About a year ago, I was gearing up to deliver my babies by scheduled c-section. At 4 a.m. before my appointment, I dragged my achy pregnant body out of bed, got in the shower, and then did my typical (if minimalist) hair and makeup routine before leaving for the hospital. My husband was probably rolling his eyes, but hello: There would be pictures!
I won’t lie: It was important to me to look put together following the birth of my twins so that I wouldn’t cringe when I looked at those hospital photos in the future—and so that, when family and friends (and colleagues, and readers of my blogs…) viewed them, they might note my appearance favorably as well. In the end, thanks to the few extra moments I spent in the bathroom that morning, I feel proud of those photos.
It’s hardly revolutionary to note that, especially in an age when there is widespread expectation that hospital room photos will be shared in real time on social media, I’m not the only one to care about such matters.
In fact, the New York Times is now reporting on a trend in which women pre-book a team of stylists—specifically hair and makeup pros—to come to their hospital rooms for the purpose of getting the new moms camera-ready for their first photos with their babies… never mind that they may actually feel they’ve just been through a war.
“[The first images after delivery] are frequently posted on social media… to be seen by a broad network of friends, colleagues and close family,” according to the Times. “It is probable that the practice has been fueled by the barrage of images of women like Kate Middleton, who after delivering her children left the hospital with sleek, bouncy hair that more readily suggested a leisurely blowout than the physically taxing experience of childbirth.”
As I noted before when I covered Middleton’s impeccable post-delivery look, I’m no fan of unnecessary pressures of any kind on new moms. And it saddens me a bit to think of what star moms like the Duchess of Cambridge and Kim Kardashian (and so many others) must go through to get ready for paparazzi outside the hospital.
But I am also a big believer in the fake-it-til-you-make-it ideology. And I know that when I look put together, I feel more pulled together. And that feeling leads to real implications when it comes to my confidence and competence—both invaluable assets to new moms.
That doesn’t mean I went as far as hiring the teams of beauty pros highlighted in the Times trend piece. But honestly? I don’t think it’s that crazy either.
Give me a good viral pregnancy video and I’ll watch it 20 times in a row while laughing, crying, gasping, clutching my heart — you get the gist. (Fortunately, watching them is actually part of my job description!) Especially because I was pregnant for much of 2014, the year’s best videos on the subject got me right in the gut. Here are my absolute favorites of the year.
This video makes my list as a placeholder for the whole category of time-lapse and stop-motion pregnancy videos that trended this year. There’s nothing like watching the adventure of pregnancy — such an intense journey, at times spectacular and at times arduous — play out right before your eyes. Bonus: The dad in this video, who is Tom Fletcher of the English band McFly, wrote the moving song that plays throughout. Total views: 10.5 million.
This video slays me because it focused on the moment a dad-to-be learns he has a baby on the way. It’s such a sweet, wonderful, unique moment in time—and one the whole family will be glad was captured on camera! Total views: close to 1.4 million.
Because I was pregnant myself when I saw this video, I watched it with intense anxiety—and gratitude that I lived just 10 minutes’ drive from my delivery hospital! The insanely dramatic 10-minute clip on YouTube showed a GoPro camera-wearing dad’s capture of not only his epic race to the hospital with his wife in labor—but the baby’s sidewalk birth too! Total views: close to 5 million.
Let me count the ways I love this parody video of Iggy Azalea’s “Famous,” on the WhatsUpMoms YouTube channel. First of all, I was eight months pregnant when it came out this summer, and related to every word. Second, it’s so catchy, I literally sing the spoof words in my head every time the real song that inspired the parody comes on the radio! Total viewer count now? More than 14 million (though I may account for a couple million of those myself).
What was your favorite pregnancy video of the year?
We’re thrilled to announce that on Tuesday, July 22, our Everything Pregnancy blogger, Alesandra Dubin, who has been sharing the journey of her pregnancy with us all, gave birth to her boy-girl twins. Welcome to the world, Jordan Oscar and Maya Zoe!
Of course, now that Alice is a new mom, navigating the awesome world of parenting not just one newborn baby but two, she’ll be taking a break from writing the blog for a little while. (We’re big fans of maternity leave around here, even if it means we’ll miss out on her humor and insights.) In the meantime, our In Name Only blogger, Lisa Milbrand, will be guest-posting each day.
Please join us in congratulating Alice (and offering helpful advice!), and check out the completely adorable first family photo here:
Deciding how you’ll make your birth announcement is a huge decision—one, which many women start planning as soon as they know they’re pregnant. Or at least once they know whether they’re having a boy or girl!
Will you send a sweet Tweet? Add the news to your Facebook feed? Share a video with the ones you love via Vine? Post footage of the actual birth on YouTube for all the world to see? Go the more traditional birth announcement route? Or all of the above?
As the Duchess of Cambridge, those decisions are already made for the very pregnantKate Middleton. Her baby’s birth announcement will be much like an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine, where one thing is passed off and triggers another chain reaction (Check out the awesome OK GO video below as a fun example).
According to the British newspaper, The Telegraph, the moment the Prince or Princess of Cambridge is born, an aide will run out of the hospital with a piece of precious paper in hand —a signed bulletin on foolscap-sized paper carrying the Buckingham Palace letterhead, to be exact—with all of the usual details, such as baby’s sex, weight and time of birth (the name will most likely be announced later, with a photo to follow). Much like in a relay race, the piece of paper will then be handed off to a waiting driver to be taken to Buckingham Palace.
Once the Queen hears about the birth (and she will not be woken up to be told about the birth, if it should take place in the middle of the night—a Queen needs her beauty sleep!), and all of the other important family members on both sides know, then and only then will the notice be placed on an easel outside of the Palace for revelers, TV cameras and every last person on the planet to gawk at.
After the adoring public has had a significant amount of time to see the official notice, the news will be put on the Palace’s official Twitter feed. Being a Royal could be seen as having your freedom taken away from you, as you can’t make even the smallest decision such as a birth announcement yourself, but it could also be seen as a stress-free way to live. I sort of envy the fact Kate won’t have to sit up at night pondering the important question of: Do I include the bare bottom shot in the birth announcement or will my son forever hate me if I do?