Jordyn’s Birth Story

attachment parenting, Women's Health

I realized earlier today that I hadn’t shared Jordyn’s birth yet. It always takes me a long to get around to it just because I need to come down from all the excitement of having a new baby.

The Stats:

Jordyn Olivia Reign

Weight: 7.1 lbs

Length: 20 inches

Time: 5:55am

Date: 03/06/2018

So with Jordyn I had contractions for about two weeks and I was super uncomfortable during that period. So I spend most of those days resting when I wasn’t working. I also did my doula training during that time. I was really excited about it and it was something that I didn’t want to miss, so I tried to stay as chill as possible so I could make it to the training. The following week (week 37) I picked up shifts at work and I wound up working a double that Saturday. That’s when the contractions started to pick up but they were still too far apart for me to go into the birth center. So the next day we had dinner with my dad and I just relaxed… the contractions were a consistent seven minutes apart and had increased in intensity but never got closer together. On Monday the contractions were the same, so we spent the day cleaning just to be on the safe side. We didn’t want to bring baby home to our house in disarray. We went to my moms to wash laundry and walk the dog around the neighborhood, and I also made a request for my mom to make crab salad. I knew that day was going to be the day because I was particularly moody. I had gotten upset because a girl the grocery store commented on my size πŸ˜’ anyways I walked at least a mile around the neighborhood and spent the rest of our stay on the birth ball. I almost felt like the contractions were slowing down at that point.

So we went home and I ate some spicy ramen noodles and participated in extra curricular activities in an effort to get the contractions going again πŸ˜‚ I took a hot shower and shaved my legs because I KNEW Jordyn was coming soon. I laid down and tried to watch tv but I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. So I took a Tylenol and went to sleep. I would wake up periodically to go to the bathroom and looking back I think the contractions were waking me up and I was so tired that I didn’t notice. Around 4am I woke up because I realized I was in pain longer than I was getting actual sleep, then I got the urge to get on my hands and knees to relieve the pressure I was feeling. My husband sat straight up and looked at me and said “it’s time to go isn’t it?”. I got out of bed and got dressed between contractions which were coming about every 3-4 minutes at this point. My husband got the boys dressed and called my mom and the midwife. He raced us to my mothers and dropped the boys off with her and we got on the road. By the time we were out of my moms neighborhood the contractions had already sped up to two minutes apart and the birth center was at least 55 minutes away. I turned on the seat warmer and leaned the seat back in an effort to slow them down.

While I was still in a manageable amount of pain I sent out messages letting everyone know it was time. I played Rihanna on the way there as an ode to my own little Pisces and it put me in the perfect mind state for labor. Shortly after changing the music I started to get hot and nauseous, I assume I was transitioning because my contractions were on top of each other at this point. I cracked the window and told my husband I felt as though my bag of waters were bulging, so he called the midwives again to let them know that they should be prepared for us. Before completing the phone call my water broke! I had about five more contractions and I felt the urge to push, my husband tried to discourage me from doing so as we were only five minutes away from the birth center but I couldn’t help it. He called the midwives for a third time to explain what was going on and they assured him that they would be ready for us. I immediately took my pants off and hoisted myself over the seat and pushed…. and I felt her head, I was preparing to push again when I remember one of my doula sisters advising against pushing. So instead I started breathing Jordyn out and with each breath she came. I heard her whimper and whine a bit, and I told my husband that she was here.

Now I had never seen my husband cry before that night, he was overwhelmed with both joy and worry. He was literally my calm in the storm because he kept driving through all of that and got us to the birth center. He pulled up and ran straight to the door, where he discovered they were NOT ready for us. Luckily I had already done the hard part. He had the bring me a wheel chair and help me out the car, he put on my shoes and covered me up, then they wheeled me inside.

Although her arrival was chaotic my experience was amazing up until that point. We arrived at the birthing center to find that the midwife I had issues with before was on call. She wasn’t prepared for our arrival despite the fact that we called several times, she had zero regards for my dignity when taking me inside. Had my husband not been there they probably would have wheeled me inside bare footed and bare assed. After getting us into the birthing suite she wouldn’t let me sit on the bed because she was unsure if they would be keeping me and she didn’t want to be bothered with changing the sheets again. And then she tried to pull my placenta out instead of allowing me to birth it myself. Although I was visibly uncomfortable she ignored my concerns.

God had a plan by having me give birth before arriving because I can only imagine what things would have been like had she been with me during the labor and delivery process. I got to do things my way, and I had a level of confidence that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. A great deal of that confidence can be attributed to my girl squad, old and new members. They truly made me feel like I was capable of anything and there was no doubt that I could deliver that baby myself.

Jordy is clearly a special little girl 😍😍😍

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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.

#sayhername

Social Justice, Women's Health

I’ve read a million stories and articles about Korryn Gaines, I’ve even watched her videos. No matter what I see, no matter what conflicting evidence I come across… I still sympathize. Why? Because she is me. I see her and understand her fear, her fear for her life and and her children’s lives. A fear of the world we live in, and a fear of the world our children will inherit. My newest fear is, I will die protecting myself and my children and the world will be silent. More importantly out black men will be silent in light of my death. They will riot and protest for other men… But they will be silent for me because I don’t fit the stereotype they have envisioned for black women. Today’s black men want to be Huey Newtons and Malcolm X but they don’t want Angela Davis or Kathleen Cleaver. They want quiet Corettas. 

Not only do black men refuse to speak on this injustice but they want to silence our dialogue! God forbid we mourn our fallen sister or we’ll have wannabe hoteps in the comments telling us why she deserved it, why she was a bad mom, and how crazy she was. I’ve seen more black men protect the image of Miss Teen USA after her use of the N-word, than I’ve seen come to the aid of Korryn. The dialogue they have created is similar to that of “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” crowds. Comment sections are plagued with compliance and respectability politics. “Well maybe she should have gone willingly”, “maybe she should have been respectful”, even “maybe she shouldn’t have had a registered fire arm in her own home”. I wish you could see my eyes rolling back in my head right now at the sheer ignorance.

What about this, “what if she hadn’t been watching our people die on camera for the last three years?” Black women (women in general) don’t just brush things off typically. So while our brothers and sisters are dying on camera, we are mourning every death. We see our family in every victim, and we still have to go on. We are suffering and making every attempt to go on with a normal life. Every death is personal to us, and the fact that this is the case for us and black men find themselves so disconnected from the death of black women disturbs and disgust us. In reality there have been three black women murdered in the last week and I haven’t heard a peep from the peanut gallery, unless it’s been in an effort to dismiss or derail a status that I have posted. I’ve even seen a few people admit to falling short then proceed to liking and commenting on post condemning Korryn. I actually prefer silence to lies.

I know I seem as though I’m taking this entirely too personal, because I am! I personally mourn every victim, I write about and speak about every victim. Yet my brothers are SILENT! This could easily be me, even your wife or girlfriend. The fear and desperation are real. You don’t understand the desperation of the black woman, or a MOTHER’s desperation. Do you know what it’s like to raise little black children and wonder if they will be the next Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, or Michael Brown? Maybe they won’t die, but then you have to worry about them being body slammed at a pool party, maybe even at school by an over zealous police officer or a vigilante. These are real fears, and you don’t understand what it’s like to walk around with this blanket of fear. We even wonder if you will be killed for simply spending time with your family, but that fear isn’t mutual. Because we can die too, for the same things you can be murdered over. Yet our fear for your life and the need to protect you trump the fear we have for our own life.

So imagine years of trauma, systemic oppression, and excessive police force in your home. That constant fear has turned into reality. Desperate to save your life and your child’s, because why would you give your child to the same people that murdered a little boy? Women and children are not exempt in this, that’s painfully obvious. So we protect each other, and we protect our children. Because I don’t see black men protecting us. We have to protect us, by any means necessary.

The last line brings me to my final point: men quote “Any Means Necessary” but don’t understand the concept. The title alone is pretty literal. How are you a true revolutionary and you hinder women in the movement? We ARE the movement! We are the backbone of this cause, and we are moving this revolution forward. We protest for you, we riot for you, we organize, we raise your children, we love you unconditionally, and you spit on us! We coordinated this movement, women! We will continue to fight for you and you will continue to disrespect us, because you think your ego is bigger than this cause.