Gang Gang, Trap Trap Trap! Nah I’m not talking about ‘endz’ ‘mans’ ‘manor’, where I reside! I’m talking about the only hood that matters and that’s FATHERHOOD!
I was welcomed into this fraternity of brothers on 10/12/2018 at 03:14am. Wow – what an experience. As a man, there is nothing that can prepare you for the experience of witnessing, assisting and participating in the wonder of child birth.
On the day Jasmine went into labour I was actually supposed to be working but as she was 5 days overdue, we were aware she could give birth at any moment. It just so happens that on a day I had off, her waters broke.
I was in bed asleep when I faintly heard Jasmine come in and whisper ‘my waters have broken’. Even though I was in dreamsville, I could still sense the excitement in her voice.
We had been a little apprehensive; being overdue was starting to mess with our nervous system! The constant texts and calls ‘has she gone into labour yet’ ‘when is the baby coming’ did our head in. I also still had work commitments in London which could have potentially meant that Jasmine would be in labour whilst I made my way back home, from London to Leicester.
I had originally arranged my paternity leave to start on the 5th of December which was our sons due date. But, once Jasmine became overdue I went back to work so not to waste a single day of the 2 weeks I had been allocated to bond with our baby. I don’t know about anybody else but for me 2 weeks of paternity leave (UK) is just not enough time to bond and really reconstruct your whole life around this new little baby you now have. I digress.
So that Sunday I got up, unaware that was the last time I would have a decent sleep probably ever again! We had been told to just play it cool if/when her waters break and continue our day as normal until the contractions intensify. The midwife came by and did her checks, and then I hit the gym. I needed that session to help relax the nerves and excitement that was running through my body.
When I got home we decided to go out and get something to eat, Jasmine’s contractions at this point weren’t too bad but once we sat down at the restaurant they visibly intensified. We went back home and Jasmine said she wanted to rest as the contractions were becoming quite painful, so whilst she rested I did a frantic clean of our flat. That was an absolute necessity for me, to not only physically cleanse our space but spiritually also. I’ll fast forward past some bits so Jasmine can you fill you in on them later but needless to say the contractions became more frequent and painful so we ‘calmly’ drove to her parents’ house where we were going to give birth.
Leading up to our due date I had told a few people that we were having a home birth and some of the reactions surprised me. Some people would just become quiet as if to say they didn’t agree but didn’t want to say anything, some would be in disbelief and ask if I was not concerned about the safety aspect of giving birth – ‘What if something goes wrong? What will you do?!’ As if to say things don’t go wrong at hospitals! Did you know that you are less likely to need a caesarean or any intervention when having a home birth?
For us, the idea of Jasmine laying on her back (how unnatural is that) being in a sterile unfamiliar environment in a system whereby interventions seem to frequently be used to speed up the process, whereby women of colour are dying or suffering serious trauma in child birth disproportionately to their white counterparts, I mean it just wasn’t for us. If you know me, you know I don’t trust this shitstem one bit so homebirthing was the way to go.
However I do not judge, feel superior or anything like that to anybody who chooses to give birth at a hospital, a birthing suite or anywhere else for that matter. Giving birth is HARD WORK, so wherever a woman wants to give birth, wherever she feels comfortable, with or without drugs, she should be supported. I for one, salute all mothers out here for bringing life into the world.
As was told to us by our midwives, in many first time home births many women are transferred to hospital – the main reason for this is because of exhaustion. So as much as we wanted a home birth, we wanted a healthy baby and mother even more, so if that meant having to go to the hospital, we were down for it.
Once we arrived at Jasmine’s parents’ house, everything was set up just as she had wanted. Thank you to her parents for doing a great job. The lights were low, we had an alter with pictures of various ancestors who we wanted to be present and watch over our birth. The birthing pool was set up in the living room. We had music playing in the background and it was just right. That’s the thing about homebirthing for me. Being able to be in a familiar, loving environment set up the way you want it.
Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all peace and tranquility with everybody high fiving each other! Pretty much as soon as we got in Jasmine threw up and then her contractions were coming around every 30 seconds. The moans, the screams, the pleading – all I could really do is hold her when she needed me and try to encourage her but in all honesty I was WAY out of my element. Luckily we had Jasmine’s sister and mum there to help.
At 03.14am our son Amari was born weighing in at just over 7 pounds. Not trying to sound cliche but really words can’t describe the feeling of holding your newborn son in your arms for the first time and to be honest I don’t want to try and find words to describe it.
After the midwives had checked him over and dismantled the pool they left and I’d just like to say what a great job they did. The greatest thing about what they did was that they didn’t intervene unnecessarily. They sat back in the background and allowed us really to birth our own son. They’d come and check the heartbeat intermittently and help Jasmine with her breathing on occasion, but that was about it. Their presence and attitude inspired confidence and it was a flawless birth.
So here we were, Jasmine, me, her mum and sister – SHATTERED – with baby Amari. Amari was cool! Laid back, chilling. Jasmine had put him on her breast pretty much straight away so after he fed, it was time to get some sleep. We slept for a few hours but had to get up as we had different midwives from the homebirthing team coming round to check on us and Amari. Rising up out of bed to see our son sleeping in his crib for the first time was surreal. He was just this tiny little thing. I was almost scared to hold him as I had an illogical fear that I might somehow hurt him, I was beyond gentle you know!
That somewhat changed when this second set of midwives came round. The way one of them was so confidently picking up Amari, pulling his legs whilst doing his checks, pulling his arms, turning him over checking his spine and what not. I can’t lie at first she freaked me out because she looked like she was being way too heavy handed with him. I was sitting down and literally got up and had to stand over and watch what she was doing. Something in me was like ‘yo jay you better go get your baby coz this woman is crazy!’ It was a protective instinct that came out of nowhere. I literally wanted to fly kick the woman and rescue my son from this wildling!
Luckily I do have a rational mind and looking at Jasmine and seeing how she was cool about what was going on, I managed to relax a bit. I still stood there though, watching over her – f’k about!
The first day that Amari came into our lives is a bit of a blur as we were so sleep deprived. I do remember however sitting on the sofa with Jasmine’s family, hearing a knock at the door and then being told that somebody had crashed into my car! I thought it must have been a mistake but no, sure enough, I went outside on a freezing December night to find a car rammed into the back of mine with nobody inside it. Would you believe a woman had parked her car up the road on a slight hill and left her handbrake off. She goes into a house and while she’s there, her car rolls down and crashes into mine. Just some real random shit!
I wanted to be vex about the situation and tell this woman about her ras, but my son had just been born! Accidents happen, so I let it slide. We exchanged details and I went back inside to be with my family. Throughout the day, Amari had been cool. No fussing, no fighting. I thought ‘yeah this isn’t so hard, we got a calm one’. Ohh but that night! The crying did not stop. He was fed, his nappy had been changed but he just would not stop crying, we didn’t have a clue what to do. But then in the dead of the night, an angel appeared to us. She levitated into the room and took our crying baby away from us and allowed us to finally get some sleep.
That next morning I realised that angel had actually been Jas’s mum. Upon closer inspection of the night’s events and trying to figure out why he just would not stop crying, Sindy (mum) informed us that he just needed burping! Rookie error! I feel like there could have potentially been a lot more rookie errors but thankfully Sindy stayed with us at our house for the first week or so to help guide us on this new adventure. The support from our families has been priceless and even then, it’s still been hard work. It makes me appreciate my mum even more as I know she had absolutely no support in raising us. I just don’t know how she did it, but that’s the thing, when you have children, you HAVE to find a way.
Amari has just turned 4 months old now and he’s getting bigger by the day. He feeds non-stop. He’s very alert and he’s a little chatterbox. He’s got little dimples and a smile to die for. I’m actually so in love with our son. I can just stare at him and feel complete happiness and satisfaction. They grow and change so quickly. We already have a bag full of clothes that he didn’t even get to wear because he just grew so quickly. He’s our son but it’s like he’s his own person, he has his own personality. It’s amazing.
A while back, we received a letter asking us to bring him in for his immunisations shots. Before Amari was born, I took about 2 months out of my life to look into the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations. I constantly read books, watched hours and hours of documentaries, researched online, you name it. I guess, I write this for anybody who’s considering not to vaccinate their child – we will not be allowing a single needle to pierce our sons’ skin. I’m not going to go into a long diatribe here, I’m not ‘anti-vaccines’ in reality I’m more like ‘pro-safe vaccines’. You know, once you’re labelled as ‘anti-vaxx’ it becomes extremely controversial. I’ve seen these weirdo keyboard warrior types wishing death on people’s children and all kinds of madness like that ‘I hope your unvaccinated child dies of polio’.
Mad, but anyway, after doing my due diligence my basic conclusion is that vaccines can and do cause injury, hence billions of pounds have been paid out to people injured by vaccines. Black male babies are at a higher risk of developing autism through vaccines (Dr William Thompson CDC Whistleblower) vaccines contain poisonous and harmful ingredients such as mercury and aluminium which are neurotoxins.
Vaccines have been linked to causing autism, ADD, ADHD and to causing allergies. There have been no studies comparing unvaccinated children and vaccinated children to show if vaccines actually work. What’s more, is that vaccinated children do still contract the same diseases they are vaccinated against. I mean, I could really go on but to sum it up what my research has shown me is that vaccinations are like playing Russian roulette. There are some babies and children who will get vaccinated and be fine and then there are some who will succumb to various serious illnesses and some who will also die.
The fact is there is nothing in place to check who is susceptible to being vaccine injured and who is not. We’re just not willing to play them games with our son. We have however enlisted the help/advice of a homeopathic doctor in cases of need. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling ANYBODY what to do in regards to their child. That’s YOUR CHILD and your decision. If you want to vaccinate your child that’s totally up to you. But to those that have done no research and proceed to talk shit and insult people who have decided not to vaccinate after spending days, weeks and months researching, fix up.
Generally speaking I’m assuming we all want what’s best for our babies, so we all have a right to do that, regardless of what our decision is. As with anything I would just say research things first.
This whole journey into fatherhood has been incredible and has really made me appreciate those around me. Though, through our pregnancy and the birth of our son, I have been hugely let down by certain people and I guess, I’ve had to accept that people make time for what they want to make time for. With that being said I would really like to thank all the people who have taken the time and energy out for our new family. We’ve had so many cards, so many visitors coming from all over England – travelling for hours and hours just to spend some time with us. Special shout out to all of our amazing friends and family members who’ve made such a huge effort, we love and appreciate you.
Being a part of this fraternity, I feel my role is to love, protect, inspire and educate our son. I’ve always been an ambitious person but now my ambitions have intensified because they’re about so much more than myself. I need to secure his future. I need to equip him with the necessary tools to go further than his father. I know I will.