Liquid gold

I talk often about finding the silver lining in the dark times in our lives…

… yet, I am fully aware of how difficult this can be at times.

Sometimes, I just feel really ungrateful.

I guess that is what you would call it. 

You know, there are times when X and Y go the way that I want it to

BUT Z doesn’t. 

This is when all hell breaks loose, in my mind. 

The one thing not going well will be that one thing that makes me want to throw the whole thing away.

No matter what it is.

Welp, I burned the garlic bread so the whole dinner is going to be trash. 

Ooops. I’m late for work. I might as well just turn back around and go home.

Fuck it. I gained five pounds – let me eat five more pounds of junk food. 

Even typing these things out, there seems to be no logic in this.

Why wouldn’t I just appreciate the fact that I have a job, food, and a second chance to do better? 

That’s too much like right.

Sometimes, I have to check myself.

Like, double check myself.

You know, to make sure that I am not being ungrateful for this life that I have been chosen to live.

And the things that have been given to me.

I, positive-with-the HIV, gave birth to a HIV negative son. 

Straight out of my vagina.

This is huge!

Me, a woman living with HIV, gave birth to a human being that does not have the virus!

O. M. G!

One should be ecstatic, right?

Well, I wasn’t that one.

At the time of Zion’s birth, yes it was very nice news to hear that I had not infected him during labor.

And it was also nice that he would only have to stay in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit for 9 days.

Yaaaaaay! 

But what you mean I can’t breastfeed my son?!?

Who said that I wanted to feed him this powdery bullshit.

I. AM. HIS. MOTHER!

THIS IS WHAT MY BREAST ARE FOR!

– Not for men to suck on when they are trying to get their nut.

– Not even for the cute nipple rings.

God gave me the breast to feed my child.

And I couldn’t because of HIV.

This was my Z.

In my mind:

My child would have no bond with me because he didn’t get to gaze in my eyes during those midnight feedings that I got to watch so many other mothers experience. 

He would love his Uncle and Aunt just as much as he loved me because they, too, would make bottles of Similac Alimentum and satisfy his hunger. 

He didn’t need me.

And I didn’t need him.

For what?

He was the product of a broken marriage – #babymom

He cried all of the time – #colic

He made my life change too quick, too suddenly – #MrCrab

I was even over there questioning God.

Why would You even give me this baby that I will probably die and leave anyways?

Whew.

All of that energy.

All at a time that I was supposed to be embracing the wonderful thing that had just happened.

I BIRTHED A WHOLE HUMAN INTO THIS WORLD! 

Why is it that I couldn’t see that?

Why did I not want, nor appreciate the gift named Zion?

Postpartum depression

that’s why.

But I couldn’t identify that’s what it was then.

Tip: The CDC says that about 1 out of 9 women experience symptoms of it.

But I couldn’t talk about it with anyone.

I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t feel valuable to my newborn.

I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t feel prepared for the task at hand.

Cus if I did, I ran the risk of the judgment from other mothers and fathers.

They would call me a bad mom.

And then call Child Protective Services on me.

What not to do: Do not suffer in silence, please. 1(800)PPD-MOMS is a hotline for individuals who may be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Fathers, you too.

Well, what did I do?

Maybe not so dramatic but you get the point.

I sat in an empty apartment with my son.

And cried when he cried.

I woke up with black, puffy circles around my eyes and took him to daycare.

Out of obligation.

I can’t really tell you when things got better.

I can’t identify exactly when that dark cloud passed.

What I can tell you is that sometime during this ugly, beautiful journey I fell in love with my child.

I’m so sad to admit that I ever felt any other type of way.

Shamed, too.

I think I have proven that I’m sorry though.

[I’m certain this has been damaging in itself]

But I love my son with my entire being.

That’s MY Zion.

He might not have drank from my breast but he’s attached to my side now.

Literally.

And for this, I am grateful.

+ Ci Ci+