A Braided Essay
Hearing the news that you are becoming an older sister after being an only child is not the best news to many. But for me, I am thrilled. Momma is having a baby and I am so excited. Pregnancy is so beautiful to me and it looks even more beautiful on my momma. Her little feet have become bigger and swollen. She has that long intricate line on her belly. I am not sure what the name of that line is but its darker than her skin complexion. Momma is insecure about it but I think she looks wonderful. I wish she didn’t feel so sad about how she looks. It’s all so amazing to witness. Momma and daddy did not want to know the sex of the baby. All they care about is bringing a healthy baby into the world. I just cannot wait to meet him or her. Secretly, I prefer a her!
J. Marion Sims is known throughout the world as the “father of gynecology”. Sims revolutionized gynecology because he advocated for a change in traditional gynecology practices. He also contributed to various medical tools that are in some way. Sims played a major role in gynecology which is a proven fact. However, he did so at the expense of black women. Sims performed experiments and even surgeries on only black women who were enslaved at the time. When Sim’s performed these surgeries on black women, he had the misconception and ignorant belief that black women do not feel physical pain. In the 20th century, this was condemned as an improper use of human experimental subjects and Sims was described as “a prime example of progress in the medical profession made at the expense of a vulnerable population”. Sim’s is still regarded as the father of genetics but many of his statues and memorials have been removed.
Mommy, Daddy and I live in a small town known as Chickasaw County Mississippi. It’s a small town and everyone knows everyone. The streets are dark red and the sun is always shining. People in the neighborhood know momma is pregnant. Sometimes when we all go out in town, women stare at her belly. When they stare, their eyebrows raise up. Sometimes they come up to her and say “God Bless You”. Sometimes they tell her that they will pray for her. I am not really sure why they always say that to her but it is a good thing that people care about her having a healthy baby.
Doctors still believe that black people do not feel physical pain. Especially in comparison to white counterparts. Black people are severely undertreated for pain in medical settings which can lead to long term complications and even sometimes death. Medical professional do not provide proper treatment nor listen to black people because of long time racial myths. In addition, medical professionals have false biological beliefs that black people have thicker skin than other races. These harsh findings are indeed true and they are taught and trained in medical institutions. Individuals with at least some medical training hold and may use false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites to inform medical judgments, which may contribute to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.
It is late at night and my parents are sleeping. I am awake watching rerun episodes of “Full House”. When its this late at night, my mind wanders with thoughts. Tonight, I keep imagining a baby sister. Even though I am not sure what the sex of the baby will be, I keep imagining a girl. When I close my eyes, I can see her face. A small baby with light brown big eyes. Her small hands fitting in the palm of mine. I imagine her soft brown skin that smells like Jurgens’s and baby powder. Her small head with a few strands of dark brown hair. When I imagine my sister, it brings me comfort and happiness. Hopefully when my sister gets older, she will stay up and watch reruns of Full House with me.
Later in the night, my room door is pushed open, and my dad comes rushing in to wake me up. He yells “Momma’s having her baby, we have to go”. I jump out of bed and put a pair of slippers on that I had closest to my bed. As I urgently run towards the door, my body is shaking. I feel anxious. This is the moment that I have been waiting for and it is finally happening. I am about to become a sister.We run to the car and momma is breathing hard. She looks nervous. Daddy is speeding down the highway like we are in a NASCAR race. We finally get to the hospital and the nurses take my mom away. All of the nurses do not look like us so I hope they give momma the best care.
I wait in the lobby for my mom. I am nervous but excited. I keep pacing back and forth with my bunny slippers. My heart is racing because I am excited to be a big sister. As I am pacing, a man with a white coat comes out and says that mommy and her baby didn’t make it. My heart falls to my stomach. I stop pacing and I am unable to utter a single word.
The chances of black women dying in the U.S due to complications of pregnancy is two to three times higher than white women in the United States. This disparity has caused the United States to deem is as a national issue. Black Women in the U.S are dying at a higher rate during childbirth due to medical racism, lack of resources and discrimination.
In loving memory of all the beautiful black mommies.