My Plus Size Life

Have You ever felt like this?

Since i was a young Lad, i have always been “big boned”, wait, there is no such thing as “big boned”, look i was a little chubby. What normal little kid wasn’t? I loved the attention from family members and especially my grandmother. She would pinch my cheeks and call me her “chocolate baby”. Those memories were the happiest of my childhood, until it wasn’t. My first realization that i weighed a little too much is when i was seven years old. My aunt and i was playing around and she decided to try and pick me up, oh boy why did she do that? not only did we both fall, but all the weight of my body landed on her big toe and that poor toe hasn’t been right ever since, travesty right? My mom wanted to set an example for leading a “healthy lifestyle” so she started to work out in the mornings, and drink slim fast like it was water. She had her insecurities as well and she wanted to become her small size that she was before she had me. After eating my oatmeal each morning my mom would turn on her exercise video, i would get on the floor with her and mimic every movement. I always wondered “why is she doing all these silly movements with her body? she sure has energy, and how can she drink those yucky chocolate drinks? iv’e tried them and they aren’t that great”. The workouts and slim fast payed off and she dropped the weight, but it seemed her habits and routines rubbed off on me. She would try to encourage me, but she stopped, i guess she figured since i was a little kid i would run around and all the baby fat would go away.

 

In elementary i was the “fat girl”. Kids made fun of me, not only was i chubby, but i had a very dark complexion. The names they would call me would sting in the beginning, but after awhile i just became immune. That is when my personalty flourished. I might have been fat, but i bet i was going to make good grades, run for student body president, and be the funniest kid in school. Some days the teasing was overwhelming. I would go home and tell my mom, she would tell me to not listen to those children and if i wanted it to stop then maybe i should loose weight. That is when it began, the low self esteem and humiliation for looking the way i looked. When i look back at it now, my mom wasn’t trying to intentionally hurt me, but she wanted me to be healthy. When i went to routine checkups at the doctors they would always classify me as being overweight for my age, and with that came resources and many brochures. I know my mom was concerned and it became a wake up call because she had gotten it confirmed from an experienced physician. From that point on my mother changed the way we ate, fried foods would be limited to once a week, vegetables were introduced, and kool aide was no longer the drink of choice. I hated it! I wanted that nice cold cup of sugary red kool-aide, I wanted those chocolate chip cookies in the pantry shelf. Coming from a low income neighborhood meant that we had little no any resources on healthy eating and portion control. The pamphlets from the doctor  were the only thing we had to go off of, and some of the “healthy foods” were hard to purchase because of the price, most people in my neighborhood were receiving food stamps, including me. My mom was doing the best she could to make sure my sister and i always had a full fridge, we never went Hungry.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night, sneaking cookies, and eating cake frosting. Some nights i got away with the crime, other nights the food police(my mom) caught me in action. Even though my mom tried to cook healthy meals, she would not have the energy for it at times because of work so we would stop by McDonald’s or grab a pizza. I didn’t overly eat, but i loved food.

As i was going into junior high school i started to become more insecure about the way i looked. I was at a stage where puberty started to set. I hadn’t come into my girlish looks yet. Being fat gave me a identity, i also identified as a Tomboy.

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Me at that awkward phase (middle school) sporting a Tommy Hilfiger Fit.

I would wear the most baggiest clothes. I thought they would make me look cool, and i would be able to hide my body. I hated dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt or tight shirt. This was also a time in my life where i started to like the opposite sex. I had a major crush on this boy Ariel, he was the hottest thing since sliced bread, and he had the eyes that were just as blue as the ocean. I lurked in the background while all the cute light skinned skinny girls would flirt and giggle with Ariel. I noticed that he never talked to the girls who had darker skin. But All i could do is admire him from afar, he would never take a second look at a girl like me. I would go home, look in the mirror and wished the my skin was lighter and my body was thinner. My mother always told me how beautiful i was, and how i should be proud of my complexion, and that she only wanted me to be healthy when the subject of weight came up, but at that age i didn’t want to receive it, i didn’t believe anything because my looks didn’t catch the attention of my peers and Ariel. I wished that i could be as thin and pretty as the late singer Aaliyah and a frame like the singer Mya. There was no Lizzo or Joanne Borgella, Ashley Graham, Tess holiday, or Dainielle Brooks. In the 90’s there were no child/teen that was my complexion and that looked like me on television . Traditional media considered “being heavy” not acceptable, there was and still is a stigma about being overweight. No one considered that maybe it was a genetic factor, something medical going on like a thyroid condition. People in our society assume that heavier people just sit around and stuff their faces like you see on “My 600lb Life”, in some ways, with some people,  that would be accurate, but not everyone falls into that box.

During the summer of 2000 My aunt Stacey had loss a tremendous amount of weight. My mom and i both noticed how great she looked.  My mom asked my aunt what she did to loose so much weight, my aunt mentioned that she was doing the Atkins diet. Now, back then Atkins consisted of only eating lean meat, vegetables, cheese, and sugar free desserts(basically no carbohydrates). My mom mentioned that we should both try the diet together, and we would be able to motivate one another. I was apprehensive about it, it was a change and a habit i didn’t want to break, but i knew we both needed the body reset. My mom and i both loved food! but we knew what we were consuming weren’t good for our bodies. My mom and i decided that the next day we would start our “diet”, if the “diet” had failed then we agreed to try something else.  Boy was it a challenge! seeing my peers eat junk at lunch time while i ate a salad really made me feel excluded. The few friends i had would ask me why my eating habits changed, they expressed that they saw nothing wrong with me, but i wanted to show my mom and myself that i could stick to the food plan.

As i became closer to graduating from the 8th grade i started seeing and feeling the weight loss. My confidence had soared, i started to dress more “girly”, I started to get my eyebrows arched, and my peers started to notice. I had the great personality all along, but now, i had the body to match or so i thought. Ariel had moved away suddenly so i never got the chance to even shoot my shot.

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7th Grade

I saved myself the embarrassment of approaching and being rejected. At least I knew i had done good when my mom and i went inside of target one day and i was able to fit clothes in the juniors department, i no longer needed to shop in the adult woman section. My mom was proud and that made me proud, this weight loss had made her happy. I finally was able to stick to something and achieve my goal. Even at a routine doctors visit, my doctor had asked what things had changed since the last visit. I told her that i was becoming more active and cutting out carbohydrates and desserts. The scale confirmed that i had lost 30 lbs. Even though i had looked great physically i wasn’t able to really enjoy what i saw when i looked in the mirror, i felt like the weight that i worked so hard to lose wasn’t enough to get attention from “the boys” i started to think were cute, i wasn’t skinny, but in my mind i knew “thick” wasn’t going to get it either. It was all in my head. Towards the end of the 8th grade year i started to build friendships with my peers, the weight loss even got me noticed with the “popular kids”. I met dope people in my choir and Drama class. I had come out of my turtle shell, talking, and frequently socializing. Surprisingly i even received compliments from boys, they would tell me that i was much nicer than the other girls and i carried myself in a way that made me more approachable, those things were all nice things to hear, but i didn’t believe it, my self esteem was so shattered that i questioned if i were attractive. A few of the guys in my Drama class would ask me out and try to pursue me but, i was shy, i thought i had wanted the attention but when i received it i would clam up, i was not ready for that type energy yet.

Going into high school i still had the mindset that because i was still plus size i wouldn’t be able to attract the high school guys. I also noticed that the girls with a lighter skin complexion received more attention from the boys. I didn’t understand why this was. I figured a girl is a girl, we all have the same thing at the end of the day. but that’s just how it was, and continue to be. High school for me was the big time! sink or swim, high school was a whole different ball game. I knew that i was a “attractive dark skinned” girl, i knew that i had a great personality but i was too shy to be myself, and too quiet to get noticed. I felt like there was always competition between the girls at my high school.

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High school freshman Year

Who had the best hair style, who wore the latest Jordan’s, who lost their virginity first, it was a freaking mad house. One thing that i can say that i did, i was always myself around my friends. Even though i had gained some confidence with the weight loss, i still thought that i wasn’t good enough, i always felt like maybe if i were skinnier i would have more opportunities, to get noticed, to be popular, to be visible. As high school went on i started to come into self love by encouragement from friends. They let me know that i was cool and that i was beautiful the way i was, that i would be beautiful at any size. My girls Jamie and Tamica would always tell me “If they cant take you for who you are, fuck em”!

My self perception of myself started to change, once i had saw that i wasn’t the only plus size girl at my school, i was relieved. One girl that taught me to embrace myself was Tajma. She was a grade up. We had choir together in junior high and that girl could blow a roof off an house. She had a lighter skin complexion, just gorgeous, and plus size. She would dress to the T’s and her make-up game was unmatched. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, but she was just as beautiful on the inside. I thought to myself “now that is a dope ass girl”. Her walk, the way she made her presence known gave me confidence. She inspired me to showcase my talent, to reveal my full self. I started to dibble and dabble into makeup. I picked colors that would accent my chocolate skin. I stared to wear clothes that didn’t take away from my shapely figure, but enhanced it. The tomboy that i once knew was slowly disappearing. I became a fluttering butterfly, i started to enjoy and love who i was, a cute, chocolate plus size dope ass girl from Richmond.

The older i became, the more comfortable i became within myself. Of course i wasn’t small or petite, but i remained healthy and active. I accepted my wide hips, and thick thighs (i get it from my mamma). My mother would always compliment me, she was noe my personal hype man. I eventually learned to accept my dark skin, i learned the many stories of what dark skin represented, my ancestors, my bloodline, my African roots. I became proud of my skin complexion.

It also helped that i always had friends and people around who didn’t care what i looked like, they pumped me up, they would point out features of mine they wish they had. My personality would, at most times  make up for what i thought was flawed. I came to the realization that i had to learn to love me, i had to look in the mirror and find parts of my body that i liked, parts of my body that made me unique. Looking back on old high school photos i wish that i would have enjoyed my shapely figure. I wish that i hadn’t been so self conscious. I learned that i had to love myself fully, in order to be loved by another. It might sound cliche, but it applies. Now, i love every fold, flap, garage door, and muffin top. I no longer seek validation from the opposite sex or anyone. I give myself the validation that i need.

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After high school i would loose weight, then gain it, then loose some and gain again, i was a never ending light up YO-YO. I have tried all diets, weight loss programs, fasting, not eating at all. But no matter what i try my structure has never been, or will ever be thin. I noticed that whenever i had weight loss my frame stayed the same, my body just became leaner. I would still have the full hips, large thighs, voluptuous breasts. There was no escaping my genetic make-up. Aside from debilitating migraines, i am relatively healthy, that matters.

I always thought that i wouldn’t be able to attract the opposite sex because of my size and skin complexion . As a teen I was always the “fat dark one” of the group, so i would go unnoticed, that made me feel unwanted and totally invisible. Some men can be just as shallow as women. I don’t have the body like like many female celebrities. Compare me to Sara Bartman, my sista who was naturally bred. My skin is not light, and Hey that’s Okay!. It doesn’t take away from who i am as a person, It doesn’t take away from my education, knowledge, skills, or independence,If anything My dark assists me makes me stand out. I’m damn proud of that.

Are men really intimidated by a woman’s size? or is it their own insecurity? Does he think he could handle her? Does it matter that her body is naturally curvy? Does it matter that she has a muffin top and some love handles? Do men think that all women should be built from the ground up like female Hollywood celebs?  or any other woman who has been surgically enhanced? nah, and a disclaimer, i’m not in anyway am i against surgery, or getting enhancements, but personally it’s not right for me. I refuse to fit in, to indulge in surgical fads because celebrities engage in it.  I figure, if i don’t fit into society’s  “box” then i can bedazzle one for myself. Men who cannot accept a big, sexy, curvaceous, confident , smart, and witty woman, Well! They don’t deserve to reap the benefits that us “big women” can provide. Not just the physical part of us, but the mental.

We will not settle!

Don’t Settle!

As you get older things start to sag to the ground, your metabolism slows down, you put on a little more extra pounds due to having children or leading a hectic life. Sometimes life is moving so fast that you don’t have time to go to the gym, cook a nutritious healthy meal or plan. You pick up that doughnut because you’re on the go, or you stop by your favorite fast food place for dinner because it was along day and your not in the mood to cook for yourself or the family. And let’s face it, at times it’s just pure laziness. It is possible to be plus size while you practice healthy eating habits and participate in daily physical activities (Yoga, Walk, Gym). A woman who is plus size can be completely healthy.

For any woman who has experienced society’s idea of what “beauty” is i say to you, Queen you are the epitome of femininity, power, and grace. You are desirable, and wanted, YOU ARE WORTHWHILE!!! When society states you are are not desirable, i am here to tell you, THAT’S A LIE! Society is what we make it. Embrace your body, treat it with care, be kind to it. YOU.ARE.BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

Self love and self-care, is how i continue, and will continue to get through my plus size life.theofficialblackgirldiaries_20200530_202824_0

Like This post? Can you relate in any way? Have you had Challenges with self-esteem or body image?

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“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner

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Photo: https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/challenge-conventional-beauty-standards

 

Aye Yo!!! Play that “Masterpiece” by Jazmine Sullivan!

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Where My Girls At?

I was asked a question the other day. They asked”Don’t you feel lonely without friends? I mean it’s good to have a life outside of us”. “Nope” is what I replied knowing damn well I was lying. I wanted to really say “Hell yea I miss my girl friends”. So I’m finally saying it out loud, I MISS MY GIRLS!!!!!! I understand that people who built everlasting bonds  loose touch and connection. Between careers, family, responsibilities, and making time for personal Rest and relaxation, it can become challenging keeping up with your girlfriends AKA your aces and or your ride or dies. I know I could have done things personally to make sure my friendships didn’t fizzle, but to be honest, i was always socially awkward. I have always been reserved, quiet, and pretty much by myself, Hell my Barbie dolls were my only friends as a child. The older I got the reservation became frequent and I didn’t know how to make  friends. I was familiar being by myself and my loneliness became natural. I was the quiet girl from Richmond California, and most of my peers called me “white girl” because I talked proper, was a huge fan of the group Nsync, and always had my big ass head in a book. It was hard for me to fit in with the “It Girls”, I was socially awkward. The only friend I had was My girl Mekia my best friend from elementary school. She would come over and we would dance in front of a Blowing fan with my mother’s good sheets wrapped around us singing and dancing to Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and other Selena classics, ( two black girls from Richmond being hooked on Selena for quite a time). We had sleepovers, we would ride our bikes up and down 23rd street, and make frequent stops to Hill Top mall’s Claire’s to buy Nick knacks with our allowance. We would argue over which boy was the cutest (Usher, Justin Timberlake, or Marques Houston) We told each other about our first crush, but she ended up moving to another part of town and we attended separate schools.

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Adams Middle School Richmond Ca, (1998)

I missed her, even though we talked on the phone frequently, she and I Eventually had to adjust to being apart. She went on to make new friends, while I sat lonely and miserable attempting to make friends. Eventually when I entered Jr. High and slowly started to come out of my turtle shell. I would talk to classmates here and there, and judging from my peers spotting the Justin Timberlake mini poster I had in front of my clear binder Pocket I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed this amazing group.  Some of my peers had similar interest (cute white boys with blonde curly hair). At that moment I realized that I was not the only black girl in my jr. High that had a thing for white boys. I was ridiculed by my peers for being a “Black Girl” who went crazy over entertainers that didn’t look like me, but I didn’t care, I was convinced that Justin Timberlake and I would wed, and when we did, they wouldn’t be invited.

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My Room Richmond Ca, (1999)

I built some of my best friendships over Nsync and The Backstreet Boys. Not only did my new friends have the same interest as me, but they also looked like me too. Finally, I felt like I wasn’t the “whitewashed” girl everyone perceived me to be, there were others!!!!! 

I met Jamie, my ride or die, my Thelma to my Louise in  Junior High. We bonded over Nsync, and I was shocked when I learned we had more things in common other than boy bands. We clicked instantly, and from then on we were there for each other’s Teenage and early adult years. She was there for me through every heartache, crush and vice versa. I also built a friendship with another girl who lived in my neighborhood. We also became close. As we got older we were into the IMX’s and the B2K’s, not excluding Nsync, we were still hooked on them of course. Two Years went by and friend Kim(not her real name) moved to another state. I was devastated, I had built yet another bond with someone and they were leaving, but at least I had Jamie right? I decided to move to Stockton California with my aunt to attend my sophomore through senior year at a new high school. I was sad that I was leaving but I was excited to enter a new beginning. I needed a new environment and I thought maybe I could make new friends. Even though I lived two hours away from my sister/BFF we still remained close. At this time Mekia and I would keep in contact but it wasn’t the same not having her there, but once again, I had Jamie. I would go to Richmond to spend weekends with Jamie at her house, and she would spend some weekends with me in Stockton.  The distance never affected us because we were like sisters. While in my Junior year in high school I made new friends.

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Junior Year (2004) Kelli (bottom left) Ic’ee (upper left) and Tequilla (upper right) 

In Stockton California We all met through a chance encounter all caused by Stockton’s thick winter fog, The bus we were waiting on was late, it was a group of us girls waiting for that long yellow bus to arrive, so we decided to walk to one of the girl’s house to warm up and the rest was history.  From then on we became close, we would hang out at lunch and eventually after school. I liked these three girls, they were nice to me, and we had things in common. I felt so good about the friendship I had with these girls, so much so  that I introduced Jamie to them, we all clicked. We would all go places in our big group and for the first time in a long time I felt like I belonged, I didn’t have to fit I with the popular crowd because I felt popular when we were around each other. It was a sisterhood. Thereafter I met another girl we had two classes together, as soon as we talked and got to know one another, We clicked. we had a similar interests. She was the funniest outgoing person I ever met.

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Senior year (2005)

I could say that I had friends. I was finally adjusting to my new life in a new place. After graduating from high school, we were in each other’s lives for a moment. I moved back to the bay area to go to college and my girls stayed in Stockton to do Continue their education. We started to hang out less, even though we would chat on the phone from time to time. Jamie and I picked up where we left off when i moved back to the bay area and we were hanging with each other all the time! When I would visit my aunt in Sacramento California the girls and I would hook up and hang out since they only lived 30 minutes away from my aunt. 

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Shay, me and Kelli (2006)

When I would go back to the bay area we would talk on the phone and text. We all had our own lives at this point, so the phone calls would slow down and when we couldn’t get a hold of each other, Jamie was there, watching my back. The sisterhood bond that i built with my girls was slowly fading. I blame part of it on myself, but I knew that we would still love each other even though we were not around each other like we were as teens. We became older and faced our own individual journey’s, It happens.

Some of us moved to different states for school, some of us were just getting the hang of being responsible adults and figuring out what to make of our lives.

Jamie and I would still hang out along with another girl I met in high school Diamond(not her real name). Her, Jamie, and I had gotten really close. They were there for my transition into adulthood, they were there transitioning with me. They both were there for me through silly boy troubles, my abortion and depression. To be honest, while going through my depression i admit i pushed them away, I became more and more of a recluse. My depression hindered me and it affected my relationship with Jamie.

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Jamie and I (2007)

I didn’t want to hang out with my girls and when I had the had time to, I turned down every fun invitation. I was so closed off, I don’t think that Jamie had no idea the extent that the depression had over my life at that time. Jamie had been there for me when decided to terminate my pregnancy, but after i fell into darkness. Depression took away the most important thing to me; my girls. I felt that if I talked to them about my depression I would be looked at as a burden.  I didn’t want to keep talking about my depression with them, for one, I was the Debbie downer all the time, and two, I wasn’t the same Cecilie they had grown to love. I was not myself and I was embarrassed for them to see me that way, weak, and vulnerable.  To this day I don’t think Jamie really knew how dark of a place I was in.

2009 is when I met my now husband, Diamond, Jamie and I didn’t see or talk to one another a lot. Partially, my fault, I didn’t make too much of an effort because I was so busy getting to know this new guy and all my energy was spent on my happiness. Diamond  and I continued to talk over the phone when we needed one another for advice and support, she was also busy being a new mom. By this time Jamie had a child. I noticed that her and diamond’s time was taken up by motherhood, and I was just getting into this new relationship with my guy. Somewhere between my relationship with him, and my relationship with them, communication was lost in translation. I felt a strain between all three of us. We even fell out and had a big argument over something i cant remember. Some things were said and i knew then that the connection had severed, and things weren’t going to be the same as it was. My sisters were no longer. They say “people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime”, Was that the case for all my fizzled friendships? Did God only place them there for a short term? All the laughs, secrets, and fun times? that’s it? it’s just over? Like that?

I needed my girls to be there through the happiest times in my life, and I needed to be there for theirs. Baby showers, births, Bridal showers, engagement celebrations, weddings, job promotions, all those experiences should be shared with your closest friends. By no means am I perfect, I don’t even think I was a perfect friend, but I did the best I could to support and be there for them, and that was all I could have done. My girls from high school also had children of their own, in which I’m very happy for them, we talk from time to time. Whether we decide to connect again or not, I still hold those memories we created, and think of them pretty often. I hate to admit it, but yes, I definitely feel lonely in my life right now. Other than my co-workers, my husband, and dog, I have no social life, So I often ponder the question; “Where my girls at”?

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
– Ally Condie

Have you  had  similar experiences with friends? Did you grow apart overtime?  If so, what could you have done differently? Share your thoughts below ⬇⬇⬇

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The Beginning

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credit: google/kirz art

The inspiration for me starting a blog was this reason and this one reason only…. I had an abortion. I now live with regret, guilt, and a depressive disorder. I felt like in this situation, i had no say. I’m putting everything on the line for the sake of my sanity and spirit. I’m being completely honest about my abortion story. I have asked the lord for forgiveness, i have gone through the storm. I have to expel all the emotions and memories that still haunt in me from a decision i made almost 11 years ago. I now suffer from anxiety and severe depression. After you read my story, just keep in mind that many women who have terminated a pregnancy were backed into a corner, they felt like they had no support from  their family, friends, and their significant other. I can honestly say didn’t have much support from the person i was with and that is what contributed to me making the decision i made. I too take full responsibility. Do i regret it? yes, will i deal with this for the rest of my life? yes!  do i still blame myself for not following my heart? YES! 

This is my abortion story.

It was 2007 i met my ex through a friend and immediately we hit it off. He was tall, dark, handsome, had a beautiful smile, and caring. I loved our conversations and when we spent time together it was as if we knew each other for years. He would tell me I’m beautiful, and smile at me like i was the only girl in the room. He would look into my eyes. We got physical rather quick and i loved  being close to him in that way, i loved the intimacy. Protection was used the first time we were intimate but after that we stopped using protection. I figured i was only with him, i trust him with my body, i know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. I did have some anxiety about sexual transmitted diseases. The images of diseased filled vagina’s and penis’s popped into my head from sexual health class that i took my senior year of high school, but i ignored it and trusted him anyway. The young and naive girl in me didn’t fear pregnancy because i never had consistent cycles.(funny right?) Pregnancy was the farthest thing from my mind. My interpretation of the relationship when i look back on it now, was strictly physical. We had great sex, but i let our physical encounters trick my mind think that it was something more, I wanted more. I assumed that because i had let him inside my womb that we were automatically in the serious monogamous relationship. We never really went on dates like normal “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. We barely left the comfort of my mother’s apartment complex. But just being around him made me happy.

The “exchanges” that we had were incredible, oozing sin and lust, but i did want more, i really liked him, i wanted to see where it could go. He was 21 i was 20, me being young of course i would connect great sex as a relationship right? i was so naive. He knew all the right words and the right things to do to me to give him what he came for each time, and that was sex. Even though we didn’t go on dates i just enjoyed being in his space. I believed he loved me but he didn’t now how to love me correctly, not the way i wanted to be. He had his background story and i realized why he couldn’t give himself to me fully let alone another woman. I tried to show him support, and listened when he confided in me about his rough childhood, his life as a young black male, and challenges he faced being a young black male.  I promised that whatever he told me i would secure it with my being, that i would support him and provide whatever i could. I tried to be the supportive “girlfriend”. I would ask him about his feelings and fears, but he would circle around the answer and we would just end up having being intimate and those things were forgotten. It had to be official if he had met my mom and sister. I thought to myself”oh yea Cecilie we got this in the bag he wouldn’t hurt you he has met your mother, your safe girl”. That was far from the truth.

I noticed a change in my ex, but thought i was important enough to fix him, i thought that i would be the girl he’d stick with because he had shared so many personal details about his life with me. In November of 2007 I remember catching the Bart to his place at night, on my 21st birthday. For my birthday he had given me a porcelain Christmas egg, you know the ones you can buy from rite aid or CVS by the candy isle? it was sweet, i thought “okay, a Christmas egg, he has giving me an egg for my birthday.”  (Red Flag) that meant he really didn’t know me at all, or what I liked but i know he meant well. After the egg exchange we were intimate  and i believe that was the night we conceived.

Two and a half months later things between my ex and i  were pretty normal.  I started to h ave strong feelings for him. He would come over, we would talk, laugh, eat, talk and to the bedroom we went. At the end of January in 2008 i was in for a shock of my life. One day at work there was a potluck and i had ate something that didn’t agree with me, i figured what i ate was probably spoiled. The day after the potluck i called in sick because i felt really nauseous. I decided to drink a ginger ale to take some of the nausea away but i was still nauseous. I called up my best friend and mentioned to her that i felt sick and that it must have been what i ate the day before. she said to me “um you might be pregnant”, i laughed and said “I don’t think so, i can’t get pregnant i don’t have consistent cycles”, then she laughed hysterically and said “girl i think you should take a test”. It didn’t hurt to try. I was certain that it was just the bad tacos that had me feeling sick. That weekend i caught the Bart to Richmond  where my best friend lived. We caught the city bus to Walmart inside of hilltop mall, i bought a test and she insisted that i go to the bathroom quickly to take the test. I thought “this is crazy, i’m not pregnant, we are both  going to feel so stupid once the results say “negative”.  We went to the bathroom and she followed behind. I chose a stall, pee’d on the stick and waited for the negative results. “What does it say”? she asked from the other side of the door “can i wipe first”? I replied. After i took care of cleaning myself i pulled up my pants I knew by this time i would see a result. I glanced over to the tissue holder and saw a positive result “oh shit” i thought “this can’t be”. “What does it say!?” my best friend yelled loud enough for the whole mall to hear. I stepped out of the stall “positive”. “Girl you lying!”. I handed her the test “look!.” she looked down “oh it says positive”, maybe you should take the second test”. At this time i was in shock, i just knew this wasn’t right. I didn’t have any more urine to give at that time to test with so i waited until we got back to her house to take another one. Once we left the mall and made it back to her house i took the second test, the results were positive. i couldn’t believe it, i has a mixture of feelings, happy, scared, confused. “what you gone do”? she asked as we sat on her bed “i’m not sure. I called my ex and let him know that i was pregnant. His reaction didn’t surprise me but, it wasn’t what i thought he would say either,”i want you to be happy, do what your heart tells you”, I was looking for more than what he said. We talked briefly and promised to met up to discuss what we were going to do. I called my other best friend and she expressed that i should have the baby. That night while my best friend slept soundly in the bed next to me i thought of this life growing inside me. I thought about how my ex and i would have a family and i would give birth to his first child. Those thoughts made me look forward to becoming a mother. In the end it was up to me to come up with solution and fast, was i really going to have a baby?,  the next challenge was me breaking the news to my mother.

I felt nervous, just as any young girl would before telling her mother that she is knocked up, and not only that, but her daughter fornicating. Once I told her and the look on her face crushed me she started to ask so many questions,  “where will the baby sleep? you still live with me, This place is small, how will you take care of it”? “did you tell him”? i burst out in tears, she said “having a baby right now is not good for you, or him”. She then suggested that my ex come over so we could all talk about our options. Of course the first option was abortion. Him and my mother really leaned against that option, i was surprised that he wanted me to kill my child, his child. I was hoped he would tell me to keep it, my gut told me to keep it. That night we all came to a decision, abortion. That innocent life was growing inside me. I knew that i didn’t want to abort but what other choice did i have? But If that would keep my ex and i together then i would do it, i wanted to take that risk. Before i could go any further i wanted confirmation with  actual blood work, inside i was still hoping that the digital test had a glitch and that i really wasn’t pregnant. My coworker at the time knew something was up. She approached me on my lunch and asked what was wrong with me, i remember she walked into the break room with taco bell and the smell of meat at that time made me very sick. She asked “What’s wrong? you look different”. I looked up at her and somehow she knew right away “you’re pregnant”? i nodded. “does the father know”? she asks, i nodded “what are you going to do”? she asked “i’m not sure”. Then she says something i will never forget she said “you have so much to offer the world, you’re so young, do you really want to become another statistic? a young black single mother pushing a baby in a stroller”?

 

Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among low-income women (i.e., women with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level), women aged 18–24, cohabiting women and women of color.2 Rates tend to be lowest among higher-income women (at or above 200% of poverty), white women, college graduates and married women.

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I looked at her with sadness in my eyes,  i shook my head “no”. “One day it will be the right time you’ll get married and do it the right way but right now do you think you could take care of another human being? is he ready”?.  After i cried she lent a helping hand, and ear, she even drove me to the doctor so i could do blood work . The blood work came back positive and all my fears had been confirmed. Immediately I had to get rid of “the “problem”. I received a referral from my primary OBGYN. Once i told the nurse over the phone that i wanted to terminate the pregnancy, she gave me a number and i called that day to make an appointment. The day of the appointment was nerve racking, i noticed my ex didn’t seem to enthusiastic about joining me at the clinic for my consultation, in fact he didn’t answer his phone and he showed up late. The nurse took me to a room told me to stay in the room until the video was over, it was watch a video telling me what to expect. I admit i was terrified, but i thought once this is over him and I will become more closer. We would both be employed and we can try again once had our own place.  After the informative video i did blood work and an ultrasound. The nurse told me to remove my pants and underwear, i went to lay on the exam table with my feet in stirrups, she put a condom on a probe  and proceeded to do a vaginal ultrasound. I noticed she  faced the screen away from me, “It looks like your nine weeks” she said. I tried to look at the screen but it was turned so that i couldn’t see. She then removed the probe.”You can put on your pants now, i’ll be back”. She printed a photo of the ultrasound and placed it into my file, i peeked inside my file, There it was my “little burrito” that’s  because it looked like a burrito, my eyes started to fill with tears ”oh my baby, i’m so scared, look at you, you’re so small”. The nurse knocked on the door, i hurried and closed my file, wiped my eyes  and she led me to the counselor’s office. The whole time this lady talked all i could think about was the “little burrito” that was growing inside me. I thought ” do i really want this”? a lot of girls my age have babies it’s not the end of the world, we could do this”. I was interrupted by the counselor “Ms. Anderson do you hear me”? i looked up at the counselor “yes”. she asked me if i was sure about my decision i told her yes she then set up the time and date to come in for my procedure. I walked out and saw my ex sitting waiting for me in the waiting room. The walk took to the nearest train station was quiet. He kissed me and we both exchanged “I love you’s” before we went out separate ways. He promised that he would be there for me on that day, he promised to never leave me.

The day after my consultation i let my supervisor know that i would be out that following Friday due to minor surgery, i let my co- worker know that took me to the Lab and she said that she would cover for me, i was grateful that she showed me so much support and she made me think of the future.  I was scared, nervous, and felt alone. I didn’t know what to expect. My best friend Jamie promised that she would be there when i got home from the clinic  and she was. I called my exthe night before the procedure but he never answered. I started to worry. I couldn’t wait on him though, i had to go through with this alone. That day was grey, the skies were filled with dark clouds and rain. My mother drove me to the clinic, she dropped me off and told me to call her once i was done. When i walked back into the clinic there where other girls there, African american white, and Latino, with the same look on their faces. They looked terrified, one girl even sat in tears. Once i checked in the nurse called me to the back, i changed into my hospital gown and put a spandex belt around my waist to hold the pad that i would have to wear after the procedure. I wanted to run, i wanted to keep my baby but my ex boyfriend was i all i could think about. How the fuck did it come to this? how could i have gotten here? what the fuck am i doing? how could i have been so irresponsible? The nurse led me to the operating room, i climbed on the table, my feet rested in stirrups, they put anesthesia in my IV not to put me sleep, but to “relax” me and to make the “procedure” more comfortable. There were two nurses in the exam room. One nurse numbed my cervix, then the male doctor came over explained what he was going to do and promised that it would be over in five minutes. I started to feel the local anesthesia. One nurse in particular sat next to the operating table, she was nice, she asked me what i did for a living and what were my favorite things to do, i knew it was a distraction but in a way i felt comfort. I started to feel extreme pain, extreme cramps, the nurse held my hand and told me to breathe, the cramping became more intense i yelled in agony. Once the cramping subsided it was done, my baby was gone………..

 Continued In Part. 2

“Unintended Pregnancy in the United States.” Guttmacher Institute, 9 Jan. 2019, http://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/unintended-pregnancy-united-states.