In many cases you can’t plan when your baby opts to be born, and you can’t control the weather, especially when a natural disaster is coming. Combine the two and you have the makings for one crazy birth story, and Julia Alemany has a doozy.
Ms. Alemany of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was expecting her second child. To be ready for the big day, she and her husband opted to stay in Manhattan at an apartment near NYU hospital, as the hurricane was approaching. According to the NY Daily News, Ms. Alemany began to go into labor and rushed to the hospital, but her doctor told her the contractions were too far apart and tried to send her back home in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. “Are you kidding?” she recalled saying. “Do you see what’s going on outside?” They admitted her.
Soon after the hospital went totally dark and things got even crazier. “Suddenly, I hear a lot of commotion outside and the word ‘Fire!'” Alemany said. “There was smoke at the end of the corridor, everyone was running.” Not only was Hurricane Sandy in full swing but so were her contractions. “I said I can’t run!'” The fire was a false alarm, but the hospital’s generators had become flooded, the power went out, and the hospital was ordered to be evacuated.
Ms. Alemany was in so much pain that she begged for an epidural. As the NY Daily News reports, “In her pitch-black hospital room, an anesthesiologist administered the drug into her spine by flashlight and the glow of a couple of cell phones as labor pains wracked her body.” She then was put on a “sled” and hospital workers carried her down eight flights of stairs. She was put into an ambulance and was rushed to another city hospital, Mt. Sinai. She made it there, even though the ambulance driver who was a relief worker from out of town didn’t know how to get there and after a tree fell on the vehicle. Forty-five minutes after she arrived at the hospital, her baby Micah Alemany-Markus was born weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces.
“I never thought his birth would be anything like this,” Ms. Alemany said after her ordeal. “It was the most intense experience of my life.”