September 7, 2013 at 8:21am

It’s become tradition to read the children’s birth story to them on their birthday, and I’d like to share it with you all, again! It dawned on me this time around how many of our friends were involved with this experience.

I’ve always heard “Ask and you shall receive,” but I now know that God truly has a sense of humor! Our son, Solomon, was due on September 6, 2003. That same day, my partner Kenyatta, Solomon’s father, was celebrating his tattoo studio’s 6 year anniversary. A party would take place that evening, full of music, many friends, family, and clientele, and lots of fun. But before the celebration, I was scheduled to get a massage from a friend of ours [Ragenia] who specializes in all types of therapy. She worked on me for almost two hours, and I believe my contractions started in the midst of the massage. Prior to making the appointment, I had a feeling a massage would “get things moving” on the day our son was due.

Afterwards, we arrived to the studio ready to party! A friend [Asali] that I ran into at the beginning of my pregnancy (who highly suggested that I purchase the book Birthing From Within), attended the party that evening, and also made the suggestion that I just enjoy myself and not get caught up in timing my contractions. Boy, what appropriate advice for me! I danced and danced and danced all night to good music that made me feel fine. When my contractions got stronger, I just closed my eyes and swayed back and forth to the music. At about midnight, September 7th, the contractions began to get stronger to the point that I had to sit down. Three girlfriends [ChiWanda, Amamansa and Meredith], which I called my personal doulas, lovingly cared for me; one rubbed my feet, one massaged my hands and the other placed cold cloths around my neck.

With my son’s godmother [Christy] organizing our departure by lining our car with plastic on my seat, Kenyatta and I were off to go…home. I did not realize I was in active labor, so I just wanted to go home and get some rest. Even with my contractions increasing in strength and discomfort, we, in fact, passed the hospital on the way home. Once we arrived to the house, I asked Kenyatta to run a bath with lavender for me (I was hooked on lavender’s aroma during my pregnancy!). Little did I remember from class that to slow down contractions in early labor, you take a bath. In active labor, taking a bath speeds up the process. Again, unbeknownst to me I was in active labor. So ten minutes out of the tub, after closing my eyes for only 10 seconds, I’m on the bed ready to push.

Kenyatta and I immediately performed our co-chanting, a technique we learned from our Birthing In Awareness class, by saying in unison, “OPEN!” It was time! I told Kenyatta to wake my mother and let her know her third grandson was on his way. When she arrived in the room, she said, “Um Kim, I don’t know if we should do this here.” I replied with, “Just let it flow, Mommy. Just let it flow.” My mother left to call the paramedics, but Solomon and I were in no mood to wait. From lying on my side, I instinctively got on all fours and began to push. Three or four good pushes did the trick. Kenyatta was on the phone with Solomon’s godmother and yelled, “I see the head!” Then, in Kimberly “the coordinator” fashion, I yelled, “Get the camera!” I took hold of Solomon’s head and with one final push guided him out. The paramedics arrived a few minutes later.

Now, from a chronological perspective, Kenyatta and I desired natural birth; to welcome our baby into the world without any outside manipulation. A friend of ours [Mika] informed us of a local doula’s classes [Teresa] called Birthing In Awareness (actually based on the suggested book mentioned above). I am 99.9% certain that this 6 week course prepared us for the amazing birth we were to experience. This class was greatly a reminder that if we “let our bodies give birth,” and truly listen to our intuition, we could have the natural childbirth we desired. I believe one of the class exercises specifically prepared us for this awesome birth. We had to create a living birth plan, as opposed to just a written plan for the hospital file. The living birth plan is a collage on poster board, filled with words and images of the things we desired for our birth. This way, regardless who would be on staff at the hospital, from the doctors and nurses to housekeeping personnel, anyone that walked into my room would be able to see what I did and did not want for the birth. But beyond this objective, I believe that by completing the exercise, we were making a special prayer of what our hearts truly desired. Some of the plan’s items read, “Do Not Speak/Offer Medication!” “The pain is strong, but you are STRONGER!” “Negative energy = Step Outside!” Everything we put on our living birth plan, we got…just in a different kind of way. The music, the people, even the lavender was all a part of the experience. More interesting to note is that the same picture of my grandmother, which was the focal point on the poster board, was on the dresser in the room where Solomon was born. Coincidence, I think not!

Because of my birth experience, I am seriously considering becoming a certified doula (a woman that helps another woman). I would love to encourage and assist women to be confident in giving birth and to reassure them that they have all the “internal tools” they need to have the birth they want. I would give birth at home again in a heartbeat, for what better way to guarantee the personal “comforts of home!”

From Solomon's 1st birthday!

From Solomon’s 1st birthday!