Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beyonce's Blinged-Out Birthing Experience Annoys "Normal" Moms

The chosen one has arrived...and she's creating quite a stir

People are often surprised when I tell them that the definition of etiquette is "to increase the comfort level of those around you".  They always assume it is much more complicated than this but it makes sense if you think about it.  When people are practicing poor etiquette, either on purpose or inadvertently, they have temporarily forgotten about the people around them.

Inconveniencing others, putting them out, making their life uncomfortable, increasing their frustration - this is the natural result of going through life without thinking about the impact that your actions have on those around you.

Even when we're experiencing the biggest day of our life, whether it's our senior prom, wedding day or the birth of our first child, we still need to remember that we're not alone in the world.  Through choice or circumstance, many others are sharing our orbit.

So, I was sad (but not surprised) to hear of the shenanigans that took place at Brooklyn's Lennox Hill Hospital in the wake of the blessed event that was the birth of Beyonce's first child, Ivy Blue Carter.  There are conflicting reports but the gist of it seems to be that, in an effort to protect their privacy, Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z (real name Shaun Carter) paid the hospital to construct or retrofit two luxury birthing suites so they were more reflective of a high-end spa and not a healthcare environment.  Okay, I can see this I guess. Huge celebrities are not accustomed to rolling like the rest of us (especially here in Ontario where money can't buy a better birthing experience) and they wouldn't want to taint Ivy Blue's view of the world by having her arrive in a run-of-the-mill hospital room.

However, in an effort to protect their privacy (and perhaps to treat the event with the gravitas they felt it deserved), the couple also had a flotilla of secret-service-type security, body guards, massage therapists and other "wellness" specialists who basically took over the whole floor. In the words of a new mother who had the misfortune to give birth at the same time, "no other pregnancy mattered" and apparently, things became so difficult that one couple of premature twins were prevented from seeing their babies and extended family members of other newborns were told that the floor was "on lock-down" when they arrived.  Any new parent will tell you that the process of giving birth is emotional enough without having to deal with another delivery on the floor that is deemed much, much more important than your own.

While I appreciate that the rich and famous may have a greater need to protect their privacy than the average citizen, let's not forget that Beyonce chose to announce her pregnancy at a very public event (the VMAs), drawing attention to herself and effectively eclipsing all other news from the event.  But, if your desire (fact or fiction) for privacy is so strong and you have unlimited financial resources, wouldn't it be better just to have the baby at home?  I'm sure that they could have arranged for all of the necessary medical personnel and equipment to ensure a safe and smooth delivery.

A spokesperson for the hospital claims that the hospital tried to minimize the disruption to their other parents and denied that there were any problems but the stories of mistreatment continue to come out.

It doesn't matter who you are.  When you make decisions, you need to take into account how they will affect others.

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