However, 23snaps was a light at the end of my long day at the hospital. I would choose a photo from the day to post and know that our loved ones were sharing in Charlotte’s journey and growth. To be honest it kept a few of our relatives quiet, in the sense that they weren’t calling or emailing all the time for updates because I was posted growth information and photos on 23snaps. That was a huge relief for us. We loved reading the comments posted. Often I would reread them while sitting near to Charlotte’s incubator during the day and smile.

In a sense 23snaps helped me feel in control of the hospital experience. When I recently looked back on the photos I picked to add to our timeline, I was surprised. I thought I had only chosen happy photos, but I realized there were some that had been taken on difficult days, such as when Charlotte had a setback and had to move from her hospital crib back into an incubator. I think being able to share the good and bad stories was therapeutic and healing for me.

Charlotte is now a healthy, happy one year old. We continue to use 23snaps, I think if we stopped there would be an outcry from our family! I know that someday, sooner than I am ready to admit, Charlotte will ask to see what I’m doing and I will show her the timeline of photos. We will look through every one and talk about how far she has come, how brave she was and how she inspires a lot of people around the world. And she will say, “wow”, as she does so well, about the concept of 23snaps.

23snaps is completely private and secure. No photos, videos or stories are shared publicly unless the author chooses. I wrote this expressly to share Charlotte’s story and how 23snaps helped our family.

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