You ever been pregnant during a pandemic? Bruh, I HAVE. This shit is wild to say the least.
For starters, everything is canceled. Baby shower; canceled. Doctor’s appointments; canceled. Birthing classes; canceled. Support team at your birth? You got it, canceled! I thought I was bored before, being limited in the activities I could partake in. You don’t know bored until OUTSIDE gets canceled, and you ain’t even got the option to partake in limited activities! I’m up to my nipples in Netflix and the way this belly be in the way, I barely want the Chill part. Totally out of my character!
I’ve been walking around this bitch looking like Beloved, naked and half the time with an attitude lol. Minus the bush though, since I probably got the last Brazilian wax known to Rona. (My son will have to fight enough in this world, I refused to subject him to the wilderness his first day out!) I, like most of you have had ample time to think about any and everything. After calling the hospital yesterday to confirm that my tour of the birth center was canceled, I had a revelation. We are so privileged in these times. Social media and the internet at large even got our quarantine cushy. We can Facetime our loved ones that we can’t (or shouldn’t) pull up on. Make money from our homes in our pajamas. We’re comfortable enough to joke about a world-wide virus that’s killing thousands of people. When you really think about that, and how few options were available to people who’ve been in this position before us, it has to blow your mind like it’s blowing mine.
I think of my experience as a pregnant woman. There was a time when a black woman giving birth was nothing more than an extra laborer and a business transaction. Wasn’t NOBODY thinking about showering her and that baby with no gifts! (GIIIIIIIFTS? *Souljah Boy voice*) Tour of the hospital? There was a time you just showed up when it was time to have the baby. Seen one hospital, seen ‘em all! And that’s IF you had the option of a professional facility and didn’t have to birth at home with limited resources. Don’t get me started on birth classes and early parenting courses. Many have had to learn what their momma’s and grandmama’s taught them or worse, figure it all out on their own. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still stinging with disappointment behind my baby shower alone! After losing a child suddenly to stillbirth, having made it to the point of pregnancy to be comfortable celebrating is a major feat. But when I shift my perspective, when I think about my ancestors and the world they had to live in, I am reminded of luxuries they didn’t even know to dream of. My disappointments are even blessings. Whew! A word.
This pregnancy and these COVID chronicles have me tapped into a level of gratitude and humility that would’ve probably taken me a decade to reach otherwise. My greatest lesson has been that I am not in control. This is the scariest and most liberating thing to admit. I’ve only wanted to be prepared. To set up the best possible life for my son. I could not have predicted a world where we’d have to worry about breathing the same air as someone with a deadly virus. Of social distancing and statewide curfews. A failing economy and sky-rocketing unemployment rates. Empty damn toilet paper shelves! I’d convinced myself when I was younger that I did not want kids; that the world was too crazy and unpredictable to subject an innocent little person to it. Yet here I am. In the craziest of times, about to give birth to a little black boy damn near any day. Be careful what you speak and never say never! Shit is most definitely out of control. But at nine months pregnant with a vibrant seed in my womb, both of us in good health, a wonderful life partner and a fridge full of food; I recognize that God is in control. And that’s all I need. In fact, it’s the only thing that matters.