Black & Bossy Pre-Motherhood…This Ain’t Cute.

I have been a solid Dog-Mom for the last three years, and like a Black small-footed Peggy Hill, here I find myself pregnant with a son that I never imagined would be. Yes, I know where babies come from. No, I didn’t think that I was in the danger zone. I was wrong.

Now I’m 34 weeks into this deal, and I’ve finally landed on a solid feeling about this whole situation.

This Ain’t Cute!

Don’t get me wrong, I can intellectualize the fact that this is a beautiful scientific process, but I need someone to articulate that to my hips and my plans for the future.

Seriously.

I was the kind of girl that collected horror stories along the way to help me stay on the kid-free path, despite the ticking of my biological clock. While that helped create a nice callous around my heartstrings, trying to undo three decades worth of opinion is harder than it sounds, especially in such a short time frame as 40 weeks.

I’m shook.

Even with my Rolodex of easily accessible worst-case scenarios, now that I’m in the go zone of this “journey” I’m finding out new and unnerving things.

Here’s where I get graphic and say things that my family and church folk shouldn’t read. If you’re trying to keep me in a certain light stop reading right now.

I mean it, it’s about to go down. Go read the post about Grandma.

Ain’t cute thing #1- 

When you really have no idea what you’re doing, and you have no desire to start a new dynamic in your immediate friendships in which you start discussing bodily functions; you get on the Internet like a respectable nerd and find out things from strangers. That action leads me to the realization that there’s such thing as a “pad popsicle”. The young lady on the post (not the article I just linked) had concocted a menagerie of aloe, coconut oil, sage, bitters and wheatgrass (who knows, I zoned out) for the purpose of freezing the mix on a huge sanitary napkin, to place in her panties after giving birth.

I had to scroll to the comment section to see if there was anyone else completely confused with me. Nah. Everybody on the thread had their own recipe ready to rock and the old school moms had stories of how there’s a contraption at the hospital that you just twist and it gets cold like something out of a hiking kit.

Do you know what kind of beat up your “purse” has to be for COLD to feel soothing? I’ve had some… “oh Lord just leave the hot rag in place” moments in my life, but NEVER in the history of this kitty box have I been so swollen and that I have ever even contemplated an ice pack.

Help, God!

Ain’t cute thing #2- 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfcRaQAcZo

I’m out here trying to take over the world. Same thing I do every day, Pinky. So there’s not a lot of room for dramatic emotional shifts. As a person that has dealt with anger issues that reach as far back to the age of 5; hormonal imbalance, physical changes, and mouthy people just don’t mix. I’ve found myself having to pray aloud to keep the urge to heel kick someone in the mouth at bay.
The fact that I’m not in prison is proof that prayer works. I’ve found myself feeling levels of mad as hell that rival my years as a brand new teenager. Who has time for that? Remaining sociable and acceptable in public is probably draining more out of me than this huge baby inside of me that likes to boogie to music and wiggle when the food I eat is tasty.

Between that and moments of crushing sadness, I’m ready for this kid to get done cooking and come on out, so I can establish his LLC, schedule his music lessons and teach him how we roll. I’ve lost and missed out on enough things that I generally don’t spend a lot of my normal time being sad. So, this whole tear act is beyond annoying because I absolutely know that whatever it is, it’s not that deep; and with the emotional swings comes the act of faking like everything is just fine. I honestly don’t know the answer at any given time. Sometimes I’m cool, sometimes I break things that I don’t care about. This is stupid.

Ain’t cute thing #3- 

There’s apparently a protocol to doing this whole thing, from pictures of my waistline disappearing gradually to inspirational quotes and deep shit I’m supposed to be spewing to the masses about how I’m transforming as a woman. I’m 33 years old, at this point I’m as grown as it gets until I start going through the change of life. Since the beginning of my pregnancy there’s been a wave of articles on how black women are the most likely to die during and after childbirth so excuse me if I can’t give a damn about all the mushy stuff until after I get through this thing I’ve feared and avoided my entire life, alive. Thanks. Not to keep talking about the emotional piece, but with that, I check my blood pressure on a regular basis, especially after a mood shift. I also weigh myself twice a day, in the beginning, it was to be sure I didn’t lose too much, and now it’s to be sure that the gain is within reason to my height. I’m much too busy trying to be my own advocate, watch his seemingly rapid growth (his ass is over 5lbs already) and be sure that there’s absolutely nothing else that I can do to create the best situation. I don’t have time to be cutesy. Sorry.

Ain’t cute thing #4-

I don’t ever like to be touched in places beyond my hands and shoulders. There’s something about a pregnant belly that makes people feel like they need to reach out and put their possibly washed,  but more likely to have just touched a doorknob hands on your good clothes. I don’t even remember who it was that did it, but I’m at my Grandmother’s funeral trying to be all dignified and comport myself in a manner that wouldn’t embarrass the deceased if she saw me, and missed a belly touch dodge. I let it ride on the strength of time and place, but I was visibly upset according to my Sorority sisters that caught my body language from over my shoulder.

If you wouldn’t rub my belly to admire my work in the gym, randomly touching my belly because I’ve been screwing just seems weird to me, but hey, let the spirit move you as you see fit… it’s creepy. That’s my uterus. If you’re not directly connected with what’s on the way out, what’s the obsession?

Ain’t cute thing #5- 

I’ve been doing Kegels since the age of 15. So imagine my surprise when I find out that sometimes when the moon is just right, a gag or a good joke can undo over a decade and a half of pussy power and send me into peed in panties.

You’re talking about one disappointed woman.

I take joy in the small things in life, not stinking, being clean, having control over bodily functions. Here’s the conundrum, I’ve doubled the exercises but this baby’s head has an 8cm diameter as of last Thursday so there’s a piece of me that can’t put together a loosening and tightening routine that will soothe my paranoia.

All jokes aside, I’m looking forward to what this little life is going to do to the rest of my world. However, freaking out about strangers being around him to not knowing exactly how my leave situation is going to work, as a planner I have way more questions than answers and that sucks the last little bit of what could be fun right out of it all.

Even more, I’m bringing a brand new Black male into the world and if my Punnett square analysis is accurate, he’s going to be big and chocolate. I’m preoccupied with determining the balance of making sure he’s exposed to multiple cultures and hoping that he has a healthy understanding that everything that this world has to offer isn’t necessarily for him in the same way that all people enjoy them.

Can I afford to try and skip all of that, and if I do, will that allow him the maximum room to grow, or will it get him killed? See…it ain’t cute.

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Silver Lining Finding (another reflective travel piece)

The metaphor of life being a journey is one that everyone uses when they hit the rough spots and need to remind themselves that there’s more road ahead. This past weekend contained every emotion humanly possible. The physical manifestation of the journey of life via the American tradition of the road trip.

 I’m not huge on boring time-lines, as you know so here are the highlights.

The Feels

For the first time in 7 years Mr and all his siblings were under one roof. I had the honor of riding down with him and all his brothers to meet up at their sister’s house to surprise his mother for her (over 40)th birthday.

  This makes for two weekends in a row for me in celebration of the life of our respective mothers. This time the backdrop was Charlotte, NC. which I have calculated as: ( Charlotte= Atlanta + Nashville + Ohioans) or Chat-la-nati.

We all shared food, drinks, stories, laughs and even tears. The look on Mr’s mom’s face and her impromptu speeches throughout the weekend made everything else that I’m about to share below so worth it.









Girl Whet? Moments

Moment 1. Winding the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in an old school Chevy packed with four grown men and a fabulously not skinny yours truly, a cloud appears on the road in the distance. The light of the sun extinguishing for the day, it’s absence made more prevalent with the canopy of trees overhead. I find myself at the wheel of the vehicle being charged with the duty of the safe arrival of the precious cargo (all these great big men) to the given destination. When from the back seat I hear “Just follow the lines and go.” Rage welling up like a storm I assert my apprehension. “Can I just be really honest, this is terrifying right now and everybody out here is up.” Pseudo-brother-in-law (PBIL) was on my ACTUAL nerves. I kept it cute, but he was about to meet “Marri” right there on the side of that mountain.

 We finally make it through the fog just in time for the next turn. Still in a fiery rage and coming down from the anxiety of feeling as though a death of being smacked in the face by the unseen back of a broken down semi- was eminent… I miss the turn.

Don’t you know Mr had the nerve to suck his teeth?
I was so damn mad that he said. “Now it’s going to take an extra 5 minutes.” I contemplated the cost of a last minute one way ticket back home both financially and socially. I went into perpetual eye roll mode until I could find a hot rag to wipe the road off and get into the festive mood of the party.

Moment 2. It’s been a while since I booked on Priceline for several reasons but since we had to work until nearly the last days prior to driving down to sort out the details of the trip we refrained from buying the good non-refundable deals ahead of time. FWD to me riding down the highway after the gas stop (guys always have to pee) knowing that we’ll be much later than normal checking in, we call the hotel in an effort to secure a King sized bed… not a suite upgrade, just a bed change.

Don’t you know the individual on the phone tried to get us for $10? I just said ok on the phone so that they wouldn’t release the room (I’m nearly 6ft tall, I ain’t sleeping on a double & paying money to do it). Luckily when we finally checked in I was able to appeal to the common sense of the manager on duty and got that $10 fee waived. Never in my life have I heard of such a thing, and if that’s something new that the hotel industry is trying to roll out, go ahead and stop that nonsense now. I promise to goodness I was just about to buy a sleeping bag from Target and catch some floor at Mr’s sister’s house.

Moment 3.

http://car.mitula.us

Shake, rattle and roll.- In the beginning I thought I was being a car snob. As the proud driver of a VW Jetta with a Turbo engine, I’m used to a certain type of ride (Didn’t that sound horrible? I laughed at myself.). In an effort to sort out the logistics of transporting 5 adults and luggage we took Greased Lightening the 2000 Chevy that has never let us down… until this trip when it decided to do the stanky leg all the way to Charlotte with varying severity. There was a time while we drove that I just knew that the tire was going to fly off and we’d end up dead in the Smokies, to be eaten by the local wildlife prior to our retrieval. Fortunately Mr and I believe in the power of a warranty and we cashed that ticket several times with Firestone to be sure that we could make it home. That story is next.

The Twirl
1. Firestone Liars- I used to think that you only got tried at the mechanic if you were a woman walking in alone. I was so wrong. We stopped at one location only to be told there would be an insanely long wait and to try another location after they did a safety check on the lug nuts.

We get to the second location and they give us a list of free services that we can have that come with our warranty. In the interest of safety we agree to them all. One trip to the coolest little nerd heaven ever, two naps and a discussion about politics later we’ve invested 2 hours to determine that there’s an oil leak and a bent rim.

Through the center aisle we walk over to the car and see a puddle of oil and the bottom of the car looks like a fresh piece of chicken. Nevermind the fact that this has NOTHING to do with a shaking front end, these fools then proceed to tell us that the bent rim is the cause for the shaking and they have rotated it to the back. “Is everything OK now?” we ask. “Yes everything is fine, just check that oil” they lie.

Two more trips to alternate locations and we find out from a strong looking woman named T (I trusted her with my car immediately)  that the issue has nothing to do with the tires and the problem won’t kill us on the way home.

Don’t you know T didn’t say a damn thing about oil?

Children Reading
Mr and I live an alternative lifestyle apparently. We are over 25 living together, unmarried and without children *GASP OUT LOUD & CLUTCH YOUR PEARLS*

Although we are not the only ones out here freestlying, this past weekend ended up featuring one of my favorite little kids to hear talk, Mr’s nephew, accidentally reading us both for filth in 2 seconds.

Kids are generally honest and common sense driven, and when you hit them with something that simply does not compute, some hold it silently and ask their parents later… others hit you right in the mouth with it. Simple exchange:
“Say hey to Margaret, Auntie Margaret.”-Mr
“Are y’all married?”- Mr’s Nephew
“Ask him again baby!”- Black Maggie
Later on for those battlefield promotions, I need some pinned on brass to charge that hill Cap’n. Needless to say that kid didn’t have to beg for a high five out of me the whole weekend, I was showing up for every single one.

6am

We finally made it back to the hotel to sleep for the night after kicking it hard with the family. Snuggled up and cozy after finally getting my Afro twisted down between exhausted spurts of work I start dreaming about being asleep, so you know it’s good. Then out of the silence the fire alarm goes off at 5:58am.

I’m a firefighter’s kid, for my newer readers, and anything fire safety related has been drilled in my head repeatedly throughout my entire life…not just my childhood. We move like the wind and are able to put on enough clothes to be legal and not freeze, grab the keys to the room and get out.
   Problem 1- The map on the door is supposed to tell you your path and meeting spot. It did not so I had to devise the plan that put us in the least danger. I determine walking through the outdoor courtyard gives us the most options without putting us on an unmanned side of the building.

On the way out we walk through the workout room into the courtyard and there’s a lady on the treadmill tearing it up at about a 6.5 nonstop. I notice the deafening silence in the room and the absence of the alarm. She has no clue what’s going on. So being the good citizen that my parents raised, I wave my arms and alert her to the alarm.

Don’t you know that heffa said yeah and shrugged without breaking stride.
“Die then, hell..” I walk off.

According to the lady that supplied the hot cookies and breakfast coupons for my inconvenience, there was an incident in the boiler room. To the credit of the Charlotte FD, they got there in a hurry and in an orderly fashion. I was beyond tired, but that free breakfast was everything I needed for the day that lay in wait.




Nerd-gasm

The only thing better than the smile on Mr’s mom’s face and the laughs that everyone shared in fellowship was finding this little store during our TWIRL at the second Firestone. Sound, lights, retro memorabilia, funky pieces of custom furniture. If only they had a shipping solution to get the items to Cincinnati; I would’ve bust a dent in my credit card buying trying to buy all the things that I loved. Enjoy the photos because there’s no amount of words that will do the store justice. They aren’t on any social media right now, but I told the guy I’d make sure that changed after this weekend.

Final Thoughts

This journey was a trip indeed. I can’t remember a time that more things went both so wrong and so right all in a 72 hour window. We didn’t win the Powerball, and the Bengals let me down again like they have my whole life, but we won several “Effective Adulting” points for refraining from acting up the whole weekend. Life will send you through the ringer on some days, and as we’ve seen, maybe an entire weekend.

Yet, the key to making it to the other side of the fog is keeping your eyes on the silver lining, and just go. Turns out PBIL was right.