Unexpected Lessons My Unexpected Pregnancy & Child Has Taught Me Over The Last 6 Months
If there was one word I’d use to describe my little unexpected blessing, it would probably be FEARLESS. Kenzington was born during the five o’clock hour. Her father and I - along with a doctor and a team of nurses - all crowded in the room when it was time for her debut. After the first push, most of her body emerged. Before I could get through the second one, she was out and wailing. I can remember her warm body being placed on mine and then placing her on my chest shortly after. Immediately, she opened her eyes and began looking around, turning her head in every direction as if she’d been here before. I knew then, I was in for some trouble.
At two months, she was rolling over from one side to the other. At three months, she began preparing herself for mobility. At four months, she could scoot at the speed of light. She’d began making strides at three months, which explained her determination by the time she was four months. By five months, her scooting transformed to crawling. In the same week that she began crawling, she began pulling up on everything she could to stand her full length.
Today, as we celebrate six months on Earth, I’m still wondering how she was able to do so much in such a small timespan. Sometimes, I watch her. I sit and marvel at the things she’s doing even though they scare me half to death. I’m in awe of her fearlessness and ambition. If she doesn’t get things right the first try, she continues until she perfects it. And, I don’t mean over months. This little girl always wants to do what she wants to do as fast as she can do it. It almost reminds me of myself.
Before I get carried away, let me tell you about the lessons I’ve learned since finding out I was pregnant with my little baby doll.
Over a year ago, I became ill at a conference where I was to deliver the keynote. I had coffee that morning, against my better judgement, due to exhaustion and swore that it was the culprit of my rapid decline. I mean, seriously, coffee never agrees with me and leaves me feeling downright bad. Anyway, I pushed through my presentation and made my way to my hotel where I continued complaining to my sister about how awful I felt. I had another presentation to give in the next morning that I nearly cancelled, but found strength from somewhere to push through.
Fast forward forty-eight hours later and I was staring at a positive pregnancy test feeling like my world had come to an end. Of course, I know that sex results in pregnancy, but imagine eight years of precautions that helped you keep your promise to NEVER have another child and suddenly they fail you. Talk about SICK! God got one over on me. But, my pregnancy led to my first lesson.
#1: Don’t have sex.
Seriously. The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is to stay away from sex.
Okay, that one was a given and partially a joke on my end, but let me get down to business. Both when I discovered I was pregnant and during the first few months of my pregnancy, I experienced something I hadn’t in a very long time. Depression. I suffered from antepartum depression and I suffered HARD! It was crazy seeing so many women celebrate pregnancy for so many years and associate so much happiness with the news… then it happened for me a second time and all I felt was numbness. Now, that was the first REAL lesson I learned.
#2: Your happiness won’t look like everyone else’s.
It won’t. Trust me on this. Some things that make others happy, I’ve come to realize just aren’t things that would bring me the same happiness. There are a million woman who would be happy to have gotten the news of pregnancy while I was devastated. It just didn’t make me happy and there is nothing wrong with that. The same for things such as marriage. Marriage or the thought of it bring many women joy while on the other hand, i can’t see myself sharing my space with anyone but my two girls permanently. I love the extra space in my bed on the nights that I’m alone. I like going and doing as I please without having to check in or get approval. And, nothing is wrong with that. Other’s aspirations and mine simply don’t look the same and that is perfectly fine!
#3: Protect your peace. Protect your energy.
Whew. For so long, I just didn’t say anything about my pregnancy. I wasn’t attempting to hide it or keep it from anyone, but I was busy trying to cope with the news and new life on my own, first. The people who needed to know, knew. It was that simple. I was in a very delicate state and too much of anything could’ve broken me. I had a very close friend that I shared my pregnancy with, someone I love dearly. At twenty-seven, I wasn’t asking for anyone’s approval, but I guess this particular friend assumed I was. Not only did they attempt to disturb my peace, but attempted to shift my energy as well. I reiterated the fact that I wasn’t my best mentally and they continued to jab until walls came crashing down. In short, I had to cut off a friend that i’d had over ten years because motherfuckers don’t know how important my peace is to me.
Listen, you could be my mother… if you don’t mean me well or aren’t rallying for my peace during one of the most fragile times of my life then I can do without you! People underestimate the power of peace, but it is GOLDEN!
#4: Lemonade isn’t lemonade without lemons.
When Kenzington (lemon) came into my world, everything seemed to click. Everything. I’m thoroughly impressed with the woman I am right now (lemonade), even more so than the woman I was before Kenzi. Must I even mention the fact that because of both she and her sister, I am who I am, today. Without my girls, I’m not sure what I’d b doing or where I’d be. All I know is I wouldn’t be the woman that I am right now. Without that depression and anguish (lemons) I felt for my last pregnancy, I wouldn’t have been as joyous during the end (lemonade). My excitement and gratefulness (lemonade) stemmed from the brokeness and disappointment (lemons) that was necessary in the beginning for me to completely accept my blessing in the end.
#5: Every blessing doesn’t reveal itself in the beginning, but you will know about it before the end.
Whew. A word. Kenzington is a blessing that I never asked for. But, when you think about it… How many times have you been given blessing you didn’t know you needed? God is all-knowing. He knows what’s good for us even when we don’t. Kenzington has been good for my soul. She’s been my light.
#6: If given the chance, get it right the second time. Don’t fuck it up, twice!
When I had my oldest, Caedence, I was only 19. I did what I knew to do. I did what I’d seen done and tried avoiding things that I didn’t agree with. One of my biggest regrets was not continuing my breastfeeding journey after a few weeks after her birth. No one around me had breastfed their babies. I can’t recall a single person in my family with a boob in their baby’s mouth, so there wasn’t a handful of people in my ear encouraging me to continue. When I gave up and gave Caedence powder milk, all was well. As I grew older, I always hated the fact that I gave up. I didn’t think I’d ever have another kid, so I knew that was my only chance.
Surprise! Kenzington came and served as my second chance. I’ve had the pleasure of breastfeeding her for six months. Yes, it was hard at times, but we’ve been pushing through. Not only do I breastfeed, but I am able to make her baby food from scratch so that I know what is going into her little body. (My baby food recipe book can be downloaded here.)
#7: It doesn’t matter if you’re qualified when you’re called.
Okay. Another word. Kenzington has been breaking the rules since she was a little, bitty baby. She’s what other moms and doctors would consider ‘advanced’. If you paid attention to her age and not her abilities, you’d think she should be somewhere learning to scoot when she’s on her way to walking. That’s just how this thing called life works. So many of us are focused on our ‘age’ (lack of) instead of our abilities and missing out on amazing blessings believing that we aren’t qualified. Let Kenzi be your muse. She’s not qualified to do half of the things she’d doing let the baby charts and average child activities tell it, but that isn’t stopping her from getting the job done.
I could sit here all day and list the lessons I’ve learned from my little one, but I will leave you guys with that. I’ve been so inspired by Kenzington’s fearless spirit that I wrote a children’s book about it. You can order your copy here.
Thanks for reading.