Feature

Beyonce gives birth: The mass hysteria

Mom and dad reportedly spend more than $1 million on hospital security as the blogosphere hyperbolically welcomes "the chosen one" into the world

"Babyonce is here." Blue Ivy Carter, the first baby (a girl) welcomed into the world by music royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z, was born Saturday in New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, capping off one of the most buzzed-about celebrity pregnancies in recent memory. First, the R&B diva set a Twitter record for most tweets-per-second following her splashy pregnancy announcement during MTV's Video Music Awards. Next, critics suggested the singer was faking the pregnancy, the paparazzi predictably stalked the couple, and fans hyperbolically compared the kid to the Messiah. And Blue Ivy's eventual entrance into the world was an A-list affair, with unprecedented security measures reportedly taken at the hospital to accommodate the superstar birth. Here, a guide to the hoopla:

What kind of security measures were there?
Blue Ivy's delivery entailed "an elaborate plan involving hospital honchos and a big security force," TMZ reports. On Friday afternoon, the hospital held a massive meeting to discuss security strategy, and strict security was immediately put in place. According to the New York Daily News, the couple rented out the entire fourth floor of the hospital for a reported $1.3 million. After 11 p.m. Friday night, even doctors and nurses were barred from entering. The singer checked in to the hospital under the pseudonym "Ingrid Jackson."

Did the beefed-up security stop there?
Nope. "In an effort to keep images from leaking to the public, hospital workers placed tape over security cameras and are forcing employees to turn in cell phones when they arrive for their shifts," the Daily News reports. Security guards patrolled the perimeter of the hospital throughout the night as well. The new parents forked over an additional $200,000 for the team of private guards, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The goal to keep the delivery under wraps "succeeded admirably," says TMZ, as "no pictures of Bey or hubby Jay-Z entering or exiting the hospital have emerged."

Wasn't this all a little overboard?
One new dad certainly thinks so. Brooklyn resident Neil Coulon says the over-the-top security meant that he was repeatedly barred from visiting his prematurely-born twins in the hospital's intensive care unit. "These are children with problems in intensive care and you're just going to take over?" he says. Lennox Hill employees were similarly frustrated. One nurse tells The Chicago Sun-Times that the security guards were "like Nazis" and extremely rude to the staff. Another doctor complains to the Daily News that he was prevented from visiting a patient because of the beefed-up security.

People are cracking wise, right?
Yep. Gossip sites in particular were humorously hyperbolic. "The chosen one is FINALLY here!" said Cassie Murdoch at Jezebel, while Willa Paskin at New York called the birth a "momentous occasion" not only for the happy couple, but for "all the rest of us." The first photos of the newborn "are sure to garner millions," says Nick Carbone at TIME. "Suri Cruise, watch out: You might be getting a run for your money." A fake Twitter account named after Blue Ivy quickly accrued 12,000 followers before abruptly being taken offline. Sample tweet: "I'm blowing up like you thought I would."

Sources: ABC News, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily News (2), Jezebel, New York, TIME, TMZ

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