I Was Pregnant and in Crisis. All the Doctors and Nurses Saw Was an Incompetent Black Woman
The first dream for my imagined future self that I can recall starts with a sound. I was maybe 5 years old and I wanted to click-clack. The click-clack of high heels on a shiny, hard floor. I have a briefcase. I am walking purposefully, click-clack-click-clack. That is the entire dream.
I dreamed of being competent.
I have never felt more incompetent than when I was pregnant. I was four months or so pregnant, extremely uncomfortable, and at work when I started bleeding. When you are black woman, having a body is already complicated for workplace politics. Having a bleeding, distended body is especially egregious. I waited until I filed my copy, by deadline, before walking to the front of the building, where I called my husband to pick me up.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, writing at Time Magazine, shares this personal essay about her experience with the American healthcare system.