Legs wide opened, no longer caring about discretion and privacy, I screamed. I screamed and squeezed my mother’s hand as my doctor coached me, convinced me to push a second time. I pushed, allowing the dizziness to invade me, shortness of breath, and impatience to escape me. I pushed, screamed, and squeezed. I felt my screams come from my toes, sounding like that of a madwoman. I sounded angry. I sounded as if pain had wretched my entire 19 year old body, from the roots of my hair to the toes of my feet. And with the third push, that seemed to last for an hour, I gave birth. I was a brand new, unwed statistic, to a beautiful little girl that would teach me how to laugh a laugh I had never laughed and show I pride I did not know I owned.
Moments later, my obstetrician announced a fact that I had been aware of for months now and had searched relentlessly for the perfect name for that fact.
Dr. Banneker said “it’s a girl.”
I smiled and waited patiently for him to place her in my arms. I wanted to see her. I had become impatient in those last months of my pregnancy just to see her, hold her, smell her, touch her tiny nose, kiss her tiny eyes. And he did. He placed her right in my arms. And as if I had been a mother before, as if she were not my first child, I cradled her, held her close, just like a mother would do. Just like my mom had done to me even in my older ages, cradled me, as if to keep me safe from the horrid world around us. I cradled my new baby girl. And I cried. She was beautiful. I cried a river of tears. The name I had chosen for my baby girl would be Jalen.
“Hello Jalen.” I said, smoothing her head of curly hair. “I’ve been very anxious to meet you young lady.”
Dr. Banneker said “Miss Nelson, we will have to take this little lady to have her examined and cleaned up. I promise, we will bring her back as soon as we are done. You should take a short nap, maybe call her father to...