My Baby Love Part 1
My Baby Love Part 1
When Reagan told me she was pregnant, I was completely surprised. I really didn’t think a baby would be coming this soon, but then again, Reagan was born shortly after her mother and I got married. The circumstances with Apollonia were completely different, however. I was happy to hear about the baby, even though I think I’m too young to be a grandfather.I went to Isla Paradiso shortly after Reagan and Jaylen got back from their honeymoon. My daughters have tried to convince me for the longest to leave Appaloosa and come out there. While I wasn’t ready to up and move so far away, I told my girls not to give up hope. I liked it here in Appaloosa. It was quiet, clean, and safe. IP was nice too and I liked visiting there.
The thought of moving to IP to be closer to my children, has entered my mind more frequently as of lately. When they moved to Starlight after graduating from college, I thought it was good for them to start life in the real world without being able to run home to Daddy all the time. As a father, it wasn’t very easy for me to let them go, but it was necessary. I wanted them to work through the difficulties they began experiencing once their mom left. Reagan and Kennedey’s relationship as sisters needed to be strengthened and has. They were both strong independent women and being on their own helped make them that way.
It’s only been a few weeks since the announcement of the baby. I was thinking more and more, now would be the right time to be near my girls, especially my grandbaby. Reagan may have a husband now, but she still needs her father’s support. The last time I saw her, she was very upset about her mother. Reagan worried she wouldn’t know how to raise a child right. I let her know that she didn’t have anything to worry about. I know Reagan will be a wonderful mother.
A move to IP wouldn’t mean I had to change my life too much. I was my own boss, so I could work anywhere. The most significant problem would be what to do about my relationship with Marcia. I wanted her to come with me. Marcia is good woman with great qualities. I like being with her and she’s very special to me. Marcia worked as the head nurse at a nearby nursing home. She could find work anywhere in her profession, so that won’t be an issue. Marcia’s kids were in college, therefore she had no other responsibilities in Appaloosa other than her job.
I finally made up my mind that I would be moving to IP, sooner rather than later. I wanted to be there for Reagan as she experiences her first pregnancy. The girls were ecstatic when I told them I was coming. I briefly mentioned to Marcia not too long ago that I may be making a move to IP to support Reagan. We didn’t really discuss it in details, because I hadn’t made up my mind just yet. Now that I was sure I was leaving, I wanted Marcia to come with me.
Marcia and I just finished eating dinner and I told her I wanted to talk about something. I think she suspected what it was about. Marcia listened as I told her that I felt the need to be with my first grandbaby and to be there for Reagan right now. “This is Reagan’s first pregnancy. Her mother isn’t around and she’s struggling with that. She’s happy, but it’s hard for her,” I said. “I definitely understand that, Ray. You only have your first baby once. Reagan will want to go to her mother naturally, but she’s not able to,” replied Marcia. I searched Marcia’s face, looking for some sign of what she was thinking.
“So, when do you plan on leaving?” asked Marcia. She didn’t seem like she was mad or upset, Marcia was a pretty laid back person. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her truly angry before. “I’m not completely sure just yet. I want to call around to a few realtors about putting the house on the market. Reagan is only in her first trimester, but I don’t won’t to wait too long. The house doesn’t need to sell before I leave,” I replied. There was an awkward silence that fell upon us.
“Well, it’s a good house, Ray. I don’t see it staying on the market too long,” said Marcia. I took a deep breath. “Marcia, I really want you to come with me,” I told her. Marcia briefly looked down at her hands. “Ray, I can’t. Once I sold my house in Seattle, sent my kids off to college and came here, I wanted to build a whole other life for myself. I love Appaloosa. It’s a nice and peaceful community. I love my job, my patients, and the new friends I’ve made here,” said Marcia. “I love it here, too. I’ve met some great people, I met you. I don’t want to lose you, Marcia,” I said. “I can’t drop everything, uproot my life and move hundreds of miles away for a man who is still hung up on his estranged wife,” said Marcia, quietly.
I couldn’t say I was shocked to hear Marcia say this, but it didn’t make it any easier to take. “Marcia, please, you know how I feel about you. You know I love you,” I said. Marcia looked me square in my face. “What’s love got to do with it?” she questioned. “A lot. I mean, I want us to be together,” I replied, surprised by her response. “Actions speak louder than words, Ray,” said Marcia. “But I have shown you that I love you…” I said before Marcia cut me off. “No, you’re not over Apollonia yet. How can you fully commit to me, when you haven’t even started divorce proceedings? We’ve talked about this a little bit a long time ago, not since your daughter got married. I’ve never tried to push you into anything. I know the situation is delicate for Reagan and Kennedey, but they’re not the reason you haven’t gotten divorced yet,” said Marcia.
What Marcia was saying to me about Apollonia, I haven’t chosen to think about in recent months. I had Reagan’s wedding to focus on, being there for Kennedey, as well as getting back on track with my job. “Look, Marcia, there are many reasons, I haven’t filed for divorce yet. It’s deeper than what you’re implying. Besides, you’re who I want to be with. I get that you don’t want to move because you’re a little unsure. I think we could still make this work. Just because I’m moving doesn’t mean things have to end. We can travel back and forth to see each other…” my voice trailed off at Marcia slowly shaking her head.
“Long distance relationships rarely work out. I would be willing to give it a try if I felt you were ready to fully commit to me, but you’re not,” she said. I hesitated for a moment. “I just need more time, Marcia,” I said. “Take all the time you need, Ray. I can’t wait around for you. I’m in my forties, I’m not a twenty year old woman. I’m too old to put my life on hold for a man. Life is short, I just can’t do it,” said Marcia.
I was at a loss for words. “I don’t know what to say, other than I love you,” I said. “And I love you too, Ray. I’m in love with you, but you’re still in love with your wife. Can you honestly sit there and tell me you’re not?” asked Marcia. I really didn’t know what to say. “Marcia, I, uh…I don’t know how to answer that. I haven’t been with my wife in a very long time. I can’t say with a hundred percent certainty how I really feel. Since we’ve been together, I don’t even think about Apollonia in that way all the time. I just don’t,” I said.
“Maybe not, but if you can’t say for certain, that means you need to figure out how you really feel. Look, I understand why you want to move. Reagan and Kennedey are both beautiful and smart women. They’re lovely. They need their father, especially Reagan. You all are family. You’re going to be a grandaddy, that’s a beautiful thing. Go and embrace it,” said Marcia. We were quiet for a moment. It really wasn’t sinking in that it was going to be over. I looked over at Marcia. “So, that’s it?” I asked. “I guess it is,” whispered Marcia.
Kennedey and I were beyond happy when Daddy told us he was making the move to IP. We’ve wanted our family to live closer together for the longest. What my sister and I weren’t happy to hear, was that Daddy and Marcia broke up. She’s really grown on us as our father’s girlfriend. We saw how happy Marcia made Daddy. There wasn’t even a big fight between them, but they saw it was necessary to end things. Part of it, I knew was the distance thing. What our father didn’t say, was that it was about our mother. Daddy didn’t have to say anything, we knew he was still dealing with those issues. I couldn’t tell you exactly how my father felt about my mother at this point, but I know he loved her and he wasn’t truly over her.
In any case, it was a relief to have my father here while I experienced by first pregnancy. The news about me being pregnant spread like wildfire through both sides of my family. Several Leeds and De-Sais were calling or sending me messages of congratulations. Everyone was excited that little Rea Rea was having a baby. I love both sides of my family, but I could only hope this child had more Leeds than De-Sai in them.
Since I knew how much my family could talk, I didn’t want to risk the chance of my Nani and Nana finding out about the baby from anyone besides me. I called them up a couple of days after we found out. Nani and Nana were extremely happy about the news. This wouldn’t be their first great-grandbaby, though. Some of my other cousins had kids already. At the end of my conversation, Nani and I decided she would come for an extended vacation. I wanted to get close to her again and the wedding was just the beginning of that. Nana would be able to come later, but he couldn’t leave their store at the moment.
Both of my grandmothers gave me a warm feeling when I was growing up. Grandma Carmen and Nani Manique each had special qualities. They were different, however. Like, with Grandma Carmen, she loved her grandkids, loved cooking, and doing anything she could for us. She also had this whole other busy life with her community activism, so she wasn’t a stay at home grandma, if you will. Nani Manique on the other hand, didn’t necessarily work outside the house. She supported the family grocery and fish market they had in Miami when need be, but mostly stayed at home. Nani Manique was always cooking, baking, sewing, basket weaving, and doing other various things around the house.
It was a little different when I was around Apollonia’s mother. There was a different kind of vibe at Nani’s house. It had this warm traditional Caribbean feel to it. Nani could cook anything, but she mainly only made traditional Trinidadian dishes. Trinidad is her homeland and she wanted to bring along that culture with her when they moved to America.
Ninety-five percent of the time, I felt removed from my mom. In a way, being with Nani and seeing her operate in her own home, gave me sort of a “glimpse” of what Mom might be like if she was more of a “mother”. They were very different women, but there was a familial connection. Manique is Apollonia’s mother and I think somewhere in my psyche, even as a little girl, I thought of her as being the main connection to my mom. The maternal instinct I wish existed in my mother, was somehow manifested through my grandmother. At least in a child’s eyes it did for me. It was like Nani was a “substitute” for Mom without really being a substitute.
It’ll be nice to have Nani around. She’s happy to be with her grandchildren and take care of me and I get to feel like I have a grandmother again. Just like Nani helped to fill the void left by Apollonia as a child, she’s kind of filling it again as I go through my first pregnancy. When Nani told me over the phone all the things she wanted to cook for me and everything else, I told her she didn’t need to. I didn’t want her overworking herself. My Nani, of course reminded me that she was an active woman and she loved taking care of people. With all honesty, I couldn’t say I wasn’t happy to hear that. I knew how much she spoiled Bri when she lived in Trini. Having Daddy and Nani here would really going to give me that extra support and encouragement I needed.
Jaylen and I were headed back home from my doctor’s appointment. I had my first ultrasound today and we had the first official pictures of our baby. I couldn’t wait to get home and show everyone.
Daddy and Kennedey met us at the house for lunch after my doctor’s appointment was over. “Ray, you still liking the house?” asked Jaylen. Daddy swallowed a huge mouthful of chicken that Nani fried. “Yeah, it’s a cool little house. It’s smaller than the one in Appaloosa, but I like that. It’s only two bedroom, not a lot of yard space, but the view is breathtaking,” he replied. Daddy found a house close within walking distance. Kennedey and Daddy were curious to know what Dr. Davis said at my appointment. “Your doctor has some good advice Gingy. You just make sure you listen to her,” said Dad, once I finished recounting every last detail of my visit.
“Anyhow, now that we have the baby’s first picture, I can start on the baby book. Daddy, don’t you still have my book somewhere? Is it with the stuff you brought out here or in storage?” I asked. An uncomfortable look spread across Dad’s face as he hesitated. “Well, when we left Miami, I put a lot of things in my mother’s attic. She still has a lot things that belong to you and Kennedey. The books are most likely in there. The next time I’m in Miami, I’ll have to go through all those boxes. Don’t worry, Gingy, I have plenty of your baby pics here,” he replied.
I was somewhat disappointed he didn’t have the book with him. It was just an oversight. When we left, we stored a lot of our old toys and baby things at Grandma Carmen’s. To be perfectly honest, I never really thought about that stuff until I found out I was pregnant. “Flower, I have many of your baby pictures at home, all my grandchildren. When I return to Trinidad, I was send you them to you,” said Nani. “Thank you, Nani. I would appreciate that,” I replied. Having some was better than having none.
Yuri and Kevin were back in town for a short visit. Since I first announced I was expecting, I’ve spoken with Yuri every single day. She gave me a lot of useful advice and what I should expect as my pregnancy progressed. Reading about what to expect was far different than experiencing it yourself or hearing about it from someone you already know. Nani shared some things about pregnancies too, but not in detail like Yuri. Of course, my grandmother is from another generation and they’re more private about that sort of thing. Nani didn’t hold back on giving me advice about parenting and neither did Yuri. Having Daddy around was great, but hearing about the art of mothering from two women I trusted was something else.
One of the main things Yuri wanted to discuss with me was the theme for the nursery. She told me cleared out part of her schedule for me whenever I was ready to get started on it. Yuri’s offer was very generous, but I had no idea what I wanted to do for the room yet. “I don’t want to make any major decisions until I find out the sex of the baby. I’ve looked at different themes online and I have some that are my favorites, but I’m not sure yet,” I said.
“That’s understandable. I had general ideas before I found out I was having two boys. I came up with different possibilities in case I was having two girls, a boy and a girl, or just two boys. Obviously, I ended up with the latter. Some of my girlfriends who already had children chose to be surprised and not know the sex until they gave birth. Not me, I had to know what I was having,” replied Yuri. “I feel that way too,” I replied.
Whether I have a boy or girl, I plan on doing the nursery up. When I was a newborn, I shared a room with my parents. I didn’t know the difference as a baby, of course. “Actually, Yuri, even though I plan on going all out, I can’t imagine having the baby when they’re brand new in a room by itself. At the same time, I want them to have a place all their own,” I said.
“That’s understandable. I felt the same way. The boys didn’t really sleep in their nursery all the time until they were a couple of months old. I kept two bassinets in our bedroom for them at night. I wanted them to get used to their main crib, so I made sure I rotated them from our room to theirs,” said Yuri. I told Yuri that I remembered the room I shared with Kennedey when we were toddlers and memories of laying in my baby bed. Our room wasn’t too fancy, but my parents had it set up nicely in there. Daddy put up the duck wallpaper we had until we entered elementary. Kennedey and I had everything we needed in there, but the room got smaller as we grew older.
“Good morning, little dumpling flower!,” Nani Manique greeted me as I was waking up. “Good morning! Nani, you didn’t have to bring me breakfast in bed!” I exclaimed. “Oh, hush now, child. You are an expectant mama, you need all your rest. Reagan, you know, when you’re mother was having you, I often came over and took care of her just the same as I am with you. You’re mama didn’t know anything about having a child and she needed me. There was a lot of things going on within the family, but I come to help Apollonia as much as I could,” said Nani.
I was already aware that my grandmother helped my mom out when she was pregnant with me. Apollonia was depressed about the state she was in and didn’t want to do much. Nani made sure Mom ate right and got enough rest. From I’ve heard, my mom made it difficult for her because of her raging hormones and her bad attitude. Nani enjoyed that I was very receptive to her being here. Mom didn’t appreciate her, so through me, she felt like she was helping her daughter in a way. Nani never truly expressed how she felt about her combative relationship with my mother. She never spoke negatively of her. I knew deep down, it was very painful how Mom shunned her. It was even more painful for my Nani and Nana when Mom up and left without a word to them or anyone else.
Kennedey picked me up for lunch one afternoon to discuss an idea she had to “creatively document” my pregnancy. “See, I think this would be pretty cool, Rea. You know how women will have pictures taken while they’re pregnant to show their progress? Well, I thought it would be fun to paint you during each trimester. I know you’re already having pictures and video taken, but having paintings of real artistic expressions would be pretty dope,” said Kennedey. I liked her idea, but Kennedey could be so finicky when it came to her work and she probably would want to keep repainting over and over until it was perfect in her eyes.
“That sounds good, but you know how you are. I can’t be sitting around for hours or posing all these different ways from now until I give birth,” I replied. Kennedey rolled her eyes. “It wouldn’t be like that, fool. I normally don’t paint from photos or sketches, but I know you can’t sit for hours. I’ll do some initial sketches, take a few pictures and work from there,” she said. I agreed once Kennedey told me she wouldn’t act like her usual anal self when she was working.
“Where’s Daddy?” asked Kennedey, changing the subject. “At a baseball game with Jay. I’m glad he got Jay out the house, cause he’s been under me for days. My hormones haven’t gotten too crazy yet, but Jay’s been in my face so much. I like that he’s trying to be home as much as possible, but sometimes, it’s a lot. Jay does everything I ask him and that’s great, but it’s like, man. He keeps treating me like I’m going to break. I tell him, I’m not made of glass. Jaylen has also taken it upon himself to share some new fact several times a day of how I “should” be feeling at this stage, “what” I’m feeling and “why” I’m feeling that way,” I replied. Kennedey laughed. “Well, he probably thinks he’s being helpful and not getting on her nerves,” she said. “Yeah, I know, but I need space at times,” I sighed. Jaylen was being very sweet and I couldn’t get mad at that. I only ask for a little breathing room from to time.
“Daddy, I can help you decorate once you get settled all the way. Were you going to get rid of the other furniture you have in storage or send for it?” I asked. I was visiting my dad in his new home. It was a nice, neat, and just enough space for him. The house in AP was much bigger and Daddy couldn’t fit everything he had into his new place. “I don’t know just yet. I have everything I need here. I’ll go through it the next time I’m in Appaloosa. I’ll be out that way soon enough to take care of some business. Gingy, you don’t need to worry about decorating. I just need you to rest. You and Jay will be finding out the baby’s sex in the near future and I know you want to concentrate on designing the nursery,” said Dad.
“That’s not for awhile, Daddy. Besides, this place isn’t very big. I’m not talking some major makeover,” I replied. “I’m fine for now, baby. I’ve had this same furniture forever. It’s still in good condition. I don’t want too much change. This house is small, but I like that. It means less upkeep. If I were to buy a place on IP the size of the AP house, I would be paying a pretty penny. This is the perfect size for me and my first real bachelor pad. I lived with someone all my life until you girls went to college. I like it’s close enough to you to where I can come and check on you on a regular basis, but you and Jay can still have your privacy,” said Dad.
“That’s true. Nani thinks its good you live close. She said when she was growing up in Trini, the family always lived near relatives. It gives a child a sense of community. Grandma Carmen and Nani Manique both used to say, it takes a village to raise a child when I was growing up. I never knew what they meant until I got older and we moved away from everyone,” I said. Daddy looked down for a moment and I realized what I’d just said. “Oh, Daddy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that its your fault we didn’t live around family anymore when we moved,” I apologized. Daddy held his hand up. “Reagan, no, don’t apologize. I know you didn’t mean anything like that. It’s true, we did stop once we moved from Miami. I made that decision for us. The only thing that matters now, is that we’re all together now,” said Dad. I nodded my head in agreement. It was good to know our child would grow up with family nearby.
“How’s your grandmother doing? I haven’t talked to her in a few days,” asked Dad. When I told Daddy, Nani was staying for an extended vacation, he thought it was a great idea. My father got along with my mother’s parents for the most part. He shared a good relationship with them, although it was bumpy at times. The strain they felt in their relationship was due to Mom. I didn’t exactly know what caused it, I just knew my mother was behind it. “Nani’s good. She spent the day with Kennedey. Kennedey is working on her Caribbean collection and she wanted to get more ideas and inspiration from Nani. You know she loves talking about Trinidad and she’s pleased Ken wants to learn more about our heritage,” I replied.
“Yeah, I can see that. Manique always took a lot of pride in her culture. It upset her when some of your aunts and uncles tried to speak in, what would be an American accent to them, when they moved to the States. There’s nothing wrong with assimilating into another culture, but some of your mother’s siblings were shamed by their schoolmates for the way they spoke. The older of the children, like Anthony, your mom, Adrien, and Aurora didn’t try to lose their accents. But with Alonzo and the younger ones, there was more peer pressure to fit in during those days. Alonzo barely hit puberty when they moved here and he got rid of his accent pretty quickly from what your mother told me. Apollonia was in her late teens by the time they got to Florida. She actually found her accent worked to her advantage, especially in college. The fellas went crazy over it and she used it to get what she wanted,” said Daddy. He spoke as if he had firsthand knowledge. It was obvious Daddy was one of the fellas that went crazy over the way Mom spoke and was baited into whatever she had him fall into.
This was surprising to hear. When I was little, I wondered why Mom and the older siblings sounded one way and the younger ones didn’t. It was interesting how I didn’t know these little tidbits of information about my mother. Since reconnecting with Nani and Nana, she’s told Kennedey and I different things about Mom we never knew before. It was the same thing with Daddy. He’s managed to drop a little more tea on Mom too in recent months. I don’t think he was ever trying to hide anything from me or Kennedey, there were just some topics that never came up regarding Apollonia. I felt the more I found out about her, the less I knew.
“Do you want anything to eat, dumpling flower? I can make you something sweet,” offered Nani. “I don’t know why, but I have an insatiable craving for sugar cake. All I’ve wanted to eat the last few days is sweets,” I replied. “You know, there is an old wives tale, that if the mother is craving sweets, she is carrying a girl,” said Nani. That sent bells and whistles off in my head. “An old wives tale? Have you ever known this to be true, Nani?” I asked. She started laughing. “Why yes, child, when I was pregnant with your mama, I craved sugar cake and when your mama was pregnant with you, that is all she liked to eat,” said Nani.
Another revelation about my mom, I had no idea about. Well, if she craved and ate sugar cake all the time with Mom and she is who she is and Mom ate a lot of sugar cake with me and I am who I am…”What did your mother crave with you, Nani?” I asked, hoping she would say it was sugar cake too. Having a baby gave me pregnancy brain and I know this is silly, but there might be a chance my child would be mellow like her and that craving sugar cake didn’t equal giving birth to Apollonias and Reagans. Nani continued to laugh. “She craved dirt.”
Later that evening, I was in the den drinking a cup of tea, when Nani came to join me. She poured herself a cup and sat across from me. “Flower, I tell you those things earlier not to upset you, but to comfort you. These are little things, I like to share with you and Kennedey about your mama. I told her something similar. You are a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul. You and your sister are my Caribbean princesses. Reagan Flower, you will be a wonderful mother. I know your father has talked to you already. He knew your mama very well, but I am your mama’s mama. I know her and I know you. Trust me, you are different. What I didn’t say earlier, is that, my own mama didn’t eat the dirt, she only craved it. But toward the very end of her pregnancy she wanted the sugar cake, so that is what she ate.”
“I’m not upset, Nani, trust me. I know you like to tell me things about Mom, I never knew. I appreciate that. I love you and I’m glad you’re here. I only wished we hadn’t let so much time go by without seeing or talking to each other,” I said, tearing up. “Flower, the past is always the past. The only thing that matters is right now, how we treat each other and that we continue to show our love for each other. No one can change the past. I have many, many regrets concerning your mama. If I ever were to see my child again, I will tell her that I love her and that I am sorry.”
Between, Jay, Nani, Kennedey, Bri, and Daddy, I was being well cared for. I let Jaylen know how much appreciated everything he was doing and for putting up with my crazy hormones. “I know I’ve gotten a lot more hormonal over the last several weeks, boo. I’m sorry if I snapped at you or anything,” I said. Jaylen and I were coming back from another OB appointment and we decided to stop in town for lunch.
“Ma, don’t worry about that. I know you can’t control yourself. I can’t imagine what women like you and mother go through. I’m just a man, so if that’s how your body and emotions are reacting, then it is what it is. We ‘re all trying to support you, but you have the hard job, baby,” replied Jaylen. “Even still, I appreciate it. I know as this pregnancy progresses, my hormones will get even crazier. I apologize beforehand,” I said. “That’s what’s good,” replied Jaylen.
After we ate, Jaylen and I took short stroll through the park. The weather was nice outside. It was warm but there was a cool breeze coming off the ocean. We sat on a bench to read a couple of new pregnancy books Dr. Davis recommended we pick up at a bookstore. Jaylen was becoming a know-it-all when it came to giving birth. I would rather have him be that instead of being indifferent and leaving it up to me to know everything about having a baby. Once Jay got that I didn’t need him telling me everything on the hour about my symptoms, I didn’t mind discussing the birth with hm.
“Did Nani get back to Trini alright?” asked Briah. We met up at the mall to look for more maternity clothes. I bought a few things before I started showing, but I wanted to have a little more variety. “Yes, she called this morning,” I replied. Nani was on IP for several weeks and she went home yesterday. She and Nana would be coming back in the near future. We’ve gotten so close the past couple of months and I missed her already. “At least Nani’s coming back soon and she’ll get to stay out here for a minute. I would have her staying with me, but you know the issues I got going on at my house, girl,” said Briah. I nodded my head, Bri had her plate full.
I took comfort in knowing I’m able to see my grandparents on a more regular basis. Nani and Nana made a modest income from their market in Trinidad. Traveling was very expensive. I felt bad because they just spent all that money on coming to the wedding. I insisted on paying for my Nani’s expenses. She only accepted my offer to quiet me from complaining about the amount of work she was doing to care of me when she was here.
I was hungry as hell and I dragged Briah into a bakery to satisfy my cupcake craving. When we went back outside and I saw a cotton candy stand, it was all over. I had to have it. Maybe I can convince Jay, we need a cotton candy maker for the house.
Bri and I strolled around the mall for a few hours. I found a few outfits that weren’t maternity that I could fit, just went up a couple sizes. I would have to get a couple things altered to fit around my belly. I was shocked that I saw a cute pair of pants and a top from a maternity store. There aren’t a whole lot of choices for expectant women. Not everyone could afford to get clothes made or tailored for them. It wasn’t something I had to worry about, but a lot of women did. Maybe one of these days, far off into the future I might design a maternity line. The clothes would be cool, chic, youthful, and quality made. Most importantly, they would be affordable. It wasn’t this side of three years ago, I couldn’t afford half of the stuff in my closet.
Briah teased me, saying I was still little everywhere else, but the rate I’m going, my booty was almost up there with hers. “Girl, bye. Ain’t nobody’s booty up there with yours. Jay likes it, though,” I laughed. “Hmm, I bet he do. I hope you ain’t depriving that man of nothing. I heard sex could be even better when you pregnant,” said Briah. “Girl, that’s how I got in this mess,” I replied, patting my stomach. “So, is y’all gettin’ down or what?” asked Briah. “Look at you, you old horn dog. Yeah, we’re doing it. I couldn’t do too much earlier because I was so sick, but now that I’m further along, we gettin’ it as much as we can,” I replied. It hasn’t always been easy to make love to my husband with my Nani as a house guest. Her bedroom was on the other side of the house when she was here, but I still felt weird. I just made sure we didn’t make a lot of noise. Sometimes, Nani spent the night at Kennedey’s, so Jay and I were loud as we wanted then.
“Girl, why is Apollo dropping hints about wanting a baby, now that y’all are?” asked Briah. This was a surprise. “For real? Since when he wanna have a baby?” I asked. Briah shook her head. “He ain’t super serious, though. Apollo just been like, wondering what our baby would look like if we had one. I told him, the only way that happening, is if we get caught slippin’. He all ‘what? you ain’t gon’ give me no baby, Bri?’ I’m like foo, you better get yo’ life. I mean, I wants me a baby one of these days, just not today,” said Briah. I laughed to myself. Bri and Apollo were an interesting couple. They were definitely made for each other.
Jaylen seemed embrace fatherhood the minute I told him I was pregnant. If he had any doubts or worries, he sure was hiding them well. Eventually I told Jay my feelings about my mother and how scared I was at first. Jay admitted, that while he didn’t exactly know how I felt, he sympathized.
He asked why I chose not to say anything about it. At the time, I told him that I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t happy about the baby. Jay said, he would never have thought that. He wanted to let me know I could talk to him about anything, especially our child. I trusted my husband and I know I can go to him at anytime. Because of how I grew up, it still hard for me to let go of some of that control. The control I have over all my emotions and fears. I inefficiently dealt with those feelings on my own for so long, that at times I couldn’t even trust my own husband to take that burden away from me.
Jaylen leaned over to have one of his conversations with the baby. He has talked to the baby everyday since we found out I was pregnant, so do I. “How’s my junior pooh bear doing in there? Huh? You can’t wait to see me? Daddy can’t wait to see you either,” he said, kissing my belly.
It was very late and I had a hard time staying asleep. My cravings were taking over and I needed to eat something. I went downstairs and deep fried a candy bar. I’ve had several vivid dreams about the sex of the baby lately that were keeping me up at night. One night, I would dream it was a girl, the next night, it was a boy. At this point I had no idea what I was having. Jay’s parents have come out a couple of different times in the last several weeks and Yuri keeps telling me, I look different each time she sees me. She went back and forth with the sex, but now she’s pretty sure what the baby is.
After I finished eating my candy bar, I made myself an ice cream cone. This is what I considered the fun part of being pregnant. I get to pig out and no one dared to criticize me. Just about everyone I knew had an opinion about the sex. At this point, it was about half and half. Some of my friends and family thinks it’s a boy, some of them thinks it’s a girl. There was no longer use in playing the guessing game, because tomorrow, we’ll be finding out.
Jaylen and I arrived bright an early for my appointment when the clinic was still closed. Dr. Davis and a few other staff members were the only ones there. Dr. Davis explained to us what we would be seeing on the images. She also warned us, that finding out the sex wasn’t guaranteed today. Sometimes babies tended to be in a position that made determining the sex impossible from the ultrasound.
“Well, let’s just hope we can find out. I want to get started on the nursery,” I laughed. “Don’t worry boo, even if we don’t find out today, it won’t stop you and my mom from starting on the baby’s room,” said Jaylen.
The ultrasound was simple and quick. It didn’t take the technician and Dr. Davis very long to determine the sex. Dr. Davis sat us down and explained everything in the images. “Not to worry, I know Daddy is a twin, but it usually skips a generation. There’s only one baby in there. “Congratulations, Reagan and Jaylen, you’re going to be the parents of a beautiful baby…”