When my publicist informed me that one of my blog posts was put on the Top Worst Top Ten Lists by a columnist at Vanity Fair magazine, I was initially shocked and then slightly annoyed. Brett Berk, a columnist for Vanity, felt that my Top Ten Creative Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy was too focused on the element of surprise and then took literary license to mention something about igniting an effigy of a fetus with fireworks which I did not deem humorous.

Okay, so who is Brett Berk and why is he saying these awful things about my post? Berk is a “parenting expert” who is also the author of The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting and is also a columnist for Vanity Fair Magazine. In a former lifetime, he was a classroom teacher, a preschool director and now acts as a research consultant to producers of kids’ media, toys and consumer products. Berk and I have a few similarities. Our names (his surname Berk, my maiden name, Burke) are pronounced the same although spelled differently. We have both been with our respective partners (in my case husband) for twenty years. I’m not sure whether Berk and his boyfriend are parents of children so I’m fascinated as how he could arrive at the title, parenting expert? Although I delivered babies for many years, I never considered myself a parenting expert and while I am now a parent of 2 fabulous children I still do not consider myself a parenting expert. However, when it comes to pregnant women, I am INDEED, an expert.

Therefore, Brett, please take note: half of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned therefore the mothers are indeed, surprised if not in shock. This element of surprise has a domino effect that usually remains until the pregnancy is confirmed by either ultrasound or the first fetal heart sounds that are recorded via Doppler. The pregnancy announcements might be a surprise based on the mother’s wishes but I can assure you, there are no surprises regarding childbearing on my watch. We will agree to respectfully disagree but thank you so much for including my post on your infamous list. Anything that brings exposure to my blog posts are a blessing.

Happy Holidays, Vanity Fair and thanks for the early Christmas gift!