"...The most disrespected person in America is the Black Woman..." -Malcolm X
The Black Woman will not come to rescue you every time you succumb to your own detrimental devices. She will no longer cover you through your indiscretions and uncertainties. She has found her footing, begun to recognize her own voice, and will no longer tolerate the disrespect affiliated with you. She is me, and I am her.
Thereafter, pregnancy and the postpartum period are by far the most vulnerable and overly emotional times of a woman's life. More often than not, during this period, women learn which relationships are of value to them and those which may be absolved. During these periods, the spirit of discernment covers her, and she becomes acquainted with the new version of herself. Pregnancy and birth prepare women to give birth to their child(ren); women also prepare for the rebirth of themselves. It such a compelling transition from womanhood to motherhood that it provides her with the opportunity to see herself as who she once was and who she stands to become. It is unfortunate, though, that oftentimes during this period, the one(s) she needs to lean on the most while carrying life inside of her often leech on to her energy and drain the life out of her.
Give Me Back My Business, You're Telling it All Wrong.
I hesitated with even publishing this post because I knew it would ruffle feathers. But here's the tea, the rumors have already spread, the stories have already circulated, and I'm sure that you've already made up your mind about me. And regardless of how transparent I may be, how many times I turn the other cheek and try to be the bigger person, you'll STILL remain committed to the narrative you've created about me, and that's OK! You see, what I've discovered throughout my journey is that, regardless of how carefully I handcraft my narrative, lay it out for you all meticulously in order, you will still pick up the fragments pertinent to your narrative and run with it...so FUCK IT. Here it goes...
After two miscarriages, one ectopic pregnancy, and a myomectomy, I found myself unexpectedly but not unsurprisingly pregnant at 33. Although I manifested my pregnancy and my daughter, I DID NOT manifest the events that lead me to be a single expectant Mother at 8.5 months pregnant. And I can laugh now, but I definitely didn't then, when someone took it upon themselves to DM me saying that I should've never messed with him and I was too old to be in the situation I was in. *sigh* perhaps they were right. But this is my story, and it isn't about anyone else but me.
This ain't about nobody but ME.
I remember the day I initially felt butterflies in my tummy...it was the second Friday in December. My cycle was about a month, and some change late. But due to my previous struggles with conceiving, I chalked it up to stress and KIM. I was on the phone with Rose laughing about my fake pregnancy scare, and she said, "Laugh now, cry later. Are you ready to be a Mom if that's what the Youniverse has for you?" I only thought about it momentarily because I knew that I was beyond ready to become Baby K's Mom.
Let me let you in on a little secret... I manifested my baby. I did new moon rituals, cast spells, healed my womb from fibroids and cysts, prayed, fasted, and prepared myself for the next leg of my journey. So that crisp Friday afternoon in December when I felt the flutter of life inside of me, I gushed with joy!
It wasn't until just after Christmas that my pregnancy was confirmed. At this point, I could not keep any food down, and ginger tea quickly became my best friend. I had 'morning' sickness all day every day; it never quite preserved itself for the morning hours. By the time I was 14 weeks, I had lost 10 pounds and was struggling to maintain a healthy pregnancy. While I was elated because I had never carried a baby beyond 10 weeks, I was morbidly afraid that I would lose my baby girl if I even sneezed the wrong way. By week 15, I was deemed high risk due to elevated blood pressure, low weight gain, and preeclampsia risk. I was depressed, and I felt alone, and I was scared as shit of losing my baby. Most nights, I didn't sleep because I was afraid that I would wake up to a pool of blood as I had done with the previous pregnancies. The one thing that I regret about my pregnancy is not celebrating it enough. I spent so much time in fear that I really didn't allow myself to enjoy it.
By this time, I had begun to share with friends and family that I was expecting my little bundle of joy; Baby K. I knew she was a girl because I knew that what I had manifested came to fruition. I sang to my baby, allowed her to listen to soothing binaural beats, did yoga with her, mediated with her, read to her, and told her how much I loved her daily. So it came as no surprise when at 20 weeks, Baby K's gender was confirmed! I had already begun to buy her head wraps, rompers, and a baby elephant, which we named Ellie.
I knew that regardless of how much joy I carried in my heart for her, the current situation that I subscribed to was literally draining my life. One Saturday morning, I waddled over to Northlake Mall for some retail therapy. Naturally, I picked up some things for the baby. When I finally made it back home, I went to put her things in her closet, and I felt a sharp pain that brought me to my knees. I got down on all fours to alleviate the pain and eventually ended up on my back. I rolled around on the floor, crying for what felt like hours. It was then that I literally felt the black cloud of depression sweep over me. Laying there on my back, with my palms up and wrists exposed, I kept thinking about how juicy my veins looked in my wrist and how if I did it quickly...it'd be painless... this was the second and final time that I had suicidal thoughts. I'm still not quite sure to this day how I recovered, but I did.
It was right then in that very moment that my baby kicked! For the first time, it was like she knew that I needed her... I snapped out of it. I collected myself off of the floor, wobbled to the tub, and prepared a healing bath for me and Baby K.
You Don't Have to Forgive Anyone but Yourself for Accepting Anything Less Than Love.
Mother's Day 2020 arrived, and I was sad. I was hurt, and I could not stop crying. I wasn't acknowledged, appreciated, or even respected for that manner. I went for a walk; the tears wouldn't subside. I laid on the couch; I felt even worse. Finally, my niece and her wife called to tell me that they were on the way with red velvet cake! I had wanted red velvet cheesecake for my ENTIRE pregnancy, OKAY?! I was elated to have their company. I fried chicken for my Mom to enjoy her Mother's day, and she made me a lobster roll. Around 1.5 hours later, my guests arrived! My niece helped me pick out a dress (that I could fit) to wear and did my makeup. She made sure that I felt beautiful and celebrated on my first Mother's Day! I had shared with her that I was distraught about not having a maternity photoshoot for my first and probably my only pregnancy. As a result, she whipped out her iPhone and proceeded to make me feel like a maternity model!
It was also on this day that I decided to announce my pregnancy. Regardless of who wasn't prepared to celebrate us, I was exhilarated and truly full of life. I felt like everything I was doing to establish a life for my daughter and I was coming to fruition. I worked my ass off with several entrepreneurial endeavors knowing that I would be a single Mother without any financial support and without any viable income source during my Maternity leave.
With the guidance, direction, and support of my business partners, we self-published an eGuide, launched The Marketable Woman, purchased another truck, closed on investment properties, and continued to thrive in #BlackExcellence. All the while that I'm working myself into oblivion, managing my 'day' job, trying to minimize stress from a high-risk pregnancy, I find myself desiring to be seen and valued by someone who couldn't care less about my baby or me.
August rolled around, and I began to get nervous. I knew that I was scheduled for a c-section, but I didn't know who would drive me to the hospital or provide the Doctors with my birth plan. I was petrified that I would be separated from the baby girl after birth while I was in post-op, and I won't even tell you what concerns ran through my mind. Finally, I made up my mind to take a Lyft to the hospital. I told Tiara about my plan, and she all but cussed me out... she demanded that I call Lisa. I didn't want to burden anyone with my drama, and I didn't want to be a charity case. Alas, Love wins above all else. And if I have learned nothing else throughout this ordeal, it has been just that. My tribe came through for me during those last few weeks of my pregnancy to put the stroller and the car seat together, pack the hospital and the baby's bag, and most importantly, keep me fed and keep me company!
The morning of K's scheduled arrival, I still hadn't heard anything definitive from my birthing partner. So I was equally surprised and agitated when he showed up at my apartment. I was emotionally drained and not able to process all that was happening as it was happening. I kept thinking about how terrified I was the night before. I had written in my notes the previous night that I never fathomed giving birth like this. I never imagined going months without being hugged or comforted while pregnant. Let alone spending the night before giving birth alone, yet there I was. Intimacy is HUGE for me, pregnant or not. And just thinking about the lack of compassion I received while pregnant triggers my PTSD. I've been cheated on; I've been lied to, confronted by the other woman, called names, and disrespected, but to have these things happen while you are carrying life inside of you, absolutely plays on your psyche. I'll be honest... I'm still recovering.
Those four days in the hospital consequently weighed on me even more. In addition to having a c-section, I was stressed TF out! So my milk took its time coming in. My baby was hungry, and I was devastated that I couldn't feed her. On our very first night together, I couldn't stop crying. I hadn't regained the feeling in my legs, the incision was swollen, and I couldn't sit up, she lay in her bassinet crying, and I could not get to her. I felt hopeless and completely vulnerable. Finally, I mustered just enough wherewithal to call the nurses' station, and they came to put her on my chest. By day 3, she continued to lose weight, and the entire pediatric team made me feel like giving her formula was the only option, so I conceded. Thankfully, on day 5, when we were home, and I was a bit more relaxed, my milk came gushing in, and I was able to feed my baby!
My reality is a harsh one, but it's MINE.
Becoming a Mom, Baby K's Momma, has been the most rewarding leg of my journey. I am proud of myself for choosing to muster the strength necessary to love myself, especially when it hurt to do so. I've spent months admonishing myself for being foolish, for accepting anything less than love. Moreover, I took extreme pride in recognizing early signs of PPD and getting myself the help that I knew I needed to navigate in the new world of single Motherhood. Let's be clear, it was quite evident for a significant amount of time that I would be solely responsible for caring for, providing for, and supporting, mentally, financially, and emotionally Baby K. However, that doesn't alleviate the stress in doing so. I can recall the days that I operated as a zombie, after breastfeeding K every two hours on the dot only to awake in the morning to painfully engorged breasts. I would wake up around 7 am; my Mother would take the baby for me to drink Mother's Milk Tea and pump. I would then brush my teeth and head to the kitchen to make a green smoothie with oat milk to encourage my milk flow. Afterwhich, two hours would have surely gone by, time to feed the baby again. I would sit a gallon of alkaline water by the bed to finish in the hour she nursed and then pump again. I'd take a nap around 11 am, only after making sure that I had 6-8 oz prepared for her to drink. Once I awoke, I would take a shower, and then we'd head out for our daily walk. Every day we walked the track, and I imagined the drama shedding with each pound that I sweat out.
I introduced IF, and keto to my diet and I shed most of the weight I gained only two months postpartum. I shed 30 pounds, almost instantaneously. Thank God for Muscle Memory, Clean Eating, and Great Genes! My journey is far from over, but each day I am thankful for the opportunity to get closer to the new version of me. My likkle Angel has forever impacted my life. To experience her, energy is pure joy within itself. I am beyond blessed that Miss Kadence Marley Rose elected me to be her Mommy. This has been the most challenging role that I have taken on as of yet....but by far the most rewarding. I'm still healing, learning to balance work, my businesses, school, self-care, and life as a Mommy. I have a scheduled PPD therapy session monthly. I knew that my experience would leave me ripe for postpartum depression, and I am thankful that I mustered the strength to seek help when I did. Given that I had ordinarily been a 4.0 student in my MBA program, I. was granted a much-needed extension, which provided me the time that I needed to reset and realign.
I am thankful for my tribe; they have prayed over me, affirmed to me, pulled up on me, supported us, called just to hear my voice, FT to let me cry it out, scream it out and do what needed to be done. Thank you for being here for us, we love and appreciate you!