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December 15, 2010

A Facebook story: A mother's joy and a family's sorrow

I love how social media can bring people together. I met one of my dearest friends in the world (I LOVE YOU CAIT!) through Facebook before our freshman year at Arizona State University (duh. I'm sure you've heard me say this a ton). Today, the phenom that is Twitter (via @Randizuckerberg) put this "Washington Post" article in my line of consciousness. What started off as a joyful experience, left me with a broken heart. This is a beautiful story of the humanity in technology. I sobbed - please read - and tell those you love "I love you." It might be your last chance.


To read the whole story Visit:

A Facebook story: A mother's joy and a family's sorrow
By Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010; 7:30 PM



Even before Shana Greatman Swers got pregnant, the 35-year-old married consultant had a habit of posting on Facebook about nearly anything. She loved writing about her husband, Jeff, her friends at work, and the prospect of having a baby. People who knew her followed every turn on the social network, starting when she wrote on March 10 that "Shana Greatman Swers and Jeff are thrilled to announce to the world that little baby Swers will be joining our family this September. Good thing we bought the bigger house!" But the chain of messages that the Gaithersburg resident wrote over the next eight months would ultimately become a modern interactive narrative of the joys of pregnancy and the harrowing uncertainties that develop when medical complications set in. Even in her toughest moments, she tapped out Facebook updates from her iPhone to relatives and friends -- a mix of people from George Washington University, where she went to college; the Corporate Executive Board, her workplace in Rosslyn; and her old buddies from back home in California. With permission from the Swers family, The Washington Post has edited and annotated her Facebook page to tell her story from pre-baby date nights to a medical odyssey that turned the ecstasy of childbirth into a struggle for life.
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers My fabulous husband just brought be some Rita's. He knows how to keep a pregnant lady happy!
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Andrea Billups likes this.
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Andrea Billups Hold that puppy in until Sept. 17. :-).
Shana Greatman, a consultant at the Corporate Executive Board, and Jeff Swers, a scientific researcher for a biotech company, met in 2006 through the dating Web site JDate.com for Jewish singles. Their first date was at the National Gallery; eight months later, they got engaged -- she said yes before he even opened the ring box. Billups, 49, a journalism professor in Michigan and a former Washington Times reporter, knew Shana through Billups's former husband. Billups was hoping the baby would be born on Sept. 17 because that is Billups's birthday.
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers and Jeff are headed out for their final pre-baby date night.
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Rachel Talbert Don't you get one of those every night before the baby comes?
Talbert, 38, academic director of an Alexandria educational nonprofit group, was Shana's resident adviser at George Washington University in the early 1990s; later, the two lived in the same apartment complex in Arlington County. "Shana always wanted to be a mom and wife. She was so successful in college and law school," Talbert said. "She had all these internships in the Senate, but she always said, 'If money were no object, I wish I could stay at home to be a wife and mother.'"
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers had a chocolate malt with dinner because, well, because I'm only going to be pregnant for another 10 days or so.
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Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers Is awake and getting ready for my last day of work. Just a half-day, then some Red Door pampering and then a trip to the airport to pick up my mom. Getting super excited!!!
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Shana had a close relationship with her mother, Dana Greatman, 65, of Lancaster, Calif., especially after Shana's father, Lawrence Greatman, a secondary-school teacher, passed away in 2008 from lung cancer. "When I landed at the airport that day, there she and Jeff were waiting for me. Her smile was as big as sunshine, and she was as full as could be," Greatman recalled in an interview. "The only sadness was that Larry wasn't going to be there for it."
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers ...and we are off to the hospital! Updates later today from either me or Jeff.
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Rachel Talbert I hope that since this post was 13 hours ago there is already a new Swers in the house -if not then dear baby Swers please hurry up Mom and Dad are waiting!
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Rachel Talbert 5 days early he takes after his mommy!
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers Isaac Lawrence Swers was born on Wednesday a little after 8:30 in the evening. He is 8 lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches long. He has a full head of dark hair. He is, of course, perfect. Thanks for all the good thoughts you've sent our way for the past nine months. We feel truly blessed.
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Jean Carstensen Congratulations, I hope you and Isaac are doing well. Can't wait to meet him.
Carstensen, 35, a Kansas pediatrician, met Shana on their first day of college, and they quickly became good friends. When Carstensen, who is now pregnant herself, had two miscarriages, Shana was one of the first people she told. Shana also confided in her: "After she and Jeff got married, I knew they were trying to get pregnant," Carstensen said. "And she was worried she wasn't going to be able to have kids. She was so excited about Isaac because adoption was so scary to her."
Shana Greatman Swers
Shana Greatman Swers apologies that she and Jeff haven't been able to keep everyone updated on the events of the past 48 hrs - and that this note is really impersonal, but it is the fastest way to send word: .
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Shana Greatman Swers after a very scary weekend that involved post-partum cardiac myopothy, I have turned a corner and will be fine. I'm still in ICU, but feel 100% better. Isaac is perfect, and home with Jeff and his grandmas. We hope to all be together again by Wednesday or Thursday. Thank you for all of your good thoughts and prayers. I promise that your love is deeply felt and appreciated
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Andrea Billups Thinking of you princess. Love you much. xoxo

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