I was living my best life at Sam Houston State University attempting to get on line as an Alpha Kappa Alpha when I passed out in the shower and woke up in a partial coma. That day, my life was changed forever!
As a young woman, there are several things you want to accomplish in life. From graduating college and enjoying the full college experience to coming into your own as a woman, it can be very discouraging when you are told you have AIDS in the midst of it all.
After a month of being in the hospital in December of 2006, ten different physicians coming in to discuss what the issue could possibly be; a doctor walks in and tells me that I have AIDS. Not only to tell me that I had AIDS, but my t-cell count was (2) and that it had been dormant in my system for quite some time. Her facial expression said it all while talking. She was speaking as if me being in the bed was the end for me and I needed to say my last little goodbyes. Of course, you could imagine everything that was going through my mind at the time. What does this mean for my life moving forward? How will this affect me and what I want to accomplish? All of those questions ran across my mind, including the idea that I might never find love or have a family. Despite what I knew society and our culture felt about the virus, I knew immediately that I had to take responsibility and it was up to me to create the life I wanted for myself.
After working in the music business for years, nurturing my virus, maintaining my health, and writing a book telling my story about my truth; I realized in 2015 that something was missing. Of course, it is great as a woman to travel the friendly skies and work around some of the best artists, but apart of me began to feel unfulfilled. Not only was I not feeling complete, but I felt like I was wasting the calling that God put over my life. Still not fully listening to Him, I chose to keep indulging in the industry and traveling the country speaking my truth all at the same time. Until one day I came home to Los Angeles from the Essence Festival in New Orleans and had the most life-changing panic attack! The day prior to the attack, I had an epiphany and it came from a question from posted on The Shaderoom. After being on their page as a morning inspiration post, I had over 100 direct messages asking me various questions, but it was one that stuck out for me the most. One woman asked me, “What inspires you to do what you do and keep going?” In that moment, I did not have an answer nor was I actually inspired anymore. Yes! I was gaining popularity with sharing my truth so boldly in a world that is so judgemental and YES I had various accolades to attach to my name, but as I sat at the brunch table with my girls, all I could think of was, “I am not happy and it has nothing to do with AIDS!” So the question became at that point, “who do you turn to when the empowerer needs EMPOWERING?”
I knew what was missing and in order to get to a true place of peace, I was going to have to sacrifice, truly get back to self-care, fasting and praying over my purpose, but most of all, asking God to prepare me for the family my heart desired.
So, who said that because I was diagnosed with AIDS that I can’t have my mommy, mogul, wifey cake AND eat it too? Well, unfortunately, you wouldn’t believe the questions that plague me ever since having my life-changing moment to now. From, “Girl! How can you have a baby?” to “Does your significant other, husband or whoever have it too AND if not, DOES HE KNOW?” Listen, by the time I am finished embarking on the questions that are thrown my way, I am too busy trying to figure out if I should go next door to Wilma and Fred Flinstone house since we still in the prehistoric/Bedrock times. Although, I have those thoughts, I also have a clear understanding of how society is still very uneducated on how a woman diagnosed can live a healthy life, prosper and still have all the desires of her heart, INCLUDING a family and being in love.
Once I found out I was pregnant, I felt all types of emotions. Anxiety, nausea, confusion, and WORRY all into one. The confusion had nothing to do with the “how” factor, but it was because of the miscarriages and ectopic pregnancy that I had suffered in the past. I knew that I had to solely focus on eating right, stressing less and making sure that the journey to healthy baby would be right in the palm of my hand. See, the key to a positive woman bringing a healthy baby into this world is all about how she cares for self. From taking her meds properly and maintaining a consistent relationship with her OBGYN, those are all essential parts of getting your little one here safely and most of all avoiding all NEGATIVITY!
My pregnancy was the one of the healthiest pregnancies that my doctor had ever seen. I began taking a total of twenty antiretroviral pills per day, which consisted of my HIV/AIDS meds, prenatal vitamins and other essential vitamins needed to replenish me from what baby was taking. Next, I tag teamed with my primary OBGYN in Los Angeles and made sure that my pregnancy stayed a healthy one. Once the dots were connected, I then transferred over to one of the best MFM OBGYN’s in California. Dr. Stek was amazing! From day one she walked me through everything. She never rushed our visits, she took her time and most of all she personalized my relationship with her to assure that the Journei to a healthy baby girl would an easy one.
See here is the gag…my happiness IS never and WAS never dictated by my diagnosis! To be honest, as crazy as it sounds, it actually made me more POPTEASHA! LOL…it made me realize who I was and WHOSE I was. The God I serve called me for greater so I knew that had built in me to step back, sit in peace, truly hear him and walk in my purpose! It is about more than giving birth to the most amazing blessing ever, but it was more about strengthening my inner self so that I could find a balance in the life I wanted for myself. I knew I could bare a child and I knew I could become a businesswoman if I put Him first and continued to pray over my purpose! So ladies who told you that YOU couldn’t have your mommI cake and eat it too? If they did tell them I already baked the cake, hand made the icing, prepared the decorations and ate the cake my damn self!