Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Gift of Strength

During the entire month of August 2003, my little sister, Frances, was temporarily residing in the labor and delivery unit of one of our city’s finest hospitals. She had been in labor for nearly three weeks. The doctor’s were doing all they could to slow the contractions down, so that my niece could stay nestled in her mommy’s stomach as long as she could. Frances was only six months pregnant. The doctors urgently tried to reduce all possibilities of her tiny daughter arriving too soon.

I was worried about her, so I had a friend to drop me off at the hospital after a night of painting the town red. My foxy red suit helped me accomplish that task with great success. When I arrived to Frances room, I wished that I had something to change into, something a little less colorful and looser. But my sister’s discomfort helped me forget how I wished I was in a pair of sweats and tennis shoes, instead of a red pants suit and strappy, high-heel, black sandals. I tried to help the moaning mother to be relax. She was in so much pain.

The hours rolled by and the contractions stomped the wall of Frances’ abdomen. I decided to stay the night with her. The next morning, I was still in my red suit, feeling more uncomfortable than I did the night before. But again, Frances’ discomfort and pain caused me to experience temporary amnesia regarding my discomfort.

I tried to calm her down by helping her pick a name for the wiggling little girl that had been residing in her body. We decided to name the princess, Gabrielle. We had no idea that the name Gabrielle would come in use sooner than we thought.

The baby’s heart rate began to slow its rhythm. The nurses rushed in, checking on the mother and trying to check on the baby that hid behind the veil of Frances’ flesh. Next thing I know, the doctor rushed in and said that they were going to have to deliver the baby. They were scared that something was wrong with the little princess. Her heart rate continued to slow its pace.

As the nurses prepared the frightened mother-to-be for emergency surgery, one of the nurses comforted her by informing Frances that the baby was probably going to be alright. She told Frances that African American baby girls have a greater chance of surviving premature birth than any other race or gender baby. Frances was still afraid, but she was more at ease.

My eyes bucked when I heard the nurse convey that bit of information to my sister. I thought to myself, “God makes us strong soon as we get here.” I begin to think about all the strong black women that surrounded me, all the black women that I grazed by in this journey of life, and all the black women that I would meet. Our strength was so evident in most things that African American women do. Apparently, this strength that helped us endure the seemingly disastrous trails of life was present with us at birth. I thought to myself, “What a gift!”

I wasn’t worried about Frances and Gabrielle anymore. I knew that gift from God, strength to survive the most critical crises of life, would kick in and give them the resilience and fortitude to survive this traumatic birthing experience. And that’s exactly what happened. Frances was okay, and her 1 pound: 12 ounces of love was also okay. Although Gabrielle was extremely tiny, fragile, and very ill, I was certain that the strength that God had packaged deep on the inside of her would help her not only survive but thrive.


**
I wrote this essay back in 2004. I thought it was appropriate to post it here today, in honor of my darling, Gabby. Today is the little darling's birthday. She turned four-years-old today. I'm so blessed to have this little sistah in my life. She's a bad, bad chick.

Today, I attended Gabby's birthday party. Maybe tomorrow, I will blog about how her birthday party turned out. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do.

Until then, I pray the best for your life.

Much love,

Miss Angie

1 comment:

FRANCES L. BRADEN said...

THANKS ANGIE... YEA THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I WILL NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH AGAIN.... 23 DAYS OF HARD LABOR..LOL.. THANKS FOR BEING THERE FOR ME EVEN THOUGH I WAS BEING A PURE BREED BITCH..LOL... YOU EVEN STUCK IT OUT WHEN I WAS SEEING CLOUDS OF MARSHMELLOWS AND A WITCH WITH BELTS TRYING TO WHIPP ME AND EVEN THAT CHIMP THAT I SAW ON YOUR BACK....THAT AMBIEN REALLY HAD ME GOING THAT NIGHT.. WAKING UP TO FIND MYSELF STRAPPED TO A BED.. BUT ALL WELLS THAT ENDS WELL... LOVE YA.. HOPE YOU ARE THERE FOR ME WHEN I HAVE A SECOND ONE..LOL