The Birth of Kennedy Maria Shelby by Kristine's Friend, Earth Lande

Kennedy Maria Shelby was born on Monday Sept.16th at 7:35am. She was 7lbs 4oz and 20inches long. She is a true and soulful beauty with Raven black curly hair, deep and shiny onyx colored eyes. She was made from love and is now and forever will be fully immersed in deepest love.

Bright and Early Sunday morning Kristine and I realized that the baby was really going to come soon. She started feeling menstrual like cramping that came in waves every 5 to 7 minutes. We were ecstatic and started to get everything ready. Kristine called Marcus and the three of us rearranged the house, filled up the birth tub and treasured the wonderful feeling of knowing there would soon be a beautiful baby. Sam was next to arrive with flowers and then Holly with wine and champagne. For the next 9 hours Kristine and her birth team just enjoyed each other’s company. We saged the house and made sure to sage each other and said what we wanted out loud for the birth. We created a birth shrine with candles, photos of family and symbols of strength. Later Kristine and Marcus took a walk, I read and did homework.. Marcus played beautiful music on the piano, Holly ,Sam, and I bonded over delicious wine as Marcus and Kristine slept.

Kristie Mattolli brought over the most amazing food and Sam made sure that Mama Hick’s ate...Later that evening Grandma and Auntie Shelby arrived. As nightfall came we all sat around talking about the future of this little one and Kristine got a chance to again talk about how the baby would sleep with her and Marcus, not be exposed to television and how pleased she was to be having baby at home. I was so impressed by her authentic faith in her body’s ability to birth her baby. She was the picture of tranquil strength.

We all knew that the baby was not coming that night. The midwife told Kristine to have a glass of wine and to get some rest. Holly’s 2 year old daughter, an out of this world beauty, had told Kristine early that day that the baby was coming tomorrow and it was going to be a girl. Only 4 other people thought she would birth a girl. Including Grandma and Auntie Shelby, Tess the baby and her friend Cheryl.

Her contractions were coming every 7-12 minutes by the time everyone left but me. When I left to get some rest at 9:45pm her contractions were again coming every 5 minutes lasting for 30 sec. At 12:45 am I got a call from Marcus that it was on. I returned to the house at 1:15am with Grandma Shelby. Her heavy labor came around 11pm. When I arrived the house was dark expect for a few burning ox blood colored candles. She was in the birth pool and I have never seen Kristine more beautiful. She exuded so much light and power. Her undeniable raw energy took my breath away. I knew instantly that I had walked in to a den where the veil between the spirit world and the physical world had been removed. I was humbled knowing the I was going to witness the most sacred rites of passage. The only sounds were of Kristine. She went from orgasmic like moans, to primal wails to screams of passion. Maria her midwife was there and so were Kristine’s parents. It was the most profound experience in all my 28 years. I felt emotions that I never knew existed. Kristine, my soul sister, went to an ancient place that only birthing women can go. We all knew that she was her animal self. She abandoned her understanding of the here and now and surrendered that night to power of giving life. I will never get over being a part of the most divine of life's transformations.
Marcus was amazing. He was there for her however she needed him, Maria was so lovely and calm and gave me a sense of peace. Sam and Holly were also outrageously wonderful both so in tuned to Kristine. There were times I thought why does she have to be in so much pain, I had to bite my tongue hard a couple of times to stop from crying. I just wanted to hold her and make the pain stop. Her parents were in total anguish during those last 3 hours. They know their baby girl and have never seen her in so much pain. Even though they wanted to call 911 they did not. Her parents were so scared for their daughter; however, their faith in her endurance and ability was stronger. Her birth angels were there. Making sure Kristine could handle what ever came her way. I prayed and visualized Kristine surrounded by all the wise women before her guiding her giving her the power to go on.

She did not find out how far she was dilated until she had the urge to push. By this point she was in her room with her knees on the floor resting her arms and face on Sam’s thighs who was lying on the bed. I was next to Maria acting as her assistant. Marcus was going back and forth between sitting next to Sam and lying on the floor when the baby’s head started to crown. Holly was filming the birth. The grandparents were watching from the doorway. She pushed for about 50 minutes. At the very end it was obvious that Kristine was starting to go to a place of fear. Maria told her something I will never forget. “ Kristine," she said in her serene voice of authority, "that place that you are going to when you scream, you have to go there and surrender to it, that is the ring of fire, you must go through it. You are at the last doorway. Walk through and you will have your baby." Kristine at that moment thought, I either surrender to the pain or prolong it for hours. Her water finally broke just moments before her angel was born. When the baby’s head came out we all started crying and smiling. Her baby was born and I could not believe that she was real. Thank you, Marcus and Kristine, for creating this life. Thank you, Kennedy, for choosing them, and thank you, Kristine, for deepening my faith that homebirth is normal birth. It was the most extraordinary miracle and most normal experience of my life.