Kelli’s birth story was originally published on her blog The Chronicles of a Recovered Know-It-All. Part One was published on 5/6/18 and Part Two on 5/7/18. Kelli has given me permission to share her story with my readers. You can also read Part One here on my website. – Mercy
The next five days were critical to my birth process. The morning after labor stalled I felt so defeated. I found myself being short with everyone and I felt horrible about it. I had allowed negativity to overtake me and it spread like wildfire. Mama suggested we find a chiropractor ASAP. After calling many chiropractors in my area, we finally found Dr. Justin Tomblin with The Joint Chiropractic who could see me right away. At first I was apprehensive because he didn’t have “Webster Certified” behind his name, but I was desperate and he was confident in his ability to help me.
Dr. Justin did a thorough intake exam and could tell right away that one of my uterine bands was out of place. He had me lay down, adjusted my hips kind of funny and then POP! Holy moly!! I had NO IDEA what kind of discomfort I was in until it completely went away. I immediately felt a pressure on my cervix and knew it wouldn’t be much longer before Brother made his appearance.
After getting adjusted, I felt so much better, but still had a tension that I couldn’t seem to release. Over the next 72 hours I walked more than I have in my entire life (dramatic I know but it felt real at the time), ate an entire bag of sonic ice per day and craved coconut lemonade like crazy!!!
On Friday, April 28th, my due date, mama decided we were going to have a pamper day. We started off with a visit to Dr. Justin. This time when he adjusted me, I felt like I had just climbed off a horse after an 8 day ride. The lightening crotch sensation was strong with this one. I couldn’t believe how low the baby had dropped in a matter of seconds. He was truly locked and loaded.
Dr. Justin mentioned to us that pressure point massage is known to trigger active labor on women who are ready. He suggested a foot spa right up the road. Mama and I decided to try it out. At first glance, the outside of this place looked like it would be full of creepers asking “what can I get for $10?”. We decided to try our luck anyway. The inside was beautiful and not one single creeper in sight . The only downside, this place was authentic. Meaning, me no speaky their language, they no speaky mine. With the help of my handy smart phone and google translate, we were able to piece together what we came for. At first, my massage therapist refused to touch certain places on my feet because, “baby fall out”. I was like “yes! For the love of all things holy please make baby fall out!”. Google translate to the rescue once again! With that, this girl WENT IN on those pressure points. It was an hour long session of pure relaxation. I actually fell asleep in the chair, only to be woken up by surges. I didn’t say a dadgum word. I was NOT having a repeat of Tuesday night. After our foot massage, we thanked our ladies and headed to dinner. I ate like a teenaged boy, but more than anything, I felt like a whole new woman. That night, I went to bed with a happy heart and an aching pelvic floor.
At 2:30am on Saturday, April 29th, I woke up to, what I thought, was the urgent need to poop. That’s right I said poop. We’ve gone there together now, so deal with it. There was no way I was going to use our master bathroom, with SM only feet away, for what would almost certainly be a toilet felony. So I waddled down the hall to the kids bathroom. As I finally sat down, I felt….something. It wasn’t poop something although I was still very crampy. When I went to investigate, I saw “bloody show”. Bloody show is when the cervical mucus plug dislodges, breaking the tiny blood vessels that surround it, producing a snotty, bloody blob. This is often times a sign that labor is imminent (That, ladies and gentlemen, is my super scientific explanation. You’re welcome). I snapped a picture of it and forwarded it to my midwife. She enthusiastically said “keep me in the loop. He will be here any time now”. Realizing that it wasn’t poop, but actual labor starting, I forced myself back to bed. There was NO WAY I was telling everyone I was in labor just to have it not be the real deal… again.
(I’ll spare you the photo of that particular segment)
My alarm went off 4 hours later. It was Doodle’s very last softball game of the season and it was an 8:00 amer, of course. I mentioned the bloody show to my mom as she helped me gather up my unenthusiastic, half-awake, little girl and pile into the car.
Immediately, I became aware of what a FOUL mood I was in. I wasn’t hurting, per se, but I was SHORT FUSED to say the least. Once at the ball fields, I struggled with my camp chair against the obnoxiously strong wind and occasional rain drop. One of the coaches made an off handed comment about women and construction to which I clapped back “I would love to see you execute this flawlessly at 40 weeks pregnant, in active labor, surrounded by people who make ignorant comments and a [expletive] wind tunnel”. (I later apologized for my tone…but not the comment as a whole). It was then I told my mom we needed to go because I was in very real danger of losing my stuff completely on an innocent bystander. Doodle was all too happy to leave because frankly, the weather sucked and so did our team. We made our way back home where I decided I would shower, do my hair and makeup, then try to take Doodle to a birthday party of one of her classmates. My 15 year old step-son was home that day so he decided to go run around with us as well.
Once I was all put together, I felt a bit better and decided to attempt the party, but first we needed to run to the store to buy more towels because we were severely lacking them and would need them for the birth. Inside JC Penny’s, I was miserable. For some reason car rides made everything hurt worse and just put me in the most awful moods. I was having to stop every 5-7 minutes to rock through a surge. Mama suggested we call Mercy and I said “absolutely not”. I wasn’t hurting like everyone said I would, so I still didn’t believe I was in active labor. By the time we made it through checkout, I was not a happy camper. My poor baby girl was so upset when I explained that she could drop the gift off with her friend but that if I had to be around other children, not of my loins, at that particular moment, I would most definitely be asked to leave the trampoline park and to never return. She cried on the way into the party and my heart broke. We compromised by agreeing to go eat at Chili’s across the street before heading home. As we sat at the table, I kept requesting silence from everyone at each surge and we knew it would probably be best to head home. While waiting on the check, I stood up to rock through a surge and hum to myself. Our waitress returned and asked me if I was ok. Mama answered “yup, she’s just in labor”. Y’all, the look on that girl’s face as she the Scooby Doo scramble, was priceless. “Oh!!! Oh my God! Ok. Just go! Go! You need to get to the hospital!!” she shouted at me. “No hospital,” I said, still rocking through the surge. The look of confusion on her face was even better. “She’s birthing at home, so that’s where we are headed,” mama told her as she handed her cash. This poor girl, her mouth dropped wide open while she stared at me like I was an alien. “Like, at home, home? On purpose? But….you’re having a baby!” she muttered as I hummed and waddled past her, through the doors and out to the car.
Once we got home I was exhausted. I decided to see if I could take a nap. I laid down in bed and immediately fell asleep. I woke up two hours later (about 5:00pm) and remembered I had never picked up a celebration cigar for SM. I waddled into the living room and asked mama if she would take me to get sonic ice and a cigar. We drove the 15 minutes into town to the cigar shop. Once again, stopping to hum and rock through each surge. Mama suggested, again, that we call Mercy and I declined, again. I still was not hurting enough for it to be real. In the cigar shop, I really needed to pee. The clerk said it’s normally for employees only, but being I had a baby about to fall out, I could be their guest. While finishing up my business in the restroom, I noticed more bloody show, a lot more. I hurried up to wash my hands and waddle out to mama. We picked a cigar as fast as possible and got back in the car. We decided we would stop at Spring Creek to get dinner for everyone because whether I believed it or not, that baby was about to be here. I decided to stay in the car while she ran inside. I listened to a weather report that said we were about to get railed with some really nasty weather. I had a wave of anxiety wash over me. I immediately texted SM that I was hurting really bad and that he needed to get off the water (he’s an avid outdoorsman) and come home. In true male fashion, he asked me if it was real this time. I responded with a super hormotional text about needing him to get his [expletive] [expletive] off the [expletive] water and get the [expletive] home right [expletive] now. He knew I was serious especially because I immediately apologized and explained that I was hurting. Mama got back in the car and we made our final stop at sonic. The carhop handed mama my diet green tea with raspberry (try it y’all. It’s the shizzz) and my bag of ice. Mama put the drinks in the holder and handed me the ice to put behind her seat. As I turned my torso to set the ice behind the driver’s seat, I felt…something. I wasn’t sure what it was (I know now it was brother’s head dropping into a +1 station) but I knew we needed to get home, right now. I told mama she had better drive quickly (like she does literally everywhere she goes) because I was starting to hurt. Once again, she suggested we call Mercy because she fully believed I was in transition. After I snapped “I am NOT in [expletive] transition!!!” we both looked at one another and she got Mercy on the move right away.
We got home around 7:30pm. I began to fill the labor pool back up with hot water while I waited for SM and Mercy to join me. Mercy arrived first and said “oh yea mama, you’re in active labor. I can tell by looking at you.” At the same time I hear the back door fly open and SM barreling down the hallway “did I miss it? Tell me I didn’t miss it!”. Mercy informed him that he was just in time because we were just about to check me. SM walked in, kissed my forehead and asked if. he had time to run up the street to grab a drink at the gas station. I said I’m sure he would be fine if he came right back.’ Mercy checked my cervix and all of the sudden I was hit with surge after surge after surge, followed by that pain I had heard so much about. Mercy sat up and said “you’d better call papa and tell him to turn around if he doesn’t want to miss it. You went from a 4 to an 8 just now.” My best friend had arrived by this time. She called SM right away, then helped me to the bathroom and into the birth tub.
It was about 8:45pm when I got in the tub and things progressed very quickly from there. I was barely aware of the rest of our family’s arrival. I had drifted into a very different space, far off from my usual reality. The best way I could describe it was tapping into the most primal, raw, energy I have ever felt. I had watched about a billion birth videos in preparation for this event and every time I cane across one with a very vocal woman, I got super uncomfortable. It was the strangest thing, but I was convinced I would be a silent sufferer, because vocalizations made me that uncomfortable.
Well sister, I am here to tell you that didn’t happen. During one particular surge I heard Mercy say, “don’t fight that. Stop fighting that” and I let go. I threw back my head and let out the loudest roar imaginable. I felt so good!! I mean, I was still friggin miserable, but that low, deep, guttural moan that escalated into a full blown roar, was better than morphine. I faintly remember hearing SM rush into the room to ask if I was ok.
Poor guy. He was so anxious. For the first time in a long time, he was put in a situation that he had zero control over and it was happening in his own house. For someone who has PTSD like he does, that’s a big deal.
Ok, so I had one major [irrational] fear about birthing at home with my friends and family watching: I didn’t want to poop in the tub. Yup, poop talk again. I won’t dwell on it long but I will say, apparently, because brother was posterior up until a few days before labor began, it had made it impossible for me to completely take care of #2. Needless to say, after one atrocious surge, I pooped. Like, ain’t no hiding what just happened and about 12 people witnessed it, kind of poop. I didn’t even know what happened until SM about broke his neck trying to get the fishnet to his mama, who took care of it right away. THAT is love y’all! They didn’t miss a beat. As mortified as I thought I would be in that scenario, I was quickly overtaken by the next surge. I was truly starting to tire out. I had been on all fours for so long, I needed to change position. Oddly enough, on my back, with one leg supported by mama and the other by SM, suspended in the water, gave me incredible relief.
I could actually fall almost to sleep between surges like that. I remember saying “I need help. I need help” and Mercy’s calm voice asking me what I needed help with. I roared “getting this baby out of mehhhhh!!!!!” as my body gave one long hard push. I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. My water broke in the middle of that surge and then I felt it…The Ring of Fire. I knew my baby was coming because my body had complete control and I was just the vessel. Before I could even focus on how bad my bits were burning, my body began to push and I started to roar. Mercy reminded me to be easy and breathe him down. I followed her instruction the best I could. On my next surge, his head was delivered. I gave one big push, followed by a tiny one and at 10:33pm, my beautiful prince made his transition earth-side.
I had done it. Me. The one who couldn’t finish college at a university. The same one who took 10 years to walk away from drugs. Who also happens to be the same one who owns about 47 partially read books. Yes, me. I had just delivered my baby, at home, in water, free from medical intervention; where he would remain fully intact and vaccine free. I was so exhausted but more than that, I knew was free.
I had a promise from The Lord that He would restore me; He would heal me and that’s exactly what He did. You see, Brother being born at home was not a part of an attempt to be trendy (drives me nuts that what is considered the norm everywhere else on the planet, is “trendy” here), nor was it a show of “superiority” to those who don’t have their babies at home. His birth was about healing many, many broken places in my spirit left over from my addiction and my deep desire to keep him safe. As women in this country, we are brainwashed from every source possible to fear birth, fear the pain, fear the unknown.
We are indoctrinated into believing birth is something that should be numbed and we should place more trust in physicians, who literally make a living off of women having as many interventions as possible, than our own bodies. As women, we are literally built to be able to give birth. Our bodies are perfectly designed to carry, give life and nourish the next generation. For someone who spent a decade completely numbed out of her mind, I wanted to feel everything, as God designed it, in the labor process. I wanted to show my doubtful and often times harmful negative self, that I am strong, capable and healed. That is what my home birth was about.
If you’re feeling brave, go watch Brother’s Birth Video. I promise, there’s no nudity in it.
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