Sunday, June 14, 2009

Old School New School Part II

I was hanging out at the pier on the West side highway with my son and a dear friend of mine. Suddenly two cute little dogs appeared out of nowhere and accosted us as we were sitting in the grass.

The dogs were followed by an attractive looking couple, a blond woman and a dark haired man.

"Don't worry," said the lovely woman "they're friendly."

Upon further inspection I noticed that the woman was visibly pregnant. When I could be sure I said

"How far along are you?"

The woman replied that she was in her second trimester. We got to talking and came up that she was a former lawyer turned television anchor. She told me about working in TV and how much better she liked it than being in the courtroom.

The topic turned back to pregnancy and birth.

"You know, all these people keep telling me that I need to get a Baby Nurse!" She remarked "And my response is 'isn't that what my mom is for?' Why do I need a Baby Nurse?"

"I totally agree," I replied "I would have been lost without my mom. I'm so glad she was there when my son was born."

This was unexpected. When I met this woman, I assumed because she was television anchor she would be inherently very busy and need the services of someone like a Baby Nurse. But the fact that she was excited to have her mother around to help excited me. It proved to me that this old school idea of grandparents helping to raise a child is still alive and well.

We talked for a while and the couple went on their way.

Shortly thereafter I caught my son smiling and waving at someone. I turned to look at who he was making eyes at. It was another woman; a runner.

"Is he eight months?" she asked
"13 months," I said proudly
"Oh okay. My son is eight months old now."

We to got to talking about pregnancy, birth etc. It turned out that she was a single mom in her mid-40's who had chosen to to have a baby via IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

This piqued my curiosity and I began asking many questions:
"How did you choose the donor? Was it expensive? Where did you have it done?"

She kindly answered all my questions. She had it done in Massachusetts where IVF is apparently FREE! All she had to pay was her insurance co-pay. She knew the woman that ran the health clinic where she got her donor sperm. Her contact advised her of the "quality" donors.

She told me that her baby looked nothing like her! He was blond and of Scandinavian descent due to the dad's genetic composition. But he had a great temperament from the moment he was born.

"We go traveling together. I am taking him hiking in the mountains with my dear friend next week."

This woman was a dynamo! She decided she wanted to have a child and went for it! And now she is living her life as usual, just with child in tow. She was a New school mom!

The story of these two moms exemplify the purpose of this blog. To honor the old school parenting ideas and constructs and the new school ones. We can learn from both of these women.


  1. Amazing! I love how you meet people. I also really love the duality of how we can ask for help from the people who are supposed to be there for us, yet also not have to wait around to do what WE want in life! Great story! I also would ask the IVF mom a ton of questions! It must be a bit different to have a baby that way, wondering how they will be. But we are all like that. We don't know what they will look like until they are born, or their personalities. (Like Lyla!) Very interesting!

  2. That's an interesting point. Even if you know the father of your child you the looks and personality of your baby are still a surprise!

  3. Sukanya Krishnan?

  4. Nice try, but no cigar! Wrong network!

  5. That's the news I watch! How many pregnant anchors do we have running around NY,anyway?

  6. Apparently more than one! And this one is not on PIX!

  7. Racial generalizations should generally be avoided but it is my sense that in "the black community" (whatever that means exactly) and probably in a bunch of other non-white communities, all the family members helping out with the baby never actually went away.
    It seems like a pretty "white" concept to assume that a non-family member should be the first choice for looking after your baby when you can't.

    Also, "is he eight months?" is ridiculously funny.
    Great way to start my day.

  8. Fascinating comparison. You certainly have a reporters viewpoint. I kindof agree with Mint, in that there are at least two Americas. One where the extended family is still active and the other, or nuclear family, where you are kind of on your own. First is better I think. But then I am an old, old school mom.

  9. America the land of many kinds of Moms!


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