Hands Up

When Gina Gold got pregnant she wanted it all natural. She was going to eat bonbons and work on her screenplays and glow with pregnant bliss. But it wasn't quite what she expected...

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Now then, when Gina Gold got pregnant, she had a vision of what it was going to be like. She was going to eat bonbons and work on her screenplays and glow with pregnant bliss. But pretty soon she realized that being pregnant wasn't going to be quite what she expected.

GINA GOLD: It really felt like alien versus predator. It was just this thing growing inside me that was going to bust out. I was so nauseous that I couldn't move off of my mother's couch. I'm vomiting like three to four times a day. My skin was like a dusty gray. Then I started having other problems. I went to sleep one day and I have this dream. All of a sudden I was wearing a peasant dress and I was running down a cobblestone street and I was running for my life.

A couple days later, my mother asked me to go outside and get the mail. I went to put my hand in the mailbox and instead of going in the mailbox, my hand went up in the air. Then the other hand went up. And my arms would not come down. It looked like I was reaching up towards the Lord and my mom came outside and I was standing in front of the mailbox with my arms up in the air and my head up because I was trying to figure out what my hands were doing up there. And I thought, well, maybe this is some kind of a pregnancy thing. I heard about your ankles swelling, people get depressed - I'm like maybe there's a thing where your arms fly up?

I walk back into the house with my arms up, reaching towards God. I got in the house and I just stood like that and then they just kind of floated back down. So I just thought, OK, let's just pretend that didn't happen. It was probably an isolated incident. But as I was coming down the stairs the next day, I went to reach for the banister and my arms did the same thing - they just reached up towards God and my mom walked by. I was like, I know this looks bad, but I'm telling you I cannot put my arms down. And then she got really upset, she's like, well then you need to see a doctor. But I didn't want to go to the doctor because I thought, well, what if I'm crazy? If I go to the doctor, maybe they'll take the baby away. Like this is serious, I better keep this undercover.

So I walked around for two weeks with my arms going up, going down. I sat at the table, sometimes I had to wait to eat my dinner. My mother got to the point where she just didn't comment. Then I have this dream again, but this time I am fully awake and I know that I'm not dreaming because I can see everything that's going on in my mom's house, but yet I am running down a cobblestone street and so I actually started to run. So I'm running and I'm running out of space 'cause I'm in my mom's house, so I run out the back door.

I'm in my mother's yard and she has a pool and I just run around her pool - this crazed pregnant person just running around the pool. I run and run until I turn around, I look up and there are, standing there, two Nazis and they point a gun to my head. And I got to the point where I was kind of mumbling like, don't shoot, don't shoot. I don't know any German, but they said they were going to shoot me. I said, listen, I haven't done anything to you. It was all in German. I got down on my knees and then the image went away.

Weeks go by, finally it got so bad that I was really worried about the baby, but I was more worried that I was crazy and that I wasn't going to be able to take care of the baby. I said, I've got to go to the hospital, turn myself in. And I should have asked for help, but I was so upset that I didn't feel like I had time to have that conversation. So I just grabbed the keys and as I'm getting ready to get in the car, my arms float up and so I had to kind of - if I leaned my head forward, I could grip the steering wheel. The Nazis, they're in the backseat. I drove to the hospital just like that.

It was crowded in the elevator on the way up to the 11th floor with my arms up in the air and it was just crickets - quiet. And then I got off the elevator and I went up to the receptionist. I said I have two Nazis on either side of me and one of them wants to shoot me. And if I don't get some help for this, I'm going to jump into the closest lake.

Next thing you know, I was escorted by security to the downstairs unit which some people call the psych ward. And they put me in a glass room. When I realized I was in the psych ward, I was like, uh oh, this is really serious. I've got to get out of here so I'm going to have to try to look normal. So I kept pacing back and forth in this glass room, trying to keep my arms down, trying to look casual and it was a six-hour wait. Finally, the doctor came in. I just started rattling things off, anything that might contribute. I was like I had some tomatoes, I had a half a grapefruit, I had some water, I took my Compazine. And then the nurse that was sitting with the doctor said, Compazine? And I said, yes. A few months ago I was so nauseous I couldn't take it anymore, I was throwing up all the time. So the doctor gave me this drug for nausea caused Compazine. And the nurse said, oh my God, that's what's wrong. Some people when they take certain medications, Compazine is one of them, it causes facial tics, loss of control of your limbs and hallucinations.

I put the Compazine suppository in on my way to the hospital thinking, well, at least that will keep the nausea down which will help me when I try to explain myself. I never thought for a second that it was the Compazine. I was so relieved. I took the Nazis back home with me and they eventually just faded away.

My mom is African-American, she grew up in the Bronx and just has always had a strong affinity for Jewish culture. I didn't know oy vey was a Jewish expression, I thought it was black. I'm not sure if that's why I had that experience, I just don't know. All I can tell you is those Nazis seemed really real to me. It felt like I was going to get shot in the head.

The baby, she was perfect. There was no problems. But she does have a strong attraction towards Judaism, you think it's coincidence? She made that menorah over there.

WASHINGTON: Big thanks to Gina Gold for sharing her story with SNAP. It was produced by Julia DeWitt.

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