...in the world of educational birth videos, that is.
When I was in the hospital after Aubs was born I was in a blissful state. I had just delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl who nursed like a champion (one of my biggest fears was that I would have trouble nursing). I was able to eat carbs again which I wasn’t able to do while pregnant because I had GD. Everything was just perfect. The stars were aligned and I was happy- maybe a little too openly blissful and cheery. My sunny demeanor is probably what made the nurses decide that I was the best candidate to send the director to. Yes you read that right, director, as in film director.
Little did I know in my baby fog that there was a film crew on the maternity ward of my hospital filming an educational birth video to be distributed to doctors and midwives offices throughout Florida and God only knows where else. Of course they hadn’t filmed us (yet) because you have to fill out all sorts of consent forms and what not. I became aware of the situation when my nurse came in and asked me if it would be alright if the director came in to talk to me.
In walked a very pleasant middle aged woman with clipboard. My husband was actually not there at the time because he had gone home to shower and get some things that I had needed. I believe that I was nursing when she came in and she sat down right next to my bed. She commented that I seemed like such a natural and so content. I took this as a huge compliment. I thought, “I’m awesome and this woman can clearly see that too.”
Then she broke it down for me. She was with a production crew who was filming an educational video for doctors’ offices to show to expecting mothers. She also told me that I was one of the only new mothers who were breastfeeding on the floor. In retrospect I’m pretty sure she was lying about that one but then again my husband said that there were always a lot of babies in the nursery and it’s hard to have a baby in the nursery when you’re breastfeeding. Who cares anyway, that’s not the point of this story. Basically all the flattery had me saying yes even before my husband got back and I was able to run it by him.
Within an hour or so Joe got back to the hospital and I let him in on what I had just agreed to. He didn’t seem to mind. We were stuck in the hospital anyway and this would at least entertain us for a little while. Pretty soon we were met by a team of three people- the woman from before, a camera guy and the producer. We were given a bunch of paperwork and waivers to fill out and then briefed by the director on what we would be doing. I had no lines but my husband and the nurse that was helping out did. My role was basically to look adoringly at my baby (easy) and breastfeed (only top boob, no nipples exposed. I made sure of that).
The whole ordeal probably lasted about an hour. It was a little strange having a camera crew and studio lighting in our hospital room the day after I gave birth but the whole experience of giving birth for the first time is a little strange all on its own. The actual scene we shot was a little more difficult than we assumed too. It’s hard to act natural and not look at the camera in such an unnatural situation. We would totally suck at being reality t.v. stars.
With all that said and done, it actually only seemed like a small event within the huge event of having out first child.
We didn’t really think of it much after it had happened and had basically forgotten about it. The producer was supposed to contact us once the film was complete so we could get a copy. This was one of the reasons why we did it in the first place. We thought it would be cool to have a professional video of Aubs first day on earth. They never ended up contacting us so we just figured that our scene had been cut out, no harm no foul. I was actually pretty relieved. I mean what I was thinking doing something like that. I was bloated from Pitocin and looked like complete crap. I also was a little embarrassed about breastfeeding on camera although it was very discreet. I am extremely pro-breastfeeding but the thought of a million doctors’ offices having a video of me doing it gave me the creeps. Whatever, I wouldn’t have to worry about all that now because obviously it never got put into the movie.
Then about a month ago my husband got a phone call from his brother, Craig. Craig was out to lunch and he had gotten a phone call from one of his and my husband’s investors. The investor asked Craig if by any chance Joe and his wife had been filmed for a birthing video. He and his wife were expecting their second child and had just watch an educational birth video and thought they recognized Joe. Craig said he wasn’t sure but he called Joe to confirm. That’s when it hit us. They did use our scene and now it was available for the whole world to see. Worst of all a man who invests in my husband’s business saw it, me at my absolute worst and he isn’t the only one, just the only one that we know about. Awesome... just awesome.
Basically the moral of this story is, never agree to anything right after you have a baby. You are sappy and take compliments way too seriously and if you’re as unlucky as me you will end up forever on film to educate couples on their impending birth experience. I find is kind of comical now that the sting has worn off, that is if I try not to think of it at all- or ever