Unlike most women, at 18, I didn’t intend to marry; nor have children

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No one ever took the time to really wonder why a young girl didn’t envision herself in a beautiful wedding dress and having children someday.

Unlike most women, at 18, I didn’t intend to marry; nor have children. In fact, ever since I was a child, I told my mother I wanted to be a nun. Of course, she loved the idea. Her daughter would remain a virgin. No one ever took the time to really wonder why a young girl didn’t envision herself in a beautiful wedding dress and having children someday. My only focus in life was to be successful in a career that I loved. NOTHING ELSE mattered. In my high school memory book, there was a section that asked where I saw myself in 10 years and to list my 3 goals. My number one goal was easy because it’s what I had always wanted; to be an anchor for a major network. (Back then it was CNN). I made up the last 2, to placate everyone, because most of my friends were listing family oriented goals and I didn’t want to be left out. My goals in order were:

  1. Become a lead anchor for CNN
  2. Drive a brand new car
  3. Get married and have 2 children

I worked very hard to achieve my goal, because as far as I was concerned 2 and 3 weren’t really MY goals. I interned in college whenever I could, did extremely well in all my Communication classes, probably because they interested me, developed a love for urban fiction novels that I decided to write one during my senior year and graduated on time with my peers. After graduation, I continued interning, worked on two TV shows that I was the lead host for and was living what I thought was my dream.

Back track to the age of 13. I was taken advantage of inside my home by a family friend and because of the relationship he had with my family, I neglected to tell anyone, out of fear of being ridiculed or worse having someone not believe me. It didn’t help that in my mind, I thought I was wrong. Maybe I had been too flirtatious, who knows. I was 13 and didn’t know a thing. Thanks to a really good friend, I was able to tell my story… though, a little too late.  During that time, there was a lot of damage done to my internal organs and I was told at that very tender age that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. Woo hoo!!! That was perfect for a nun-to be, but not the right thing to tell a young impressionable teen. When I met my now husband, then boyfriend, I was 16 and I made sure I told him that I would never be able to have kids. Pssh… he didn’t care, he was 16 and wasn’t interested in having kids, he was more interested in “practicing”. So with kids out of the equation, there was no need for “protection.”

head down

Fast forward to my internship after graduation… I was now 23. I had a Bachelor’s degree, two TV shows under my belt, one calendar, several appearances in the local newspaper and an unpublished novel. I was well on my way!!! What could stop me now? December 31, 2008, my boyfriend urged me to take a pregnancy test because I had been feeling nauseous for the past two weeks, lost my appetite for fried chicken (WHICH I LOVE) and my period was late. Even though, we knew what the doctor said years ago, I did it anyway, because we had to rule out everything. My home test came back with one bright pink line and a second faded pink line. Immediately, I was upset. How dare these people sell defective products such as this? This is grounds for a lawsuit. So I called their 1-800 number and gave them a piece of my mind. (It was a HUGE piece). The very patient rep waited for me to end my rant, before calmly saying “maam, it doesn’t matter what shade the line is, if there are two lines, it is a positive test.” Impossible!!! I thought. My doctor said… so there’s no way. I called my boyfriend, and he told me to follow up with my doctor to be on the safe side, because maybe they really didn’t know what they were talking about. The following Tuesday, January 6, 2009, I was able to get an appointment and sure enough, my doctor confirmed the pregnancy. She wanted me to come in the next week to make sure everything was ok with the baby.

“Aha!!! That’s it! Something is wrong with the baby.”

The following week I showed up for my appointment and the nurse examined for what seemed like hours. She gasped once but she didn’t say anything. I assumed she was waiting on the doctor to come in and tell me that I have an ectopic pregnancy. She turned the monitor around and all I saw was static. I looked at her with a blank stare, but in my mind, I wanted to scream expletives and ask her what I was supposed to be looking at. As luck would have it, it seems she read my mind and pointed and said, “here is your baby’s heart beat” then she clicked the mouse and said “here is your other baby’s heartbeat.”

She looked at me giddy with excitement, the blank stare was plastered on my face.

“You’re having twins!” She practically squealed.

Again, the blank stare was there.

“Are you ok?” She asked softly with much concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I answered with my best “chipper” voice.
“Wow, I’ve never seen someone react to the news of twins like this before.”

She continued her tests and I was waiting for the bad news at the end. There wasn’t any. The twins were fine.  I called my boyfriend and I still don’t know how he did it, but the minute he picked up, he asked, “twins?”

“How’d you know?” I asked.

I heard the excitement in his voice. I went back to work and told my boss and coworkers and they were overjoyed. Where was my joy? How come I didn’t feel it? After that day things went from bad to worse for me. My boyfriend who was living four hours away from me decided that the best thing for me to do is move home. My mom who was deeply rooted in the church cut off all communication from me because I had embarrassed her. My boyfriend’s mom told me the only way he would be involved is if I moved back home and lived with her.

Why wasn’t anyone asking me what I wanted or how I felt? I prayed and asked God for guidance. He told me to stay where I was. My job was great, the benefits were great, I had my own place; my life was right where I was. It wasn’t until April that my boyfriend finally made the move. Between that time, I barely had the ability to take care of myself. Four months of not eating properly, not sleeping properly… four months of depression with two babies inside me. It was in May that my mother came around, thanks to the advice of our Bishop and his wife. They encouraged me to come back to church and understand that my pregnancy is a blessing from God. I did, and they prayed for me, my family, and my unborn babies. After returning home, my doctor ordered me to go on bed rest because one of my babies was no longer receiving oxygen or blood. Stubborn me, I didn’t listen. I had to work. I had to clean and I had to be cute. I was admitted into the hospital so that I could be monitored. After a week I became the patient from hell. I wanted to go home! They let me go, but demanded I stay in bed. I did, for the most part. I was ordered to see my doctor twice a week, so I made sure that I ate a full meal before all my visits. (If I was full they couldn’t do a C-section, I would have to deliver vaginally.) There was no way I was gonna allow anyone to cut me open. On the afternoon of June 18, 2009, I did my normal preparation for my doctor visit. I had a number 5 from chic-fil-a (the 12 piece) I upgraded the size for a dollar so I could get a large fry and washed it down with a lemonade. In fact I was still sipping it when I got to my appointment. This appointment took longer than ever. I fell asleep on the table. (Drool and all) I woke up a little after 4 to a ton of sonograms and my doctor saying that I need to go to the hospital for an emergency C-Section.

Pshh…. I’m going home. And that’s what I did.

I called my mom to tell her what happened and the tone of her voice scared me. She urged me to go to the hospital. So I went with tears in my eyes. My boyfriend was at work. I was alone and afraid. I was admitted immediately, hooked up to machines, but had to wait until my food digested completely. It can’t be that serious I thought. My Bishop called and prayed for/with me while I lay in the hospital bed. During that time, the nurse was pricking me with needles trying to get an IV started. The first prick blew a vein. It burned a lot. But I focused on my prayer. I knew that God could work miracles. At 7:56 and 7:58 PM I delivered my 2 pounds 7 ounces and 1 pound 11 ounces babies. The nurse forced me to kiss my 1 pounder before whisking him away, but I never got a chance to see the 2 pounder. I woke up at 9 PM in a different room. (Not sure when I fell asleep or why) They offered me ice chips to eat.

“What is this? Can I get some food please? I’m hungry!!!”

 Around 11 PM they wheeled me into a room called the Neonatal intensive care unit, where I saw a ton of babies. They wheeled me into the back and there were 3 incubators. Those 3 belonged to the babies who were expected not to make it; 2 of the babies were mine. I saw Baby A and Baby B for the first time and I cried. They were hooked up to a ton of machines and they weren’t moving.

“What have I done? This is all my fault. I should have taken care of myself. Why did I bring these kids into the world?” The guilt I felt was enormous I had to walk out of the NICU. It was too much for me to handle. The nurse tried to give me the wheelchair, but I declined. If my babies are gonna suffer, then I am too, that included not taking any pain meds for my surgery.

Two years after that ordeal, my Bishop encouraged my boyfriend and I to tie the knot. That wasn’t an option for me. I don’t believe in marriages. They all fail. Someone is gonna get hurt. Why should I subject myself to that? It took a lot of convincing before I agreed. But I agreed to appease my mom and the church. But I knew I didn’t want it. Much like I didn’t want to have kids. Remember, I was supposed to be a nun. Nuns don’t do this!!! The day of my wedding I told the pastor, I won’t be there. He said “ok”. I showed up anyway, but it didn’t feel right. My guests had the time of their lives, so did I, one of the best parties I’d ever been to, but the marriage wasn’t right.

My in laws hated me. My family members hated him. Why are we doing this again? Oh yeah, for the kids. Let’s do it for the kids. And so we set out on a mission to “do it for the kids”.

Situations came up where “doing it for the kids” just didn’t seem like a good enough reason. Walking away would be easier. We tried it often, but always came back together when it was time to break it to the kids. We wanted to be what our parents weren’t; a constant form of love. So we continued our mission. Our parenting was trial and error. We messed up sometimes, but always tried to make it better. Once the kids were sleeping, we became strangers. In trying to become the perfect parents, we neglected each other and our marriage. When we realized this, my husband wanted desperately to fix it, I didn’t. I wanted my life back. You know the one where I was going to be a nun working at CNN. Yeah that one. I resented him and somewhat my kids for what I saw as a hindrance to my dreams. My plans for myself.

I got caught up in the world and allowed my eyes to wander, but my husband wasn’t dumb and did his own research and stopped me before anything could start. I resented him for that. Here he is again, trying to stop my happiness.

I went to an alter call at church and the pastor said, “be careful of your thoughts before you come to church.” I broke down in tears. He prayed for my family and my then absent husband. He prayed for my kids. I asked God to help me if this is what He wants me to do. I began praying for my family, my kids and my husband. But not my marriage. Things were getting better, but the marriage wasn’t. So I said, “maybe God just doesn’t want me to be married to him.” But there was some conviction with that thought. So I began praying for my marriage. The more I prayed, the better it got. The minute I stopped praying, problems began again. So I had to pray without ceasing. Continuously asking God to strengthen my marriage, but also give me the ability to see my family as a blessing and an answered prayer. You see on October 26, 2008, I was involved in a bad car accident that was supposed to take my life. Believe me, it was supposed to take my life. The responders that showed up couldn’t figure out how I walked out of my car without a scratch. About a week later, November 4, 2008 to be exact,  my brother and I got into a heated argument and he said “you should have died in the accident.” That hurt. When I told my mom, she said “well maybe he was upset.” I cried out to God and asked Him why didn’t He give me a family that would love me for me. I got pregnant December 6, 2008.

Nkenji Head Shot

 

So you see, all this time, I was being resentful, I was also being ungrateful. God knew what I needed back then, and He knows what I need right now. I am in this situation not because of a lack of luck or bad blessing as old people would say, I am in this situation because of favor, mercy and grace. God saw it fit to bless little me with TWO miracles that are extremely loving, no matter how many times I mess up as a parent; a husband that is patient, caring and loving, no matter what I put him through. Of course, my dreams are still there, because God placed them in my heart and with this knowledge, I know for a fact that I will live to see them come to fruition, as long as I am patient and prayerful. My family didn’t hinder me from achieving my goals; my family allowed me to see that I can have more than one goal in life and also that with love/God anything is possible. I am a dope daughter first and foremost thanks to my loving Father. I am a dope wife thanks to my loving husband. I am a dope mother thanks to my loving sons and I will be a dope career woman thanks to my Father, husband and children. I don’t think I would’ve been a dope nun though. Lol