So how are you doing? How are you feeling?? She asks with smiling eyes. (All I can see of her face since we are both in masks.)
It’s a loaded question and I don’t even know where to start.
My mind rewinds…..Two back to back miscarriages. Pregnancy after loss. Early pregnancy scares. Advanced maternal age. Health insurance headaches. Pregnant in a pandemic. Restrictions on support people, advocates and visitors. Telehealth prenatal care. Pandemic impacts on our young startup business. Pandemic’s toll on NY. Loss of friends’ parents to COVID. Very active toddler stuck at home with no socialization, no preschool, no playgrounds, no outlets. A less than ideal quarantine diet. Lack of exercise. No rest. No breaks. Very few stolen moments to prep for baby 2. No celebrating baby 2. No mom and dad to be present, or even in the state, for the upcoming birth of this baby and for some time after. No totally safe childcare solutions for when the baby comes and we’re away at the hospital. This baby not experiencing the joyful pregnancy I had with my son. My son being robbed of his first year of preschool and his last summer just us 3 doing all sorts of fun activities. Second year molars painfully breaking through toddler gums. Toddler health scare. Pregnancy insomnia. Outrage at the treatment of Black people in our country and the lack of justice and humanity… STILL. Frustration at the inability to take part in protests. Wanting to do more. Feeling like I never have enough time or energy or resources to do all I can for my child, my pregnancy, my business, my fellow humans. At the same time, still feeling hopeful (for my fellow humans) and grateful (for my child, my pregnancy, my business and so much more). And of course, super pregnant and emotional.
So at this rare in-person prenatal appointment before starting some tests I think, how do I even answer this question.
It‘s also not lost on me that for the nurse, not only an essential worker but also a Black woman, the last thing she needs is to be burdened with my answer. “So how are you doing? How are you feeling??” I don’t want comfort and definitely not sympathy, but I do need to respond. And a simple I’m good or I’m fine just doesn’t seem fitting or honest. I finally say something like, I feel like the world is falling apart but I keep doing my best. I smile but I don’t know if she can tell with my mask on.
She looks at me, and as a caregiver to a patient and also a mom to a mom, she asks me if I am finding happiness despite everything going on. She says, I hope you are watching videos that bring you joy and make you laugh. I hope you are having fun with your son. Those moments are so important. And they are part of taking care of yourself for your pregnancy.
We have a nice conversation and I share we are going to start potty training the very next day and she tells me about her experience and wishes me luck. Which I will need.
I leave the appointment only to find out two days later that I failed the 1 hour glucose test and need to layer up again in all my protective gear to go back for a 3 hour test. And they can’t take me for two weeks. And after two exhausting days of running to the potty and accident-cleanup, I find myself sitting on the bathroom floor, with this news and some anxiety building in my chest, but my son is so cute in his little undies and he wants to sing Old MacDonald with me — not with farm animals, but instead with construction vehicles that each need their own sound for the song. He makes me laugh. So I just breathe and sing and laugh with him.
Then the next day, right in the middle of loads full of toddler underwear and bedding, our washing machine breaks.
And still I feel grateful and hopeful. I laugh. We have so much love in our hearts and our lives.
This year started with a rainbow for us and everywhere I look, I still see them.
NOTE: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. All photos and content are property of Lauren Cosenza Beauty LLC.
Lauren Cosenza consults for top brands, websites, and magazines and serves as a trusted beauty/fashion/mom expert, a brand ambassador, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a creative director, a published editorial contributor and writer, the creator and owner of DIVAlicious®, the creator and owner of BEAUTYfull®, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan, Shape and Bustle/BDG brands. She currently runs Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce with her husband (and baby boy) as the Co-Founder + Head of Brand.
Find Lauren on Instagram.