Saturday, August 14, 2010


I feel very nostalgic tonight. At this very time last year I was two hours away from meeting my beautiful baby boy. I need to write this. I need to share it. This is my birth story.

It was a friday afternoon, and Toby and I were on our way to my 39 week appointment with my OB. It was hot, and very humid. The drive there was exciting, because I had taken it so many times before, but I knew that this would be my last time that I would take it before I had my son.
The wait was short. The nurse called us in. We walked into the room, I took off my pants and put on my gown. Dr.Testa came into the room with a smile on her face. I could tell that she was happy for me. That was one of the best things about her, she always made me feel like she shared in my pregnancy, and my emotions along with me. She was a great doctor. She asked if I had been having any contractions. I said no.

She checked my cervix. She looked up at me and said "Are you sure you're not having any contractions, because you're like...7...a good 7". I couldn't believe it. I had been dilating for several weeks, and I knew that I was as far as 5...but 7?! So we set an induction date for Sunday August 16th at 6 :00 am. She told me that she doubted that I would make it to the induction date though, and that I was most likely already in labor. I told her that I was afraid to go in because they had been very rude last time I thought I was in labor but was not. Dr.Testa told me that if I felt anything that I should just go into L&D. She said that she would call ahead and tell them about me, and that even if I was not in labor, that she would keep me there and go ahead and start the induction.

I was so excited. I couldn't believe it. It was happening.

As we waited at the light to get out of the office parking lot my stomach filled with butterflies. We drove home. I told my Mom what the doctor had said, she couldn't believe that I was already 7cm either. I was very tired, so I went upstairs and laid down in my bed. I laid completely still to be sure that I wasn't having contractions. Ten minutes and 2 contractions later, I was out of bed and grabbing my hospital bag. It was time.

The plan was to leave the house, grab some food (because I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat once I got to the hospital), and then call my Mom and tell her that I had felt contractions while we were out. That way I could eat in peace, and get settled in at the hospital. We tip toed down the stairs. I opened the door, hospital bag in hand, and there was my Mom sitting on the couch. She said "whatcha doin'?". I smiled big...I couldn't lie.

She jumped up and started the car. Once we got in I told her that we had to stop at the Bob Evans next to the hospital because I was starving. I thought she was going to die. We pulled in, and I told her not to tell anyone that I was in labor so that no one would freak out. She did no such thing. The poor waitress was convinced that I was going to have a baby on her watch. I ate my cheesy baked potato soup, french fries, and rolls as fast as I possibly could.

I arrived at the hospital, rode the elevator up to the 3rd floor, and walked up to the L&D desk. I said "Hi, my name is Tabatha Starr, and I think I'm in labor". One nurse walked up to me and started to walk me back toward triage. Another nurse ran up to her and said "No, no, no honey. Testa called about her. She gets a room NOW." I loved my doctor in that moment.

They showed me into room number 1. I changed, got in the bed, and a nurse promptly came in and checked my cervix. She said that I was between 7 and 8. Things started happening really quickly from that moment on. I was surrounded by 4 nurses, all of which who were poking needles in me. Some we checking my blood sugar, some we're starting an IV, and some were just poking me for fun... I think. Everyone was afraid that Ian was getting ready to come out very soon, and I had to have an IV for an hour until I could get my epidural. I was not giving birth without that epidural. No way, no how.

I made it past the hour point without more dilalation. The doctor came in and explained the epi and everything related to me. I sat up on the bed to get the shot...and that's when it hit me. The entire time that I had been pregnant I had not felt an ounce of fear. I never felt that I was not ready to be a parent. But at that moment nine months worth of fear hit me like a brick wall. It was real, he was coming, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was terrified that I was not ready to be a mother. I was sobbing while he was giving me the epidural. He kept asking me if he was hurting me, and I said no. I kept telling Toby that I wasn't ready. The doctor asked "are you not ready for the epi?" and I said "No...I'm not ready to be a parent.", which was followed by more sobbing.After the epi was in, I didn't calm down much. It was too strong, and I couldn't breath right. It went clear up into my chest. I started to get very uncomfortable, and I hadn't been before the epidural. I started to regret getting it at all. I felt sick to my stomach and the whole room felt like it was spinning. Up came the cheesy baked potato soup. It was so horrible. The epi was still too strong, so I couldn't sit up to puke. It all kept falling back onto my face. The nurse ran over and sat me up, and started holding her hands under my mouth. Then she called Toby over, where I continued to puke into his hands. It was a good moment for everyone.

From that point on things got better for a long while. My epi calmed down, I visited with friends and family, and watched some movies. We watched I love you man, and Across the Universe. Around 4 or 5 the doctor came in and broke my water, which felt amazing. It was like losing 10 years worth of pee at once.

Around 9:00 I was finally at 10 cm, and ready to push. He started crowing after the 2nd push. The nurse said that she could see his hair. She called Toby over, and he told me that he could see it as well. I was convinced that Ian would be here any minute. But it seemed like I made no progress. Everyone kept telling me that I was crowing, but after an hour or so I began to think that they were lying to me because he just would. not. come. out. Around 10:30, things really started to go downhill. My epi started to run out, fast. I called told my nurse, who called in another nurse to check it. She squeezed the line as hard as she could and got out literally one damn drop, looked at me and said "see, it's not empty". I was pissed. She was the same nurse who had been so terribly rude to me while I was in false labor before. She was wrong. The epi was completely worn off within the next 10 minutes.

I had been pushing for well over two hours at that point, and I. was. pissed. My nurse had already sent for more epi fluids, but she wasn't coming. That's the point where I held my legs up and said "Do you see this? An hour ago you had to lift my legs for me...and now I can do this!!" **I shake my legs in the air** And then I screamed "THIS...IS...BULLSHIT!". My Mother and Mother-In-Law later told me that it echoed clear down the hallways and that everyone could hear it. The said that it took everything in them not to start laughing at me. Though it's funny now, it was so not funny then. They got me more epi juice after that.

So then I started pushing my epi button as often as possible. I was now over 3.5 hours of straight pushing, with him crowning the entire time. I didn't think I could make it any longer. I kept telling Toby that I just couldn't do it any longer. I have never felt that kind of pain, exhaustion, and hopelessness. I honestly believed that every push was going to be my last, not because he was finally going to come out, but because I was going to run out of energy. I was terrified, and I felt an emergency c-section was in my near future. But some how I kept pushing. Still to this day I do not know how I did it. But I did. And after 4.5 hours of pushing, I gave birth to my baby boy.

And that's what is known as the "oh shit" moment.
Me, Toby, My Mom, and My Mother In Law saw Ian. He was scary. He was huge, and swollen...and prepare yourself, because I'm going to honest...ugly. In that moment we were all thinking the same thing, "oh shit". Turns out that he was just terribly swollen from crowning for so long. He was stuck under my pelvic bone for hours. The pressure actually fractured his skull. When his skull finally gave, he was born. It is all healed fine now. And 12 hours after he was born, he was adorable.
My initial thoughts were all shock. Labor had been so hard, and so draining. When I looked at him I just saw how big he was, and at 8 lbs, 8oz, and very swollen to boot, he looked huge. I couldn't help but thinking that all of my pain had been caused by how big he was. My entire body was shaking violently, and I was coming down off the epidural hard. I couldn't even move. They cleaned him up, and stitched me up. I don't know how many stitches they gave me, but I remember the doctor saying that there was a lot of blood, and taking out a 2nd stitching kit. It was all a blur. I couldn't focus on one single thing. I just remember asking for a sandwich.
Then they brought him over to me. I wanted to badly to hold him, but I couldn't get my arms to do it. I was so weak. I tried to lift them to reach for him, but I couldn't move them. So my Mom laid him up against my chest, wrapped my arms around him, and held me, so that I could hold him. I kept repeating "That's my baby, that's my baby" softly. I was in utter shock. I can't say it was love at first sight because I couldn't think. I was just shocked.
I remember feeling happy as other people came in and held him. I started to really feel the love when I saw Toby holding him. Within the next 2 hours I was feeling pretty good. I nursed him, I stood up by myself, and they wheeled me to my room. Toby fell asleep soon afterwards, and then it was just me and my baby. As I laid in my bed, I looked at him. I stroked his face. I held his cheek to mine. I smelled his sweet breath. It smelled like so sweet. I will never forget that smell. That's the moment that I fell in love. I bursted into tears. He was all mine, forever. I had given birth to him. All of that pain had been worth it.

I looked down at him as he latched on for the second time, and I was just in awe at the miracle that is life. I was amazed that we were able to create him out of love. I was amazed that he was real, and the he was here. I was amazed that the baby that I had carried for 9 months was now in my arms. I was amazed that I was giving him nourishment from my own body. I was just amazed at everything that was my Ian.
And I have been amazed since.
Ian Parker Starr
Born August 15th 2009
12:32 AM
8 lbs, 8 oz, and 20.5 inches long
We didn't know what love was until we met you.
Happy Birthday Baby Boy.


  1. Happy 1st Birthday to Ian. You had me re-living my own birth story and I laughed and cried along while I read yours. I look at my Ian everyday and wonder how I got to be so lucky to be his mother. Happy Birthday to your Ian and congratulations, the first year goes by quickly and has so many changes. I have 3.5 months until my little guy turns 2 and we cannot believe how quickly the 2nd year goes by. Cherish it. They change so quickly from 12 months to 20. But most of all enjoy it! It is so fun!!

  2. so cute! I can't believe you were a 7 and felt nothing! I wanted to go sans epi but by 7 cm I was begging for one!
    Thanks for sharing your story :)
    and PS I am also jealous that you look gorgeous in your pictures at the hospital! Mine were not. good. haha