How My Ass Made A Difficult Situation Worse
I was reminded of this elevator ordeal when Jeff and I were in the hospital with Brendon. We were in the Pre-Op Department with about 20 other parents and their children. Half of us traveled together to the area where the kids had to dress and prep for surgery. On the way, our half of the group got on an elevator, and the nurse pressed the floor button. We stood there waiting for the elevator to rise, but nothing happened. She opened the doors again and a nurse waiting to get on said that she had to squeeze the doors shut for the elevator to move as the doors didn't completely close on their own. I heard a father behind me say "That is not a good sign." I turned and told him about the time I got stuck in an elevator when I was 5 months pregnant and proceeded to tell him the story (the condensed version of course....it was a short ride).
It was 1999 and I was 5 months pregnant with Brendon. The company I worked for had relocated from Poughkeepsie, NY to Newark, NJ. The company took up shop in the National Newark Building that had just been refurbished. We were on the 32nd floor with floor to ceiling windows. I had a view of the New York City skyline from my desk. It was a beautiful building with granite floors, carved moldings, but questionable elevators.
I was on my way up from the basement after shooting digitals of products for one of the clients we had. I had reached about the 20th floor when the elevator came to an abrupt stop. I heard a loud bang and the elevator dropped two floors. Scared shitless, my heart pounding, I stood rigid because I was afraid that the elevator cables had come loose and I didn't want it dropping further.
I pressed the button to open the door, but nothing happened. "Son of a bitch", I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm stuck...and now I have to pee. Fuck!"
I pressed the emergency intercom button that signaled security.
"Hello? Is anyone there? I'm stuck in the elevator and I'm pregnant!"
Again I say "Hello?..."
I get this response: "Yeah, what's wrong?"
"I'm stuck in the elevator and I'm 5 months pregnant and I'll tell you now that I have to pee pretty bad, so you better get someone here fast."
I hear the security guard speak to someone in the background: "A pregnant lady is stuck in the elevator and she has to pee real bad...you better get someone fast to get her out!"
"We'll have someone there, so just hold on."
"O.K., I ain't going anywhere."
So I'm waiting...and waiting...and waiting. I hear someone at the doors.
"Hello?...can you hear me?"
"Yeah", I say, I can hear you."
"Hang on, we're working to get the doors open...it'll take a while. Are you O.K.?"
So I hear them clanging, banging, scraping. Finally, after about 30 minutes, the doors open. You'd think I could simply walk out and everything would be hunky dory, right? WRONG!!!!!
The doors open and I see a big wall in front of me. When the friggin elevator stopped dropping earlier, it dropped to the middle of a floor. So what I see is about 6 feet of wall in front of me with a about two feet of space from the top of the elevator to the bottom of the floor.
"Uh oh", one of the maintenance men say.
As I looked up, I could see about 5 men peering down at me. One of them tells me they'll have to drop a ladder down so that I can climb up and crawl out of the space.
Now, I'm trying not to panic, but by now my bladder is matching my uterus inch for inch...I'm wondering if I can fit through the space...and I'm hoping that while I crawl through, the elevator doesn't start to drop and crush me and the baby, and my bladder.
20 minutes go by and one of the guys brings a ladder along. They drop it down through the space and I start to climb up. Flashes of the elevator scene from the movie Speed run through my head. The maintenance guys are telling me "Easy now, we don't know how stable this elevator is."
Great, thanks guys.
I squeeze the upper part of my body through until I get to my stomach. I have to push my self further into the floor and really, basically, crush my stomach through the space.
Then I hear one of the maintenance men say "Uh oh". I look at his face and he's looking at something over my shoulder. I think to myself, "Oh fuck, the elevator's going to drop...oh fuck."
I slowly turn to see what's behind me. Now, this is where my ass comes into the scene. No matter how much I crush myself into the floor, my fat ass has the say as to whether or not I'm going to actually fit through.
I look back to the front and the "Uh oh" guy says, "You can do it, I know you can, just squeeze it through slowly."
Never in my life have I ever been so humiliated.
By the grace of God, I squirmed and squeezed and out popped my body. It was like a rebirth! I was alive! I didn't get crushed by an unstable elevator! And, miracle of all miracles, I didn't piss myself!
The men helped me to my feet and asked if I was O.K. I assured them I was, thanked them all, and ran to the bathroom. Sweet bliss followed. I took the stairs up the remaining floors to my office.
"Where were you? What took you so long to shoot the products?", I'm asked as I walk through the door.
I tell my story, and everyone has a good side splitting laugh over my ordeal.
"This could only happen to you, Shannon", says one of my co-workers.