4 years ago i posted on my facebook: “After 21 hours I’m not progressing and being sent home 😦 hopefully i’ll sleep and wake up to a new baby boy. Keep me in your prayers.”
Another 47 hours and he would be here. Man I remember this day…chubby’s entry into the world was difficult, lonely, and at times traumatic. I wanted my body to “do what it was supposed to” but it didn’t, because mentally I couldn’t. It was too much, I felt scared and unsafe. The father of my son would show up high and smelly. My friends would feel more bonded than his family.
The doctor tore my bandages off with no remorse and no pain medication. I was a welfare mom with a child born near a holiday. I didn’t see the same doctor for the c section, the check up or the check out. The nurses and my girl Nicole would hold me down. Bringing me soup, listening to me cry, laugh with me.
Nurse Linda still has a special place in my heart. The Chicano nurses would come in and we would talk shit and watch Mike Epps, laughing and happy. I would walk even when they told me not to. I stayed a week from how sick and weak I became.
I remember learning to breastfeed. It was so very painful. His hardened gums sucking more of my life force from me as I bled from my surgery and my vagina. I felt tired after. His dad asking me dumb ass questions.
His white grandmother shows up…unwraps my child to see if he looks like her son. That bitch ain’t slick. She needed to stay her ass at home. But she intrudes. Her children intrude. I want all the white people out of my birthing room. They leave.
My dad, his wife, my auntie are there. My cousin and her boyfriend too. They are in and out. They watch the white people and we laugh. They kept me sane in that moment. They made sure I knew I was loved. My father and step mom have since divorced. My auntie is still a bad one. And my cousin…that’s a story for another day.
I cried to my mama and told her I needed her. I needed her to help me. I felt like a prisoner in that hospital room. The daily massages and peaks of sun light weren’t good enough. We hadn’t spoke since she found out I was pregnant. We didn’t talk while I was homeless during those 7 months. But in that moment I needed her.
Before I leave the hospital I walk the corridors one more time. Wheeling my baby around. The doctors in the other departments have gotten to know me. My afro, my fair skinned almond eyed beautiful baby, and my quick wit. I make them laugh and they hug me goodbye. The nurses all come to pay me a visit as they find out I’m about to leave. Even the lady who stuffs and cleans my deformed wound gives me a gift before I go.
My baby boys birth was difficult. I still feel flustered at times that I didn’t push him out of me. I feel like a fool for being so stubborn in distancing myself from my family. I feel angry that I allowed the father of my son to hurt me with his words. I wonder if my son’s disabilities are my fault. I was homeless for 7 of the 9 months I was pregnant. I lacked basic nutrition and access to food for at least 4 months.
I pondered having an abortion.but I chose life. I chose his life. I chose my life. I chose motherhood. I chose and continue to choose to love him daily. I chose long nights, restless days, hormones and stretch marks.
I’m so glad I chose my son. He woke up today and was moody. I cuddled him anyways. His entry was hard but he reminds me every day that today is only momentary, tomorrow is always coming. I’m so glad tomorrow is near. 4 years from his birth I am still in love with my little monster. His soft cheeks, his curls, his smile, his one liners. His tears and hugs all in one. I would do it all again to feel a love like this.
Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning