Tomasi’s Birth Story

“Hello, New Little Life readers! My name is Margaret and I’m so excited to have my birth stories featured here! I’m an army wife and mother to two rambunctious boys–Tomasi (3) and Isala (9 months). I have loved all things pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding since Tomasi arrived earthside a few years ago. l have often found myself talking with friends about their own journeys into motherhood, so I hope you enjoy my posts as if we’re just chatting on a sofa. If you’d like to read more about me, please visit my personal blog, Midnight Musings of a Sleep- Deprived Mama or follow my Instagram page. “

Margaret Va’aulu, Midnight Musings of a Sleep-Deprived Mama

I was 21 years old and still in university when my oldest son was born. One morning, I woke up to get ready for class and was just so extremely tired I decided to nap through my first class and then attend my other two later in the day. When I woke up at around 10:30 am, I felt like I was going to pee my pants like NOW! So I ran to the bathroom and all these fluids just gushed out into the toilet. I instantly realized that my water had broken. I called the hospital and the nurse told me there was no need to rush since it was my first baby so he probably was still several hours away. I also texted my husband, who was in class with only like 15 minutes left, telling him what happened and just to come home when his class was finished… but sure enough he ran through the door 5 minutes later. *exasperated smiley face*

At this point I wasn’t feeling any contractions or pain and was emotionally really calm. I took a birthing class during my third trimester, so I knew that most women labor for 10-12 hours with their first baby and I was in no rush. On the other hand, Blake wasn’t able to attend the class with me because of evening classes so he was feeling a little stressed out (hence the running from class). I took a shower, ate a bowl of cereal, and quickly packed a hospital bag. It was three weeks before my due date so we were not prepared… we didn’t even have an infant car seat yet! We finally left the house a little over an hour after my water broke to make the hour-long drive to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, we stopped at McDonald’s for more food and started trying to decide what to name the baby. Blake is full Samoan and I’m half, so we knew that we wanted to give the baby a Samoan name but I don’t speak the language so it was mostly on him to come up with the names. While I was pregnant we’d go for evening walks and talk names. He’d suggest something but when I asked what it meant, it was always something dumb we just happened to be passing like “lamppost” or “grass”. **eyeroll emoji** He could never take things seriously so it wasn’t until we were on our way to the hospital that we finally had a real conversation about it. And no, the one hour drive was not enough to pick something. Lol

When we got to the hospital it was around 1:30 or 2 pm. The nurses started doing all the intake and monitoring, which said that I was having small contractions but I still did not feel anything. They told me they wouldn’t be checking my dilation because they didn’t want to increase the risk of infection since my water had already broken. [In retrospect, that’s kind of weird and based on how the rest of my birth panned out I’m really curious to know how far along I was when we arrived.] After the nurses left, someone from the financial department called… it was during this conversation that I began to feel contractions. And they were immediately pretty strong and 5 minutes apart or less.

I played around on the yoga ball and different positions that I’d learned in my class but I just couldn’t get comfortable, contractions were happening so quickly. All the sudden I felt so sleepy, like labor was draining the energy out of me. I tried to climb into the hospital bed but I couldn’t even make it all the way up before another wave hit. Blake asked if I was okay and I said I just wanted to take a nap!

My original plan going into the hospital was to try an unmedicated birth, but still be open to an epidural if the pain became too much. Things were getting pretty intense so I asked the nurse if I could get something to take the edge off. Without even checking how dilated I was, she explained that most first time moms labor for 10-12 hours so we still had a while to go. I remember her saying something along the lines of “The pain you’re feeling now is mild compared to actually pushing.”All I wanted to do was jump off my yoga ball and choke her out. [Anyone who knows me knows I’m not an angry person so this was a pretty major reaction] How could the pain possibly get any worse? And there was definitely no way I’d be able to handle several more hours of this.

It was probably only 15 or 20 minutes after the nurse left that the contractions were basically back to back and I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. My stomach was hurting so bad and it felt like I needed to poop and it would release some of the pain. Blake helped me to the toilet, but after a minute I hadn’t used the bathroom and something just felt wrong about it so he called the nurse. She came into the room and once she saw me on the toilet she started to get a concerned look. She watched for a second and then said, “Honey, you’re pushing! Let’s get you on a bed.” A few other nurses came and quickly prepped everything and called in the doctor. I got into the bed around 5:20 pm.

As they were putting me on the bed, I asked to have an epidural, medicine, anything to ease the pain but it was too late. I would just have to do this myself. My memory of actually pushing is pretty hazy. My husband says that I was smiling and making jokes in between contractions. I remember holding my breath and pushing so hard that the blood vessels in my face broke. The doctor brought over a mirror so I could see the baby crowning and I got to touch his head. After what felt like forever, he was born at 5:47 pm, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz. They immediately put him on my chest and I just stared in amazement. I remember wondering to myself if I should be crying, but nothing came. I was just in shock that I had just given birth to this perfect little boy.

Tomasi's birth story - Share your birth story

A few minutes later the nurse came over to me and started apologizing for not giving me the epidural when I originally asked. “If I had known..” she kept saying. But honestly I didn’t care anymore. My beautiful baby was here and nothing else really seemed to matter. Besides, if she hadn’t refused my epidural then I never would’ve experienced the fulfillment of an unmedicated birth. It wasn’t until the next day that we finally decided to name the baby Tomasi Ali’imua Jack after my dad and grandfather. Masi took charge of his own entry earthside by coming a little early and we have been following his lead ever since. He threw me straight into the deep end of motherhood and I couldn’t imagine a better kid to learn and grow with.

Tomasi's birth story - Share your birth story
Tomasi's birth story - Share your birth story

My only regret with Tomasi’s birth is that we didn’t take pictures or have much documentation of those first few days in the hospital. And because I broke my original phone, I lost a lot of pictures from his baby days… so we’ll just have to settle for pictures posted on social media during his first week of life.

Tomasi's birth story - Share your birth story

Tomasi had a brother a little over 2 years later! Click here to read the birth story of Baby Va’aulu #2.

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Tomasi\'s Birth Story

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