The Need For ‘Honor Black Birth’

If you have never thought to support any other thing this platform has asked you to do, believe or anticipate in, please support HONOR BLACK BIRTH and You Lucky You Got A Mama. Thank you. -JBHarris

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.

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