We Had A Baby Last Night

“If I can’t eat, neither can you.” Those were the last slurry words she spoke to me before she fell asleep from the epidural she swore she would never get. That’s an entirely other story I’ll tell at a later date. We’d been at the hospital since 9:00am and the doctor told her not to eat anything. What should have been a routine check up turned into the doctor telling us to come straight to the maternity ward.

“You’re about to have a baby.” He said with excitement.

No bags were backed, we were in separate cars, both planning on heading to work. Now we were being told we were about to have a baby one week early when she wasn’t even dilated past three centimeters. After a couple hours of running around and making arrangements we were in the birthing room arguing about the pain medicine she swore she would never take.

“If I can’t eat, neither can you.”

I waited until she was good and knocked out before telling my mom I was going to get something to eat. The least I could do was wait until she couldn’t see me eating. Memorial Hermann in the Heights is a weird location. It’s close to a million restaurants but almost none of them are in walking distance.

Walking distance for New York maybe but not for Houston.

But right next door to this massive Hospital is a small Mexican restaurant. No flat screens or fancy tables. No granite counter tops or 12 dollar margaritas. Just cold Coronas in a big ice chest and tequilas I can’t name. Starving and needing to get back to the birth of my first son I ordered something quick and then something happened.

You know that thing that happens in the movies where the music gets dramatic and you know the story is about to take a dark turn. My mother’s name popped up on my caller ID. If you knew my mom you’d know one thing about her, she never asks me for anything. That means seeing her name meant I knew she wasn’t calling to ask me to bring her some food.

“Dr. Ahmed is here. There’s something the matter with the baby’s heartbeat, it’s dipping too low and they can’t wait for it to stabilize. They need to perform a C-section now! You need to get back here Demez.” Ten minutes ago we were laughing and anticipating my son coming at six in the morning. Now at 8:30pm they were telling me if they didn’t perform this emergency C-section he might not make it here. Throwing a twenty on the counter and running back to the hospital I stepped off the elevator and as soon as I walked into the room there were nurses and doctors everywhere prepping her.

The epidural was causing her to shake uncontrollably and the anesthesia was making her nauseas and sleepy. With her eyes barely open and squeezing my hand she asked me, “Do you remember your promise? If it’s between me and Lennox, choose him.” For months she’d been telling me this and for months I’d been telling her that nothing was going to happen. Now here we were with her having a bad reaction to the epidural she didn’t want to get and my son’s heartbeat dropping with every second.

“I remember what I promised you. I got you. I love you. Nothing is going to happen.”

My mom and sisters helped me put on my sterilization gear. I followed the doctors and nurses to the operating room. This is the part that literally shook me to my core. Up until this point I was sure everything was going to be alright but they put me in a waiting room that felt like purgatory.

I’m alone in this waiting room and there’s one bench and no one else can be in this room. The nurses tell me to wait and they’ll come back for me. I can see my family and her family on the other side of the door every time it opens begging me with their eyes for answers I don’t have. At this point I don’t have to be brave for anyone. Not for B, not for my family, not for her family. I’m alone and now I have nothing but my own fears. What if my son doesn’t make it onto this earth? What if his mother doesn’t? What if neither of them do? Closing my eyes and praying to God for what seemed like the first time in months all I asked is that they both make it out okay.

The operating room is cold and sterile and quiet. They walk me over to her and ask me to keep her calm, to make her laugh. I’m supposed to make her laugh when she’s terrified and shaking. Cool, let me do my Kevin Hart impression while his wife is delivering a baby. I tell her to remember our trips, to think about the first place we’ll take Lennox. I tell her to focus on me and to focus on what it will be like to hold him.

In the midst of me talking I hear the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard in my life.

I hear Lennox Noire White crying. At 9:13pm on 6 August 2018 I hear my son crying for the first time. Cleaning him up, they place him in my arms since B is still being operated on. He’s 6 pounds 11 ounces and the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen. A thick head of curly black hair, incredibly quiet for all he’s just put us thru and my world.

An hour later his mom is wheeled into the room on her bed and holds him for the first time.

That was my Monday.

That was the story of how I almost had a heart attack trying to say hello to my son.

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Dear Lennox,

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Since your mother walked into the kitchen on that January evening and told me about you I’ve been thinking of what I wanted for you, of how long I’ve been waiting on you to get here. This world, this world you’re about to be born into isn’t the kindest of places to little black boys that will grow up to be black men. We will do our best to protect you and shield you from that ugliness but that will be a time when we aren’t there. When you become aware of your skin tone, of the way you’re perceived.

It will be in that moment that you still hold your head up high, that you don’t respond with anger or violence or fear but respond with the confidence of knowing where you come from, who you come from and who you are.

Text books will tell you that slavery never existed.

Schools will tell you that the Civil War was over States Rights.

Teachers will want to silence you if you ask too many questions.

Slavery did exist.

The Civil War happened because they wanted to keep us in chains.

Ask all the questions you want and I will have your back.

I want you to grow up watching your mother laugh, watching us be affectionate. I want you to know that it’s cool to love a woman, to need a woman, that they are not easily replaced. I don’t want you to sexualize them before you even know what sex should be. I won’t tell you it’s cute when you grab a woman on her ass. I won’t smile when you sing words to songs you shouldn’t be listening to. I want you to understand that love is an amazing feeling and has nothing to do with your hormones.

I’ll never be your friend but I’ll always be someone that you can come to and talk to about any and everything. I won’t judge you or curse you out but I will tell you when you’re wrong. I will tell you when you have to live with the consequences of your actions. And then I’ll hug you, I’ll hug you because my father never hugged me and I grew up thinking that made me tough.

There’s nothing tough about hiding your emotions. Nothing tough about needing to cry, about wanting to cry but holding it in because you don’t want to be seen as weak. There’s nothing soft about hugging your mother or calling her when you’ve had a bad day. You won’t know what it feels like to have to do it on your own blindly. To have to search for answers. We will be here to give you the blueprint so that when you go into this world you won’t be blindsided the cruelty of it.

I’ve been a lot of places. Traveled and enjoyed their cultures, their food, their music but I’ve also collected books in each of these places. Books to teach you, books to make you want to explore the world one day. I read to you while you’re in there baking, I rub her stomach and tell you about the beaches of Belize. I kiss her belly and tell you about where Langston Hughes studied in Paris and where Eddie Murphy ate steak off a models back. I talk to you because I want you to know the sound of peace when you hear your father’s voice.

Your biggest responsibility as my son will be being yourself. I’d love for you to love reading and writing and boxing. But if you end up loving dance and painting, I’m going to support you.

The first time your mother heard your heartbeat on a monitor she cried. Not like one of those sweet teary eyed cries but an actual ugly cry. I didn’t cry, I didn’t shed a tear. I just closed my eyes and said a prayer that you make it into this world okay.

Stop Waiting Until You’re the Best Version of Yourself Before You Let Someone Love You

thumbnail_img_2527 Yesterday I saw a lot of people that weren’t feeling Valentine’s Day. I’m not here to jump inside the minds of these people but I do know a lot of them didn’t seem very happy. Some were bitter, some were down right mean and a lot were genuinely sad. The ones that stuck out to me the most were the ones that want all of us to know they’re waiting on themselves. “What’s the matter with me building myself up and finding myself before I find love?”

I feel like being transparent today. The sort of honesty that’s uncomfortable but necessary at times. I think it’s bulls*it when I hear guys say, “I’m not trying to be in a relationship or date or take any women serious because I’m trying to get myself together first.” I think that’s bullsh*t because I was once that guy and the logic makes no sense. Think about it, women make us better, they always have. If you’re working and trying and you meet an amazing woman. Are you letting her go because you’re making salary instead of owning your own business? She’s probably the piece of the puzzle that’s going to get you your own business.

I can’t take any man seriously that’s afraid to love a woman. That’s afraid to be vulnerable, that’s afraid to take a chance on what could be the most amazing experience of your life. I see these guys that pretend they aren’t ready for anything serious because they simply want to be better prepared for their “future wife.” That would be noble if you weren’t sleeping with women, lying to women, leading women on. You can’t pretend to be this man of principle when you’re a whole man thot out here. It takes courage to stop looking for notches and options and to start investing in a dope ass woman.

Anything I write, I write from a place of experience. It’s not a good feeling knowing that there are women out there that really liked me and I was an ain’t sh*t dude to them. It’s not a good feeling having an amazing woman ride for me and people remind her of my past. These are things I have to live with and part of my journey is learning to forgive myself and being honest in my writing. It’s not okay to ignore love because you think you may find better or you want to go play. Grow up and when you have someone that makes your heart flutter and wants the best for you, take her hand and take that journey. Maybe it doesn’t work but you tried and you loved and you’ll crave that feeling again.

Yesterday was my two year anniversary and she’s pushed me in ways I didn’t know I could be pushed. That doesn’t mean there weren’t times where I thought I would lose my mind but that does mean there has never been a time where I questioned whether or not she had my back. I’m a better man not just because I’m older or wiser but because I’m in a relationship that matters.

Relationships matter.

How Do You Make A Relationship Work? Go In the Other Room and Put Your Phone Down

fullsizerender1Whenever I write about relationships I tell people I’m no expert. I’m not the man that’s going to give you five steps on how to be this perfect man or how to find your perfect woman. I’m simply a guy that’s sharing my experiences and learning as I go. One thing I’ve learned more than anything this past year is that arguments will happen and it isn’t the arguments that hurt your relationship, it’s what happens after.

My girlfriend and I both have social media profiles, followings. What we say matters, not on a Kim and Kanye level but on a level that will have people interested or at the very least paying attention. What neither of us can do is let our emotion or passion or anger spread to the world of social media.

Early in our relationship she’d get mad at me and get all Meek Mill with the Twitter fingers and I had to sit her down and let her know that’s not okay. And when I was upset or frustrated it wasn’t okay for me to run to my blog and write about it. You know what is okay? Working out, going to take a nap, calling your sister or friend to vent.

There’s nothing impressive about holding grudges and resentment with someone you want to hold and kiss and laugh with. It doesn’t make you gangster depriving yourself of kisses and tacos because the person you’d cross an ocean for pissed you off. Let that hurt go, put that phone down, cool down and Netflix and Chill.

If you’re halfway attractive or interesting people will co-sign anything you say. So you’re mad and put out there, “I don’t understand why my man can’t accept that some days I don’t feel like cooking.” You get random guys commenting, “I’d cook for you every night.” “Your man is selfish.” These guys aren’t doing anything but being cheerleaders in hopes that they’re first in line if your relationship doesn’t work. Women are even worse because they’re 10 times more passive aggressive with their flirting, “I work all week and I can’t even get a night to myself, my girl is tripping.” What I didn’t mention is that maybe there were issues in the past where I didn’t earn her trust. Maybe the men I’m hanging out with don’t respect my relationship and she’s worried they’ll put me in a compromising position. Stay offline and take a nap. Wake up and talk to your him or her, you’d be surprised at how something you thought was minor hurt them more than you knew.

 

 

Strive for Relationship Realities Not Relationship Goals

blog pic10It’s amazing how women can become so invested in television. Or books or movies, you name it. There have been times where we have sat and watched The Walking Dead and she got teary eyed over a zombie tearing away at someone. Making fun of her, calling her a baby. Her laughing, wiping tears, telling you to shut up. Relationship Realities.

blog pic8Couples have silly fights right? Well we had two recently that lead to WW3 and you know what they started over? Me watching the first episode of House of Cards without her and me getting her a tuna sub from Subway. This is going to add to me sucking as a boyfriend but I had no idea she watched House of Cards or didn’t eat tuna. After we yelled and threatened to disable Netflix we laughed about it. Now I know and knowing is half the battle. It’s dope learning new things about someone you adore.

blog pic7I may have one of the worst immune systems known to mankind. When I get sick I stay sick forever! I’ve been to the doctor to make sure there’s not a bigger problem going on but I guess I’m just a sucker for runny noses and scratchy throats. Romantic dates, holding hands on Christmas Eve in the mall. Those are all cool. You never reach that level of trust until you see someone sick. Warm vomit hitting your hand because you’re late with the trash can.Dirty tissues, chapped lips. It’s not for the faint of hearts but it’s growth and it’s reality.

blog pic6Dumb fights are the staple of most relationships. You are literally huffing and puffing and vowing to go to war and two hours later you can’t even remember what you were fighting over. Two hours later she’s lying under you on the couch when there’s furniture everywhere else in the house but she’s only trying to be where you are.

blog pic4Laughing is good for the soul. That’s all.

Stop Talking About What You Want In A Wife and Start Talking About What You Want To Be As A Husband

  It’s really easy to talk about what we want in someone. I want a woman that’s fine and smart and sexy and giving, etc. I want a woman that’s caring and beautiful and fashionable. What we forget though, what matters more than what we want is who we are and what we attract. 

That leads me to the point of this article. Instead of constantly talking about what you want; talk about what you want to be. We attract what we are, it’s that simple. It’s easy to say we have bad luck or attract the wrong people but that’s not the case. We give people the time of day because there’s something in them that we see in ourselves.

When I think about the type of husband I want to be I don’t think about what my future wife would want or be attracted to. I think about what type of woman would be attracted to the man I’m becoming; the man I am. Part of being a good husband or boyfriend is becoming a good man first. Not how I look with my shirt off or my ambitions as a provider but having the type of soul, standards, morals and heart that will stand adversity. Six packs become kegs, wavy hair becomes a receding hairline. A great job becomes Exxon Mobil laying off a 1000 people on a Tuesday. Commitment has to be deeper than that. Commitment has to lie at the heart of the man you are. 

This isn’t the point where I rattle off a list of traits and characteristics where women ohh and ahh. This isn’t the point where I take shots at other men they still have a lot of growing to do in their relationship. This is the point where I say, “Just because you fall short today doesn’t mean you can’t stand tall tomorrow. Just because you aren’t the man or woman you’d want your son or daughter to marry tonight; that doesn’t mean you can’t be that man or woman two months from now.” The reason couples seem so perfect today and they’re divorced tomorrow is because they dated, fell in love with and married representatives. You can’t bare your soul to a representative. Look inside yourself and there you will find the reflection of who it is you want in your heart. 

4 Reasons Why Loving One Woman Is Cooler Than Chasing A Hundred Women

  It’s always been important to me that I be the man I write about. Let’s just be honest, we live in an age where most men aren’t what they “post to be.” It’s easy to hop online and tell everyone what you’d do if you had a wife or girlfriend but what’s not easy is actually being that man. Sacrificing, putting aside pride and just humbling yourself in the name of love and commitment. 

One- Being romantic and talking about your woman or relationship doesn’t make you weak; it makes you an adult. I’m not saying post a dozen selfies a week of your mate or constantly talk about them but I’m saying it’s okay to let the world know how special someone is to you. So many men feel like they’re losing when they commit. Losing female options, freedom, etc but we tend to forget treating a woman right, being the man she adore because you’re sincere means you’re winning. 

Two- I’m vulnerable at times. Wait a minute. I said that too low, I’M VULNERABLE AT TIMES! You hear me now? It’s okay to say that you need someone to talk to. That you need that person to see you at your worst and not judge you. There’s nothing cool about being in a dark place and not having one woman to call because you’ve treated them all like options. Why should or would a woman give you her all when you’re constantly making it clear she’s just not that important? Does that make sense?

Three- Life is not a movie. There are no James Bonds in real life. If there were he’d be in dialysis from drinking too much or probably have HIV from sleeping around. For as much as music and memes tell us that women love being side chicks and aren’t loyal… That’s sort of bullsh**. Women are quite loyal and hate guys that cheat. So if you want your stock to go up, if you want women to admire you. Be faithful. Don’t text at 3am, don’t meet them for drinks, don’t be that guy that’s taken and acts single. Be a good man. You fight with your girl, don’t vent on FB, get a bottle and go outside and drink until you’re ready to apologize. The American way. Women adore good men and if the day comes when you’re single. They’ll remember the man that loved his woman and did right by her. Not the cheating asshole. 

Four- Have you ever seen someone smile because you’re smiling? Have you ever did something really small and it made her day? Have you ever had a toothache or been constipated and she made it better? You don’t get that comfort level, that feeling of “I’m hurting so she’s hurting” bouncing from woman to woman. When I was younger I was a horrible boyfriend. When we broke up and I was single I was a horrible guy to date. I lied a lot, drank too much, was selfish and more importantly messed over too many good girls. I can’t change who I was but what I can do is tell other men it’s never too late. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it.