Why my medical crisis wasn’t taken seriously

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 about four months along, extremely uncomfortable, and at work when I started bleeding. When you are a 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 calling my husband to pick me up.

That day I sat in the waiting room of my obstetrics office for 30 minutes, after calling ahead and reporting my condition when I arrived. After I had bled through the nice

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