Jodie Turner Smith welcomed her baby girl back in April. We still don’t know the name of Mystery Turner-Smith-Jackson, correct? I didn’t even remember that Jodie and Joshua Jackson had a girl. Anyway, the baby is about four months old now, and we haven’t heard much of anything about the birth, etc. Some new moms like to share their stories immediately, some wait! In Jodie’s case, she wrote an essay for the September issue of British Vogue about her FOUR DAY home-birth and honestly, I think my uterus just packed up and caught a flight to Costa Rica. You can read some of British Vogue piece here. Some highlights:
Why they decided on a home birth: “We had already decided on a home birth because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for black women in America. According to the [CDC], the risk of pregnancy-related deaths is more than three times greater for black women than for white women, pointing, it seems to me, to systemic racism.”
Home birthing in a time of Covid: “We never imagined that in the coming weeks, hospitals around the country would begin restricting who could be present in the birthing rooms, forcing mothers to deliver without the support person or people of their choice. Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in determining my birth support.”
Joshua was by her side the whole time: “Both of us had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support. Both of us were determined to create something different for ourselves. He kept saying to me, ‘There’s no part of this that I’m going to miss.’ And there wasn’t.”
Four days of labor: That extended to the couple’s home birth, which saw Turner-Smith labouring for nearly four days in their Los Angeles home. “Early in the morning on my third day of labour, my husband and I shared a quiet moment. I was fatigued and beginning to lose my resolve. Josh ran me a bath, and as I lay in it contracting, I talked to my body and I talked to my daughter. In that moment, he snapped a picture of me. An honest moment of family and togetherness – a husband supporting a wife, our baby still inside me, the sacred process of creating a family.”
Welcoming a child into the world in 2020: “Sometimes I wonder how I will explain to my daughter what it meant to be born in the year 2020. The historic events, the social unrest, and me – a new mother just trying to do her best. I think I will tell her that it was as if the world had paused for her to be born. And that, hopefully, it never quite returned to the way it was before.”
Jodie gave birth in LA, and it’s my understanding that California hospitals were still allowing a pregnant woman’s partner or spouse to be with her in the delivery room? But she’s probably talking about doulas or midwives too, and yes, I bet those extra support people would be banned from delivery rooms in the pandemic. Anyway, home birthing makes me so nervous, and a four-day labor… my God, I can’t even imagine. Poor Jodie. Poor Joshua. Josh sounds like such a loving, engaged partner too – it sucks that it’s so notable, but it IS. So many men are garbage at all of this, but Joshua was ride-or-die for Jodie as soon as they met.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instagram.