There’s so much they don’t talk you about pregnancy. The carpal tunnel syndrome. The extremely lowered sex drive. The lack of bladder control. Hell, just reading these first few sentences makes me want to pee. But something that’s never focused on is the mental state of said pregnant woman. The thoughts that go through my mind constantly are crazy to scare the most experienced psychologists, yet by talking to other pregnant women/mothers who aren’t afraid to admit their fears, assure me they are indeed normal. In fact, I’ve been told that if I didn’t have a few of these thoughts, they’d be concerned.
Fears of childbirth
No lie, I’m petrified of actually HAVING this baby. As my due date draws closer (six days and counting), all I can think of is “No matter what, you CANNOT die during labor. Nile will NOT know how to do hair and Harper needs you to save her from a life of video games and Wendy’s.” Seriously, my fear of dying during labor is so present in my mind. I fear having an aneurysm from the pressure of pushing and just not making it. I know, millions of women do it daily. I get that. But I’VE never done it. And I WANT to be allowed my fears. I hate that I feel like sometimes my fears are diminished by others because they’ve already done it.
I fear the pain. That shit looks like it fucking HURTS. I know it does, otherwise they wouldn’t essentially PARALYZE you to numb it. There is a possible 8lb and some OUNCES baby that is about to do the Wobble on its way out of your vajayjay. Out of ten centimeters. TEN. I don’t even…bruh. The baby has shoulders. You ever been hit by somebody’s shoulder? That shit hurts, don’t it? All that bone. THOSE SHOULDERS GOTTA COME OUT OF YOUR LADY PARTS AND THEY CALL IT MIRACULOUS.
They tell you you’re gonna gain weight but….
They fail to mention what that weight gain does to you mentally. I’ve been chubby since middle school. Got semi fat late high school. I was cute fat in college. I’M GARGANTUAN IN PREGNANCY. There is a number on the scale that I have to see weekly that I’ve never seen before. And it’s scary. Because it’s high. I’m talking Paula Patton high. Method Man and Redman high. Rob Ford high. And it makes me feel like that number is plastered on my forehead for the world to see. I haven’t even shared it with my boyfriend because I don’t want to see his reaction to it.
I know it’s only temporary. He tells me all the time how much he loves me and how beautiful he thinks I am. I believe it, because I’d kill him if it wasn’t the truth. But I also believe it because of the genuineness in his voice as he tells me. It’s not monotonous, in fact he sounds like he’s in awe of me every time. But ask me about how I look, how I feel? I’m still damn cute, at least I know I am in my head. I just don’t always FEEL that way in more. Harper has given her Mommy acne, that infamous dark neck and stretch marks. JESUS THE STRETCH MARKS. I had them before, but Lord knows I’ll NEVER be able to wear a crop top now. It’s like Harper took a black sharpie and attempted to write her name in Morse code on my belly. All the Ixora BB in the WORLD ain’t touching this.
Am I going to be good enough?
It’s no secret that I just KNEW we were having a boy. When that ultrasound showed there was a little lady living inside me rent free, I knew everything in our lives would be different. Having a girl, especially a little black girl, in this world? I wasn’t prepared. I always had an idea of having a son first, just to protect his baby sister. Now it’s up to her father and myself. I worry about her being viewed as a sexual being way before her time. I worry about her thoughts and ideas being vetoed not just because of her skin tone, but because of the anatomy between her legs. I worry about her being considered “less than” by the media when she will ALWAYS be “more than enough”.
Being a little brown girl isn’t always easy. The pressure that is put on us by OUR community before we even branch out into THEIR society can be enough to break you. The comparison of hair textures. The amount of melanin or lack thereof. The shape of our bodies and how it stacks up against the girls next door. All the things that we never want to think about that molded us as young girls, no matter how we’ve changed over time. I just want to keep my little baby in the house as long as possible to protect her, but sheltering her from this world will do just the opposite. Instead, I can focus on making her strong in her skin, letting her know there is no one in this world who can come close to the woman she is destined to be and raise her in that truth. It’s hard, because her Mommy is still trying to find her own piece of something in this life, but dammit, I’ll teach you my shortcuts.