Name: Nikkita Holder
Occupation: Athlete (100m hurdles), Motivational speaker, Doula and Bridal Consultant
# of kids and ages: Kaedence (son), 4 years old
Please give us the Coles Notes version of your birth story:
(Excerpt from my blog Run to Mom)
Many of you may not know the way that my son came into this world. It isn’t a tragic story or one that requires an abundance of “awes” but it is “my” story, actually it is “our” story. October 29th 2013 was my due date, the day that my son was supposed to make his presence known, but we obviously both had a different agenda (I was ready for him to be out).
Pregnancy is an amazing thing. One of the many wonders of the human body I believe, and I realized it was going to completely change me. Throughout my pregnancy, my goal was to do things as natural as possible. I prepared my mind and body as much as one can possibly prepare for a natural approach. Originally wanting to give birth at home, I later decided against it. (Something I will reconsider in the future for more children if I am blessed with that gift again). My choice to change where I gave birth was a personal choice that was mainly governed by fear. I opted to use a midwife as oppose to the traditional obgyn to fulfill my desire of all things natural. My midwife was amazing but I was still a tad bit anxious about the idea simply because I had never been pregnant before nor given birth before and a hospital just seemed like the place I needed to be. As sad as I was about it I also realized that I could still continue with my plan of having a natural birth in the hospital.
When the first pain hit me I looked at the digital clock that was across the room in front of our bedroom tv, and it read 2:30am. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling was actually a contraction, but I clued in very soon considering my mucus plug had fallen out a few days earlier. It couldn’t be anything else, right?! After a half hour on restless anxious sleep I decided to call my midwife. By 4am she had shown up to the house, quiet but excited. She had checked me on the floor in my living room. “let your legs just fall and relax” she said. I was ONLY 1-2 cm dilated, and truthfully a part of my spirit was sad and at that moment I knew it was going to be a long battle but totally worth it at the end.
My contractions were all over the place painful to a degree, but my mind was made up that I was doing this naturally and I was going to do everything in my power to accomplish my goal… pain or not. I popped in a Buddhist cd I purchased on one of my many European travels during one season, sitting on my purple exercise ball hunched over my dining room table swaying back and forth while piecing together the pieces of my autumn scene puzzle of 1000 pieces between contractions. When that became uncomfortable I alternated from the ball to the tub for some hydrotherapy. It was just after 6pm when my midwife came back to the house for the 3rd time of the day to see the progress I had made. My contractions had become more consistent by this time, coming every 3-4 minutes. She had checked me and I was 6cm dilated, it was time to make a move to the hospital, I was seeing the light!
I have heard stories about the car ride to the hospital and from what I gathered it was the worst part of the whole labour process, but for me the drive over was the BEST part. My contractions weren’t as ravaging and it was just peaceful. I arrived at the hospital sometime between 7-8 pm prepared and ready, but my son had a different agenda, my contractions had changed. After breaking my water to try and jump start labour, the contractions decided to cooperate but something was different. 24 hours into it and my water being broken I had somehow managed to regress in dilation. My midwife decided that it be best we consult with the on call obgyn. Sure, enough something was different, my baby had somehow managed to get himself stuck. He was resting on my freshly torn hip nerve from a track injury right before I became pregnant. My cervix had swollen and regressed down to 4cm, I had two options; 1. Pitocin and an epidural, then wait 2 hours to see if things would change or 2. A cesarean section. Without second thought I opted for the c-section and before I knew it, my bed was being wheeled down to the operating room where I was given a spinal. Minutes into my 26th hour of labour my son, Kaedence Aurelyano Warner, was born on Friday October 18th 2014 at 4:16 am.
I may have lost the battle to do a natural birth like I so desperately planned for, but in the end I won with the blessing of a healthy baby boy.
What’s the most useful baby product you had and why did you love it?
The most useful baby product I used I would have to say was my diaper rash prevention cream. I created the formula from household products that kept my son completely diaper rash free his entire diaper wearing days. This was a life saver – I have heard some horror stories.
How do you practice self care?
Self care for me is about reflection and understanding, listening to music that speaks to my soul, mini dates with my girls but most of all writing. Writing is my main avenue of self care in the form of journal entries and poetry. My accumulated collection lead to the creation of my upcoming publication (a work in progress).
Can you share your toughest memory of being a parent so far?
The toughest memory of becoming a parent I would have to say was understanding and acknowledging that I was going to become a single parent. It wasn’t something I thought would happen and I wasn’t prepared for it. This was an extremely difficult period of time as my son was fairly young and co-parenting wasn’t and isn’t exactly happening to it’s best and full potential.
Can you share one of your best experiences of being a parent so far?
My best experiences can’t even be counted. There are so many amazing experiences between Kaedence and I. If I had to narrow it down I would have to say the moments when Kaedence tells me “mommy we are best friends/ a team and we have to work together and help each other.” Or the moments when he tells he loves me for no good reason. They just warm my heart and reassure me that I’m doing something right.
What is a coping strategy that you use that you can share with new parents?
The best advice I can give to a new parent is NEVER be afraid or ashamed of feeling overwhelmed at any given time in your parenting. You are human and it takes a community to raise a well rounded child. Asking for help is no sign of weakness, find your tribe (your supporters) and making use of them is a sign of strength, taking the initiative to continue self care.