Tatyana Ali was a staple of the 90’s sitcom era. The beautiful actress and singer won America’s hearts as the youngest sibling on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. As Ashley Banks we got to watch her blossom into a young woman and even parlay her platform into pop stardom with a string of hit singles in the 90’s. Now a days, Ali is a mom maintaining a relatively low profile. She recently opened up about her struggles during child birth.
Back in March of 2016, Tatyana Ali revealed that she was engaged to Dr. Vaughn Rasberry, an assistant professor of English at Stanford University. The two had met on eHarmony. Shortly afterwards the couple announced that they were expecting their first child. She and Rasberry married on July 17, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. They share two sons.
As a mom of 2, Ali has position herself as a voice in the fight for Black maternal health and has opened up about how the life or death issue impacted her family. She opened up about some red flags she experienced while talking to her doctor prior to her first child’s birth and why she should have known better.
“When I asked my OB-GYN what positions I could be in during labor and delivery, he said that `I could hang from the lights if that made me happy’,” said Ali. “This being my first birth, the dismissal of my very earnest query into birthing techniques hurt. I felt silly. That should have been a warning.”
She continued, “One doctor climbed onto the side of the bed and pushed his forearm into my belly so hard that I could still feel the pain days later. My baby had been crowned for hours. I could feel his hair. We said, “No”, when they offered forceps. They used a suction, a plunger type apparatus, and tried four times, the suction aggressively popped off of his head again and again. I knew instinctively that they would hurt my baby irreparably if this circus continued.”
Eventually Ali asked for a C-Section. She recalls the doctor wordlessly “pushed my baby back inside me in an extremely dangerous procedure called the Zavanelli maneuver. I began to convulse and shake. Then, my world went dark.”
Ali blacked out afterwards but her firstborn son Edward survived. The newborn spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, unable to urinate on his own. “The head pediatric urologist said it was because of his traumatic birth.”
Read more about her terrifying experience via Essence.