175 | Learning Lessons Through Trauma - Javana Baptiste
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
2M ago
Javana’s birth experience taught her some important lessons about self-advocacy and the current structure of maternal health in the United States. The gaps in education about options and the variance in how providers operate through the perinatal process led her down a road of challenges and fear. Over thirty hours of labor started with mild, irregular contractions and pieces of her mucus plug releasing. Javana experienced irregular labor patterns that kept her home until her water broke. That shifted her mindset to watching the clock and did not feel like she her labor was intense enough to ..read more
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174 | Trusting Our Power - Raquel & Chris Williams
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
3M ago
The year 2020 will forever be etched in the minds of those who lived to tell the tale. Oh, the stories we will tell. The smoke and mirrors were dispersed and the United States revealed its true self. We bore witness to Riot, after Riot, after Riot. The revolution appeared to be televised after all. But deep in our communities the true revolution was brewing. Many Black women and birthing people continued to give birth despite the headlines, the statistics, and the odds stacked against them. But they didn’t just give birth; they gave birth how they wanted, where they wanted, and focused on wha ..read more
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173 | The Journey Pregnancy App - Courtney Williams
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
3M ago
Our guest, CEO of Emagine Solutions Technology Courtney Williams, is the creator of The Journey Pregnancy App. The app enables patients to vital signs during pregnancy and then transmits this information in real-time and creates a record. Beyond that it issues a call to action for users to contact their providers when they enter vitals that are out of bounds based on ACOG standards. This technology was developed after Courtney experienced Postpartum Preeclampsia, a rare condition that occurs when you have high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine soon after childbirth. She was alre ..read more
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172 | Trusting Intuition, Rooted in Autonomy - Emoni Cobb
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
6M ago
Meeting Emoni and listening to her pregnancy and birth reminds one of the classic interview of a young Serena Williams when the interviewer asked her repeatedly why she thought she was going to win her match. Her father Richard Williams interrupted the interview and told the reporter to “leave that alone.” The “that” he referred to was Serena’s confidence. He was deeply protective of that which he and her mother had built through practice and words. For those entrusted with the work of birth in any capacity and for those entrusted with someone sharing their birth wishes, “Leave that alone.” B ..read more
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Along the Road to Healing | Stacee & Shawn Shannon
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
8M ago
Stacee describes her current state of being as her motherhood era. She has birthed two of their children with her husband, and to look at them now you would have no clue what it took to get here. Conception did not come easy. Childbirth brought its challenges. Postpartum complications nearly ended it all. Stacee and Shawn’s family was forged in the fire. Stacee and her husband, Shawn, held strong to not only each other but to their dream of adding to their family as well. While Shawn and Stacee’s story details two live births, their first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. A miscarriage that ..read more
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Along the Ride to Healing | Stacee & Shawn Shannon
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
8M ago
Stacee describes her current state of being as her motherhood era. She has birthed two of their children with her husband, and to look at them now you would have no clue what it took to get here. Conception did not come easy. Childbirth brought its challenges. Postpartum complications nearly ended it all. Stacee and Shawn’s family was forged in the fire. Stacee and her husband, Shawn, held strong to not only each other but to their dream of adding to their family as well. While Shawn and Stacee’s story details two live births, their first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. A miscarriage that ..read more
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170 | Building it Better - Esther McCant
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
9M ago
Esther McCant, founder and CEO of Metro Mommy Agency, opened up about her five pregnancies, which included a miscarriage that would push her to self-advocate with her medical provider. Esther’s first pregnancy happened within the first few months of her marriage. Six weeks later, she learned that she had a blighted ovum and her provider prepared her to miscarry. She had the choice to let the ovum pass or go to the hospital for a DNC. She stayed home as long as she could but eventually went to the hospital. Esther recalled the doctor taking quite a while to see her, and when she did she insist ..read more
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169 | My Black Fatherhood - 2023
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
1y ago
Storytelling is always where the truth lies. It's an authentic account of our experiences - without modification, questions, or uncertainty. Validation that our experience and voice matter. We know what the narrative has been created around black fathers, what they are or aren't doing. What fatherhood has or hasn't meant to them. In our community, though we feel the truth, we know the role black fathers have in the foundation of their families. In 2020 in collaboration with Heather Gallagher (photojournalist Heather Gallagher photographer), we highlighted and amplified the voices of black fat ..read more
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168 | Survival is the Floor, Joy is the Ceiling - Raena Boston
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
1y ago
Raena Boston, Founder of the Chamber of Mothers and The Momtras, joined us to share her three birth experiences and the makings of motherhood. Raena's first pregnancy lead her down a new path for her family by choosing a birth center instead of a hospital. Her provider was off-putting and the idea of shifting to different providers within the practice helped her make the decision. The birth center experience with Baby Aksel was beautiful. She arrived at the birth center at 4 cm dilated after a night of laboring at home. Her husband, Travis, and their doula were supportive and helped her manag ..read more
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167 | Prepare and Then Let Go - Dasia Gant
Birth Stories in Color
by Laurel Gourrier
1y ago
A few years have passed since we last heard from Dasia. She shared her first birth story, which included a home birth transfer to the hospital where she endured birth trauma.  Since our last chat on the podcast, Dasia added birth doula to her growing list of titles and passions.   This second pregnancy was unexpected but welcome. Her threshold of knowledge had shifted not just within birth work but what she knew about herself after becoming a mother for the first time. In retrospect, she acknowledges that she wanted to repair the issues of her first traumatic birth and didn’t a ..read more
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