Shantay Renee Davies- Balch (SRDB) and Sabrina Michelle Beavers (SMB)
SRDB: I remember, when I heard that your water broke, I felt sad.
SMB: People talk about pregnancy glow and being able to deliver full term. I didn’t get that experience. I would have appreciated having that extra time with her in utero to build that bond and for her to come out as healthy as possible. I felt kind of cheated out of the last part of my pregnancy.
SRDB: You know, I had two babies that were born preterm. And I remember feeling depressed because I was like, ‘I take my folic acid.’ I even had a spreadsheet where I tracked my vegetables. [Laughs]
SMB: I knew a lot of friends and their families who had suffered with babies that were in the NICU for weeks or who didn’t make it home.
SRDB: And I remember growing up seeing babies born really tiny. I didn’t know there was a name for it. It was even normal to have Black women die either during birth or soon after.
SMB: And it’s like, well, why don’t we talk about these things? Why aren’t these normal conversations?…just like we talk about heart disease, diabetes and how it runs in the family. Same thing when it comes to preterm birth. I felt very overwhelmed. ‘Cause it wasn’t something that I was prepared for. She was born at four pounds.
SRDB: And how much does she weigh now?
SMB: She’s almost seven pounds. [Laughs]
SRDB: That’s so exciting.
SMB: [Laughs]… so…
SRDB: I’m really proud of both of you. I know it was really hard.
SMB: The only ask that I have is that for my daughter’s sake and for the sake of any Black woman here, now, or destined to be, that we figure out how to prevent this from happening. I want this to not be normal.
SRDB: Well, I’m honored and really excited to continue to work with you and really honored to be your friend. And I will see you back at work.
SMB: Probably another six weeks. [Laughs]