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413th Friday Blog Roundup

Someone sent an article from Mental Floss into the Prompt-ly list a few days ago about when premature babies were essentially side shows set out for the public’s entertainment, and in exchange, the babies received care that would have been prohibitively expensive for the parents.  It was a hard idea to wrap my mind around.  If I had lived during that time period, I would have needed to use this set-up to get the twins the care they needed when they were born early.  And yet it was so exploitative of families, of needs, of a health situation.

There is zero chance that I would willingly participate in a reality television show or put the kids in one.  But what if my back was against the wall, if I had to allow people to gawk at our life in order to save the twins?  What would be the emotional fallout from that type of experience; what emotional residue would be left from that decision?  Of course, if I were Snooki and amenable to being on a reality show, it would be a moot point.  But I’m sort of the anti-Snooki.  There is no amount of money one could pay me in order to subject myself to being on a reality show.

What is your reaction to Couney and his Infantincubators (with living infants!)?  Which perhaps is your reaction to reality television in general.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

The Elusive Second Line has a great post for her first blogoversary.  She sums up life perfectly when she writes, “This year has been the best bad year that I could have imagined.”  I love the fact that this post looks forward as well as backwards.  Congratulations on your blogoversary.

Weathering Storms has a deeply honest post about wanting a girl.  I was drawn into the post by the hope contained in the first sentences: “Last night, McRuger and I started talking about names for Adoption #2. It’s the sort of conversation that I love having with him. In those moments that we are talking, anything is possible, and there is no fear of what the future might bring.”  But what unfolded was a post that placed on the table the innermost wishes of her heart.  And that’s a beautiful thing; when someone allows you to see their deepest wants.

Something Out of Nothing has a post about the two week wait.  She spills out every jumbled thought from her brain, and what the reader gets is the ability to feel that penduluming between hope and fear, hope and fear, as she waits for the beta.  Sending her so many good thoughts.

Lastly, I love Mrs. Spit’s post about the museum this week, perhaps because it is such a touchstone of my childhood and a way that I have never thought about the building, but it’s also a reminder of the two sides to every story.  Or how there is a balance for the events that lie on either end of the extremes.

The roundup to the Roundup: What are your thoughts on the Infantincubator side show?  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 5th and 12th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 loribeth { 10.12.12 at 9:41 am }

Do you know the story of the Dionne Quintuplets? The scenario you’ve described above is esssentially what happened to them… their father had no idea how he was going to feed all these kids (at the height of the Depression) & accepted an offer to put them on display at the World’s Fair in Chicago. The government stepped in & made them wards of the Crown… and then promptly put them on display & made a pile of money themselves. The surving sisters sued the Ontario government for exploitation some years ago, and have become spokespeople for abused children.


I would like to hear from Jon & Kate’s 8 in about 10 years & see what they think about their childhood.

2 a { 10.12.12 at 9:43 am }

There is no way I would ever go on a reality show…unless they had something to offer that I could find no other way to get. But that article was just fascinating/shocking to me…

3 Rebecca { 10.12.12 at 10:39 am }

I had weird feelings reading that article. I hated even when other parents of NICU kids looked at my babies in the NICU. I just wanted privacy and he sense that we were really a family so desperately and there was none to be found. But reading that and thinking of a time when there wouldn’t have been any other options to save them? I guess I wouldn’t have had any choice. Makes me so upset to even consider it.

4 The Pussy Palace { 10.12.12 at 12:10 pm }

I think the incubator thing was a neccesary evil. I’m glad it helped all those babies. I can also see the temptation of a reality show if you are trying to provide for HOM but at least in that scenario there’s almost always better options available – public assistance, family help, moving someplace cheaper, etc.

5 Becky { 10.12.12 at 12:19 pm }

A friend was in the NICU with her baby (who they’re adopting) just last week when another baby passed away. The NICU was full of familiy members visiting other babies. And they all were wittness to this family’s very acute grief. It was horrible on so many levels.

In regards to this article though, I don’t think any of us know exactly what we would do in a given circumstance until we find ourselves in it. Right now, my gut says there’s no way I’d involve myself in any kind of reality show. However, if it were truly the only way to get my childrens’ needs met, I very well might.

6 ANDMom { 10.12.12 at 12:31 pm }

I think for me, the difference between the incubators as a side show and a reality show is – anonymity. Those babies were nameless entities to the people seeing them. It could not and would not follow them for the rest of their lives. So that seems to me, much less intrusive, and therefore much more palatable.

If a reality show would provide something significant to help my kids, I’d do it, even without the anonymity. We would, however, be one of those low-rated ones that people are like “geez, these people are dull as dirt” – they can only show things that you actually do on camera, and we are like most people – dull as dirt.

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.12.12 at 12:37 pm }

Ooh. I had forgotten about the Dionne quints. Loribeth makes a good point about J&K+8.

I’ve been saving up this one by A Half-Baked Life:

8 A.M.S. { 10.12.12 at 12:53 pm }

I remember a summer vacation in middle school that included a stop in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I was so excited about going to see an Amish farm until we got there. We pulled up into the parking lot and there was this beautiful farm and farm house and this family going about their daily life while people in shorts and t-shirts were traipsing all over the place, snapping photos and pointing and talking about them as if they couldn’t hear. I started sobbing and refused to go in. I couldn’t explain to my parents why it felt so wrong to treat this family’s home like an exhibit at the zoo. It broke my heart to think they had to take their private lives and make them so very public, even though I didn’t understand that is what was upsetting me. I even tried to accept that they were doing that to make money in order to allow them to continue to live the way they wanted, but that just made me want to give them money and walk away, not go poking around in their bedrooms.

If Olivia Moonpie had needed care that we were unable to provide for her during her 11 weeks in the NICU, I know I would have done whatever I had to to get it for her. I’d even have whored us out to a reality show if that’s what it took, but that choice of words should show exactly how I would have felt about it.

9 Stupid Stork { 10.12.12 at 1:56 pm }

Oh lawdy I remember reading about that a long time ago. It’s of course horrendously disturbing that people would want to look in the first place, and I’m sure the experience would be awful. That being said, if it came down to life saving treatment – I doubt there’s anything gross that I wouldn’t do.

And nope, don’t understand most of reality tv. I’m a blunt and honest person who doesn’t really hold too much back – but I don’t understand wanting to live your life like a big, gaping wound for all to see JUST to be on television (which seems to, in most cases, be the exclusive reason for it).

On the other hand, if G-d forbid I somehow came out with 8 babies I couldn’t pay for, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t take a check from a network to live like a gaping wound. (Even though it’s gross and I genuinely don’t understand the desire to watch it, again, desperate times call for desperate measures.. if it comes down to affording basic needs, there’s probably not a whole lot a good Mom wouldn’t do).

10 Stupid Stork { 10.12.12 at 2:01 pm }

Oh! And PS – I adored this one from the endlessly-lovely EmHart:


Essentially about the fear of being childless, how old that fear is and how it’s healthy to occasionally confront it.

11 Stupid Stork { 10.12.12 at 2:02 pm }

Ha! And damnit now I’m realizing she’s already up there – a second helping, I say.

12 Katie { 10.12.12 at 2:19 pm }

Like Rebecca, I didn’t even like when other people would look at K while we were in the NICU. I’m grateful we were in a hospital with private NICU rooms. I can’t imagine living in an open room (essentially) for 5 weeks with other babies and their parents. So that said, no. I couldn’t do a reality show. I wouldn’t have even done it before K. I’m too much of a hermit/introvert to allow people to view the most intimate moments of my life.

13 Keiko { 10.12.12 at 6:17 pm }

I’ll never forget the first time I watched Boardwalk Empire – I think it may have been the show’s premiere, and Steve Buscemi, recently widowed, walks by an Incubator “show” in a Boardwalk storefront window. The look of pain in his eyes (I *think* his wife died in childbirth, along with their child) – it really stuck with me. And of course, I had the obligatory “yet ANOTHER show where they’re dealing with infertility/pregnancy/longing for children?” Apparently, yes, this was a real thing in Atlantic City.

My noms for the week:

Dresden is PUPO! And the recap of her transfer day is so, so very moving. Read it all here at Creating Motherhood: http://creatingmotherhood.com/2012/10/08/plaid-embryos/

Whitney at Whitney & Erick has a very thought provoking, at at times troubling post about “Friends and Infertility.” How, not only have some of her friends said unbelievably ignorant and hurtful things to her on her journey, but how friends who gravitated toward her because of their own newly discovered fertility issues who then “drop her like a hot potato” (as she puts it) once they resolve. More here: http://www.whitneyanderick.com/?p=5015

Esperanza’s Time Warp Tuesday post on hope left me breathless. She’s been in such a tumultuous, dark place lately and in her latest post – you get a sense that light is crackling through. More at http://esperanzasays.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/time-warp-tuesday-hope/

And finally Mel, I was thorough intrigued by your reflections on your internet diet. (Which, folks can read here: https://www.stirrup-queens.com/2012/10/my-internet-diet/). I just re-read it before leaving this comment and am about to go comment on it now.

14 AP2B { 10.12.12 at 8:16 pm }

Hmmmm, so many sides to this coin…

Putting my baby out for display in order to get help – I would do it in a heartbeat. And if it didn’t kill me too much, I’d be in the front row explaining why it was a such an amazing device and telling the women to demand we have them in hospital.

A reality show on the other hand can get a little creepy. Honestly I don’t watch the ones with kids in them, so I can’t comment on how it might affect them, but I guess if I had to I would. But I’m seriously adverse to letting people know my business, so it would be super duper hard.

Then there is a 3rd options: blogs. While it certainly isn’t the same as the the other two, it is def related. Whether it is stories or pictures, we are putting our families on display – usually with no driving force but our own internal needs. That said, we’ve created a community that helps other individuals going through the same thing.

15 StacieT { 10.12.12 at 11:58 pm }

I was thinking along the same lines of AP2B about the blog issue. In a sense, many already do have their families on display to some degree through blogs. I suppose the difference is that through a blog you have control over what you share when I suspect that you have little to no control over what is shared on a reality show.

To some degree, preemies are still “on display” in hospitals. There are tours, etc., done by many hospitals to show their facilities to benefactors and even pregnant women. Also, as someone said above, the open floor plans of many NICUs themselves, lend to a public display of the babies whether it is intended or not.

While I would not actively seek out a situation where my kids were on display, I would kick, claw, and do whatever it took to get them to the front of the line if it was our only option, for help.

16 B { 10.13.12 at 10:18 am }

That’s a tough one, but I know I’d be on a reality show to help my kids.

Not to be trite, but worse than having my family’s broadcasted after the fact would be having the camera crew following me around during filming. I hate feeling like I have an audience. I’d be exhausted from having to shower and do my hair and wear a bra every damn day in my own home.

By the time the show aired I’d be a total stress case.

17 Laughing at Infertility { 10.13.12 at 4:09 pm }

When I was going through IVF, I often thought that if I had octuplets, I’d consider a reality show.

18 LC { 10.13.12 at 9:47 pm }

So, this is an interesting question for me. Several generations back, one of my great grandmothers had triplets who lived for maybe a day. I know she had many children who lived. It would be interesting to ask her whether or not she would have let those triplets go on display like that. She lived in rural Indiana, so I’m sure it wouldn’t have been an option, even if it was the right time frame. I don’t think I’d be able to do a reality show. I have enough trouble with people visiting for a week. I can’t imagine pulling the same level of personal togetherness you’d need to have for a TV show.

19 loribeth { 10.15.12 at 10:26 am }

I found this one via Still Standing magazine via Facebook, on Oct. 15th, of all days — an important message (for any day), & well and simply written:


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