April Appreciation

Hey guys!

So, April is actually a pretty big month for my family. We celebrate my cousin’s birthday, Silas’s birthday, my birthday, and we even celebrated the dog’s birthday. Due to everything that has been going on, we weren’t able to have any celebration with family or friends. I have seen some reports where people are throwing huge parties- I ask that you don’t do this.

Despite not being able to physically celebrate with family, I’ve still been on this cloud of happiness because of how blessed I am. I know not everyone has been so lucky during this time- our church lost a wonderful lady due to the virus- so I’ve just spent this month being grateful that I was able to celebrate my son’s first birthday.

My heart goes out for everyone that has been impacted by these events. And this may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m gonna say it anyway, I don’t want things to return back to how they used to be. I think some of the extra steps that stores such as Aldi’s are doing to protect their employees and customers, should stay. I hope that society has a new appreciation for teachers and medical staffs.

I also hope that we don’t lose sight of what truly matters.

Black History Month: Medical Trauma

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.

How Having a Child Affects Your Relationships

I always believed that having a child would bring family closer together. Now, I’m not talking about significant others. I’ve heard stories of how the stress causes people to drift from one another. My husband and I struggled in the early months with Silas.

But what I want to focus on, is not significant others, but other familiar relationships. For me, I thought that my mom would be over all the time, wanting to see her grandson. I thought that because we lost our first son, that others would want to hold on as tightly as we do with Silas. Instead, we’ve( my husband and I) have gotten crickets. This isn’t to say that my side of the family hasn’t seen him, but there has been no true effort on their part.

In the beginning my mother would offer to come watch Silas for my husband, as he is the stay home parent. Well, she wouldn’t show up. She has done this several times, so much so that we don’t even think to ask her when we need someone to watch Silas. I’m taking this up with God because I realize that there are other factors at play here. I felt lead to share this with you all because someone else may be going through something similar.

We have these expectations that other members of the family will love your child as much or nearly as much as you do. Sadly, that isn’t the case. You don’t truly know what someone is going through. For my family, kidney disease runs rampant, and I know that has been the cause for some of the no call no show, so to speak.

I believe these changes are just the natural order of things. I don’t talk to my mom everyday like I used to. My focus is on my husband and son. Being the working parent, I want Silas around when I’m not at work. This has been another source of conflict on my side of the family. They only try to get Silas on the one day that I’m guaranteed off. It’s frustrating to say the least.

I do want to reiterate that I know my family loves Silas. I know my husband’s side loves him as well. This is simply something that I have to pray on because there’s something much deeper going on. That may be the case for you. There may be a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

So, today I urge you to seek God. Cast all of your worries onto Him. It may seem like your family is more distant because of the new additions or things became more strained. I say, babies have a way of shedding a light on our brokenness. Some of us choose to address our faults, while others try to ignore them. I urge you to seek God, and get to the root of it all.

Please don’t forget to check out Parenting After Loss on iTunes and Spotify. I would also like to connect with you guys on Instagram ( potter_india).

Dreaded Sleep Regression

I think I saw somewhere that babies have sleep regressions at nine months. In the earlier stages, I remember crying because Silas would not wake up. I would have to put a cold rag on him, and still he would not wake.

Literally nothing would wake him, and as a mom parenting after loss, I was extra paranoid about him not eating every three hours.

Silas has since woken up since then, but for the most part he has been very good about taking his naps until now. Now, he is down to taking one nap, and just wants to party the rest of the day.

I know this phase won’t last long, but I like to reflect on how we pray for some changes, we get what we prayed for, and then pray for more changes. Silas is making up for all those times he slept the days away. He’s too focused on playing with his toys or knocking his books down.

Maybe it’s the dreaded sleep regression that I hear whispers about. I’m not entirely sure as I don’t spend too much time looking into that kind of information. I’ve just been going with the flow so to speak.

What I do know, is that I’m so grateful for the bouncer we were gifted for Christmas, and that we now have a back yard to let the dogs run around in.

Have you ever prayed for a situation to change and then had to pray through that change?

Quick Question About Pregnancy And Work Place Safety

Hey guys,

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 thelifeoftroysmama@gmail.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.