Introducing Season Two of NATAL
Coming Soon: NATAL heads to rural America for season two.
Editor’s Note: NATAL was produced as an audio series. If you are able, we encourage you to listen to the series here. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain typos. Please confirm accuracy before quoting by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shayla Brown: “I was just like, well, whatever happens is supposed to happen, you know. We thought about like, what if we go into labor on the road? We packed a bag, you know, he packed a delivery bag. Yeah. Yeah. Three, three bags of like pads and stuff in case, you know, I go into labor in the car, um, just all the supplies that we would need. That was the best we could do was to like, try to prepare to have a baby on the road.”
Martina Abrahams Ilunga: This season on NATAL, we head home to rural America.
Gabrielle Horton: We’re passing the mic to Black families, to hear all about their journeys to parenthood in their own words. And nothing is off limits.
Martina Abrahams Ilunga: From foster care and sperm donors.
Anasia Sturdivant: “And so we’re sitting in his parking lot and he goes, ‘Well, who’s the dad?!’ I was like, ‘I used a donor.’ And he’s like, ‘A what?’ And I was like ‘A donor dad, a sperm donor.’ He’s like, ‘Oh my goodness!'”
Martina Abrahams Ilunga: To catching babies at home,
Erick Brown: “I felt more pride, than just the excitement and the amazement. I feel a whole lot of pride, because not only had I been allowed to do it again, and I had successfully done it again, but the whole world saw me this time! Like this there’s no more baller way to be a birth partner.”.
Gabrielle Horton: We’ll also hear from those working to expand access to care for rural families all over.
Dr. Katy Kozhimannil: “So in 2004, um, it was about 56% of rural counties had hospital-based obstetric care. And, um, over the next decade we saw a decline so that in 2014, more than half of all rural counties had no place where you could give birth.”
Quita Tinsley Peterson: “And the reality is when you become pregnant, there are many potential outcomes that could happen and abortion is one of them.”
Crystal Starr Flowers: “When people began to ask questions about what’s ‘imagination builder,’ then I can go into, well, based on your, you know, breastfeeding goals or your health goals, I’m here to help you imagine what you want and believe in it, so you can achieve it.”
Gabrielle Horton: I’m Gabrielle Horton,
Martina Abrahams Ilunga: And I am Martina Abrahams Ilunga. We’re back as your hosts. So join us as we take a look at how Black rural families are birthing new life and legacies, on their terms.
Shayla Brown: “Well, the revolution does start with birth, because one, everything starts with birth, right? If we’re going to be here next week, next year, tomorrow, somebody better be having babies.”
Gabrielle Horton: Season Two of NATAL arrives Thursday, February 10th wherever you get your podcasts. For more, visit natalstories.com and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @natalstories.
Ciara Hunter Morning and Lilinoe Morning: “Aloha, Aloha. Lilli said ‘Aloha.’ Aloha!”
NATAL passes the mic to Black families to hear all about their journey to parenthood in their own words. NATAL’s second season follows four parents in rural Mississippi, Iowa and Hawaii as they birth new lives and legacies exactly where they are. Interwoven by narrative interludes, this 10-part story album features the birthworkers, medical professionals and advocates caring for Black rural families at every stage of pregnancy and beyond.
Co-published with NATAL.