Why I didn’t have the heart to give birth to a black boy


I went into labor with my first child in 1990, and I knew I wanted a girl. By 1992 I was with child again, but this time I prayed for a boy. I didn’t believe in ultrasounds and wanted to stick to the old time way. I wanted the sex of my child to be a surprise. Somehow, I believed that if I didn’t know, it would better my chances. I was slightly disappointed when the doctors passed me another little girl, but immediately fell in love with my bundle of joy. For many years I yearned to mother a son. When I saw my friends with their boys my heart instantly felt empty. Something was missing. I wanted a son. A male child who would love me, admire me and take care of me when I got old. I wanted a son. At least that’s what I thought.

The fact remains that I never did get my son. God had other plans for my womb and a man child would not pass through it. When I look at my daughters, I know that this love is undefined. My heart is tied into theirs. I feel their hurt from many mile away. As college students, they have been stretched beyond any lesson that I could every teach them. Growing up suddenly happens when mama is not around, and sometimes letting them grow up is almost unbearable. 

Everyone knows I love my daughters. Pure and simple, I’m a doting mother. I can’t imagine life without my girls, but the truth is, I have my moments of longing and there have been times when I’ve wondered why I didn’t get my boy. There’s no other way to say it, but to say it — I’ve felt a void. That is, until a few months ago. I’m finally at peace knowing that it just wasn’t meant to be. Recent turn of events have assured me that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knew long before I was born that I could not handle the burden of giving birth to a black boy. Trayvon Martin, a son…”shot and killed in Florida . Jonathan Ferrel, a son…”shot and killed in South Carolina”. The turmoil, worry, and pure anxiety around mothering a black boy and then the thought of having to bury him at the hands of police or at the hand of a race of people who are afraid of black boys would be too much for me. I’d die from that torture alone. That is just something God knew my heart couldn’t handle. They say, God won’t put more on you than you can bear, I believe that to be true.

My heart has been broken with every senseless death of black boys, who aren’t even my children. I grieve when I hear of the death of someone else’s son. The recent turn of events have brought me closure and I’m finally at peace with knowing that I will never have to bury my “son,” or deal with the anguish of all that comes along with having a black boy pass through ones womb. 

-De’Vonna Pittman
Author & Blogger