entry #16

dear depression diary,

it’s been a while, but today is already the worst I’ve had in a while ..

for starters, little A woke up with a stomach virus. she’s always so bubbly and full of life so to not have the house filled with her voice is just bringing my mood down. I’m glad she’s able to articulate what’s wrong with her but, for any parent who’s ever experienced stomach viruses, we know that all we can do is make it as easy as possible until it passes. so she’s laying down with Baby (her hand stitched doll from my SO’s grandmother) and watching paw patrol.

to top it off, I had to deliver news this morning that has honestly had me teary eyed since I typed out the text.

you see, before I was blessed with two little humans of my own, my first babies were my two little cousins. the oldest graduated 3 years ago and the youngest is graduating this weekend. the family was going to attend graduation and then take a trip to FL to celebrate her stepping into this new part of her journey. for anyone who keeps up with the blog, you know I had death in the family that took a while to come to terms with. by the time it was all said and done, I was behind in school and not working much. I wrapped up my last class almost two weeks ago but I’ve been working to play catch up with everything I neglected to do. as if things couldn’t get any worse, I blew a tired and stupidly threw out the rim/wheel along with it so now I have to replace both parts. it’s just a clusterfuck of fuckery at this point. I am hurt and angry that I’m going to miss this time with her and the rest of my family. I know she understands, but I love her like she is my own and it breaks my heart not to be there.

I’d say I’m going to curl up in a ball and cry all day, but instead I’ll be running back and forth between my daughter’s room, my own room and the bathroom today.

send all the good vibes please, I need them.

lesson of the day: even when it hurts, own your emotions. face them head on and keep on keeping on. all I ask is that you try.

anatomy.

Anala laid still in her bed, with her hand placed lightly on her stomach as she listened to the hustle and bustle of the city below her. A smile broke out on her face as she felt a light kick just above her bellybutton.

“Good morning, little one”, she said as she caressed the area where her baby’s body seemed to be snuggled into a tiny ball.

“I finally get to see you today”. Anala’s pregnancy had not been an easy one; aside from the fatigue and morning sickness, she had been prescribed additional medications to regulate her blood flow. Family and friends closest to her had urged Anala to terminate the pregnancy, concerned for her well-being if she decided to see the pregnancy through until the end. She had been pregnant before and had experienced complications that only seemed to increase tenfold this time around. Still, Anala wanted to meet her baby, and she was willing to do whatever she needed to make sure she got to hold her offspring.

Sitting up slightly on the bed and resting her back against the pillows on the headboard, she began to trace her fingers along her stomach and watched as the baby followed her movements. She had learned a few weeks before that babies can see shadows through the womb of the outside world, with enough light provided, and couldn’t help but imagine that her baby could see her fingers as they played along.

“You’re a smart little one, just like your mommy”, she said with a smile wider than the one before.

“I can’t wait to see you, my sweet baby”, and she played with the baby a little bit longer before rolling out of bed. At nineteen weeks and three days, her belly protruded several inches from her abdomen, and she had officially acquired the ‘pregnancy waddle’. With the baby’s weight sitting directly on her bladder as she stood upright, she walked hurriedly to the bathroom to relieve herself. Sitting there with her eyes closed, she let out a sigh of relief.

Anala made her way carefully down the stairs and headed into the kitchen to make some breakfast. As she pulled the eggs, cheese, peppers, and turkey sausage from the refrigerator, she thought about how difficult it was to keep food down during her first pregnancy. The baby boy, she had found out after the procedure, had not liked much of anything that she ate. It had taken months to figure out exactly what made him happy, she had always imagined that his appetite would be as picky after birth as he was in the womb. She had started a food journal so that she could remember all his likes and dislikes when it was time to move from the formula into pureed and solid foods.

It had been bittersweet to add the new baby’s likes and dislikes to that same food journal this time around. She had expected their likes and dislikes to be similar at the very least but instead they were almost exact opposites. During her first pregnancy, it was rare that she was able to make it through prepping meal, much less have the opportunity to enjoy it. Now, the baby would dance around as the smells of Anala’s cooking filled the air; even that was nothing compared to how much she wiggled around when Anala ate. True to form, once the kitchen was filled with the aromas of the breakfast scramble Anala was cooking, the baby turned over in her stomach kicking her lightly.

“I feel you little one, it’s almost ready”, she said as she placed her hand on the spot she felt the baby last. A few minutes later, she dumped the scramble onto a plate and sat down at her kitchen nook. When she was done, it was hard to tell who had enjoyed the meal more— even as she wiggled into jeans and sheer top to get ready for her appointment, the baby was moving around inside of her.

The snow had finally melted from the ground, but the temperatures were still very low. Anala crossed her arms tightly in front of her as she sat in the car waiting for the heat to crank up in her ‘97 Lexus SC300. Her body shivered and the slight movements caused the baby to do a little dance in her tummy.

“I know sweet baby, it’ll be warm in here soon”, she said while she rubbed her tummy in the hopes of giving the baby some warmth. The thought crossed her mind if the baby could even feel the cold through all those layers of skin and liquid, and then quickly shook the thought from her mind as the heat started to blow. She put the car in drive and headed to the hospital for her anatomy scan.

Anala had been telling her family and friends for weeks that she would be having a girl this time. Most of her them had laughed and told her not to jump to conclusions and the other made jokes about her being pregnant with twins. She had laughed off the twin accusations and insisted that there was only one baby inside her according to past ultrasounds where she had caught glimpse of the fetus. Today, she would get to see every single body part that made up her baby girl and she could not wait to prove them all wrong.  She had never told anyone with this, but she had finally decided on a name just a few days before the miscarriage. Growing up, as many young girls did, she had her whole life planned out. Although very little that happened since graduation followed that idea she dreamt as a kid, there were still some things she could check off her list – her baby’s name was completely in her control.

As she pulled into the garage, she noticed the hospital was rather busy and made her way to the fourth floor before finding an empty parking spot. She put the car in park and closed her eyes as she remembered the precious minutes the doctors let her hold her son. She saw every detail of his face as clearly now as the day she had seen it for the first and last time. Anala let her mind wander back to that moment in time, when she stared down at her baby boy and whispered, I will always love you, Jayden. The teardrop sliding down her face stirred Anala from the memory. She pulled down the mirror, wiped her face and gave herself one final look before grabbing her purse and keys and locking her doors as she crossed the garage and stepped into the elevator.

On the ground floor she entered the lobby of the hospital and walked halfway down the hall to the elevator that took her directly to the maternity ward. She was always filled with the most genuine bit of happiness that she didn’t have to remember what floor Labor and Delivery was on – this elevator only made stops in the lobby and L&D. When she stepped out of the elevator and into the waiting room, there was one couple waiting to be seen.

“Hey, Ms. Sharon”, she said as she greeted the woman at the desk and signed in.

“Hello Anala, how are you and baby doing today?”, the receptionist asked before handing over the consent form Anala was used to signing at this point.

“We’re doing okay, she’s been busy this morning. At least, I think it’s a ‘she’, I just feel it, ya know?”, exchanging smiles with the receptionist as she handed back the paperwork. “I’ll let you know for sure after our appointment”, and with that she made her way to a seat in the middle of the waiting room. While she waited, she sent a text to her mom and sister to let them know she was waiting to be seen, they both replied within minutes, demanding pictures and the sex of the baby as soon as the appointment was over. “Anala Wright”, the receptionist called out into the waiting room, and she slid her phone in her pocket as she stood and was led back to the sonography room.

She slid her coat off and laid it across one of the chairs by the door before climbing onto the table/chair. A few minutes passed before the sonographer entered the room.

“Hello Ms. Wright, how are you feeling today?”, she asked as she pulled on blue latex gloves and turned on the ultrasound machine.

“I’m so excited! I’m the only who thinks it’s a girl”, Anala said with a chuckle, “I’m really hoping I’m right or I’m in for a world of I told you so’s!” She watched as the sonographer covered the wand with gel fresh from the warmer; she liked it this way, the cold gel always felt thick and sticky. She placed the wand against Anala’s stomach, and the screen was filled with the top half of her baby’s body. That was her baby, laying on its side with one hand nestled under its chin. Her lips were shaped exactly like Anala’s , down to the slight imperfection on her top lip. She watched carefully as the sonographer scanned the body parts of her baby, measuring the bones to confirm the fetus was growing appropriately. She listened as the sonographer held the wand over the baby’s heart, checking to make sure the atrium and ventricles were clear of defects badump-badump-badump she heard as the baby’s heart beat at a speed almost two times as fast as her own. It wasn’t until the tear fell from her face and hit her arm that she realized she’d begun to cry.

 “I hope those are happy tears, because this baby is doing beautifully!”, said the sonographer as she moved the wand down towards the baby’s pelvis and typed the world girl.

The biggest smile spread across Anala’s face as she looked at the screen. A girl, she thought happily. The smile stayed on her face as the sonographer moved on from the baby and began to check Anala’s organs.

“Kidneys look great, the placenta is nice and clear. These are the kind of things we like to see!” She moved the wand to the base of Anala’s stomach and checked the ovaries before honing in on the cervix. There she paused, and in the moment a sense of worry planted itself into Anala’s mind. The sonographer hovered over the cervix for a few moments longer before continuing with her scan. When she was done, she handed Anala the pictures she had printed throughout the anatomy scan, then placed the wand back on the machine and took off her gloves. Usually, this was when the sonographer would grab a towel and wipe the remaining gel from her stomach. Instead, she said, “Hang tight, I’m going to go grab the doctor on call. There’s nothing to worry about, I just noticed something small I’d like to get a second opinion on before I let you go.”

“Okay”, Anala replied.

Before she could say anything else, the sonographer was closing the door behind her, leaving Anala alone in the silence with all of her worrisome thoughts. The minutes seemed to pass slowly as she waited for the sonographer to return with the doctor, so she spent that time trying to convince herself nothing was wrong.

“We’re going to be okay, little one. I know we will”, Anala said to her baby girl as she caressed a dry spot on her tummy. When the sonographer and the doctor arrived, she took a deep breath and tried once more to calm herself down in preparation for what news was to come.

“Hello Ms. Wright, I’m Dr. Milton. I hear we are expecting a beautiful baby girl in a few months, is that right?”

“Yes”, Anala answered, the small talk easing her mind just a little.

“Great! I’m just going to double check a few things quickly and then we’ll get you out of here,” Dr. Milton replied. He reached for the gel from the warmer and applied another layer to the wand before moving it around Anala’s stomach. He scanned the baby, the placenta and the sac before swiftly moving the wand to the base of Anala’s stomach once more. He examined the top of the cervix closely, and Anala watched as a look of worry crossed his face.

“If it’s okay with you, I’m going to switch wands for just a moment, I want to get a good look at the inside of your cervix. It might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but if you can make it through a pap smear you should be just fine.”

“Okay,” said Anala, and she watched as the doctor grabbed a long thin wand from the side of the ultrasound machine and applied a layer of cold gel to the tip.  

The sonographer had lifted the stirrups and Anala placed a foot on each one, lifted her gown, and took a deep breath as the doctor inserted the wand inside of her. With a closer look at her cervix, Anala could see that there was a gaping hole where her cervix should be, and something that looked like amniotic fluid was hovering around the opening.

Dr. Milton took a deep breath, then said, “Ms. Wright, I am sorry to have to tell you this, but your cervix is about four centimeters dilated. You’re in the middle of a miscarriage.”

Silence had never been so loud as it was in that moment. Dr. Milton and the sonographer watched Anala in the minutes that passed, waiting for a response. It wasn’t until a soft cry escaped her mouth that Anala realized she’d been holding her breath. The tears poured down her face as comprehension crept in, and she uttered the only thought that lingered in her mind, “I was going to name her Jayda, after her brother.”

**disclaimer: this is an original piece of work written by me. do not copy and paste or I will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law

through the eyes

through the eyes 
     where the magic lies
bringing to life
     all the beautiful sights 
from vibrant hues
      to the dullest blues
the eyes behold
      as our lives unfold

through the eyes
      where the magic lies
all the memories 
      of you and me 

b r o n x

the hustle and bustle of the city fascinates me as my feet pound the pavement of the Bronx City sidewalks

spicy aromas waft into my nostrils as I pass a bodega on my right, and my mouth water from the thought of the made to order chopped cheese I’d had the day before

remembering how the cheese, mayo, onions and ground beef melt into each other between the soft hoagie roll slows down my steps for a split second; but I keep moving

playful exchanges between lovers and friends as they watch the children play fill the air with a beautiful loudness; for the first time in my life, I welcome the noise

Big Pun walks alongside me donned in suit and tie on the brick wall of Rogers Place, and I’, taken by this city bursting with sound and color

scattered amongst the murals, local artists have exalted the walls of apartment buildings and gas stations with creations from the depths of their imaginations

as I approach the door of the art museum, I take one last look around. then I close my eyes and take in all the sounds and smells before opening the door and stepping inside

with so much beauty outside these doors, I could not wait to see what beauty resides behind them

self-sabotage.

something I journaled, but felt was worth sharing …

the vision is always clearest when the dust settles. and you realize you were more harsh than you needed to be… because no one has ever defended you the way you defend yourself.

and you realize that just because there never was, doesn’t mean there never will be.

and you realize that if you keep building the wall higher for the people determined enough to keep climbing, they might just give up one day.

and you realize that we are all still growing and learning and improving, we are all works in progress

and you realize …

that gold doesn’t always glitter. sometimes it’s covered in dust and needs a little TLC.

but when the dust settles .. that gold is worth it’s wait.

restless.

restless is the heart, so lonesome, it aches

with a longing so intense it’s hard to bear

piece by piece, until it finally breaks

and I wonder, if you knew, would you care?

*

*

restless are the endless nights that I lay

staring at the empty space where you slept

wishing for the warmth of your embrace

and the safe feeling I got as I dreamt

*

*

restless is the mind that wonders each night

how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to

my phone vibrates and I’m hoping it might

be you, missing me, the way I miss you

*

*

just as my eyes adjust, I read your name

my heart confirmed, because you feel the same

she’s still the baddest chick.

today is one that will always call for extra celebration; it’s my mommy’s birthday.

no matter how old I get, she will always be mommy to me

the woman who holds me when I cry and laughs by my side. the woman who sacrificed more than I ever understood to give my sister and I the best life she could. the woman who advocates for my little humans more than she advocates for me (I love how much she loves my kids). she is kind, smart, so creative! in high school, my friend’s only spent the night for my mom’s infamous saturday morning breakfasts; hanging out with me was just a plus! everything I know about being a mom, I owe to her.

here’s a throwback from last year, love you Ma.

happy birthday

born 05-20, yeah she may be getting older but they all still know. Shay-Bay ain’t the one that you play about, and that’s fact from the source no word of mouth. living her best life, yeah she’s somebody’s wife, with a bachelor’s degree, certified RT. showed me and lil sis that it’s never too late to buckle down, boss up, be black and great! through success and failure she continues to rise, and her crown may be heavy but she holds her high. phenomenal woman but you already knew, no one deserves the title quite as much as you. melanin ain’t crackin and her looks still slay, just her presence alone could brighten your day. melanin ain’t crackin and her looks still slay, just her presence alone could brighten your day.

hiatus pt.1

hey everyone,

first and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who stuck around over the last month while I did some much needed mental healing and soul searching. I can’t wait to tell you all about my time away and am so happy to see so many of you are still here — we even made a few new friends! I promise not to leave again for this long without warning.

so let’s dive right in!

let’s start with the hard stuff – I lost a family member very dear to me and because of circumstances out of my hands, I was unable to attend the funeral. you know how people say “she was the life of the party” … she really was. she was the best of everyone around her, she would tell you exactly like it is – her honesty is what I loved most about her. I will never forget the fall of my first semester in college; my boyfriend at the time came to visit for a few days. I wanted him to meet my great-grandmother (her mother) and she happened to be at the house when we stopped by. She was sitting outside as we walked past the gate into the driveway and of course I stopped to say hi and introduce him before heading into the house.

after the hello’s and small talk, she looks my boyfriend straight in the eyes and says:

I’m gonna tell you something right now. you gotta be careful around these bitches because they don’t give a damn if you’re in a relationship or not, they’ll still try to take you. you seem like a nice young man so I just just had to let you know. these bitches don’t care about shit, they’ll see you happy and still try to fuck up what you have. be careful.

y’all! in that moment I felt a level of mortification I’ve never felt before, but at the same time I was so amused that THIS was the first conversation my boyfriend had with anyone in my family aside from my parents. we had a good laugh about it after the fact, but that memory of her will always be the first one that pops into my head.

honest and real.

I miss her. I will always miss her. this world just won’t be the same without her.

rest in peace, auntie.

lingerie.

Lingerie

the silky floral-patterned cloth you rip off of me

                then you let your fingers linger

 like the smell of your cologne

                fresh out of the shower

down on me like the rain during spring

                when the flowers blossom

into this person that comes alive

                whenever I’m with you

rest, assured.

your love language may be acts of service, but you are a man of words
how is it that I forgot to love you the way I love to be loved?
the way that you love me

you know deceit and betrayal as well as I do
maybe even on a deeper level 
I should have cared better for your heart, my apologies

there should have been no room for doubt
you are the greatest love I've ever known
let me remind you why

your hugs are still the safest I've felt with anyone
and that is how I will always feel 
and when you kiss me 

lips. cheek. nose. forehead. even from across the room
in those moments, I am still consumed with happiness 
so much so that even if they were the last I had with you

I would still be happy to have had them at all. 

these reasons, these feelings .. they happened as they should
we happened, just as we should
you were worth the wait. 

everything that you are
and have the potential to be
you are the best friend I never knew I needed

there should have been no room for doubt
you are the greatest love I've ever known
I will never let you forget the reasons why