So I am writing an account of my life. Thank you to all those who’ve offered votes of confidence. Thank you to those who are looking forward to more chapters. Here’s a quick excerpt and a very rough draft titled “The Mother Incubator.”
Wee hours of the morning, 4:57 am to be exact, I am longing. Longing for a return to comfort. I have FCBC on my brain. That acronym affectionately granted by the members of Faithful Central Bible Church. That was my church home in Los Angeles for 6 of the 8 years I lived there. There I gave birth to so many things. It was 2011 while under the heavily anointed Biblical teaching of my pastor Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, who gave birth to my bursting knowledge of and walk with God. This community also gave birth to my first adult experienced real church community. A belonging that I’d never had before. And most miraculously, it was there that I also gave birth to my first and only child, and to the concept of being a mother.
The bathroom. It was newly renovated and became the mother’s hang out spot. With it’s beautiful and lush surroundings and comfortable seating and changing tables, this cozy atmosphere was the incubator of motherhood socialization. This became my social club while I was carrying Caleb and just after his birth. It was my go-to spot to deal with everything from nausea, to achy pains, to spit up stains, to nursing sessions, but it was oh so much more than your typical restroom facility. It was there that I met many women with babies and toddlers. Women who understood my pain, women who understood the new definition of tired. Women who understood that motherhood was running through life strapped in 40 pound ankle weights, going backwards in the rain. These women understood. They shared stories, tricks and treats. They gave accounts of mommyhood while being married and mommyhood on the solo. We awed over our little ones in baby carriers and those crawling. I was part of this club, the Mommy Club.
It was one Sunday in particular that I took to the Mother Incubator. I’d walked into the sanctuary alone with my baby boy swinging heavily in his carrier. I was fighting tears, a melt down and screaming all at the same time. I had just moments before been cussed out by my then husband in the church parking lot. This assault of words was not the first of their sort, but it was one of the seldom times to have been viewed by others. I scurried into the lobby, embarrassed, trying to avoid eye contact with the parking attendants that heard expletives bouncing between the car interior and my ear drums. I took Caleb to what I then thought was just a bathroom. I would quickly find that this space was much more. I spoke to women who gave me life without trying to do so. My heart was engorged with pain similar to the engorged breasts I was nursing with. I met Shannon, affectionately called Shann. She shared her account of her c-section that almost took her from this world. She had also experienced the same high risk, after age 35 hard pregnancy that I had. Her story was so similar to mine. Then there was the unnamed married woman who I failed to exchange information with. She shared her stories of bumps and bruises associated with a having a baby boy. We shared laughs over the high levels of rambunctiousness that comes packaged in male babies, and how no one warned us.
I’d sat in the Mother Incubator countless times, but this day was different. In retrospect, it was pivotal. On this day as I sat there with throbbing temples, as the misplaced epidural fluid during my c-section raced through my veins and caused continual and chronic explosive headaches, my heart was more bruised than my body. For the first year of my child’s life those women helped me, the mother’s incubating room helped me. It was there that I didn’t feel so alone. And on this particular day, they without trying gave me the to courage to take the first steps, the first steps to walk away, the first steps to walk away, and end my marriage.