My name is Ashley Sipes, I am now a mother of two twirly kiddos! It all started when I peed on a stick in an Arby's bathroom and saw a plus sign. I peed on another stick...and then another. Rainn Wilson wasn't lying when he said, "That ain't no Etch-a-Sketch. This is one doodle that can't be undid, Homeskillet." I was indeed pregnant. At 18 years old, I didn't know how impactful my birth would be. I thought birth just "happened" to you and then you moved on, with little to no say in what "happened". I had birth preferences, sure, but I didn't plan. I didn't understand the extent of planning or education. I was fear driven and didn't want to learn. To be honest, birth was something that I wanted to avoid all together. Why so much fear? It seemed like such an out of control emergent thing. During my first prenatal appointment, I was immediately told that I might need a cesarean, this was due to my small pelvis. That reinforced the fear and avoidant tendencies that I was already experiencing. However, birth was an inevitable event that would occur. I blindly nodded to everything my obstetrician was telling me, because he was all that I had. He went to school for this, after all. I wasn't the expert.
My pregnancy experience was traumatic, as well as my birth. At 11 weeks postpartum, my obstetrician made it clear that I would never reach my previous weight. My unfortunate mistreatment was a wake up call, yes, but no one should be treated this way. After sharing my experiences and listening to others, I realized that we need to feel heard. It helps to not feel alone and isolated to an event and experience. Though my experience was traumatic, I recognize that I am still very much privileged in my experience. This is unacceptable.
After years of processing my birth, I've taken steps to make changes. EMDR therapy helped me during my second pregnancy, as did a supportive birth team. Not everyone is able to receive this type of care, though. I finally decided that I would take the plunge and become a birth worker. I'm now an aspiring doula and childbirth educator through Bebo Mia. My goal is to raise funds to be able to support low income individuals. All birthing people and their families deserve respect, support, and education.
Do you need help raising funds for your clients? Let me promote you!
We want to share your story, empowering or traumatic. Know that you aren't alone and that we see your power! We want to help provide resources for ALL birthing people and parents, whether it includes reproductive health or mental health. We want you to leave our site feeling informed, educated, and validated. We encourage you to take up space, to shout your birth from the rooftops, and find the care that you deserve!
The US is one of the most dangerous places to give birth in the developed world, with a high cesarean rate as well as a high maternal mortality rate. Our current system is failing black families. Black individuals are four times more likely to die in childbirth than with women and are at higher risk of mental health complications following birth, including PTSD from a birth experience. If you are a black, brown, or indigenous birth worker and would like for us to share any of your links or donation sites, please contact us.
We strongly believe in you and your birth. Your birth story matters!
Art By: Cosmic Birth, find their information on the resource page.
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