Labor and Delivery Nurse to Midwifery: Demetrice Smith’s Story of Birth, Loss and Empowering Mother’s Through Education
Demetrice Smith is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife for a non-profit organization in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Nursing with a specialization in Educational Leadership. She is the founder Melanated Midwife, where she teaches pregnancy and wellness courses.
Demetrice and her husband are parents to 3 earthly children and 4 angel babies. She has experienced almost every type of pregnancy loss which allows her to truly connect with her clients and is committed to empowering mothers and their families through education.
Here is a part of her truly inspiring story…
“When I walked into the hospital to have our first baby, I was only 25 weeks pregnant. It was July and my due date was not until October! I thought to myself, this can NOT be happening. “I’m a Labor & Delivery Nurse. I’m one month away from obtaining my Nurse Practitioner’s license. I went to all my prenatal visits. I ate well. I exercised. I did everything right. Why was this happening to me?”
I went on to give birth to our baby girl, Tristin, within 4 hours of arriving to the hospital. She weighed 1lb. 8oz. She lived for six weeks before passing away from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). I was devastated and heartbroken.
By the time we had our next pregnancy, I’d had some serious talks with God and my husband. This time would be different. I went in for my weekly prenatal visit at 23 weeks, only to find out my cervix was dilating. I was diagnosed with incompetent cervix. This meant the weight of the baby had caused my cervix to dilate PAINLESSLY! I was immediately sent to labor and delivery for placement of an emergency cerclage. (This is kind of like a purse-string that holds the cervix together). After 6 weeks of being in the hospital, I was released home on strict bedrest- only allowed to go to the restroom and shower 5 minutes/day for the remainder of the pregnancy. By the grace of God, our baby girl, Trinity, was born at 40 weeks without complications.
My next pregnancy progressed without any physical difficulties. I received my preventative cerclage at 12 weeks of pregnancy and went into labor on my own at 38 weeks, giving birth to our 3rd baby girl, Taelyn.
Prior to the birth of our son, we experienced 2 more losses- an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy resulting in the removal of my left Fallopian tube and in medical terms- a Missed AB @ 10 weeks. This is when there is no fetal heartbeat and the baby has died in utero.
After much debate and prayer, my husband and I gave it another try. Despite a difficult pregnancy, I gave birth to our son, Trebor Jr, at 35 weeks of pregnancy.”
-Demetrice Smith, FNP-C, CNM
Her courage, strength and perseverance are truly amazing and a testament to the power of women.
When Demetrice isn’t busy being a homeschool principal to her kids, she serves a part of Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) for Louisiana, Institute of Healthcare and Touro Equity Action Momentum Lab, Organizational Lead for Healthy Start’s Crescent City OB Connect Initiative, President of Louisiana Black Midwives Alliance, and an Evidence Based Birth Certified Instructor.
Demetrice will be talking all things motherhood and pandemic pregnancy this Friday with our founder Porcha Johnson at BGH Happy Hour! Become a member to join the conversation, ask questions and get tips on pre-conception planning.!