Olivia’s Birth Story

In the morning around 7 am three years ago today, I felt contraction activity going on.  I got up to look in on the kids, then went into the bathroom where my husband was shaving.  I leaned over and rested on the chest and told him that I was pretty sure that these were the real deal.  He turned to me, put his hands on my belly and prayed.  He then declared that I was having the baby on this day.  He told me to go and lay down.  I called my mom; while he called Kelly (our awesome midwife). She asked were they Braxton-Hicks or the real deal; to which I responded “the real deal.” She told me to time the contractions; which I did for a little over a half hour. They were 2.5 – 3 minutes apart. Kelly called back and I reported the information. I got up and cleaned myself up; and then got the kids ready for the day.

Kristen (our amazing RN/birth assistant) arrived; and she and my husband began setting up for the task at hand. I went downstairs to prepare breakfast. Just as I’d begun, my mom arrived and took over. I went and sat on the couch; and then Kristen came and checked my blood pressure and pulse.  She, my husband and I sat in the living room making sure that the paperwork for the birth was in order. Kelly then arrived and checked me out. As we all sat engaged in conversation, I slipped off to the upstairs bathroom….probably since I’m an introvert and needed to be alone for a few minutes. Kelly came to check on me about 5 – 10 minutes later. We both returned downstairs; and she massaged my back to ease the contractions as they continued to come. Kristen then took over the massaging.

I went into the downstairs bathroom to be alone for a while and breathed through every surge.  Kelly had me come out so that she could check me. She said it wouldn’t be long; and that as soon as my water broke, the baby would come. I went back into the bathroom and wondered how much longer; which lead to my thought about the metaphor of the pregnancy and birth process, as it relates to life. We are all pregnant with dreams and visions; but when the intensity, pressure and discomfort to birth these things come into play, we may want to give up, or take something to relieve the discomfort. However, if we persevere, at the right time we will receive a blessing (Galatians 6:9). I continued to think on this in between contractions; as well as: I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

All of a sudden, I became aware of the voices of my mom and kids playing in the dining room; as well as the conversation between my husband, Kelly and Kristen, right outside of the bathroom door. I then had THE most intense contraction that knocked me to my knees. The space in between the surges definitely became next to non-existent. I must’ve yelled or groaned, because at that moment, all conversation ceased. I heard my husband say: “that’s it!”  The bathroom door opened and they found me on hands and knees on the side of the toilet. Kelly asked if I could make it to the bed, so that they could help me.  I responded no; but began crawling towards the bed; and asking God to help me. I could hear my hsband cheering me on: “Come on Yonk! You can do it!” I could see the expression on mom’s face,  wishing that there was something that she could do. I could also see the faces of my other three babies watching intently from the entrance of the dining room. As I continued crawling, Kelly and Kristen were right there with me.  I felt my water break; followed by the undeniable urge to push. So with everything in me, I pushed! I then felt Olivia’s head come through; and the rest of the body slid right out. She made her grand appearance at 1:47 pm. I collapsed to the floor with a since of relief, accomplishment and gratitude.

I finally made it to the bed and was given Olivia. She was so little and precious. I birthed the placenta, and my husband cut the umbilical cord once it ceased pulsating.  He put the heating pad on me and wrapped me in a comforter and blankets to ensure my warmth. Olivia was wrapped in towels and her dad loved on her. My other babies and mom came in to meet our newest addition.  The boys were delighted with Olivia; however, Hannah wasn’t too thrilled that Papa was holding that baby.  She did get over it later on that night though. I rested for a while; and then went upstairs and showered (which was heavenly). I laid in my own bed; while Kelly and Kristen measured and dressed Olivia. The kids all came and hung out in the bed with us and Olivia. It was another great home birthing experience; and I’m grateful once again to Kelly & Kristen for a job well done; and for honoring all of my wishes. I’m also super grateful to my selfless mom who spent the entire day taking care of my babies, cooking and cleaning to ensure that the process went as smoothly as possible. Of course, I’m still grateful yo God this day for His presence with me; and for the gift of Olivia. She’s the most joyful person that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. She also loves on nearly everyone she meets.

Judah’s Birth Story

Seven years ago today, my precious Judah-pooh graced the earth with his presence. It was a Monday, and I had an appointment to visit the birthing center, where my husband and I had planned on having him. I went to my sister’s home (which was two blocks away from the birthing center); to get my hair done. She’s both an educator and licensed cosmetologist; and was very adamant about “not going to the birthing center looking busted.” So, I arrived at her home and was in labor; but I didn’t know it. My baby wasn’t due for another two weeks; and I was scheduled to teach my fitness class after my appointment. Also, my water broke first with my first son; and then I went into labor. So in my mind’s eye I was fine, since my water had not broken. I continued on with my day not knowing.

I rang her doorbell. When she opened the door, she asked if I was alright. I responded yes; I just need a moment to breathe. She asked: “Are you having contractions?” I said, “No, I don’t think so.” So I entered her home; and she proceeded to do my hair. As I sat there, the contractions became a little more pronounced; so I started to time them. They were two minutes apart. I called my husband (who was at work a half hour away) to let him know. We talked and laughed for a bit; and we decided that I should call the midwife; and call him again when the contractions dropped below two minutes. I called the midwife and told her that my contractions were two minutes apart and she told me that I needed to get to there “like yesterday.” As soon as I hung up the phone with her, out comes baby Judah.

My mom came just in time to catch and welcome him. My sister tied the umbilical cord; once it stopped pulsating. She then called the ambulance (who were right around the corner from her home); and they were there within minutes. They took me to the birthing center; where my husband met us there. We were there for a few hours and went home. Needless to say, I didn’t teach my fitness class that evening; but all of my students were so delighted. It was a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful that both my mom and sister got to share in it.

Caleb’s Birth Story

Today, my eldest son turns eight; and I am forever grateful to the Most High for him. He’s kind-hearted, a love carrier, discerning, a leader, super-fast like the flash, a great big brother and son; and so much more. Here’s his birth story.

My water broke around early afternoon. We waited until around five to go to the hospital; which was about an hour away. My husband drove like a maniac; and I just reclined my seat and prayed for safety. We arrived at the hospital and were kindly received by the warm nursing staff. We were taking to the birthing suite which had a balcony, water birthing tub; and a beautiful view of the mountains. My cheerful midwife came and checked me; along with the sweetest nurse’s aide. There was no activity yet; so I walked around and did Zumba on the balcony, to help things along. My midwife told me that the doctor (whom I had NEVER even met) wanted to give me pitocin to speed things up. I said to her: “With all due respect, I’ve never even met the doctor. I respect both of your training; however, this is my body, and it was designed to do this on its own.”  ….and that was the end of that conversation & I never did meet or see that doctor. Finally, I had begun having more consistent contractions. They were bearable; and I would just breathe through each one. Time moved on and I was only one cm dilated. My midwife left out; because she said it was normal for first-time moms to take a little bit longer to give birth. I called my mom to give her an update. She said: “Yonk, it won’t be long babe.” She later told me that she could hear discouragement in my voice, since it had been taking so long.

I got in the shower and the kind nurse’s aid massaged my lower back. I then went into the birthing pool. It was HOT! I jumped out. The time between contractions grew shorter and shorter. I was laying on the floor; and I exclaimed to my husband: “I don’t think I can do this! I think I need the drugs.” (This is after I had a well-written birth plan; which included no drugs). Just as I spoke that, the voice of my dear friend Angel, rang in my mind. She had called me a day or two earlier and said: “Yonka, I feel like I need to tell you this. When you feel like you can’t go on, the baby is about to come.” I got up off of the floor to lay in the bed. I was laying on my back; and wanted to get up to squat. My midwife was trying to turn me on my side, so that she could check me; however, I proved to be too strong. She asked my husband for help. He lifted me and placed me down on my side. That’s when my baby boy popped out onto the bed. No one caught him; because he came so fast. I felt such relief!!!!!

It was as if everything slowed down to slow motion speed. My midwife, husband and nurse’s aide stood at the bedside stunned. My baby boy laid there just looking around. I was looking at this beautiful creation and filled with joy. My midwife picked him up and carried him to the little table to clean him up, weigh him; and get his hand and foot prints.  It took a couple of minutes. He was 6 lbs, 2 oz; and 19 in. They then brought him to me and laid him on my tummy. He found his way up to my breast latched and began to eat. At some point, my husband took him and had him until I woke up the next morning. Different nurses came in, to congratulate me on a job well done. We were in love with our new baby; and were actually ready to go home that morning.  We however, had to stay until that the next day.

JB & Caleb2

I had a pretty good birthing experience at the hospital. I say pretty good, because my next three births were all at home (or someone’s home). As their birthdays approach, I will be sharing their individual birth stories as well; to encourage new moms-to-be in their birth place decisions. I firmly believe that YHWH/God designed our bodies so well; and that the wisdom to birth children without drugs (no judgement on ANY mom who has or wants drugs…..I COMPLETELY understand) is in us. I read quite a few books about child birth during each of my four pregnancies; but the one that was MOST helpful was “Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth,” by Ina May Gaskins. I could go on and on about it; but I won’t. If you are a mom-to-be, I HIGHLY recommend this book! As always, thanks for reading and YHWH/God bless you!