by Leasa Simmons
“Do you see that woman wearing that two piece?”
Veronica looked over her sunglasses at a women lying on the beach in a fuchsia bikini.
“Oh, wow! She’s brave. I wouldn’t wear a suit like that if I were her”, Veronica said.
“Yeah, not a good look”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Williams. Unfortunately, your options at this point are very limited.”, Dr. Rina said.
Marie tried to quiet her mind, steady her voice, and still her heart.
“I understand Dr. Rina. I didn’t want to be another statistic.” Her voice cracked as her palms moistened, and heart raced. “Just another young black girl, pregnant and poor…” Her voice trailed off as she remembered the miscarriages. Marie finished, “I wanted to wait, finish school, become more established, you know?”
“Yes, I do know. There are options. We can discuss them whenever you’re ready.” Dr. Rina said.
“I’m going to talk to my husband about it. We can decide then if we want to explore our options or…” Marie stopped midsentence, hoping to dull her pain.
“I understand, and that’s fine.”, Dr. Rina said. “If you’d like, feel free to make an appointment. You and Mr. Williams can come in and we can talk.”
“Okay, thanks doctor.” Marie said.
Her mind reeling from the news of infertility, Marie started the car. NWA blared on the radio, she turned up the volume.
By the time she got to the gym, she was ready to work out.
“Hey babe.”, Matt said giving her a quick peck on the cheek while heading to the fridge.
Marie stood over the sink peeling potatoes, “Hey”, she said.
“What’s going on?”, Matt asked looking up from the refrigerator.
“I had an appointment with Dr. Rina today.”, Marie said.
“Yeah, how’d it go?”, Matt said
“Not good. Not good at all”, Marie said.
“I can’t believe this shit, Marie!”, Matt said.
Matt gave an exhausted sigh, “Ok, ok. Tell me about it.”, he said.
“I know it’s frustrating babe. The issues with fibroids and now my age is all part of the problem. Dr. Rina said we can talk about other options.” Marie said.
“Like what?”, Matt said.
“I don’t really know yet, I wanted to talk to you to see if we even wanted to have that conversation.”, Marie said.
“What do you think Marie? Are you up for that?”, Matt said.
“I don’t know anymore. I’ve thought a lot about adoption”, Marie said.
“We can do that if you want.”, Matt said.
“I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have a lot of time to decide. I feel like I’m aging by the second. There’s surrogacy, but it’s so expensive.”, Marie said.
Matt put his arms around Marie and pulled her closer as he squeezed. “We can use our savings, and if that’s not enough we can finance the rest.”, he said.
“No, I want to carry our baby!”, she said. The tears came again.
Searching for the right words Matt joked, “And I want to be your baby daddy girl!”. He hoped for a smile. She tried.
Marie awoke from a foggy sleep with immediate thoughts of the many things to do before vacation.
She was ready to wear her new swimsuit and feel the sun’s hot rays on her brown skin. Skin made for protection against the rays and tolerance of the heat.
She packed with anticipation of the next day’s flight and headed to the gym.
“How are you feeling?” Sue put two fingers on Marie’s wrist.
“I’m ok, there’s a lot of pressure, that’s normal, right Sue?”, Marie said.
“Yes, the pressure is a normal part of delivery.” “Here, have a seat.” Sue said. “You’ve made it this far, your little boy is coming!” Sue wheeled Marie down the hall. “You were on vacation this time last year?”, Sue said.
“No, I was pregnant when we went on vacation last year. I didn’t know it. Matt was talking about it. His valiant effort to take my mind off of my discomfort. It didn’t work.” Marie said.
Sue laughed down the corridor and into the room, “Must have been a great vacation.”
It was nice; we went to St. Thomas. I remember wearing a new suit. Two piece. I think those days are over.”, Marie said.
“I’m not so sure, you’re in pretty good shape.” Sue said.
Marie had stopped listening. She tried to focus on her breathing as the pressure of the coming baby increased.
Matt caressed her hand “Breathe babe, breath,” he panted, mouth open. Marie, mid-labor couldn’t help but laugh, then groan.
Matt stopped panting, “Look, I’m just trying to help, and you laugh?” “You’d better stop laughing and start breathing.” Matt feigned seriousness, and the panting started again.
“The baby is hitting his head on your pelvis.” Dr. Thomas said
Marie was finally getting her rhythm, she continued to breath.
“Is he going to be okay doctor? Is Marie going to be ok?” Matt
Dr. Thomas recognized the look. He began to speak in an even tone.
“The baby can’t move much, and the impact is causing his head to slightly swell.”
“We’re going to perform a C-section. You have what’s known as an android pelvis. Only small percentage of women have this pelvic shape and sometimes it can cause complications during delivery.”
“We’re going to give you something for the pain Mrs. Williams, it will make you sleepy. When you wake-up you will have a new baby boy.”
Matt turned his head, he felt tears.
Marie had stopped panting. “Whatever you need to do doctor.”, she said.
The doctor cut deep and wide into Marie’s abdomen. A flat beautifully shaped abdomen. The scalpel parted her flesh seeking life. Dr. Thomas, with anxious precision, sought to preserve both mother and child.
At 9:27 a.m. the baby boy was born, nine pounds and whole.
“Here he is Matt!” Sue said
Matt gently swaddled the baby and rocked him. “Your mom can’t wait to meet you.”
“Do you have a name for him?” Sue said.
“Yes, Matthew David Williams Junior.” Matt said.
Sue closed the door smiling, leaving son, father, and sleeping mother.
Marie rocked her newborn in her arms.
“The C-section went fine, Mrs. Williams. However, we ran into some complications with the incision. Typically, we make a horizontal incision along the bikini line. It’s small and over time can become undetectable. Unfortunately, due to scarred tissue from fibroid removal, we had to make the incision vertical. The scar will be noticeable with little chance of it healing into an undetectable mark. Also, I noticed on your information that you are prone to keloids?”, Dr. Thomas said.
“Yes, I am. Is there anything I can do to minimize it?”, Marie said.
“There are a few things such as compression. I’ll have the nurse bring you some information about it. In the meantime, enjoy that baby!” Dr. Thomas said.
“I am! I appreciate the information. Thank you.” Marie said.
“This color will look great on you.” The sales clerk removed the hanger.
“Thank you, Fuchsia is one of my favorite colors.”, Marie said.
“Let’s see.” The sales clerk slid on her reading glasses as she began to ring up the suit. “You’re in luck, there’s an additional 20% off swimsuits today.”, she said.
“Sounds good to me!’, Marie said.
“Will that be all for you?” the sales clerk said.
“I think so.” Marie nodded.
Marie rocked the stroller.
The sales clerk peered over the counter. “Your little boy is adorable.”, she said.
“Thank you.” Marie said. Satisfied by the rocking, Mattie cooed.
“Did you hear what those women said?”, Matt said.
“Yeah”, Marie said. She rubbed more sunscreen on Mattie.
“They’re rude”, Matt said.
“I don’t think they know we heard them.” Marie said.
“Well, we did.”, Matt said.
“I know. I’m proud of my scar.”, Marie said. “Maybe it should be covered. But, I don’t care. It represents life.”