How the other half births

The birth Jan. 7 of Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of hip-hop stars Beyonce and Jay-Z  (Shawn Carter), had Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan in a tailspin this week.

Beyonce pregnant


Other new parents complained of disruptions and even security breaches as the celebrity family reportedly took over part of the hospital's sixth floor for a private, customized labor-delivery area for $1 million-plus. (A hospital spokesman said the Carters occupied an "executive suite" and paid the standard rate for it.)

Neil and Rozz Nash-Coulon were upset at being detained in the neonatal intensive care unit after visiting their newborn twins, while Edgar Ramirez reported he was refused entrance to visit his baby in the the NICU unit. Windows were covered, private security guards issued orders, and security cameras were even disabled, families complained.

"The security of our children is at risk when you cover security cameras," Ms. Nash-Coulon told Nina Bernstein of the New York Times.

And, all the secrecy fed rumors. Beyonce's website states that "Baby Blue" was "delivered naturally," while portions of the blogosphere ran with a report that the birth was a C-section. And there's even a contingent that holds that Beyonce's pregnancy was a fake, that a surrogate mom bore Blue.

Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski, stars of the sitcom 30 Rock on NBC, told The Today Show's Matt Lauer that they both had their babies at Lenox Hill Hospital as well. Said Fey, "My celebrity treatment at Lenox Hill involved taking a group breast-feeding class in a closet."

Tina Fey is pregnant, choosing to juggle more

Tina Fey, Emmy-winning creator/writer/producer/star of the television comedy 30 Rock, has kicked the ambivalence she was wrestling about having another baby.

Fey, a former standout member of the Saturday Night Live ensemble, will announce on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 12 that she is five months pregnant with her second child, People magazine reported on its website this week.

Celebrities are often reticent about the details of their pregnancies, but Fey has let her anxieties hang out on the topic in her new book, Bossypants, and in a recent, related New Yorker article, "Confessions of a Juggler."

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

It is unsettling to be a woman of 40, in her "last five minutes" both of fertility and decent movie offers, Fey writes, and she weaves wacky scenarios as she considers having another baby vs. concentrating on her career.

"Why not do both, like everybody else in the history of the earth?" she asks.

The math is impossible, Fey writes.

"No matter how you add up the months, it means derailing the TV show where 200 people depend on me for their income, and I take that stuff seriously. Like everyone from Tom Shales to Jeff Zucker, I thought 30 Rock would be canceled by now."

But 30 Rock is still going, and now Fey is pregnant. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

In my opinion, Fey has made the right decision, because it is the decision she has made. (Her husband, she writes, just wanted her to get off the dime.) And that goes for any woman. She who controls her own fertility has at least a shot at controlling her life.

(Or, Fey may have gone through years of hand-wringing and then just discovered she was pregnant. That whole control thing is hard to pull off.)

In any event, the gynecologist who tells Fey during her paroxysms of indecision, "Either way, everything will be fine," was probably right.

Fey is in for a wild ride, balancing a hugely demanding job and two children. She is sure to get a lot of the question she says is the rudest you can ask a woman: "How do you juggle it all?"

Image courtesy of David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons