I had a miscarriage…

It’s much easier to type those words than to speak them aloud, but it’s true. In April 2020, I suffered a miscarriage, and it has completely changed me. I couldn’t and still can’t believe it happened. No shade to other women who have experienced this painful, life-changing event, but I never imagined it would happen to me. No woman ever believes it’ll happen to her. Here I am, a mother of two healthy, living children that were birthed with no complications. How could this happen to me?

When you become pregnant, there is a taboo around sharing the news of your pregnancy before 12 weeks because statistics show that early miscarriage is very common. I always followed the pattern of not sharing before 12 weeks. Honestly, I never say anything before 5 months of pregnancy. With my third pregnancy, I was planning on doing the same thing. I would be sharing the news of my pregnancy at the end of May 2020, only to have lost my beautiful child at the end of April. 

Unlike some women (my heart goes out to those struggling to conceive), my husband and I weren’t trying to conceive a child. We were practicing natural family planning. I had no idea I was pregnant until I was almost through the first trimester. As soon as I began to accept our reality and became excited, my pregnancy began to end. My heart was shattered. I’m still shattered. I’ve condemned myself over and over again for still mourning my angel. Feeling as though I’m being dramatic. But God… But my husband… But therapy… they help me so much. 

In general, I am not one who copes with the death of a loved one very well. So when I lost my child… it ended me. It ended the woman I once knew, was, and was becoming. Why would God allow this to happen to me? I wasn’t even trying to get pregnant, so why let it happen to only put me through pain? I was so angry with God. I felt abandoned by Him. I couldn’t understand Him. I felt disconnected from Him. However, I didn’t know what else to do so I continued to pray. I continued to ask Him for help. Cried out to Him endlessly. I told Him how much He hurt me every day. I felt like he’d broken me. 

I knew about miscarriages, but I wasn’t educated. When I was in the beginning stages of my loss, I immediately thought of my friend who’d shared her experience with me. I couldn’t remember what I had said to her, but I knew that I owed her an apology. I knew that I didn’t have a true understanding of the impact the loss of pregnancy had on a woman, so I knew I probably offered very insensitive and unsolicited advice. I knew this because everything everyone (with the exception of a few) has said to me throughout this healing journey was completely hurtful and unhelpful. It wasn’t what I wanted nor needed to hear to “feel better.” 

For the most part, pregnancy and infant loss is a taboo topic. No one talks about it, many women sit in silence as they mourn, and others are shamed for sharing their pain publicly. People only want to see the beauty of pregnancy, and that completely dismisses the community of women who are still mothers to precious angels they didn’t get enough time with. Many people will minimize the amount of pain a woman feels when losing a child if she experienced her loss early in pregnancy. A loss is a loss. Women experience pregnancy loss differently. Some women have no idea they’ve lost their baby until an ultrasound confirms no heartbeat, while others experience bleeding and cramping. Some have to get surgery to clear out their uterus, while others give birth to their lifeless child over a toilet. Some women experience labor in a hospital bed only to hold their baby for minutes to an hour. There are so many variables. 

I tried posting to social media as normal for months. Pretending like nothing had happened and that I was ok. Posting pictures with fake smiles and laughs while suffering from anxiety and bouts of depression. It’ll be a year since my miscarriage in 4 weeks. I still have so much to say and share. This is the first time in a long time where my fingers just simply went to work on the keyboard. I tried so hard to blog last year, but I couldn’t. The topics meant nothing to me because I felt like my life was falling apart. I had fallen apart. So if this post is all over the place, forgive me. I literally picked up my computer and just poured out my heart. I will be sharing MUCH more as so much has happened in a year, and I’m beginning to feel encouraged and excited about life again. 

I came across a Facebook post from a woman that I felt stole the words right from my heart. She spoke my experience so clearly. I feel seen every time I read it. I hope it touches you and brings a little more enlightenment to you.

“No one talks about the messy parts of miscarriage. No one talks about the painful details. No one talks about the cramping, the labor, the bleeding, the postpartum hormones raging-all without a sweet snuggly baby as a reward. No one talks about the “products of miscarriage.” The baby that comes out of you, just as it would full grown… only much, much smaller. The placenta. The blood. The horrendous pain and wearing of what feels like diapers 24/7 for days or even weeks. No one talks about what you should do with the tiny, perfectly formed body you just birthed. If it’s under a certain ‘gestational age’ it’s left up to you. Do you bury it? Do you cremate? Do you toss it in the garbage?! Do you flush?! If it landed in the toilet? What do you do?! And why doesn’t anyone tell you these are decisions you will have to make? Why doesn’t anyone speak up? No one should have to make a decision like that in the moment of extreme emotion, trauma, and pain. No one should have to look back and wish they had done something differently. Wished they had known there were options. We need to do things differently. When I was pregnant with my oldest, and especially after his labor & postpartum, I remember thinking “why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this?” And here I am again. On the other side, wondering “why no one ever told me it would be like this?” So, I’m here. I’m standing up. If you ever find yourself in this horrible place… reach out to me. I will share the messy parts, the hard parts, the important decisions and moments of grief, pain, and healing to come. I will speak up.” -Annalise Washburn

Sincerely, A Black Mother…

I’ve been trying to write this blog post since I published my last post… Bear with me because I spent more time releasing my emotions rather than correcting my grammatical errors and sentence structures.

My last post (10 Ways to Make Reading Fun for Your Child) was posted on May 25, 2020. At that time, I had no idea that George Floyd had been murdered by four police officers that same day. We’d just learned about Ahmaud Arbery, and then soon after we’d learned about Breonna Taylor. Then came Rayshard Brooks…then came the news of Elijah McClain… all of the protests. Black men and women are being found hanging from trees and it’s being called suicide. For the record, history has proven that my people would never hang themselves from trees. So many of my Black brothers and sisters have been slain at the hands of white men and women. FOR GENERATIONS. My ancestors experienced this excruciating pain. My mother and uncles witnessed marches for freedom as young children. My father’s birth certificate identified him as “Colored.” I’m sure he witnessed a lot as well. There are too many to name who’ve had their lives snatched away from them by the very people who were sworn in to protect and serve our communities. Unfortunately, the pain doesn’t end there. My people are being neglected, mistreated, and killed in hospitals as well. Women are crying out and telling people about the pain they are experiencing only to be ignored and later die. Black men and women are being admitted into hospitals for treatments, but are treated poorly based on their insurance coverage or lack of insurance. Oh! And it doesn’t end there. Black women, men, and children can’t even sit in their homes or enjoy time with loved ones without being at risk of being murdered by people in their very own communities. The list goes on, but I’m exhausted.

I’m exhausted because I am not only a wife to a beautiful, strong, Black king who unfortunately has a target on his back, but I am also the mother of two beautiful Black princesses. I’ve seen so many women speak out about their fears of being mothers to Black boys, but it’s been heavy on my heart to share what it’s like to mother Black daughters. It is said that “Fear is not an attribute of the Lord,” but jeez! I’m telling you it’s very hard to not fear for my daughters these days.

Being the mother of Black daughters means praying that:

-Your daughter does not have to mourn or grieve the loss of her Black father due to violence or jail (wrongfully convicted because we know that has happened for generations).

-She doesn’t have to grow up without you due to medical professionals neglecting you before, during, or after your pregnancy with her or her sibling.

-She will never be mistreated or neglected by those very same medical professionals.

-Her virginity will never be stolen from her by a sick man or woman.

-She will not be subjected to sexual harassment or rape because she “shouldn’t have been alone,” or “should have dressed differently.”

-No one sexualizes your baby PERIOD.

-She won’t be kidnapped and put into human trafficking.

-She will live and have the ability to conceive and bear children.

-She will never be physically, verbally, mentally, or emotionally abused by an insecure, toxic man.

-She will never lose her voice because she doesn’t want to be perceived as angry, aggressive, or less than.

-She won’t be discriminated against because of the hue of her skin, or her natural curls.

-She will always find herself beautiful in a world that celebrates either being the size of a model or having a figure like a video vixen.

-She will love her hair regardless of the texture.

-She will be taken seriously, valued, and seen as an excellent contribution to any team, role, or business where a man normally finds his place easily.

-She will continue to love her name even though it’s not white enough for job application and interview sake.

-She won’t be a single mother because of violence brought upon her Black husband.

-She doesn’t have to deal with the pain of losing her Black child to the very same thing that your prayers kept her safe from.

-She will know her worth in a world that demeans and spits on Black women.

-She won’t encounter a racist child on the playground because of their hateful parents.

-She doesn’t hide her pain because she is supposed to be a strong Black woman.

-She celebrates her Blackness and womanhood ALWAYS.

-She doesn’t get murdered in her own home while sleeping, and the murderers still walk freely.

-She lives…

The list goes on and on…

Mothering Black children is one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things I’ve ever done, but it is also the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’ve had so many tough conversations with my child and she is only 8. Why she can’t walk too far ahead of me, and never to walk behind me. I’ve coached her on how to watch my back when I’m strapping her and her sister into the car. How a man should never put his hands on her. How all police officers are not bad, and there are still some good ones out there. I’m constantly comforting her through her fears when her father leaves to go back to work in his truck to drive across a country that hates him. Trying to teach her that kind white people do exist when I’m teaching her History, although she’s witnessing the same murders and protests happening this very day. I’m constantly spewing love and affirmations into my girls to teach them to speak life into and over themselves now and forever.

Black mothers have to teach our children that they may hear terrible things or be mistreated simply because they are Black. Black mothers are steadily raising their children to hold their heads high and to always stand up for themselves. We still teach our children to love and respect others. I’m a God-fearing and loving woman, but let me tell you that is very hard to do. It’s so hard to keep a soft heart in such a cold world. Teaching your children to still love others requires you to steer clear of the hardness that is trying to make its way to your heart to make sure you raise a good human being. Whew!

I’m exhausted…

I’m praying over my daughters about things that I’m still praying about for myself, my sister, cousins, friends, and Black women across the world. I’m having conversations with my daughter about things that I’m still trying to digest and understand myself.

Sincerely, a Black mother.

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Something You Should Consider Before Having Children

If you ask any parent to give a list of things to consider when thinking about having a child, the lists may sound similar, but will vary. However; there are quite a few that should be at the top of the list. They sound a little something like this:

(1.) Think about your finances: Diapers, formula (if breastmilk doesn’t work for you), daycare, before and after care, clothes, shoes, the type of car you’re driving (Is it big enough for all of you?) food, pull-ups, school, extracurricular activities. They all cost when it comes to your children.

(2.) The pain: This isn’t at the top of my list to say to people, but it is for others. I don’t believe in scaring women with birth stories. Everyone’s experience is different. I do share mine, but I always reassure women about the beauty of it all.

(3.) The risks– For black women, you’re honestly risking your life to give birth in a hospital setting. The healthcare system does not serve black women and babies properly, and the maternal/infant mortality rates are out of this world. It has been a huge concern for decades, but is more recently catching TV time and headlines.

(4.) Sleep deprivation: You legit won’t get any sleep for at least two years. Thats the nice way of putting it. You really don’t get any sleep for the rest of your life. Once children sleep through the night, they do everything in their power to fight naptime and bedtime. When you finally hit the weekend and think you can sleep in, you can’t because of Saturday activities! Not to mention, you’re still trying to do things for yourself in between and have alone time. That usually takes place at night. You find yourself enjoying the peace and quiet that you stay up way too late and now it’s morning again.

(5.) Libido changes: Everyone’s experiences are different, but many will say that the desire for sex dies after having children. Most women say it’s because they are so tired from the baby crying, nursing, working, taking care of home, no longer feeling sexy and more. I’ve unfortunately heard of men no longer desiring their significant other because of her body changes (ie. stretch marks, a larger stomach, weight gain) and not seeing her sexually attractive because they are disgusted from her breastfeeding their child.

This list could go on forever. But let me help you out with one huge, forgotten thing to consider when having a child. It’s potty training. Many will share the various stories they have about their child’s huge blowout (when the poop explodes out of the diaper, up the back, down the legs, etc.), but won’t share the pain, struggle and hard work it takes to potty train their children. Well, I’ll be the first to do it.

I hate it! Potty training my oldest eight years ago was a much easier process than it has been for my newly two-year-old. I tell people all the time. My oldest daughter did nothing to prepare me for her little sister. I feel like she tricked me into thinking I could parent again, without giving me the whole truth! If you’re wondering… yes! I just blamed my daughter for my having another child. LOL She begged my husband and I for a baby sister for four years. She even asked my father at his gravesite! Clearly it was his and I doing, but she played a part. She was (still is) such a good kid, I really thought it would be a breeze this time around. I was so wrong. The potty training experience has only been one part of the torture. But it’s a huge part.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched my daughter sit peacefully waiting to poop, then all of a sudden she stands up when it’s coming out. Yepp. So now I’m cleaning up poop off the floor, her legs and the pot. I thought I would have to call poison control because I randomly heard a sucking sound and caught her sucking poop off her fingers. What irritated me about that experience the most is that when I yelled “No, stop!” her face was frowned with disgust from the taste. However, she needed a little more to taste in order to confirm that it was nasty. Thankfully, I’d already made it to her before her hand could reach her mouth again.

We are currently in between using a transitional potty training seat and her pot that goes on the floor. She knows how to say, “Mommy, bathroom” or “Mommy, pot-pot,” but chooses to grunt as if she’s already taking a poop. So I find myself almost breaking my neck running to her and taking her to the bathroom. She’s too young to be trusted in there alone. I’ve left her alone on the pot on multiple occasions and learned my lesson each time. Not deliberately, but because I ended up having to pee while she was waiting to poop. When I return from the bathroom, I buss in the room to find her little naked butt on our bed. Thankfully, she hasn’t had poop on her during those moments.

I’ve also noticed that my daughter uses going to the bathroom as a way of escape from her playpen or high chair. In addition, she’s obsessed with washing her hands (not a problem at all until water is all over the sink, floor and her clothes). I still put her on the pot anyway in order to not take any chances. What happens? Endless tears and screams. Snot everywhere, and demands for foods and drinks.

I’ve found myself in a conundrum. I no longer want to pay for pull-ups, but I loathe the moment where I have to wake up in the middle of the night again for this little girl. Making bathroom runs during the night, or having to change her clothes and bedding because she’s had an accident. Having to be on call to wipe your child’s but after every bathroom visit or being traumatized when you realize they’ve used the bathroom and didn’t call you to wipe! Oh and let’s not forget how close you are to a heart attack when the newly potty trained child needs to use the bathroom while you’re driving. In addition,  my oldest has to use the bathroom nonstop (she gets it from me). She specifically finds a way to have to use the bathroom after when our food has finally come when we’re at a restaurant. At this point, I’m convinced frequent bathroom visits from my children will aide in my weight-loss journey. The amount of times that we have to run back and forth to the bathroom. The unfinished meals… Pray for me…

Sincerely,

An “I’m over this sh**”(literally & figuratively)

Queendom Wife and Mother

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