Today marks 6 1/2whole months since I gave birth to my fourth child. Another male child at that.
In part one, I shared how we wanted to maintain our privacy and keep the sacredness of our experiences as so…
Today I just had to sit down with my husband and tell him how “Thankful” I am.
Thankful for the mind to give birth at home (as first time parents) with an amazing midwife and doula. This really set the tone for how we wanted to experience birth over and over again.
I was hooked. It was like the strongest drug I had ever taken. This kind of power was the result of a lifetime of my own ideas about how I would give birth to ALL my children. And I did that sh!t “Like A BOSS.”
But this is just a little piece of how the story begins.
After our first baby, we conceived again about 10 months later, but our first midwife was on a hiatus. Needless to say, we lost that baby at 18 weeks (the back story of our miscarriage coming soon). This was hard for me because, we had already shared the news with a few friends and family. Neither of our mothers even knew we were pregnant. We intentionally withheld telling our parents for some reason. It was our adverse experience with the birth of our second baby that led us into a wonderful path of childbirth advocacy.
We were so caught up on having the same midwife as we did with our first son. We were kinda mourning that we had to revise our community plan. In hindsight, we were mourning connection to the process of creation. We had given up our power to the “NEED” of having someone else usher us into the sacred space of childbirth.
So, we tried several different ways to access midwifery care, but failed. We just felt lost in the process. After having two close girlfriends to also experience the pain of miscarriage at the same damn time… This was a sign that it was time to relocate. So we packed up our little family and headed to Atlanta, Georgia to start over. On the way out, we passed through Sedona, AZ and buried our first son’s placenta near the mountains. This was a gesture that we would never forget. For us, this was closure.
Little did we know, that we would conceive again so quickly. We left AZ the end of October and conceived again while in Oklahoma, in mid route to GA (Yay to young, hot, passionate lovers). Come to find out we got pregnant again in November. This time we were going to be giving birth in Georgia, where the rich culture of Midwifery traditions where plentiful. (So we thought). Little did we know that Traditional Midwives were considered illegal in GA. No to mention we were in the 2nd worst place in America to give birth to a baby. ESPECIALLY if you were Black.
So, when we gave birth to our third baby, we had two options. Be upset with our decision to leave AZ for an unpredictable outcome, or say, “Thank you to the Midwife within that unconsciously led us into the world of #freebirth.” What this did for us was make us be accountable for our own outcome.
We did ultimately find a Midwife, but she was overworked and over committed to her chosen community. We refused to think that she would neglect providing us with adequate care so, we let it go. We decided we could not blame her for not showing up. We chose her in desperation and haste. So as we leaned deeper into ourselves and came to the conclusion, that we didn’t want her to be present for our birth anyway. She was not in alignment with what we wanted. But it was too late and we got the experience that we asked for. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF UNPLANNED/UNASSISTED HOMEBIRTH
A few years later we conceived again. This led us to our FIRST planned independent homebirth. This time, it was different. Just my husband and I. No mom, aunt, or midwife. Just us. It was powerfully complicated. I was so stressed out. My marriage was being challenged with a lot of background noise. Life had threw my husband and I a bit of a learning curve. It was the most disconnected I had ever felt in any of our pregnancies. We were working so hard at maintaining our marriage, that the pregnancy became a point of healing. This was HUGE for me. For us. We had to sit down and be real with one another and ask the hard questions. What did we want out of this experience? As I sat and listed to all these stories about countless Black women dying from childbirth related complications. I was right there. In the thick of it. And I too faced this question of… Will I die in childbirth? Then I was reminded of the choice to die. And I made a decision to live. And I made it. Baby number (3) at home. In our tiny bathtub. I even remember after giving birth transitioning out body, but I was able to call myself back. This is when I accepted birth work as my calling. Because, I realized that I could save myself.
After a long (5) years in Georgia we were moving again, this time to Oklahoma. My husband’s hometown. We have been here for (4) years now. Having given birth to businesses, organizations, and babies, I have been working on the ability to weave my life experiences and work together. Hints The InTune Mother Society and Beehive Birth Consulting.
I found my own path in February of 2018, when we closed our brick and mortar location The TIM Center in Midtown,OKC. We tried so hard to engage the community in holistic approaches to perinatal and family health. We offered yoga, massage, nutrition, beauty treatments, counseling, workshops, classes, events, all family friendly. But when we found out I was about to have another baby, our whole world changed. I was just evolving out of my 1st trimester and it came to me… I am about to give birth in Oklahoma. (Oklahoma is ranked as the 4th worse place in American to give birth.)
A place where, majority Black women prefer the medical model. To be medicated. Even to elect cesarean. The place where I had been studying healing justice, conscious conception, and birth justice. And I learned, even if they say they want to have a homebirth, they really don’t. (Don’t even think about correcting me) I am not here to debate. I am here to make an observation. As a Black woman, serving other Black women and families. Here we are, looking at Reality TV and we see women having a homebirth. It is cute. It is trendy. And it looks like the thing to do. What we don’t see is the legacy. The culture. The authority. And the responsibility for such a sacred and “natural expression” of becoming alive.
So, while I could have been a visual example of how to make homebirth look easy. I stayed in my lane. No matter how much I wanted to show women how to Birth Like A BOSS #BLABThat…
I WAS REMINDED BY THE ANCESTORS ~ to be sure that my baby wanted us to exploit our birth story in a way that he could not consent to. That I was inviting people into my world in the most vulnerable and intimate way.
Mind you the baby was over the estimated due date. Here we are thinking he was late. We took this as him saying, “Hold Up!” We are doing this for the ancestors, NOT for them. Who is “them?” The ones who will not value the process. The ones who mock the nature of childbirth on your own terms. The ones who have forgotten. Let them find their own way. Create their own traditions. For this is ours. This is our Hive. And there is a sacred SWEETNESS that resides here…