Demonizing Motherhood

attachment parenting, Social Justice, Women's Health

In the last few weeks/months we’ve seen a plethora of celebrity pregnancy announcements and pregnancy photo shoots. Women like Beyonce, Ciara, Blac Chyna, and Serena. All have been beautiful!!!! Yet I continue to find myself falling down the rabbit hole called “the comment section”. I can hear yall now…. “No…. don’t EVER read the comments!”. I already know this, but since I’ve done it, I may as well vent.

Never in my life have I seen so many folks hate on the miracle that is “giving life”. After noticing this in the comment sections, I began to see it in real life and realizing it applied even to my own life. Black people are quick to tell you not to have any more children no matter your circumstances, even villify you for having more than to, or go so far as to scare you away from the thought of child birth.

So here we are again, black folks policing one another for doing something as normal as being pregnant and giving birth.

Please explain to me, why are we like this?

I found myself guilty of hiding my pregnancy from those close to me and my community, at the risk of gossip and chatter. I didn’t announce that I was pregnant with Jojo until I literally had no choice. I was 30 weeks pregnant and back in my hometown where I knew someone would eventually see me. I tried to get pregnant and we planned this baby, yet I felt shame! We have programmed ourselves to be embarrassed about natural things.

If people like Ciara, Beyonce, Blac Chyna, and Serena are slandered at every turn for getting pregnant (all under various circumstances, not that it should matter anyway), what hope is there for average folks like us? Ciara was ripped to shreds by black men and women alike for her photo shoot with new husband and toddler, Beyonce accused of blasphemy and glorifying what pregnancy is/should be, Blac Chyna was called every name under the sun including a gold digging bitch, and Serena somehow hates herself and got pregnant out wedlock (all in the same sentence).

Someone explain to me why we hate ourselves so much, why do we hate the thought of our sisters bringing life into this world. Why is it so hard to believe that we might equate ourselves to goddesses for being able to sustain another life? We are doing things that are at the very root of who we are and what our bodies are made for and people hate us for it. It’s disgusting to say the very minimum. I can’t say that I’m very surprised either, I’ve expressed my disappointment in black men in previous post… They slander us at every turn and are silent when we need them. Yes, I still see you. Pretend revolutionaries, if you tear down your women… You are tearing down the base of your so-called revolution.

There is a literal criminalization of black mothers in the justice department, if something happens to our children we are directly at fault. Even if its at the hands of another, but God forbid we are pregnant and happy about it… we are heathens for that as well. Having immediate access to videos of our husbands, brothers, sisters, and children gunned down in the streets is a form of reproductive injustice. Black women are literally afraid to have children. Even with this reality, women are attempting to celebrate these moments and OTHER BLACK PEOPLE WANT TO RIP THIS MOMENT FROM THEM!

Stop it, stop contributing to the Jezebel, welfare queen, single mother rhetoric and start celebrating these women. Celebrate normal everyday women along with the celebrities. Stop judging women for doing things that are natural and normal. Don’t you dare comment on how many children a black woman has, don’t ask if they are done, don’t tell your horrific birth stories, don’t do any of it. We are already victims of sexism AND racism, don’t contribute to it. Misogynoir is real, and if you don’t know what it is, look it up.

It’s time to start celebrating our womanhood.

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Josiah’s Birth Story

attachment parenting, Women's Health

I’ve been wanting to write about Jojo’s birth for a while now, I just hadn’t had the chance or really the inspiration. With so many loved ones having babies soon, I finally felt ready to share it. Especially for those hoping for a naturaL birth.

Jojo was born on October 6th a few days before a hurricane. The old wives tale states that a dramatic change is air pressure can send you into labor so I was kind of anticipating his arrival. 

That morning I got up for work and felt really sluggish… I had no desire to go to work at all. But I mustered up the strength to go. Once there I really tried to stay distracted in hopes that the time would pass by quickly. I did everything as I normally would (I’m a vet tech) this consisted of client interaction, restraints, lab work, and occasional blood draws. But my streams of activity were stopped pretty frequently by potty breaks. Not unusual at 39 weeks but it still seemed a little excessive. After about 4 hours at work I started having contractions, not painful but they took my breath away. With Micah my water broke first so I was a little unsure of what to expect from contractions. They were fairly consistent, so when I went home for lunch I told my husband I wanted him to drive me to work but be prepared to go to the hospital afterwards. After returning from lunch they became a little more intense, still not painful. Eventually my practice manager noticed I was quiet and reserved and asked if I was ok. I explained that I was having contractions but trying to work through them. She advised that I go home which I did. 

Once I got home I tried to shower but the contractions were coming about five minutes apart so I didn’t stay in long. I had my husband help me out and dress me so we could go to the hospital.my mother, husband, son, and I all left for the hospital together. Along the way I text my best friend letting her know that it was time.

Once we arrived and checked in, they monitored my contractions and checked my cervix. My contractions were 5-6 minutes apart and I was about 4cm dialated. They moved me to my room where I was attached an iv, a blood pressure cuff, and fetal monitor. My CNM came in and asked that I be removed from everything and monitored at the top of every hour so I could labor naturally. 

I had an amazing nurse in my room, she encouraged me to sit on the birthing ball, had my husband alternate between Heat and ice on my back, while my mom helped my breath through my contractions.

About 30 minutes later my best friend Taylor arrived. She relieved my mom for a bit, my mom spent time with toddler. I spent a good bit of time on the exercise ball and walking around. Eventually I got tired and laid down. My husband sat on the bed and rubbed my back or held my hand as I needed him to. This gave me a moment to relax. Eventually I was so fatigued, I was just letting the contractions wash over me. The lights were turned down and the nurse brought extra blankets because I was shivering. 

At this time the anesthesiologist stopped by, he introduced himself and spoke to my husband. I’m sure I looked as if I didn’t want to be bothered. After he left my CNM left and another one arrived. The new CNM also delivered my older son so I was happy to have here there. She checked me again and at this time I was about 7cm dialated, she had me put the fetal monitor back on for a bit and checked my blood pressure and left again to make her rounds. 

The baby sitter showed up to pick up my son and my mom took him downstairs to meet her. During this time I changed positions in bed and my water broke, I groaned in pain and the nurse peeped in, I let her know what happened and she came in to put a liner on the bed and changed the sheets. Afterwards my contractions were back to back and painful. I needed to get up and move. I walked back and forth from the bathroom and took off my clothes because I was hot. 

Eventually I was so hot and uncomfortable that I was squatting on the floor between my husbands legs crying and rubbing my face on him. The squatting helped jojo make his final descent and I was ready to push. My mom called for the CNM and they made get into bed so she could check me, all she could feel was his head. 

I immediately got on all fours and pushed. He came out and sounded off. My husband kissed me and told me I pushed him out with one push, he was so proud. I did skin to skin contact while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. My husband cut the cord and held the baby while I was stitched up. I had a second degree tear. 

King Josiah was born on October 6th at 8:20. Less than 3 hours after going to the hospital.