So, my middle man child (MMC), Chidi went off to college this weekend. My quiet strength. To say he will be missed, is a gross understatement.
He came into my life, 6wks early after 23hrs of labor amidst demands by my nursing staff and gynecologist, not to push… Hmmm, are you kidding me? I had been laboring non stop with this sweet-full-head-of-hair-child who decided to rush in when it wasn’t time yet. And at that point, I had had enough and was ready to evict him (cos what he aint fi’na do is hurry up and wait up in me).
His pregnancy had been very deliberate, he was made in Charleston SC, I knew the exact moment, weird, but true. I was excited, and joyful and scared at the same time. I already had a beautiful son, and didn’t really care if it was another son…mmmm, nah! I wanted a girl, of course, and I thought it was a girl, because his pregnancy was very different from his brother’s. I however knew he was a boy when my nose would not stop getting wider, and my skin would not stop getting darker. I experienced the worst case of heart burns, and cravings with him. Notable was one day I remember curling up in the fetal position in abdominal pains, thinking my stomach was going to burst! Then again, there was the day a patient’s mom cooked me a large pot of barbecued pig feet that I craved, and sitting on the living room floor with his then 2yr old older brother, we devoured the entire pot with our bare hands! Funny the great details our memories retain….sometimes ;0)
I owned my private pediatric practice at that time, and I remember the morning he decided to hurry in. I was getting dressed when I felt the sudden pangs, I suspected it, and told my ex-husband that I didn’t think it was a good idea to go to work that morning, but he insisted, stating it was probably just a cramp and I needed to go to work, what would happen to all the patients that had been scheduled to see me? I tried to argue, but it fell on deaf ears, so, (ever the dutiful wife) I finished dressing up, and got in the car for work. Well, as I was stepping out of the car, in the parking lot of my office I felt the familiar gush of fluid and a definite trickle down my legs, and knew right away. Only then did my beloved husband decided it was really labor, so we needed to head on up to the hospital (we shall talk about that relationship at another date, this blog is about my beautiful Chidi)
I remember watching Lifetime movies all through the labor pangs that day. At one time, the nurse came in and saw me calmly chewing gum and watching attentively. She noted that I had no epidural drip going, asked me if I was in any pain. I responded, “not really”, she then checked me out, and declared that I had a “thick cervical rim” and warmed that I might end up having a Cesarean section if I continued that way. At that moment, the inner Wakandan woman in me awoke and declared, “I will push him out before you guys cut me”. She chuckled and left, and I murmured “try me” to her back. When she returned after about one hour, and checked again, she noted that I still had a thick rim, and she was going to get the on-call doctor to confirm the need for a C/S since I had been laboring for so long and they needed to avoid maternal exhaustion. I scoffed and announced that I was ready to push. She cautioned me not to, but I went ahead and started any way. She reminded me that as a doctor, I knew I could end up with a bad tear if I pushed against a thick rim, but I was already pushing, so she ran and got the doctor, and after only 4 tries, my main man came out swinging and screaming like a banshee! No tears to my cervix.
He is a dark chocolaty-skinned-bright-eyed-curly-haired baby, my youngest brother is dark chocolaty-skinned, similar features and just as handsome. However, his light skinned legend of a father, insisted he was “too dark skinned” to be his son. Whaat? what do you mean?? I tell ya, the things women have to endure in the name of marriage (smdh) I told him to be my guest, and do OR THINK what ever he wished. I knew exactly the day and time the child was made, and by whom…I simply “ain’t gat time for that!” (rolling eyes up emoji)
So, in spite of exclusive breastfeeding, my MMC was still colicky!! He grunted and whined and cried and griped, and repeated! He gave me a hard hard time those first few months. Thankfully mi madre came early enough for “omugwo” and gave me my much needed support, thank you mom! Somewhere along the line, we had to baptize him, again, my beloved hubby was at it, when he uttered the memorable words “over my dead body”. Why? you ask me, well because I was going to baptize him in the Catholic church like we had agreed to during our marriage counseling sessions before tying the proverbial (choking) knot! He was baptized at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Lancaster SC, his first name, “Chukwudi” meaning, there IS God, his baptismal name, “Crucifixio” meaning, Cross…go figure.
As a toddler, this kiddo LOVED trucks and airplanes and cars (especially hot wheels). He loved every toy automobile ever made. His favorite however, were the Thomas the tank engine line of carriers…Thomas, Diesel 10, James, Lucy, Gordon, Percy, Spenser, you name it, we had to get it…and he watched a daily stream of videos of Sir Topam hat, Thomas, and his friends. He would leave all these little critters all over the place, and many a day, we would trip and fall over dem lil devils! He was otherwise a relatively quiet yung’un. Didn’t say much, his big brother did most of the talking for him. “mommy Chidi wants this, mommy Chidi wants that…” It took an ENT friend of mine to draw my attention to the fact that he was not verbal… I, a pediatrician, diagnosing kids on the daily, I missed the fact that my son’s tonsils and adenoids were enlarged, resulting in conductive hearing loss, noisy snoring, mouth breathing and sleep apnea! He ended up having surgery; tonsils and adenoids removed, PE tubes placed in ear drums…etc
His elementary and middle school years went fairly well. Not much drama, he gets a bit extreme with his concrete thinking sometimes and will argue a point to the bone, much to the chagrin of his brothers. He distinguished himself from his older more driven brother. Always been consistent in his school work, never really got in any trouble, and always got commended for best behavior…not bad for one dudu kid with Naija roots. An overall cool kid, he only gave me heartache when he did not do his housework, which fortunately was not often. He is left handed (another thing his father did not want to happen, but after lots of arguing, he finally allowed him to be his sweet left handed self) and loves to draw. He always said he was going to be an aname cartoonist. No surprise he ended up picking architecture to study in college. He has always been quietly disposed, I call him my quiet strength. He has grown into a very well rounded young man (no drugs, no alcohol, no girls) He plays the trumpet (2017 Texas all state musician) and is self-taught on the ukulele, and the harmonica. He loves video games. Did I mention he LOVES video games?? he loves video games and burgers and cakes and sweets! For his recent 18th birthday, he only wanted a dozen donuts, no cake, no ice cream, just a glazed Krispey Kreme dozen.
He only wanted to apply to Texas Tech, he only wanted to go to Texas Tech, he got into Texas Tech and he will go to Texas Tech for the next 5yrs…Go Raiders! Guns Up!!
Sadly, I did not get to see him off to school because it clashed with the first day of fall semester for me. I hope he learns that I did this to instill in him the need to stay committed to his causes. He must finish whatever he starts and do it with pride. I can’t wait to visit him next weekend when we go to visit.
Fare you well my beloved son, the angels will watch and protect you that you may not fall on your head, or crush your foot against a stone…vaya con Dios.
“you’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way”
~ Dr. Seuss
PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!