"I tweeted about my home birth between contractions."
by Tammy La Gorce
Erykah Badu, thirty-eight, is the queen of hip-hop soul. But more than that, she's an innovator. Take the birth of her third child, Mars Merkaba: In February, when the little girl was born in Badu's Dallas home, she Tweeted between contractions. Her son and daughter were also in the room. Now little Mars is the first Twitter baby, Badu says, growing strong and healthy on "Twitty milk." Babble checked in with Badu in August while she was on a tour bus bound for Brooklyn (little Mars, who comes with Badu on all her tours, gurgled in the background throughout). — Tammy La Gorce
Well, the home birth and the tweeting are two separate things. I had all my children at home, naturally. First my son [Seven Sirius] was born at home in 1997, because that's the natural environment, the old way. There's not a lot of fuss and moving around. I had a very wise doula and midwives giving me the freedom to continue living my life. I didn't have to uproot myself.
You had no fear, though? You weren't scared you'd need medical attention?
No. Maybe to some it's scary, but preparation is the whole key. When a mother has found out she's going to have a baby, her whole life — her diet, her mood, her energy — should kind of prepare her. After she prepares herself, fear is never a part of it. I expected success and health, so I made sure I surrounded myself with it. By the time I had my third baby, childbirth seemed a very natural part of life to me. And it's always been a part of my life since I've been in music — my first album [Baduizm] came out Feb. 11, 1997, right when I got pregnant. Then I had my first baby Nov. 19, 1997, the same day my live album came out. So I've never known a life in music outside of being a mom.
Got it. But what about the tweeting? What made you want to tweet while giving birth?
"Questlove said, 'I bet you won't Twitter while you're in labor.'" I was dared to do it. Actually, Questlove of The Roots — he said, "I bet you won't Twitter while you're in labor." I said, "I bet I will." So I did. I tweeted about what was happening with the birth between contractions.
Wow. And your kids were in the room, too?
Yeah. They were a big part of it. A very big part, because it was very sacred. They helped me welcome this baby into the world.