Day 53: getting caught up!


So I know it’s been nearly a week since I last blogged. We had an extremely busy week with Valentine’s Day, the Black Panther premier, my baby shower, and a trip to the hospital. There has literally been something going on everyday, and it’s been tough maintaining. So for this post I just want to touch bases with you guys, let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

So for Valentine’s Day we spent the day as a family and did some shopping then had lunch at Joes Crab Shack. I was disappointed when I found out they no longer have the Orleans steam pot 😩 which is part of my little pregnancy tradition. Once I start getting close to the end, I’ll have crawfish with extra old bay! I like to think it encourages labor, but who really knows 🤷🏾‍♀️.

The next day we went on a double date with our besties and saw Black Panther! Which was amazing and I have a response piece written about it! With everything going on and our political climate we were kind of on edge going to see it on opening night. After we purchased our tickets a guy actually came in wearing a fanny pack, a backpack, and a bandanna, we were pretty clearly disturbed by this and none of the staff said anything unfortunately. So it was a little hard to really enjoy the movie while being on edge like that. And it’s awful that you have to worry about those kinds of things when you’re just trying to enjoy yourself with your family.

The next day (Friday) I woke up at almost 7am to some pretty nasty contractions (36 weeks at this point), I took some Tylenol and tried to sleep through it but I found myself awake every thirty minutes or so. After a while I just got up and told my husband we needed to go to the birthing center. So I took a shower and tried to eat but I was just too uncomfortable. When we left for the birthing center my contractions were five minutes apart and about a minute long. After being checked by the midwife on call she said I was about two centimeters dilated but not effaced at all and baby wasn’t quite in my pelvis yet. So clearly I wasn’t ready to deliver, she started me on fluids and called another midwife at WakeMed who suggested I come over for monitoring. Once there they started me on two more bags of fluids and encouraged me to eat so my husband went out and got lunch/dinner. My contractions started to slow down shortly after and I was checked again. The midwife told me I was 4cm dilated but I could stay that way for weeks because baby wasn’t engaged. So she gave me a shot to slow down the contractions (because I couldn’t imagine feeling this way for weeks) and I finished up the last of my fluids. We discussed nutrition and hydration, areas where I had been clearly lacking because I wasn’t taking care of myself like I should have been especially with the busy week that I had.

So long story short I’ve been resting since then, which also accounts for the lack of post. I’ve been working on eating regularly (three meals and two snacks) and hydrating thoroughly.

Saturday I tried to rest as much as possible, and I didn’t do any driving or running around. I had some family and friends arrive from out of town, and my best friend helped me do the remaining things on my to do list.

Sunday was the day of my shower and it started off with a mental breakdown 🤦🏾‍♀️ which is in my nature. And it ended up being amazing, I love being surrounded by love and my loved ones and it makes me feel amazing to shower the new baby in all this love and support.

I went back to work on Monday and it was tough but I made it through. I’m committed to working until the end because I’m a believer in staying active May that be at work everyday or exercising. I also lost my mucus plug on Monday, I know that TMI (sorry 🤷🏾‍♀️) so that means that labor is on the horizon. It’s probably not as soon as I would prefer, but in its own time. We also saw Black Panther for the second time that night! We really wanted to take the kids and my cousin hadn’t seen it yet. I enjoyed it even more the second time especially knowing the boys enjoyed it. My oldest is obsessed now and my youngest enjoyed the music (I’m sure he danced the whole time).

The last two days have been relatively uneventful, I’ve just been resting and getting ahead on school work. I’ve also done some batch work for the next 5-6 days, meaning it’s impossible to get behind on posting daily. So consider this an update on everything going on with me 😊 and look forward to lots of quality work the next few days!

Oh I’m also starting my doula training tomorrow! I’m so excited for this new journey in my life and the next step in jump starting my birthing business. I’ll keep you guys posted on how things go and what I take away from the training. I’ve also picked up some other topics and demographics that I want to focus on in my business, which I’ll be sure to discuss with you guys.


Days 44 & 45: The Mammy Role


Stereotypes are something we frequently discuss in my sociology courses (especially when discussing gender and race). In the black community there are two particular roles that we see pretty frequently, they may seem a bit outdated but they are still present today even if they’re veiled. One being “the Jezabelle” or a promiscuous woman who frequently uses sex to get her way. This is a stereotypes formed as a result of being the masters concubine, and sexually assaulted as a result of the lack of bodily autonomy granted to black folks.

The second stereotype is “The Mammy” typically depicted as an overweight and unattractive matriarch. It’s her job to care for the masters family, this means physically and emotionally. Not only does she cook and clean but she bears the emotional baggage of the family. These stereotypes are dangerous because other races actually begin the perceive us as either hyper sexual animalistic individuals or maternal care takers willing to bare the weight of their emotional baggage.

As a result of these countless conversations I’ve noticed that these stereotypes although very dated are still ever present. One of my favorite writers and producers Shonda Rhimes has committed this very crime. Whether it’s a conscious decision I’m unsure 🤷🏾‍♀️ because one of my favorite things about her is that she does “blind casting” meaning she cast her characters without having a particular race in mind and hires the actor that does the best job. This is a great way to avoid the cycle of stereotyping in the media. But I’ve noticed several stereotypes on her shows, such blatant stereotyping that it’s hard to overlook.

For example the Jezabelle: Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating. I know, you want to burn me at the stake for this level of blasphemy and I want you to know that I love them too! But she consistently exploits their sexuality as if they have zero control over it! Feeding into the hyper sexuality of black women (and the exploitation of that at the hands of white men).

And the most problematic of them all: Miranda Bailey as the Mammy. This one truly breaks my heart to say, and I didn’t notice until after I had watch the show in its entirety several times! Bailey frequently comes to the rescue of the interns, cleaning up their messes (some legal matters), and coddling them and their emotions (even with the thin veiled attempt at tough love). Mom black people will see zero issue in this because they frequently turn to black women for the sister girl advice and sympathy while they emotionally dump all over them and believe that it’s been reciprocated. Shonda even played Bailey with the “Im and independent woman, I don’t need a man” bit. I really love Bailey and I can relate to her! But the reasons why are severely problematic! I let people emotionally dump on me, especially white women. I don’t always get the credit I deserve and I chalk it up as needing to work harder. I take care of everyone!!!! How can you truly be the best when you are busy catering to everyone and loving/supporting everyone, and not given consistent character development 😐. We have done Bailey an injustice.

And I know y’all hate me now, that’s ok 🤷🏾‍♀️ I’m mad at myself too because I love all these women (fictional and real). But we have to acknowledge the disservice that we do one another when feeding into these stereotypes and recreating them. We are forcing ourselves into a box of limited roles on the big screen and in real life. We definitely need to stop feeding into these roles when we know that’s what people think of us. We are justifying this physical and emotional abuse, and it’s not ok. There’s so much more to who we are and what we are capable of. We deserve character development.

Mom Monday (on a Tuesday)


I’m exhausted guys… I’m 36 weeks pregnant and I’m still going strong 💪🏾 still going to both jobs and school. Oftentimes when I’m drained I look to other moms for inspiration. I channeled a particular mama today. Serena Williams.

Not only is she super woman on any regular day but she became one of the most iconic mamas to be EVER, who has managed to be half as glamorous and win the Australian Open while pregnant?! Even with all the glamour she was transparent about her journey and the hardships, and she has become an advocate for one of my biggest platforms: healthcare disparities in the black community. Even celebrities of her caliber aren’t exempt from accelerated maternal mortality rates and less than stellar care.

She has become the face of everything we talk about and fight so hard to change. She made it real by telling her story. She had a flawless emergency cesarean section but afterwards she began to feel short of breath. Aware of her medical history of blood clots she alerted a nurse who assumed that she was just confused. She asked for the doctor and a CT scan, they performed a Doppler scan where they saw nothing and she again insisted that she needed a CT where they discovered small clots in her lungs. She also had to undergo a second surgery after opening her incision due to a coughing fit (caused by the clots in her lungs), the heparin she was given via IV to stop the clotting caused a hematoma to form at the site!

We could have easily lost the greatest tennis legend of our time due to negligence. Because our concerns as black women are not taken seriously, especially in terms of health care. Someone like Serena would obviously be in tune with their body but healthcare professionals dismissed her concerns. Luckily she’s the kind of women that would fight for her voice to be heard.

I want to have that level of confidence because I oftentimes find myself second guessing my own intuition. This is something I will never encourage my daughters to do, because a woman’s intuition will/can literally save your life.

So on a day like today when I’m pooped, I summon the work ethic of mamas like Serena to make it through the day.

Day 42: Improving Birth


Today was the last day of our MVF-Doula fundraiser, and I’m so thankful for all the people that contributed in anyway to make this training possible for me. Whether it was sharing the link, purchasing a shirt, or making a donation. I consider that support a direct investment in my future and my business.

I’ve tried to be pretty transparent and on occasion a little explicit about my experiences and why I feel as strongly as I do, especially when it comes to birth experiences. I don’t want you guys to ever feel as though I’m attempting to invalidate your experiences as women if you didn’t have a natural or vaginal birth. I want you to have the experience that is most beneficial and liberating for you. For some women having an unmedicated vaginal birth can be further traumatizing. So the ultimate goal is for you have to have an informed birth with people that support you.

I stumbled upon an organization while I was Pinterest, called Improving Birth. It truly embodies all the work I feel I was called to do and I’m so glad I found them and I’ve followed them on literally every social media network. But just reading the various experiences, it truly reiterated my calling and I feel so much closer to what I’m truly called to do. I can see the path now instead of aimlessly working hard. This feeling makes it easier to eliminate distractions, distractions aren’t always fun and games though. For me distractions are jobs and classes I don’t need, unnecessary ways of filling my time because I’m a workaholic. I truly want to be invested in this therefore I’m going to focus on the things that are important and enhancing the experience (by further educating myself and immersing myself in information).

So I encourage you to cut ties from things, hobbies, and jobs that aren’t bettering you. Pruning is necessary for true growth.

Day 41: part two


So the other point I wanted to touch on yesterday was the difference between the goals of feminism for white women and black Women and how they’re reflected in today’s work place and demographics.

From the beginning it was super clear the white women needed black women to aid in their movement, in order to truly yield the results they desired. But the two demographics were working in vastly different directions for vastly different goals. A large part of this movement consisted of monopolizing off the work of black women and ignoring their plight. Which still occurs today unfortunately, feminism has been self serving for white women and allowed them to look the other way when other women struggled.

In my sociology course “Black Women in America” we discussed the needs and wants of black women during the era of Women’s Rights (not that it’s ever truly ended). Black women have worked from day one, literally worked their fingers to the bone. They’ve had their own children ripped from them and sold like livestock and were forced to care for the children of white families and even wet nurse (creating a long and difficult relationship with attachment parenting and breastfeeding). Meanwhile white women turned a blind eye, and only acknowledged these atrocities in order to push their own agendas. White women were seeking opportunities to work and fill fulfillment outside of the home, while black women sought out opportunities to stay at home with their children in order to nurture and truly parent, making up for time lost (at no fault of their own).

We seem as though we should be long separated from this painful past but the trends are still the same. I work with primarily white women and they love to work and feel unfulfilled by being stay at home moms (which I understand), but I am also a black woman and I understand what it’s like to work from the time that I was capable of working up until I literally went into labor (and I’m doing it for a third time), and in this day and age we still want the same thing to stay home and truly parent and be connected to our children. I’m not saying that all women have the same ambitions but they are all worthy of the work it takes for us to obtain these goals. Feminism isn’t just white women politics, domestic work is real work. So we live in a day and age where we can truly have it all and if having it all includes being home to truly be present in your child’s life then so be it. That’s what it will take for me to feel fulfilled in my life, which is why I’m working so hard to start my business and jumpstart my blog.

As I quickly approach my due date I realize all the work I have yet to do in order to be prepared to stay at home with my children and still bring in income. I’m still working on self hosting my blog (we ran into some hiccups this week), I’m finishing up my lactation consultation application, and I’ll be attending my doula training next week! All of this will be done before baby number three is here. That way I can truly dedicate myself to recovering, bonding, and elevating my business during my maternity leave.

Day 40


I’m exhausted. I’m getting into the last few weeks of my pregnancy and I feel like I’m falling apart. But fortunately my husband has been letting me rest and enjoy these days, I don’t want to over exert myself and go into labor early (I’m all about letting baby cook for the full 40 weeks).

This week I’ve had a light work load but closing last night was not my cup of tea 😒. Anyways I want to talk about a few things: one my appointment yesterday and the importance of birth workers of color and the importance of working from home (and how it relates to intersectional feminism).

So pretty frequently Black Women aren’t treated very humanely when receiving medical attention. I know that’s a difficult concept to grasp, as medical staff are committed to providing the best care possible for each patient. Nonetheless they are still human and are still predisposed to making rash judgements and succumbing to stereotypes. This could happen at the expense of someone’s life, especially the lives of black women. We already have soaring rates of maternal and infant mortality, so why wouldn’t health care professionals make a conscious effort to be culturally competent and make fewer decisions based on stereotypes (such as our higher pain thresholds or that we don’t breastfeed).

I discussed my own appointment with my mom and she asked me “well why didn’t you speak up?”. That’s an awesome question, probably because I have a history of trauma and I was paralyzed with fear, I was almost having an out of body experience. Next I felt as though I was in a space where I was protected and I was realizing that, that wasn’t true. By no means is it a problem for me to have a white midwife but having a midwife that looks like you (or any health care provider that looks like you) completely changes your experience because they share similar experiences.

If provided the proper support victims of trauma can have a healing experience during birth. This is as simple as being treated with respect and bodily autonomy. This should be the baseline for all prenatal care and as I’ve described it clearly isn’t. You should also be able to birth in a place where you feel safe and your vision is supported. If you don’t even feel comfortable with the staff, how could you possibly feel safe? All women should receive this level of care with/without disclosing trauma or abuse, but as we’ve seen this is all too often not the case.

Again this is what makes doula care important, it’s important for all women. It creates a thoughtful and caring environment where women feel supported and educated about what’s happening to them and their bodies. So please support local birth workers especially those of color who are doing the hard work in these communities.

I’m going to follow up this post with a part two, I had no intention of making this one this long. But sometimes that happens when you feel passionate about something.

Day 39! 35 week midwife appointment


So today we were late for midwife appointment so we rescheduled for later in the day. To kill some time I took care of my baby shower shopping and I bought all my decorations for next week. I managed to stay under my budget too ($100). Party City had some unexpected deals that I definitely appreciated, hopefully the same thing happens when I go grocery shopping Sunday.

Afterwards we all went to my appointment, which should have just been a few labs and very uneventful. I saw a different midwife today, which is usually fine and I don’t mind going with the flow. She mentioned to me that she was new to the practice and the conversation was very forced and tense. She didn’t know very much about me or my patient history which immediately threw me off.

She was also very handsy and rough, instead of talking me through everything which the other midwives typically do. When she checked my blood pressure she held my arm between her arm and body instead of just asking me to hold or position my arm differently. She then checked the positioning of the baby with the bedside ultrasound machine. She was super rough while repositioning baby and checking to see if baby had descended yet, even when checking my fundal height and the heart rate she was rough and didn’t communicate.

She finally started to ask me questions, they were sparse and she made very little effort to connect… instead of asking me about any swelling she just lifted my pants leg to check for herself. Something I could have very easily told her. I could feel myself beginning to space out and disassociate myself from the experience.

After we were done I went to the front to check out and make my next appointment and I felt like a zombie. When I was leaving I finally started to feel something, I was angry. Angry at such an impersonal experience and lack of consideration for my body.

To anyone else it may seem like I’m overreacting and this is what you would expect at any doctors visit but it isn’t what I expect or what I should tolerate. Black Women are often viewed as cold and with higher pain thresholds, this does in fact bleed over into the level of care you receive. Survivors of trauma are often triggered by experiences they have in doctors offices especially when their bodily autonomy isn’t considered. These are things to consider as a health care provider, and because I know these things I should have spoken up and said I was uncomfortable. But it’s normal that I wouldn’t say anything because I was paralyzed, paralyzed with fear because someone that should look out for me was completely ignoring me as a person and manipulating me as if I was an object.

This is why I advocate for black Women (particularly black women that are victims of trauma), we deserve humanity and we deserve to be treated with respect. As a doula I plan to advocate for my patients, not just during birth but before and after. You deserve humanity ALL THE TIME! This is why culturally competent birth workers are important, sometimes you need someone to advocate on your behalf because you can’t always find the words to speak for yourself.

Day 38!


So today was super productive. Although one of the task on our to do list was slightly counter productive because we shouldn’t have had to do it AGAIN! But that’s neither here nor there.

So we had to take care of some business at the courthouse first, and the boys were amazingly patient. Then we went to my favorite place, TARGET! We got new clothes for all the kids. It was a little bitter sweet because Micah is officially in big boy sizes 😩. We also started working on new baby’s wardrobe, although we don’t plan on getting a ton of stuff because they’ll be inheriting a lot as well.

We also finalized our menu for the baby shower so we can grocery shop this weekend. I’m still deciding on favors, and I need to order them in the next few days to ensure that they’ll be here on time. I’m just happy to be almost done with everything baby related. Ideally I can set up the boys “big boy” room to make space for new baby and new baby gear.

I’ve also had a ton of off days this week so I’ve been relaxing and nesting. It’s been way overdue and it’s definitely helped with my anxiety. Tomorrow is one of my last appointments because I’m 35 weeks, I’ll be doing some lab work and I won’t return again until I’m 37 weeks. By that point I’ll be considered full term.

I’m also working on a baby bag lay out for you guys as well as a birthing center bag layout. I’m gonna try to get it to you guys ASAP.

Day 37


So I watched Kylie Jenner’s adorable video about her pregnancy and cried literal tears thinking about the nostalgia of pregnancy with my own babies.

Then I got angry thinking of the parts that weren’t so beautiful.

Like being mistreated while pregnant with my oldest son: being yelled at by lab techs for gagging while drinking the gestational diabetes drink 🤢

Or having my request ignored while in labor (I begged them to stop the pitocin)

Or being called miss and asked about my son’s father (instead of my husband) while seeing the OB at the military hospital in El Paso. I couldn’t pay someone to call me Mrs.Robinson or ma’am. Even the care in the mother baby unit was appalling at times. I was left with my IV in hours after it was supposed to be taken out (even after I requested the nurse take it out). And being given the flu vaccine without my consent or warning. The nurse read my chart noticed I hadn’t had it yet and proceeded to administer it shortly after 😐 . The midwife on call also continuously pressured me into starting birth control even after I stated that I wasn’t interested several times. And I left the hospital with 3 months worth of the mini pill. When I went back to my normal nurse Practitioner after that she continued to pressure me into birth control, which is why I ended up leaving that practice and seeking care elsewhere. I couldn’t stand the thought of these women (white Women) deciding that I had enough children or that I couldn’t be responsible enough to monitor or track my own fertility.

With baby number three, I’ve tried my best to do everything my way and in a way that I felt most comfortable. So I immediately sought care at a birthing center, the distance is inconvenient but it’s well worth it. I haven’t shared much of my pregnancy and for similar reasons as with Jojo. People assume that we got pregnant too soon, too close together, or we have too many. None of which is their business. But the little things I have shared are already tainted, family members commenting on our family size or coworkers commenting on how we have so many children and our finances. No matter what I do to protect my wellbeing and that of my baby people still find something to say, or a way to poke their nose into someone else’s business.

Since I’ve become noticeably pregnant I’ve had two different women comment on my pregnancy in a way that was blatantly disrespectful as well as racist (just enough that I would catch it but a bystander may miss it). Both instances occurred at work (each at a different job). The first incident occurred while I was getting a patient checked in, she was an older white lady with her daughter who was probably the same age as me. She asked if this was my first baby because I looked too young to have a baby. I told her no, this was in fact number three.

She was horrified.

Her response was “well then, this is exactly what you deserve and I hope it hurts”. I was so surprised, stunned actually that I couldn’t respond. It took an entire day to figure out exactly what she meant and why she said it. She thought I was a young BLACK (possibly unwed) mother. Unwed is irrelevant, the fact that I had three children and I was proud of It was enough to be problematic in her eyes.

The second incident occurred over the weekend, I stepped in to intervene as a coworker was being berated by a customer (again a white woman), I asked if she wanted to speak to our shift leader and she declined (in so many words) and I began to close the drive thru window. As I was closing the window she says “all those hormones must be making her act that way”, I immediately saw red 😡. I asked her what she meant by that and she responded “well you’re obviously pregnant, that must be why you have such a nasty attitude”. Not only had she played the black girl with the attitude card but she implied that I must be irrational because I’m pregnant. I

These may seem like isolated events but to black women, we know that these are micro aggressions directed at us and our motherhood. Because we don’t deserve to enjoy motherhood and pregnancy. Even if done “correctly” we’re still guilty of something.

But Kylie is “mom goals” and the Teen Mom girls are inspiring. Imagine if they were black, they would be crucified, not just by white people but by the black community as well. We’ve been taught that we aren’t just responsible for ourselves but we are representing the entire black community, we don’t get to be individuals. We’re damned for being good mothers and we’re adhering to the stereotypes if we’re bad moms,

It would be easy to say you should just stop caring about what other people say, but we also know it’s not that easy. What we can do, is try our best to forget the stereotypes, ignore the negativity, and seek care from establishments in which we will be respected (even that can be difficult when your choices are limited). We can also celebrate the mothers in our communities, instead of shaming them at every turn.

Mom Monday


So for Mom Monday, every Monday through the month of February will be about an iconic fictional black mom! Tonight’s choice was a tough one because there are so many awesome options!

Tonight’s Mom Is….. cue drumroll 😂

Rochelle “I don’t need this, my man has two jobs” Rock! Chris’s mom on Everybody hates Chris!

I love her, she’s the archetype for every black mom in America. All their sayings, came from Rochelle! She is also the queen of making things happen for their family. Whether she has a job or not (Julius’s penny pinching habits and work ethic doesn’t hurt either).

She may be tough and no nonsense but she loves and adores her children, she would do anything for them. She makes sure all her children are well behaved and disciplined but also teaches them about self love. She regularly threatens to slap them into next week or another time zone, but this is her best effort at keeping them on the straight and narrow so they can go on to have the best life possible. Which was obviously effective because this is very closely based on Chris Rocks own mother, and he went on to have a successful career.

I also admire Rochelle’s style, like any black mama she stays in the shop! Every episode she comes through with yet another style and her decade appropriate outfits. I’m still trying to figure out how she jumps so fly on her strict budgeting, but one day I will learn her ways!

I also think Julius loves her crazy and erratic behavior, because she just knows that everyone wants him, and watches him like a hawk, even threatening to kill him.

Her character also isn’t based in respectability politics or being the right kind of black family. She’s a black mom in the city making ends meet and taking care of her kids. She will never be a Claire Huxtable and we love her for being her.