Why did I choose baby name Malcolm? His name was set earlier this year. Why the sudden change? Hmmm… To be honest, it all boils down to this: With what he survived during the final months, Malcolm was a stronger name.
During the magical month of August in 2017, I was finally blessed with the son that I always wanted. He came out healthy and strong like his sister. I was able to deliver him with no epidural. I labored the pain for 27 1/2 hours. He was worth every minute of pain and every tear shed. I intended to have a water birth but that didn’t work out as planned. Yet and still, he is here unmarked. I am grateful for that alone. It is no secret that before he arrived here his father and I decided to name him after his dad. Kala Diarra Ali. He was due to carry his father’s last name as well. Unfortunately the last trimester of my pregnancy proved that I could NOT name our son after him.
Nobody deserves to deal with things that I dealt with during the end of my pregnancy. I was dealing with things such as: infidelity and abuse (not physical). He looked in my face and told me that I was not “good enough”. I dealt with the issue of codependency on his end. This is after I isolated myself from friends early in the relationship. That one was my fault. It should have been a red flag when he told me that my interactions on social media with people I know wasn’t cool. I cut off a lot of good people to be a “good spouse”. I even had my internet usage monitored and ridiculed. Yes, I find mediatakeout.com entertaining. That’s a five-minute guilty pleasure. GET OVER IT.
Things reached a head when I was thrown out in Georgia’s sweltering heat in early July. My daughter and I were put out after having a little over a month to go in my pregnancy. I had to haul our heavy belongings and pack them up in the car. To add insult to injury, I went to the store to get something to drink and his father cut off the debit card. I had to deal with the shame that brought. This man tried to break me… It was then that I realized that this man who accuses me of not knowing what love is did not know love for himself. How do you do that to a woman who is pregnant with your child? When I looked back at everything, his relationship history proved that he did not know love. It got even worse. He relapsed and smoke crack after I left… One of the things that I respected about him was the fact that he did have a checkered past with this drug, yet he stopped cold turkey and never used again… So I thought… The break down of this relationship has put me in counseling. I would never wish this kind of pain and trauma on any pregnant woman.
I knew that I could not name my son after this man. For one I see now that I have a lot of work to do to liberate him from the possibilities of becoming that very same man. This is not an article intended to bash his father. This is a part of my healing… The sad part is, I still love him and I don’t understand why. A part of me still believes in love and still wants to work it out. People make mistakes. People can change for the better. In the back of my mind, I know that we are past the point of fixing anything. I am damaged behind the ending of this relationship. Now, I look into my beautiful baby boy’s face and question moving forward.. How?
During the last week of my pregnancy I knew that I could not name my son after his father. My son deserves a better name. On one afternoon while nesting, I thought: who are influential men who have made an impact in my life? Malcolm X instantly came to mind. I remember watching Malcolm X for the first time in the early 90s. I was fascinated by his power and conviction. Minister Malcolm, was no joke. When I got older and read the book, it changed my life. He changed my perception of the word “black”. I wanted to name my son after someone who had a strong legacy that still impacts our people today. I decided to give him two middle names. The next name I decided on was Pierre. I decided to name him Pierre after the older brother that I was never supposed to know about. My brother is my best friend. He is the only man in my life that I do not like being upset with.
I sat there on the sofa thinking “Malcolm Pierre” that’s a good start. I decided to keep the middle name “Ali“. I named him this because it means “most high”. Not to mention, It was the name of one of the most prolific black boxers ever. Ali is the name of the world’s greatest. I wanted to give my son a piece of that in his name. I want him to know that he is great every time he hears his name. Lastly, I decided to give my son my father’s last name “Smith”. My father was quite a character. By far one of the realest men I knew.
That was it. Malcolm Pierre Ali Smith. That was the name of my son. I gave him a name that he could be proud of. I gave him a name that would churn my stomach or give me painful flashbacks. He has quite a legacy of his own to write. Given the stress that he went through in the womb on his trip here, he is special. He went from everything from me battling the effects antepartum depression from me, to pretty much being abused by his father, to having doctors say that the placenta that he was connected to was going bad prematurely. All the odds were placed against him. Yet he survived in spite of.
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