March 19, 2016
It does feel nice out here and the view is not half bad. So what if it’s just the backyard view of my apartment complex? So what if there’s nothing extraordinary in my sight? There’s no amount of money that can amount to the peace I feel sitting here with sun rays kissing my skin while listening to light winds whistle through the trees in front of me. There’s no teacher out here hassling me about a deadline. There’s no doctor out here lecturing me on what’s healthiest for my baby’s development. There are no pressing thoughts in my head causing me to worry about my future and what it will soon become. Nope! I am enjoying every minute of this nothingness because I know that I can’t remain here for long. Nothingness is a luxury to people that can afford to slow down given they’ve already made many accomplishments. Nothingness is a calm vacation away from reality. Nothingness is dangerous if one indulges in it excessively. Guess what? I don’t care today. Today I’m going to sit in this chair on our “back porch” and do absolutely…nothing. Thank God I turned off my phone and my loud family is still sleep. I love them with all my heart but right now I want….
“WHO IS THAT OUTSIDE MY HOUSE?” my mom screamed. I could tell the tone of her voice that she was genuinely alarmed and frantic. Needless to say my little vacation was over.
“Wait… Ma….That’s Meisha crazy,” replied my older sister in between giggles. What was the big joke? If you know my family, then you know that one of the ways we express our love is to pick with each other. In other words, we like to “crack jokes on each other” as they would say. Now, someone that isn’t part of my family may find the things we joke about as insulting but to us it is pure comedy. Clearly, I was the butt of the joke this time so I opened the screen door to head inside and figure out the punch line.
By the time I entered the house, my sister and mom were in laughter tears. This joke must have been the ultimate joke of all times. Long story short, my mom truly didn’t know who I was at first. In fact, she had thought I was just some random stranger sitting on one of her chairs outside and was ready to attack. You’re probably wondering how in the world a mom can confuse her daughter with a stranger. Let’s just say that pregnancy had not been so kind to me in the weight department. I was currently well over 190 pounds! Unfortunately pregnancy caused me to spread wider in every place imaginable. As a former cheerleader I made it duty to stay in shape, It was disheartening when I first started to gain weight. As time prevailed, I began to accept the inevitable. I couldn’t help but laugh when I found out that they didn’t recognize me because of my “big back”. It had been so long since I laughed or smiled with the newness of the pregnancy, worry of my future, and relationship issues with my child’s father. It reminded me of how family can make light of serious situations in a good way. Sometimes you need to surround yourself with people that will help you get over pitying yourself. You need people to remind you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you don’t have to walk through that tunnel miserably. It’s okay to laugh with others and even laugh at yourself sometimes. I found myself laughing at how scared and panicked my mom had truly been not knowing it was me.
“It’s like you don’t even care. You have missed every doctor’s appointment. You’re hanging out with them more. You’re changing. Do you not care that I am close to having a real baby? I don’t want to be in there with those people alone. It’s going to be a room full of older couples. Please! God knows I don’t want…”
“Meisha! I’m going to be there. What time is it at again? I know it means a lot to you … I know … I know … I’m sorry. Things have just been crazy… I love y’all. I’m just trying to get things in order for both of you.”
The day had come and all the more confirmed the fact that baby Santana was coming soon. I couldn’t believe I was in the car and on my way to a childbirth class. I knew nothing about “how to push” for delivery, possible cesarean deliveries, breastfeeding a baby, relaxation methods during labor, or infant care. To be quite frank, I never changed a baby’s diaper and was clueless about the basic anatomy of childbirth. I was terrified. What if all of the moms-to-be in the room were older? What if they laughed at my new mommy-to-be questions? What if I couldn’t stomach watching the childbirth video?
Even worse, what if I got laughed at for having my older sister with me instead of the father of my child?
Curse you for standing me up! Curse you for making me the statistic of the class! Curse you for being able to do whatever you want to do! Curse you for being in such an embarrassing situation! Curse you for having me go through all of this alone! I never thought it would be this bad. What did I do to you? Is it me?
“Come on big belly. Stop thinking about that boy. I know that’s what you’re doing. I know you! We are about to have fun today. Now let’s push now so my nephew can get up out of there and we can go eat,” my sister joked. I mustered up the best smile I could as we begin the tour of the hospital’s maternity center. She was right and I couldn’t deny it. However, I ended up being glad that she had come instead. Sure, we received stares but I was so busy laughing through the day that no one else mattered.
You may not be strong now Meisha, but one day you’re going to be strong for you and baby Santana. You’re going to look back on this situation and see your growth as a mom. Just wait…