In early May, Bethenny Frankel gave birth to an adorable girl named Bryn.
But in the warped reality show universe, this event took place last night, as Frankel went into labor five weeks early on Bethenny Getting Married. It made for some exciting TV, as detailed below in our weekly show recap...
Bethenny went to a baby safety and CPR class with other ritzy Upper East Side mommies-to-be on this episode. “I don’t like any of this and it scares me,” Bethenny says about all the back blows, chest compressions, and rescue breaths.
The leaders of this course also teach the participants how to break down a stroller to throw in the trunk of a cab and how to install a car seat in a Town Car. I am guessing this course does not include a lesson on how to install a car seat in a Kia.
Next, Bethenny’s friend Lauren visits with her baby and baby nurse. The baby nurse is wearing scrubs and a skeptical smirk. Evidently this nurse, Gina, will come and work for Bethenny when Gina’s done keeping Lauren’s progeny alive for the first month of life. (All bets are off on what happens to the poor baby after Gina exits. Most likely a Russian nanny will step in and take over lest Lauren have to actually do anything for her own baby.)
Lauren is so thin and trim she looks like she must have had the baby via surrogate. She has no post-pregnancy bloat or double chin whatsoever.
“I was curious to get some perspective on what a newborn looks like,” Bethenny says about the purpose of the visit. Lauren tries to get her very fussy baby to stop crying and you can bet that Gina was dying to just grab the poor kid away from its bony mom and calm it down herself.
One early morning that week, Bethenny and Jason wake up to find that Bethenny’s water has broken. She expected a “Niagara falls” gush of water like in the movies but it’s just a puddle in the bed and a trickle down her leg. Bethenny is still five weeks away from her due date.
“This is happening?” asks Jason. Bethenny adds, “We’re not ready. We have no bag packed, we have no baby’s room, we have no bassinette. We have nothing.”
While looking over the list of what to bring to the hospital, Jason says, “It says to bring several copies of your birth plan. We don’t have a birth plan.” Thinking she might have time to kill, Bethenny packs her book that needs editing. “Don’t pack thongs,” wisely suggests assistant Julie. “You’re not going to want something in your vadge after you have a baby.”
I would have to agree.
Then, Bethenny and Jason run around their bedroom buck naked for a little while. I’m sorry, but don’t they ever want to tell the cameras to scram and give them two seconds of privacy? I think showering counts as a time when cameras don’t have to be filming a person. At least not for a show broadcast on a network other than Cinemax or The Playboy Channel.Anywho, the two hurriedly pack up necessary odds and ends and continue repeating to each other, “We’re having a baby today.” They seem so genuinely excited and I felt very happy for them, but I was curious as to why neither seemed overly concerned that the baby was so early. I think I’d really be freaking out if my baby were five weeks premature.
Another thought on the whole reality show thing: Do the cameramen sleep at their house and film them non-stop like Paranormal Activity or something? How else were they there right when Bethenny and Jason woke up with a puddle of amniotic fluid on the bed? They probably conk out on Cookie’s spare doggie beds at the foot of Bethenny and Jason’s bed, ready to wake and spring to action the moment something film-worthy happens.
The assistants have jobs to do now that all this baby jazz is going down. Julie tells Max he has to go to Bellini and pick out a bassinette. “What’s a bassinette?” asks Max. “Is it a crib?”
The two assistants hug and rush off across Manhattan to accomplish their assigned tasks. Also on Max’s to-do list is buying “granny panties” for Bethenny. Max has no idea what kind of underwear to buy or what size to get. He laments, “Four years of college education at $40,000 per year and this is my job, buying women’s underwear.”
Brief side note: Let me point out that Jason looks even cuter with a shaggy five o’ clock shadow than he does clean shaven. He is so damn adorable. Love him!
Back at Lenox Hill Hospital, Bethenny’s labor has gone into its 13th hour. They are expecting 12 more hours of delightfully fun activities such as eating ice and clenching whilst extreme pains rip through her abdomen.
Meanwhile, at Bethenny and Jason’s condo, Julie and Max are scurrying around like ants on a melted popsicle. There is some serious crap to be accomplished! Together, they try to assemble the baby’s bassinette. Julie, obviously the leader of the show here, turns her back for a moment to give some love to confused little Cookie and when she turns back she says to Max, “You haven’t achieved anything.”
He’s sitting and staring in total bewilderment. I can’t blame him - what guy his age knows anything about this stuff? As Butterfly McQueen from Gone With The Wind said, “I don’t know nothing ‘bout birthin’ no babies!”
Thankfully, Gina, the baby nurse, shows up at the apartment with an air of authority. She’s clearly very experienced and unflappable. This whole ritzy-apartment-nervous-assistants-freaky-mom-newborn-baby thing is no big whoop to Gina. She will sleep in the baby’s room and she immediately sits down with Julie to help get the baby stuff organized and ready. Evidently, among other mysterious duties, the nurse helps get the baby on a schedule and swaddles it like a little burrito. Babies do love pretending they’re burritos.
At the hospital Bethenny’s labor is intensifying and she says, “I want to know how high school girls give birth in bathroom stalls.” I’ve actually always wondered this, too. She thinks she wants an epidural because she doesn’t want to be screaming, “Like Shirley McClain in Terms of Endearment."
For a woman who has had no birthing classes or any formal instruction on getting through labor, she really seems to be doing well with her contractions. However, they are getting steadily worse. Ten minutes later she gets the epidural and feels 100% better. She thinks she’ll finally be able to get some sleep.
This is not to be. After 21 hours of labor Bethenny is awake, very puffy, and looking quite worse for the wear. Julie and Jason are fast asleep and Bethenny is pissy, wishing she too could get some rest. Later, at hour 25 of labor, Bethenny is scheduled for a C-section. I feel so bad for moms who go through all that labor hell and then have to have a C-section anyway. You’d be like, “Nooooo! Why have I struggled and writhed around forever on this damn bed for nothing?! I’ve been robbed!”
Evidently reality TV really does have a limit because the C-section and the birth of the baby aren’t filmed.
We don’t even get a look at the baby before the episode ends. All we see is a little pink box announcing the baby girl’s name, Bryn, and her weight, four pounds. I can see why a couple would want the first hours with their baby to be totally private. It’s good to know that Bethenny does have the ability to say buh-bye to the cameras when it really counts. I am looking forward to seeing how this couple copes with a little bambina at home and all the smug looks Gina gives Bethenny and Jason as she leads them through these uncharted waters.