Editor’s note: This story contains language that may be offensive.
In February 2009, Samantha Pierce became pregnant with twins. It was a time when things were going really well in her life.
She and her husband had recently gotten married. They had good jobs.
“I was a kick-ass community organizer,” says Pierce, who is African-American and lives in Cleveland. She worked for a nonprofit that fought against predatory lending. The organization was growing, and Pierce had been promoted to management.
It felt like a good time to get pregnant. “I went to get my birth control taken out and showed up two weeks later, like ‘Hey, We’re pregnant!’ ” she says, laughing.
Pierce thought she was a poster child for a good pregnancy. She already had one son from a previous marriage, and that pregnancy was healthy and normal. She had a college degree, which is known to improve women’s chances of having a healthy pregnancy. She was getting regular checkups and taking her prenatal vitamins.