Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When the Today Show calls...

I glanced down at my phone and noticed I had a new message. When I opened my inbox I saw a peculiar subject line. "NBC Today Show."

Hmm. That's funny. Well it got even funnier when I opened it up and read that they were doing a story about sharing information when pregnant for the next morning's show, and wanted to talk to me about it.


I called the number the producer left for me and chatted with her for a few moments, and she asked if I'd be willing to fly to New York City to be on the Today Show the next morning. It would be on their dime of course, and they'd fly me and someone else out (probably my husband, unless I decided to ditch him and bring a friend.). I told them I had work the next day but they said I'd be done by 8 and able to make it to work that morning.

"Sure!" I went with it.

Interestingly enough a similar situation happened just a few months earlier. The NBC Nightly News wrote to me about being in a segment about written love letters. Everything crumbled and fell through at the last moment because of some breaking news, but I hey, that's the business. I live it every day, I get it!

I was extremely excited to see this new message but hesitant, not wanting to get my hopes up. I only told one friend about the possibility before the producer called me back.

It took her too long to get to the point so I knew it wasn't going to happen. "My producer is telling me we're set for the live part of the show," she told me. Awww man!! I thought. "But we'd still like to come to your house and talk to you for our story portion." Sweet!

I still tried not to get too excited. I needed to run this by a few people above me at work, to make sure they were ok with me blasting myself all over national television, then clean my house, and oh yea, tell my husband the Today Show was coming over.

I basically waited until I had everything cleared and the photographer on his way before telling my husband. I called as I left for work.

"Hi honey, how's it going?" I tried to warm him up with small talk before dropping the bomb. "So remember how NBC Nightly News called me awhile back?"

"Oh no," he interrupted me.

"Oh no?" I shot back, deciding that over-excitement would be my defense and hoping his guilt for bursting my bubble would counter any distaste he had for the idea. "This is exciting, why can't you be happy for me?"

I heard him sigh. It was starting to work.

"When are they coming over?" he asked.

"Seven," I lied. They would be there at six, but it was seven eastern time, and we'd probably start filming by seven after all the set up.

"Seven?" he freaked. "We need to clean up this house."

"Well get started, I'm on my way home and I'll help."

"I have to be at church at seven," he said. I knew this already and I had already arranged for a friend to come over and help watch Little J while I was being interviewed.

When I got home he was doing the dishes, and scrubbing glasses, which annoyed me a little. The camera wouldn't be pointed at the dishes or our sink. I took the liberty of picking everything up that was out of place and throwing it in our hall closet, and our bedroom. I knew we'd most likely film in the living room or nursery, but the crap would be hidden in our room.

My daughter didn't want to be put down so I cleaned while holding her, and she laughed as we ran up and down the stairs throwing things in strange places. I laughed at the irony that one day I'll probably be telling her NOT to do this, when here I was doing that very thing many moms hate. Shoving things out of the way instead of putting them where they belong.

I managed to get everything hidden put away, and changed my and my daughter's clothes just in time.

Meanwhile  I told another friend I was probably going to be on the Today Show the next morning and that she should watch for me.

Right at six o'clock there was a knock at the door. I hoped it was my friend, but it was the punctual photographer.

I let him in and showed him my living-room so he could set up while I finished touching up my makeup. He recognized me from my local station and we talked a little about mutual friends. My nerves started to settle as I got to know him.

The producer I spoke with earlier had written down my answers and basically already knew what she wanted me to say based on my responses from earlier. The question were based around TMI, what's TMI and do I consider my blog TMI.

Honestly after I got pregnant I think my blog turned away from the TMI tone. I mean, pre-pregnancy was a little much. Saying you're "trying" is practically saying "Guess what? We're doing it all the time in hopes to spawn." It can seem a little TMI. But the pregnancy part? I didn't really think that was inappropriate.

The story was born after Mariah Carey tweeted a picture of her decorated pregnant belly, and a popular website deemed the youtube pregnancy documentation phenomenon as "WombTube." So the Today Show ran with it and found me.

When it was time for me to sit down, sit still and answer questions I found it so odd being on the other side of things. I worried I'd sound stupid, I looked around behind me to see what items were out of place and tried to straighten up things that would make my house look messy. I vowed to never again say "Don't worry about it" when someone I interviewed in the future tried to straighten up their place. I now know how they feel.

After the interview the photographer got some shots of my daughter and I playing. This was what I was most excited about. The world seeing my beautiful baby--In hopes of one of those people being a casting agent for Baby Gap (wink).

The first set up didn't go so well. He told me to put her in her crib and act like I was walking in to get her. Well, she knew it wasn't bed time, and I had gotten home from work not long before, and she wasn't even close to being ready for me to leave her alone. So every time I set her down she'd scream as I'd walk away. I'd walk in, and pick her up, and she'd be ok. We did that about four times. I'm glad they didn't use that video on TV because it wasn't very cute.

Then we sat on the bed in her nursery and I read her a book. She was more fascinated with my necklace and my boobs than the book, so I'm glad that footage also didn't make the cut.

The photographer went back downstairs to adjust some lights before we set up for the last scene--Playing with blocks. I fed her while he went downstairs which is why she was especially happy for this scene, and why this one made air.

We played with blocks and she grabbed my headband off my wrist and started playing with that. While she's used to having a camera in her face, she wasn't familiar with the person behind this one, but she still did a fabulous job. I was able to sit her down to play while I typed on my computer. I tried my best to get my blog name in the story but I only saw it once for half a second. Ahh, oh well.

I set my DVR that night and anxiously awaited the show. I still didn't believe it would air. I figured some breaking news or bigger story would make them cancel the whole thing. But somewhere after the first commercial I noticed a tease for the story. "Are women sharing too much information online?"

YAAAAY! I wanted to scream, but my excitement was stumped a little with my husband standing over my shoulder.

I checked facebook and some of my east coast friends told me they had seen the segment. Now I knew we had made the cut, and I just had to wait to see it.

When it finally came on I held my breath. Lil' J was in my lap and my husband came in to watch it with me.

Meridith Vieria read the intro to the story that ended something like "but has it gone too far?" and I gulped.

"So the Today Show decides to do a story on TMI and you're at the top of the list," my husband said. "That's great."

Sarcasm. Wonderful. I paused the TV.

"Are you going to add your commentary the entire time?" I shot back.

"Yes," he said. I had to laugh because his remark was funny, but I was a little worried about what else they had grabbed from my blog. I knew I'd be ok with it, I put it out there, but my honey is much more conservative than I am in that regard.

Next came my cankle pictures.

"Now the whole world has seen your cankles" he heckled. "I thought you weren't going to post those online."

Oops. Busted.

At the end we watched the other woman who was there for the live interview and I got slightly envious.

"That was suppose to be ME!" I told my husband. But it was ok, at least this way Lil' J got to be in the story with me. And I didn't have to punch out that so called "expert" who said women are sharing too much information.

As you can probably gauge from my recap, my husband completely agrees with said "expert" some things--like pregnancy experiences should be kept private and to yourself. My argument is that I never asked for a huge audience. I began my blog as a way to write about my thoughts and experiences. The fact that it picked up and subscribed to by thousands was not expected. But I stand by what I said. I've learned a lot through this. I've learned about a whole new world of birth and living. I had never heard of a "granola mom" before starting my blog and some people may consider me one of sorts.

It goes the other way too. I've received countless wonderful emails from readers who tell me I've helped them in some way. How awesome is that?

And on top of all of that I'll have this fun documentation to share with my daughter, which may or may not have lasted long had I not had support and feedback from followers.

In my opinion, having my own personal space to blog about this specific topic isn't giving out too much information. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. And if you're my friend on facebook you know that I was not blasting out pregnancy updates as my status throughout my pregnancy. I hardly updated pregnancy photos there. I can see how in that outlet people can be hit with information they don't want to see but on a blog?--You've gotta be seeking that out yourself.

So, 63% of people on the Today Show poll say sharing your pregnancy online is TMI. I live with one of those people who fall into that category of votes. To that I shrug and say "oh well." If you don't like it, don't read it. I'm not giving out my address, or personal information that could be potentially hurtful.

I read comments on the show's facebook page under that posted link and read some rude remarks about Mariah Carey, and other celebrities. Luckily none seem directed toward me.--Lucky for commenters that is.

Pregnancy is an exciting time. It's such a short experience, and it only happens once, twice or three times in a lifetime (sometimes more or less). I say live it to the fullest, no matter what that means to you. And with the way technology and social media is going, it's not wonder people are sharing. I know I've made "virtual friends" who feel like family, and I love sharing good news with them. Why would it be any different for others? Even celebrities. I don't know what it's like to be famous and pregnant. I can imagine they feel just as excited as I do and want to share it with the world.

I could go on and on but I'll spare you. It made me think of today's 365 advice though.
Kai-Cream and socks c/o See Kai Run
... And it would be hard to walk a mile in her shoes cause they are so small. Or mine cause they are so big. Or Mariah Carey's because they are probably stilettos. Speaking of shoes, if you love these (above) from See Kai Run, as much as we do, read below for a giveaway!

If you missed us on the Today Show, click play below!

I was a proud mama seeing my little one on TV. So happy! Oh, and if you're wondering, her dress in that story is from here.

Everyone who comments on this post before the 30th will be entered to win a pair of shoes of your choice from See Kai Run or Smaller. If you follow them on twitter or facebook or subscribe to my blog, comment again for an extra entry.

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