When my daughter was born, my husband tucked a copy of The New York Times from her birth day into a folder, to save for posterity. When her birth announcement ran in my alumni newsletter, I cut it out and pasted it in an album.
I’m wondering what sort of press clippings Beyoncé will put in Blue Ivy’s baby book. Surely not the ones about how security guards at Lenox Hill Hospital supposedly prevented other new parents from visiting their babies in the neonatal unit. Or the articles mulling why anyone would choose the name Blue Ivy. Or the ones recalling the brouhaha over her “fake” bump. Or the post with Perez’s loving tribute of a headline, “Beyoncé Wants Everyone To Know Her Baby Was Born Via Va Jay Jay.”
While I could care less how Mitt Romney feels about being trumped by a baby, I am feeling kind of bad for Beyoncé. Having a baby can be overwhelming and emotionally-draining enough without having the world debate every single thing about her birth. Few mothers need to worry about a bounty on their newborn’s head: The first person to snag a picture of Blue Ivy could rake in $500,000.
Yes, of course, Beyoncé’s a celeb; she chose that lifestyle and the 24/7 spotlight it comes with. And I’m guessing she hasn’t been hunched over Twitter, reading all the nasty comments. As her Official New Mom Statement says, “Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven.” But heaven doesn’t have an army of security people and a bulletproof door, like the one said to have been built for her hospital room.
No new mom, even a celeb one, deserves the obsessive attention Beyoncé and her baby have received in the past few days. I think back to the birth of my daughter, and how sweet it was to nestle into a cocoon of new-baby bliss. My husband and I limited visitors at the hospital; we wanted plenty of private time to savor our girl. The only person stalking us was my mother-in-law and her disposable camera. I didn’t have a care in the world, other than figuring out how to get a good latch.
That thrill I felt when I left the hospital with my baby in my arms surely would have been the opposite for Beyoncé, who was shuttled out last night at 1:30 a.m. in an operation described as “military-like.” Noted one clueless writer, “One would imagine the ride wasn’t stress free for the new mother, but something tells me Beyoncé’s body is pretty well equipped to deal with high pressure situations.”
Even if Beyoncé is used to dodging press hounds, it’s a whole other scenario when you’re a mom protecting a baby. If I were her, I would have been terrified of going home—let alone wondering who might be waiting for her when she arrived. I doubt she’ll be eager to take Blue Ivy for a first walk in her stroller; at this point, the moon may be the only safe place, and even then some ambitious paparazzo might still track her down.
That time after a new baby comes into your life is special. You’re in your own happy world—a sleep-deprived one but still, your own world. Beyoncé had the world peering into her window, even if it was blackened. She had the dread of the paparazzi, nipping at her heels. And I feel bad that she missed out on the total experience of new-baby bliss.