What do you do when everyone around you tells you one thing, but your body and soul tell you another? In this inspirational, hope-filled memoir, one woman battles the good advice of others versus the God-advice she senses in her spirit. The life that Angela Burgin had prayed for seemed to be at hand when she finally married her love, Samson Logan, and the couple learned they were expecting their first child. The Queen City couple’s life started to unravel soon after as her dream of becoming a mother turned into a nightmare. Angela sought the advice and help of her doctor when she experienced mysterious and unusual symptoms, but the doctor said it was all in her head. In her heart, Angela knew that something terrible could happen to her and her baby. In Breathe, Angela and Samson share their soul-stirring experience in a beautiful but gut-wrenching account that will give you a glimpse of hope in the darkest of times.
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About the Author
Angela Burgin Logan is the president of Nia Enterprises. A highly sought-after personality, she has appeared on television shows like The View and been featured in print and digital publications like The Huffington Post, Essence Magazine, and others. As a content creator, Angela produced the feature film Breathe and founded the go-to women’s online destination LadiesLiveandLearn.com. As a multimedia strategist and influencer, she has created award-winning digital campaigns and worked with brands like A&E/Lifetime Television. Angela is also a pop culture and lifestyle authority who serves as the Director of Social Media for Uptown Magazine and Hype Hair Magazine. She considers her most important job and greatest honor to be that of mother to her children. She is married to Samson Logan, and the family resides in Buffalo, New York. Samson A. Logan is a recording artist, actor, and producer who now adds author to his many accomplishments. As a Billboard recording artist, Samson has had two top twenty hits, “Atmosphere” and “Future Anniversary,” and has performed and collaborated with stars across musical genres, such as gospel legend Shirley Caesar to rap stars like Tupac Shakur. As an actor, Samson has starred in award-winning film, television, and stage productions, such as Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Je’Caryous Johnson’s Love Overboard. In addition to producing music projects, Samson has produced film projects, including coproducing the film Breathe, which was lauded by top film festivals. He is married to Angela B. Logan and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Read an Excerpt
When Life Takes Your Breath Away
By Angela Burgin Logan, Samson Logan
BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLCCopyright © 2017 Angela Burgin Logan and Samson Logan
All rights reserved.
The Beginning of the End
Now that I'm dying, I wonder if my doctor will finally listen to me. That was my thought as I watched my doctor saunter into my chaos-filled room and take one look at me. His already pale skin seemed even more translucent as all color drained from his face, making him look like a ghost. Or maybe as if he'd seen a ghost.
I'd tried to tell him. For months I'd been trying to tell him that something was wrong. But no matter what I said, his response was always the same: "Nothing's wrong. This is your first time. Pregnancy is hard. You have to toughen up."
Over the months, he'd convinced me that I was nothing more than a high-strung mother-to-be. He was right; this was my first time being pregnant. What did I know? Maybe pregnancy was much harder than I imagined.
Even earlier tonight, I had heard Dr. Walters in my head and I told myself that what I was feeling was nothing, even though I knew it was something. Something was wrong.
The day didn't start out that way, though. It had been uneventful enough. I had spent most of the day in my chair, the one I'd been in for what felt like eternity, but it had really only been the last three months. That chair was my constant companion. I sat in it, ate in it, read in it, surfed the Internet in it, and yes, I even slept in it. With all the pain I was in, I couldn't do much else. I'd tried to go back to my bed, but I always ended up in that chair.
I wasn't used to sitting. I was used to moving, running, walking, and sometimes even flying by the seat of my pants. But now I had to live in this chair because, if I tried to sit or lie anywhere else, I couldn't breathe.
It was because of this life inside of me, a life that took my breath away, both figuratively and literally. At least that's what this little life I was carrying seemed to be doing.
It was ironic, really. Eight months earlier, the pregnancy test had turned pink and the baby I had wished for and prayed for had finally been conceived. Once I knew for sure that I was pregnant, she became the reason I wanted to breathe! She was my wish granted, the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
And my baby was a "she." I was being presumptuous by being so definite, but I was absolutely sure. I don't know if it was my intuition or if it was just that I wanted my baby to be a girl, all I knew was that I sensed "her" almost immediately. I was sure my little girl was going to be something with her daddy's looks and her mommy's personality. That's what my husband, Samson, always said too. "Our little girl is going to be a little me without the goatee," he joked.
Yes, our little girl was the most wanted baby in the world. I couldn't wait for her to get here, not only because I couldn't wait to meet her but because I wanted to get my life back. I needed to breathe again.
My husband jokingly blamed the pregnancy challenges on me. "You never do things the typical way, Angela," Samson said often. "You have to do everything the hard way." We laughed whenever he said that, but in a way it was true. Samson had told me that he'd fallen for me because I was a little different, unusual, even extraordinary. But he wouldn't have minded if this pregnancy was the complete opposite: uneventful, plain, and simple.
I squirmed a little in my chair, trying to find a way to be comfortable, when Samson looked over at me. "You okay?" he asked, pausing for a moment from stuffing his shirt into his overnight bag.
I nodded. What else was I going to say? I wasn't going to tell him about this mild headache that seemed to be crawling slowly toward becoming a migraine. I wasn't going to tell him about the contractions I'd felt earlier this morning that seemed to have gone away. And I wasn't going to tell him about the aches in my body or the pain in my limbs. Samson had heard it all before. So I said nothing and pretended that I was fine.
I once again found a comfortable spot in the chair, then watched my husband finish packing. He was full of excitement and flashed that smile I loved so much.
"This gig up in Toronto is going to be hot," he said.
I smiled at him, but the truth was that I was sad. I didn't want him to leave, not even for one night. But I knew he wanted and needed to go. And as a good wife, I wanted to support him.
This concert had been planned long ago and was the last event Samson had scheduled before our baby's due date. There was no way I could begrudge him. So I put on my brave face, even though I felt anything but brave.
With his bag in his hand, Samson said, "Okay, I think I have everything."
I smiled again.
"You sure you gonna be okay?" he asked.
"Of course," I said, telling him yes in as many ways as I could. "Definitely. I'll be fine."
Samson helped me stand up, then he held my hand as we slowly walked to the door. He kissed me on my forehead and then my lips. "I love you," he said.
"Call me if you need me."
"You know I will," I assured him.
He kissed me one last time, then I watched him retreat down the driveway, hop into our Cadillac, and slowly back out.
A deep longing filled me as I kept my eyes on the car. With the way I was feeling, you would have thought that Samson was leaving for a world tour instead of just an overnight gig. I stayed by the door until I couldn't see the car anymore, and only then did I back away. But before I closed the door, I glanced up at the darkened sky that was filled with masses of billowy black clouds. The clouds seemed to be gliding toward me and were so apropos as they matched my mood.
The storm that the weatherman had promised was making its way into Buffalo, and I hoped Samson would make it over the bridge in the quiet that always came before the storm.
It took a few minutes to waddle back to our bedroom, and once again I settled into my chair. I shifted until I found a spot that would keep me comfortable, at least for a few minutes, then I opened up my laptop and went to work.
About an hour later, I heard the whistle of the wind and the rustling of the leaves. Minutes after that, the branches of the young weeping willow we had planted began to tap on the side of the house. It sounded like this was going to be some storm.
I glanced up and shuddered but then turned my attention back to my computer. Maybe if I focused on something else, that would help. But it was hard to concentrate. Soon the taps of the branches turned to thuds. It felt as if the whole house were shaking.
I began to tremble along with the house. Come on, Angela, I thought, there's nothing to be afraid of. I tried to calm myself down, but it was difficult. I was still getting used to the sounds in our new house, and now as every branch hit the house or fell to the ground I shook in fear.
Maybe if I stand up.
I pushed myself off the chair and made my way to the window.
But then the glass began to quiver. Next came the rumble of the thunder that matched my headache that was now pounding against my temples. I tried to breathe deeply to relax, but when I heard panting I panicked.
What is that? It took me a couple of seconds to realize that the panting I heard was mine. My breathing had been so heavy in these last few months that I hardly recognized myself.
"Okay, Angela," I said to myself. "You're stressing yourself out for nothing." I figured if I talked to myself aloud, I'd be able to get this under control. "Just relax," I told myself again. I grimaced and laughed at the same time. Relax? Seriously? I hadn't been able to do that in ...
I screamed as the sound of a cannon filled the room and then the light that followed brightened the entire space. In the light, my shadow loomed large against the far wall — the only thing was that there were two shadowy figures on the wall. I whipped around in a panic, trying to see who was in the room with me. Blinking quickly, I tried to focus but couldn't. The room had started to move, and in seconds it was spinning. I tried once again to get control of my emotions.
Maybe if I sit down.
With the banging of the tree limbs, the whistling of the wind, and the roar of the thunder, I slowly walked back to the chair and then eased into it. But the moment I sat back, my throat constricted, as if someone had grabbed me and was squeezing the life out of me.
I put my hands on my throat, trying to rid myself of the choking sensation that was enveloping me. As the room filled with light, and then darkness, I couldn't get away. I couldn't breathe, and now I was consumed with pain too.
"Oh, God!" I screamed.
Through the pain, I pushed myself up once again. If I can just make it to the phone that was on the nightstand. But when I tried to take a step, I couldn't move. No matter what I did, I was frozen. Had fear gripped me so thoroughly that I could not will my legs and feet to walk? I closed my eyes and prayed, then moved my left foot, then my right one. My steps were short, slow, and heavy. Each step was filled with pain.
If I can just make it to the phone.
Between the chair and the nightstand, there was a table I looked to as my savior. My plan was to get to the table, then I could drag myself to the nightstand. But when I leaned on the table, a searing pain cut through me like a knife.
Was that a contraction?
Then a bolt of lightning. Next, the crackling roar of thunder.
That fear seemed to drive me and I dragged myself to the nightstand and grabbed the phone. I pressed 9, the first number I needed for an emergency. But then I wondered what I was going to tell the police. That I was being attacked by lightning? That I was afraid of thunder? So I hung up and then dialed another number. I called the person I knew would rescue me. The man who always did.
My fingers were stiff as I dialed the number. After the third ring, I heard his voice. "Hello."
I only got out a breathy, "Dad!"
"Angie!" he exclaimed. Concern was already in his voice.
I wanted to say more, tell him everything that was going on, but I couldn't speak through my labored breathing. "Dad," was all I could say. That was all he needed.
"I'm on my way!" he shouted. Then I heard the dial tone.
My father didn't know what was going on, but it didn't matter. My protective and doting father was coming to save me. I collapsed on the side of the bed as the pain once again gripped every part of me. I needed my father here. I needed to get to the hospital.CHAPTER 2
As I sat waiting for my father to show up, I tried to figure out exactly what I was feeling. One minute my heart raced, the next it slowed down. Raced, then slowed. And in between I was scared — not so much for me but for my baby.
Was this just pregnancy nerves? No, it couldn't be — there was too much pain surging through my body for it to be nothing more than my nerves. Something was wrong and I had to do everything I could to save my baby.
In one of my slower-heart moments, I pushed myself from the bed, then waddled toward the closet. I tried to ignore the sounds of the storm that crashed through the walls. All of my attention, all of my energy, needed to be focused on getting to my closet so I could be ready when my father came, so he could get me to the hospital.
My hospital bag had been packed for weeks. For a while now, I'd wanted my doctor to induce labor because I'd been in so much pain, and because I was having such a tough time breathing. But, as always, whenever I complained about my symptoms, Dr. Walters merely said, "Toughen up."
With the way I was feeling now, I wasn't going to let anything stop me. I was going to get to the hospital, and this time they were going to take care of me and my baby. I was moving slowly, but my steps slowed even more as my world became unfocused. I blinked, trying to get my vision clear, but when I opened my eyes I was still unstable. I was surrounded by two images of everything: two chests, two chairs, two doors. I glanced over my shoulder — two beds. And then black spots appeared.
"Oh, God!" I whispered.
My dad didn't live far away; it would only take him minutes to arrive, and then less than five minutes for us to get to the hospital.
But still I wanted to meet him at the door with my bag so that we could leave right away.
It felt like an eternity had passed by the time I made it to the closet, but I had to lean against the door to catch my breath and garner some strength. In that moment I seemed to have every symptom that I'd had throughout my pregnancy: I was dizzy, my feet were swollen to the point where they were cracked and bleeding, and I was having a hard time breathing.
I'd never had all of these symptoms at one time. But tonight, every symptom, every pain, had descended on me. It felt as if I were moving in circles even though I was standing still.
"Maybe I should call an ambulance," I said aloud. But then Dr.
Walters' voice spoke to me with the words he always said: It's all in your head. Dr. Walters' voice was louder than my own, and so I decided that I didn't need the ambulance. I could wait for my father.
That's right. I heard Dr. Walters' voice again as if he were in the room with me. This is probably just the beginning of labor. This is your first baby. This is how you're supposed to feel.
Even as the doctor spoke in my mind, I knew what I was feeling wasn't right. Just like all the times when I spoke to him in his office, I knew what he was telling me wasn't right. But he was the doctor. He was the one with the medical degree. What did I know?
I grabbed my bag and made my way out of the room. The breathing exercises that I'd learned from Lamaze were helping, but I wasn't doing them for contractions. I was doing those exercises just so I could keep breathing. How long had it been since I'd been able to catch my breath?
It's in your head. There was Dr. Walters' voice again. One side of me agreed with the doctor. My baby had probably just shifted, pushing herself against my lungs. Maybe that was why all of my air seemed to be seeping out of me.
Finally, I made it to the door. I dropped the bag there, then collapsed at the edge of the stairs. I sat up. There was no way I was going to lie back down again. Time moved slowly as I listened to the passing seconds of the grandfather clock inside and the roaring storm outside. With each passing second, I breathed in, then tried to breathe out. It took every bit of my strength to do so, and I wanted to pass out because of the pain.
Then I heard it. The sound of rescue. The car tires screeched into the driveway and then a few seconds later, "Ang'!" My father called out before he even got to the front door. "I'm here. I'm here!" he yelled.
"Dad!" I felt as if I were screaming, but the word came out as a whimper. I was grateful I'd given my father a key to our house when we moved in — you know, just in case. Especially since I was pregnant. If my father didn't have a key, I would have never been able to make it to the door.
My dad was wearing a raincoat, but he was still soaked, as if he'd been standing in the rain. It must've been coming down hard out there. Then I saw his face. My father's cocoa-colored skin seemed too pale as he looked at me. I guessed I was quite a sight, sprawled out at the end of the stairs.
"I was trying to get to the door to wait for you," I told him. "But this is as far as I could get."
"That's okay, baby," he said. "I'm here now."
"I don't know if I can walk."
My father stood there for a moment; both of us knew this was trouble. I had gained at least a hundred pounds during this pregnancy, and I didn't know how my father was going to get me to the car. In the next second he squatted, then hoisted me up into his arms. With a strength I didn't know he had, he carried me (though he staggered a bit) through the rain and into his car.
"My bag!" I said as we sped out of the driveway.
"That's okay," he said. "I'll come back for it. I've got to get you to the hospital."
Even though we weren't far from the hospital, every few seconds my father asked me if I was all right. I kept telling him that I was okay even though I wasn't. He knew that. My father could hear me breathing ... or rather struggling to breathe.
As my father drove, I felt every move of the car, every bump in the road. I'll be okay once I get to the hospital. That's what I kept telling myself. That's where I kept my focus.
My dad screeched to a halt in front of the glass doors to the emergency room. He jumped out and waved his arms, yelling, "Help me! Help me!" In just a few seconds two nurses ran out, one rolling a wheelchair.
"What do we have here?" one of the nurses asked.
"My daughter," my father said. "She's pregnant. I think she's in labor, but she's having a hard time breathing."
"Okay, let's get her inside."
I was grateful the rain had let up. It now felt like a shower as the nurses scooped me from the front of my dad's car and settled me into the wheelchair. I was going to be okay now. It was all going to be okay.
Excerpted from Breathe by Angela Burgin Logan, Samson Logan. Copyright © 2017 Angela Burgin Logan and Samson Logan. Excerpted by permission of BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 The Beginning of the End 9
2 Breathe 15
3 The Rider on the White Horse 30
4 The Reception 41
5 Whirlwind 45
6 The Best-Laid Plans 51
7 Baggage 54
8 Theatrics 57
9 Jesus, Take the Wheel 62
10 Real Men Pray 68
11 A Ribbon in the Sky 81
12 Rules to Live By 83
13 The Gift 94
14 The Perfect Man 104
15 Vegas or Bust 110
16 When You Fall 115
17 The Surprise 119
18 A Tale of Two Cities 129
19 Promotion 141
20 Someday 148
21 Change 158
22 War and Peace 168
23 Gestation 173
24 Touched by an Angel 184
25 The Tight Squeeze 192
26 Altar Call 211
27 Model Home 227
28 Good News and Bad News 231
29 Don't Worry, Be Happy 239
30 A Mother's Intuition 247
31 Proxy 260
32 Testing 263
33 In the Flash of a Light 267
34 Dying to Give Birth 270
35 The Breath of Life 280
About the Authors 287