On Saturday morning, I knew I’d had enough. I’d been having contractions all week long that led to nowhere. I’d been in constant pain, and sometimes for 6-8 hours at a time. So I called my midwife. I told her I couldn’t take it anymore. She said she totally understood, and that she fully supported my decision. I decided to schedule a labor induction with my old OB, the one that delivered Ari.
I emailed my OB and told her the situation. She emailed me right back and told me to come to the hospital that day and they would induce me.
I got to the hospital and, as it turned out, I was having contractions that were 5-7 minutes apart for 35 seconds long. But the nurses determined they were due to dehydration, not labor. So they tried to send me home.
“Please, please don’t send me home!” I begged them. “I can’t take it anymore. Please can you induce my labor? I’m miserable. I can’t care for my son properly. I can’t sleep. Please.”
“Sorry, but you’re 38 weeks and 4 days, we can’t induce you until you’re 39 weeks. There are women with four children in your situation,” the nurse said “they just have to deal with it.”
So I scheduled an induction for Tuesday 1/25/11, when I would be exactly 39 weeks.
I got home and tried to go on with the day. But the contractions got worse. I called my OB.
“When the contractions start to get stronger and/or longer call me.” She said confidently.
I sat in my parents apartment with my parents and Wil obsessively timing my contractions.
“Okay, they’re really bad.” I said. “I wanna go to the hospital.”
“No, they’re only 30 seconds,” Wil said. “Let’s wait another hour.
“NO NO NO NO! You don’t understand I need to go to the hospital.” I started to cry.
“Sarah, calm down,” said my dad furthering the testosterone festival in the living room. “You heard what the doctor said, wait until the contractions are longer!”
“IF YOU DON’T TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL I’M GOING ON THE TRAIN!” I screamed.
All at once two grown men tried to physically restrain me like I was a mental patient.
I screamed. I sat down. My water broke.
“My water just broke.” I said, in shock.
“That’s her water! I see it!” Wil shouted.
Wil rushed to throw things in a bag so we could get to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the contractions were unbearable. I was screaming at the top of my lungs.
“SOMEBODY GET ME MY SHOES!!”
We got in the car and Wil ran every red light from Brooklyn to Manhattan until we got to the hospital.
Whenever I had a contraction in the car I screamed:
“I CAN DO THIS!!!!!” Over and over again. Because I needed to tell myself that or I thought I might die.
We got to the hospital, got out of the car (while it was double parked) and all of a sudden I had to pee.
“I HAVE TO PEE! I CAN’T HOLD IT!”
“PEE BABE! LET IT OUT!” Wil yelled reassuringly.
So I peed all over the sidewalk and my snow boots.
There was no parking anywhere. It was the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Wil begged a nurse who was going into the building to take me upstairs while he quickly parked in a parking lot.
“PLEASE GET MY WIFE UPSTAIRS! HER WATER BROKE!”
I screamed and yelled my way into a wheelchair.
“I’m sorry,” I cried and apologized to the nurse who reassured me it was okay and got us into elevator at warp speed.
We got up to Labor and Delivery and I managed to scream my way into a delivery room. The same nurses and doctor who saw me that morning were there, eyes popping out of their heads.
“PLEASE GET ME AN EPIDURAL!” I begged them.
“We can’t. You’re really dehydrated ma’am. You have to go through this bag of fluids before we can give you the epidural.” One nurse told me.
I cried and screamed. My friend and doula Livvy was there, thank goodness. She massaged my back and held my legs down.
“I HAVE TO PEE!!” I screamed.
“Not in the bed you don’t!” Shouted the nurse.
“I’M INCONTINENT!!” I shouted back.
“Oh okay.” She replied not knowing quite what to say.
I peed again.
They checked me.
“SHE’S 4-5.” They meant centimeters dilated.
Wil still wasn’t there. He was down registering me in the hospital office.
I screamed. I screamed some more. I remembered something my friend Cordy told me:
“Keep your eyes open during contractions. Pick a point on the wall and focus on it.”
I focused on a picture hanging on the wall. I was still in mind numbing pain, but it was better than keeping my eyes closed.
10 minutes later…
“CAN I HAVE THE EPIDURAL? IT HURTS! I’m dizzy…”
“No, dizziness is a side effect of the epidural. Wait until you feel better.” They retorted.
“I’m gonna vomit.” I said.
“Lower the bed!” The nurses shouted. They did.
I rolled on my side.
All of a sudden, I had a sudden surging unbearable pain and I said
“I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO POOP!”
They checked me.
“SHE’S 9!!” I was nine centimeters dilated.
“CAN I HAVE THE EPIDURAL??!!!”
“I NEED TO PUSH!!”
“WAIT WAIT!! HOLD IT DON’T PUSH!” Said the nurses.
“I CAN’T!!!!!!” I screamed and in one push the baby’s head was out. All at once the nurses and the resident doctor rushed around me. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked as if the resident might faint.
“THE CORD IS AROUND THE BABY’S NECK!! STOP PUSHING!” The resident shouted.
“I CAN’T!” I kept pushing through the contraction and the baby fell out of me. They removed the cord from the baby’s neck and she cried. They wrapped her up. I held her.
“I’m AWESOME!!” I screamed. “I did it!!!!”
Wil still wasn’t there. According to him, he got to the L&D floor (with my best friend Mint) and a doctor said to him:
“CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR WIFE JUST HAD A BABY!”
All of a sudden Wil and Mint rushed into the room. They both had confused faces on as they saw me holding a new baby.
Wil cried. We held her.
We named her Samara.