This Mom Needs...To Tell Her Birth Story

This Mom Needs...To Tell Her Birth Story

Hello Mama’s! Welcome back to the blog! This week April 11-17,2022 is Black Maternal Health week. The purpose of this week is to highlight and raise awareness of racial disparities in Black maternal health. Being a Black mom who recently experienced a traumatic birth with the arrival of my second child I think it is super important to speak on this cause and share my story.

For 9 months I read all the top baby books in preparation for the birth of my baby boy. Throughout the pregnancy there were not any complications. My son and I were in overall great health. At 36 weeks I was given a form to sign that allowed the doctors to give me Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor) if I went past 40 weeks and could not go into labor on my own.

At 38 weeks I went into labor at home and was advised not to go to the hospital until my contractions were five minutes apart. I spent the afternoon till the next early morning laboring at home. When my contractions were five minutes apart, we headed for the hospital. After being examined I was admitted to the hospital and was 6 centimeters dilated. I was admitted to the hospital around 6 a.m. and my labor was going smoothly.

The nurses constantly checked on me, but it was a busy day in labor and delivery. By 1p.m. they wanted to speed up my labor and decided to give me Pitocin which was when things became traumatic. After giving me Pitocin, they noticed that the contractions were becoming stronger but too strong. My son’s heartbeat started to decline rapidly. Seven nurses and the doctor walked in and tried to keep me calm but my son’s heartbeat was now around 40 bpm. They said they needed to give me a shot that would increase my heartrate and slow down the contractions. After about two minutes my son’s heart rate increased and everyone walked out of the room.

My husband and I were still processing what happened and wanted answers. When my nurse came back into the room to check on us, we needed answers. She explained my body was already going through labor normally and they should have just drained my bladder before administering Pitocin. My body did not need Pitocin to speed up the contractions, which in return made the contractions too much for the baby and put him in distress which also made his heartrate fall. She nonchalantly described it as if someone holds your head under water for too long without air. At this point I was trying to stay calm and focus on delivering a healthy baby but I was still shocked about what had occurred. Around 2:30 p.m. I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We were so grateful and thankful to hold our baby that is all we could focus on.

My story reminds me that you should read the forms and waivers health professionals push you to sign. Ask them to thoroughly go through what they are requesting you to sign (it’s their job)! I have flashbacks of the form I had to sign at 36 weeks for the Pitocin that was only supposed to be used to induce labor after 40 weeks not while I was in active labor and contracting normally on my own. If you do not feel knowledgeable about what your signing, ask to take the form home to review if you need to. Our story reminds me every day that I could have lost my beautiful baby boy because of negligence. Black Moms matter, Black Babies matter, and Black Maternal Health matters.

Until next time Moms…

Tionna Twyne, NJ Mom of 2
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