Tag Archives: Midwife

It Takes A Village, To Raise A Woman

“Be a woman other women can trust. Have the courage to tell another woman direct when she has offended, hurt or disappointed you. Successful women have a tribe of loyal and honest women behind them. Not haters. Not backstabbers or women who whisper behind their back. Be a woman who lifts other women.”
-Sophia A. Nelson

I had a long few years, like 22 of them. Some of that is my fault, some a series of unfortunate events or circumstances out of my control. The past two years have also been long, but magic. I’m happy in my life right now, and I don’t think it’ll go away anytime soon. I’ve learned the true meaning of love. I’ve learned what it means to work hard and go after your dreams. I’ve learned how to take better care of myself, mentally and emotionally. I’ve learned that the only one in charge of my life, is me.
And some really amazing women taught me all that.

We don’t always have a positive influence or role models in our lives. But over the past couple years some really very special women have come into my life and taught me more than I thought there was to learn! They continue to amaze me every day. This post, is to talk about those women, their influence on my life, and to show them the love they so deserve.

Laney Sweet. I met Laney about a year ago. We met on a surrogate group and hit it off right away. She was my mirror, my long lost sister. She loved everything birth. A doula. A surrogate. A young mother. A wife. It was a perfect fit. I have enjoyed so many conversations with her about all aspects of life. There have been many days when I called her and she kept me sane, helped me work through a problem, encouraged me. Laney has always been encouraging in my journey to become a doula. Helping me find my place in the birth community. Overall just being a great friend (and my own personal doula)! She invited me to the birth of her surrobabe (who was born this past Wednesday the 27th). As I watched Laneys life, and the life of her intended parents change, it changed mine too. Because of Laney allowing me to be there when that beautiful little girl was born, I have never been so sure in my life that I want/need/am destined to be a doula. Thank you Laney, for taking me under your wing. For always encouraging me and helping me find my way. You are a wonderful friend and I will always love you for all you have done.

Carla Morrow. The very first time I saw Carla, it was at a Tarrant County Birth Network workshop about the different types of midwives and the life of a midwife. Carla looked radiant, happy and full of life. I saw her once in awhile at the birthing center while I was there for appointments but it wasn’t until close to the end of my pregnancy when I actually sat down with her for the first time. I already knew so much about her. Her birthing center, her awesome midwife skills, countless people adore this woman. As many people before me (I’m sure) I felt instantly connected to this amazing women. As my pregnancy progressed I enjoyed her more and more. After one appointment she asked if I was a doula. I answered that I was not, but hoped very much to be one someday. She asked what I did for a living and I told her that I was a chef. She said I should come cater the birthing center, and I laughed it off. Carla was on call when I had June bug. She was awesome. She trusts birth, she trusts women. She was kind of in the background through a lot of my labor, but you could feel her there. I trusted her with my life. When June went home her comment on catering was singing in the back of my head. I’m letting the cat of the bag on this “new job” now. Carla was serious, and now I get to be a part of her wonderful team, this team of fierce and wonderful women. She believes in me. She trusts me. She is such an inspiration to me. She lets me know that it’s okay to struggle sometimes, and that the best people in your life come when you least expect it. Thank you Carla, for being a part of my village. For believing in me and helping me follow my dreams. You have forever touched my heart.

Brooke Moreland. Brooke is so much more than my Intended Mother. Our relationship has grown so much over the past few months. As I learned more and more about who she really is, I felt closer and closer to her. She has become not only a friend but family. Every time I call her with exciting news about my life, she shares in my joy. She continues to encourage me to go after my dreams. She understands my need for a career, to find my place in the world. Thank you Brooke, for making sure that my family was always taken care of while I helped you build yours, even when you didn’t have to. For encouraging me and trusting me and for just being there.

Stephanie Wright. I met Stephanie while seeking employment with her through the Marriott. Within minutes of speaking to her I had already embarrassed myself beyond belief. She hired me right away. I felt a connection to her. When I first started working, I thought she hated me. She pushed me unlike I had ever been pushed. She kicked my ass. Looking back I couldn’t be more grateful for that. She made me the Chef I am today. Without her I never would have been able to go home to say good-bye to my grandmother when she passed away. She fought for me. When I told her about my impending surrogacy she opened herself to me and shared her past with me. She listened to me cry when things got hard and always encouraged me not to give up. When I had personal problems she was there. When times got tough she was there. She gives the best advice and doesn’t bullshit me. I can literally talk to her about anything. She was there when I was depressed. She was there when I was happy. She was there to share my joy when June was born and took care of me after the fact. And even now, even though she thinks I’m crazy for riding that roller coaster again, she’s by my side until the end. I will never, ever be able to thank you enough. For being my best friend, for being my mentor, for being my heterosexual life partner. For always listening and always loving me no matter how crazy I am. For teaching me and encouraging me. For being understanding. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and sharing in mine. I love you forever.

Emma Claire Kimball. Though she will probably never read this, Emma is the most important woman in my life. She is the reason I am who I am. She has given me the strength that I need every single day to be a better person. She reminds me of where I came from and where I want to go. She is the reason I work so hard, why I continue to push myself even when I want to give up. I am determined to give her a better life, a happier life. I want her to never question if she is loved. I want her to know that not once in my life have I regretted having that beautiful baby girl at 15. I will give her the life she deserves, the mother she deserves. She will never question her beauty or her worth. She will never want for anything. She is strong and beautiful and smart. She is my daughter. My whole world.

The point in all of this is, I wasn’t always the woman I am today. And tomorrow I will be different still. I am always learning, always growing. And at least in some part, it’s because of these women. They are all amazing. They are all teaching me and loving me.
They are my village.

A little Caterpillar of green: One, two, THREE! (Part 2)

So now you know how I got here. I’m in Fort Mitchell Alabama, pregnant with my third child, a perfect 4 year old daughter, a perfect 2 year old son. I’m determined to have the birth I want, and I’m determined to go into labor on my own…

My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.
My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.

I woke up on Sunday, October 16th (2011), with so much energy I knew I had to do something with it. I made a plan to spend time with the kids doing fall things We made homemade cookies, carved pumpkins, and I even ran to the store (twice, because of course I always forget things). We had a wonderful afternoon together. Around 4pm Curtis suggested that I drink the Castor oil that he had picked up while grocery shopping the day before. I poured about 2oz in with some V8 splash and drank it as fast as I could. You know what? It’s not even half as bad as everyone said it was going to be. If you haven’t done this before, there is no taste, at all. The hard part about castor oil, is the texture, its literally oil and can be hard to tolerate. Anyways, because of all the horror stories, Curtis and Mike (my brother-in-law who was living with us at the time) didn’t want me to leave the house, even though I wanted to walk, in fear that I would go right into labor or possibly not make it to the bathroom in time (for those of you who don’t know, castor oil is a very strong laxative and is thought to send you into labor because it irritates your bowels and makes you contract). After a few hours of nothing, no contracting, no running to the bathroom, no changes at all I decided to try one more time. Around 7pm I drank another 2oz of castor oil with V8, but this time I insisted on walking, so Curtis and I walked around the neighborhood for about an hour, talking and looking at the stars. We came home and I finally had a BM, but still felt no contractions. Around 11pm I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes with some minor cramping but I was sure that labor was just not going to happen. Curtis and I went to to bed at midnight and I tossed and turned as normal for a few minutes before I was back in the bathroom. I would sit down for a few minutes, then stand up and rock back and forth because I could feel real contractions coming on, then sit again. It was a terrible hour. Finally I sat down again and *GUSH* my water broke over the toilet.

October 14th, three days before Lex was born.
October 14th, three days before Lex was born.

My jaw kinda dropped, and I just sat there for a minute, trying to take in that my son was coming, that I had gone into labor without being medically induced, and not only that, but I was finally, actually going to get my ‘It’s time’ moment! I yelled for Curtis… and again,.. and again, but he sleeps like a rock. I got up and went to the bedroom and called him name again and he shot up with owl eyes! “Don’t freak out! But my water just broke. ” his response? “That’s it?”.. I guess he was dreaming about Iraq and thought a bomb went off. So I had to say it a few times before he realized what was going on and he said “I can handle that”… I got my things together and called my sister and mother-in-law to let them know Lex was on his way. Then we hopped in the car and were off for Martin Army Community Hospital.. an hour away.

On our way to the hospital I called labor and delivery to let them know we were on our way, and I talked to Tabbatha (my sister-in-law) for awhile. When we got there is was about 1;30am. We went to L&D where they hooked me up to the machines and checked for amniotic fluid. My contractions were 4 minutes apart and strong, about a 7 on the pain scale. When they checked me I was 50% effaced and 2cm, and they couldn’t find any fluid, but I knew that my water had broke, that it wasn’t all in my head. So my Dr had me put on a giant pad and told me to walk for an hour in hopes that more fluid would leak. So Curtis and I went down to the parking lot to walk, and talk, and even dance together a little (it was a magical,¬†intimate moment I will remember forever). When we got back to L&D it was about 3am. I was now 75% effaced and 3cm. I knew it was going to a long night. Still no fluid though, so the Dr. (who I had never met and seemed very young and inexperienced) gave me a sonogram to measure fluid. There wasn’t a lot, but there were pockets here and there. They admitted me and sent me to the room they were expecting me to deliver in. After being asked 500 questions, I told the nurse that her and the Dr needed to know what I wanted now. I gave them the rundown and my hopes were crushed. The Dr would not do a water birth, and my midwife MIGHT be in sometime after 8am. If I wanted my water birth, I had to hope and pray she was going to be in, and that I was still in labor at that time.

From 4am to 9am I labored uncomfortably, without sleep. I walked, I sat on the birthing ball, and I tried to stay out of the bed knowing its the worst place to labor, as my pain steady got worse and my contractions became 2 minutes apart. At 9AM my favorite Dr, and my midwife came into my room and I sighed a great sigh of relief, and she saw it. Right away she started filling up the tub as my Dr checked to see how I had progressed, and it became apparent why after 8 hours of labor I was only 4cm and 90% effaced, The other pockets of water needed to be popped. At 10am they broke the rest of my water and put me in the tub.

The bathtub felt amazing, it took so much pressure of my hips and back. It was soothing, it was quiet. But my contractions went from a 7, to a nine instantly. But I’ve been here before, I knew what I had to do, and I knew it would be over soon. After just half an hour they checked me, and I was 7cm. Suddenly the long hard labors I was used to, were flying by! But I had the feeling like I needed to push! I knew it was too soon to push, but my body was getting ready to have the baby so fast, I tried with all I had NOT to push. There was talk in between contractions of how the hospital was going to get rid of the midwives, and that I was the 11th person in 10 months to deliver in the tub. I was shocked. How has America become SO lazy that they get to the hospital, ask for a giant needle and sleep through labor laying in a bed, or ask for their baby to be c-section simply because they don’t want to deal with the pain. The pain in a natural part of life! A few Drs had never seen a water birth, and I approved for them to be in the room. If I could spread how simple this is, how much better it is, maybe other Drs would start doing it, and more women would have the beautiful experience I did.

At 11am, about 10 hours after my water broke, I couldn’t resist the need to push. My midwife checked me, and I got terrible news. A lip of skin was stuck over the babys face. This is not the first time that I’ve had this news. While in labor with Collin, this happened, and I pushed for 4 hours to get the lip over him. I almost lost it. But my midwife re-assured me, and told me that during my next contraction she was going to try to remove the lip. I crossed my fingers and suffered through another contraction, and I could feel the same terrible pain I felt with Collin, and then relief. She had been able to move the lip, and now, I could push.

Ten minutes. I pushed in the big bathtub for just 10 minutes. No pushing on my belly, no one holding my legs, no one pulling my sons head. I did it. I finally got the birth I’ve been dreaming of. Where my body did it, no medication, just me.

lex2

Alexander Michelangelo Kimball was born at 11;35AM on October 17th 2011. He was 8lbs 11oz and 22inches long. He was placed directly on his mothers chest where he sat for 5 minutes before his father cut his umbilical cord. He was never taken from me without my permission, he wasn’t given certain unnecessary medications, he roomed in, and he was released early.

Lex is three now! He has a huge personality. He’s bossy and sassy. He’s a “boy’s boy”. He likes to fight, and play sports and run (because he’s the flash)! He loves Dinos and the ninja turtles. He is tough as nails and with a name like his, why wouldn’t he be? He’s his sisters twin, and a daddies boy. And I love him.

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