I'm so happy to introduce my blogs first guest post. Toki is a mother of two sweet little girls. She is a researcher, questioner, and a self taught nutritionist.
I really loved this birth story, but one of the coolest part of this story is that Toki uses laughing gas to help with her pain.
Toki also really help you understand what its like to have a baby in the hospital, I love reading what the process is like in her own words.
I hope that you guys enjoy this as much is I did!
Saturday morning, June 1, 2015, I wake up with this crazy urge.
I get up, or rather I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom (I am on my 38th week of pregnancy). Everything goes as normal, so I head back to bed.
Check the time… it’s 3:30 am.
Laying there WIDE awake at this point, just trying to flop around and get comfortable when I feel a small warm surge flow out of my “va-jay- jay”.
Whoa... Felt like I went an extra tinkle, it happened before.
Then this warm surge happens again and once more but on the latter, it was a wee bit more or a LOT more!
So I whack my partner on the bum and say, “I think my water broke!” Of course, I have no clue and I was freaking out. Normal, right?! I roll out of bed and the moment I stand up completely, a much larger surge flows out! Yet, I am still clueless and asking out loud if my water broke because, again, I am freaking out.
Could it be true? Is this really happening? I don’t know what to do, what to think and want dearly for this not to be happening.
Back to the story, I went into the bathroom to see what this was and my bottoms were fairly soaked with a slimy type substance. And as I am standing there, more is coming out.
By this time, my partner is up and waking my mom up because it’s time!
I make the call to my OB office and they said for me to come in immediately. I just go ahead and take the time to change while my mom is getting ready and after changing, I am standing there chanting, “I can’t do this, please, why did I do this to myself, I don’t think I can do this!”
Over and over…
Side note: I was saying why did I do this to myself because I went through a IUI process to become pregnant. If you are interested, you can read my pre-pregnancy story here -
My mom, just listening to me, calmly says, “Get in the car because I am not calling the ambulance to come get you!” Ya, mom, real funny.
Oddly enough, amongst all my chanting and on the drive, I was feeling NO pain. When I calmed down, I was still feeling nothing. The car ride was filled with even more chanting and just talking to myself about how I can’t believe this is happening...
My mom, just smiling.
At The Hospital!
So we get to the hospital and check in.
At the hospital now and everyone is being so nice. Too nice. I wasn’t expecting this kind of treatment. I actually didn’t know what to expect.
All the nurses were just making sure I was as comfortable as possible. (Emerson Hospital in Concord, Ma. was where I had my baby girl.)
My OB came in, did the ultrasound and tested my amniotic fluid. It’s a GO! Next I am being hooked up to all the many monitors to make sure the baby has a heart beat and mine hasn’t exploded!
Next, they need to know how far along am I. Pelvic exam.
Ok let me preface this by saying I am NOT a fan of pelvic exams. Who is? But for me, it’s just not a happy time for me. Painful.
So when it came time to see where I was at in dilation… well it wasn’t pleasant. My OB attempted the exam and an epic deathly scream filled the air. Failure.
My OB walked right out of the room saying only, “get the epidural!”.
She stated I was NOT dilated past 1 cm.
As a result, the nurses had me going through a 10 hour regime of walking, squatting, bouncing on a medicine ball, hugging that medicine ball and just trying everything under the sun to get my body to dilate.
After all was said and done, I never dilated.
By then 15 hours passed, exhaustion set in and I was asked that dreaded question (meaning I knew it was going to be a c-section), “Do you want to have this baby?” I replied, “Yes.”
I was truly and utterly exhausted though.
Quick side story, leading up to getting myself and the “epi” ready, I was being induced with pitocin. (What happened was, my water broke only but I was not in labor. If that is even possible?!)
With being induced, I started to feel the twisting and straining of labor. Not bad until the dosage was being raised higher and higher. So I was offered, laughing gas.
Never heard of this and surely didn’t think this would ever work for the pain of labor. I had a myriad of questions about this but the main one was, will this hurt my baby? They assured me that inhaling this does not hurt the baby but helps with the pain.
I was given the mask and told to breath it in very deeply. I remember taking 3 deep breaths in and on the third I felt my entire body just instantly relax.
My hand holding the mask dropped and I began to literally laugh. Laugh in a tone I have never heard before. So loud that the nurses had to ask my mom if this was normal! It was not normal, I could not control this screeching high pitched laugh at all.. I had NO control over my body. It struck me as so funny that I could not control a thing and felt so relaxed.
Of course, here is my short video of this happening. Thanks, mom for recording this!
As you can see, I was just as fine as can be with no pain. All I could feel was extreme pressure.
End quick story :)
So it began, the preparation for getting ready for the c-section. Just breath, the anesthesiologist said right before he slid the needle in my lower back. I didn’t jerk nor did I feel any pain. Just a prick. Felt like a rush of cold water flowing down my back but from the inside.
Almost immediately my legs went limp and felt as if they weighed 100 pounds each! It was the oddest feeling to see my legs yet couldn’t move them or have control.
While the team was prepping for the procedure, I started to regain feeling in my right leg. Not sure why but the anesthesiologist had said that my spine was twisted slightly in the middle of my back.
So right before I was taken into the birthing room, I had ANOTHER epidural done. I was completely numb at this point. My legs felt like lead weights, made me laugh that I could not move them no matter how hard I tried.
Into the operating room I went with only my partner. Upsettingly, my mom was not allowed in the room. It was a small room with white walls and 1 door in and out. I had one hand on my OB, Christina T. Thomas, M.D, the entire time. I was scared and felt so alone…
I was also administered a spinal tap at this point. I was so out of it by now that I didn’t question why I even needed that… as well as why I needed morphine.
What I Was Feeling?
I felt so drugged up and my mind was just so distant. I felt alone and so very nauseated. I was throwing up the entire time. Especially during the c-section. The only things I was feeling physically were the shaving, the harsh pushing (she was pushing hard on my chest for a while, knocking the air our me moments at a time) and a vacuum of sorts (for the blood I am guessing).
What Was I Hearing?
The first words I heard from my OB was, “Look at all that hair!”. Yes, she had a full head of hair. Then moments later, I hear my daughter's first sounds… her cry. The most beautiful sound I heard and I just lost it. I started asking for her and crying uncontrollably. I couldn’t see anything but my blue tarp! Then she came around the side and was brought right to my face to kiss, feel and just love.
I almost don’t remember after this. I also never got skin to skin right away either. I felt so sad because they took her away and I didn’t see her for almost 45 minutes later… I was also so exhausted that I think I was sleeping most of that time… I was in and out.
Granted, post birth, the doctors had to stitch me back up, make sure I was ok and clean up but I figured I would get some time with her right away. I felt a bit of a disconnect. Is that normal? Overall, after all was said and done my little girl was healthy and well, just wanted to sleep.
The next 5 days were of recovery and just learning the ropes of motherhood. I am sure that the mommy reading this knows all the highs as well as the lows.
For having a c-section, I couldn’t get out of bed for the first couple days, so thankfully my mom was a huge help with feeding, changing and caring for my baby…
I also got extremely nauseated and had vomiting for the first day post birth as well.. I couldn’t eat anything. Just drink water.
BUT loved all those nurses, all hours of the night, who brought my pain meds every 4 hours because healing from this was extremely painful. But amongst all that pain, I had no feeling in my legs for a long while but I noticed they were put into a compression device, constantly being massaged to keep blood flowing for a good 24 hours post birth.
It did feel good and after the feeling came back into my legs I was instructed to begin walking around… noting that my feet would most likely begin to swell. It was a double edge sword here because when I would walk, my feet became so swollen that it merged with the width of my calf!
Then they told me to put my feet up but yet I was supposed to be walking as much as possible.
That double edge sword.
After this week at the hospital was over, I headed home with my new baby girl and began a life changing feat that I just absolutely love. Well, sometimes… :)
Anani Pearl 7 lbs. 9 oz. 20 inches long
My name is Toki, mommy of Anani :) Thank you for being a part of my little story… for me mothering will always involve long hours, heavy physical work and the type of worry that could bring down an elephant if put into a dart gun. I'm here to cultivate a sense of inner support to calm our mini little storms… you can read more about me and my family here: