Happy Birthday, Prince (Even Though I Know You Did Not Celebrate Birthdays)

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Since April 21, 2016, I have been in a weird place. A sad place. A celebratory place. A place of remembrance. A place of discovery. I told myself (and my hubby) that after today, I will make an honest attempt to move on. Its hard feeling like you lost someone you knew so well, that you really didn’t know, and didn’t know you.

Prince Rogers Nelson would have turned 58 today. He was  is my favorite artist of all time. Please indulge me as I go off topic a little for today’s post as I give my tribute to him on the anniversary of his birth.

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You may remember last year on mother’s day, I went alone to a Prince concert.  Not only was that my way of escaping the infertile mother’s day blues, it was fulfilling a dream of mine since I was six years old: see Prince live in concert.

 I’m not a fan because I  thought he was sexy (though he has had his phases where, I can’t lie, he was lookin’ fine). I love Prince for his artistry and creativity. Even as a kid, I was just drawn to the music.  At six years old, I didn’t know what a “sex fiend was”, but I loved the way the music sounded and felt. When I was 9 or 10, I asked my Mom if I could go to see Prince in concert (it was 1988, Lovesexy tour). Of course the answer was “No”, but what 10 year old asks with all sincerity to go to a Prince concert? Me. When I decided I wanted to be a creative when I was around 13 or 14, I really started to appreciate him on another level. By high school I was fully immersed in all things Prince. Reading books, buying up CDs new and old, examining and dissecting lyrics. He made it OK to be different. When I was  a teenager, I was that kid that stepped juuuust outside the box. Enough to not be the same (because I never, even to this day want to be the same as everyone else),  but not enough that people thought I was strange. Just kinda weird. When I was in the 10th grade, I had this hat that was…different. I can’t explain it with words. But I loved it, and it was me. One day, a security guard at school said to me: “That is the ugliest cute hat I’ve ever seen.” It was the best compliment to me. It made me love the hat even more. That’s the confidence Prince gave me: I could wear ‘ugly-cute’ things with pride.  I mean, it takes a certain amount of confidence, and zero-f**k giving to be a grown man rocking 4 inch heels, wear eyeliner, and pants with you ass cheeks out. Prince made me OK with who I was.

Young Prince lookin good1 If I were 14 and not all of 1 or 2 when this poster was out...
Young Prince lookin’ good!
If I were 14 and not all of 1 or 2 when this poster was out…

Going through teenage angst, and the uncertainty of my 20s, and feeling like I didn’t quite fit in, even with friends all around, his music gave me a place to feel comfortable. When I  needed creative inspiration, he provided it. When I was in love, or when I was heartbroken, he had a song that somehow  expressed exactly what I felt in my soul. He was a friend I never met in person . An inspiration. He was everything I wanted to be as an artist.

He introduced me to new sounds of music. Because his music was everything from R&B, to Rock, I began to appreciate forms of music I might not have otherwise. He helped me expanded my mind and my world.

And, I can’t lie. I think I learned about kissing from Prince. When I saw Prince kiss Apollonia in Purple Rain, I just knew when I got older and got a boyfriend…that’s how it was gonna be. (well…..)

What was portrayed as arrogance and weirdness: not wanting to talk to people, being so tightly in control of his image, being a perfectionist: I understood. He was (I’m almost positive) an introvert. Introverts in general have little to no patience for small talk, or being “fake”, and keep their world small, keeping those they trust and like most close.

Prince through the years
Prince through the years

But of course, Prince was not perfect, and was, after all, human.  Prince comes with a story of loss that does relate to infertility. In 1996, he and his first wife Mayte Garcia lost their son to a rare genetic disorder just one week after birth. Mayte recently admitted to losing a second pregnancy to miscarriage not long after. The pain of those losses seems to  have taken a huge toll on their marriage. Its a reminder to us, that while we have a lot of emotions and feelings about not conceiving or losing a pregnancy, we’re not in it alone. Our partner also experiences disappointment, fear, loss, and heartbreak.

Prince was not afraid to speak his mind. About the record industry. About God. About Chemtrails. About Black Lives.

He gave anonymously to libraries, music programs, and schools. He quietly donated money to the family of Travon Martin. He stood up for Black empowerment.

He was a Philanthropist and humanitarian.

As much as I, and all of the Purple Army feel like we knew him, the truth is we didn’t know all of him. We knew the parts of him he allowed us to know. The recent medical examiner’s report released June 2, 2016 lists the cause of death as accidental. Cause: overdose of Fentanyl.

I struggle with this, as he was known to be a clean eater. A vegan. Not a drinker or smoker, or into drugs. But after years of doing splits, leaping off of speakers and pianos, and wearing four inch heels, I’m sure his body paid the price. Even after hip surgery, I’m sure some level of pain persisted. My understanding of chronic pain is not much, but I know that it can be debilitating.

If he did become dependent on painkillers to perform, it doesn’t change the way I feel. If anything, I have empathy. Both Prince and Michael Jackson were so in love with music and performing, and wanted perfection, that they pushed themselves to the extreme limits. Literally wearing themselves out.  Possibly not only numbing the physical pain, but emotional and spiritual pain from the past as well.

 

I fully expected Prince to be walking out on a stage with in full swagger and guitar strapped around him when he was 80 years old, still tearing it up. We just can’t believe he’s not here. I know I can’t

Picture credit: Billboard 2016
Notes, flowers, and more left at Paisley Park Picture credit:
Billboard 2016

Since April 21, the world has been mourning and celebrating: Dance parties, tribute bands, memorials, Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and movie marathons. People are fully taking advantage of the temporary leniency and distraction of his attorneys, posting concert footage, rare interviews and music on YouTube (They are back on it now, and videos are coming down with the quickness) Then of course, there was Madonna’s tribute…

 

It remains to be seen if BET will live up to their claims in the shadiest promo that’s ever been shown. (See what I did there Prince fans) Today they announced some of the artists scheduled to perform in the BET tribute.

We shall see….

 

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The point is, today, I want to say Happy Born Day Prince Rogers Nelson!

Artist. Humanitarian. Visionary.  Businessman. Teacher. Performer. Human. Friend. Alexander Nevermind. Jamie Starr. The Kid. Camille. “That skinny mothaf***a’ with the high voice”. Christopher Tracy. The Artist. Genius.

You’ve given us all so much. I know you are with God, and you will live forever through your music and philanthropy.

Peace and Be Wild.

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Welcome 2 The Dawn

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November’s Not Just for Turkey.

 

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We’re halfway through November (how did that happen?!) and I can’t let this month go by without acknowledging that its National Adoption Awareness Month!

I was not aware that there was such a thing, until this year, so now I have to enlighten everyone else.

The focus for this year’s month is adopting older youth from foster care with the theme: “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family.”

 

I always thought adoption was a wonderful thing, and considered it even before I was aware of my infertility. I always thought I might have a child or two, then adopt another. In all honesty, adoption may be the road we decide to take for parenthood. We’re really having some heart felt and real conversations about parenting, the IVF process and all that comes with it, and what we think we can handle financially, physically, and emotionally.

I feel like adoption is really a special kind of love, because you actively choose to love someone that you don’t have to. To decide to bring a child into your home and into your family, and love them is a noble thing.

I have known several people and have a close friend who was adopted, and one friend who is the mother of an adopted child. All of them are awesome people. If they never told me that they were adopted, I would have never known. The love, respect and bond is just as strong as any biological family.

 

Take November to learn more about adoption and explore adoption as an option for family building.

 

Learn more about National Adoption Month below:

National Adoption Month 2015

National Adoption Month 2015 Initiative

Adoption FAQ

New Year, Good News

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m trying to make sure that I start my year off the right way, with a post.

I have some great news to share: Over the holidays, O and I got engaged! Whoot whoot!! I’m still in a little bit of shock.

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This exciting and fun time will bring a welcome distraction from thinking about all my uterus troubles.  With planning this wedding and another busy season at work coming around fast, all of the tests and doctors will probably be far from my mind. Of course I will still blog and share my thoughts,  but the sometimes consuming thoughts that sweep over us all from time to time will just have to wait.
Don’t worry,  this won’t turn into a blubbering wedding planning blog, that’s not what I’m here for. Plus I just head over to weddingwire.com when I want to be a blushing bride to be.

I just wanted to share my good news with all of my Maybe Mama family.

Happy Holidays…

Artsy Christmas

So, my people. I’ve failed you again. But this time, my un planned hiatus came with good reason: WORK. You know that place you have to go to everyday that provides the excellent healthcare benefits so you can have all the wellness visits, tests, procedures, and lab work covered? Its also the place that cuts my bi weekly checks, and for the past 3 or 4 months, they have definitely gotten their money’s worth and then some out of me!

The worst part is I have a some really good blog posts, all currently sitting as drafts because I haven’t had the time I want and need to flush out my ideas, edit and, and research.

Le Sigh.

Well, obviously one of my 2015 goals is to not have long gaps in my posting.

New Posts in the New Year!

Until then, here are a few look backs that may be relevant to the holiday season.

People won’t stop asking you why you don’t have kids, or when you’re going to make them an auntie or grandma/grandpa in between servings of ham and opening gifts?

That Awkward Moment When….

Your holiday season has been filled with pregnancy and birth announcements? Don’t eat you feelings, read this posts.
Lets’s Be Real: Baby Envy

Using your holiday vacation time to get a procedure done or get in your doctor visits?

Making The Decision

Power Morcellators: Parts 1 & Part  2

And here are some great tips from the wonderful people at RESOLVE on coping with the holidays:

Coping with the Holidays — Again

 

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy New Year!

 

HERstory-Coming Out of the Shadows to Tell Our Story

 

Art Work: Women of Soul by Glenn Daniels We are a Sisterhood as we go though this journey together.
Art Work: Women of Soul by Glenn Daniels
We are a Sisterhood as we go though this journey together.

 

Its encouraging to find now that I’m not alone. I’ve always known I’m not alone in fighting fibroids and infertility, but recently I’ve seen more Black women sharing their stories. The lack of discussion and transparency in the Black community inspired me to start this blog. I knew several women my age and older that have gone through this, but no one talked about it or used it as a testimony. Now I slowly see more and more Black women speaking up on this issue, and I love it!

Yesterday, I was inspired by a woman named Gessie Thompson. In the May issue of Essence magazine, she shares her story. I had the good fortune to hear her as a guest on a radio show as I drove home. She was so passionate, and so joyful and showed so much faith. Please read her story at Essence.com  here

 

Her story is my story. Even though I’m only one myomectomy, 2  HSGs, 3 ultrasounds, and  1 hysteroscopy in, this woman gives me hope. Even in this early part of my journey, I see the mountain that is ahead of me, and I get overwhelmed. It may sound crazy, but I’ve seen my baby. I know what the name will be. More importantly, I am open enough to understand that I may not give birth to my baby at the end of this journey, but I will have one. They will be loved, and healthy, and beautiful.  God promised this to me. That doesn’t make this journey any less frustrating, stressful or painful while I’m in it.

It’s easy to think that getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex on the right day at the right time (and often 😉 ).  But there are so many women, especially Black women, who have trouble conceiving usually because of uterine fibroids,  the damage they cause, and the subsequent surgery (or surgeries) to have them removed. There is a tremendous physical, emotional, and monetary cost to infertility that can potentially break you as a woman, break up your marriage, and stress your family. Many insurance plans do not cover IVF and other fertility treatments. There are some states, like New Jersey, Ohio, and Hawaii, that mandate  infertility treatments are covered under insurance plans, but there are only 15 states these types of  policy. This trouble with fibroids is real.  80% of percent of Black women will suffer with fibroids at some time in their life. Because fibroids are generally benign in regards to cancer, many people  do not understand how serious they can be. Fibroids can not only cause problems with fertility and menstrual cycles, but as they grow and the uterus expands and distorts, they can cause other problems with digestion, back pain, kidney, and bladder function. This problem is serious and we need to do more.

 

I am now more determined and inspired than ever to continue this blog and do even more to be an advocate and educate on fibroids and infertility.

 

In addition to Gessie Thompson’s story, Essence ran a wonderful education piece about fibroids:

Essence: Fighting Fibroids

To learn more about Gessie Thompson, her story, and the work she is doing (including a prayer circle. I love that idea!), please visit her website, www.whatsyournia.com

Please click here for a list of states that  currently have laws requiring insurance coverage for infertility treatment.

 

 

 

 

Drop it Like Its Hot-The Ring of Fire

 

Oh, Blogging 101. They always have something to challenge you (which is the whole point) But TODAY, they really went there. Today’s assignment is post inspired by a prompt. This is the prompt:

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?

“Really? Spicy food?”  “This has nothing to do with my blog.” “How am I going to parlay this into a legitimate blog post” were my first thoughts. But it did actually inspire me to write. Behold, the magic of a writing prompt! Its going to seem like this post has nothing to do with the prompt, but it does.

 


 

I realize that in the short life of this blog, I’ve talked about me, my feelings, and why I started this blog. I have yet to mention my wonderful…

Well I think that’s the issue. I don’t want to call him my boyfriend, I feel like that word is not adequate.  We’re not officially engaged, so he’s not my fiancée. I don’t want to say partner; that sounds like we’re about to invest in flipping properties or implies to some people that I’m in a same sex relationship. ( NO SHADE, I have no issue with same sex couples. Find happiness where you can. Its just not true for my situation) We’ll just call him by name…kind of.

I guess we’ll just call him  O

We met through friends. We talked on the phone for two or three weeks before we actually went on a date. We went on our first date, and have been together ever since; close to four years. We are so alike, but yet so different. We are now in what I like to call the “pre planning” stages of getting married; meaning we know we’re going to get married (sooner rather than later, I mean we’re both 35+) to each other, and we are saving our money and discussing what kind of marriage celebration we want. Not only that, we talk about (and plan for) our future: our vision for our marriage and household, our personal and career goals, and of course, family.

 

He truly is my partner on this journey. He has been supportive through my surgeries, the fertility issues, my lay off in 2011, my new job, starting this blog, getting new cat, bad moods… Everything. And I do the same. I support him in all that he does.

So how does this relate to spicy food? Well, O loves spicy food. I do too, but he takes his with a little more kick than I do. But we are generally willing to take the “risk” because, well, spicy food is tasty.

The spicy food is like our relationship: sometimes in might get rough after its so good, but we’re willing to take the risk, no matter what “tomorrow might bring”.