Hollywood Actress & Mum-Of-Two, Tatyana Ali Words Her Thoughts On The Mixed-Joy Circumstances Of Her Journey To Motherhood In Heartfelt Essay She Titled ‘Birthright’

Hollywood actress and mum-of-two, Tatyana Ali opened up about the realities and uniqueness of her journey to motherhood  in a heartfelt essay she titled ‘Birthright’ and posted by Essence. In her lengthy essay, Tatyana touched on a myriad of issues surrounding pregnancy, labour, birth, the peculiar experiences of pregnant black women in America, and advocated that the rich history of indigenous practice of midwifery and doula care be resuscitated to lower the risk of infant and maternal mortality.

The mum-of-two detailed how her low-risk first pregnancy suddenly resulted in an emergency C-section because the caregivers at the hospital did not care to approach her labour and delivery with flexibility but applied rigid textbook approaches throughout and left her dismayed. She shared her distressing experience in the labour ward and insisted that it did not have to be so unfeeling and that women deserve more compassion and assistance in labour.

Read excerpts from her essay below:

The birth of my first son, three years ago, went completely off script. For reasons that I have come to know are pretty much textbook, my low risk pregnancy resulted in extremely questionable actions on the part of those attending and an emergency c-section.

My labor was harried, filled with people I didn’t know screaming at me. My doula, concerned with her status at the hospital, who knew I wanted a natural birth, persistently advised me to take an epidural. I agreed, and the epidural left me unable to move.

One doctor slammed his forearm on top of my belly in order to force my son down as though I were a tube of toothpaste.

My delivery room had become a circus. There were people everywhere but no one to help me deliver. After the suction cup on my baby’s head failed repeatedly, I feared for his safety and finally asked for a c-section.

By the time they rolled me into the OR, I had passed out completely from the trauma of the Zavanelli maneuver.

My husband, advocating for our baby and me the entire time, was as traumatized as I was. Postpartum, I was told by someone in the hospital that I had a pelvis shaped like a man’s. I now know that comment was cruel and ridiculous.

The worst part of our trial was that our son spent several days in the NICU as a result of his harrowing birth.

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On parenthood, family and marriage, the reality star who obviously preferred a natural birth and wanted her doctors to respect her wish said she and her husband spent their first year of parenthood healing and doting on their son because they understood how crucial it was for their marriage and future as a family.

Read her words below:

We spent our first year of parenthood loving our baby and each other as fiercely as we knew how, knowing that healing our physical and psychic wounds was essential for the health of our marriage and future of our new family.

Somehow, we had to unravel the paradoxical feelings of blissed out love for our beautiful boy and anger and degradation of knowing that we put ourselves in the hands of people who had no inclination to honor our preferences.

And there were intense feelings of guilt that I still wrestle with. I secretly wished for a natural birth in a birth center, but assuaging the fears of those closest to me won out over honoring my intuition.

I believe that my choice to birth naturally in a hospital was misguided and led to the impatience and interventions that ultimately put my baby’s health in jeopardy.

When we decided to grow our family, I began to search for a better way.

Read the full essay here.

She shared the Instagram post below:

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