Friday, December 30, 2011

It's NEVER what you expect

Isn't that one true fact in life? Nothing ever pans out the exact way you expect, no matter how much you put into planning. I imagined and replayed over and over in my head the day that my son was born before it happened. I created what I thought I was going to feel, what my room would look like, what the nurses would look like, how it would smell, the things I would be thinking while it was happening and how he would look. I planned and planned and anticipated. It was nothing like I thought it would be like, and thank God it wasn't because the way it happened was way better than I could have ever imagined myself. I'll leave most of the gory details out but here's what really went down:

Sunday 11/13/2011
- 4:00pm: Contractions start. We start timing them 5-8 minutes apart. I call my Doula, she tells me to go to sleep. What?! She told me that I would need rest so if I could sleep through the begining of labor at home it would helpful later.

Monday 11/14/2011
-1:00am: I wake up to a very strong contraction. When I get to the bathroom my water breaks. Half a sleep and scared/excited I yelled out for Jeremie. Unlike in the movies, when your water breaks in real life its a slow leak that continues until the baby is born. In the moment I completely forgot what to do, I looked at Jere and said "how do I get off the toilet, it won't stop?" Months earlier I bought adult diapers for this reason. He calmly reached under the bathroom sink and passed me a very attractive pink adult diaper. SWEET! Called the doula again, she told us to start timing contractions again.

- 7:00am: After 6 hours of weak contractions they slow down and are irregular again. I called the Midwife. She told me to come into the hospital soon and that I would probably have to be induced if my contractions didn't start back up. Ughhhhh no! I told her that was not what I wanted to do. And she said "sometimes you don't have a choice, you need to come in. Our goal is to get your baby out safe and healthy. We'll talk about options when you get here. Walk around, for a while to see if you can get your contractions going again. Be here by 10am"

- 9:00am: No consistent contractions. Despite nipple stimulation, bumpy car rides, bouncing on the exercise ball, and pacing the house. It was time to go in.
Right before we left for the hospital
I actually felt amazing. The baby dropped so my heartburn was gone and I could breathe again.

- 2:00pm: We were all checked into the hospital and after an hour of pacing the hallways and talking about options with my Midwife and Doula it was time to start Pitocin. I stalled and ordered a turkey sandwich first. I remember the nurse coming in and saying "You feel good enough to eat...that's a problem"  My Midwife told me some people just need a little bit of the pitocin to kick start their own labor. The plan was to start on the lowest setting and slowly increase the dose amount until labor started.  I was hopeful that we could get things going, I could get off the pitocin and continue with my PLANNED natural child birth.
Seconds after starting the pitocin drip
-5:30pm - Whoa! Active labor. Strong strong contractions. I'm not a happy camper anymore. Didn't get off the pitocin, we're actually at the highest setting. I am crying in pain wondering how long it was going to last. I tried to focus on the fact that I would be holding my baby soon.

- 7:30pm - Time for the first check. After 2 hours of very painful contractions, I'm hoping I'm at least 6cm only 2cm. I could die. I start crying and ask for nubain. It's a pain medication, that would allow me to still have control of my legs so that I could get in and out of the tub. And unlike and epidural it would allow me to feel when to push. It is used as a way to take the edge off and relax during contractions. It was weird. I could still feel everything but I didn't care as much. It was like being drunk. I was able to relax and sometimes fall a sleep in between contractions.

 -9:00pm - Check again. I'm at 7cm! Yes! Time to get ready for the tub. First I had to walk to the birthing room with the tub, (you're not allowed in the water birth room until your are in active labor) Walking to the tub felt like a long exhausting WOD. Now I had to get weaned off pitocin. I couldn't be on it in the tub because with pictocin you have to be on a constant baby monitor, the contractions could be too strong for the baby and you can't get in the water with a baby monitor on.

-10:00pm - I'm getting in the tub, this is it. I'm scared to death of the actual birth, it's all I can think about.  Once I'm in the tub I feel sick, I'm already hot and sweaty,  getting into the hot water makes it worse. My doula has a ice cold rag with lemon smells on it, I keep putting it over my face, it keeps me from vomiting. I feel alone and scared in the giant tub, even holding Jeremie's hand.  My contractions slow down.....I have to get out of the tub.

-11:00pm - Check again, I'm at 8cm. Not good, back on pitocin and another dose of nubain.

Tuesday 11/15/2011

- 12:00am - Nubain did not kick in or take the edge off like it did the first time. I'm in extreme pain. Screaming. Like those crazy ladies you see in the movies, blood everywhere. If you would have told me before that I would be naked on all fours screaming and crying, in front of a room of people,  I would have told you, you were crazy, but that's where I was. I was tired, I was in the most pain I had ever felt in my life and I was ready for it to be over. I didn't care how. I started asking for an epidural. 

- 1:00am - I'm yelling at Jeremie "I don't want to be brave anymore, I don't want to feel anything anymore, I'm done" Our doula gets the nurses to run my blood so that I can get an epidural. I have to move back to the first room, there's not going to be a water birth.

- 2:00am - I am back in the room we started in, the epidural is on the cart waiting for me. The anesthesiologist gets called out on an emergency. I feel this indescribable urge to push.  The Midwife comes into check me...9 1/2 cm. She tells me that sometimes you can deliver without being fully dilated and if I wanted to push I could try. I thought to myself, Try is not a word I like in my vocabulary, this baby was coming out now. I'm not waiting for the epidural. Squeezing Jeremie's hand  on one side and our Doula's on the other, I take a deep breath and push on the next contraction. All the pain is gone. It almost feels good to push. The nurse shocked says "ummm that's that baby" calls the midwife over. She didn't even have time to put her gloves on. The next push his head was out. In between pushes the nurses give me oxygen. I put all my energy into pushing and am so exhausted afterward I feel like sleeping in between, despite what was happening. Apparently our Midwife said "okay on this next one you don't have push so hard". I didn't hear that I wanted to hold my baby. According to Jeremie, he almost shot across the room.

Avery James Tokarsky, 8lbs 15oz, 19inches. Welcome to the world little man!

-2:15am:  He's finally here! I'm holding him on my chest crying as the nurses wipes him off. I feel a high like I have never felt in my life. I'm still crying all I can say to him is "Hi, I can't believe you're here, hi baby, hi" over and over. Jeremie got to cut the cord. I honestly can't remember all the details other than that. They took Avery to weight him and do the tests. Jeremie went with them and it took my Midwife almost an hour to stitch up the damage. I broke every blood vessel in my face, eyes and neck.

- 2:50am: My family can finally come in to see us. My Dad, Mom and Sister were all there the entire time waiting for Avery's arrival. When they leave I'm left holding Avery trying to comprehend what just happened. Jeremie comes over and gives us both a hug,  says "You are amazing" and kisses me on the forehead. Then he says "but that was the most gory thing that I have ever seen". hahahahaha! 

Avery is 6weeks old today. Its still hard for me to believe that he lived in my belly. It's an absolute miracle that he's here and safe. From the time of conception to birth there are so many things that can happen,  I thank God everyday that he's here and healthy. Birth is a crazy, unpredictable, amazing event. Its not what I expected to experience at all. And it is true as soon as you hold that baby in your hands you forget the pain. I can't wait to have my second...and maybe third....again with no epidural. My Midwife said the way that my contractions were I probably would have had to have a c-section if I got the epidural because it slows down contractions and I was already at the highest dose of pitocin. I don't know what would have really happened. I'm thankful that it happened the way it did. I am also the first woman on my Mom's side to have a non-c-section birth.

Right now, I'm focused on soaking up all the baby I can handle, the messy diapers, sleepless nights, and all the baggage that he comes with. I'm taking it all in,  cherishing the day to day, seemingly uneventful moments.   He's already so big, growing out of his newborn clothes. I feel like I'm going to blink and he's going to be walking and talking, then driving, then walking down the isle, then having his own babies. The uneventful moments are the real stuff. That's what matters, as a parent it's who you are in each of those moments that matters. I look at him and know that I can be better for him. He will learn what I teach him. Every day, every moment, who I am teaches him how to be. I will be better for him, I will be his role model. When he looks at me with those sweet innocent eyes, depending on us for everything, how could I not want to be a better person? It really puts life into perspective.


  1. You are a rockstar, friend!!! I loved reading your birth story! xoxox

  2. Loved hearing all the details and emotions...but that pic of ur face...ewww!!! :) Blessings to all three of you. Kate