Just Like Halle Berry, My Mom Was Pregnant At 51
Her Voice

Just Like Halle Berry, My Mom Was Pregnant At 51

The 2016 presidential election was utterly exhausting to both myself and my husband. While my husband does a far better job than I at keeping up with politics and the history behind each political issue - mostly because he never ever wants to be "that Hotep guy" - I tend to lag behind a little. But we do what we can to keep each other informed.

For us, the most draining political issue is abortion. While I've never had an abortion, my mother has, and her abortion impacted everyone in my family, including herself.

It happened several years ago when my mother discovered that she was pregnant at 51 years old.

I was 30.

About the time my mom got pregnant, she started to have a deeper appreciation and love for herself. After years of low self-esteem and self-worth because of her brown skin, she suddenly changed. She told herself every day how "fine" she was because she was brown-skinned. She started dressing more nicely than what I remember and sashaying her hips to the tune of rhythmic drums that only she could hear.

Mom was so excited to be feeling good after more than 20 years of drug and alcohol abuse, that she started to have some adventure in her life, like she was in her 20s again. She found a boyfriend who was two years older than I was, and "had a little fun with him," as she often joked.

Then one day she went to the hospital, and they wouldn't release her.

When I got to her hospital room, she laughed a little before she told me that she was pregnant. I thought she was joking until she started describing her symptoms to me. Like hard boobs and nausea.

After grossing me out a little more, she finally broke down what the doctor told her: because of her prior medical history, she was going to have to choose whether she wanted to carry the babies full term and risk dying, or if she wanted to proceed with an abortion.

In the back of my mind, I just knew my mother had already scheduled an abortion. After all, there will never be another woman like my mom walking this Earth. Also, she was older and I knew she didn't have the patience to raise twins. Nope.

But she didn't schedule it. My mom said that she wanted to go home and think it over.

For the next few days, my mother thought it over by being a mom again. She started to celebrate the slight changes in her body. She enjoyed saying that she "ate for three." But I had to draw the line when she started talking about my 3-year-old son playing with her twins. I just wasn't ready to think about the possibility of raising twins if my mother died during childbirth, and it scared me.

I didn't like my mother's pregnancy because it meant that I could possibly lose her. My son was getting bigger and smarter before her eyes. My husband started hanging out with her more, forming a closer friendship that she cherished dearly. And most of all, my mother became my best friend. After years of fighting, arguing, and hating the woman drugs and alcohol made her, she found a way to give me more love than what she could when I was a young girl. I knew that I wasn't ready to give that away.

Then one day, she went to the hospital and refused to see me for a few weeks. Perhaps she thought that I wouldn't forgive her because she had an abortion. All I know is that I wanted her to live, but I was fine with whatever choice she made. After all, it was hers to make.

Looking back, my mom had a tough time reconciling with her abortion. She talks about how old her kids would have been all the time, and sometimes when she prays, she asks for forgiveness. This situation also forced me to rethink my ideas about late-term pregnancies.

Just like many other people, I was under the impression that a woman having a baby over 40 is repugnant, because the older she gets, the more she puts her child at risk for illnesses. The truth is that as long as you take care of yourself, you can have a baby until your body decides to stop preparing you for one.

Halle Berry proved this idea to be true when she recently walked the red carpet of the 16th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball with what the internet is calling a baby bump. Just shy of her 51st birthday, she looks amazing!

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Last year, 50-year-old Janet Jackson shocked the world with her pregnancy announcement. She told PEOPLE, “We thank God for our blessing."

The good news is that my mother had a choice, to begin with. I'm happy that I have her walking this life with me every day. For that, I am thankful. The bad news is that every election year, I have to be reminded of why abortion, which shouldn't even be an issue, is one to begin with.

Although it pained me to see my mother go through this, I wish all women out there happiness and successful births.

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