As most parents would say, the birth of our son Khalil changed our lives forever. He is our first child and the love that undeniably overwhelms your heart with your first child was felt most deeply. It was love at first sight as we observed his chubby cheeks, pink juicy lips and (surprisingly) head full of dark curly hair. We were excited about his birth and we were also excited that we, as a birth team did it! We had stuck with our birth plan and we had wonderful results.
It was October 25th, a day after Khalil's due date. It was only day two of my maternity leave, but I was already restless and anxious. All of the activities I planned to keep myself occupied pre-labor were suddenly unappealing as we anxiously awaited the arrival of our love bug. The only thing that seemed to satisfy me was endless cleaning also known as "nesting." So I started the day with plans to visit one of my bestie's to wish her a happy birthday and then get to my chores.
After my visit, I got back home and started cleaning strenuously. I washed dishes, I cleaned the bathroom, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor and I did some laundry. I felt a burst of energy and couldn't make myself sit down. I had just told my friend while visiting that I was feeling great and would guess KP would make his arrival in a few days. I was on the phone with my sister in love and sprinkling carpet freshener on the floor. She joked and said that KP needed to stop playing and come on out. It was about 2:30pm and I laughed along with her but suddenly, I started feeling contractions. "No" I told myself, "I am not about to get excited over some braxton hicks." So I continued with my cleaning. Well I tried to continue cleaning. I never got to vacuum up the carpet freshener😊.
After about an hour of consistent contractions, I contacted my hubby and my doula. My doula encouraged me to take a walk, eat and drink something, shower and try to nap; all of which are steps of the Bradely Method. By the time I did all of those things, hubby was home from work. He asked me if I thought this was it and I replied "yup." We decided to labor at home and wait until we got to the hospital before we contacted our family so that we can avoid any extra stress or pressure.
My doula made it to our home at about 6:30pm. She and my husband took turns counting my contractions and encouraging me. At this point, my contractions were strong, but still far enough apart to give me a break every now and then. I was able to laugh and chat in between contractions. I started off laboring on my knees and resting my upper body on my bed. I felt very nauseous but used peppermint oil to settle some of the nausea. Soon, my doula had me labor on my side in my bed using a peanut ball between my legs. This really amped up my contractions. This is also the part of the story where I throw up. I never thought I would be so happy to throw up, but I was, because it made the nausea go away and I could just focus on the contractions.
I drank plenty of water while in labor. So I had to keep going to the bathroom. My contractions had gotten so intense though, that I could barely walk to the bathroom. I found myself on my knees moaning and groaning. I couldn't labor squatting on the toilet because of the pain. I groaned loudly, leaning on to my husband for support. My doula reminded me to control my breathing. I settled down and was able to spend some time sitting on my birth ball. It wasn't the contractions that were getting to me. I could actually feel my cervix dilating and this is what was painful😖. I didn't yell at anyone or cuss anyone out while in labor. I just remember being mad at myself. I thought to myself "you always do things that hard way Tee. Always."
After spending some time laboring in the bathroom on my birth ball, I returned to my bedroom. I lied on my side in my bed and my doula performed a hip squeeze on me. Suddenly, I had the urge to push! And that's exactly what I exclaimed, "urge to push!" It was about 10:30pm. My husband rushed to the car and packed everything up, my doula and birth photographer rushed to their cars and I threw a pair of flip flops on and hobbled to the car. My doula exclaimed "you need to be on your hands and knees in the car!" We all feared that I would push Khalil out on the way to the hospital. Fortunately, the hospital was only 7 minutes from our apartment. The next hour is a bit of a blur though.
I remember them wanting to roll me into a room. I asked if I could get on my hands and knees in the wheel chair😂. Things were getting real and I felt like Khalil was going to come at any moment. We were in a room within minutes. We offered our birth plan to our nurse who said "just give me the highlights." She was attentive and caring, but not interested in working with our doula or reading our birth plan. I was in so much pain during my contractions I could barely focus. I scribbled my barely-legible signature down on some paperwork. I remember the nurse reclining my bed after I told her I wanted to sit up😒. Because contrary to popular belief, it is really hard to push on your back. I remember them telling me to hold my legs but I couldn't; it was hard enough to focus and push while lying on my back. I remember yelling during every push, and apologizing in between pushes to my birth team lol. And finally, I remember feeling the ring of fire. In case you haven't heard the term, it perfectly describes the feeling of your baby crowning. It hurt and it stung but I was SO happy to be pushing my baby out. I pushed with every contraction and it was such a relief. It was truly the best part of my labor. And it doesn't hurt that I had a pretty short pushing stage 😎.
I heard my hubby say "he's got a lot of hair!" And I remember thinking to myself "I want to see!" My mind was blown lol I was so surprised that my baby would have hair seeing that I had none as an infant and as a toddler lol. Finally, after pushing for probably 15-20 minutes. Our beautiful baby boy was born! If I'm not mistaken, I remember saying "I can't believe he came out of my vagina!" lol. And just as scripture says in John 16:21, I quickly forgot the pain of my labor because of the joy of holding my sweet son. Well, maybe I didn't completely forget it...I do remember thinking to myself there is no way I am doing that again lol. But it was so worth it. Immediately after Khalil was born, they placed him on my chest and soon after, he latched to start breastfeeding. Khalil was born at 11:29pm and he was 7lbs and 5 oz. I was grateful that he was perfectly healthy and grateful that we took the Bradley Class to aim for a healthy pregnancy and normal birth. We had a fair in-hospital birth experience, despite us having to stay for 3 days due to me testing positive for group B strep (a hospital policy for women who test positive).
Khalil's birth made me feel empowered and I found myself blabbing about all things birth with my pregnant and non pregnant friends. I felt then what I do now: there is a wealth of information about pregnancy and birth that is simply not shared with women but must be sought out. There are so many things that we think of as normal when it comes to birth in America, mainly the use of OB's and the use of non-emergency related medical interventions, that aren't. I was amazed to learn that God had a glorious design for every moment of labor, even the painful ones, and that if we allowed our bodies to do their thing, we and baby would maximize benefits. Khalil's birth story was not only the beginning of motherhood for me, but it also sparked a passion in me for educating and nurturing mothers for the moment that will change everything for them as well.
*After Khalil's birth, Tiera followed her new passion for providing birth education to women. She went on to certified through Birth Boot Camp, and is currently offering a variety of birth education options in Hattiesburg, MS. To learn more about her services, you can check out her business at-