Sunday was Troy’s second birthday and I am happy to report that I didn’t cry not once. We ultimately decided to stay at home instead of going out to the children’s museum because the grandparents have a pass that would allow us to go for free, and why spend $50 if you don’t have to.
We were going to get cupcakes, but Gigi’s is closed on Sunday, so our motivation to go out stopped there. Instead we decided to honor God and honor Troy’s memory by being grateful. We focused on cleaning the house that God provided for us, and we focused on spending time together as a family.
How was your weekend?
Black history month is a month where we celebrate and acknowledge history’s most prominent figures in the black community. We talk about the hardships, and how those figures helped to shape the world as we know it today. We talk about how we, as in the black community, were enslaved, and shed some light on the racism that occurred back then, and the racism that is still occurring today.
We even talk about the mental health of our community. Many African Americans do not seek help for their mental or even their physical allignments. Many of us were raised to push through the pain. In fact that ‘toughness’ has only served to make matters worse for us. The medical community seems to be less likely to take our concerns seriously, which makes African Americans less likely to speak up.
According to the Center for American Progress(2018), “stress induced by this discrimination plays a significant role in maternal and infant mortality, and a fractured and unequal health care system and gaps in health workforce training further aggravate these racial disparities”. When I was pregnant with Troy, I would voice my complaints about the lack of extra care from my workforce. I wasn’t able to get breaks, and wouldn’t even get a chance to have water before leaving for the day. I was told that I was okay, and brushed off. I found even after the loss of my son, that I had to take ‘drastic measures’ during my pregnancy with Silas.
I had to get a doctor’s note requiring that I be given breaks every four hours. I had to learn that ‘no’ was in fact a complete sentence. I also realized that I had to be very direct at the doctor’s office. I had concerns that occurred, that didn’t affect Silas, but concerns that still needed to be addressed, and I was getting brushed off. It took me being days away from my induction to be more direct.
Some of this boils down to personality, but I believe a lot of it stems from childhood. I never felt like I was taken seriously when I went to the doctor. And even today, I still catch myself just pushing through the pain. I know so many other African Americans are doing the same thing. So many of us have been burned by the medical community or raised to just keep pushing, and we are suffering from it.
I’m currently working on putting together a PowerPoint for work about how we can make the environment safer for our pregnant employees. I was just curious if you could comment down below or send me an email at email@example.com about some of the challenges you faced working while pregnant.
I’ve just been amazed at the number of people that I have talked to, that don’t even have a space where they can pump at work. So please comment or send me an email. The only way we can make improvements is if we speak up.
October is national infant loss awareness month, and as most of you know, my husband and I lost our firstborn, Troy. I had no intention of being sad this month. Instead I wanted to honor Troy by spending more time with family, and just being happy that he is my son. Unfortunately things didn’t pan out how I envisioned.
Between the disconnect with my mom, pressures from my employer, and pressures from my business, my soul was left vulnerable. Typically I am able to cope with the loss stories, but this month was hard. I kept hearing that I was going to birth this, deliver that, or I would see my rainbow’s name in the same sentence as death, and honestly it got to me.
This week, I needed to take a step back. I had to recharge myself and seek God more heavily. I had to remind myself to put on my armor every single day. I needed to get back to just sitting in silence.
This weekend, if you have been dealing with some burnout, I encourage you to go back to basics. Turn your phone off for a couple of hours, and just be still. Seek God, journal, or even play video games. The point is to recharge your battery.
My sibling in Christ, I wish I could bring you in closer, and tell you that everything will be okay. I know right now that you are not ready to hear that. How can everything be okay if you just lost your baby? How is everything going to be okay when moving on seems like a betrayal? I know to an extent of how you are feeling, for I too have lost. My firstborn, Troy, was born still at 26 weeks. We had just put together his crib when we learned that he went back home. So, I do know of the pain, but every grief is unique, so I will not say that I know exactly how you feel.
It won’t happen tomorrow or even next month, but eventually the grief will begin to lift little by little. You won’t feel like every moment is suffocating. You won’t feel like giving up. Most importantly you won’t blame yourself.
Today, I ask You, Lord, to take some of the pain away. I ask You to help lift their burdens. I pray that they will turn towards You, Lord, and that they will find comfort in Your embrace. I pray that they will find ways to honor their precious babies, and that they will not dwell in their grief. I truly believe that all of our children would want us to be happy and celebrate them. So, Lord, I ask that You will be with them today as they navigate the day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.