SAN FRANCISCO • Mr Mark Zuckerberg has revealed - on Facebook, naturally - that he and his wife Priscilla Chan were expecting their first child, a girl.
Mr Zuckerberg, chief executive of the social networking giant, wrote in an uncharacteristically personal post last Friday that he and Ms Chan had had three miscarriages before this pregnancy - at once demonstrating a personal desire to break the stigma associated with women who miscarry and his belief in Facebook as an ideal place for users to record life events.
"You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child. You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future," he wrote. "You start making plans and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience."
Most people do not discuss miscarriages because they worry their problems will distance them or reflect upon them - as if they are defective or did something to cause this, he noted. "So you struggle on your own."
Mr Zuckerberg usually uses his personal Facebook page to announce new products or initiatives from either Facebook or his nonprofit project, Internet.org, which aims to bring Internet access to people in developing countries.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up "like" with her hand, so I'm already convinced she takes after me.
MR MARK ZUCKERBERG, on his future child's behaviours
The 31-year-old, who is generally private, has been gradually sharing more information about himself during town hall discussions with Facebook users around the world.
In one such discussion last December, he said he would not allow any child of his to use Facebook before the age of 13.
"When we started talking to our friends, we realised how frequently this (a miscarriage) happened - that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all," he continued in his post. "We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well."
He said both mother and child were healthy. "In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up "like" with her hand, so I'm already convinced she takes after me," he wrote.
Mr Zuckerberg married Ms Chan, 30, a paediatrician, in 2012 after a 12-year relationship. He did not reveal when the baby will arrive.
The decision to discuss the miscarriages is a new level of openness from the Facebook co-founder. He may have been inspired by Ms Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, who this year has publicly shared details of her grief over the death of her husband Dave Goldberg, and how she is coping with it.
Mr Zuckerberg's announcement created a wave of reactions on social media, and garnered 1.4 million likes and 89,000 comments by yesterday evening.
NEW YORK TIMES