I was doing some reading yesterday and happened upon this article:
Few Answering Quintuplets' Needy Cries
By C*urtland Mill*y
It seems that new parents of quints, Jennell and Noval, aren't getting the loot that other quint families have supposedly gotten in the past. (Other details first, then I take up the issue, below, where The Post's author hypothesizes several reasons for the lack.) The family lives in a one bedroom apartment and the father is now unemployed. They'd like diapers, formula, and a van, the usual stuff.
Here's the address if you want to donate:
Dickens Quintuplets Fund
University Hospital Branch
22 S. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Jennell, the daughter of Floryn and sister of Sharita, took clomid to overcome what I figure was PCOS. She was a stellar responder to her medical jump start.
Very fortunate, Jennell performed the miraculous by staying pregnant with 5 babies past 30 weeks, but, as anticipated, her babies came early: JaMir Amare, a boy, and his sisters, Si'ani Ritay, NaRae Dimetria, Jade Na'Liyah and Rayne Anye. They weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz to 2 lb 13 oz. Three have already gone home and two more are expected this week. They were only born about 8 weeks ago, so they are already overachievers, coming home before their due date.
You can probably sense an undercurrent around here. I do have a beef concerning the "whys" this family hasn't received donations according to the author, who writes:
Companies usually donate all the baby products and volunteers step in to provide services from housecleaning to nursing care.
But none of that has happened for Dickens and Davis. Except for the help of a few family members and friends, they are pretty much on their own.
Part of the problem was the initial media coverage of the Sept. 21 births. A 22-year-old woman has five babies after taking fertility drugs. As word of the births spread, some bloggers who monitor births online -- supposedly for the purpose of helping to find resources -- began mocking the names that Dickens had chosen for the babies...
I didn't realize bloggers were quite so powerful! We can stop commercial endorsements with the blink of an eye or tap on a keyboard.
I wondered who these mighty and snarky bloggers were, so I looked through Technorati (what The Post links to for searches), Google Blogs, and Blog Search Engine and found only one blog entry referencing them - and it wasn't even me, even though I readily admit that I contemplated a post 8 weeks ago. That sole blog entry must be the one "blogger(s)" responsible for the Dickens plight.
We need to blame Blogging Baby for there being no van in the Dickens' driveway. Thanks a lot, Sarah Gilbert. You crashed that party, rained on that parade. The family is hard up b/c you wrote an article questioning the kids' names. Further, this almighty article was read by all endorsement-welding PR people who collectively decided it would be too difficult to market something based on Si'ani or NaRae.
This does not add up for me. If people like Sarah are going to make fun of select names (and have authors like C*urtland Mill*y blame those same names), they are missing the multi-seat boat. There are a mighty lot of higher order names to make fun of. Just look at this list of 'famous' ones. There are bland names and ridiculously made up ones, too. I wonder the breakdown of freebies going to Jonathon, David, or Molly vs. Shipley, Rhealyn, or Shira. Do their endorsements differ?
What about a mixed bag, one sibling group (notice, I have not said litter) containing both a Matthew and a Genesis? [Oops, pro baseball player there who didn't even use fertility drugs. I'd hope he doesn't want baby endorsements, but then again Star Jones got endorsements to pay for her wedding. Humph.] Okay, then Jantzen and Briley vs. sibling Zachary. Did only the traditionally named one get endorsements? Does Zachary alone ride in the new van?
Or is it different if a surrogate carries the fantastic five?
I doubt it.
And, people, I really doubt that a lack of endorsements for the Dickens had anything to do with their children's names, or (what the real implication is, faulty as that might be to make inferences about) their race, or the media, or bloggers, or that she took fertility drugs. Or even the otherwise overlooked fact that they're not married.
One could say there are too many strikes against the Dickens for endorsement recognition, but I think the reason Jennell got no endorsements is b/c there are too damn many people having the likes of 5 babies at once. There was another set last week. (Sorry, but I cannot find that link again to the new set in Indiana - and that itself is a clue about media coverage, or the lack thereof, for moderately higher order multiples, if there is such terminology. People are much less enamored with the phenomenon. It has become almost commonplace.)
Most of us around here are in baby underload, but most of the world is in baby overload. It's not our fault, nor is it the Dickens. So don't blame any of us, CM.