Every woman is taught that everything is fine with your pregnancy once you make it past the first trimester. My name is Donnie Smith and I’m a wife, High School English Teacher, scrapbooker and a stepmother. I’m also a dreamer, a planner and a recovering worry addict. My husband Che “Rhymefest” Smith is a grammy-award winning writer, hip hop artist and a community activist. He is also a dreamer, more of a mental planner (can’t really blame him! He freestyles and started out as a battle rapper) and he often has the antidote – a hug or a kind word for my worry. On paper we’re an unlikely pair, but once you see us together it all makes sense.
We decided in the summer of 2011 that we were ready to have our first child together. He was in California for work. He and I had just finished our goodnight call. It was about 3:00 a.m. and something inside told me to take a pregnancy test. After sluggishly walking into the bathroom and laying back in bed, I nonchalantly went to check on the test, after all, I had been told about a month prior that I wasn’t pregnant after about a week of morning sickness.
My Clear Blue Digital test disagreed with the nurse indicating yes I was “pregnant” and I started jumping up and down and frantically called Che.
My Clear Blue Digital test disagreed with the nurse indicating yes I was “pregnant” and I started jumping up and down and frantically called Che. He was delighted about the news. We eagerly started flinging baby names at each other. My husband asked how I was feeling and we began discussing how our lives would need to be adjusted to the fact that I was carrying life for the first time.
Within the first few months I seemed to have covered all of the basics. We picked the names – Biko – after the South African Revolutionary Steven Biko. Revolutionary names are a tradition in my husband’s family. We heard the heart beat. I cried. We recorded it. Che wanted to incorporate the heartbeat into one of his songs. My best friend came over to the house to discuss the details of the baby shower… venue… color swaps for table cloths… refreshments. Finally, we chose a date for the shower.
For me – information is the best way to get over fear and worry. So I devoured all of the pregnancy guidebooks. I took my pre-natal vitamins, showed up early to all of my monthly appointments and posted the news on my Facebook as I soon as I hit the 8 week mark. My job secured a maternity leave sub for me. I started showing pretty early so most of my closet was filled with maternity clothes.
No one or nothing could prepare me for the events that would occur on December 9, 2011 when my world fell apart…