Baby on Board
By Julie Davidson
So Beyonce and Jay-Z started the New Year with a new baby. But they got a little flack for the antics that surrounded baby Blue Ivy Carter’s birth.
There have been reports that partitions were erected, the windows of the maternity ward were completely covered, and security cameras had paper taped over them. Apparently, all that was done to protect the privacy of mother and child.
I can kinda sorta relate. On a much smaller scale. The scale that doesn’t include covering security cameras and windows. But I do recall wanting only a select few people within a 20-mile radius of my newborn.
When we left the hospital with my son, I didn’t even want to look anyone in the eye. That might convey an interest in conversation. No interest here. Just let me get my baby home.
While my husband went to get the car and left us in the lobby, I sat as far away from anyone as I could. Hospitals have germs. C’mon people, I have a newborn here!
Oh, man, that ride home was something else. It was as if I had never seen cars before. I sat right next to my son, one hand on the infant carrier. Gripping it, actually. Literally a backseat driver. I kept remarking to my husband about how close the other cars were. And how rude some of the drivers were. It seemed like everyone was speeding. I never liked those signs parents would put up in their cars that said Baby On Board. Until that car ride.
And then once the baby was home, it was total freak-out time. The endless thoughts roamed through my mind. Do I wake him up to feed him or wait till he wakes up? Does he need another blanket? Why is he grunting? Now he’s not making any noise.
Going out in public took some getting used to. The grocery store was the worst. An infant in a grocery cart is almost as popular as the lady with the free sausage samples in the meat department. I was hypersensitive to what was going on around the baby. Every cough. Every sneeze.
And then, inevitably, someone would reach out and want to touch the baby. I am very proud of myself for not biting several hands.
So yeah. We all want to protect our squishy new babies the best we can. Some of us hide from the paparazzi. The rest of us run from well-meaning old ladies in the grocery store.