Why celebs schedule c-sections, have nannies, and name their kids such horrible names

04/23/2005 at 10:36 AM ET

Last summer, the E! Online Answer Bitch column did a great 3 question article on celebrity moms, asking why celebrities have nannies, schedule c-sections, and name their children such horrible names. It’s a great read, very informative and funny. To read it in full on CBB, click the continuation link under the bit of the article I posted. :)

Credit to E!

Do celebrities raise their own kids? The nanny seems to be around all the time. Why have them if you’re not going to raise them?

Most stars downplay any role a nanny might have in the lives of their silky offspring. Bad for publicity, see. And this kind of dishonesty does, yes, piss off the nannies, a few of whom marched right up to the Answer B!tch and set the record straight.

First the fundamentals: Most celebrities have at least three nannies per kid–one for weekdays, one for weeknights and a third for weekends and trips. Lucky nannies get a whole $30 per hour. That’s enough to buy, well, nothing, actually, over at Fred Segal and all the other fancy shops where they must take the younglings to buy their mini-Uggs and hats that let the kids pretend they’re koala bears or whatever.

For more seamy details, we turn now to Kim Hong, who says she worked for a family connected to an action-movie mogul. (Celebrities routinely require their nannies to sign gag agreements. Violate this–name names, say–and you’ll never wipe another softly powdered ass in this town again.) Hong served the aforementioned action family for three weeks, "one week longer than the previous three nannies they hired," she tells this B!tch.

So, what does a Hollywood nanny do all day? Teach the tots to sing? Make play clothes out of curtains? If only.

According to Hong, The nanny is responsible for packing lunches; preparing dinner; playing games; reading bedtime stories; overseeing homework assignments; bathing the children; making sure they brush their teeth; dressing them appropriately; picking up after them; packing two or more different outfits for them when they go on jaunts (in case the weather changes); and transporting them to and from school, karate class, the chiropractor, Spanish class, parties at other celebrities’ homes and any other trip.

"The kids," Hong says, "usually end up treating their nannies like assistants."

But what about the many glamorous perks that inevitably rain down like liquid platinum onto working stiffs to the stars? Don’t nannies get to take fancy trips? Well, kind of.

Suzanne Hansen, who used to nanny the children of Danny DeVito, Debra Winger and other celebrity DNA distributors, still gets complaints from current babysitters who need to vent. One nanny recently told Hansen she’d been asked to accompany a star family on a trip out of town, only to be saddled with 12 more privileged little moppets once she arrived at the hotel.

This nanny worked for a pro baseball player, see, and had looked forward to the out-of-town trip, hoping to witness something other than the top of a toddler’s head for once. "Instead, she was just left with all the players’ wives’ kids," Hansen tells this B!tch. "No discussion, no nothing. She never left the hotel room; instead, for three days, other parents were dropping their kids off with her."

But the biggest peeve for most nannies: invisibility.

"Celebrities like to say they don’t have help with the kids, but it’s not the reality," says Hansen, who has since written a book called You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again. "If people really knew how dishonest stars were about this, we wouldn’t put them on pedestals."

Every time I read about a celebrity giving birth–like Denise Richards, Kate Hudson, etc.–they had a C-section. Are stars too posh to push?

Yes, actually. And they’re also much, much too important to sit around and wait for labor pains to start. These actresses are on a schedule, people. Let’s produce the thing and get back to the set. Think this B!tch exaggerates? You are wrong.

Denise Richards had booked a Caesarean section in March, to deliver daughter Sam 10 days before the baby’s due date. Why? The arrangement fit perfectly with husband Charlie Sheen’s planned weeklong hiatus from filming his sitcom, Two and a Half Men. "It was convenient," Richards later told People. "We like to plan things." Unfortunately, the baby didn’t get the memo and arrived a day early.

Such arrangements horrify a lot of birthing nurses and other medical practitioners, one of whom tells your friendly neighborhood B!tch, "I don’t approve of delivering babies for scheduling conveniences. It’s a risky thing to do if you don’t have a medical necessity." (For the record, most scheduled births–also called social inductions–automatically call for a C-section delivery because the body hasn’t fully readied itself for a vaginal birth, nurses tell this B!tch.)

Another info morsel of note: Some stars can’t deliver naturally. So says Suzanne Hansen, a birthing nurse who also used to serve as a Hollywood power-nanny. She currently has a track-star patient preparing for motherhood, but the mom’s abdominal muscles are so toned that her baby hasn’t been able to flip upside down into the proper birthing position, Hansen says. That mom will probably have a C-section, Hansen adds, and supposes that similarly toned stars will have the same issues. Who else is doing the belly cut? Let’s see.

The Glasgow Daily Record recently quoted Kate Hudson as saying she wanted a C-section–which can take about a half hour–instead of a lengthy natural birth, to prevent strange people from seeing her in labor or trekking to or from a hospital. "I was going in to get induced because the baby was so big," Hudson was quoted as saying. "Then my hips weren’t opening and I wasn’t dilating. I was in labor. My contractions were two to five minutes apart, and I couldn’t feel anything. "The doctor said I could go home, but it was such a pain in the butt to get to hospital because we were being stalked by photographers…I was like, ‘I am not going home, just don’t want to do this again. Let’s just have a C-section.’ "

The procedure has also saved Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, Madonna, Victoria Beckham and singer Toni Braxton from the rigors of natural birthing. And Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton? She’s had four. To be fair to the celebrity shortcutters, some experts, including Harvard researchers, insist that today’s Caesarean poses no more risks than a vaginal birth does.

But what isn’t so cool is that this procedure is still, for the most part, reserved only for people who can pay for it–or who have already suffered through days of absurdly ridiculous pain. See, most health plans won’t pony up for a C-section unless the mom has tried labor first. "I had one mom who already had about eight kids," Hansen recalls. "She had varicose veins everywhere from all the labors she’d had, she was a prime candidate for a C-section, and her insurance plan wouldn’t pay for it." What, couldn’t she argue that she was being chased by paparazzi? Sheesh. Think, people…

What’s with all the weird baby names coming from Hollywood? Can’t anyone just name their kid Sarah or John anymore?

A baby is the Most Important Production a celebrity will ever finance. A-list-spawned cherubim represent all the world’s most valuable DNA in a single organism, genetically front-loaded with pearly pink promise.

How can such children lead the world in song if burdened by thuddingly plebian names such as Dave or Kimberly?

No. These offspring are Special. They are Living Art. They are Apple, Speck, Sistine, Coco, Banjo, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Belle. Pardon me whilst I cough up blood.

Most celebrities offer pretty much the same explanation when asked about how little Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor came by their crackpot hieroglyphs. Indeed, most stars just say they think their kids’ names are, like, um, nifty and stuff.

Think I pulled the examples above out of the ether? You underestimate this B!tch.

Actor Jason Lee sired li’l Pilot last year. Through a rep, Lee later told the media he "just liked the name."

Six Feet Under star Rachel Griffiths bore Banjo in January. The science behind the choice remains unclear, but Griffiths’ buddy Toni Collette later raved to the press that the baby is "beautiful, blue-eyed and has long fingers. He’s definitely going to be a musician someday."

Audio Science popped out of ac
tress-slash-deejay-slash-Zappa-wannabe Shannyn Sossamon last year. No word from her camp on the "thought process" behind the name.

Meanwhile, Courteney Cox and David Arquette have li’l Coco, Gwyneth has Apple, and Ben Affleck recently became the proud uncle of a boy named Indiana August, courtesy of his brother, actor and nepotism jackpot winner Casey.

For a glimpse into the children’s future, we go to Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof, daughter of Band Aid-Boomtown Rats impresario Sir Bob. (Kids under 21: Go ask Mom about this guy.) Soon after Gwynnie’s Apple fell in May, Peaches wrote an impassioned essay in London’s Sunday Telegraph. (Bonus fact: Peaches has sisters named Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie and a half-sister, Heavenly Hirani Tigerlilly.)

"Poor Apple," Peaches sympathizes in her essay. "At primary school I got teased a lot, just as little Apple Martin will. The most common taunt was: ‘Oi, Peaches, are your parents bananas?’

"Another heart-warming school memory: Every Tuesday we were served sliced peaches. I avoided choosing this, even though I had a fondness for them, because every time I dared to raise my spoon, the jubilant cries of, ‘You’re eating yourself! You’re eating yourself!’ would echo around the room."

Oh, but this doesn’t stop with famous spawn. Whatever delusion-inducing disease these celebrities have, it has spread to the masses.

At least three Americans have named their children after the sports network ESPN. A couple in Pampa, Texas, recently told a reporter that they pronounce their son’s name Espen and chose the full moniker of ESPN Malachi McCall because "that’s a cool name." (Apparently, this Texas place features a unique definition of the word cool, one roughly synonymous with asinine.)

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Showing 11 comments

Erin Walker on

It made me chuckle.I so agree with the person who wrote that question.Why do they even have kids if they’re not gonna raise them 24-7?I guess having a celebrity parent is almost like winning the lottery,but your cash get stolen when you’re about to claim your prize.

stephanie on

this article is ridiculous and not very well researched. it’s just saying that “OMG celebrities are so evil!!!11 i am so bitchy it’s funny lolz” banjo was named after a very famous australian poet. casey affleck was actually the one who got parts first before ben. he even paid for the computer used to write Good Will Hunting.

a lot of non celebrities have nannies, even non millionaires. i grew up around people who only see their parents on sunday. and people don’t name their kids unusual names because of celebrities. a girl in my year was called Octopussy. no kidding. this article just made ‘civillians’ so to speak, stupid and gullible.

Sarah, CBB Editor on

Obviously, it’s not meant to be serious journalism-it’s from the E! Gossip column! Every week she makes celebrities sound like idiots. I still thought it was pretty snarky and funny, although I did catch the Banjo thing like you did-it’s well known why he’s named what he is.

I really hope people aren’t reading this like the be all end all of answers. It’s just for laughs!

I am a nanny, and I don’t make $30 an hour doing it-I think I should move out to Hollywood.

ashley on

I think some people are just taking this article too seriously ;-). But I kind of agree that people shouldn’t be having kids if they can only see them one day a week…that doesn’t make you much of a parent. I think that nannies deserve a lot more credit than they get. After all, they’re basically the ones raising the kids. It just seems that to a lot of celebrities (not all of them but some), having a baby is treated more like a fashion accessory rather than a serious responsibility. “I know we’re really busy but we can still have kids…We’ll just hire 10 different nannies and let them raise our kids for us.” Aside from that, I also can’t understand how a C-section can be seen as more convenient and safe than a natural delivery. A C-section is major surgery and a hell of a thing to recover from…I’m not sure why anyone would voluntarily choose to undergo one.

Michelle Anne on

I also am nanny,and I don’t make 30 /hour either.
With all celebs gain with their money ,nannies,fame,special treatment .they also lose a incredable lots!Like amenimity,and privacy.Their kids lose out to.

Sarcastic Journalist on

Darnit. I’m 5’5 and my baby weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces, was 21 inches long and had a 14 inch around head.

And she came out the good ol’ way, getting pooped on and everything. By “good ol” I mean the stretched out vagina route.

Someone should have told me that I could have c-sectioned her!

Kori on

I got a kick out of most of this article. Honestly, “Apple” has grown on me. I think Pilot is a neat name but Inspektor is going just too far. Pilot Nathaniel or Pilot James…that would be half nice. But Inspektor?
I cringe a lot more when I hear ANOTHER Emma or ANOTHER Olivia or ANOTHER Aiden pop into this world. Not that I dislike those names but I don’t know why people want their kids to share a name with 4 other kids in their kindergarten class.
As for c-sections, I am torn on whether it should be an elective procedure or not. I personally am so glad I ended up with a c-section which now entitles me to have subsequent c-sections from here on out. Dustin was 10 pounds 3 ounces (Ok so Dustin isn’t as unique as “Pilot” but I take pride that it’s not on the top 100 popular names list). I didn’t progress past 3 inches even with cranked up pitocin (after my water had broken on its own….I wasn’t induced out of the blue). My epidural went both down AND up and every part of me was numb….could not even lift my eyelids. I’m also a small-hipped woman and 10 pounds was not coming through these loins.

If you find the right doctor then anyone can have an elective c-section. Some doctors won’t do it because it IS riskier to the baby. My son had fluid in his lungs because he never went down the birth canal and had that fluid squeezed out. He almost ended up with pneumonia at birth.

A c-section costs about $30,000 versus about $4,000 for a vaginal birth. Stars can pay that out of pocket. I don’t think people should hate on them just because they don’t need to remortgage their house or sell their car in order to have an elective c-section. Hmmm…c-section or BMW, c-section or BMW…which shall I choose?

As for nannies, my best friend was raised by nannies. She is straight up screwed up. I don’t know if it’s cause of the nannies but she has spent her whole life trying to please men at any cost because her dad was NEVER around. Her mom was around but would rather fly to the South of France for the summer than take care of her 3 daughters.

I don’t see anything wrong with nannies as long as the parents are still VERY much present and VERY hands on. Otherwise, don’t call yourself a parent. You can be a mother without being a mommy or a father without being a daddy. If celebs are proud of that then I think they have empty, empty lives. Raising my son has brought me more joy in life than eternal trips to the South of France or any day at the spa could ever bring me.

michelle on

I hope the b!tch gets a c section after 28 hours of labor and her incision leaks bacteria laden goop for 2 weeks when it won’t heal properly, then gets a horrible uterine infection, all while taking care of a newborn and not sleeping, just like me. Yay c sections, they’re soooo easy and fun!!

Tabitha on

Celeb’s kids will also most likely attend school with other famous kids. Also with unusual names. If they’re in a regular ‘civilian’ school, they’re in for a huge helping of teasing. Y’think Audio would pick on Pilot?

Heh. Apple Martin-i

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