My birthing story was chaotic.
My oldest daughter will be 14 in 2 months. In 14 years, I have grown as a woman, a mother and teaching her to own all of herself, speaking to all of her gifts. However, on Saturday, September 1, 2007, I almost died.
What I remember during that 11-and-a-half hours of labor was I as in so much pain. My epidural didn’t work, and at the time no one knew why. What I remember of this is, I had a spinal block (epidural), and I looked at my mother and said, “Mama, I feel cold.” Then, all the machines went off. The machines went off because my child’s heart rate was dropping.
I couldn’t breathe.
I thought I was going to die.
I remember my mother touching machines trying to get everything to adjust and stop beeping. Why? I have a mother whom is a retired nurse. I have a mother that has the experience in Labor & Delivery, MedSurg and Psych. She, a Black woman whom has had 3 children, saw her daughter struggling to breathe, live and have a baby all at the same time. It is because of her, I am alive. After my mother remembering that she was not actually at work, she pushed the call button and a resident, also a Black woman, gave instruction on how to not let me die…so my daughter wiuld have her mother.
Read that again: I am alive because a Black woman saved me.
I am an advocate of HONOR BLACK BIRTH because I am a alive because someone listened to me. I am alive because a Black woman, multiple Black women, saved my life. This is the mission of HONOR BLACK BIRTH:
Honor Black Birth shifts the narrative about Black pregnancy and birth. We ground our work in a reproductive justice framework. We respect lived experience as expertise. We value art and storytelling as a means to feed the imagination and a catalyst for social change.-Honor Black Birth
Reproductive justice is needed, necessary and life-saving. The life you can help save might be your own. Or your daughter’s.