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Talking Birth Choices with Keia and Jon

When Keia and Jon were expecting their first child, Roman, they let us listen in on how they made their birth choices.
by 
Keia and Jon
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Keia and Jon live in Richmond, VA with their son Roman and their dog, Kingston. When they were expecting Roman, they had a lot of conversations with each other and their doula about their birth choices and they let us listen in.

To hear the actual audio that goes with the text below, scroll to the 7:00 mark on the first audio selection, “Talking Birth Choices with Keia and Jon Pt 1”.

JON

What I do like about having a doula and a midwife is that their job is to craft the birth process to your unique experience. To me that’s the big win. I was not the doula and the midwife guy. I was very traditional, let’s get into finding a hospital — but those experiences are very canned is the best way to describe it — it’s the difference between a homemade meal that your mama makes versus going to McDonalds and getting something that they’ve made 5000 of — there’s a little more love there.

KEIA

We chose a birth center... from my perspective, I knew I didn’t want to go to the hospital. Once I got pregnant and I started hearing certain statistics about African-American women and birth and pregnancy — I don’t know that I’d say that I got scared, but I was concerned, and a lot of it revolved around traditional care with an OBGYN and a hospital birth. So I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to protect both myself and my child, and that was a big reason why I wanted a doula, not just for the information that she gives us, but for the advocacy that she gives us... I thought about a home birth. Before I was really educated about it I thought it would be cheaper, one. Two —

JON

[laughing] It’s not by the way.

KEIA

[laughing] It isn’t. Two, I wanted the freedom to be able to labor how I wanted to in what was comfortable for me, and as you look into certain things with traditional birthing, hospitals and doctors like to monitor the fetus and sometimes they want to put an IV in for fluids and things like that, a lot of hospitals won’t let you consume anything when you’re in labor, even water or ice chips sometimes depending on the hospital, so I knew that I wanted more freedom in our birth... and I wanted the least amount of hands and bodies checking on me and the baby. I really felt like I wanted us to birth like we’re naturally supposed to birth and a lot of times with traditional birthing that doesn’t always happen with all the checking they have to do, for good reason, but it just wasn’t the thing that I wanted to do. And then talking to Jonathan, from his standpoint — he’ll talk about it — of believing the hospital birth at the time was the better option for us —

JON

Can I talk about that for a minute?


KEIA

Yeah.

JON

So I definitely came from the opposite side of the equation because I was a c-section baby, my brother was a c-section baby, my mom’s lost two babies and so we — because of that my biggest question was hey, if a medical emergency happens, what’s kind of the process —  obviously for her health, obviously the baby’s health, and then the second part is if we go with the birth center and something goes terribly wrong we have to pay the birth center and the hospital and that’s not an option I’m super excited for — and there’s also the view... the hospital is very geared toward dotting their “i”s and crossing their “t”s and it’s a system —

KEIA

For reasons that are necessary for them, insurance and liability...

JON

Yeah. They get sued and when they do it’s for millions of dollars because somebody’s lost something — so their insurance levels are high and all that stuff so I understand that, but in my head I was very okay with the idea — with walking in the room and having everyone afraid of something going wrong and that I would sue the pants off them. I was completely okay with that, and what I really began to discover was that starting from a fear-based view wasn’t the environment that I wanted our son to be birthed in and overall walking into that kind of environment  causes complications, because it adds — even if everything goes perfectly right, it adds stress, it adds issues — those are the things that create complications. Overall, it’s my personal opinion after seeing a lot of the studies and data and stuff like that and talking to Keia and our doula and to other people in the process — the more comfortable my wife is, the better I believe the birth process is going to go.

And then on the financial end the reality is it’s going to cost money either way, it just is. It’s all about how you pay for it and figuring it out, but it’s going to cost. Yeah, you want to be wise and save money and do what you got to do... I think for me the biggest question is what do I want this process to look like for us and what do I want this to feel like for her, what do I want this process to be like for him?

Keia + Jon Alexis | @KeiaAlexis @JonAlexis777

This post comes from Issue #3 of Everyday Birth Magazine. See the whole issue here.

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