All posts filed under: Columns

MisCarry Me

Content warning: This essay contains graphic depictions of miscarriage and blood loss. October 13, 2015, will forever be etched in my mind.   I thought it would be a day like any other, but it became a whirlwind that shook me to my very core. On the surface, it was one of the most chaotic days that I have ever experienced. Yet, in hindsight, it was orderly and divinely purposeful.   I was about seven weeks pregnant with our third child. I woke up around 5:30 a.m. to the usual nausea that had lingered well into the sixth month of my previous pregnancies. Here we go again, I thought. But soon I experienced sharp pain in my belly. As the pain grew more and more intense, I knew something was wrong. But seeing my doctor meant that I would have to face the reality of his diagnosis. I was not ready for that.  Before long, I began to feel lightheaded. Concerned that I was going to faint, I whispered a prayer to God, asking Him to help …

3 Weeks and 2 Days Late

I’d like to say, “Good Morning,” but is it good? It came. Crept in, burst through in the obscurity of night. A red, heavy, forceful rupture. 1 week: inconsequential. 2 weeks: a spark of maybe, hushed tones of probably not, but fingers crossed. 3 weeks: the joy of what if seeping in. Imagining your hands caressing a growing belly, the way you’ll tell your son, your husband. 3 weeks and 1 day: a smile, guard coming down, believing maybe. Maybe, it really did happen. 3 weeks and 2 days: a rupture. How does one explain an experience both sanguine and dubious? Every month, every week,  every  single  day, listening for clues, hints, inklings, gut checks. Any implication the body may deliver— sore breasts, backaches, headaches, a heightened sense of smell. Is that nausea, fatigue— what does it mean?  Even spotting keeps reality at bay.  What color is it, could it be implantation—who am I kidding? Body remind me, what gave you away 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years ago now when I first knew …

The Lost Chances

Nobody ever loved me. That’s what’s blaring at the front of my mind when people ask me why I don’t have kids. And as harsh a truth as that is, it’s the truth. When my nieces and nephews (who don’t even really want me to have kids because then Aunt Shameka’s attention might be diverted from them) ask this question, my mouth forms a catchy but vague excuse: “That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” “I guess it wasn’t in the cards,” or “I got enough to do helping y’all.” And I laugh it off. But there’s nothing funny. And the truth sits on the tip of my tongue, unsaid. Nobody ever loved me. I’m not old-fashioned or traditional by any means. My parents didn’t stay together, but I was conceived in love and born in love. And that’s what I always wanted for my kids. I wanted love—even if it didn’t last forever. But it never happened. I didn’t get love, even when I gave it. My romantic misfortune has been the long-standing subject …

A Loss That Shouldn’t Have Been A Loss: A Diary

Content warning: This essay contains graphic depictions of miscarriage. Early March 2021 The pandemic and COVID-19 have me feeling as though I’m looking death right in the face. However, my superpowers allow me to fight, not only for my 8-year-old daughter, but also for my son who we’re watching grow and flourish in my womb. March 17, 2021 We take our first 3-D sonogram. Even though he isn’t big enough for me to see all his features, I still love that photo. March 18, 2021  We’re able to see him again. He’s waving. (I thought at the time that it was a “Hi, Mommy.” Now I know he was waving goodbye.) I go to my godson’s house later in the day to wish him “Happy Birthday,” but I leave early due to the pain I’m experiencing. March 19, 2021 I’m using the bathroom so frequently, I think I have a UTI, and I plan to call the doctor the next day. Fighting the pain, I clutch my pregnancy pillow to give me a lil’ comfort. …

Walking Into Uncertainty After Stillbirth

I never knew I wanted to become a mom. In my worldview, I thought it was just the natural progression of becoming a woman. It was modeled for me. Go to school, get a good education, graduate, find a good paying job, find a spouse (or let him find you— “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” Proverbs 18: 22 NKJV), get married, and have a baby. I followed this trajectory for my life almost to a tee.  My husband and I didn’t rush to get pregnant. Although the first question people ask as soon as you jump the broom is, “When will you start having children,” we didn’t let the external pressure get to us. We dated long-distance the entire four years of our courtship and didn’t live in the same state, let alone the same city or home, until after we said our “I Dos.” There was no rush to expand our family right away because we wanted to enjoy one another’s company to the fullest as newlyweds. After three years …