During the spring semester of 2008 I felt like I was at the height of my social career as a college student–whatever that means. I’m not going to lie; I remember it as the funnest year of my life. I went to ALL the parties and none of the classes. It was one long episode of kicking it! I had completely lost all educational focus.
De-gree?! Please! You mean Par-Tee! The only reason I did any work at all was to stay in school so I could continue my ratchet lifestyle.
When I wasn’t at parties or class I would spend my days in the Brady Commons of the MU Student Union, which was like the social watering hole. We would spend hours and sometimes days in Brady laughing, talking, advertising events, eating, hanging out, and just having an all around good time. It was the main line of the in-crowd. Think A Different World meets Mean Girls only more grounded in reality—that was the atmosphere. This was my zone. I thought I was cute! AND I was the only girl on campus rocking a fade. If I wasn’t at the top of the food chain, you couldn’t have told me that! #WipeMeDown #DoWhatYouDoButWatchMyShoes #BuyMeADrank (I
had have issues yall! Pray for me!)
I remember being in Brady on this one, particular afternoon when one of my very pregnant peers waddled into the Commons area. I was overcome with judgment and pity. I had already heard about her situation through the grape vine. It was sobering to actually see her. I thought ALL the stupid things, “She’s so brave coming here like that. I’m glad that isn’t me. What was she thinking getting preg-a-nant?”
All I knew in that moment was that I was at my prime and I was “too smart” to get pregnant. I had plans: I was living off campus in a 4-bedroom townhouse. I was getting my nails done every week and getting my hair cut every other week. There were parties to go to and refund checks to blow! I was preparing myself to apply to join a sorority! At the end of the semester I was going to the Bahamas with my boyfriend! (Yes! These were my “plans” that were too important to be interrupted.) I was kiggggggin-it! *Runs around in dramatic circles and throws hands up party style*
In fact I “kigggggged it” so hard that I ended up in a bathroom stall at the Student Health Center looking at a positive pregnancy test looking dumb like brrrrrrr-duh. In my denial, I settled on being “confused” as to why there were two lines on the test and not one. In so many words, I thought to myself, “How strange! Must be one of those “false positive” pregnancy tests.” (If you know anything about these kinds of tests, you know that “false positives” exist at the same rate as unicorns and perfect people.)
Unfortunately, the following story happened in real life…I say “unfortunately” not because it turns out that I WAS pregnant (as we all know) but because I acted a PLUM fool! Per my usual panic-break down-fall apart-my life is over habits. (I’m getting better y’all..In fact, I asked someone the other day what I was going to write about once I tell all my crazy old stories…I’m sure I’ll think of something! And don’t worry it’s going to be a long while before I run out of crazy old stories! 🙂 ) Anyway here’s what happened:
It was a day for miracles. How did I know that? Because Canaan had finally listened to me by going to get a check up at the Student Health Center. Due to my fears of losing people that I love, I had been nagging him for months to go see a physician. He wasn’t taking good care of himself and I was hoping that hearing that from a doctor would motivate him to do better.
The only problem is that miracles and tragedies, sometimes, go hand in hand. As I stumble up the steps to the nurse’s check-in station I was trying to find the words to explain it all to Canaan who was waiting his turn for a routine exam. I would’ve taken the elevator but I needed some time to get my story straight.
“Look at this! Crazy huh? I must’ve got one of those false positive pregnancy tests.” I played it out in my head. Even in my delusion that arrangement of words sounded stupid.
I thought, “Maybe I will say, ‘Man, I was just sitting there and then I found this pregnancy test…and….” That wasn’t going to work either.
When I finally reached the 3rd floor it was too late. Canaan was still in line waiting to be checked in and I was already staring him in the face. I handed him the test and panic hit me like a ton of bricks. I pushed and shoved my way to the front of the line and slapped the desk in a MOST dramatic fashion and yelled, “I NEED TO SEE A DOC-TOR! I HAVE AN EMERGENCY!”
The front desk attendant was thrown off but she believed me. They rushed me to the back where three nurses stood over me in anticipation and wonder, waiting on the details of my “BIG” emergency. Once I collected myself I said, “I. THINK. I. MIGHT. Be pregnant…”
Two of the nurses rolled their eyes and dismissed themselves. I was grateful for the one who had pity on me.
She rubbed my back and helped me calm down and I needed her in that way, in that moment. I was used to being alone. She got the little cup together and took it down for testing.
In about 10 minutes she busted back through the door as happy as ever, “IT’S POSITIVE!”
Pause. “Do you mean it’s positive that I’m not pregnant or……” I was still hopeful.
Her enthusiastic smile only fed my denial. “Congratulations! You’re pregnant!”
Forget falling apart—I fell OUT! The next 30-45 seconds are a blur. I’m almost certain that I blacked out. Somehow I ended up on the floor in the fetal position. When I came to, the kind nurse, the other two nurses, and a doctor were standing over me.
When Canaan and I left the Student Health Center he decided that he needed some space so we parted ways. As soon as I got back home, almost immediately, my body decided to act pregnant. Like, “Oh! We’re pregnant you say?!” *Cues gag reflex*
I threw up and laid down. My head was spinning. I couldn’t stop crying. I ran out of tears. I kept crying anyway.When I finally calmed down a bit I couldn’t help but think about the pregnant girl waddling unapologetically through Brady Commons.
When I was looking at her you couldn’t have told me that “I had Next.” My number was called and I wasn’t sure I could be her.
Could I unapologetically hold on to my life and my baby at the same time? Could I be a mom on a college campus AND hold my head high? Would I have the nerve to show my face in Brady Commons again?
That same girl, who, 8 months ago was “so brave” but “wasn’t smart” and “wasn’t me” became my shero. She was not sorry for being all that they were (baby included.) She didn’t shy away from the attention and whispers and the judgmental eyes. She didn’t even go home, like I had seen other girls do.
She did the darn thang and she gave me permission to do it too.
Of course I learned a LOT from this situation—most of it the hard way: (1) Pride only digs a ditch and then pushes you in. Really. There is no other outcome. Period. When you fall, though, pay attention on your way down. You might discover the key to getting back up again. (2) You have to be you without apologizing about it. Somebody needs your example. Somebody needs your story. (3) Be careful about writing people off and passing judgment on them…maybe you got next and maybe just maybe, you will need them to show you the way.
Stay Wonderful! 🙂