Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ms Rachel Epstein Greenstein

This is my friend Rachel.  The last time I saw her, was four long years ago, at NY Presbyterian, just after Hugo's birth.  It was Rachel who hooked me up with the telephone number which led me down my path of fertility with the wonderful, wonderful Dr. Pak Chung.  It was Rachel who became my delivery coach back up person after Cesar had his initial freak out over the possibility of being in the delivery room.   Four months after we became pregnant, it was Rachel's turn to join my bun in the oven status.  It was Rachel who thankfully suffered through my obsession with Spinach & Artichoke Dip and Chicken Alfredo at the Olive Garden.  Four years later she is Marlo and Sabine's personal stylist and has flown in from Louisiana to love on my girls.  Hugo digs her, but he pretends that he doesn't know her name.  Every two seconds he'll ask me, "What's that girl's name?"

The morning of week 9 of my first pregnancy, I prepared to hop the subway up to Dr. Chung's office for my last visit under his care.  Just before I exited out the door, I asked Cesar if he had any last questions he wanted me to ask Dr. Chung.  He replied, "I'm not going to be in the delivery room."  What, what, what?  What do you mean you wont be there???

 A long while later, he finally revealed that he'd read an article in the Times about how destructive to a marriage witnessing the birth could be for the husband/father.  What???  That men had only been allowed in the delivery room within the past 30 years or so.  That since the dawn of time, women had gone off into tents or were secluded into their bedroom with massive, semi sound proofed doors between themselves and the husband/father.  No men allowed, except the doc.  He further explained, while my jaw was on the floor and eyes were crossing and hot steam was pouring from my ears, that men who had been in the delivery room with their wives had been documented to have suffered war like trauma.  (The man/husband/father, had suffered war like trauma??)  And that the couples sex life was forever doomed.  Done and over with.  Done, done, done.

 I left our apartment - furious.  I couldn't believe what I'd just heard coming out of my husbands mouth.  I couldn't believe that he believed what he had said to me.  I wanted to track down and decapitate the articles author.

 Rachel became my person to call when the baby was on it's way.  Knowing that I had designated this job to someone other than himself, gave Cesar the comfort he needed.

Jump ahead 9 months later... I felt kinda odd one Saturday evening.  Cesar was working and well, I just thought that maybe I should get cleaned up.  While showering my water broke.  How did I know this?  It was unmistakable.  I called the Doc, I called Cesar, I called our parents, and I packed my bag.  When Cesar arrived home he was giddy like a little kid.  He hustled me into the truck and drove like a maniac through the City.  I hollered at him to slow down, that he was gonna get a ticket.  He said, "If we get pulled over, you grab your belly and go haaaa oooooooo, haaaa oooooooo, haaa oooooooo!"  I think he wanted to get pulled over.  I think that being in the movie business had gone to his head and he wanted a police escort to the hospital!

Twenty blocks later, Cesar asked me to quick call Rachel.  Nope.  I had decided that he was going to be the one to hold my hand.  And he did.  He even looked, when we both agreed that he shouldn't.  It happened during mid push for me.  I heard him call out, "It's the coolest!"  What, what what?  After all these past months, you're looking??  The Doc asked if he wanted to cut the cord and Cesar politely declined.  Later, he said he wished he had.  Three and a half years later, he held my hand and comforted me in a delivery room once more.  He also peeked over the drape.  What, what what??  The Docs gave him the chance to cut the cord again, times two, but once more, declined.  Did I care?  No.  I was simply glad that he was there for me.

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MAGGIE MAY said...

Ali, you write your stories soooo funny! I always crack up. The crossed eyes and hot steam is still making me giggle... :)

Alissa Nicolau said...

It's nice to hear from you during your silent fast. I think that because I knew that I couldn't call you, I really, really wanted to call you! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.