I happened to catch a re-run of the premiere episode of Bravo TV’s Pregnant in Heels the other day. I had seen commercials for the show but didn’t think I would be interested. I tend to watch shows like that when I’m in “that mode” only. When planning my wedding, I was obsessed with WE TV’s Bridezillas. But on the recommendation of a friend, I tuned in. I was pleasantly surprised, though initially horrified…..
My initial horror was surrounding Rosie’s first clients, Sarah and Jon. My jaw hit the floor when Sarah, four weeks from her due date, revealed that she and her hubby thought of their baby, from conception, as a “life force sucking parasite.” Ummm, what???? Why exactly are these people having a baby??? When Rosie questions the parents about their parenting style, Jon says, “When I was a kid, in the ’70’s, it was made very clear that I was not the center of the universe. I was along for the ride.” Sarah chimes in with, “The world doesn’t revolve around them.” My horror slowly turned to disgust and then repugnance. I also was a kid in the ‘70’s and my parents did indeed make me the center of their universe. Mind you, I consider my parents to be “middle of the road” in parenting styles. They weren’t the type to let me curse as a toddler (in order to be able to fully express myself), but they also weren’t the type to make me sit at the dinner table until all the food on my plate was consumed. (Side note: there was a single incident involving pancake syrup, but I’ll blog about that another time).
There was a bit of a reprieve when in a “confessional shot,” Rosie tells us that, “Actually, that’s exactly what a baby should be – the center of your universe.” I felt a glimmer of hope – at least not everyone on this show was crazy – but it was short lived. Sarah revealed that she didn’t talk to her belly, that the baby is “just there.,” and that she thinks its ridiculous for people to think that she should be completely bonded with the baby just because she is pregnant. Seriously??? I think most women bond with their babies from the moment they find out they’re pregnant. I know I did, and so did all of my friends.
So back to my original thought – why are these two people having a baby??? Clearly, they do not want one. They have ZERO prep done for the baby’s arrival. Remember, the baby was due in only 4 weeks when Rosie arrived and they had yet to purchase a stitch of clothing, a stroller, not even a car seat to bring this baby home from the hospital in. Before you start emailing me about people who are superstitious about bringing things into the house, know that I am one of those people. I did not have a baby shower for that reason. But there are ways to plan ahead without having to bring stuff into your home. Most baby furniture stores, especially the ones these Madison Ave Moms shop at, will gladly order and hold your furniture, etc, until you call and say you want it delivered. I personally kept all the clothes I bought at my moms. But, I digress….. This couple couldn’t have been more disconnected from their baby if they tried. They didn’t speak with excitement about his impending arrival. Instead, there seemed to be a feeling of dread in the air whenever they spoke of it. But here is where the GENIUS of Rosie Pope happens. She shows up at their apartment WITH A THERAPIST. That’s right, a therapist. One cute, young Dr. Ryan, looking a lot like Doogie Howser, swoops in and after ignoring the death glares of the couple facilitates a breakthrough. Rosie tells the couple to their faces that they seem to have “whacked ideas” about babies and parenting and that they seem to have used their superior intellect to come up with good reasons why they have put off being prepared. Dr. Ryan asks a few questions and then immediately diagnoses Sarah as having “experiential avoidance.” This is where in order to avoid feeling anxious about something, you simply avoid thinking about it at all. Sarah had what I like to call an “Oprah Winfrey lightbulb moment” and a happy ending was the result. Baby Fox (follow-up post on names coming soon) arrives and Sarah and Jon actually seem happy about it.
God bless you, Rosie Pope, for having the patience and resources to deal with these people. Their crazy ideas would have been such a turn-off to me that I don’t think I could have worked with them. True, I was scared, too, when I was pregnant for the first time, but I talked about it. I read books about birth, and babies, and parenting. I asked my mother and aunts and friends questions. That’s how most people prepare themselves. Since I am not an avoider, I can’t relate to Sarah. I immediately felt that she and her husband were callous and thoughtless. Turns out they were just scared. I just hope little Fox NEVER gets to see your show.