My First Go at Pregnancy: Part Two

“You have to protect yourself. You can’t trust that he will always be around.”

Continued… James (my husband) really hoped that my boss was a man at that point because he couldn’t understand how another woman, a mother, could speak so negatively to a young soon-to-be mother. As usual, he stopped me in the mist of my crying and said, “If you believe what that woman said to you, you’re just as stupid as she is. She doesn’t know who you are, so who gives a f**k about what she thinks.” That may sound a little harsh or rough to some, but it was just what I needed to hear.

SO! As a smack in my boss’ face, and any other person who doubted me, I finished the semester with a 3.0 GPA exact (my goal). It was the lowest GPA I had in my entire life. I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. After fighting every urge to strip from my cap and gown, and dress (I was the only pregnant, hot and hormonal student in there), I walked across the stage at 7 months pregnant. I conquered the illustrious Pennsylvania State University. But even in that moment, I was still faced with some hurtful truths. My father wasn’t alive to witness me graduate from college (he died my in my first semester of college), my fiance’ didn’t have a job, I had no job, he and I would be living in two different homes, and at the end of the day I was just unprepared to be a mother. Although I was 20 years old, I felt like a 16-year-old who had no guidance. I was scared to be honest.

I came home to prenatal visits that were now every two weeks, planning a baby shower, job hunting with James, and just stress! Since I was under the age of 26 with no job, I was still covered by my mother’s health insurance. We were members of Kaiser Permanente, and since I wasn’t the policy holder, the only way my child would be covered by her insurance was if my mother adopted her. That made no sense to me, but I had to move to plan B. I had to go Medicaid office and apply for insurance in order for my daughter to be covered.

The day I went to apply was terrible. First, in order to not spend your entire day in that place you have to wake up at the break of dawn (literally) and stand in line. After finally getting into the building (James was right there with me) I started the process. I actually had a case manager who was the mother of two sisters I went to middle school with. I thought “Oh, I know her daughters! I will be okay.” I was absolutely wrong. Right from the jump she categorized me as a young, single mother who didn’t have a relationship with her child’s father. In no way am I saying that women who have been or are in that situation are, for lack of better words, at the bottom of the barrel, but at the end of the day it is a stigma placed among young black women. I was so ignorant to the process, so I was intimated by all the paperwork that had to be signed. I needed all the benefits I could get though. As I’m filling out the paperwork, I noticed there was a portion that needed the father’s contact information. I then saw something about child support. I told her that I didn’t want to provide that information because my fiance’ and I were together and he was in the waiting area. She said that it was protocol, that I had to provide it, and that it helps to have his information on there just in case anything ever happened. She said, “You have to protect yourself. You can’t trust that he will always be around.” I responded by saying, “I’ve known this man since I was 10 years old and our families are joined together. We’re okay.” But I still added his information because I was under the impression that it needed to be done in order to receive the services.

So we walk out of the building, head to the car and make our way to James’ parents house. We stopped to get food, and then soon after the car started making a very loud sound. We stopped at Advance AutoParts, and he put a little oil in the car to hold us over until we got home. While we were there I told him how uncomfortable the woman at the Medicaid office made me, and how I had to put his name down on the application. You should have seen his face. He said, “You put me on child support?!” I replied, “No! I don’t think so. She told me I had to do it!” He then said, “I don’t have a job Tiana. If those people charge me for child support I can have my CDL (Class A for being a truck driver) taken away.” I immediately began to cry. I told him I was so sorry. I didn’t know that’s what I had done. He knew what that system was like from his own experience. I felt so taken advantage of and dumb. I was hurt and confused. We decided to go another day to correct the information and started driving home…

On the way home, the rattling sound in the car got louder. The car started shaking and going slower and slower… I couldn’t believe that after all of that, we were about to break down on the side of the road in the middle of the Summer. Through the grace of God we made it to his parents driveway and the car finally broke down. Now we were young, pregnant, unmarried, no jobs, no home of our own, and no car. Off to a great start huh? 

Let’s stop there…

Splitting my pregnancy experience up is somewhat therapeutic. I find myself feeling the same emotions I felt in those very moments while writing. The feeling of fear, like I’m 20 again, frustration and more. When I reread this post, I said WOW. Look at how far we’ve come. I’m holding back tears at this very moment. The same boy the woman at the Medicaid office counted out, is my very best friend, husband of four years, a working, Christian man, and the father of two beautiful princesses. I tell people all the time. People think that a good and stable relationship and/or marriage is solely based off of lovey-dovey moments filled with pixie dust and rainbows. It’s the complete opposite in my opinion. In my experience, it was the moments of pain, confusion, frustration, desperation and destruction that made my husband and I’s bond unbreakable. It was in those moments that we grew closer and stronger. We would cling together so hard because we knew  “we all we got.”

To be continued…

 

 

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Hey there! My name is Tiana. I am a wife and mother of two beautiful girls. I created this space for queens who are wives and mothers who are just trying to navigate this thing called life . I share my thoughts and experiences all while hoping to start meaningful dialogue between a community of QUEENS and KINGS who may decide to join in on a conversation as well. ~Enjoy

7 thoughts on “My First Go at Pregnancy: Part Two

  1. Great piece sister!!! It is unfortunate that these young ladies only saw the negative in this blog. I not once saw that you said she was a bad case manager. What I did read was a scared young lady who was chastised for a decision she made in life instead of having in detail explained what the process is like. Also what a person is like with others is not always how they present themselves to those they love. Not everyone is going to think the sun rises and shines out of your behind and this is a lesson we all have to learn. Everyone’s experience is totally different and this was yours. I just want to say I was never disappointed in you. I brag about how my little sister was able to graduate college while being pregnant. You did the damn thing Stista!!!! Continue to walk in your truths. Not everyone will like it because it could be about them but it is yours to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post are all so bold and genuine! Keep It Up! Its rare that we are able to read raw truth that we can relate to because everyone is too scared of what others may think or who they may offend, you cant hold back…continue to be your unapologetic truthful self, tell your stories, speak from your heart and SOAR QUEEN SOAR!!!!!
    I am inspired.

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  3. It’s unfortunate that my mothers words affected you that much. If you know anything about the system you would know that is protocol to ask customers about child support. Your case may have been “different” but many woman do not stay with their baby dad and then run to her office for help. Telling a customer you “never know what may happen” isn’t discouraging it’s the truth. Glad you maintained your marriage but that most certainly is not a reason to write a paragraph about my mom who was doing her job and does her job well. Did you get your benefits on time? That’s the important topic because many complain about their case manager who stalls on filing paperwork, not receiving food stamps and health benefits, and having an attitude. My moms clients love her she fights for them all the time. In the few years of having your child and being out in the real world you gotta know many men leave their homes and when they do the support often goes too. She didn’t think you weren’t going to fail but she saw a young black girl entering into motherhood single (not married) and shared all the assistance her office offers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Imani, thank you for your feedback as well. Just like I told Kenya, this blog post was MY truth and my experience. You’re right, I had no experience with the system because I didn’t need it prior to that moment. I can’t speak on your mother’s interaction and experience with other customers. I am speaking on my behalf only. You’re entitled to your opinion, but what I won’t do is change my feelings or experience 6 years ago to make you and Kenya feel better. I said what I said. And Yes! I surely did receive my benefits on time. They were in place by the time I gave birth to my princess. Thank you for asking. And yes, my marriage has been going strong now for over 4 years now. Thank you, and congrats again on your union and beautiful prince. Good day!

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  4. This is the total opposite of what anyone, especially my moms customers have ever had to say about her. It was disappointing to read this blog and see my mother being criticized for what she’s been doing to help people like yourself for over 30 years. Contrary to how she is portrayed in your blog, she definitely believes in young black relationships as me and my sister, that you addressed in this blog, are both happily married with the support of our mother. It is protocol, however, to fill out that section of the Public assistance application regarding child support. As far as the advice she gave you, I don’t see any harm in a black woman who has experience in life encouraging another young black woman to make sure that she and her child are protected. Like you said, you were not married, jobless and without insurance. The reality is that too many times black women in that situation are left with the responsibility of caring for their children alone and she didn’t want to see the happen to you. Thankfully your relationship has sustained, but because she didn’t know you, the goal of her advice was to make certain that you were prepared for anything.
    If you are going to be writing a blog about motherhood, black motherhood at that, you would probably want to be highlighting the accomplishments of black mothers like mine. She has not only encouraged me and both of my sisters to all own houses by the age of 24, but many of our friends as well. She’s known primarily by her colleagues and clients for bending over backwards, working overtime, and making certain that her clients are receiving all of the possible benefits that the government has to offer. You were privileged to have met my mother as many other clients walked out of the office that day without any benefits at all. To think that I came to support your blog initially and came across this negativity on here about my mother is crazy to me. My mother is the definition of true motherhood. I most definitely won’t be reading anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kenya, thank you for your feedback. I appreciate your initial intent of coming to support my blog! In this space, my intent is specifically to speak MY truth. To share my feelings and experiences. In no way did I write this post to put your mother in a bad light. At the end of the day, I was not a female in the position of needing to put the father of my child on child support. I came there specifically for health benefits. Your mother’s advice was great for someone else, but not me. You are entitled to your opinion and I totally respect that. Your mother has done a great job raising her beautiful daughters as I have been able to witness those accomplishments on social media. Congrats on your union by the way. Thank you for stopping by! I wish you nothing but blessings and success. May God continue to bless you and your mother.

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    2. I have always admired Tiana for her honesty. No matter what the situation, despite possible conflict and/or consequence for as long as I have known her she has always told the truth. Though this blog is public, its purpose is to feed HER passion & speak her truth, while potentially encouraging other women, mothers, and wives to do the same. It’s human nature to feel the need to defend our loved ones, especially our parents! But not in this case, this post most certainly was not an attack on your mother (I can say this because I remember Tiana calling me in tears as she re-told me this story almost 7 years ago & she never once mentioned your mother by name). Tiana stated facts, no accusations, no name calling, she simply re-told a story as she lived it. She explains how this interaction made her FEEL. She does not speak on your mothers character at all, & though your mothers intentions may have been good, it was not received that way because of the stereotypical box Tiana FELT she was put in as she describes…no more no less.

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