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.


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.


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.


Evening to night to morning.

Filed under: Blogging,Children,Family — aprilgrant @ 12:58 am

We first went to the doctor yesterday at about 11 am. We then went to the hospital about 4. We have been transferred to another hospital.

B has been poked and prodded, stuck at least a dozen times in her arms, legs and two other places I don’t care to mention. She’s cried, a lot. She has started turning her head when those with familiar shrubs come around. She seeks my comfort, she opens her arms wide, only for me to hold them down.

We’ve been.told her electrolytes were off. Here, I thought it was a word Gatorade made up to sell sugar water PLUS. Her potassium is high, her sodium is low. She’s receiving fluids, antibiotics and things that her poo.

It got to the point that I had to walk out. I just wanted to cuss everyone out and take my baby home.

They are running tests every few hours. More prodding and poking to come. She’s finally resting, she has another six hours of peace. My husband is in a chair, leaning on her bed. I’m on a pull out, writing this blog while I pump.

I’m so tired. I’ve cried many times today. I don’t get it. I play by the rules, stay out of trouble. My family doesn’t have any history of pretty much anything but high blood pressure and diabetes because we’re fat. Neither of which I suffered from during my pregnancy. And I’m not diabetic.

Lots of questions. Only superficial answers so far. In the morning, I’m told we’ll know more. It’s 1:17 in the morning, so I guess they meant later. 😦


These days are long May 18, 2012

Filed under: Blogging,Children,Family,General — aprilgrant @ 1:09 pm

Years after losing one child, my husband and I decided to have another child. I had to wait for depression to subside, build up confidence in my child rearing ability and come to terms that it wasn’t my fault.

Then there’s today. My daughter is five months old. By happenstance, I took her to the doctor for a health check, only to find out she had lost weight. Only a month after the previous appointment, she had lost a few ounces. For adults, we’d complain that it wasn’t enough. For her, its a huge problem.

After consulting the doctor, who said she’s clinically healthy, and a lactation consultant, who said that I need to almost double my calorie intake, I returned to the doctor a week later, only to find out she’s still losing.

Went back this morning and she lost again! So, this time she didn’t get off so easy. They took blood. Do you know how rare that is? You know how hard it is to do? Do you know how hard it is to watch?

Unfortunately I do, and not just from todays experience. It’s awful. It’s painful. Your child hurts and you can’t do anything to help. Not only can you not help, but you have to assist in hurting them by holding them down so it doesn’t hurt worse.

And do you know they give a urine test to a baby? That, I found out today. I won’t describe it to you. It sucks too.

My heart is breaking. Only one healthy child out of 3… I mean, she may be perfectly healthy. But how do you reconcile the problems when you have this asshole who has the audacity to father 30 children! In 2009, he only had (hahaha “only”) 21 children. He fathered 9 children in the last 3 years, twice having 4 children in one year. I don’t wish anyone harm, especially children. I’m sure most, if not all, of his kids are in perfect health.

It’s times like these where I question the existence of God. I know I shouldn’t, but what more can I do. I tithe, I regularly attend church, I’m married, I have a decent prayer life, I take care of my family, my husband is the head of my household… I could go on and on. I do sin, but we’re humans, we all do. We can’t be perfect, it’s impossible, but I do work towards it.

I’m now rambling, so I’ll go now. I’ll just say that I’m sad and this sucks.