Keira Shepperson, the Center Manager at our Cary Baby and Company, gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, into the welcoming hands of her colleagues. Here is her story:
As I pushed I was amazed at my body's innate ability to do this. It was astonishing. I did not feel like I could mimic the pushes that my body did on its own.
Laboring for Days: Kairo's Birth Story
The day had come, Sunday, May 1, my due date, and labor began. I had been having some Braxton Hicks all night every twenty minutes, not painful, just waking me up every time. Around 4:30pm my mom arrived from Virginia and I felt something different, more like menstrual cramps. Mommy and I ran errands, made groceries, packed snack bags, and went out to dinner. My contractions were every ten minutes and were not very painful, just uncomfortable. Through the night they continued as such and woke me with each wave.
When the morning came, my husband returned home from work and we walked and swayed as they came and went. Around 9:00am we decided to let the midwives know. I called Mandesa and told her that they had been every ten minutes since Sunday afternoon and she suggested I try to sleep. She told me to try Benadryl and a glass of wine. I gladly poured a small glass of Sangria, and took the Benadryl. I was able to sleep for about three hours. At 12:30pm the contractions were coming every seven minutes so I called with an update. Mandesa encouraged me to labor at home and try to continue to rest. Around 3:30pm they began to come every three minutes so Mandesa said we should go ahead and come in to be checked. We finally got on the road to head to the birth center and while on I- 440, a crazy hail storm came out of nowhere. The hail was so loud I thought for sure the windshield would be shattered. I had never seen anything like it before, the noise was terrifying.
We arrived at Baby and Company at around 5:30pm, greeted by my co-workers who were finishing their day in clinic. Mandesa checked me and I was 5cm dilated. We listened to music and I labored on the birth ball, in the bed, shower, and tub. Mandesa and Tracy massaged my hands while my husband rubbed my temples through some of the contractions. My birth photographer was there taking photos and I felt so supported. This was all very new to my mother and she was impressed with the level of care I was receiving.
It was about 10:45pm and Mandesa wanted to check my progress. I was so disappointed when she said I was still 5cm with no change. She asked what I wanted to do since labor was not progressing. I suggested maybe I should go back home and come back later, I did not want to go to the hospital, nor did I want to keep everyone there if nothing was happening. She felt like that was the best plan of action and thought I really needed some rest since my last two nights of sleep were so interrupted. She prescribed a therapeutic rest mixture. My mother had hesitations of going all the way back home since it was about 40 minutes away, but Mandesa was confident in her plan of care and my husband and I trusted her. The drive was awful and in that dark moment of despair I was crushed and angry that things were not moving along, it was so upsetting.
Once we got home I was able to sleep for about four hours without waking to each contraction! Around 4:30am I got up to use the bathroom. I was awoken at 4:40am to the pop and gush of my water breaking. I immediately woke my husband and headed to the car. In the back seat on all fours I called Mandesa and told her we were coming back. The drive was horrendous. I was so scared the baby was going to come out in the car so I laid on my side with my legs crossed. I closed my eyes so that I could not see how far we were. The contractions were so intense and the baby’s head was so low.
When we arrived Mandesa and Tracy met us in the parking lot and helped me inside, they were so excited. I couldn’t even believe I could walk, but I managed to get back into the room. Mandesa checked me and delivered the astonishing news that I had only progressed to 6cm. No! I could not believe it. She and Tracy assured me that baby was much lower and my cervix had thinned even more so it was good progression. I got in the shower on the birth ball for a while. I transitioned to the tub about 40 minutes later and had the urge to push. Mandesa was shocked, I was completely dilated in just 55 minutes! I asked for my photographer, Samantha, to go get my mom. As I pushed I was amazed at my body’s innate ability to do this. It was astonishing. I did not feel like I could mimic the pushes that my body did on its own. I asked my mom to quote a scripture she would recite with me in the mornings before school when I was a child, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With each push we would say it together, it was just the motivation I needed.
I pushed for 30 minutes and Kairo Machell was born at 7:04am on Tuesday, May 3. She was so cheesy with thick vernix. My husband, Drew, whispered, “Cry for Daddy,” and she let out a whale so loud that my sister thought it was me screaming in labor.
As the clinic day began for Baby and Company my coworkers came in and showered us with gifts and love. It was so perfect. I know that I would have never received the support and the care I did, anywhere else. I am so grateful for my friends being by my side and guiding us through this beautiful journey. I am forever indebted to Baby+Company for this amazing experience.