All posts filed under: Columns

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 …

A Way Forward

My son Julian departed this dimension at 17 years old when restoration was not possible for his “irreparable injuries.” This was after four days of praying for supernatural intervention. Now, in the absence of what I wanted, I have a standing appointment with acceptance or acknowledging what remains. And even this acceptance can shift from resignation to resolution at times. Yet, as I journey into my fourth year as a child loss survivor, I marvel at the magnitude of what is still possible.  I know binaries are rarely satisfying, but if I cannot avoid the bad, I must also accept the good. While it may seem unlikely at times, good can still exist during grief. And goodness may show up on unexpected days and in unexpected ways: ranging from the kindness of strangers online supporting my work to the simple pleasure of ease-y breathing, air freely flowing through my lungs. I learned early in my deep grief to yield to the unexpected, which seemed completely unreasonable. How could I possibly feel anything other than deep …

How the Fuck Did I Get Here

Justice Involved Mothers is a column developed in partnership with Roots. Wounds. Words.: A Literary Arts Revolution. Devoted to real life, authentic narratives of criminalization, Justice Involved Mothers is curated and edited by Nicole Shawan Junior and penned by the Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Brown women who have suffered the white supremacist arm and misogynist fist of law enforcement. Through these creative nonfiction works of literary art, we aim to uplift liberation demands, amplify abolitionist urgings, and cast an even wider spotlight on the vice grip criminalization holds around the necks of women—MOTHERS—of color. Justice Involved Mothers centers Our stories because we are the ones who are most ignored. The ones with the most to tell. I devoured Donald Goines’ Dope Fiend right after I put the grilled cheese on top of the radiator, a griddle’s sizzle loudly absent. It had been 24 years since I last read those short chapters. The day before, I read Black Girl Lost. At this point, reading was my only escape from plentiful tears.  How the fuck did I get …

La Curacíon (The Healing)

To my angels, I carried you inside me for seven months, for two hundred and twelve days, for five thousand and eighty-eight hours. I felt you two grow as my body nourished you. I felt your feet dancing in my womb to the songs I’d sing. I loved you both more with each passing day. Your daddy may not have wanted you or cared for you in the same ways as me, but I know deep down he loved the idea of you, too.  It pained me to know I couldn’t bring you into this light. I prayed for you, for myself, for the answers to why this must be. I didn’t have all the monetary things to give you, but my heart had all that you would ever need. When your kicks became taps and your taps became none, I knew that our time was up. That I wouldn’t get the chance to hold you in my arms when you cry, to watch you crawl and take your first steps, to hear you call …