As if that is not sufficient, I am hotter than I’ve ever been in my whole Black life — and I am from Texas. And so, contemporary from a cool, afternoon bathe, I lay bare on my mattress with the air conditioner on, crunching on tap-water ice, watching a Convey It! marathon on Lifetime, and rubbing Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formulation on my seven-months-pregnant stomach.
Along with rebuking ashiness, cocoa butter is meant to maintain my pores and skin supple and assist scale back discoloration and stretch marks that will come as my physique shape-shifts and expands. Plus, it smells like chocolate. However, to be sincere, stretch marks are the very last thing I am nervous about. After a blessedly uneventful “geriatric” being pregnant on the age of 43, I’ve been advised that it’s totally probably I’ve a probably life-threatening situation that has fully modified my delivery plan. Delivering my baby in a non-public delivery room with my husband and longtime OBGYN by my aspect has now change into a public supply within the hospital’s major working room with 5 completely different groups of medical doctors and several other pints of blood readily available — simply in case. However, hey, they will not know for positive if I’ve the situation till they function, so my medical doctors inform me to remain off of Google and attempt to calm down.
Within the meantime, I binge-watch episodes of the Jackson, Mississippi, dance crew and their wild-card coach as they follow, compete, and reside their Black lady lives.
In red-and-silver, shimmery bodysuits (with fringe!) the Dancing Dolls do demise drops, buck all the way down to the ground, and whip their weaves. When the captain jumps right into a toe contact and lands in a break up, my daughter, who’s already a world-class somer saulter, offers an encouraging kick in my stomach. I take this nudge as an affirmation, a reminder to remain within the current, and I rub cocoa butter within the place the place she punted me. I relaxation my arms there for a spell and let the warmth from my palms work like Reiki.
Atlanta — September 2018
I kneel on the padded, blue whale tub mat, eye degree with my attractive child lady. I am smiling large and holding open the plushiest towel I can discover. My daughter steps wrinkle-toed out of the bathtub and throws her four-year-old physique into my arms, arms I cocoon round her, drying her off whereas she tippy-taps her toes fast-fast, laughing the chuckle of a kid who’s joyful, secure, beloved. This little ritual is our favourite a part of tub time, identical to after I was a little bit lady, and I am unable to imagine my luck.