July 15, 2016
Have you ever been filled with so many sudden emotions that you can’t quite put your finger on how you feel overall?
That was me.
Just when I had became content with the thought that my child’s father may not be present with me at the hospital for labor and delivery, my mom popped the news that him (and his family) were indeed on the way. The room started spinning and I was almost positive I was in a matrix zone. I couldn’t make sense of how to feel -- Should I be happy? Should I care? I just didn’t know what to say or how to respond to her news.
Half of me felt the urge to throw a shoe at him when he walked in the door. He had not been as present as he should have during my entire pregnancy journey and now he was just going to waltz in and play super dad at the end. Ugh! Why bother? Yet and still, the other half of me was pretty darn scared about bringing another human being into this world alone. I just didn’t want to go through childbirth without the presence of the person that helped me make baby Santana. As always, the more sensitive half of me won over all of my thoughts and despite the past no shows, hope was restored in my child’s father. I didn’t want baby Santana to be without a father just because of my personal resentment.
Someone once said that it takes a man actually seeing his child for him to fully grasp that he’s really a father. According to this theory, it’s harder for a man to come to terms during the pregnancy stage because he’s not the one that carries the baby inside of him (as a constant reminder) for 9 months. This had to be the case with my child’s father, right? I assured myself that reality just hadn’t hit him yet. Better days would surely be ahead once baby Santana arrives.
Worry was slowly replaced with ease as I waited for friends and family to arrive at the hospital, provide comfort, and wish me a safe delivery.
As time progressed, so did my labor. The nurses soon moved me out of the initial intake room into an actual delivery room. By the time I was rolled into the delivery room, all kinds of guests and family members had apparently heard the news (thanks mom) and started showing up at the hospital. I can’t say that I was necessarily in the mood for company being as though I was beginning to feel labor pains mildly. However I was beyond overjoyed that so many people had came by to shower me with love. I’m positive my guests broke the hospital rule on the maximum number of guests allowed. I needed the company though. Pregnancy had been hard for me and I had felt alone so many times. It was refreshing to know that people still cared for me.
Had the moment really arrived? Would I really be holding a baby that belonged to me in the next 24 hours? I had been so worried about being a good mom for the last 9 months that I never even gave thought to how painful actual childbirth was. I opted for no medicines because I wanted to bring baby Santana into the world as safely as I could, but the cramps worsened. I didn’t know if it was contractions or what was going on. It was all new and I began to panic. Though I kept my composure for everyone else outwardly, inside I wanted to cry. Stories of other peoples’ experiences begin to creep into my mind...
The evening sun had began to set outside. My expectation was that I would be meeting my son that night or very early in the wee hours of the morning … but night snuck up on us all. There was still no baby Santana. As a result, people began panning out with promises to return the next day. However, my mom, sister (other sister would be present later on), and best friend Alisha remained put as I imagined they would. I think I could’ve gone without my older sister climbing in the bed with me to joke around, though. She was being her normal, silly self but with my contractions getting worse I was not in the mood for any of her antics.
To my surprise, my child’s father also remained present. Sure, he was being loud and goofy. Sure, he was annoying me in a time when I craved serenity. Sure, he brought friends into my room that I barely knew but I needed to be happy that he was here, right? My child’s grandma (father’s mom) was also very present and caring. I will never take away from the fact that she loved baby Santana from the very beginning (and still does).
Wow. Look at all this love around you Meisha. See, this is why I always tell you not to over think. You have spent 60% of your pregnancy crying because you thought you would be doing this all alone. Go ahead and laugh at yourself for being so silly and irrational. Look around. See how it all works out? You won’t be raising Santana alone after all. Look at your best friend over there sleeping on the ACTUAL COLD hospital floor just to witness her God child being born. Look at your mom and your child’s other grandma talking and being cordial. Okay maybe your child’s father can stop bringing so many different people in the room. Santana is his child too but it is a little disrespectful. You don’t know these guests. Just don’t make a fuss. He’s here. His best friends are here (baby Santana’s god dads). He’s excited. Keep your cool. Let him have this moment.
Even with all of this love around me, there was one person missing. He was the only person that didn’t react with anger or disappointment when I first told him I was pregnant. He was the one person that I remember vividly telling me that I would still be a legend one day and my child would be too. His words helped comfort me when I felt like my life was over. I wanted him to be the first to meet Santana (after me). He, my brother, told me that abortion was not an option. I know it was hard on him to accept the fact that his little A-honor sister was having a baby but he never left my side. My brother was and has always been my best friend. Due to reasons I won’t mention, he wouldn’t be able to witness baby Santana’s arrival -- against his will.
Night evolved into the next day.
June 3, 2010.
Approximately 2pm in the afternoon.
God, I give it to you right now! I will live the rest of my life according to your word if you just have mercy on my son and me right now. Please! This can’t be happening!
Santana, can you hear me?
Mommy’s got you, okay?
I will do whatever I need to, to make sure you get here safe.
At this point, I don’t care about me.
I just want you here.
Just work with mommy, son.
Work with these doctors.
Don’t scare me like this.
“We can’t wait any longer Ms. Frontis. His heart beat keeps stopping. We are going to have to get you to sign these papers, get these medicines in you, get this epidural in you, and….