The Wells family wanted to share their birth experiences as an African American family with the intention of contributing BIPOC voices to this birthing community. We are honored they chose us. We would like to invite and welcome families to share their individual stories which collectively, are so important in helping bring about systemic change.
Tracy’s first pregnancy was pretty breezy, no complications. Having suffered an ischemic stroke at age 29 due to birth control, Nuvaring, which led to permanent partial vision loss, she was grossly aware of the cost of not being listened to by doctors. Given this obvious trauma, Tracy went carefully into pregnancy, knowing there could be risks with increased hormones in her body and having to be in the care of doctors and hospitals again. Nonetheless, her first pregnancy was healthy and full term. She went to 41weeks and 1 day and was then induced, due to creeping close to Christmas and wanting to ensure her doctor would be present. Her daughter was born healthy at 8lbs, 8oz, vaginally and without an epidural. The whole experience was much quicker than she’d anticipated, having had false labor the month before- only to be sent home. It was clear she’d labored through contractions the whole month in between. She checked into the hospital at midnight and gave birth at 4:30am. Tracy and Bradford are incredibly grateful to have had the entire first year of their daughter’s life uninterrupted by Covid, traveling often to their family and friends scattered across the country.
When she and her husband were considering having a second, they wanted a bit more time. They sought the opinion of the fertility experts at Kindbody who told Tracy unequivocally, she was not a good candidate for egg freezing due to low egg count, but should try to get pregnant immediately without them. They told her to give it 3 months and come back if she wasn’t pregnant, needless to say- she didn’t return. In May of 2022 the couple had planned to have their first getaway without their oldest and had to reschedule at the last minute due to their planned caretaker getting Covid. They rebooked for June and traveled, cautiously, to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They had an amazing time, all the while trying for a baby, returned home and promptly fell sick with covid. The plague started with her husband, then Tracy and finally their daughter. Upon confirming her bout with Covid, Tracy also noticed she was late and took a pregnancy test- which was also positive. She was sick for no less than 2 weeks! In addition, this time around she dealt with morning sickness, never-ending heartburn, vomiting and undercarriage pain requiring physical therapy throughout the pregnancy. Despite that, it was a joyful time as it was quite a baby boom in her family, a close cousin delivering a girl the month before her and her sister having given birth to a baby boy just 5 months before.
Despite knowing Black maternal health is overall abysmal in a hospital setting in the U.S. and due to her previous experience being ignored by doctors while having a stroke, Tracy decided on another hospital birth. She had a positive experience the first time and to minimize the amount of change and try to control what she could, in hopes of replicating another healthy pregnancy and birth, she kept everything the same. Same doctor, same hospital, same birth plan. And luckily, the birth worked out fairly close to her plan. She went into spontaneous labor at 39 and 3 days, birthed as long as she could at home, checked into the hospital at 8:45pm and her son was born at 11:55pm. With her mind set and lots of planning, she was able to have another unmedicated birth, in the hands of those she trusted.
Tracy Wells Bio
Tracy and her husband Bradford live in Los Angeles with their 4 year old daughter, Pearl and 6 week old son, Clay. Tracy is in sales and plans events on the side. Cuddling while reading with her kids, live music, being outdoors, baking and traveling keep her happy. You can connect with Tracy by leaving a comment here.
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