When my husband returned from Iraq in August, 2006, we began trying to get pregnant. After I graduated from MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) school in October, we went home on leave and that’s when my baby was conceived. In February, we discovered we were having a girl. We went home to “remarry,” and on the 30-hour drive from North Carolina to Texas, we came to the conclusion that her name would be Sarai Yasmin.
The maternity ward on base had closed down that December so everyone was sent to different places to have their babies. Our hospital was located 25 miles away! I was working up until my expected date of delivery, which was July 15. The day after my due date, I was going home for lunch, and I felt a wetness. I went to the hospital, but was sent home that same afternoon because the doctor said it hadn’t been amniotic fluid. To this day, I still think it was.
Since I had never felt Braxton Hicks contractions, we went out and grabbed some pizza, then went to the park with several friends. That night, as I was getting ready for bed, all I kept thinking about was how disappointed I was to return to work the next day.
Around 11 PM, I woke up. I had to pee and was having some cramping, but went back to sleep. After a while, I woke up my husband and told him to start timing the contractions. The first one we took note of was at 11:44 PM. Our doctor had said not to go back to the hospital until my contractions were five minutes apart for a whole hour. My next contraction was about five minutes later so my husband suggested we leave then, but I wanted to wait the whole hour before leaving.
By 12:15 AM I felt like I was going to die, and my contractions were now three minutes apart. It took us forever to leave the house. I couldn't even walk down the stairs without having contractions! A half an hour later, we finally made it to the truck. My husband had placed a towel on the seat in case my water broke on the way.
Five minutes on the road, we realized he forgot our ID cards and he was about to turn around. Luckily, his younger brother was living with us and he brought them to us. We were finally back on track, racing down the highway at what I later realized was about 90 miles per hour! It seemed like a dream. We were still in the truck, parked at the exit to the hospital, and it was so dark. I was hot, sweating, and screaming at the top of my lungs, and her head was already crowning! I tried so hard not to push but it was too overwhelming. At one point my husband even felt her head. The next thing you know, we heard crying coming from the baby. She was born! I couldn't pick her up—my right hand was in a cast because I broke it two weeks earlier. My husband called 911 and the ambulance met us.
Before the ambulance arrived, a man tried to help us but was shocked and didn't know what to do. My husband suggested to him that he take pictures for us! We don't know the official time Sarai was born so we went by the time he called 911. So she was born at 1 AM on July 17, 2007. Sarai weighed seven pounds, seven ounces, and was 20 inches long. I love the fact that I'm one of the few first-time moms who had a two-hour labor, even if it meant birthing her in our car!