One Born Every Minute
Ask any mom who has experienced childbirth to recount her personal story and mark my word, she will grab you by the arm and tell you it was one of the most excruciating, exhilarating, exhausting and memorable moments of her life. For me, I can pretty much say that no matter how old my kids get, I will never, ever forget the day my daughter or my son made their grand entrances into this world. Let's start with Rebecca Drew.
Weighing in at 6 pounds 2 ounces, my independent, headstrong and feisty brown eyed girl took her own sweet time to arrive in our lives. You see, I went into labor on April 1. Rebecca was born April 4. You do the math. During that time, my husband and I drove over the Triboro bridge from New Rochelle into Manhattan a total of three times. Why three times do you ask? Simple. Every time we arrived at the hospital, the nurses checked to see how far along I was and I had only dilated 1 centimeter. And I had to get to 10!!!
To make matters worse, it was a holiday weekend and for some reason, all the birthing rooms were filled to capacity. Oh, and did I mention that my doctor had just went through back surgery the week prior and pretty much kept in contact with myself and the hospital via phone. He had no intentions of coming in for the delivery until he (I mean "I") was officially ready to start pushing. And so, after being sent home too many times to count, my dear friend Beth let my husband and I stay at her apartment and she hosted a "Labor Party" in my honor. My parents and in-laws joined us and I sat in comfy shabby chic chair all day, sucking on ice chips and gritting my teeth between contractions.
While our respective families eventually went home (we had tried to gain admittance to the hospital and were turned away yet again), we attempted to return back home and I was in agony. At one point, I found myself so delirious that I curled up in a fetal position with placed my head in the cat bed. When I couldn't bear the pain any longer, we drove back over the bridge and spent the entire night at Beth's apartment where I focused on a Picasso reproduction and kicked my husband or squeezed his hand and cut off his circulation between contractions.
By 7 am, I was ready to burst and so this time, we walked the four blocks back to the hospital. This time, the nurses took pity upon me and finally admitted me as a patient. In fact, they felt so bad that they had turned me away so many times that they gave me the best birthing suite in the hospital - complete with a view of the east river. For the next seven hours, we watched my contractions erupt on the monitor (I had been given an epidural to take the edge off) and by 4pm, I was ready to start pushing. 17 minutes later, after two big pushes, Rebecca was born and life as we knew it, was never going to be the same.
Fast forward three years and I'm in the midst of the busiest time of year at work. It's May sweeps and I'm coordinating press schedules for three major TV shows. The week prior, I was racing around town with the latest team to be eliminated from "The Amazing Race" and spent the morning and afternoon with the cranky cast of a TV sitcom who were ready to deck each other by the end of a major photo shoot. While the weekend was uneventful, the moment my husband left for work Monday morning, it started happening. Without warning, I began having contractions. But this time around, it was three weeks prior to my due date. I hadn't even taken a tour of the hospital and forgot everything I learned in lamaze class. But the little boy inside of me didn't care. He was kicking like a madman and ready to bust out of his womb.
While my husband was at work, I asked a dear friend to join me at my OB GYN's office - we had since changed doctors so that I could deliver in Westchester and not have to travel back and forth over a bridge as I clutched the car door during contractions. While I was convinced there was no way I was ready to deliver, my doctor informed me that I was already at 4 centimeters and could head straight to the hospital or labor a few more hours at home. In light of my previous experience, I opted for option B - especially since I had a ton of loose ends I needed to tie up on the workfront. And so, after my friend and I hit the diner and I ordered french onion soup and held onto the table when the pain became too intense, we headed back to my home and my parents, who lived about 90 minutes away, were already at my house waiting for me.
While I hopped back on the computer to give my assistant instructions on which star she had to meet on a subway platform (Jerry Stiller) and which ones she'd be escorting to the New York Stock Exchange (the cast of "CSI"), I felt the contractions coming on fast and furious and knew it was time to hit the road. Thankfully, my husband walked in the door precisely at the moment I was about to head to the hospital on foot. And so, we hopped in the car and seemed to hit every single pothole imaginable as we raced to White Plains Hospital. We arrived within minutes and the moment the nurses saw me (I had a glassy eyed look and was shouting "Ow, Ow, Ow" every two to three minutes), they pointed me in the direction of the maternity ward and we were on our way.
The next thing they know, I was on a scale. Really? Do you have to weigh a woman when she is about to give birth? Do we seriously need the painful reminder that we've put on more than 40 pounds and haven't exactly shared that number with our spouse until that precise moment? While the final weight count was painful, it didn't match the ferocity of those contractions. Within minutes, I was whisked up to a room (no frills - no fancy birthing suite for me - there simply was no time), given an epidural (thank goodness for anesthesiologists) and we were ready to get this party started.
The next thing I remember, my water broke all over the nurse and doctor (oops), and I was already at 10 centimeters and ready to push. And with one concentrated effort, my seven pound 11 ounce boy flew out of me like a football, he landed in my OB/GYN's expert hands and she gently placed him on my chest. And with tears streaming down my face, I held Dylan in my arms, kissed my husband and finally got the chance to relax. Nothing like childbirth to make you realize it's time to take a break and enjoy the miracle of life!
Tune in to season 2 of the unscripted series "One Born Every Minute." Premieres Tuesday, November 29th at 10 pm et/pt on Lifetime.