Open Session

Becoming a better parent through open discussion of parenting issues

Birthday… celebration or not? June 14, 2012

Filed under: Blogging,Family — aprilgrant @ 11:14 pm

Today is my mother’s birthday. Ten years ago, we spoke everyday, sometimes hours each day. We don’t speak much any more. I’d be lucky to hear from her twice in a month. In short, we’ve had a very rocky road, we don’t speak much. One day, I may enlighten you to the details of this rocky road. Right now is not the time.

Alas, today is my mother’s birthday! I sent my siblings a text a couple of days ago to determine what they were doing for this occasion. One said “A card? I have finals.” The other said, “Is it today?” For me, I haven’t done much for her in years.

I used to buy her jewelry, expensive it was (for me), costing between $50 to $300 every year for her birthday and/or Mother’s Day on a teenagers bank account. She doesn’t have any of those pieces anymore. Now, I don’t buy anything.

I sent her a text this morning. I didn’t get a text response. I got a phone call saying that she’d “appreciate” a call from me and her grandchildren. She hasn’t called, emailed or texted since I reached out somewhere around Mother’s Day, so that’s about a month, right?

Every interaction with her seems strained now. It saddens me to feel this way, but how am I supposed to feel? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information. You’d “appreciate” a call, but you waited until your birthday and a return of my text to even bother to call to speak to me or your grandchildren. Your other children didn’t even remember that your birthday was coming or they were too busy to care.

I’ll call her tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll make the conversation at a good time for both of us.


Home again May 28, 2012

Filed under: Family — aprilgrant @ 7:25 pm

We are home… we were released on Wednesday. After spending several days staring at the same 8 walls, I had to get out of there. I spent Thursday and Friday running around seeing friends, being happy that I could. The experience was extremely taxing. I was heartbroken to return to a hospital room. 

My Pastor says that these are all tests so that I can have a testimony, but how many do I need? How many tests? Why can’t I just live? I try my best to be a decent human being, loving my neighbor, forgiving those who’ve hurt me. I get so tired and frustrated because I’m a faithful tither and work in the church. 

I’m trying to be a faithful servant, but how do I continue? I know this is short… does anyone have any answers for me?


Final: 108 May 23, 2012

Filed under: Blogging,Children,Family,Mothering — aprilgrant @ 1:46 pm

We were finally released. I just realized I hadn’t sent through a post I started a couple of days ago. Not a lot went on, mainly we were watching her sodium and potassium levels and they needed to be stable before we could leave. The doctors had to adjust the meds to get there. Not fun.

I’m so tired and drained. The longer we were there, the longer B attached herself to me, understandably. But it was draining. See, B’s always a bit attached. But this was worse. She never wanted to be put down and even when she was playing, she didn’t want me to leave.

It hurt to see her get poked, her labs drawn over and over again. Her personality came out more and more while we were there, scowling at the lab techs, knowing their intentions, watching them traverse the room knowing what was coming. She hated them and you could tell, in her little 5 month old eyes.

Eventually lab decreased slowly from every two hours to every twelve hours. That in and of itself was a blessing.

But it’s all over. Well, not all. We have to go back for a follow up on Friday. She will have an ultrasound to key us know if she still has an enlarged kidney and if there’s still some bladder reflux.

then, three meds remain, the antibiotic, the sodium bicarbonate (to kill the acid in her stomach (alka seltzer)), the other one to regulate the potassium. It’s been a long week, but I’m back home. Time for bed. Good night.



Filed under: Family — aprilgrant @ 1:37 pm

We’re going on day 3 of this one med lowered hospital stay. My hands are drying out from the constant hand washing and

CT scan and xrays were deemed to be negative and clear. Her potassium level actually dropped low enough to get it reduced.


Why Black Women are Fat May 20, 2012

Filed under: Blogging — aprilgrant @ 10:23 pm

I read this article over at the NY Times – Why Black Women Are Fat. Although I agree we are fat, I think it has some valid points, I think it misses the mark.

Yes, culturally black women are prone to be fat. Yes, our men would like some meat on our bones. Yes, our food pretty much mandates that we get fat.

But know the Tyler Perry movies and Big Momma’s house? It used to be the old mama, the matriarch of the family who was fat. The rest were “phat”. Growing up “phat” used to mean a little junk in the trunk and a little cushion for the pushin. Now it’s just plain fat – rolls and all.

Now, I’m not criticizing anyone for being happy with the size that they are, but I don’t think it’s something strictly for the black community. However, we have taken it to an extreme. Even though we are increasing with abundance, so is every other culture. Whites, blacks, latinos, and asians are all packing on the pounds.

This is an epidemic. This is America. This is the world.

I do agree that we, as black women, need to change the perception that we’re fat, instead of being fabulously phat. There are some great groups and places working to change that, like iS.W.E.A.T. Studio, Black Women DO Workout, and Nubian Fitness Goddess.


More likely 72, at least 60

Filed under: Blogging,Children,Family — aprilgrant @ 8:53 am

Yesterday went well, but today she’s exhausted, we’re exhausted.

Everything seems to be a catch-22. B is now taking a pacifier, giving her comfort where I can’t. She’s taking it because she’s starving. My baby hasn’t eaten since midnight yesterday, 30 hours. It’s torture. I want to feed her, but can’t.

She’s catching up on missed sleep. She wasn’t a great sleeper before, but now she’s sleeping most of the day. Easier to sleep than being awake hungry.

She’s taking to her dad more. She let’s him hold her and take her. Easier to be with dad than smell milk from mom that she can’t have.
Her sodium numbers are coming up, slow and steady. Her veins are collapsing from constant poking. So testing is getting harder and harder.

Household bills will be slightly lower, not spending time at home or out. We aren’t comfy and certainly not cozy.

Things are looking up. She should hit the goal sodium level at this or the next blood draw. It’s drawn every 6 hours. Then I’ll feed her. At least she will get to eat today. 

Oh, the xray came back negative, the ultrasound showed an inflamed kidney from the back flow from the bladder infection. Hopefully once the infection is gone, everything else will go away. It’s a common problem. Not normally in children this young. So more tests need to be done. Some of the blood has already been taken, we’re just waiting for results.


24 becomes 48, maybe 72 May 19, 2012

Filed under: Blogging,Children,Family — aprilgrant @ 9:57 am

Now that I’m not completely pissed off, I sit here with my baby girl sleeping peacefully on my chest. She hasn’t eaten food since 7 pm yesterday and doesn’t look like she will any time soon, probably not the rest of the day.

She’s been gnawing at her fingers, looking for food with the commonly known (by breastfeeding mothers) move called the head dive. 

Her sodium levels have increased and the potassium level is normal. Sadly, all of this could have been caused by a simple bladder infection. But it could be much worse.

As explained to us, her sodium levels were so low that people who come to the ER with that level will be unconscious or having seizures.  But my baby girl was and has been happy (except when people want to hold her down and stick things in her), alert, and playful.

It seems baby girl has had this problem for a while and had managed to compensate for it. There’s something wrong with her kidneys, but since its connected to her bladder, back to the bladder infection as the cause.

Because of that, they have to reintroduce sodium very slowly, otherwise can send her into a catatonic state. Breastfeeding or feeding of any kind can slow the progress or even regress it. Too risky to try.


At this point, she’s only going to be poked every six hours or so. And her veins are healing between pokes so they can get in and out quickly.

So, best case scenario, we’ll be on our way home this time tomorrow. Worst case, maybe Monday or Tuesday. The test results have to still tell us the cause.