Friday, April 11, 2014

High Risk, Higher Faith: Labor & Delivery of a First Time Mom

The past ten months I have gone to the doctor's office more than I have gone in my entire lifetime. According to society, in addition to having a history of miscarriage, hypertension, obesity, and advanced age meant the odds were against me to have a healthy and natural pregnancy. So, this meant in addition to routine appointments with my Obstetrician I had to see a Fetal Monitoring specialist. The specialist conducted a non-stress test (NST), sonogram, and charted the baby's growth to make sure she was developing on target.

From the moment KL and I announced we were having a baby I lost count how many times I was asked if I would elect for a C-section and if I planned to have an epidural. I still wonder who makes those decisions from the first few months of pregnancy. There were definitely things I was adamant about. I did not want a C-section unless it was absolutely necessary and I had enough knowledge to know when it was necessary. I did not want testing for Down's Syndrome. KL and I had gone long enough waiting for this blessing. I was not going to have it overshadowed with apprehension if something was "wrong" with the baby. Lastly, I did not want an epidural. I actually had a debate with colleagues of whether I would take an epidural or not. "You say that now" was what I heard whenever people heard my response to the epidural question.

After three bouts of pre-term contractions, the first one beginning on Thanksgiving Day, my Obstetrician anticipated that I would not have a full-term pregnancy. As a matter of fact, on the third occasion which was during my thirty-fifth week, an exam showed my cervix had began to dilate. To our surprise though our anticipated due date came and went without the slightest signs labor would ensue.  

On March 15, two days after our due date I went into my Obstetrician's office for my weekly appointment. My cervix had not changed from the last exam. The Nurse Practitioner was concerned about the swelling in my feet because she knew the potential for high blood pressure although it was well under control during the entire pregnancy. She wanted to conduct an NST in the office before sending me home. After being monitored for almost an hour the Nurse Practitioner checked the machine and stated, "You need to go to the hospital and be induced today. I don't like how the baby is responding." She didn't have to tell me why. I knew during that time the baby had only moved once or twice when I should have felt several movements. She was also engaged in my pelvis which meant she could have been in distress and her heart rate showed it. The Nurse Practitioner shared the results with my doctor and she agreed that I needed to go to the hospital. I walked out of the office and got into the car where KL was waiting. He asked was everything okay and I told him what the NP said. We were on our way to have our baby.  

Upon arriving to the hospital I grabbed my overnight bag which had already been on the back seat for the past few weeks. I headed to Labor and Delivery while KL went to look for parking. Surprisingly, I was not nervous and I prayed that I would stay just as calm through the whole process. As I was checking in a familiar face came through the door. A friend I had in Middle School. Dr. Fran was now an Obstetrician in the hospital where I was going to deliver. Frannie, which I affectionately called her, and I were in an accelerated program in school. She was always very smart and one of the nicest and sincerest people I have ever met. We recognized each other immediately and hugged. I honestly felt at that moment God was trying to make me feel as reassured as possible everything would be okay. I told her I was being admitted and she said she would come look for me.

Once in L&D I was hooked up to a machine that monitors the baby's heart rate and another machine that monitors contractions. I had gone through this process many times during the pregnancy, but toward the end it became torture because too often it required me to lay on my side which caused incredible pain in my hips, pelvis and lower back. Two hours of listening to the baby's heart rate, with Nurses and Doctors checking periodically, then I was told they would begin inducing that evening.

A couple of hours later we were taken to an antepartum room where we were told I would be given the first medication of a two-part process which would begin to soften my cervix. The second medication would cause contractions and began dilation. We were told multiple times to anticipate, with this being my first pregnancy, that I would not deliver for possibly one or two days as the first medication took twelve hours to begin to work. They wanted me to be patient because they had seen so many cases where women couldn't understand why the process took so long. I have to admit after hearing friends talk about being in labor one or two days and even up to a week I was mentally prepared. I just wasn't sure how I would endure physically.

Several hours had passed and I still hadn't been given the first medication, but I wasn't in a rush. I kept myself busy posting updates on Facebook and responding to friends sending well wishes. KL was watching TV while also sending texts to a list of contacts I gave him earlier in the week. My best friend Suzette Banzo came by and we talked for hours and took pictures to show the baby when she gets older. It really helped pass the time. The Nurses checked me periodically. One looked at the monitor and asked had I felt any contractions. I said no. She told me according to the sheet I had four since I was hooked up. I found that interesting because after experiencing them since my second trimester I definitely knew what they felt like.

Finally, at 9:00pm, the Doctor administered the first part of the medication. Suzette went home and then it was just KL and I playing the waiting game. We talked and watched television. Some time during the night I promised him I would not scream or curse at him. "Okay, you say that now" was his response, "We'll see in twelve hours." 

I'm not sure what time I fell asleep, but I do remember contractions waking me up at about 4:30am. They weren't painful. It reminded me of menstrual cramps. The Nurse could see the contractions were coming more frequently and asked if I wanted anything for the pain and I told her know. I told her they were uncomfortable, but bearable. About an hour later the frequency and the pain intensified. I began to use a relaxation and breathing technique that I had taught myself. Moaning through each one, I called out, "Oooo Father". I didn't think anything of how fast the contractions came and actually thought it was par for the course until the Nurse asked, "You're having another contraction so fast?" I said, "Yup" By this time I had only dilated to two centimeters. I was asked again if I wanted pain medication. "Nope." I thought to myself, "Tiffany, are you crazy? Are you really going to endure this type of pain for two days?" There was no rest in between contractions which is something I read when induced labor is compared to natural labor. The Nurse was concerned because the contractions were coming so fast and technically the first medication was not supposed to start them. 

My Obstetrician was called to be notified regarding my current status because she was not at the hospital. The staff had to inquire what steps she wanted them to take next. The idea was to remove the first part of the medication and start the second part. However, when they were preparing me to receive it realized I had dilated to four centimeters. So it was back to calling my Obstetrician. The plan was changed because obviously I did not need anything to help me contract and dilate. 

Now, from this point, I lost track of time. I was in active labor anywhere from four to five hours, but I think there is something in your brain that gives you some form of time lapse when you're in that type of pain. It didn't seem that long at all and I can't recall everything that happened. I remember the pain becoming so bad that I started to cry. I remember asking KL to massage my back. I also remember tearing off the blood pressure cuff because it was making me hot and continuously taking the oxygen mask off because I was able to breath easier without it when the contractions came although KL felt I should keep both on. I remember being so hot I even wanted to take off the hospital gown.

I just want to say during this pregnancy I did a lot of reading; maybe more than I should have. I wanted to be as prepared as possible with what I should and shouldn't expect. Something began to happen that I was not prepared for nor did I come across in any of my reading. While laying in the bed waiting to be taken to the delivery room my body had what I can only describe as some type of convulsion and then I relieved myself. Now, I did read where women have had bowel movements during delivery, but this didn't happen. Funny thing is it actually made me feel better. So, I was not embarrassed when I matter-of-factly told KL I had just urinated on myself. His loving response, "It's okay. It happens. They'll clean you up." Then it happened again and again.

The Nurse came in during an occasion where it happened. She said, "Oh my God, are you pushing?" I responded, in between panting, "I'm not trying to." She said, "Mommy, you can't push. Don't push. You are going to rupture your cervix." Then it happened again. The Nurse immediately got on her mobile communicator and yelled to someone "We have to hurry up and get her to the delivery room because she is having involuntary pushing." Then I heard her say something about sending the anesthesiologist and epidural to the room. Next thing I know there was a team of people to transport me from the antepartum room. They had to rush me to the delivery room to give me an epidural so I would not feel the contractions because I was not able to control my body and each contraction was causing me to push involuntarily. This could have been life-threatening.

Once in the delivery room the last thing I expected to hear is "Don't push!" The Nurse had to talk me through every contraction. "Tiffany, you have to breathe through it so you don't push. You wont be able to push and breathe at the same time. So, breathe." I tried to obey her instructions as best that I could because I was scared. If I rupture my cervix I could bleed to death.  The anesthesiologist arrived, but my body started convulsing again and he said if I couldn't be still he couldn't put the epidural in and he would leave. The Nurse said, "Tiffany, I don't want him to leave. So, I need you to breathe". I responded, "I don't want him to leave either." I started praying. I was able to stay still enough through two contractions until he could get the epidural in. I felt a third one coming and I wasn't sure if I would be able to continue. I asked was he done and he was. I said good because I feel another contraction coming. The last thing anyone expects the anesthesiologist to say is, "You shouldn't feel any contractions right now. Give it another minutes." I've heard enough horror stories about the epidural not working or having to reinsert it. All I thought was, "ARE YOU %&^(*@$# KIDDING ME?!?!?  Thankfully, about a minute later, my feet and legs started to feel numb.

I laid down on the bed and was able to relax. I closed my eyes, anticipating it would be several more hours before I was ready to deliver. Then one of the Nurses told me my Obstetrician was on her way to the room. Dr. Williams greeted me and wanted to measure my cervix. Less than ten minutes after receiving the epidural she says, "Okay, you're ready to deliver I can see the head." My response, "Are you serious?"  

I was completely numb from the waist down. I couldn't feel the contractions so Dr. Williams had to tell me when to push. I was exhausted and every pushing session depleted the little energy I had. Dr. Williams instructed KL to help me by holding my upper body. At 9:16am Kayelle Christina Belvin was born. I remember looking at the clock the moment Dr. Williams said she was out. Then I closed my eyes.

I kept them closed for some time and then I opened them and stared straight ahead. Dr. Williams and the rest of the nursing staff were to the left of me and I could hear them tending to Kayelle. KL was to the right of me and I could hear him sniffling and wiping away his tears. What I didn't hear was the wailing of a newborn baby's cries. So, I closed my eyes and I waited. As KL held my hand I could tell he was watching everything that was happening in the room. Time passed so slowly. Why isn't Kayelle crying? Then, finally, I heard a little tiny wail.

Dr. Williams came over to us and explained Kayelle had inhaled meconium while in the womb and the medical staff was clearing it from her nose and mouth. Thankfully she had not gotten any in her lungs. Her cries became bigger and stronger. I finally turned to look at her lying there as they suctioned her mouth and then gave her oxygen. It felt like so much time had passed. Someone from the medical staff informed us they would need to take Kayelle to the NICU to monitor her. They assured us that once she was stable and did not need further treatment they would bring her to the nursery in the postpartum unit where we would be. So, they allowed us to hold her for a few minutes and then whisked her away.

After delivery, seemed like the longest seven hours of my life. Periodically, someone from the staff would come to the room to let us know Kayelle was doing well and she was breathing on her own and didn't need any further treatment. Regardless of what they told me I was still anxious to hold her in my arms again, to kiss her cheeks, her hands, and her feet. Nothing else mattered at that moment. It was as if a weight was lifted when at about 3:00pm they rolled her into the room.

I picked up our little girl and held her as tight as I could. The previous ten months flashed through my mind like a silent movie. Overcome with emotion, I began to recall those moments when God let me know He was there and He heard my prayers.  I realize I was tested over and over again; before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and after delivery. Nevertheless, I would not my faith waiver. Instead, I stood strong on it. As she slept peacefully, I whispered The Lord's Prayer in Kayelle's ear and then I thanked God for His wonderful gift.  


Tiffany Braxton
Mrs. American Beauties Plus Ambassador 2013
Creative Director, Bravin Publishing
*If you would like to participate or be a sponsor in the 2014 Miss American Beauties Plus Pageant please contact me.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Mother's Post.

It's been eight days since we welcomed our little girl, Kayelle Christina, into the world. 

I am a bundle of emotions; excitement, nervousness, and at times sadness. I can't go without saying that although this is the most happiest time in our relationship it saddens me that two of the most important people in our lives, KL's grandmother and my mother, are not here to share in the joy of our daughter. Just a year ago both were praying for the day KL and I would have a baby of our own.

     The last time I heard KL's grandmother speak she called us to her bedside at the hospital. She prayed for us and said she knew God would bless us with a baby one day. Little did we know less than a month later, and two days after she passed, we would learn we were having a baby.

     The last conversation I had with my mom was the day before she passed. She was so happy and looking forward to having her first grandchild. She insisted she wanted to be in the delivery room when I had the baby and told me to make sure I asked my doctor what she needed to do to prepare for it. My mom was also making plans to move closer to us so she could be our full-time babysitter.

     I miss both women so much and every time I look at Kayelle I think how happy they would have been. I think of how each would have had suggestions for this new mom and how I would have probably insisted on doing things my way in the end. Nevertheless, I will not let the sadness of not having them here overshadow the blessing. 

     I've lost count how many times I have kissed Kayelle's cheeks since she was born. I find myself kissing her every time I pick her up and every time I put her down. I know when she gets older she will probably be annoyed at the constant affection, but I feel compelled to show and one day tell her how much she is loved, even before she was conceived.

     Kayelle was born at a transitional period of our lives. So, innately, I find myself rethinking every decision I make to ensure it is the right one for her. Breastfeed or formula? What should I eat? What shouldn't I eat? When should I go back to work? Should I go back to work? Daycare or Nanny? Knowing each choice has a consequence and I can not make them independently.
     I cherished every moment of the ten months I carried her inside. I cherish every moment since I could hold her in my arms. I will cherish every moment God gives me with her.
     This blog I just wanted to share my thoughts. Next one I will write about my labor and delivery experience. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tonight's Radio Show,,, Dealing with Race Realtions

Tonight we caught up on the past week after taking last week off. The main topic tonight was;

"Race Relations" 

"I thought we had a good show for the last of the year." K. L. 
"Reality and Relationships" 
Thursday, December, 26, 2013
If you are interested in being a guest on our show please send email request and media kit /bio to with "Guest Request" in subject area,,, If you are pitching a product we require you send us a sample or copy (book or CD) first to be reviewed. Address will be provided once media kit and bio are received.  If we are interested and willing to promote your material we will set up a interview date. 
We are a faith based show but we are open to give artist the freedom to discuss their views and products. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Married Couple Sleeping Separately

As a little girl one of my favorite television shows was "I Love Lucy". I watched every weekend, faithfully. Now as an adult, if I happen upon the show-channel surfing-it grabs my attention. One of the things I found interesting and a bit confusing, when I was younger, is the idea of married couples sleeping in separate beds. After all my parents shared a bed and that's what I thought all married couples did. To my surprise, I've learned for various reasons plenty of married couples sleep in separate beds and in some cases separate rooms. According to new research from Toronto's Ryerson University, 30 to 40 percent of couples sleep apart at night. Well, at seven months pregnant you can imagine that it's getting a little bit more difficult to get around as well as sleeping comfortably is close to non-existent. A couple of months ago I purchased a full body maternity pillow by Boppy and it helped a lot to relieve lower back aching. About a month ago I began developing a soreness in my pelvic area which I've read is usually diagnosed as Symphasis Pelvic Disorder (SPD) which can be debilitating in some cases. When I mentioned it to my Obstetrician she confirmed that it tends to get worse during the progression of the pregnancy and there was nothing much I could do about it. This was a great disappointment because I had committed to walking each day in order to get as much exercise as I could for my and the baby's health. As I had been warned, the aching in my pelvis now developed into a pain that changed my style and pace of walking dramatically. The pain made me not want to walk at all. If KL could carry me from room to room and from destination to destination I would surely welcome it. Recently, when KL and I were at home, I fell asleep in my favorite spot-the chaise next to the window- while he watched television. With a big cushiony pillow and three smaller accent pillows I can prop myself up and place the pillows in just the right places. I napped for a few hours. When I woke, of course like all women in my condition, I had to make a visit to the royal throne. Without thinking, I stood up walked to the bathroom and came back. I stopped and looked at KL and told him, "I don't have any pain." I didn't have any pain for the rest of the day. The days to follow I slept in our bed and woke up every morning very sore, stiff, and barely able to move. Then on occasion I'd take a nap on the chaise and wake up without pain and easier to move. A light bulb went on. Our bed, chairs, and even love seat are too firm and sitting in them for any extended amount of time caused the SPD in my pelvis to flare up. Last night, While KL worked on his laptop I fell asleep in the chaise watching television. Before heading to our bedroom KL asked if I wanted to stay there or come to bed. I told him I would stay on the chaise. Again I woke up this morning without pain. KL woke up assuming I would come to bed in the middle of the night and was surprised to find me still sleeping on the chaise. He joked he felt abandoned by me and our dog, Storm(who normally sleeps on the foot of our bed every night). Storm had taken a spot next to me and was sleeping comfortably. KL asked, "So, you guys are going to sleep in the living room now." I responded, "Only for the next three months."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Sonogram... From the Wife's 'Point of View"

Some time ago I had come to the conclusion that KL and I would not have a child of our own. It came with a lot of heartache and tears, but I resolved that maybe God had other plans for us. After all, it had been seven years since we lost a baby by miscarriage and were now considered advanced in age and possibly facing infertility. 
It’s been four months since KL and I learned we are expecting our first child and four days since learning we’re having a little girl. It all still seemed so surreal to me until the day I saw her playing with her hands on the ultrasound monitor.

Unlike KL, who had as much difficulty as if he were trying to decipher a Rorschach test, I could now see she has the form of a real baby; not just a blurb on the screen. I could count her fingers and toes. I could see her little legs, and before the nurse announced I could tell she is a she. 

Prior to the ultrasound I wasn't sure if the occasional poking inside was in fact her movements. Now, I know they are. She must have been annoyed by the prodding of the wand because the doctor said she wouldn't stay still in order for her to capture all the images needed to complete the anatomy scan. I could actually feel her moving around inside during the process. Now, what used to be a flutter once a day has turned into all day entertainment of somersaults in my belly; a sensation I’m still getting used to.

I think about what it will feel like to hold our daughter for the first time. I can’t wait to give her kisses and hugs and never want to put her down. I look forward to hearing her tiny cries, baby cooing, messy diapers, and my lack of sleep.

God knows how grateful I am for this blessing. I haven’t stopped smiling; even through tears.

Tiffany Braxton Belvin

If you missed our announcement of our baby girl on our weekly radio show "Reality and Relationship Every Thursday 8-10 pm est.

Here is what you missed. 

10/24/2013 The Making Marriage Cool Again Seminar and Baby Announcement

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today's Sonogram

Forgot how great naps were, needed one today

Seeing the sonogram of our baby today brought so many emotions to the forefront. I was excited for my wife and myself. I was even more excited to learn about the gender of the baby, which was??? (Tune into our Thursday radio show to learn for yourself. LOL 8-10pm). I found myself, thanking the Lord for answering our prayers, knowing how much Tiff and I prayed after losing our first child 7 years ago. There was the excitement of how the family was going to react with the news.

As the thoughts rolled the next to show up were the emotions of sadness; I found myself wishing my grandmother was here so I could share this news with her. Sitting with her and talking about her prayers for her family being answered once again. She always wanted the best for her family before herself. I felt sad for my wife, because I knew her mother was excited about being a grandmother for the first time. Plus my wife would get so enamored with the idea of her mother's reaction to the pregnancy.
It was then onto the feeling of determination. The thoughts hit me hard; I have to be more of a protector for this child and my wife. The blessing was given and now I have the responsibility of making sure both are cared for no matter what the cost to myself. All my business ventures have to be on point. Risk vs Rewards have to be weighed from the door. I have to make sure my books, my writing, peaking and all business ventures are thought provoking and honor the Lord, if I am going to care for this family. My body has to change and healthier is one of the goals to make sure I am here for as long as I can be for all the members of my family not just the baby. 

The next feeling was remorse. I thought about some of my other children, who for the reasons I mentioned in my book "From From Gigolo to Jesus", placed me outside the loop in their lives for different amounts of time. In turn it cause me to missed this point in their lives. Not all of my children but enough to touch my heart strings. I thought about how my ungodly actions from when I didn't know the Lord allowed me to create children who I weren't there for. Actions which didn't allow me to be there with them or their mothers during this process of the pregnancy. 

I guess that is why I needed the nap this afternoon when I got home. The one thing I do know is the Lord allows you to learn from your experiences so when its time to work from his grace you'll pull from what you once were. I thank the Lord for all the negatives which once filled my life for now they allow me to be the man, father, author, businessman, teacher and husband I think he could be proud of. 

Either way the real work started the minute I said "Lord forgive me for my sins and I accept your son Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior". I am going to end on that fact and go hard each day to make a difference so folks can see the God I serve in my actions.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Our radio shows of the last two weeks on GeeQue Palace Radio

Each week Tiff and I do our best to bring interesting radio to the airwaves. Its our way of giving back some of what the Lord has given us. Reality and Relationships airs each Thursday from 8-10 pm on GeeQue Palace Radio   

We ask that you listen the shows and pass on the links and information to others. This is our ministry and our movement to make relationships and marriages cool again. Leave a message to tell us what you thought of the show. If you would to be a guess you leave us a message at (347) 709-7696

October 17, We did part of one of popular seminar "Making Marriage Cool Again" the handbook will be ready in 2014. Check out part part 1.. You can listen to part two on 10/24/13

The previous week 10/10/2013 we covered "Etiquette" A Lost Art. Tiffany enjoyed this subject.. I had to warm up to it.

Remember to check out and like our Making Marriage Cool Again Facebook page to keep up on the updates of "Baby Belvin" our expected bundle of joy.