Attention art lovers, there’s a placenta in the impressionist gallery

Say what? Yes, a woman/performance artist is staying inside a museum case in Brooklyn for 5 weeks waiting for the birth of her first child. The project she lovingly calls, The Birth of Baby x.  The blogosphere is going nuts on this. It’s nothing new, we’ve seen child birth on the internet, we’ve seen gastric bypass, and goodness knows what else on the internet. I don’t google this kind of stuff because I’m afraid of what will pop up and scar me for life.

Many in the media, from Chelsea Handler to news outlets to the late night hosts are talking about this woman. So she’s accomplished her first goal, which is to get people talking about her. Right? I mean, why else would you do this? Attention seeking artists usually do freaky things. Artists often like to get people’s attention, on their work more than themselves. But when your art is yourself, then what?

Having birthed two kids myself, and yes, down the canal so to speak and not the c-section variety. I can only say the reason this woman is doing this is because she has never given birth before. She obviously has no idea what she is in for. Her husband, midwife and doula will be there to support her. I wouldn’t buy a ticket to this show. I wouldn’t go for free either. Yes, childbirth is beautiful, disgusting and artful, poop comes out sometimes, so gross, and this is when all goes well. I can’t pee in the woods for fear of a squirrel watching, I’m not sure how I would display my lady bits to anyone who stopped by on their lunch break to watch.

I won’t go into the birth stories of my children, at least not now. We can argue back and forth over the virtues of home deliveries vs. hospitals. I support both. Didn’t Cindy Crawford give birth on her bed and then freeze the placenta to plant in the ground later? I support the role of doulas (look it up if you don’t know what this amazing role is), since I had one for both of my kids’ deliveries. I support Open Arms, a perinatal organization that provides doula services to women who can’t afford one. (That’s another blog for sure.) With Emma, if she wasn’t born in a hospital with the modern technology available to get her out quickly and safely, she would’ve died for sure. Owen, could’ve been born in a barn or taxi cab and he would have been fine. James, maybe not so much. So that is the difference. Owen was born in a hospital though in case you’re wondering. I wouldn’t change either experience or outcome for that matter.

Childbirth and bringing home a newborn baby IS the most amazing and beautiful experience. It is hell and this is why James got a vasectomy so it would never happen again. I love my children, I loved the gift that I was given having them. I’m grateful for their health and how easy our fertility experience was. The six weeks after having Emma was the most scarring, horrendous, emotional roller coaster of my life. Ever. Can you say post-partum? Bleeding nipples? Maxi pads the size of a Volkswagen?

I guess what bugs me about this woman is that she calls this project, ‘The birth of baby x’. The ‘x’ part being so nurturing and bonding, yeah, NOT. Why not, the birth of baby xx or xy? AND, she plans to continue this project until the kid is 18, giving weekly updates on her website. Maybe she is hoping for a book deal, or enough advertising sponsorship that can go into an account to pay for the kids’ therapy.

There’s pros and cons to this- Pro- the baby can’t complain she never kept a baby book. She’ll have everything documented for eternity. Poor Owen, being a second child, there’s no pictures of him between age 3 and 5, and no video after he was 3 months old. You just get distracted. Oh, and a baby scrap book? Forget it! I have a lock of his hair somewhere….

The cons in this would be, maybe, and I’m just saying, this is how I feel, maybe you don’t agree. That she is using the act of raising a child as an exhibit. A reality show in ways. She says Facebook isn’t personal or interactive enough. Whatever. To each his own. But how much ‘personal’ do we need?  Maybe the child doesn’t want all their milestones for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Owen got so pissed at me when I put a video of him dancing like Bo Jangles in the middle of Kohl’s up on Facebook.

Childbirth and raising children are truly life’s most precious gifts. And some men would argue the time of conception was sure a great gift too.  I wish this woman, her baby x, and her husband, all the best.

I have no idea who this child is, but thought it was a gorgeous baby picture.

One thought on “Attention art lovers, there’s a placenta in the impressionist gallery

  1. that baby picture isn’t Owen? sure looks like he did then.
    so sorry for Baby x, it/she/he will be scarred for life, if the display project will go on for 18 years.
    “Project” Emma and Owen are the Blessings that were given to us, always thankful how that happened.

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