Content And Community For Black Moms


One mater mea reader explains how giving birth to her son drove home an important life lesson.

Photos provided by Joy Jefferson

The week my son was born, people could tell I was tired.

I work in hospitality, and stand most of my day. I had a pretty easy-going pregnancy as far as comfort [goes], but I had taken to a wheely chair. My due date was January 25, but by the 10th I had started telling people I wouldn’t make it.

The evening of January 13 I wasn’t feeling well and decided to leave work early. I guess inside I knew this was it. As I was headed out the door—maybe it was the force of having to push it—my water broke. I immediately called my husband and told him what happened and to come get me, NOW! I then called my midwife and she asked me if I was in any pain or pressure. I wasn’t, so she told me to labor as much at home as I could: “Once you head to the hospital you are on their time.” I went home and tried to rest through my excitement. My baby was on the way!

We barely slept. The next morning I still wasn’t in pain and my labor didn’t seem to be progressing, but we knew I had to go to the hospital. In my mind, labor was a rushed thing; I just knew the day would come and I’d have to be rushed off. My husband would be in a panic and we would be one of those news stories of a baby born in Atlanta traffic. I was prepared for that.

I spent the whole day in the hospital visited by friends and family who were surprised by the fact that I was so relaxed. I was actually bored!

Twenty-two hours from my water breaking, they decided to give me Pitocin. For all my thoughts of low-intervention labor, I knew something had to be done.

It didn’t work. After four hours they decided to take me off it. I was progressing, but very slowly. I decided to get some rest, and let him come when he was ready.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew my son was a test of my patience.

I woke up some time in the early morning to what felt like a punch from the inside. My husband and my mom were resting; I didn’t want to wake them until I was sure something was really going to happen. I made it about a half hour. It was finally happening! From there it was like a whirlwind. I didn’t know how close my contractions were, or what time it was—all I knew was that when I had a contraction, I needed to focus and pray my way through it. I was so honed in that [when I took] a shower to ease the pain, I didn’t realize I was in there for an hour.

We were big on husband-coached birthing, and if it wasn’t for my husband telling me that I could do this, and at times literally holding me up when I couldn’t stand, it would’ve been so much more difficult. I was hot and cold at the same time, and the dinner my husband [got me] was coming back up. My mother claims at that point she knew it was “go time.”

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew my son was a test of my patience. He was God’s way of telling me that the best things take time. I now think my labor was the real test. At hour 35 of labor my midwife told me I had progressed enough to have my waterbirth. They wheeled a tub into the room and filled it from what felt like the slowest faucet ever. I just wanted to get in! I focused on the sound of the water and the fact that I knew that at any moment my son was going to be here.

Once in the tub, I knew I made the right decision in choosing it as my birthing method. My legs and back felt so much better and I calmed down through my contractions.  The urge to push hit me really quickly, and all I could hear was my husband’s voice in my ear telling me that I was strong and to just keep going. I only pushed for about 20 minutes and my son was here.

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