Last week we took a pause from our #BirthStories series to allow space for reflection following #GeorgeFloyd’s death, and the events that followed both in the U.S and the global #BlackLivesMatter movement. In light of that, I wanted to continue today with this story which clutched at my heart.
I came across the images from this birth a couple of weeks ago as the #BLM riots were in full force. I found them profound, and reading this mama’s story brought tears to my eyes. The issues that are raised here are striking – I don’t think anyone can deny. I wanted to share these images at the time, but also wanted to take time for reflection and allow my emotions to ruminate and really sink in. This story hit home. It made me think about my own childhood, my own experience of being mixed race in a predominantly white world, my black family, my white family, my own birth experience, my own precious black son, and the world in which he will grow and have to navigate for himself. These feelings are complex, and different for everyone. But what I do know is, WE MUST DO BETTER. We must create a world that is safe for our sons.
Use your voice. Don’t stay silent.
The following words are taken directly from those involved, as credited. Thank you for beautifully capturing these moments with your images and your words.
“On a night filled with riots and violence, an expecting mother was hard at work. Battling her own fears and doubt and questioning if she could actually do it, she pushed forward anyway. She went from saying, “I can’t do it anymore!” to taking control back and finding her own power. She stopped fighting the pain and started listening to what her body was telling her.
And then with cries of joy, she brought her baby to her chest. SHE did it. Just minutes later, surrounded by her family, her father prayed. He gave thanks — for this new life, for keeping his daughter safe through labor, and for bringing the family together. Then he prayed for his grandson’s life, not knowing what the future holds for him as he grows into a man.
His prayer was sobering. As the riots and violence continue, this baby’s life is a sign of grace and a reminder of the long fight ahead”. @lanebphotography
“On Saturday morning my grandson was born at Gentle Beginnings Birth Center. We cried, we laughed, and we celebrated his arrival. It was nothing short of a miracle from start to finish. After the realization of our blessing, we calmed and my husband led us in prayer. Through prayer he acknowledged our gratefulness to God for our blessing but also prayed for this little BLACK BOY who was born to a world that will see his skin FIRST and ask questions later. We are STILL fighting the same fight and STILL angered at the disparities that plague us. BLACK LIVES MATTER! This child matters. His father matters. His grandfather matters. In Jesus Name, their destiny will not be determined by the color of their skin! I declare life.
I declare truth.
I declare wisdom.
I declare rest.
And in the meantime I’m Rooting for Everybody Black” -Kannasha . ✊🏾@mskmidwife @royallamerebirth