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A Melanin Moms Birthing Story

Last week on my Instagram page (itsjessolivia), I participated in the Black Maternal Health Week and I briefly shared how my third pregnancy was my scariest one. Also, April is International Cesarean Awareness Month, in which all three of my children were delivered by a Cesarean (C-Section).

So real quick for my new followers, I have three kiddos. My first set of children are 10 years apart, then the babies are 1.5 years apart. I already knew the birthing experience would be different between my firstborn and my middle child. And honestly, as far as birthing him (middle child), it was the same. As far as carrying him, it was totally different! He had my skin flawless, I didn't gain weight, I lost weight (Hey now). I tried for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). But I ended up having a C-section because he came two days late, so I was 40 weeks 2 days. This momma was tired of carrying the baby lol.

Now to my baby girl that's 4 months old. I birthed her two days before Thanksgiving, which happened to be three weeks early than her due date.

So here we go:

November 6, 2019, I went to my normal appointment (my husband actually had to work during this one). My doc walked in and informed me my blood pressure was high. Me not knowing much about this, I said okay. She said she'll have her nurse to retake my BP after my appointment. The nurse walks back in and takes my blood pressure, I feel fine during this time. Doc walks in and stated it was high, but not too high, and she'll like to see me again that Friday, which was in 2 days.

I returned Friday, WITH my husband. They took my pressure and it was lower than Wednesdays. My doc said due to how far I was in my pregnancy she wanted me to be on bed rest and take it easy. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I DO? I basically RUN my school pathway programs. Do you think I listened?! Chile, no! All of a sudden I had to start doing a stress test (twice a week) and start working from home. I still went into work for an hour or two because stuff had to get done.

A week past and my doc said: "Jess, this is serious, we need to schedule you at 37 weeks cause your BP is rising and I do not want to put you on any medication." I begged to go to 40 weeks, she said no. Thank God I trust my Doc as I had her for 6 years! But I didn't understand how serious it was until one day I called after hours into my doctor's office and they told me to call Labor and Delivery cause of Braxton Hicks but my BP was high. I can't remember, but it was 198 over something. They monitored me, did some tests to make sure it wasn't Pre-eclampsia. Hours later, it wasn't Pre-eclampsia, it was Gestational Hypertension.

Not knowing much about it, I asked questions and started googlin'. Basically it’s in the same realm as Eclampsia. You take precaution and you more than likely will have your baby early so your BP doesn’t continue to rise. So we scheduled our baby girl to arrive on the 26th. Original due date December 15th.

The day is here:

9 AM—We arrived. Checked-In. Of course, I couldn’t have anything to eat basically a whole night before. I’m hungry, excited, and nervous. Nervous because I don’t know how small my baby will be. Nurse checking on me, checking contractions, and BP.

11 AM- Waiting for IVs and all that good stuff. The nurse still checking BP. I’m now on FaceTime with Bro and Sis.

Noon— Was informed another surgery ran late. So I’ll be pushed back by 30 minutes. Cool.

1:30 PM— I’m in the operating room. I get prepped for my epidural.

1:50 PM -- Husband is allowed in. Talking to my husband excited and still nervous.

10 minutes later I'm feeling a tug and I hear the docs saying get the vacuum. I looked at my husband and was like "what did they say?" Then the machine starts beeping. I'm like what's going on. Of course, the anesthesiologist didn't tell me right away.

20 minutes later-- Baby Sahalie is born. I'm crying as I look over the drap to see her for the first time. My husband is up smiling & happy to cut the cord. The anesthesiologist says your BP was sooo high. Like really high. I just praised God, I did not stroke on the table, etc. This is what my Doc was telling me what could happen.

Finally, during recovery I'm nursing baby girl and I'm just at awe that I have a new edition to the family. I'm a wife and mom of three beautiful children. The hospital staff at Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis, WI are phenomenal. I delivered my middle child there as well with the same exact team.

During my postpartum appointment, my doctor checked my scar again (she checked like a month after I had baby girl), she of course asked am I'm dealing with postpartum and spoke to me about the scar tissue. She even encouraged me to wait at least a year to conceive for one more child due to the scar tissue I had. I asked her, how does scar tissue come about. She mentioned it's all about how our bodies heal. I told her they should create something that could reduce scar tissue and she said they did, but it didn't help much.

As a Black mom, I wonder why we're the ones at a higher risk. I never experienced this before, I have great health and I'm on the thicker end lbvs. So it surprised me when my doctor told me I have Gestational Hypertension.

Again, why are we effected this badly? Do you think it's due to the lack of resources, lack of black doctors we may feel comfortable with, the lack of insurance? I honestly don't know. Growing up I always had great insurance and always researched things. But for other black moms like me to be 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, it's bananas. How can we change this?

I'll love to hear your stories. Share them below!



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