Stacie Burrows is one funny mother of two. Her show, “I’m Not From Here But My Kids Are” is an irreverent comedy about raising kids in Hollywood. She has performed stand-up comedy from New York to Los Angeles and every where in between. When you laugh, it feeds her soul. So thank you for laughing. She’s hungry. We have been lucky enough to have had Stacie in Expressing Motherhood multiple times.
Anne Geddes, What Have You Done?
This is a story about Open Heart Surgery and Bumblebees and how the two should never mix.
My friend had her first child last week in Houston, Texas. When the baby was born, his heart wasn’t fully developed, so the child spent his first few days in the NICU (or neo-natal Intensive Care Unit). Then, after an agonizing 72-hour period, we learned that the baby would have to have emergency open-heart surgery. I waited nervously from my computer in Los Angeles for updates on the baby’s condition. I was so scared for these first-time parents. How frightening it must be to have your little baby undergo such a massive procedure. I got news that he came out of surgery just fine. Then, days later, was allowed to go home with his mommy and daddy. I pictured the nervous new parents returning home with their precious son, carefully observing his every breath and heartbeat.
Then, one week after the surgery, I see the baby’s photo on Facebook. And he’s dressed like a bumblebee. Yes, he was in a tiny crocheted bumblebee suit. And I got mad. Mad at Anne Geddes. You remember her. She’s the lady that started the whole trend of dressing tiny babies up like peas in a pod, or carrots, or rutabagas or artichokes and taking beautiful photographs when they were just a few days old. It was an artistic endeavor that led to books, greeting cards and, unfortunately, a lot of wanna-bees. Now, everyone seems to think that no childhood is complete without the obligatory “dress your baby up as anything but a baby and take his picture” picture.
Let me just have you all make a solemn vow to me. If I ever need open-heart surgery in my lifetime, please promise me that you will allow me to rest and recover from my surgery in peace. For the love of God, do not dress me up like a bumblebee. Let me recover before you dress me up like a bumblebee. I know all you want to do is dress me like a bumblebee, but please heed my plea. My grandmother had open-heart surgery when she was 88-years-old. A week after the surgery, she was in so much pain and covered in bruises. I’ll never forget what she told me. She said, “If I had known it was going to be this painful, I would have never gone through with it.” Of all the things she wanted and needed at that time in her life, not one of them was a professional photographer capturing her essence as a bumblebee. I can only imagine, if I went into her room where she lay in pain and was heavily sedated, if I even attempted to put a knit cap with bumblebee feelers on her, she would have mustered up all her strength to punch me in the face. Seriously!
I’m not saying that my friend shouldn’t take lots of photos and relish in the miracle of survival that just occurred, but I’m just saying, give it time. For cryin’ out loud, the baby has just experienced the shock of leaving the womb, been whisked from his mother to the NICU and then to top it all off, had open-heart surgery. Give him a few days.
We only do this to babies because they can’t object. I’m pretty sure if the kid could talk, he would say, “Hey Mom & Dad, this first week was a doozy. Can we take a few days off?”
I guess what’s done is done. There’s no going back. The photos have been taken. But, listen, once again, and I can’t stress this enough, if I ever need open-heart surgery, remember: no bumblebee costumes, no photos, especially no Facebook photo shares! Don’t let Anne Geddes anywhere near my recovery room. Instead of taking cute photos of me, I want you to watch my medication schedule, talk with my doctors, and tend to my needs. Make sure the remote for the t.v., the phone and my computer is within my reach. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and just out of common courtesy, if you ever need open-heart surgery, I’ll do the same for you. I promise!