*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*
I was very supportive throughout my friend Angela’s third pregnancy, even though she admitted to me at one point that she wasn’t exactly sure who the father of the baby was.
It might have been her boyfriend’s, but… it might have been someone else’s, too.
I was the only one she confided this to, and I felt bad that she was so stressed out about the paternity of her baby, but had no idea how stressful the situation would actually turn out to be.
Angela decided to have a water birth at home, and I was there beside the big tub in her living room with her mom, boyfriend, and doula when she gave birth on a beautiful summer afternoon.
The joyful moment of her daughter’s birth, though, immediately turned dark in more ways than one.
Angela, and her boyfriend Cody, are both caucasian - and it was apparent from the moment of birth that her daughter was African American.
Her daughter’s dark skin stood out against Angela’s white skin of her chest when the baby was placed on her, screaming and wriggling, and I knew my eyes were bugging out of my head and my mouth was probably propped open in shock.
“What’s wrong with her, what’s wrong with her?” Angela kept asking the doula.
“Nothing, she’s beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with her.”
I knew the truth of the situation - Cody was quite obviously, certainly not the father of Angela’s daughter, but he still stood by and supported her, even adding his name to the baby’s birth certificate.
I just couldn’t believe it when I overheard Angela telling someone who inquired that her daughter had a skin pigment condition that made her look darker than her parents.
That didn’t last long, but it was shameful while it lasted.
I am happy to report that Angela and her boyfriend accepted, loved, and raised a beautiful mixed race child together despite that not being part of the plan.
I just hope their daughter never knows how her mom lied about her “skin condition” when she was a baby.
How would you have reacted?