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WHY I Feared Giving Birth at A Hospital.

Black Women in the United states are 3-4x more like to die due to child birth complications compared to their white counter part of equal education and the question is WHYY!?

When I announced to my family that I was pregnant with my second child they were beyond excited. Their smiling faces quickly turned in to worried ones when I told them that I would be giving birth at home. The entire 10 months my mom asked me to just go to the hospital she was scared for my life. Until one day I came out and said " Mom I'm scared that I'm going to die in the hospital."

Why was so fearful to give birth in a hospital?

At 21 I gave birth to my son Caleb at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and my experience was dreadful to say the least. A few day before giving birth I went in for a routine checkup and when I went home that day I fell ill. The next my Husband who was my boyfriend at the time took me back to the doctors office where my Doctor sent me to Labor and Delivery. At labor and delivery I was informed that I had an infection and they induced me that day. Did I mention it was the doctors office that gave me the infection!?

My Nurses were pretty nice but for my first time I was completely unaware of what was happening and they didn't tell me anything. On top of that The anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural stuck me in the wrong spot , probably because he was too busy arguing with the nurse! Not to mention the epidural didn't work! After almost 3 days of labor when I hit 10cm the nurse told me I had to wait another hour before I could push.There I was in pain holding my butt cheeks together so that baby wouldn't just fall out. When it was finally time to push the doctor was so rude and was constantly yelling at me the epidural had kicked in and I couldn't feel from my waist down.After my son was born he was snatched away from me and I was given drugs and left in a room alone.

During our postpartum care stay I was discouraged to breastfeed my baby as the NICU nurses kept giving him formula. Then at that the Doctor told me that I could not be discharged until I chose a prescription for birth control. At the time I had know idea what my rights were and just thought I had to do whatever the doctors said. It wasn't until I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Health Administration that I learned all about the disparities in our health care system. I began paying more attention to other women's birth stories and the things I would hear were beyond scary. Then it hit main stream news, Black women are being treated horrible in our hospitals and it is leading to the death of many.

How can we change this narrative!?

Stay tuned for my Next Blog Post on Why I chose a Mid- Wife and the complete difference in care.

Caleb Jehu Nimmons (9/13/14)

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