Bekah Martinez Shares Newborn Son Franklin's 'Joyful' Home Birth Story: 'He Didn't Even Cry'
Bekah Martinez also discussed how "birthing as a white woman is a privilege" and said that "Black women deserve compassionate care"
The Bachelor alum, 25, opened up about giving birth to her baby boy on Tuesday's episode of her Chatty Broads podcast, talking with co-host Jess Ambrose about why she chose to deliver at home this time around as opposed to a birthing center like she did with daughter Ruth Ray De La Luz, 16 months.
Martinez explains that she and boyfriend Grayston Leonard made the decision because it was easier than traveling to a birthing center, and they live in a bigger space now than they did when they welcomed Ruth.
The new mom of two also wanted "more of a hands-off approach" this time around when it came to her midwife — and while she "didn't really have a plan" for the birth, she was hoping it would be "really easy" since Ruth's delivery was uncomplicated just over a year earlier.
"I was like, 'I want this to be a joyful experience,' It was very exhausting and long with Ruth. I was like, 'I want this to be fun,' " Martinez says of the "vibe" she was going for. "I want(ed) to be laughing and joking with people in between contractions."
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Martinez took a walk with her family during the day and had tacos for dinner, and her contractions didn't start really picking up around 11 p.m., she recalls.
" 'Do you want me to check you? Because I think you're further along than you think you are,' " she remembers the midwife asking her as she was going through painful contractions. But Martinez did "not want to know," for fear of having to endure a lot more time until her cervix reached 10 centimeters dilated — in fact, she didn't get her cervix checked throughout her entire pregnancy or labor.
Martinez got into the birthing tub around 1:30 a.m., had "really strong contractions" and eventually felt "ready to get this baby out." When she finally started pushing, she remembers it feeling "so right" and "grinning throughout," because she was "so f—ing happy" she was about to meet her son and the pain was almost over.
"[He] came fully out in one contraction," Martinez says. "I felt the ring of fire briefly, but not really. It was just fast. It was all one push and his head was out."
She didn't open her eyes until the baby's body was out, which she pushed out in the next contraction. "He didn't even cry for the first few minutes. It was like he didn't even know he had been born," Martinez adds. "He just sat there in my lap with his eyes closed."
As for Ruth, it has only been a week and a half since she became a big sister, so she's still adjusting to her new baby brother being around as a permanent member of the household.
"When I'm around, she kisses his forehead and is so sweet," Martinez said. "I walk into the kitchen the other day to go get something and I walk back into the living room and she's standing over his swing hitting him as hard as she can — like straight-up arm-above-the-head whacking, in full force."
The mother of two "tried not to overreact" but admitted she couldn't help "freaking out" over the incident.
"I was like, 'I've got a full-on psychopath.' ... It was so scary," she said. "So that's another thing: I have to be his protector and protect him from Ruth trying to murder him."
Martinez also touched on some statistics about birth in general for white women versus Black, both on the podcast and in an Instagram caption alongside snaps from Franklin's birth, shot by photographer Lauren Guilford.
"Birthing as a white woman is a privilege in and of itself — my baby and I are statistically so much safer — but I am SO privileged to be wealthy and healthy enough to birth in the comfort of my home, surrounded by tender and compassionate care," she wrote. "The infant mortality rate for babies of Black mothers is double the rate of babies born to white mothers. According to the CDC, Black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health. In 2017 in NYC, Black women were TWELVE times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes."
The former reality star went on to note that "Black, college-educated mothers who gave birth in local hospitals were more likely to suffer severe complications of pregnancy or childbirth than white women who never graduated from high school," and said that surveys have shown "half of white medical trainees believe such myths as Black people have thicker skin or less sensitive nerve endings than white people."
"Where does this end? When will it stop? Black women deserve compassionate care. Safe pregnancy and birth is a privilege. A home birth with a midwife who is the same color as me is a huge privilege," she added, directing her followers to a GoFundMe campaign to support Black birth workers and promising to match up to $4,000 in donations each from herself and her podcast.