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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Angel Baby

I can still remember how excited I was.  I ran like a little girl to my husband holding the pregnancy test that confirmed we were blessed with baby #2.  I immediately made appointments, changed my diet, and prepared my life for entry to the family of 4 category.  I told my 4-year old and read him books about the baby inside of mommy and all that it would mean for our family.

I spent my days reading blogs, joining mommy groups, and collecting all of the items I had saved after my son was born that would now belong to my new baby.  I saw the heartbeat at 6 weeks and heard it at 8 weeks. My husband, despite my protests, told everyone he knew immediately; even the people in line when we went grocery shopping.  My belly grew larger every day and I could not be more excited.

In the weeks between my 8 week ultrasound and my 12 week visit, I was so anxious.  I just wanted to hear the heartbeat again, wanted to be sure that all was well.  In those 4 weeks I planned our future.  Finally my 12 week appointment rolled around and I dressed in my cutest maternity outfit for the occasion.

Then, there was silence.

The doctor looked at me and said, “I am sorry, but there does not seem to be a heartbeat”.  I saw my baby lying lifeless on the screen and I felt my world start to collapse a little.  My head was spinning and I only saw the doctors mouth move as he told me what the next steps would be.  They brought my husband in, and as he held my beautiful son in his arms, I told him that we would continue to be a family of 3.

I cried.  I cried a lot.  I removed myself from mommy message boards and joined the healing from loss boards, deleted my baby registry, and hid from everybody who knew about the pregnancy. I found out that many women refer to children they have lost as “angel babies”.  I learned that I was not alone. I decided to miscarry at home naturally.  I suppose it was my way of saying goodbye.  As the physical pain progressed, the emotional pain began to wash away with it. I was healing.

I started to count my blessings instead of my losses. My husband held my hand through the entire thing, probably masking his own grief. He was talkative when I needed a distraction and silent when I needed my space.  He loved me through it all.  My son kissed me every chance he could get and told me knock knock jokes. My mother and my sister called me every day, just to make sure I was okay. With them, I made it through.

In the doctor’s office that day when the heartbeat went silent, my son asked why Mommy was so sad and we told him.  He proceeded to take out his two favorite toy cars and race them on the floor at my feet.  He looked up at me and said, “Did the race cheer you up Mommy, your car won.”

As I think back to that moment, I realize that he was right.

I did win.  I walked out of the office that day with a family when I know some walk out alone.  I was comforted in the weeks after when some don’t ever have that kind of support.  It has been two weeks since that day, but it feels like I took a much longer journey.  This journey showed me how strong I really am, how blessed I have been, that the birth of my first son was nothing short of a miracle, and that love can heal even the most broken-hearted.

R.I.P. Angel Baby.  As Anthony says, “you live in the sky now, with the stars”

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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The “N” Word (R.I.P.)

I am done.  I am done saying it, even to provide context.

I am done listening to it, even in my favorite songs.

I am done defending it, those times when I have said “I can see how they turned a negative into a positive”.

I am done with the “n”word in all of its forms.

My 4-year old son was called “nigger” at the park the other day. It was with all of the venom I have seen in sixties era newscasts and movies depicting American slavery.  I cringed and for a few seconds and was at a loss for words.  My son looked at me and said, “Mommy what does that mean”.

I had shielded him from that word his whole life.  He had never heard it in a song, heard it said in a conversation, and never on a television show or in a book.  I had succeeded in only letting the positive in. As tears welled up in my eyes, I struggled to tell him something other than the truth.  I was not ready for him to know what that meant.  I had not planned enough for this conversation.

I am a child of parents and grand-parents who gave me great oral history of civil rights and African-American history.  I grew up hearing the names of Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, W.E.B DuBois, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the list can go on and on.  I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Government after spending four years soaking up facts about the history of our people around the world.  I am married to a first generation immigrant from Trinidad & Tobago, whose family history broadened my understanding of people of color and our history.  I watch him everyday deal with being a tall, dark-skinned man in corporate america.  I had even been warned about the great responsibility it is to raise a Black boy into a man in this society.

Still, I was not ready to have this conversation.

He is so small at 4.  He still refers to people as brown, tan, and orange.  He has no idea that people look at him differently and in the future will judge him before he even speaks.  One day soon I will sit down and explain it to him.  I will tell him to never ever use the word or allow it to be used in his presence.  I will tell him that “nigger” is something he will never ever be.  This starts by me letting that word go too.  What we resist persists, what we face goes away.  For too long we have resisted obliterating this word from our speech, music, literature.  So every now and then it rears its ugly head and we see it for what it really is, evil, degrading, and mean.

Even though I know this conversation will have to happen someday, I held my baby that day and told him, “It does not matter what it means, because he was not talking to you”.

A lie I know, and yes I will one day tell him the truth, but I just needed his innocence to last a little longer.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Parenting, Uncategorized

 

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