*Jodie Turner-Smith is opening up about her four day labor experience at her Los Angeles home in April.
In an essay for the September issue of British Vogue, the actress reflects on her pregnancy journey and welcoming her first child, a daughter, with actor Joshua Jackson.
“Every stage of my pregnancy brought its own challenges and lessons,” she said. “Nobody really teaches you about what your body goes through to bring a child into the world until you’re actually doing it.”
Turner-Smith and Jackson opted for a home birth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to the “negative birth outcomes for Black women in America.”
“We had already decided on a home birth, because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for Black women in America — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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,” she says.
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moth·er /ˈməT͟Hər/ : a fantastic voyage that begins in wonder and transformation. >>>>> thank you @fancygomez for capturing a small piece of this portion of the journey. i will never forget how this felt and now won’t soon forget how it looked ?? #FrankieMark #JodieByFrankieMark
“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,” she explained. “Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in determining my birth support.”
Turner-Smith says she spent nearly four days in labor in late April.
“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,” she shared. “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.”
The “Queen & Slim” star then praised her husband for supporting her throughout the pregnancy.
“It made me realize how lucky and privileged I am to have a partner willing to follow me around the world, supporting me while I did my job,” she wrote.
“Both of us had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support. Both of us were determined to create something for ourselves,” she said of Jackson. “He kept saying to me, ‘There’s no part of this that I’m going to miss.’ “
Now, the new mother is thinking about her daughter’s future.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Read her full essay here.