There just aren’t enough positive or hopeful stories about black women and pregnancy.
And a lot of it is due to reality – the black pregnancy mortality rate, the poor treatment experienced by black mothers and even my own roller coaster experience with Baby P.
If you’re not familiar, I’ve shared the full details on Instagram and have it saved on my highlights under Baby P Update. But in short, the doctors found structural issues with Baby P’s heart and after many tests, we had a doctor tell us we should consider terminating the pregnancy, I was about 25 weeks pregnant at the time.
That was one of the most devastating things I have ever had to deal with.
These stories certainly are important. They help spread awareness, educate people on important issues and help others to advocate for themselves. But without enough positive stories out there to balance it out, it’s a challenge to remain hopeful with so much negativity surrounding you.
This blog post is about helping to create that balance.
Wonderful things have come out of the challenges that my husband and I have gone through with Baby P. I have received beautiful words of encouragement, stories of hope and testimonies from others who have been through the same thing as me or worse. I have been lifted up by this and it has helped me not to succumb to anxiety and despair. Changing my focus from the negative and placing it on what is true, pure and lovely.
If you are trying to get pregnant, going through a difficult pregnancy, know someone who is, or if you could just use a pick me up, this is for you.
Conventional wisdom says that you shouldn’t tell everyone your business
And I am a big believer of this. Not everyone is in your corner, knows how to be of comfort to you and some people relish in other people’s pain. And pregnancy can be so unpredictable that it is best to guard your heart on this journey.
But my commitment with my blog from the start has been to share my life experiences with women so that it can be a source of education, encouragement and hopefully some entertainment. So, I had to open my heart and share. Sticking with to this choice is where the blessings began to flow.
So, I encourage you to open your heart to someone you can trust, allow others to pour into you.
Support can be found in unlikely places
This past July my husband and I went to Maui, Hawaii for our babymoon. In between all the relaxation and luxuriating that we did, my husband met a pastor from California, who was there on vacation with his wife. They two of them clicked right away and what I thought was a chance connection was actually divinely ordained.
My husband and the pastor remain in contact and my husband shared with him the challenges that we were going through with Baby P and the pastor wasted no time. He asked if we would be able to join in on a prayer conference call that very same day. We believe in the power of prayer, so we agreed.
We thought that it would just be the 3 of us on the line, but to our surprise, he brought on 3 more of his pastor friends to join in and cover us in prayer. These pastors poured into us, prayed and prophesied over us, speaking the word of God over our lives.
Even as a lifelong believer, I had never before experienced this type of love from God’s people who barely knew me. And the after effects of this experience remains in our hearts today. I’m not sure they will ever completely understand how grateful we are for what they did and continue to do, they still check on us and let us know that they are praying for us.
Testimonies and words of hope from my virtual tribe
After I shared my testimony on Instagram, so many women opened up to me and shared encouraging words and their own testimonies of what they went through during pregnancy. Stories that were similar to mine and some even more dire.
It’s so encouraging, despite the circumstances that you’re in, to know you are not alone. Others have been what you’ve been through and have come out on the other side stronger and you will too.
These are just two of the many messages that I received from women that strengthened me. I won’t disclose their names so that I can protect their privacy.
“God has his hands on us and he will make the weak strong the ailing healthy. Prayer is powerful! Talk to your baby and visualize our baby’s heart beating strong, see it and feel it.”
“They told my mother to terminate me because they believed that I would be mentally retarded. And I came out fine. God always has the final say. I’m so thankful baby is doing well. Baby will continue to soar.”
We were not created to do life alone. (This is as a reminder to myself as well)
We have so much to gain from one other. If you feel discouraged, burned out, or in despair, I encourage you to take a small step to speak up, even if you only have the strength to whisper and allow for God to use others to refresh, restore and encourage you.