With Rachel in labour, Ross takes her off to hospital. And they get there in just SEVEN minutes.
A markedly different experience to our second child, when my wife had to hitchhike and I had to take a detour via her mum’s because the car caught fire.
Weirdly, after the trauma of the first time, we weren’t particularly put out by that.
The real scary thing about labour, is quite how far they’ve swung to the right to try and take the centre ground. (Sorry couldn’t resist… honestly, I am team Kier all the way.)
The REAL scary thing about labour, is you can plan and plan and plan, but you never really know which way it’s going to go. As Rachel finds when hers drags ON and ON. Even with the unpleasant recovery, the planned Caesarean for our second, was much more re-assuring, with much less chance of surprise. Bar the car catching fire.
Rachel and Ross are surprised to find everyone else already at the hospital. As am I. They all got taxis yet somehow got there within five minutes? How long was the drive? Two minutes?!? Interestingly, and I’m not sure if anyone has ever worked this out, this means the hospital is almost certainly St Vincent’s as it must be closest to Greenwich Village.
Maybe it didn’t actually take Rachel and Ross seven minutes to get there, and the reason the rest are there first is that they DID in fact stop to finish the sex.
It’s nice the others can all be there for them. (What is this, a Rembrandt’s song?!) Certainly beats the crushing loneliness and abject horror of doing it during a lockdown. Rachel wants a private room, but ends up with a cavalcade of terrible couples being wheeled in. An overbearing, oversharing couple, a gross sleazy man and jealous wife, and (worst of all) Janice.
To be completely honest, my wife and I were so excited when Janice appeared our one year old picked up on it and started clapping.
I mean when she appeared in St Vincent’s. She didn’t appear when we were in the hospital.
Three hours in and Phoebe is massively bored. I’ve wondered before if she’s a little bit autistic, is it fair to say she might also be a little ADHD?
I was secretly quite relieved that both my wife’s labours were (relatively) quick. (I am fully aware, that they felt anything but “quick” for her).
Before the birth, my wife was a little offended at me suggesting I might get bored whilst sitting in a hospital doing very little for, potentially, as many as three days. Bearing in mind this came after three months of doing fuck all in the pandemic, you’d think she’d be a bit more accepting of me thinking I’d find it hard sitting around doing nothing except considering the possibility of her dying and leaving me alone with a helpless infant whilst the world outside burns.
Maybe we should have had some party games ready in the car just in case?
Phoebe gets over her boredom by meeting a nice man and convincing Joey to pretend to be Dr Drake Ramoray to scope him out. He willingly agrees to this for some reason. I guess it must be hard for him going so long without a drink.
After a while, Monica, too, is bored. So decides to play a dangerous game with Chandler: pretending she now wants to have a child.
But it turns out he’s into it!! A little too into it… and they decide to sneak off to find a secret place to begin their attempt. I suppose that’s one way to alleviate the boredom. Though I suspect my wife would have taken a dim view of me doing that whilst she was in labour.
Sex in a hospital feels a little wrong. What if you’re getting into it and a medical emergency rushes in?! Or worse. Monica’s mum.
She’s shown up to the hospital to give Ross his Nans engagement ring, to try and persuade him to propose to Rachel. I was a bit confused about this, until I remembered the concept of Chekhov’s Engagement Ring™. You see one of those in the first act; you know it’s coming back later on…
Phoebe’s ruse gets rumbled when her new crush see’s Joey on hospital TV. So she resorts to a bit of literal gaslighting to try and get out of it. Jesus. The poor guy calls her out on it, so Joey tries to save their burgeoning abusive relationship by sharing some embarrassing things about her. Like that she was MARRIED TO A GAY ICE DANCER?!? Wow, I’ve completely forgotten that. Makes me worry what embarrassing secrets I’ve forgot about my OTHER friends.
Phoebe may be struggling to nail down a guy who isn’t terrible, but sweet old Janice has wound up with a man who’s largely deaf. There truly is someone for everyone out there…
It’s actually quite unpleasant how openly mean to her Chandler and Ross are. Sure, she’s definitely getting weirder with age. But that may very well be because she’s in labour. In the end, she also gets rushed off to give birth before Rachel. Who, it’s safe to say, is getting pretty annoyed at this point.
When Rachel finally is ready, it seems a pretty easy birth. Despite the actually quite dangerous discovery that the baby is breach when they see buttock’s instead of a head. Or, as Ross puts it, two heads. Well, they do say they’re better than one.
You’d think they’d be a little more annoyed the mid-wifes missed this potentially life threatening complication until the baby was already crowning? People would sue you for less.
But it turns out OK, and Rachel and Ross share an affectionate kiss again. Boy, this is complex. There’s been a lot of talk of opening cans of worms lately. You never know where a kiss might take you. But if it seems right in the moment and the chance may not come again? Maybe it’s fine for them to just have the possibility there and get on with their lives.
Or in Rachel’s case, get on with stealing Monica’s life. Not content with having an unplanned child before baby-mad Monica, she goes one further, and takes the name Monica planned for her child!! Brutal.
Monica gives her permission, but you do have to wonder quite how OK with it she is, there’s quite a lot of pressure in that moment to give the new mother anything they want isn’t there?
Later, Janice get’s a moment alone with Rachel, and voices her concern that Ross may not stick around forever. It’s sad that her husband left her alone. But I guess not that sad for his new wife and kids. Or her new partner, for that matter. And she seems happier than when she was with the Mattress King™.
This talk seems to play on Rachel’s mind a bit, so she brings the kiss up with Ross. Who completely fucks his chance to tie her down whilst the hormones are still there. It must be hard when everyone around you are telling you you should be together, but there’s so much history at play.
It turns out Ross has good reason for once again fumbling his shot at getting the one thing he’s wanted since being a teenager. He’s worried about the fallout for little Emma if things go south. Our little boy’s all grown up. Not so much “stay together for the kids” as “stay apart for the kids”.
I find it weird it’s all talk of Ross meeting someone else and having a new life without Rachel and Emma. Aside from the fact I don’t think he’s sort of guy to abandon his kids, there’s no consideration for the possibility that she might meet someone new.
And, just like that, Joey is there on his knee, having accidentally found the Gellar ring on the floor, Rachel get’s the wrong idea, and… say’s “OK”?!?!
Man. She must still be on drugs.
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Whilst I grapple with nappies, and adjust to a life of constant worry and responsibility, my best friend from Primary School has had a markedly different decade.
After uni they met a woman in a position not dissimilar to Rachel’s, with two children from a previous relationship. And, as the story goes, fell in love. Now, after ten plus years of getting to know the kids, being there for the family, and basically being a dad, they’re in the (perhaps enviable) position of waving the kids off to uni and excitedly planning how they’re going to spend the rest of their 30’s and 40’s.
It’s OK… you go, go on without me… I’ll see you in 18 years.
What I’m saying is, hold out hope Rachel! There are great guys out there. You don’t have to settle for Joey OR Ross.