Eboni’s Birth Story

Eboni’s Birth Story

My husband and I were elated when I became pregnant in the fall of 2023. As someone who has spent the majority of my career in healthcare administration working in women’s health, I knew all the risk factors in carrying a child, especially being a Black woman. The evidence is clear, Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than White women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It does not matter how educated one is, because of my race I knew that I was at risk of experiencing increased pregnancy related complications and conditions. I am sharing my story to raise awareness as Woman’s Hospital recognizes Black Maternal Health Week.

My pregnancy was pretty normal, until the very end. I had a great relationship with my OBGYN, a number of doctors who I could call personally with any questions, a strong, loving village around me, and a doula to provide additional care and support. Fortunately, I did not have any morning sickness, worked out with my trainer through 36 weeks, and went to pelvic floor therapy as a preventive measure. In addition, I maintained a good diet, took my low dose aspirin daily, and took prenatal classes. I was trying to do all the things to prevent any issues. Despite all my planning and preparation, at about 37 weeks things changed, my blood pressure increased significantly causing me to develop gestational hypertension. My husband and I made the difficult decision to induce as I became full term. This went against everything I wanted as I spent my entire pregnancy preparing for a natural delivery.

Unfortunately, the induction failed. We tried multiple methods with the support of my care team, but unable to dilate further than a few centimeters, I received an epidural. My baby then developed fetal Tachycardia which meant his heart rate was elevated. I will never forget the look on my doctor’s face when she said we need to get ready for a C-section. It was not critical yet but could have become if we continued to wait.

The C-section happened very quickly. We immediately heard the cry of our baby boy, and I fell even more in love with him the moment they put him on my chest. After we got to the Mother Baby Unit, his heart rate was still elevated, and he subsequently went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I could not wait to see him and spent the next few days going to the NICU and resting. He was one of the biggest babies in the unit, but the fear of seeing our tiny baby hooked up to a machine was unlike any other.

We were blessed to go home together after being at the hospital almost a week. During my postpartum follow up with my physician, my blood pressure was still elevated, and I ended up taking medicine for several months. Happy to report my blood pressure is now normal, and there is no need for any more medications. I am grateful to my OBGYN for assessing my situation and acting quickly upon learning of my issue. There is no doubt that kept me on the road to recovery. I was vigilant about checking my blood pressure daily and taking my medication as prescribed as my goal is to be here and raise my baby.

Despite not having the delivery I wanted, I had an excellent care team consisting of my OBGYN, doula, nurses, neonatologists, lactation consultants, dietary, environmental services, and everyone in between. I could not have asked for better care as I brought life into this world. Today, we are raising the happiest little baby boy who makes everyday a great day. As someone who has spent her career managing physicians and clinical service lines, it was surreal being a patient utilizing numerous services across the hospital in the span of a week.

I was blessed to receive amazing care, but sadly, that is not always the case for many women who look like me. That is why I want to encourage all women, but especially Black mothers this week, to be their own best advocate. Choose a doctor who cares about you. Ask questions. Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of pregnancy related illnesses, identify ways to decrease risk factors as best as you can, and do your part in having a healthy baby. Write down your birth plan and discuss it with your loved ones so they know your wishes if anything unexpected happens. Use your voice to speak up if something is not right.

And here is a fun fact, Woman’s Hospital is where I was born and where I had my first child.


Photo taken by Green Tangerine Photography.