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ImageMike and Rhoda have been married for eleven years; the two have wanted a child for the last five. Rhoda, an Account Executive, and Mike is a High School English Teacher, have a great life in the suburbs of Brooklyn.

Now, to innerstand their lives, individually, for the last twenty years or so, Rhoda, now 36, NEVER wanted children and was afraid of getting married because she knew that children were inevitable. However, Mike, on the other hand, who is seventh (of eleven) children KNEW that children were not only an option, but his goal was to beat his Mom! so how would this unlikely pair end up having this baby in seven months!

Mike asked Rhoda one night if she would consider having one child. She hesitated but agreed on one. two months later they were pregnant. He was elated…the news still had to grow on Rhoda. She was trying to make partner in her firm and really didn’t need the distraction from all the impending “things to do” before the arrival. It wasn’t until the first ultrasound, seeing that little one float around in there, that actually sold her on the notion of being a Mom!  The morning sickness followed and then the bloat. The breast tenderness wasn’t a real bother but the increased (and quick) weight-gain, was not helping her fit into her business suits, for work. Mike had a solution:”…Rhoda…why don’t you work from home and take the business docs you need  into the office, maybe once a week!…” That was perfect and was arranged within the next two weeks.

Next up, How long will her Mother be staying with them…cuz shes a trip?!?

Patricia, her Mother, raised Rhoda in a a very bourgeoisie and affluent side of the Big Apple. This consummate Socialite, reigned her “social staff” from Southampton, New York; her father, millionaire, Author Forthright allowed access to such a life and Rhoda never forgave him for it. For you see, with money comes access to other things that are not supposed to be “purchased with money”…like love!

Rhoda couldn’t recall a time when her father ever attended Cheerleading competition, saw her in one of her Volleyball games or even knew that she ran track for three years! Her Mother just paid the numerous nannies to attend the games, get the uniforms clean and remember the schedules for the next matches. Now, with her Mom being a stay-at-home Mom, Rhoda always thought that she should have been the one to drive the “Soccer- Mom” Mini-van, filled with the scent of sliced oranges and boxes of Motts Apple Juice, taking turns picking up  her teammates and taking them home. But alas…her Mom had her own schedule to keep; she was the President of the Women’s Society Club, Co-chair for the Red-Hatters Club and made it her business to clean up her karma by spending Wednesday mornings visiting the sick at local hospitals. Yes, Patricia was sole heir to that multi-million-dollar throne and she wanted everyone to understand her social ladder!

Until Rhoda was in High School…that’s when things really turned ugly…

Rewind about 18 years and many mistakes ago, Rhoda was asked to the Senior dance by a guy that lived on the “other-side of the tracks” and was not the color she should have brought to the dinner table that night. Her father didn’t care who he was; his only concern was how much of this night was he funding! Patricia was assured that the night was set to have a brazen rack of imported Duck, served with Holandaise and Mint Sauce. This entrée was to be served with a Swedish Mashed Potato (what ever that is) and steamed Organic, Kale. The hors d’oeuvres were a mix of differing Brushetta breads, topped with the finest imported caviar…red topped of course!!

The table was set and the dinner guest, just rand the bell!

It was Mike! This strapping, 6’5″, 300+ pound, Zulu-dark, young, football player, had his head about him. He knew what he was walking into but, was not moved. That’s what Rhoda loved about him the most. He was just so appreciative he could live like this for a few hours, that the mannerisms and the rude jesters of her Mother, never fazed him, one bit. It was like Rhoda and Mike had the house all to themselves! Mike never had Duck before and the night got interesting from there!

“…Great setting you have here, Mrs. Forthright; do you mind if I ask what we are having, for dinner, on this lovely night?…” asked Mike. In her best, aristocratically-faux British accent Patricia replied, “…Quite frankly I do mind and I must warn you, we will not be having delivered wings and fried rice as you have in your…what is it called again, oh…your hood!…”  Chuckling at her pretentious ignorance, Mike replied, “…oh so you’ve been in the hood, have you?…the fact that you would know that we have wings and fried rice delivered, must mean that you spent some time in my neck of the woods…how’d ya like it?…” That was a fact that Patricia tried to hide for years; she never told her husband this until they were ten years into the marriage, when one of her classmates came to dinner and told of her up-bringing. Not, only DID Patricia spend sometime in the hood, prior to the marriage…but she was actually FROM the projects! How Ironic! And that was the problem Rhoda had with her Mom…she forgot where she came from when she acquired money! Rhoda on the other hand, managed to stay grounded and appreciate people for who they are…Mike kept her abreast of life from his perspective and she appreciated the humility of that life and the value of family she wished she had!

The night ended with them at the Prom; due to the undue stress from her Mom, afterwards, they graduated, moved to respective Colleges and didn’t connect again until that chance meeting on the train, heading to the City; Mike was 26 and Rhoda, was 25.

Since they never really “ended” the relationship, the fact that they saw each other and locked eyes at the same time, meant the spark was still there. Mike thought about Rhoda from time-to-time and Rhoda always wondered who he married. The two got a chance to ask those questions and many more as they continued on the subway; that conversation began the courtship that took five months to consummate in a wedding!

She was in a “blue-white” dress (a white that was so pure it had a blue-hue to it) and he was in a Royal Black (a black so rick in color it had a natural shine to it in whatever fabric it was made with) tailed-tuxedo! The date was April 1st and Patricia was not in the mood for jokes on that day: she was doing everything to stop this wedding and her Dad was doing everything to stay away from Patricia and stay as drunk as he possibly could, without passing out! This wedding was costing upward of one-hundred thousand dollars and the ink wasn’t even dry on the check that paid for it all! they were married at 3:00pm…sharp!

A soul-train line, the Macarena and the electric slide were the three dances that her father danced well to…when he was pie-eyed drunk. Patricia, trying to coital her person away from “these strangers with no class”, sat in a chair that allowed her full view of all the drunk relatives that Mike decided to invite. She counted thirteen that came drunk and ten that stayed until they were drunk…all on her husbands dime. She was intrigued with the sober nature of Mikes Mom, Lee-Etta and her quasi-happy smile, that adorned her face, as she watched her family dance and have a great time. It was bitter-sweet for Momma- Lee” as she was called; the last time she saw this much of her family was when they came to bury her husband of 50 years, Michael-Clarence …but that was two December’s ago and she is still feeling the angst of losing him so soon! Now, she was ready to turn that pain into the best pleasure she could come to know; her son and seventh child, is the only one out of the clan of her eleven, that actually got legally married and she was so proud! The night was beautiful and the two retreated to the Forthright’s, Upper-East side apartment, for their seven-day honeymoon!

Rhoda, now pregnant, is still remembering their simpler days in the 2-bed walk-up that was on the fourth floor, in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She remembered being in the best shape and telling everyone that she didn’t have to work out…carrying groceries up the steps was her weight-training and climbing the steps was the cardio! Mike was just glad to move his pretty wife out of there when the neighbor, next door was killed in a very publicized home-invasion.Now, the three-bed, single family home, in Flatbush is just where they needed to be and they enjoyed the company  they kept! The baby was due in a few months and the nursery needed to be painted and hardwood, in the guest bedroom needed to be stripped and waxed before her Mother arrived.

Its eight weeks before the baby arrives…they are in Lamaze classes now and the parenting class is scheduled for next week. he father brought all the big furniture and Mikes family got the clothes. Patricia was not fond of that as she knew 80% of the clothes would be hand-me-downs (or a she called them, “ghetto-heirlooms”) and the other 20% would probably come from the neighborhood .99 store! She wanted to get all the things for the baby and have Mikes Mom, Lee-Etta, pay for the (presumed) Nanny. But of course, per Rhoda, there will be no Nanny and the Minivan was ordered, due to be delivered in a week.

Everything is in place…except Rhoda’s mindset…she has a few weeks before she will be a Mother and her biggest question still is, “…will it hurt much?…”

One day, while Mike was at work, Rhoda called his cell to see if he time, that day, to test the route and how fast he could get to the hospital, in traffic, that time of the day. She was already there at a Dr’s appointment and said she would meet him there. The two ate lunch and returned to their perspective jobs. That night was a great round of sex and then back to work in the morning. That schedule stayed pretty much the same until that faithful Thursday night…it was raining and Patricia was stuck at the airport because there was no driver scheduled to pick her up….

Mike drove up in his Lexus SUV to get her, but that was too cramped and too “dirty” for Patricia. She complained all the way home and even boasted how Rhoda would not have to be subjected to this “filth” if she would just “…come to her senses and leave this god-forsaken place…”. Mike continued to “grin-and-bear-it” because he knew, any day now, he was going to be holding his child. Rhoda was too special to him and the baby was too important to them, for Patricia to mess any of this up! This fact would be put to the test…Rhoda’s water just broke…she is 39 weeks today and she was about to have her baby!

Since the new thing is to have a water-birth, Rhoda brought a birthing tub to set up, for her to labor in. She was planning a 50-50 birth; where you labor at home and just birth in the hospital. You are able to eat, drink and be merry without all the bells and whistles of a hospital setting. She called her Midwife and Doula and hunkered down for the long-haul! Three hours in, she was already at a “4′ and was softening nicely. Five hours in, Rhoda’s pain increased a bit, but she knew that she was going to have to remember her breathing because this was getting a bit intense. at the sixth hour, Rhoda was half-way there at “5”, and fully effaced. “…Now…its time to get out of the tub and begin walking..”, said to her Doula, Nadirah. Her Midwife seconded the notion, adding, “…yes…let’s let gravity take you the rest of the way!…”. the make-shift labyrinth that was etched out of shoes and medical equipment on the floor made for an very interesting path for Rhoda to walk, she was amazed that she was more focused on the stuff on the floor that she didn’t realize that she was already at “8”, feeling the urge to “move her bowels”. the midwife confirmed that she was closer to a “(” and could continue walking or head to the hospital. She wanted to walk and the (home birth) Midwife she hired, was just fine with that!

they started coming every minute to a minute and thirty seconds apart and they didn’t seem to stop; just as she got through one, another one seemed to rebound to the next one! She was in pain she didn’t know existed but remembered her Midwife’s explanation that there would be discomfort because you don’t normally have a head coming from your vagina! She was at a 10…fully effaced and now fully dilated, she was ready to have her baby!

Panic set in…Rhoda knew she was supposed to get to the hospital but had not called them as of yet and really couldn’t get up; her hips felt like they were detached. The Midwife, ready on the fly, had an arsenal of birthing supplies that was going to make this unplanned home-birth seem like it was orchestrated.

Rhoda was on her hands and knees when the baby crowned, thirty minutes and three failed attempts on trying to push, later, the head was out. The Midwife asked Rhoda where she was ticklish at? Mike said, “…I know…” and began tickling her. The force of the laugh expelled the rest of the baby, into Mike’s arms. He shouted, “…I have a boy…Rhoda, you gave me a Boy…Thank you honey…”. the Doula cried, then Mike was crying and Rhoda wanted to cry, but was in shock that she just did this and that she had a boy. Good ole Patricia did waste any time; you know she had something to say about the feat; “…is there someone who will be coming by to clean this mess up…its atrocious and it stinks!…” Mike, still “punch-drunk” from seeing his little boy, they named Michael-Clarance the third, looked up at Patricia and said, “…no, that s what you came here for…not get to cleaning…” Laughing at what Mike just did and in complete validation of today’s events, she felt the need to push again. This time, the Midwife said, “...no need to push, unless you want to, that’s just the afterbirth…”; the Doula went to get the two bags of ice. The Midwife got in position to catch the afterbirth, when she saw something that was very peculiar.

Rhoda felt that need to push and went with it…that action birthed their second child, a daughter, they named Lee-Etta Patricia.

“Zoe’s Baby: Episodes from the Womb” are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate, after birthing! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy and journey into motherhood!

Thank you!

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“…Oh baby…you feel so good to me…oh yeah…I like that!…” The moans and groans of sensuality were becoming more and more evident during this romp! She was being pleasured and he was (of great) pleasure to her, in all the ways he knew how!

Then…ten minutes later his words were, “…ok…you gotta leave, my wife will be home in five minutes...”.

Zoe was just suckered into another sexual act that left her (feeling) less than a woman and he was left to rewind his game when his wife got home, without anyone knowing!

How hurtful…but its not uncommon, not in her world!

Zoe, who is French (Paternal) and Native American (Maternal), is a 16 year old mother of a two-year old little boy, Eric. She is, at current, a HS drop out & a self-proclaimed, “born again”, recovered Nymphomaniac. She went into recovery at 15 when she aborted her second child; her ex-step-father just stopped molesting her about six months prior, when she finally got the nerve to run away from that cesspool of a lifestyle! Her Nymphomania was brought on when her (then) step-dad would have sex with her, almost daily, telling her to “…fantasize about a boy you want to have sex with…” when he was inside of her. His reasoning: it would, “… make the feeling, a better experience…”. Well, it worked! She imagined quite a few boys…so much so that her thoughts led her right into the arms of some of these same people. One of them being Malcolm…the Brother she just had sex with…you remember, the one with the beautiful little wife.

Now Zoe doesn’t do “the marrying kind”…she’s pretty content with just having the local Black boys from Garnett (her former) High School. She had run through the Basketball team when the JV Football team came calling! She, in the height of her Nymphomania, was known to have two and three boys at one time…one in every orifice she possesses! She was good at BJ’s and knew what she liked for them to do to her…but something had to give…she had to stop this because she was really not happy and her life was not going the way she initially planned it.

Anna, a counselor and Behavioral Health, Social Worker, at Garnett, was a mild-mannered LCSW that equally worked at the local juvenile jail; she came from a strict Mennonite background so she really wasn’t raised around too much promiscuity. So when she got Zoe as a client, she took on a challenge she wasn’t sure she could handle. She met Zoe after a chance-encounter at the local grocery store. Zoe, on the phone with one of her friends, decided to tell that friend what happened after school one day with Varsity Softball player. Shocked at what she was over-hearing, Anna, interjected her call to give her a business card; on the back was a note, “…call me…I work at Garnett High School and I think I can help you…”. Puzzled why this “strange-looking” woman would even approach her that way, Zoe quickly retorted, “…I just left THAT school because of nosy-ass people like you…” and then walked away from her spot in line.

Hurt, but not deterred, Anna used that comment and found Zoe’s picture (from the school files) and then her personal information. She learned of Zoe’s young pregnancy and complicated life from the former counselor that left “…due to stress…”, the counselor Anna replaced. She called Zoe’s Mom and set up an appointment to meet; that was missed.  Then, she visited the home (of record);  Zoe’s Mom was evicted from there a few weeks ago. Then, one day after tutoring some freshen at the local YMCA, Anna stopped by a neighborhood “hang out” and began asking questions about the “pint-sized” parent, named Zoe, that was still so angry about “something”.

Unrelenting, Anna spoke to Zoe on the rare occasions that Zoe came to the high school to see her friends or a sexual romp with a local sports figure! Week after week, she would offer the same help and kindness but would be offered the same cold shoulder and jeering words. At this point, Zoe was upset that this “old woman” was STILL riding her and resented the fact that she was actually taking an interest in her. One time, Zoe shouted, “…B****, why you all in my business…you wanna lick this kitty too?!?…here it is…you can have all you want…”. Laughing at the blatantly ignorant disrespect she just displayed towards Anna, Zoe’s only remorse was to smirk, throw up her middle finger & walk away!

Several evenings later, when Zoe was attempting to sneak into (yet another) Basketball game, Anna walked up (behind) Zoe and said, “…the CRO (Campus Resource Officer) wants to see you in his office…NOW…”. Pondering the statement, Zoe, unfettered by the request, walked to the CRO’s office and knocked on the door. The Officer asked her to, “…come in…”, sitting her down for a chat. He said he witnessed her, on video, on four DIFFERENT occasions, trying to sneak into four different athletic matches and demanded an answer as to why. He then continued to tell her that the three times she was successful in getting into “his school”, illegally, is now going to result in a criminal trespass charge…Zoe was arrested!

Shocked at this, Zoe’s mind when straight to her mulatto little boy, Eric who was at home with Stephanie; a friend and former classmate, so she could go out tonight. She had to get Eric to her Mothers or ask Stephanie to watch him overnight until she could raise bail.  Stephanie, who had a Physics test in the morning had to get rid of this little boy so she could study; its not 8pm and way past the time Zoe was due to arrive back. Stephanie called Zoe; the phone went to voicemail. Then she called My-Asia, another friend who always knows where Zoe is; she told her, “…girl, I haven’t spoken to Zoe all day, I have no clue as to where she is…sorry…“. Then, Stephanie called Lilly, Zoe’s Mom, to ask her to come get her grandson; her reply, “…sorry, that’s not my son, that’s Zoe’s son, so call her…(click)…” Stephanie had no clue what to do so she called a family Friend who was a County Police Officer; he said he would be right over. The Officer (who co-incidentally was the same CRO that was arresting Zoe) dropped Zoe off at the local Juvenile Center and then went to Stephanie’s. Upon arrival, the officer took the child from the residence and placed him in temporary foster care until Zoe came home.

Day one of lock up: Zoe looked as de-shoveled as she sounded, asking for a towel and washcloth so she could shower. The Detention Officer (D.O.) denied her initial request sighting that she was not in proper formation or in the proper spot to ask  her a question. Trying to plead to the wishes of this very dike-ish D.O., she giggled as she conformed to terms. Zoe was not showered and fresh…now she needed to get to a phone so she could get outta there!

Day three and four were wrought with pains in her side and profuse vomiting. A few days ago, she thought that she had food poisoning from the mess they served her, but now, it seemed that her body was reacting to her third denial of release; a delayed court date, into being able to raise bail and now and her court-appointed lawyer not being able to raise enough evidence to suffice an R.O.R. (Release on your Own Recognizance). The inevitable remand was eminent and she would have to stay in that hell-hole they called a “House of Reformation”.

Zoe was depressed. The once awnry demeanor that she was known for, was now reduced to a solemn frown, most days and few words of conversation to the others in her cell block. She tried to gain some solace by asking family members and friends (that she hadn’t burnt bridges with), to help her with money on her account so she can call for help to be released. Sadly the only person that would (actually) answer the phone and help her with money, was her (ex) Step Dad who was more than ready to help her…he know what the ‘repayment’ was going to be and was (more than) anxious to ‘cash out’, once she got home. A few days later, Zoe received $100.00 on her account; enough for personal items, some “store” food and money for the phone…next stop, calling Malcolm to see if he would help!

Day eleven meant that Zoe would be required to take a physical and be assigned a counselor. Part of the requirements of staying in jail, more than ten-days is to begin “in-processing”. This means that your stay is longer than most and requires you to begin to”get comfortable” while you await your fate in the courts! Zoe was taken to the infirmary where they asked, as she put it, “…a million…” medical questions  that everyone is asked when they get a physical. She, then, was asked questions about her sexual life and if she was possibly pregnant. Zoe told the woman that she hadn’t had her period in a month but chalked it up to a bad yeast infection she just got over. The Nurse said that she would have to run a pregnancy test anyway, HIV and Hepatitis and test for any STI’s  she may have. She complied, finished and was returned to the hallway to await a counselor.

“…Next…” resounded a familiar voice. Zoe got excited thinking that she knew this voice and was going to milk that opportunity to get outta that place. As she approached the office, Zoe smelled the familiar perfume of the awaiting counselor and got even more excited. “…Well hello Zoe…” said the voice that was getting louder as Zoe rounded the corner of her office. The voice was pleasant and Zoe just knew she was finally going to be set free, because her intention was to manipulate the hell outta this one. She gets to the dividing wall and with all the joy her little body could muster, she literally bounced around the partition to the awaiting face…

It was Miss Anna!

“…Oh hell naw..” shouted Zoe, disappointed and physically let down. “…Nope, not this bitch…oh no…nooope…next…get me the hell outta here fo sho!…” Anna’s only reply: “…Sorry Zoe, you are not going anywhere; you will be staying with me and we will be working together until you finish boot camp…please have a seat…” As Anna closed the door, for privacy, the now sheepish Zoe needed to quickly figure out a new strategy; remember, her goal was to get out and she was focused on THAT goal. “…you know what, Miss Anna…“, said Zoe, “… my bad,…Im sorry…please forgive me. I am just this hurt little girl that had you pegged all wrong and now, I want to start over…can we?…” “…now its my turn…” replied Miss Anna, “…hell naw…nope…and don’t try me…Im smarter than this little bonnet on my head would make me look like. I may be from the Mennonite Church but I’m sharper than most of you ladies, combined…”. This display of virility shocked Zoe; she never saw that side of Miss Anna. She just thought she was some push-over that was just a pesky, thorn-in-her-side, while she was at the high school. Now, this lady would be her counselor and would definitely decide the fate of this little girl!

Boot camp was six long weeks. Zoe resisted for the first two and was written up a few times by week three. Zoe got in touch with Malcolm, by phone who was now a widower;  his wife, lost alot of weight, then got sick and died a few weeks ago. She called baby Eric and spoke to him as well. Things were shaping up at home as well; Lily, her mom, was clean and sober for three weeks now and was, at last check, trying to get little Eric back into the family. Her ex-Step Dad went to prison on a parole violation for a new sex offense; now he was slated to be remanded for the next 20 years (or so) under the “three-strike” law. Zoe wasn’t his first encounter with under-age girls. Zoe’s mom left him years earlier after he went to jail, a second time, for a girl that was 13. This last time, the girl, who he met at an arcade, was 10. The little girl’s  father was the local county commissioner that pulled strings to get him charged, arraigned and convicted in 30 days!!! That was a new state record!

Zoe was starting to learn about herself; she got the results from her physical back and, with the help of Anna and a psychiatrist, was beginning to “peel the onion” of her past to reveal the love that she had for self and the life that she had planned, initially. She was on a roll and even asked it she could have a visitor before she was released. Miss Anna agreed and scheduled for Malcolm to bring little Eric to her. The visit lasted an hour but it was the best sixty-minutes of her life! Little Eric was thriving and put on a few pounds. Malcolm lost a lot of weight, said he was eating better and was even letting his beard grow, thanks in part, to him accepting a new spiritual way of life, recently. He asked her to marry him but she politely refused. He asked her about her medical exam and why she hadn’t had her period since they last slept together. Zoe avoided the subject, initially, as they joked and laughed most of the visit. But it was the end of the conversation that was the epiphany for both of them.

Malcolm said, “…OK…I’m about to leave in 10 minutes and I need to know, sostop playing with me…are you pregnant or not?!? I want to know if  Little Eric is going to have a little Sister?…” Zoe’s reply, “…No, Malcolm, my period stopped because I have full-blown, AIDS!…”

Five weeks after her release from jail, Zoe died of complications of Pneumosistic Pneumonia…a day before  her 17th birthday.

 

“Zoe’s Baby: Episodes from the Womb” are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate, after birthing! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy and journey into motherhood!

Thank you!

 

“…Earlier this evening, Police officials are saying three women were found dead in an abandoned building in a West End neighborhood, in Atlanta. Reports say that all three women were Asian, Hispanic and African American, in their late 20’s…and all were pregnant!…details at 11…”

Zoe was stunned! “…Girl…that’s a sin and a shame…how did three pregnant women get in a situation like that?!?…”, she said to Melinda, her best friend of 20 yrs. Chuckling, Melinda replied, “…Zoe-baby, I have no Idea and I’m afraid to ask…” The two, then, changed the conversation to Zoe’s impending birth and baby shower, which was slated for this Saturday.

“…Zoe, what type of theme would you like?!?…”, asked Melinda. “…Whatever girl…I trust you…you know what to do…”, said Zoe! So Melinda, who got a little outta hand when she came up with this idea, themed it, “a Toga party”…Frat-boy style! Because Zoe was having a boy, Melinda thought that she would, “welcome him” into the world, of being a boy, by having the attendees behave and act like college frat! She planned to have sparking cider in faux beer kegs and everyone wrapped in sheets to emulate the drunken behavior that was synonymous with college life. “…now how is a party like this gonna say, “baby shower”, Melinda?!?…”, Zoe asked. “…its gonna be just fine…you’ll see…Everyone will remember this Saturday, for sure!!…”.

The guests began to arrive one by one, Zoe was not due to come for about an hour but the festivities were certainly underway! The women came in their Soror paraphernalia from college and the men were actually the ones wearing the toga sheets; they made their way to the lower-level family room where the game was on and left the women to their fun! Sheets or not, that game was on and that was WAY more important!!

Its now 7:35…

The shower began at 6 and Zoe was supposed to be there by 7; thirty minutes later, she was still not heard from! The calls to her cell went unanswered and the time it took for her to get there came and went! Melinda thought she would send one of the guys out to see about her but Tracey, her neighbor and soror, went in his place.

The 18 min drive was the longest drive in the history of the world to Tracey…she was anxious to know what happened and where Zoe was. “…Melinda…”, Tracy said over the phone, while driving, “…I bet that girl is in there sleep and forgot about the party…you know how pregnant women sleep….and forget ALOT…”, said the curious friend. “…I sure do hope so, Tray…”, said Melinda. She arrived to the bleak house. No lights appeared to be on. The front door was locked but Tracey knew that Zoe had a habit of leaving the back door unlocked in case she lost her key. So Tracey went around back to see if that was true! Voila! She made entrance and made her way through the kitchen, into the dining/living area and then upstairs to bedroom.

Zoe was laying across her bed.

“…see, I knew it…Girl, if you don’t get your butt up and come on…the Sisters are waiting for you…this is YOUR day…what had you planned to wear and what is…”. There was no movement from Zoe. Tracey went over to Zoe and tapped her on the shoulder….still nothing. When Tracey went to try to move Zoe is when she saw the blood in her nose. Blood that was congealed and drying. Tracey called 9-1-1 then called Melinda to tell her the bad news.

Thirty, long, minutes later, the gang, still donned in togas and various colors of the select frats and sororities, met with the ER doctor in-charge of Zoe’s case. The wait was relentless and yet the MD just came to state the inevitable, “…Zoe is in critical condition…we will know more in a few minutes…”. This insulting retort angered, Brandon, Zoe’s Frat from Howard. He blasted the doctor asking him what school he went to and why after thirty-minutes he couldn’t tell them what was wrong. The doctor replied, “…I can only release this information to the next of kin…is there anyone that is blood family here?!?…” Melinda said, “…no, not yet, but her Mom is on her way now…she should be here within the hour…”. “…Great..”, replied Dr. James, “…I will await her arrival and will return when she arrives…”.

Fated with the compulsion to wait, the gang sat vigil for 45 MORE minutes until her Mom arrived. The sight of this 4’11”, slender septuagenarian, with her long salt-and-pepper “Cherokee” braids that hit her breasts as they lay, was a true sight for sore eyes! She reminds most of Lena Horne with full lips but this pint-sized miracle was felt like the arrival of Christ! She came in the emergency room like she was the owner of the place, coming to lay claim of her property! She was magnanimous and well-awaited! But all she wanted was to know was what was wrong with her only child.

Melinda and Tracey sought high and low for the doctor now; one went on the lower level and the other tried the doctor’s lounge but neither could find him. It was after 6pm so the only paging that would happen would be for “STAT calls” and physician pages, so that option was out! The Nurses station was a virtual ghost-town as the over-worked professionals were all in the rooms of their patients and no one was manning the desk. “…so I guess we wait, huh…”, said Melinda to Tracey. Zoe’s Mom replied, “…hell no we won’t…that’s MY baby and I demand answers!…” Mrs. Adams, Zoe’s Mom and a 13-yr widow, was faced with dealing with losing yet another person she loved dearly. Her husband (and Zoe’s Dad, famed attorney Bryson Adams) died from the effects of Sudden-Onset Angina, which resulted in many strokes later. That internal torture was witnessed, first-hand by Mrs Adams and she refused to watch another family-memeber leave this earth like that!

Another ten minutes followed the last twelve; “…did the doctor forget us?…”, asked Brandon. Melinda, the normally patient one of the bunch, just chewed off the last of her acrylic nails, in anticipation of what was to come, when the silhouette of the doctor could be seen from the distance. The crowd grew more and more silent in anticipation of his words. Mrs. Adams stood up and headed the masses asking to be taken to a room to hear his report. In respect of this choice, the once curiously, feisty companions, garnered an unintentional patience that was needed and warranted. Ten minutes passed when an audible “Oh my GOD…NO!!!” Came from the room. The crowd now gathered closer to the door to hear the conclusion of the chat.

“…Being pregnant isn’t the problem..its having the baby that can cause the problems…your grandson was just trying to come early…”, said the Doctor. “…Now how is that comment making sense as to what happened to Zoe…” Tracey replied. All they could do was wait; the Doctor wasn’t finished with his “talk” and Mrs. Adams hadn’t emerged from that little 6X10 room that was heavily decorated with opulent paint and faux flowers!

The door opened…

The once calm and very demure Mrs. Adams looked as if she aged twenty years in thirty-minutes! She approached the crowd that, by now, had grown to almost 30 in the waiting room alone; younger friends on the floor, the women seated and some men were standing the whole time, never fretting the fatigue in their legs for the word they came for. Mrs. Adams approached and gathered her thoughts before she began.

“…My precious and delightful, Zoe had an aneurysm and was not faring well. The boy-baby, that was to be named after her father, Bryson…is no more. The surgeons are set to perform an emergency C-section (so we can lay little Bryson to rest) and then treat the aneurysm post-operatively!…”

The tears and moans came form every corner of the room. The once stoic Brandon wept, releasing years of pent-up tears. Melinda went weak at the knees and was helped to a seat and Tracey screamed as she left the ER in frenzy of questions and confusion. Mrs. Adams held her own as she continued. “…if Zoe makes it through the night, then the prognosis is really good for her, so start the prayer chain and get to calling everyone you know. (looking at Melinda), I will need YOU to stay at the hospital with her tonight. I have house guests that wanted to come to the shower as well and I have to either arrange transportation for them to get home or shuttle them here, but I need someone to stay with her until I return…” As Tracey returned to the ER, she passed Mrs. Adams as she was leaving. Now, she didn’t hear the plan but, curious as to why Mrs. Adams was leaving the hospital, at a time like this, was first on her mind. She looked at Mrs. Adams’ face and knew that whatever plan was in her HEAD, was not a good one.

She followed Mrs. Adams where ever she was going.

Back at the hospital, the baby was sectioned and the awaiting crowd was there. “The product of a miscarriage” as the doctor called the baby, was signed over to Melinda who arranged for everyone to see him, once a room was made available for them. She dressed him in the outfit that Zoe had in her bag for him to wear and she asked Zoe’s Pastor to come and say a few words. Zoe was critical at this point and was not expected to live. The ICU lay vigil over the body of Zoe; the nurses were very pessimist and didn’t hold too much hope, either for Zoe to make it!

Tracey, in route to where ever Mrs. Adams was going, at this point, lost track of her in construction traffic, but thought she was going home as it was in the general direction of where they were. Once Tracey pulled up to the drive way, she saw her car.

Her phone rang; “…Tracey!!!…”, shouted Melinda, “…where are you girl?!? I have baby Bryson and we are all saying our good byes…why are you not here?!?…” Tracey, now in tears thinking about seeing his lifeless body, retorted, “…Girl I can’t do that, I’m here with Mrs. Adams, she didn’t look too well when she left and I thought I would make sure she arrived home safely!…” “…That’s cool…is the house full of a lot of people?!?…” asked Melinda. “…a lot of people?!?…aint nobody’s car here but Mrs. Adams and mine…what are you talking about?!?…” Melinda, surprised at the reply, stepped out of the room and explained what Mrs. Adams said. “…well, I guess I need to head inside. But the house is dark for her having that much company I might need to help…”

Melinda, confused as to what is happening with Mrs. Adams, realized that she was custodian over little Bryson and needed to get back. Just as she was about to open “Bryson’s Room”, as she dubbed it, the PA system belted, “…code blue, ICU room 219…code blue ICU room 219…code blue, ICU room 219… That was Zoe’s room and nothing good could come from that! About the same time Tracey was walking up the cobbled-stoned driveway of Mrs. Adams’ Carpenter-Style, three-story, single-family Bungalow. She approached the eerie silence surrounding the house when the she was startled by her phone’s vibration; Melinda sent a text about Zoe coding. Scared and unsure, Tracey put her phone on silent and stood there for a moment so she could gather her thoughts and her approach as to how she would tell Mrs. Adams. Since she was really nervous, her instinct was to smoke a cigarette…something Tracey ONLY did when she was REALLY stressed or fatigued. Out of cigs, Tracey jumped back into the car to go get a pack. As she backed out of the drive way, she heard a loud “pop”. She figured she rolled over a nail and thought the tire was punctured. She got out to examine the tires and saw that the nail must have held the air in the tire because non of them were flat. She was heading to the gas station so she would get it looked at the tire, if it went flat by then.

Melinda, began calling everyone around the bedside of little Bryson trying to garner what each of them WOULD do to help Mrs. Adams bury her Daughter and Grand Son, when the time came. Within twenty-five minutes everyone had their role and job; the women would be pall bearers for Little Bryson and the men, for Zoe…it was arranged as if they all did this before! It was wonderful! Now, they awaited the news. It took less than an hour for the doctor to return to the room they gathered in. “…it is with full sadness and great sympathy that I announce that the person you know as Zoe is no more…her soul transitioned at 11:39 tonight…may GOD be with you all!…” And with that, he left the room and the lives of those he just touched!

The two funerals were arranged the next day. They were scheduled for the viewing and funerals to be Saturday morning and the burial to be that afternoon. Zoe and Bryson would be at one funeral and the second one…was for Mrs. Adams.

The “pop” that Tracey heard was not her tire, it was from a self-inflicted gunshot at the hands of Mrs. Adams. She was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:39 as well!

Zoe’s Baby are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy!

Thank you!

…The bell finally rang.

It was 3:30 and the children were feasting their souls on the weekend and all the mischief they were planning! Zoe, a middle school teacher, was looking forward to meeting up with her new lover, Greg, someone at her school that she has been seeing for about four months! This new ‘play-date’, number 17 of  the last dozen that she said she would eventually marry, was a great asset to Zoe, at this time in her life; she was hitting 40 and needed to “feel” someone differently in her life. Greg was passive soul; very non-confrontational but always there for Zoe and ready to lend an ear! He was new to the “ways of Zoe” in her moodiness and bossy nature, but eager to learn more about her, at this stage of the game!

The date was set…Saturday held a trip to the Botanical Gardens, down Colorado Street, then it was off to that quaint little antique store Zoe was talking about. Lunch was next, followed by a stop to a friend of Greg’s, to pick up a loaned video game and then to an afternoon matinee before dinner. “…This was perfect…”, thought Zoe, “…I could have my time with him and then have him home to care for his mother, before 10!…”. The night went like a well-scripted play and the evening was looking to pan out to be that great ending we all expect! Well this night was about to steam up quickly; Greg’s mother was not home (as they once thought) and they were planning to take FULL advantage of that time…together!

Greg’s room was upstairs, next to his Mom’s. It was the room he always had and thought that it was still a perfect room to (still) have; its right next to his Mom’s (to listen out for her) and the only room closest to the bathroom…he was a bed-wetter at one time and he surely appreciated the lack of distance needed to get to his ‘target’, at 2am! Zoe, still acquainting herself to the new surroundings took full advantage of asking the many questions, women ask men, when seeing their house/room for the first time. She asked about the trophies, the certificates and of course the many “good grade” and “perfect attendance” honors he received. One award caught her eye the most…it was a small, very undefined wooden placard that had, “…Greg Samson…Outstanding Son…given this 23rd day of January…by Adventist Hospital…”. now, Zoe was a bit taken back as to why a hospital, and a very predominant hospital, in their area, would give such a personal and nondescript award, to one of many “sons”, that pass though their doors.

When questioned, Greg’s reply made her fall in love with him, for sure.

“…My Mom had Bone Marrow Cancer about three years ago. She shrunk down to about 97 pounds and was very frail. The Doctors didn’t hope for much in her recovery, but I would be there, every day, to see her, rain or shine. The nurses were always saying, “…how does a son, do that with all he has to do in a day?…” I just kept coming back because I thought it was what I was just supposed to do; I’m her son…she’s my Mom.  It wasn’t far from our house and I was able to come sit with her until dinner, get back home and be ready for the next day by 10 or 11…it was cool for me…”. Greg’s mom returned home to live out the rest of her days and was deemed in remission about six months ago. Her joints and bones are still a bit frail and she needs some help, so Greg cares for her as she needs him to. After that oration, Zoe couldn’t do anything but kiss him, whispering, “…I just love you…”. Zoe was immediately turned on by this story, but Greg was very patient; he always allowed Zoe to make every move. Whether in school or at her place, he NEVER made the first move.

So Zoe lead this romp…well.

She was OK with leading though because in her past relationships, she was always pursued; told what to do and how to do it and that kinda frustrated her, so Greg’s approach seemed to be just what the ‘doctor’ ordered.

Zoe unzipped his pants, allowing  fellatio to rule this onset. She was careful with her teeth as he said he was “real sensitive” with scraping the sides. She was pro at this though, so she knew what she was doing and took pride in making his head fall back. His knees got weak a bit and the bed met their coitus, at this point. Stretched out, in a supine position, Zoe was elated to be “next” in receiving pleasure; cunnilingus got her moist enough to receive Greg’s ‘man-member’ with ease! One turn and another posture later, Zoe was “sixteen again” wondering why she didn’t feel this good, then. Greg’s toes curled a time or two but the immeasurable ‘pleasure peak’ that was brewing in his loins, was about to turn his ankles inward! He was about to explode and the use of a condom was not a discussion they have ever had!

Zoe’s moans could be heard in the basement…good thing “Mom’s” wasn’t home! Greg was not trying to muffle the sounds either; the noise only heightened his little ego and made the pleasure more exciting! Zoe let out her breath with the highest note of  “G” recorded for sound! That orgasm opened more than a few Chakras for her and was coded to help Greg reach this climax, as it followed about ten-seconds later! The two were  in complete bliss and was ready to seal this commitment with a kiss of an unspoken confirmation! They were “exclusive” and the twin mattress, that rested on the floor, was the cause and cure of this bond!

The next few months at school was a great time had by all! The ease of the relationship seemed to have a great result on Greg; he was happier than he’s ever been and Zoe had a chance to splash the news of her happiness on that new social site! Their lives couldn’t be happier, until…

The county police showed up to Zoe’s door.

You see…Zoe found out, that day of passion resulted in a sperm cell meeting her ovum…she, was pregnant and was about to have this bundle of joy, in a few weeks! The news hit the her family well, even though the distance never allowed Greg to meet her folks. Greg’s Mom, however, never really took to Zoe, thus they never came to the house much when his Mom was home. When she found out that Zoe was pregnant she immediately asked Greg if the baby was his. He said, “...yeah…I guess; I don’t think she has been with anyone else…”. That conversation began a whirlwind of incident reports and investigative acts, over the next nine months, from local authorities. “…My Moms don’t like Zoe but, damn, I think shes going a bit overboard by calling the police…”, Greg told a friend at school. For some reason, his Mom never relented either! Se was calling the school harassing Zoe; she called her principal asking for her to be fired, told a mom, going into a PTA meeting, one evening, that Zoe was a tramp that she, “…wasn’t worthy of leading parent/teacher discussions because she wasn’t a fit teacher and wouldn’t  be a fit parent when that bastard child was born…”. His Mom, then, told the local media that she was “…a whore…”, hoping it would air on the eleven-o’clock news! All of her efforts was persistent and on course for what was about to happen.

Zoe was arrested and the baby-boy, she named “Allen”, Greg’s middle name, was taken to the local foster care center at the police station, awaiting his guardians.

Even that wasn’t enough for Greg’s Mom, Zelda; she called for her immediate revocation of parental rights and to surrender full and total custody over to her so she could take the baby, her new grandchild and raise it herself! Greg was furious! He was shell-shocked to learn that Zoe was even arrested but the s*** (really) hit the fan when he learned the baby, his first and only, was being taken across town by strangers, without his knowledge or permission. He knew he was a new Dad and all, but that Childbirth class, they attended, a few months ago, explained his rights as a father, clearly! He was livid and the object of his aggression was the, once frail, Mother, he doted over, for about a year! I don’t know if the fact that all of this was happening was the root of his conniption or the fact that his MOTHER, placated it…either way, someone was about to get “the business” and it might lead to him needing some bail money as well!

The station where Zoe was being questioned was freezing cold. Her breast were engorged AND frozen, at this point; she wasn’t sure if it was even proper ask if she could express her milk, while she was waiting, just to relieve the pain! The time was drawing near and the detectives came in to ask her a barrage of questions, she was clearly not ready to answer.

“…Is Allen your son?…” asked Detective Shields. Detective Badger came in right on top of that question, to ask how she knew Greg. She was terrified to answer either of them, at this point, wondering why she was there and needing to answer anything! She said, calmly, “…unless I am under arrest, I would like to leave. If I am under arrest, I would like to confer with my lawyer and stop this line of questioning completely…”. She was allowed to exercise her right to NOT incriminate herself and was read her Miranda Rights.

The court date was in sixty-days and her bail was too high for her to make; she was remanded into custody and was being charged with Statutory Rape of a minor!

…Greg was only 14!

 

 

Zoe’s Baby are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy! Thank you!

…Lights out ladies…“. the audible clicks of the manual controls can be heard from one end of the hall to the other! I was not too sure what that meant for me; this was my first night actually in prison and I am six-weeks pregnant.

…Zoe Scott? Number 622133?…are you here?…girl, you better answer me…“, yelled Sargent Hill. He was playing like he was hard and tough, but he was a bit sweet on me; I didn’t mind, I was just sentenced to twelve years so I better just do what he says if I’m doing this much time. He was the same guard that was at the county jail when I was there, awaiting trial, so I’m good, I have a familiar face here, at least. From the looks of things, prison didn’t fare too bad; the ladies were all in order and the time it took to get the things we needed wasn’t that long. I heard war stories about prison but I guess a women’s prison had its perks. The warden is a woman; she was the type that wanted for her “ladies” (as we are called), what she would want for herself. I guess that’s good in a way, at least you don’t have the worry about getting ‘sloppy-seconds’ just because you are in prison!

I just got my intake physical when I learned that I was having this baby! This was a bummer since this would be the first child that I would be having and it would be in prison! The last child I aborted and never looked back; the first child I was pregnant with, I had, at 13; it was taken away from me when Child Protection was called. I was smoking crack with her Father (who was my best friend’s father as well) and the nosy neighbor, that lives at the corner, saw us and called on me. That Bitch needs to rot in jail right here, with me, for calling the law on my baby! She broke up our home and now, at 30, I’m not too sure where my 17 year old, Daughter is!

Yeah, I’m bitter…cant you tell? But, this didn’t happen over night. I am tired of people just doing stuff to me an thinking that they can get away with it; that very reason is the reason I am in here now. Yes, I tried to kill her father after he lied to his daughter about the paternity of the baby. The botched attempt at staging it as a robbery and the fact that he escaped the quasi  ‘attack’ with three stitches and a bruise, made  even the prosecutor reduce the charge to attempted manslaughter and gave me eight and a half, to twelve years! I don’t know if I should thank them or be embarrassed at the fact that they knew I was a drugged-out, amateur doper, that needs some help trying to commit a crime! Well none the less, I’m here and so is my baby and I need help! If I had it to do all over again, trust me…this would not be something I would be doing; take it from me…it aint worth it!

I’m 10 weeks now and baby is still looking good. I just came back from my prenatal appointment and I feel great. Sometimes I imagine that the ride to the Dr.’s office is with my chauffeur and I’m some rich-bitch going for her monthly visit, with her ‘driver’. I like to imagine that my rich husband is waiting for me at the Dr.’s office and I’m on my way to meet him. I know you may think that I need some medicine and a good nap for fantasizing like this, but I am sure, as I am sitting here, I am no-where-near crazy; this is the mentality you have to develop to be in here! I don’t think I would have been able to survive this whole month without this way of thinking; I know I would not have been able to stay pregnant this long. I have thought about aborting this child so many times but something just makes me keep this thing growing in me.

My bunkie is cool; shes the type to talk a lot, but that’s cool too. I like to listen to people talk; I like to see what they tell me without them knowing they are saying it…this way I learn bout them  before all the bullshit comes out. The funny thing is, I’m having a baby and I think my Bunkie is catching feeling for me. She said she thinks pregnancy is sexy…I think her liking me has helped to save this baby’s life because this baby would have been gone…sucked out on the state’s dime, if I had the choice. But its cool, I’m taking this thing day-by-day. I still have to come up with a home-plan for this child or it, too, will be shuttled off to another foster home just like my first one…and that’s not happening!

20 weeks and the baby has to be tested for some weird thing to see if it has down syndrome or something like that. I don’t want to know if this kid is sick…that would be to much for me. But that’s gonna have to wait for right now…my other baby is coming out to the yard and I cant wait to taste those sugar lips! Oh how I just love my Bunkie, Lee. After rooming with her for the last 90 or so days, I have really gotten to know her. She was gay on the outside and was  seeing some chick before she came in here, for robbery. She will be going home in three years, so I think this is something that she wants to do, to have “fun”, while she’s here. I was hoping I would be more than a “romper room fix” to her, but as long as she keeps me safe, she could have anything she wants from me…even permission to have someone on the outside.  I love to feel her touch; it reminds me of Raymond’s touch, my first sexual experience. I was twelve and he was 15 but I loved Raymond.  I guess because Raymond was so young his touch was light and soft, like a woman’s touch, but Lee ‘s touch is more deliberate with each stroke, complimenting my shape and form. (oh, in case you are a bit lost right now, I said Raymond was my first sexual experience, but my Uncle knocked me up at 13…see there is a difference.)

My Uncle…Uncle Sam…yes, that’s his REAL name…was a kind soul! He was born in the Bayou (like most of us) but was brought up in the big city. That city life is what caused him to come back to the swamp, every-so-often, to tell us the wild stories of the big city. These stories got me to fantasizing about the rich folks he lived near. All the fancy Paris-style houses and the mini bistros that lined the streets, would make any little girl wonder about how life could be. But my Uncle had to spoil it, one night, as his Mother, my “Gammy’, was watching me while my Mother worked late. I’m not too sure why he felt he could come to our side of the duplex to watch TV…I reckon his Mother was watching her soaps again and he wanted to catch the highlights of the game. Well he sat in my Fathers old chair, drinking his beer, while talking to the TV, during each play. His voice got louder and louder, the more he drank. I wasn’t too happy with the noise so I thought I would go out there and tell him about it. Well that was a bad move. He grabbed me by the throat as I was talking and pulled me closer to his face. With his hot breath and that corn-chip, stuck in his teeth, he belted, “…you better not ever yell at me again!…I’m a crazy son-of-a-bitch and that’s not something you would want to do to me…”. I replied, “…well, I was just asking you to be quiet…I wasn’t yelling Uncle Sam…I promise I wasn’t…and I’m sorry if I made you mad…”. He smiled at me and I thought this was over. With his hand still affirmed around my neck he pulled me closer as if to kiss me…but he licked me on the side of my face; from my jaw line to my temple and then commenced to licking me across the lips. I got instantly sick!

Uncle Sam didn’t stop there…

Once I managed to get away from that “vice grip” of his hand, I ran to my bedroom and closed the door. I cried for hours thinking about why he could do such a thing. I began to fantasize about what one of those rich women would do in the big city and tried to help myself to some relief in those thoughts. “…I bet they went shopping at some fancy store to relieve the pain…”, I imagined. “…I bet they were the masters of their universe with all they were able to buy, in a day, with all that money…they went to Sachs Fifth Ave. first, then to Macy’s… for that sale that’s going on….then it was off to Bloomingdale’s for that new suit that just came out yesterday…”. Oh the stories I would create to block out the terror I was living.

I couldn’t think much about anything else when he was around…until he gave me a memory that would last a lifetime! My Mother and Gammy went to the store for dinner; they were only supposed to be gone for a few minutes, but when they came back, Uncle Same was in handcuffs and blood was coming down my leg.

It was a Friday night…I remember…because Friday Night Football was on and I loved to watch the opening credits with all those “Hollywood Lights” flashing on the screen! Uncle Sam was in my Fathers chair (again) and I was playing in my room. I guess it was about half-time when he got up to get something to drink. Bonnie Rait was performing doing a tribute to “Ole Tennessee Greats” of the past. She was about to do a rendition of one of Elvis’s songs when Uncle Sam came flying back in the room to try to catch it. He left something on the stove because half-way through the song I smelled something burning. I ran in the kitchen and saw the kitchen towel on fire and tried to blow it out. Everybody knows that oxygen is kin to fire (except me) and I kept blowing and the fire kept getting bigger. I yelled for Uncle Sam who thought I was meddling in the kitchen and I started it, myself. He was able to finally put out the fire and told me I had to be punished for it. I tried to explain that HE actually did it, as he was taking his belt off his pants,  but he wouldn’t listen; telling me that I needed to go in my room and wait for him. It always seems like forever when you’re waiting for an ass-whooping to happen. I wanted to get this over with because I sure was telling my Mother when she got home.

He was drunk, as usual and stumbled into the bedroom. I was sitting on my bed trying not to laugh at the fact that he is supposed to be so mad yet he was  stumbling in the room, tripping over his own feet! When he saw me giggle at him (as he was falling into my dresser) he came up in a rage I had never seen before. His eyes were instantly blood-shot and his face was as red as blood! He ran towards me and all I could do was scream. He picked me up and threw me on the bed. His belt was off and as he walked toward me his pants fell revealing that he was going “commando” that day! I was shocked to see a penis that size…and that hard! I was not sure what to make of it and was scared! He came toward me, telling me that “bad girls” need to be “punished”; he said that I had to “pay” for the damage to the kitchen somehow and was about to show me how his penis was a sure-fire “lay-away” plan. He approached me and began to lick my face again, then, touched my breast. I slapped his hand but he was no match for me; I think hitting him made him even angrier! He pushed me back down on the bed. He held me, face-down, on the mattress and began to whisper in my ear, “… hold still and it wont hurt as much…”. He tore my skirt and ripped my panty. I felt a warm, “knob-like” object, poke  my butt, then it pressed up against me harder. I tried to squirm away but it moved closer to my private area until it reached its goal! I wanted to scream but at this point, he had my face in the mattress so I couldn’t scream…I couldn’t breathe either! I think I passed out, because when I came to, there was his slutty girlfriend, Sheila, standing over me, with a look of disgust on her face. I remember her hitting my shoulder as she tried to revive me and told me to, “… get up…the cops are her and want to talk to you!…” . I got up and blood ran down my leg. Sheila watched it run, shaking her head and  said, “…I hope it was good…you about to get my man sent up for the rest of his life for that little ‘trick’ you did…trick…and who tried to burn down the house?…”

She told me it was my fault and I took the blame all these years…now, I cant decide if I am attracted to women because they don’t have penises or if I’m scared to be with a man because every man that comes into my life hurts me in some way and then leaves me and goes to jail…my Daddy included…he’s in jail now for raping and then killing my Aunt… Uncle Sam’s dead wife!

OUCH… what the hell was that? OOOUCH!!! Dammit…that shit hurts! I stood up and felt a pulling in my lower belly, almost like I pulled a muscle. Oh well, it stopped now so I guess I will go back to the yard and talk to Lee… I’m horny right now and I think I know who has the cure! My belly is kinda big now so there aren’t too many positions I can get in with Lee, anymore. She is so understanding though and takes me into her arms however she can. The cold metal beds that we lay on or lean over, are no match for the heat she gives me when we make love; I wanna scream with joy;  our many oral positions grant full access to our passions, so its hard NOT to scream, but the guards are not too far from the cell door and I would hate to get caught…Ooo wee, that tongue (of hers) is miraculous! I remember one time she was kissing my swollen breasts trying to make me feel better about them getting bigger, the next thing I knew, I was bent over, doggie-style and her tongue was so deep inside this cunt I thought she was tickling my navel!! I had never felt anything like that and I am still trying to get back to that first “high” again…I SWEAR!!!

Im 29 weeks and 6 days today…I went for another appointment and to get the results of those tests. My baby looks fine but my fluid level is a bit low. I was told I would need to have an IV for a few hours to bring up the level and would be in the infirmary until after chow. I asked Lee to bring me some food and she said she would be right back. As I went to get up on the table, I felt that pain again and this time I felt like I had to pee…real bad! I told the nurse who said, “…good…I need some urine anywayhere’s a cup…go handle your business and bring it back to me…“.  Well, that request would not be honored. As soon as I got down off the table, heading to the bathroom, my water broke. I wasn’t even thirty weeks yet but I was about to have my baby…today!

The nurse asked me if I just pee’d on her floor.  I told her, “… my water just broke…” and she called the ambulance. Since it was an emergency, Lee couldn’t come to bring me my food; she was ordered back to C-Block and told to lock in. I was sacred. I didn’t know what I was happening and everything that was happening was happening soooo fast and soooo sudden that I didn’t have time to think! All I knew is the nurse just kept telling me to pray and to hope that everything would be OK! I wanted to believe that, but something told me, from that very first pain, that something was VERY wrong!

I get to the hospital and they wanna strap me to this bed with these pink and blue straps. Then I was ripped from my clothes like I was being stripped-searched for drugs! The first nurse asked me a million questions while the second one was sticking one arm with an IV and the third nurse has a Blood Pressure cuff on the other arm; a forth nurse was adjusting the blue strap, while the fifth nurse, who was charting notes, asked me to speak up…she couldn’t hear the answers to my questions. It was like they were the robotic hands and I was the “Bionic Belly” that they were rebuilding! I was waiting for the background voice to say, “…we have the technology…we have the capability…” and for Lee Majors to come around the corner!

It was surreal!

The nurse told me she couldn’t hear a heart beat and asked another nurse to come over to listen; she in turn, left the room and called the doctor. The nurse that took my vitals told me that I was going to have a surgical procedure called a “C-Section” and that a doctor was coming in to place a catheter in my back to “…put my legs to sleep…”. Then I would be placed on another bed to the OR to get my baby out. We got half-way through all that when the doctor, who, at this time was on a constant vigil with the baby’s heartbeat, said, “…ya’ll can stopI will call it at 8:20 pm…“. I asked what he meant by that and he asked me if  I still wanted to have a C-Section or would I want to be induced to deliver my baby. I asked what the difference was and he said, “…duh, one is a surgery and one is just enduring labor…I’m pretty sure since you are locked up all day, enduring labor would be a great excuse to be ‘free’ for a longer period of time, now wouldn’t it?…” Did he just insult me? I felt some-kinda-way about what he just said and how he said it! Is he saying that I would rather be ‘free’ than risk the life of my baby? I truly didn’t understand but about five hours and four pushes later, I would know just what he was talking about…my baby died at 8:20 pm and he was allowing me to endure labor to push out a dead baby!

I went though all that and I would never get to hold my baby; I would never get to speak to or count fingers and toes or watch the patterns of sleep develop. I would never get to know what kind of mother I would have become and I was robbed of the chance to make things right, with this child. I was angry and I was certain that I would not take the blame for this like I took the blame all these years! I just lost my baby and the best they could do for me was to send me back to my cell with a pamphlet and a business card with a counselors number on it! I was lost and alone…I was hurt and scared. I didn’t want the baby but I didn’t want another child taken from me either! I was screwed again, and the irony is, this is yet another man leaving me…permanently! Lee wasn’t even here and I was all by myself.

I guess that what I need…to be by myself…this way I could find out why things are still being taken away from me. Either I don’t deserve them or I have to learn from them…but either way, I have to deal with them by myself!

You know, the solace in all this is that at least Sargent Hill wont have to tell his pretty wife he was going to be a Daddy again…

 

Zoe’s Baby are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy! Thank you!

 

I was told my due date is next year and I have all the resources in the world to explore but I’m still not too sure this “Belly” is a good look for the rest on my life!

Now, I’m from Nawlins and we are mostly against abortion but don’t think I want to adopt out my baby either because I want to see if I can do this myself! I have been through hell and back and this baby seems to be the ticket to finding out who and what I am so I won’t have her repeating the past!

So you will know, at the very least, what my past has provided for me, I will begin from when I can remember best…about the age of 7. I will then open up a greater innerstanding as to why this time in my life, is actually “perfect” for birthing something great, inside of me! (great double-entendre’ here!)

I remember the touch of his hand, on my lower back; as he retracted the calloused palm, I remember it smelled like the bag of loose tobacco that sat in his shirt pocket most days! When he would use “h” words or would yawn, the soured-nicotine stench would bellow out like morning breath after a night of eating fish with garlic and onions.

I hated the very knowledge he existed…buy…he was my Dad!

Littered with years of him allowing us to grow up in subject poverty and my greater dreams of getting out of his house, I now feel the term “natural selection” and “disenfranchised” was created for girls like me! As a child, I remember sitting in class waiting for the lunch bell because last night’s dinner was the last time I had something in my mouth, well, other than that forced penis of his. I begged female classmates to let me use perfume or while in gym, I would spray the white girl’s hair spray on my private parts because the water has been off in the house for the last week; a bath was not something I could have anytime soon but for some reason, he thought he could have me whenever he wanted! I remember ducking that two-week old appointment with the school guidance counselor because I knew her requests, to look on-line for college scholarships, would not be accomplished living where I was living; the electric bill was due in three days and we were no closer to paying that bill or the water bill for that matter.

The years of teenage pride was shattered when I was told that the cost of pads were not considered a “bill” in my house…I would have to work for my maxi pads or steal them as I found myself doing on more than one occasion. Yes…this little girl was not cultured in the best ways of living but all is not lost on the betterment that I had in my mind! Momma, about 20 years younger than Daddy, was the only peace that was given to me, but Daddy controlling ways forced their divorce and him asking for full custody of me. what would a father want with his daughter if the mother was the one that was doing right by the child?…I always wondered about that one!

Fast-forward to my late teens…

I’m about to be legal to drink, in three months and I got a can of 211 with my name on it! The man I called Daddy was no more in my life; becasue of his drinking Social Services took me outta that house before I was 16.  I thought I would move with Mamma but they said that she was not able to help me either because her job didn’t pay enough to house and feed me. I was sent to live with relatives, foster parents and even a high school classmate of mine, until they got evicted! Momma decided that she needed help but chose another dick over me so that’s who moved in to her house…his name was Trevor! This mild-mannered man looked like he could be the “Daddy” I needed. He was tall, muscular and very handsome with that bald head of his! Momma thought he would be handy around the house…I was just hoping he would handle all this ass by doin me . Hell, my own Daddy tapped this ass when he wanted to so why couldn’t I be allowed to choose who I let squirt up in me? Well, so much for that…things didn’t work out; Trevor had a wandering eye and it wasn’t looking at Momma most of the time!

Now enters my college life…boy that was something!

This time in my life was a complete blur! All I can remember was the first time I smoked weed, the last time I snorted coke and the train of the school’s football team that was between me, in-between semesters! I liked Jerome but hated kissing Thomas. Keith smelled good…but Nathan…Ooo wee…Nathan was truly a “hot dog” I could sink my teeth into! But, I found out he…out of all of those that laid inside my warm hole, was on the DL and was not trying to let ANYONE in on that secret! Why are all the good ones gay?!?

I did graduate college but the stench of my prior decisions, led me right back to the “marrying my Dad” syndrome! Jason was that Daddy-figure I leaned on for two years! He was 45, I was 25. He was married before with a little girl and I was just trying to have all the children his penis could produce; he was just toooo fine girl! We lived together for a few months until my jaw was broken when I “fell down the stairs” as I told the ER nurse. The fractured femur came next. I don’t think the sprained wrist really healed properly because it STILL gives me problems…till today! When I reconnected with my Daddy on that new social site everyone is talking about, I was convinced to move out of Jason’s house,giving us “time” to breathe.

Daddy was sober now and trying to stay employed. He has stopped smoking and began to actually have civil conversations with Momma now but his two-bed apartment was just the resting place I needed.

Daddy was a day-laborer by trade; this made finding work easier than one would think. Where ever there was a construction job, an infrastructure site to renovate or the simplest of sod to lay, Daddy was the man for the job. For years, his work ethic was NEVER hampered by the fact that he was a functional drunk, but what I couldn’t settle with, in my mind, is why, all these years later, did I choose to live with my Dad when Momma’s house was a familiar track of comfort for me? Why was I seeking the male energy when Mama’s ANYTHING was the greater sense of security for me? Well, it didn’t take VERY long to figure out why I came back…

I wasn’t finished…this time, I needed his touch again!

Wednesday the 20th didn’t seem like any special day. The dog next door, was found dead (of malnutrition) so I woke up to the local dog-catcher yelling at the owner who called in the demise. That was followed by the shrieks of little Tilly; the six-year old that lives across the grass from us. She was crying, while standing outside, waiting for the school bus. For some reason, this day was not a day she wanted to spend in school, for nobody! Dad was always up by 6 and by the time I rolled out of bed, the house was smelling of brewing coffee and yesterday’s food. I didn’t like this environment but it was a place that allowed me to rest and heal…for the most part!

That night I was feeling weird and Daddy was act the same. I was feeling a bit lonely and turned to my Dad to comfort this little girl lost. He obliged. The chatter turned to a physical walk down memory lane…until the phone rang…it was Jason. He wanted to see me. I was still a bit horny so I thought a late-night rendezvous was just what I needed. I was there in 20 mins and not a moment too soon. He opened the door with a woody as long as a celery stalk and I was not about to allow all that go to waste.

We were done in an hour and I was back home to Daddy before he even figured out I was just in the arms of another man, doing what he began to do! Didn’t you know it, Jason and I broke up a few months (and a few more sexual romps) later; he wanted to get married again and I was not the marrying type…at least not now!

Nights like that were not uncommon! Gerald followed Jason and then Trey came along for romps of pleasure. I met Trey in the ER as I was leaving one evening. I wasn’t in there for a bruise or another lie to be told in the ways i handled my domestic violently, I was actually feeling sick that night and thought it was food poising. A ten minute test and a quick diagnoses would lead me down a path that questioned the very core of my decision-making process…for you see…Im pregnant!

On the surface that is the most common two words spoken by a woman; second to the most common, four words, spoken by a man, “…well, it aint mine…”. At this point all of my most recent lovers could say that and I couldn’t be mad…I didn’t know whose baby it was either. Some times we allow ourselves the ‘out’ by being diligent to our sexuality and then sometimes, like this, we just have to eat the karma of our actions! I was not sure  what I was supposed to do at this time, but what had to do was find out whose baby this is!

Its month eight now; my Dad was helping me with the baby shower when Momma called to ask what I needed. That call was interrupted by a simultaneous knock on the door from a neighbor. She, too, wanted to know what I wanted and what size I needed for the baby! My high School friends and even JASON was coming to the event! All this attention can make a woman not realize that she is still in limbo about the paternal lineage, swimming in her belly; the focus should be on finding out who the father is,  but I’m too excited about all the goodies Im getting!! All that will have to wait; Momma said she was actually coming and this house is a mess!

Its Saturday and the shower is in an hour! The dip is out, the chips are fresh and the finger sandwiches are almost ready! Sheila, Mommas best friend for almost 40 years, dropped by on her way to work, to drop off her gift. Sisters, Sabina, Michelle and Bernetta came by, but will have to leave soon; they are heading out of town for a funeral (tomorrow). They want to hit the road before dark but wanted to see me and my huge belly before they left. I’m in all pink; I just found out its a girl and I wanted every one to have a camera ready so they could take a picture of this day! Since I wanted a lot of pictures I was hoping that this would happen so it would allow me the best shots of the bunch. I m soooo ready and the folks are coming in! Let’s see what I…I mean the baby…gets!

Momma was talking to Daddy most of the night; I thought things were heating up (again) for them until Momma got up crying and ran into my bedroom. I had to follow as I didn’t know what was wrong and I refused to have anything mess up my evening. While Daddy continued to entertain, Momma and I had some time together to chat!

But this conversation was not what expected!

Momma was crying because she wanted to tell me a family secret that had been plaguing her since I was born. Now that I was having a baby of my own, she wanted we to know the truth about this family and the things what were going on behind closed doors…literally! I was ready for almost anything.  As she began to speak,  her lips quivered with every other word. She even spoke slowly; almost as if the words physically hurt her as they left her mouth! I was more nervous than concerned with WHAT she was saying, because of HOW it was effecting her, as she spoke about it!

She began…

“…Zoe, Momma has something to tell you something and I m not too sure if you are ready for this, but you are having your own baby now and you should know more about your family, so your child will know what she is being born into!…” I was very afraid at this moment but was more curious than anything. She continued, “…Momma loves you but I have to start by apologizing for your horrible up-bringing, I wanted better for you but Momma wasnt strong enough to make things work better for me…let alone you. I was forced into a few things and would like to tell you about it now…Zoe, your Momma is really your Sistah; yo Daddy is my Daddy too!…

You could have heard a pin drop!

“…your Daddy is 20 years older than me; he was 20 when I was born and 40 when I got pregnant…with you…”  I, with tears in my eyes at this time, wondered what that meant for me and his advances toward me all these years. I was either his granddaughter or his daughter, depending on who was talking at the time! I was just too stunned! She finished with, “…I know he has touched you at times. He told me that, when I refused to sleep with him, after he took you! He told me then, that you were better than I was;  my pussy was too loose after you were born…” I was LIVID! How dare he do this to me…and the woman I thought was my Momma all this time. Can you imagine…all these years she was sitting back, waiting for the right time tell me, yet trying to live some sort of life, for herself, after he left. She was as confused then, as I am now!

Her gentle strokes on my head and tender reminders of the life I had when her and I lived together, made me tell her my truth… “...Momma, we have been sleeping together and I initiated the last few times we were together...” Surprisingly she was not shocked. She admitted that he was a clever one; able to make anyone do as he says, using sex as the debasing factor. I obliged him thinking I was the one that needed it when he, all along was using that act to keep me coming back…willingly!

Well this was enough. I was going to have this baby and, like I said in the beginning, I was going to keep this baby to prove to myself that she was going to get a better life than I lived…or so I thought…

Karma is a bitch!

I had the baby girl in the local birth center. Madeline was what I named her. This 6 pound, 1 ounce little creature, was whisked away from me, just as soon as I was able to lay eyes her. They told me that she would be held, “for observation”, at the hospital, so they could run some tests. Not sure what that meant for Madeline…or myself, I was forced to trust them with her. Daddy, not knowing of the conversation I had with Momma a few weeks back, came to see his grand-daughter (or whatever she was to him) and wanted to thank me for deciding to keep the baby! He said, “…girl babies are so special…don’t you think?…” Not realizing that that statement would be the pit of my demise, but before I knew it, I found myself leaping across the bed and onto him, I grabbed the knife from my dinner tray and began to stab this man repeatedly. Hearing his screams, the medical staff rushed into my room to find me on top of his lifeless body!

Days later, the test results were in on Madeline. Momma came to visit me in the Nawlins county jail to deliver the results. Madeline, who was picture perfect in my eyes,  had Down Syndrome. I just thought she had “Chinese eyes” like Jason. I even said that to Momma before they took her from me.

Momma finished with, “…I got more news Zoe…little Maddy (as she called her)…is Daddy’s baby too…

“Zoe’s Baby: Episodes from the Womb” are stories” from women that are healing from the stories they tell of their passage into Motherhood. Please look for them on http://www.twitter.com/ameenaali  and enjoy!

I wasn’t the smartest girl in High School…I think my greatest accomplishment was getting out of those four years without an STD! I had friends and acquaintances and some, I was glad to get away from, when I graduated.

But what I never seemed to have was a plan for my life…

Marcus, my high school sweetheart, had big plans to play pro ball. His Idol was Deon Sanders and now, its Michael Vick, but his real DREAM was to play against them for a Championship ring! I was just his girlfriend, going along for the ride and allowing all the thoughts of grandeur (of that lifestyle) to be the reasons I stayed with him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love him…I just love the lifestyle a little bit more!

The NFL draft came and Marcus was front and center…we knew it would be one team or another that would choose him. My bags were packed and I was ready to move to whatever town wanted my Boo Boo…we were heading up in the world, I just needed to know what my new address would be!

…The Atlanta Falcons choose…Marcus White…

Atlanta?!? WOW…that was a far cry from this little St Louis town we were from, BUT…I guess I will be getting to know all the shops in that Buckhead area, I read about, now won’t I?

Marcus got us this quaint little bungalow in a suburb called Sugarloaf. This majestic, planned community of opulence, was the stuff of dreams! I saw marble tubs…solid gold toilet handles…Pearl and Platinum-dipped Chandeliers and imported Granite just to line the stairs leading, to the basement! I mean this section of Georgia couldn’t spell “the projects” if you gave them all the letters in a Scrabble game! But I was home in this 4700 sq foot abode and no one was telling me different.

Marcus began to give me an allowance…$500 and month, then $1000, then he would just give me his card and tell me to bring back receipts so he knew how much I was spending! I lived in Lenox Mall for almost a year until Phipps Mall called my name! I hit those shops like they owed me something…and didn’t care what the damage was because I was a “Football Wife” so I was good!

During the Football Wives, August Tea (a monthly excuse to dress and show off how fly they were), I was introduced to the Sister that started it all. She immediately informed me that I was a “girlfriend” and I was considered, “second string” in their eyes, until he married me! Now, I didn’t know what to say, at first; the gall of her speaking to me that way as well as the sentiment of her words, got me feeling some-kinda-way about her and this soiree’. I finished the afternoon coming home to Marcus to discuss this chat.  Marcus, sore and tired from practice, decided that I would feel better if I had something “new” in my closet and handed be the Black Card from his wallet! Of course, I headed to the mall and never looked back.

Although I didn’t like many of the “wives”, I did like the fact that I was able to get into the games and was seated in Marcus’ “box”. At first I wanted to know what was so special about being sooo high up in the stands, in a BOX that was about $3,000.00 -$10,000.00? You cant see a damn thing from up there yet its all the rave with season ticket holders and family members of the players…especially the ones from the hood! OMG…they take the cake! They swoon in with their knock-off threads and their wanna-be “phat knots” of money (of all ones and fives), while Pookey and Bay-Bay take home all the fried chicken their thieving hands can pilfer! I really don’t get it…no matter if you have a million dollars in your pocket or three-cents, didn’t yo mamma teach you some manners? I mean, for real people!!

Anywho..I was certain that this season was going to be the bomb; this was my first season as a ‘wife”, my first house, that was all mine, my first run at ad-lib shopping sprees  and the first year I would be on top. My life is about to take off and I am finally the pilot!

Year one…year two…year four and then five! I was still shopping, still sitting in a damn box and I was STILL a ‘girlfriend’; We were no closer to marriage than I was in year one and I was no closer to the respect I deserved as a “wife”. When I questioned Marcus about it, all he would do is hand me his card and say, “…enjoy yourself…”; he didn’t even bother to sit and listen like he used to.   I began to question; was I being used or was I just a “plastic” dummy?

Well that would have to wait…I am due for my doctor’s appointment in a few minutes and I am thinking that this cold will finally be over, real soon. I’m going to get some good drugs from this NFL “family physician” who makes house calls. I am learning, being in the NFL, you really don’t have to leave the steps of your manicured lawn for much of anything…everything is brought to you…including the drugs for a cold.

Dr. Wainwright, as he is called, is the ‘on-call’ doctor today! He is one of several that they hire to come to the homes of the NFL player’s, to treat the family members as they need it.  “…it’s for confidentiality…” they say, but I think its one more thing they use to justify all this money they make. I mean for real…you have “little boys”  that are about 22 or 23, driving cars they cant spell and living in houses they couldn’t drive to if they weren’t an NFL player. They are allowed to do what ever the hell they want and all their servants say is, “…yes sir, what else can we do for you…”. These boys are young enough to be the sons of some of their servants but they have to say, “yes SIR?…” I just don’t get it! Anyway, Dr. Wainwright has some news for me and by the look on his face, I think the cold just turned into the flu…really quickly!

“…is it, ‘Mrs. Taylor-White’ or is it just Miss ‘Zoe Taylor’?… I want to make sure that I am using the right name…cant be too careful now-a-days…” I really didn’t see the relevance, but this time I wanted to make a statement…”…No, you are right, its Mrs. Taylor-White…“. I was stunned at the look on his face because I knew he was being sarcastic and didn’t expect me to come back with such a retort! He played along with the name but what he said afterwards was instant karma!

“…Very well, MRS. Taylor-White…umm…I will not be able to give you any prescription meds today for your cold…we will have to wait for the baby to be born to give you anything stronger than Tylenol…” What the hell did he just fu*king say? Baby? What Baby? And who the hell is he talking too…cuz I know like hell Im not pregnant! Aww hell naw…he is going to have to take that test again!  Marcus is not ready for this!

Truth be told, I really wasn’t ready to give this man a baby when he can not even think twice about giving me a ring! He has talked about it, danced around a date, talked OVER a wedding and told everyone that would listen, that he is a” bachelor fo life“, (using his exact words)! So how in the hell will he commit to having a baby? I guess I was about to find out!

Marcus came home that night, usually tired and grumpy; the big playoffs were in two weeks and some of the guys were not getting the plays! He asked me how my day was and was expecting something to eat. I told him that I sent the maid home for the night because I wanted some time alone with him. He said, “...baby, Im sooo tired…I wish it was a night after the playoffs…you know I really have to concentrate…“. I replied, “...well concentrate on this, I am pregnant and we need to get married…” “…Whoa, whoa, whoa…slow down…baby???…what baby??? MARRIED??? are you serious, Zoe???…”, was his only retort. I explained how I felt and for the first time, I think the prospect of a baby was the thing that was making him actually listen to me. I was amazed at how he was responding to me and the fact that he was going to be a father. His Dad was not a staple fixture in his life, so I know how important it will be for Marcus to be in this baby’s life. However, I didn’t know how important I was to being his wife.

I’m seventh months now and no closer to a wedding or being his wife. I was told, “...when you are out of your first trimester…“, then it was,  “…we’ll do it when you start showing so you can show off the bump in your dress…“. Next it was, “… for sure,  after the second trimester…” and now its, “…baby, I would feel better if we wait until the baby is here…just to make sure everything is alright…“. I guess he will marry me, he’s just being cautious, right? The phone rings…it was a number that didn’t have a caller ID name to it. I know it’s not a bill-collector and all our friends have a name programmed in…so who is this?

Hello; may I speak to Marcus, please?

Yes…Who is this please?

Oh, this is Michelle…and you are?

His wife…

Oh no you’re not, I’m his wife…we go married a few months ago when he came to Tampa for the payoffs!

Married?? a few months ago??  What the….

I slammed the phone down and into a fury that would take a Lithium drip to calm! I was livid and ready for war! If I was having his baby, girl, I plan to ‘rip the runway’ for the next three months!…”

Marcus came home from practice. Initially, I played it cool as I wasn’t too sure how to break this to him. On one hand, I wanted to be a ghetto as my up-bringing, but on the other hand, I wanted to show him the real woman I had become and what he was missing, marrying Michelle. He asked how my day was only this time I lost it; I said, “...oh I had a wonderful time on the phone today, I was chatting with Michelle…does she even know I’m pregnant, Marcus?…“; the silence in the room would make a Buddhist Monk jealous!

He had no words…the look on his face said it all. He was married and I was the stupid ‘girlfriend’ that was pregnant while wearing a ‘dunce cap’! Yes, I was the one living in 4700 square feet; yes,  I was the one that was invited to the fancy teas and dinners and yes, I was the one sitting in the fucked-up sky box, but she had his name, his clout and all rights an privileges to him, at anytime;  for all I know she could have thought I was the maid when she first spoke to me. I cant believe this…I was with him since HS…since the draft and for the last five years and he marries some chick he met on the road? What did I do so wrong?

Well the answer to that question would have to wait…my water just broke and I’m 39 weeks today.

Marcus Jr. came in at nine pounds and fourteen ounces and was 23 inches long. Either I had an affair with a basketball player or this kid was destined for a run at the NBA! He was quick too…three hours and thirteen minutes of active labor, born at home and born with the Midwife that was three doors down. The on-call physician was “having his lips done” (yes, I said that right, his lips) and was going to call me back, but this baby was coming and I was stuck, having to birth!

Lydia was awesome. Not knowing my history or the medical stuff she needed to know, she was calm and VERY professional; leaving her family, during dinner to answer the call to birth. I love the work of a Midwife and wish I could have enjoyed her services all the way around, by choosing one earlier in the pregnancy, but I’m glad she was home when she was! I really wish I could say, “…well I will use her for the next one..“, but I will not have another one…not with Marcus anyway! Speaking of the married man, he was called a few hours ago and got out of practice “when he could”. He came home expecting me to still be in labor and was ready to take me to the hospital until Marcus Jr. cried while sitting in his Moses basket, on the table. Marcus turned to me with a little tear in his eye saying, “…Is that him?…“.  Reluctantly, I said, “…Yes Marcus, that is your son…”. Marcus looked like his whole world just opened up and he was ready to be the father he has dreamed of.

A few weeks later, I began to pack my things to leave; either I was going to post-postpartum or being in that house was becoming increasingly unbearable. Marcus tried to converse and wanted to make matters better, but the focus stayed on the baby; the joy in his eyes was enough to make me see that Marcus Jr. was the right focus… for both of us. As I was going to get the breast milk satchel warmed up, Marcus came over to me and asked me if  we could talk. “…I just know he is not going to as me to leave…“, I said to myself, “…I will leave when I am good and g*d-damn ready to leave, shit…this is too much and I am still in my six-week period…“. That rant lasted all of 30 seconds when he handed me a box with a ribbon on it. He said, as he was getting on one knee, “…will you marry me Zoe Taylor?…“. He opened a ring box that had the biggest diamond that could come out of the earth and he was giving it to me… to ME!!! Not wanting to get too excited, I said, “…what about your wife…” He replied, “…now you can open the box…” In it, was papers annulling the marriage to Michelle…it was over and I was almost ‘Mrs. White’!

Eighteen months later, the final touches were made to the fifteen bridesmaids and groomsmen that was scheduled to be in attendance. The Flower girl, Marcus’ niece, Tiffany, out grew the shoes we got for her so it was a mad-dash to get another pair to match her dress. Marcus Jr. was sharp as the ring-bearer and my dress…well my dress had to be altered a bit; I didn’t realize I would be that big again at seven months!

Zoe’s Baby are stories of actual mothers and their pregnancy voyage. The names have been changed but each story, either of (one of) my clients or the clients of other Midwives, is real; each story tells of a unique journey in pregnancy and the results of their fate! Please share this story with someone you love in hopes that we can appreciate the lives we live and the story of every woman’s unique pregnancy! Thank you!