Meet Natoya Sanders: Dope Black Wife, Mom, and Survivor
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
I really struggled with how to preface the interview of this truly amazing young woman. Sometimes you just can't find the words to truly express your admiration for a person, especially when many may not understand why you admire them as much as you do. Nevertheless, I will keep the introduction brief because the actual interview speaks for itself. I have known Natoya for a little over a decade and have watched her grow into a phenomenal woman, wife, and mother. I have even witnessed her as she and her family endured one of the most difficult battles they would likely ever face...infant loss. As we approach OCTOBER 15TH – WORLD PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS REMEMBRANCE DAY, I want to take time to highlight this amazing woman who has allowed her pain to drive her passion. She is Black Girl Magic personified. Meet Natoya Sanders, wife, advocate, and mother to two angel babies. Natoya is a native of Corinth, MS and currently lives in Starkville, MS with her husband Joey. They are both alumni of Mississippi State University and proud Bulldog fans. You may be familiar with her name or her story as she has been featured in a documentary filmed by her sister, Dr. Nakeitra Burse, entitled Laboring with Hope.
In 2016, Natoya and Joey were excited and preparing to welcome their baby boy, Jordan Kingsley Sanders into the world. Jordan was set to be born in June, but made an early entrance February 22nd. Over the next 8 months, Jordan and his journey would impact people near and far as Natoya shared Jordan's journey in the NICU with hopes that it would end with him going home. God saw different and instead called Jordan home to be with him October 30, 2016. Natoya and her husband are survivors of infant loss. 1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy.
Natoya is by far one of the strongest women I have ever met but for a reason that most wouldn't understand. For me, Natoya's strength doesn't lie in her ability to overcome what she has been through, but instead it lies in her transparency, vulnerability, and the raw emotion from everything that she has endured. Natoya has turned her pain into purpose and allows it to being a driving force to ensure that other families experiencing extensive stays in the NICU are as informed and supported as possible. Her journey has silently helped so many who are also coping with the emotions that come with enduring pregnancy and infant loss.
Watch our interview to learn more about Natoya's story and discover why she is what I think Black Girl Magic looks like...
Research has shown that Black women experience all types of pregnancy loss more often than white women. This includes miscarriage as well as stillbirth, preterm birth, and infant death. The reasons why have baffled scientists for decades. The reasons why Black women are more susceptible to these risk factors is complicated and related to various issues of racism and systemic inequality in healthcare. However pinpointing the exact reasoning behind higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other chronic illnesses is not clear cut.
OCTOBER IS PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH
If you or someone you care about has lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS, or any other cause at any point during pregnancy or infancy, please join us in raising awareness this October for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Tens of thousands of families across the United States are devastated each year by the death of their baby. But the grief of these families and the value of their babies’ lives are very rarely acknowledged. Promoting awareness of pregnancy and infant loss not only increases the likelihood that grieving families will receive understanding and support, but also results in improved education and prevention efforts which may ultimately reduce the incidence of these tragedies.
OCTOBER 15TH – WORLD PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS REMEMBRANCE DAY
On October 15th, participate in the International Wave of Light by lighting a candle at 7 pm local time to honor all babies gone too soon. Keep your candle lit for at least one hour to create a continuous “wave of light” across all time zones covering the entire globe!
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