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I Manifested Becoming A Single Mom

Now that I am pregnant, I know without a doubt I manifested my (unborn) baby and the circumstances attached.

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There was a time in my life when I didn’t want children. A couple of things occurred to make me eventually change my mind, however. One, I was determined to prove I would never be the parent I had, at least not the woeful parts of them that I came to resent. And two, I started to get older and holidays with my family stopped feeling familiar. After that, I would come to talk about my future children with so much conviction that I even had their names together. They say words are spells, and for three years every time I spoke, I would make comments about wanting a baby and my willingness to raise my baby alone.


Now that I am pregnant, I know without a doubt I manifested my (unborn) baby and the circumstances attached. Surely, it doesn’t take much to manifest a pregnancy but as someone who was perpetually single and celibate leading up to my pregnancy (irony at its finest), I did have to manifest the man and so many of the other details. On the off chance that I would not be able to find a worthy partner, it had been written into my five-year plan to use a sperm donor. The idea was appealing but it required far more patience than I could muster.

In this new world, why would I wait for a man to do anything? Coming from a space of hyper-independence, it just seemed counterintuitive.

And suddenly, my eighth-grade sweetheart came back into my life (an everlasting on-again, off-again relationship). I had little to no idea about the kind of father he was, yet I plotted, planned, and penned. I wrote his name and our child’s name in a manifestation journal when circumstances separated him and I yet again – even created a manifestation playlist to bring him back into my life.

Equally determined and naive, I said in the worst-case scenario I would get a sperm donor for free – not realizing the emotional attachment that would immediately be present. My baby was far from unplanned. I told my boyfriend from the moment that we reconnected that he should take precautions if he didn’t want another child because I had no intention of practicing birth control.

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To share my success in doing any of this, allow me to offer you this perspective: I’m five months pregnant and I’ve been celibate for the past two months.

Prior to us rekindling our friendship and subsequently our fling, I encountered many red flags that I ultimately chose to ignore regarding my partner. However, it required getting pregnant for me to acknowledge and then honor the part of me that knew I had to be done with the romantic aspect of our relationship. Upon finding out I was pregnant, I immediately felt so responsible for this little baby who wasn’t even a full fetus yet.

He deserved a full family but he also deserved parents who were going to protect him from unnecessary trauma – only one of us, me, even had the wherewithal to recognize trauma, so naturally, the duty had fallen squarely on me. And while some days were good, others looked like doors slamming and me being cussed out for purchasing the wrong blunt wrappers.

Despite the fact that I had been less inclined to have sex with my boyfriend, had been sleeping on the couch, and had even begun seeing other people – I spent the first three months of my pregnancy attempting to envision us as a family.

Well aware that a baby doesn’t make any relationship easier, I took to deep prayer and delusion, hoping that the instances of verbal and emotional abuse were one-offs. That his temper was a result of my wrongdoing rather than his inability to seek out help for his own trauma. Ultimately, the maternal instinct to keep my child safe by all means eventually outweighed my desire for my baby boy to know what it was to be a family.

Behavior that I had previously tolerated quickly became intolerable.

Now wearing my new bulging belly as a metaphorical scarlet letter, I’m obviously on ice until my little seed comes into this world and then some. But most of all, I’ve come to realize that as much as I already love my baby, he was the result of manifesting with unhealed trauma. I had to acknowledge that my hyper-independence is both a superpower and debilitating kryptonite at best and a trauma response at worst.

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As a Black young woman who has seen so many Black women before me do it – no matter the hardship – I knew it was more than possible because I had already seen the impossible be done. I knew I had, at the very least, positioned myself slightly better than the women of past years with their unplanned pregnancies. In hindsight, I see how so many of the decisions I made were selfish but I’ve done my best to make peace with that for now. As some wise person once said, “Worrying only means you’ll suffer twice.”

One thing that I know to be true is that one day, and sooner than I imagine, I will have to answer to my son about why I chose so sorely wrong when it came to his father – in one way or another – this topic will come up. Unfortunately, that is also a trauma that is familiar to me.

Though nothing can prepare me for that day, I’ve already begun the process of accountability while also giving myself grace because I know I will one day have to answer to my little boy and maybe even again when he’s a grown man. I hope, if nothing else, my son will show me grace for leaving when I did as opposed to staying for a lifetime as penance for my initial decision to bring life into this world with such a waste-of-space man in the face of all the signs.

As for now, I recognize how powerful words and thoughts are more than ever before. With that knowledge, I’m determined to manifest the lifestyle that both my baby boy and I truly deserve.

I'm determined to manifest the world.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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