Celebrating New Life During COVID-19

Thanks to the digital world, it isn’t that hard.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

During this season of Coronavirus, COVID-19, my father’s side of the family has two new members. Two of my first cousins have welcomed baby girls within nine months of each other. The first was born in January of this year and the second was born during this month, October. For my baby cousin born this past January, I had planned to visit my hometown of Savannah, Georgia in mid-March, but that is when this global pandemic showed us what it could do and the first round of restrictions was put in place not too long after.

I am fond of new life. I am a fan of witnessing the births of babies and showering them with trinkets and necessities upon their arrival. Being that I am five hours away from my hometown, traveling home was always a one to two times per year investment, however, those tables have turned drastically. I have not or will probably not be home for the foreseeable future which cuts me out of witnessing the growth of these two bundles of joy unless . . . it’s through digital devices and photographs.

I am blessed to be able to watch various stages of each take form by way of digital media or hear about their constant shifts in life through the voices of their parents. Had this not been a resource to use, I would be completely in the dark. And I don’t think I’d like that at all.

As much as I appreciate the gift of new life, giving birth during a global pandemic–must be five times more stressful than without one. I have so many questions for women who are pregnant or those new to motherhood. How did you manage to stay safe? What additional precautions are you taking/have you taken? What will you do to ensure your newborn doesn’t contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19? Will you allow any family to visit and if so, whom?

Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates do not appear to be affected by mode of delivery, method of infant feeding, or contact with a mother with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed infection should be considered as having suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection when test results are not available.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 3, 2020.

Hospitals and outpatient facilities in most states test their patients prior to any invasive procedures or surgeries, so it’s safe to assume that any woman going into labor has been tested prior to delivery and will be tested again before leaving the hospital. All precautions are in place for both baby and new mom, but how can we be sure?


You can read the rest of the article at Thrive Global, here. If you like the article, please recommend it by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.

Dear, God–cover him.

Lune #13 of 25

Caisonasleep
Caison, asleep. Taken a few months ago. My baby cousin Caison is hospitalized with pneumonia. I went to visit him and my heart just couldn’t take it. I was in and out of teary fits. I miss my little buddy.

Dear, God: cover him–
take this child
heal him with your love.


*A lune (rhymes with moon) is a very short poem. It has only three lines. It is similar to a haiku. A haiku has three lines, and it follows a 5/7/5 syllable pattern. The lune’s syllable pattern is 5/3/5. Since the middle line is limited to three syllables, it is often the shortest line of the three. This makes a lune curve a bit like a crescent moon.

For the next twenty-five days, except Saturdays and Sundays, I will share a lune with each of you. This is Lune #13 of this project.

She’s Carrying The World

Babies & Their Bellies

 

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Chayene Rafaela|Unsplash

I have this thing for pregnant bellies. I love them! For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the wonder of a woman’s belly — how it can be home to a miracle growing inside. Currently, at work, there are two co-workers who are pregnant. Both are carrying boys. I have an army of boys in my family, little soldiers who get into mischief and carve out places in this world with their seeking fingers. I connect with children, even while in their mother’s womb, we bond.

A few weeks back, my co-worker (the one who is due in May) was walking up the hallway toward our front desk and I was heading back from the radiologists’ reading department and we sort of met in the middle. I calmly asked, “May I?” as I pointed to her belly and she smiled as bright as anyone could and almost shouted, “Sure!” I placed my right hand just above her navel and began talking to her little one, granting him blessings straight from my heart. I thanked her and shortly after when we were both settled back into the groove of our positions, she called me to let me know that her little one started to kick as soon as she walked away.

I laughed, then smiled. At the end of my shift, I welcomed a few tears. The beauty of something as monumental as bringing another human being into this world hit me without my knowledge. I said softly to myself, “I wonder if they know that history is beginning in their bellies — they’re carrying the world.” I think of how things would have been had I brought my own little one into this world — if I ever could and a variety of emotions hit me at once, from every angle. I used to think that I was useless, that if I was not giving this world a part of me, that I did not matter. I used to believe that without a child of my own, I was not fit to be called “woman.”

Now, when I see this co-worker, she smiles. I ask her, “How’s the little one?” and she always says, “He’s busy growing. He’s good.” Her belly is shifting from a basketball to a combination of a football and beach-ball. She’s all belly, at a quick glance, nothing else seems to be shifting.

My other co-worker has baby written all over her. The sweet boy growing inside of her is making his presence known. It seems as though the little one is saying, “Get ready, world! I am going to be nothing you expected, but something that you need!” I have not given her belly a talking to, not yet, but I will — if allowed. I look at my own belly, wondering if it is fit to grow a miracle like most women — if it can create change. And, I think it can, it is the completing part of it all that I am told would be problematic. I want to reach out and call to the little soothsayer, sage, or savior nearing what will be my co-worker’s last trimester. I want to tell him to be all that he can be and so much more.

I watch her, my co-worker (her due date is sometime in April), she races about our work-place on a mission. It is hard to catch her in slow motion. She has so much energy and I cannot help but feel like instead of exhaustion and swollen feet and frequent bathroom breaks and odd tastes in food, her little one is far more mature and is simply settled in the womb until he is called away. I have never seen someone still as active for ten straight hours at six months pregnant before. She is nonstop. I feel as though her little boy is saving the best for his debut. He will be a reckoning. He will be a force.

We better get ready.

Both of these women are doing something I have chosen not to, that I, in the grand scheme of things, cannot. To say that I am moved each day that I get a chance to see them would be an understatement. I have an incredible amount of respect for them. After all, they are carrying their own little worlds inside. Each of them preparing for motherhood at their own pace.

Each of them preparing to share with all of us, the gift of life.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

July’s Visual Verse Prompt

This month’s Visual Verse prompt is a titillating one. From just one glance at the photo, so many scenarios came to me, but I settled on one that just would not stop bopping about in my head. It is entitled “Rewind.” I will post a snippet of it here and then direct you to the poem in its entirety toward the end of this post. There’s still time if you want to submit for this month’s prompt. Writers, make it happen. Use that creativity of yours and get on it, doggone it.

Rewind

She pressed PLAY and watched him
sit back casually, dreaming
of better days.
Her hair, pinned up, her eyes–
faithful to his stare.
She was a golden arc, welcoming
his entrance.
FAST FORWARD to their wedding day
and the two of them had no reason
to STOP
Every dream was finally coming true.

Or so they thought.
Her first attempt at making him
a father, her, a mother, failed.
That’s what the doctor called it,
“a failed attempt.”
And the second, and the third.
And every breath she took
felt like the last.


As always, many thanks to Visual Verse and to those of you reading. I truly appreciate you stopping by. For the rest of the poem, please go here

Peace and blessings. 

7 Months

 

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Caison: Now, he comes with contagious facial expressions, is vocal, exerts his power, and laughs a lot too. Photo Credit/Tremaine L. Loadholt

In the backseat of your mother’s car,
I talk to you.
I am watching you express yourself
using gibberish that I have missed
hearing.
Drooling is a part of our conversation.
You are aware of it and you let me know
that it needs to be handled accordingly.

You are a happy baby,
full of giggles and grunts —
verbal tools of your own
that I am learning to understand.
In your presence,
life seems easier to face.
You have given me a joy
that bears no description.
It is in your eyes
where peace lives.

I place my fingers in your
tiny hands.
You squeeze, pulling them into
the air, following them
with precision.
You have great vision. I can tell.
Before I can catch myself,
I am humming in your direction,
patting your little belly lightly,
and trying to ease your pain.

You want out of the contraption
meant to keep you safe.
We have been riding for nearly
and hour and although I get restless too,
I can control my emotions.
You want everyone to hear
that you are not happy
with being caged in.
And I listen.

You are powerful.
At just seven months,
You are able to make the world
stop and focus on you.
It is your specialty, one
that I have watched you
simmer, stir, and serve.
We eat it up,
in every moment and in every way.

Stay this way a while longer —
allow me to learn why babies
conjure up the best parts of us.
Let me live in your heart
without being evicted
too soon.


As always, thank you to my beautiful cousin, Akua, for granting me permission to share Caison with all of you.