Hurricanes, Social Media, and One Lucky Baby
On Friday, October 26, Rosa and Evan’s* first child was due. But by Saturday Rosa still hadn’t gone into labor and doctors didn’t want to induce. Normally that wouldn’t be too big of a deal, except that Hurricane Sandy was approaching and Rosa and Evan lived in an Evacuation Zone B section of Queens, which meant they had a moderate chance of needing to leave their home. Since their hospital of choice was the New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, Evan and Rosa had to quickly come up with a new plan.
They both posted on their Facebook pages, asking if anyone near NYU’s hospital could host them for a night or two. As they made phone calls to hotels and friends they started getting notifications of responses. The best one was from their friends Ethan and Noah in the West Village, who were supposed to be out of town but had their plans canceled by the impending storm.
On Sunday afternoon Mayor Bloomberg gave the evacuation order for Zone A. Though technically not Rosa and Evan’s zone, it was only two flat blocks away so they decided to temporarily move into Ethan and Noah’s guest bedroom. They updated their Facebook pages to let their friends and family know they’d found a place convenient to the hospital, and then caught one of the last subways into Manhattan.
Around 9:30 PM on Monday evening Rosa started feeling contractions. They were Braxton Hicks contractions at first so Rosa didn’t need to go to the hospital right away. But as Evan was checking the latest weather update he saw a Twitter notification that the power was out in NYU and patients were being evacuated. Not long after that, the power went out in Ethan and Noah’s apartment. Rosa was beginning labor, she’d had to evacuate her home, her temporary home was without power, and so was her hospital. All while the worst hurricane to ever hit New York was happening.
Ethan and Noah did their best to keep Rosa calm while Evan first tried calling Rosa’s OB/GYN, but couldn’t get through. He then followed with a text message and an email to inform Rosa’s doctor of their situation and ask for guidance. Her doctor replied by email, saying cell towers were getting overloaded but she was going to call an ambulance to bring them to Beth Israel in about an hour, based on the increasing frequency and intensity of Rosa’s contractions. About an hour and a half later, an EMT called Evan to let him know the ambulance was downstairs and would take him and Rosa to the hospital.
Around 1:00 AM Rosa and Evan checked into Beth Israel on Foursquare, which also cross-posted to their Facebook pages, letting their friends and family know that they had made it to the hospital. At around 9:00 AM, Rosa gave birth to a 7 lb, 10 oz girl. Evan promptly took a picture with his phone and posted it on Instagram.
*Note: Names and some identifiable details have been disguised by request of the parents.
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