Where did all the students go?

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Chalkbeat Indiana reported that enrollment dropped by almost 15,000 students this fall in Indiana public schools. I wrote that the loss to school districts was over 17,000 students. It gets worse. Judging by recent state data, enrollment in local public schools fell by over 24,000 students.

Where did they go? Several thousand moved to online schools, either virtual charter schools or online programs operated by other school districts. Some families apparently opted out of enrolling their 5-year-olds in kindergarten. A majority of the missing students are probably home-schooling.

In terms of state funding, the loss of 24,000 students translates to a loss of nearly $150 million for public schools in the 2020-21 school year. It’s almost as much money as the schools lose to Indiana’s voucher program, which provides tuition funding for students who attend private schools.

All because of COVID-19, which prompted some families to keep their children home from school and others to enroll their kids in online programs rather than send them to school in a pandemic.

Where did I get 24,000? Using Indiana Department of Education data, I noted the difference between the total enrollment reported in fall 2019 and fall 2020. To eliminate the effect of online-only programs, I excluded them from the calculation in both years.

Overall, charter schools increased their enrollment this fall, according to state data. Some new charter schools opened, and others added grade levels. But the big factor was that virtual charter schools, in particular Indiana Connections Academy, grew by about 1,600 students.

Meanwhile, statewide online programs operated by two public school districts, Clarksville and Union School Corp., saw their enrollment grow by about 4,000 students. Most of those students left their local school districts to enroll in the Clarksville and Union online programs.

Another factor is that families probably delayed or skipped enrolling their 5-year-olds in kindergarten, which is not required in Indiana. Figures from the Indiana Department of Education show that statewide kindergarten enrollment in public and charter schools fell by 5,651 from fall 2019 to fall 2020, a decline of 7.2%.  Several large school districts started the year in August with online-only classes, which were sure to be challenging for young children learning their letters and numbers. You can imagine that parents would think, “What the heck, kindergarten isn’t required, let’s just wait a year.”

But transfers to online schools and the decrease in kindergarten students account for only about half of the overall decline in public school enrollment. Some students may have switched to private schools, but the evidence, so far, doesn’t support a public-to-private shift. The number of students who received state-funded vouchers for private school tuition declined from fall 2019, according to state data.

Where did the other students go? Chances are most are being homeschooled, which is largely unregulated and often unreported in Indiana. The question is, will they return to their local public schools when the pandemic is over, or is this a long-term shift in schooling?

My Isolation Periods

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Isolation is the increased risk of health problems. Studies on social isolation have demonstrated that a lack of social relationships negatively impacts the development of the brain’s structure.

The difference between a normal brain work and a depressed / isolated brain work

At 7 years old, my dad left Guyana and came to America leaving my mom, sibling, and I behind. All my life, I was known as my “daddy’s pet”, “daddy’s baby” and “daddy’s bangalee- Babboo”. These were just a few of the nicknames my dad called me growing up. I was always a daddy’s girl and I loved my dad very much, it broke my heart when he left Guyana. I was not eating, sleeping, and found myself not wanting to be around my friends and family. I missed my dad a lot, that when I saw my friends and their dads, it would break my heart and I always would wish to be with my dad. 

When I became 15 years old, I found myself in an isolation period again. I was in my very first relationship and my dad did not like my first boyfriend I brought home. He went hysterical and started treating me differently from my other siblings. I felt like I was a foster or stepchild and like he was not my real dad, the way he treated me. I did not want to participate in activities, go outside for anything, or even be apart of activities indoors with the family. I would find myself locked up in my room crying, nevertheless going to school and being with my friends at times was the best time of my life, but coming home was like going back to a hell hole for me. 

Having to be in a home with my own father and not being able to seek advice from him, speak to him, have him play with me, or showing affection was very hurtful. I would find myself crying every night and day because knowing that I was his baby pet and we shared so much love as a child, I was hoping to still have that father and daughter love connection when I came to America. Well at least that is what I was hoping would happen, nevertheless, it was my worse night mere. 

My dad would go out to the mall and buys my sister’s stuff and came back home giving me nothing. When he went out shopping with my mom he made sure she did not get me anything. At this time my mom was not working as yet, so If my mom did get me something she had to hide and get it unknown to him with his money. She would tell me to put it up and do not make my dad see. Those things use to hurt me so much, I found myself hating my sister, wanting to run away from home or to kill myself. This all took place all because my dad did not like my boyfriend, who then became my husband years after.  

My family would go out to restaurants, movies, shopping, etc. and I never saw myself as part of the family. I never pushed myself up too much into the family circle. They asked me to come along every time, but I declined every time and would rather stay home by myself crying and feeling depressed. I was pretty sociable and known as the happy go crazy personality girl, but during that period of my life, It was like my teenage life, care, and love as a child was over. I did not have the zeal to do anything fun or know what love, care, and compassion felt like any more in my life. I started to stop hanging out with my friends, talking on the phone, or even wanting to be around anyone. Being unable to attend school due to illness is obviously not synonymous with having no friends to confide in. However, school absence leads to less social interaction and can result in some children completely losing touch with friends (Drachler et al., 2009).

This feeling lasted until I got my son after college and my husband and I started to go our separate ways. I was now able to stay focused on school and better my life with my son because my dad started grooving back into my life as his big daughter. As an adult from 25 years old, my dad and I started to develop back a closer relationship because I was no longer with my husband. I was stable and had a more clear view of my life to achieve all that I needed to achieve to be successful with and for myself and my son. 

Sometimes I would still find myself in that mindset because I did not have my father figure to guide me. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life growing up, that I felt like if my dad was there I would have been better off. My sisters are much closer with my dad than I am and I am such a mommy’s girl now more than a daddy’s girl. It does make me feel away still, but I always have to remind myself that I am older and that is in my past. I have my own life to live and a child to live for. Being a mother to my son and kids in the future, I have so many things in my mind to do and keep doing with my kids. I want to go on trips around the world and just do the things I was not able to do with my family with my kids. I refuse to have my child/ren miss out on great opportunities in their lives. I want them to say I lived a good life with my mom and I would like to pass that happy time on with my children as well when I get older.  

Reference

Drachler, N. (2017, January 12). Consequences of social isolation for children and adolescents. No Isolation. https://www.noisolation.com/global/research/consequences-of-social-isolation-for-children-and-adolescents/

Child Abuse & Neglect In America

Child abuse and neglect are serious public health problems and can have long-term impact on health and wellbeing. This issue includes all types of abuse and neglect against a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role. There are different types of abuse such as physical, emotional, sexual and and neglect. 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year, and this is likely an underestimate. In 2018, nearly 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States. In the United States, the total lifetime economic burden associated with child abuse and neglect was approximately $428 billion in 2015. This economic burden rivals the cost of other high profile public health problems.This may also result in toxic stress, which can change brain development and increase the risk for problems like post-traumatic stress disorder and learning, attention, and memory difficulties. Everyone benefits when children have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. The CDC has developed a technical package to help communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent child abuse and neglect today. This technical package includes strategies and approaches to impact individual behaviors, as well as family, community, and societal factors, that influence risk and protective factors for child abuse and neglect. They are intended to work in combination in a multi-level, multisector effort to help prevent violences also.

Peterson C, Florence C, Klevens J. The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States, 2015. Child abuse & neglect. 2018 Dec 1;86:178-83.

1920s Klan fought to control schools

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Schools were a key battleground as the Ku Klux Klan fought to dominate Indiana’s political and cultural life in the 1920s. The Klan promoted Bible reading and prayer in schools and demonized the spread of parochial schools and an imagined Catholic influence in public education.

Klan members thought Catholics were taking over America, Indiana University historian James Madison writes, and “the first point of takeover was public schools. Like generations of American reformers before and since, the Klan saw education reform as necessary for the nation’s revival.”

Book cover of The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland

Madison’s new book, “The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland,” focuses on a shameful era in Indiana’s past, when the Klan gained remarkable power and controlled public offices from the Statehouse to local school boards. The organization largely died out within a decade, but its influence continued in racially segregated schools and other aspects of Hoosier life.

Importantly, the 1920s Klan saw itself as mainstream, not an outlier. It promoted patriotism, civic duty and “100% Americanism.” It held massive rallies and marches, complete with marching bands and women’s auxiliaries. It raised money for churches and sponsored musical groups and youth basketball and baseball leagues. Its cross-burnings were spectacles that wowed audiences.

It has been estimated that 30% of white, native-born, Protestant men joined the Klan in Indiana. These were not disaffected loners; they were not the Proud Boys of their day.

“Klansmen came from the middle ranks of white-collar and skilled workers who could afford the $10 initiation fee and the monthly dues,” Madison writes. “Some blue-collar workers joined, but more members were lawyers, physicians, government employees, and owners of small and medium-sized businesses.” Protestant clergy provided important support.

Contrary to popular belief, the 1920s Klan in Indiana did not practice lynching, although it did threaten and intimidate its foes. It saw African Americans and Jews as inferior, but its real enemies were Catholics and immigrants, many of whom had arrived to work in Indiana factories.

First-generation immigrants had reached almost 15% of the U.S. population in 1910, fueling a nationwide backlash. The bogus “race science” of eugenics gained tremendous influence, including among prominent intellectuals. Prohibitionists associated German, Italian and Irish immigrants with the evils of alcohol. The Klan seized on those trends, especially in Indiana.

Education was at the forefront of the Klan’s agenda, which centered on keeping the public schools as preserves of a white, Protestant version of Christianity. Klan publications spread wild claims that Catholic teachers were infiltrating public schools and indoctrinating children.

“A massive parade through downtown Indianapolis in late 1924 featured several floats with school themes and the words ‘One School, One Language, One Bible,’” Madison writes. “Often Klan parades featured a float with a ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’ representing the essence of public education and the rejection of parochial schools.”

State legislators elected with Klan support in 1924 introduced bills to require Bible reading and religious instruction in schools, limit teaching licenses to graduates of public schools and ban the wearing of “religious garb” in public schools; the latter was aimed at Catholic nuns who sometimes taught in public schools in areas with teacher shortages. The bills didn’t pass, but local measures gained more traction. While there had always been some racial segregation in Hoosier schools, Indianapolis, Gary, Evansville and Kokomo opened separate high schools for Black students in the 1920s. (The legislature outlawed school segregation in 1949, but it continued in practice for years after that).

Madison rejects the story usually told about the 1920s Indiana Klan: that it collapsed with the arrest and conviction of its charismatic but vicious leader, D.C. Stephenson, for causing the death of a young woman. ““Blaming a wicked Grand Dragon absolves all others and makes the Klan a fluke occurrence that arrived and disappeared along with Stephenson,” he writes.

“The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland” also covers the resurgence of the Klan as a small, virulently racist group in the 1960s, but its focus is the large and influential Klan of the 1920s; and what’s striking about the story is its familiarity. The mass events, the celebration of “100% Americanism,” echo in today’s Make America Great Again rallies. The demonization of immigrants sounds a lot like President Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexicans as “drug dealers, criminals, rapists.” The demand for Bible reading in schools foreshadows today’s support of Christian education with state-funded vouchers.

It’s easy to point fingers, however, and this history should also remind us of some uncomfortable truths: One person’s “Hoosier values” can look like hate to someone else. “Us against them” divisions can quickly turn ugly. And the rhetoric of public education can be used to exclude as easily as to welcome.

The Klan era of the 1920s is a not-too-distant mirror reflecting a strange but recognizable image of our own time. What we see will depend on how critically – and how self-critically — we look.

Jenner appointment no surprise

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Gov. Eric Holcomb choosing his chief education adviser to be Indiana’s first secretary of education was about as surprising as night following day. The whole point of making this an appointed position, after all, was so the governor and secretary would be on the same page regarding education. Who better to hold the job than someone who has worked closely with Holcomb on K-12 policy?

That said, Katie Jenner looks to be a reasonable choice. She was a teacher, albeit briefly. She was an assistant principal and assistant superintendent at Madison Consolidated Schools. She worked at Ivy Tech Community College until Holcomb made her his senior education adviser. She has master’s and doctoral degrees in education, along with an MBA.

Katie Jenner (Office of the Governor)

She will take over the duties now carried out by Jennifer McCormick, Indiana’s last elected superintendent of public instruction. Legislators voted to change the name of the position to secretary of education and to make it appointed, not elected.

Jenner has mostly kept a low profile in state policy and politics, and it seems she hasn’t made any real enemies or clashed publicly with other officials. From what little I’ve heard, she is competent, well liked and committed to education. Advocacy groups from across the spectrum say they are eager to work with her (not that they have a choice). I also wish her well and hope she does a great job.

Jason Bearce, vice president of education and workforce development for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, reiterated the group’s support for having the governor appoint the chief education officer.

“What we are particularly excited about with Katie is in both her prior roles for the Madison Consolidated Schools and Ivy Tech Community College she worked closely with employers to better align K-12 education with workforce needs and opportunities,” Bearce said in a statement.

Keith Gambill, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said it was “critical” that Jenner has experience in K-12 education as a teacher and administrator.

“We look forward to working with Dr. Jenner to bring leaders together to invest in public schools, support Hoosier educators and provide the highest quality public education for our students,” he said.

But, for better or worse, Jenner will answer to the governor, not to the voters. McCormick, elected in 2016 as a Republican, has been a fiercely independent state superintendent. She has been an outspoken advocate for public school districts, sometimes clashing with supporters of charter and private schools.

Jenner won’t play that role, but will she stand up to legislators and the State Board of Education if they push policies that aren’t good for schools and students? With the state facing tough decisions on school funding, accountability and other issues, we may find out soon.

HEALTHY WATER ACCESS…!

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What is water ?

Water is said to be a colorless and tasteless substance. It is also what we drink to quench our thirst, bathe, cook, clean, wash our clothes and dishes on a daily basis. Water is very useful and helpful to us everyday in our lives. America is said to be one of the most successful countries that has very clean, purified and accessible water to do many necessary things needed. I choose this topic because it was very meaningful to me because I am aware of the benefits, health / unhealthy aspects in countries all around the world. Living in American today, I have all the access to clean water anytime and every time of the day. “For most Americans, water does not get a second thought. It flows at the turn of a knob, at a cost that is all but negligible. Being essential to life, clean water is a right under international law and U.N. declarations. ” (Worland, J. 2020). This means that human beings should have the right to have access to clean water at all time, not just the high rated countries.

At times, this makes me think of what if I am unable to have clean water one day? I find myself comparing the people in other countries such as Africa, who are not able to have access to clean and healthy water. Water in Africa is not as available nor of easy access as it is to us Americans. The people of Africa have to travel great distances to have access to little or no amount of water to provide for their families to be able to stay healthy and alive in the hot and humid sun. This is mostly carried out by the women and children in the villages of Africa everyday. The water or the piping system is usually not up to standards to provide clean water for the people in certain parts of Africa and because of this, it can cause them to have lots of sicknesses and diseases like cholera, diahreah dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid at a very high pace in Africa.  In 2017 as a result of unsafe water in Africa, 1.2 million people died prematurely from these kind of sicknesses and diseases (Richie, 2019).

American Water Access Vs. African Water Access

American and other high rated countries drinks fresh, clean and healthy water every day.
Pure and clean water in America used for washing and cleaning.
Mother and son walking the long distances to get clean and healthy water for the family
Children drinking unhealthy water in Africa
An African mother who walked miles just to get water for her house hold to drink, cook, clean and bathe.

Reference

Hanna Ritchie (2009)- “Clean Water”. Published online at ourWorldInData.org.Retrieved from:https://ourworldindata.org/water-access’ [online Resource].

YouTube. (December, 8th, 2011). Trekking of water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUo3LyiJCfo

Worland, J. (2020). America’s Clean Water Crisis Goes Far Beyond Flint. There’s No Relief in Sight. Time.Com, N.PAG.

A-to-F school grades to continue

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The Indiana State Board of Education is almost certain to continue the state’s unfortunate policy of using A-to-F grades to rate schools, judging by a framework that the board received this week.

The draft accountability framework was presented and briefly discussed at Tuesday’s board meeting. Board staff, who wrote the document, insisted it isn’t set in stone and that it will be up to the board – with input from stakeholders and the public – to decide how the system will work.

“We are trying to be transparent,” said Ron Sandlin, the board’s senior director of school performance. “The point of the framework is to spur conversations about these ideas.”

But the very first recommendation in the document is that A-to-F grades continue. The justification: “Issuing a fair and transparent summative rating ensures communities can quickly assess school performance and establishes effective incentives for schools.”

Note that the school grading system is being developed by the State Board of Education, with most of its members appointed by the governor. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, who heads the Indiana Department of Education, has favored a different approach to accountability.

Indiana started labeling schools with letter grades in 2011 and made the approach part of state law the following year. Indiana is one of 16 states that use letter grades for school accountability, according to the Education Commission of the States.

The draft framework does call for tweaking the grading metrics. That’ no surprise. The old system essentially collapsed under the weight of tougher state standards, new tests and the COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana’s 2019-20 school grades were meaningless, even more so than usual.

For schools serving students in grades K-8, the system relies primarily on standardized tests and gives equal weight to students’ performance and growth on the tests. The draft framework says Indiana should continue that general approach, but with some changes.

It would cap the grading points that schools receive for test-score growth, trying to balance a system in which growth points are awarded more generously than performance points. And it would adopt variable weighting of growth vs. performance, making allowance for student mobility. It suggests the board consider adding accountability factors for K-8 school grades, possibly including third-grade literacy, science and social studies test scores and attendance.

For high schools, the framework suggests more rigorous measures of “college and career readiness” and a fairer system of calculating graduation rates. Standardized test measures will have to change, because Indiana is dropping its 10th-grade math and English tests in favor of using the SAT for accountability.

Another issue is that Indiana has two school accountability systems: a state system that uses A-to-F grades and a federal system that complies with the Every Student Succeeds Action. That’s confusing, to say the least. The framework touches on the problem but doesn’t spell out how to fix it.

“Indiana should design a state accountability system that prioritizes Hoosier values and strive to use the same indicators for the state and federal models as is allowable under law,” it says.

OK, I’ll just say this: I’ve lived in Indiana for seven decades and I have no idea “Hoosier values” means; and I don’t think the state board could define the term either, especially when it comes to evaluating schools. Yet those words appear six times in a 14-page document.

There’s a lot more to the framework, and you can read the framework or a shorter summary on the State Board of Education website. You can suggest changes by email or through online surveys. Board staff want to finalize the framework by January; then the board will use it to write a new rule spelling out how school grades will work in the future.

I’m glad there will be changes, but I worry they will provide a fig leaf of legitimacy to cover a flawed enterprise. A-to-F grades are a horrible way to measure something as complex as school quality. And we have seen time after time that high grades go to schools serving affluent families and that, with few exceptions, schools serving low-income families and students of color get the D’s and F’s.

A-to-F grades reinforce the illusion that schools are “good” or “bad” based on the populations of students that they serve. That’s not accountability.

Lost enrollment costs schools

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Indiana school districts stand to lose over $100 million in state funding this year because of reduced enrollment attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fall 2020 enrollment in traditional public schools declined by 17,300 students, according to data released last week by the Indiana Department of Education. Each of those students translates to over $6,200 in lost funding from the state.

It’s not yet clear what happened or where the students went. Some families may have opted to homeschool their children rather than send them to school during the pandemic. Some may have switched to private or charter schools.

A significant factor could be families with young children choosing to delay or skip kindergarten. Indiana does not require kindergarten attendance, and children are not required to start school until the academic year when they turn 7.

Over 80% of school districts lost enrollment, according to state data. They include some rural and urban districts that have been shedding students for years, but also suburban districts that have been growing. Hamilton Southeastern schools lost over 400 students; Carmel Clay schools lost over 200.

Indianapolis Public Schools lost the most students: nearly 2,000 according to the state data or approximately 1,200 according to the district’s own figures. (The discrepancy appears to reflect the state omitting from the district’s enrollment two KIPP charter schools that are part of the IPS innovation network; IPS includes the schools in its count).

Fort Wayne, Vigo County and Monroe County schools each lost more than 500 students. In Monroe County, the loss of 535 students will mean a financial hit of $3.3 million, the Herald-Times reported.

Some school districts started the academic year online, and that may have pushed some families to turn to charter or private schools that were offering face-to-face instruction. But it appears a bigger factor was families choosing online programs to avoid in-person instruction during the pandemic.

Charter schools increased their enrollment by about 2,500, but most of the sector’s growth came from a gain over nearly 2,000 students by Connections Academy, an online charter school. Similarly, two school districts that offer statewide online programs in partnership with for-profit K12 Inc. also saw significant growth, presumably because of those online programs. Union School Corp. reported its enrollment grew from 4,396 to 6,468. Clarksville Community Schools grew from 1,635 to 2,987.

The loss of funding comes as schools are facing cost increases related to the pandemic: expenses for online programs, computers and internet connections, protective equipment, cleaning supplies and other needs. Federal funding via the CARES Act helped pay some of those costs, but not all of them.

The big question is whether Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Republican-dominated state legislature will prioritize school funding in the two-year budget they approve in the spring. When it comes to school funding, there’s likely to be more bad news ahead.

Jasiah’s Delivery!!!

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King Jah

I only give brith once so far and it was an experience to remember. I loved Chinese lowmien with shrimp and one night I was eating it. I started feeling light headed and dizzy. I caught a pain in my sides and I could not move. When I was finally able to move, I ran to the bathroom and I started throwing up like I was getting sick. The amount of times I threw up, my mom said she thinks I should go to the doctor because she thinks I am pregnant. I looked at my mom like she was speaking a different language. I was married, so if I was pregnant as my mom taught would not have been a bad idea. I was just not ready because I was finishing up my last semester in college for my undergrad degree and I was now starting my little job. I paid my mom no mind and I went to work the following day. At work, I started to get all these symptoms all over again, but this time I passed out at my desk! My supervisor at the time, I guessed called the ambulance and there I was at the hospital when I woke up and caught myself. The doctor and the nurses came into the room and did the blood work and urine test. When they came back into the room, they were both smiling and said to me Mrs. Bowen, YOU ARE 6 WEEKS PREGNANT! I give them both the blankest stare ever and said what? OMG! My mom was right! I honestly did not know how to react. I said thank you and I walked out the room meeting my husband at the time in the waiting room. When I told him I was pregnant, he was the happiest camper alive. He then started to gather names and hoping for a Boy! When I got home and told my family the news, my mom was like I told you. My little sister were all smiles and couldn’t wait to be called aunty. My dad was not the happiest guy on earth at this time. He was very angry and had not spoken to me for 3 month straight. I was sadden by this because I am like I am a married woman. I did it the right way. I waited until marriage to have my first kid. I am still in school trying to finish up my degree and I will get a good job to take care of my baby and my husband will also help me. I could not understand why my dad was so upset at me. Nevertheless, I did not get that many morning sicknesses, or all these other sicknesses I’ve heard people got when they are pregnant. The only time I felt sick during my pregnancy was when I took the prenatal pills or when I smelt perfumes. At this time, I would be as sick as a dog and helpless after throwing up my life out. I was craving Chinese lowmein, but I couldn’t eat it because it was not setting well in my stomach. The only things I ate and were sitting well with me during my pregnancy were mangoes, subway sandwiches, Cherry juice, coconut water, Green plantains and one of my guyanese traditional food called White-pudding with sour.

My son was now born, my dad confessed to me why he was so angry. He said he taught having my son would have been the end of my life. He taught that I would not have been able to complete school and be yet another statistic to the world. I then had more courage to prove to my dad that I am strong and this is what I wanted. I went after it, completed my degree and graduated with my 3.0 GPA.

I was so tired and overwhelm from pushing during my delivery time that I passed out for at least 3 mins. They doctors resuscitated me and I was able to hold my baby boy in my arms and gain that mother and son connection. I had to stay In the hospital for two weeks after giving birth. The doctors had found ‘A Bug’ Inside of me. I was not sure what this was or why it was there. The next day they came and explained to me that it was caused by the constant insert of the gloves in and out of me. It gave me an infection, hence the reason I had to stay. My son was good to go with my mom, but I refused to stay In the hospital and my son is at home. Right then and there, I got my first mom instinct connection and bond of never leaving his side no matter what. I was not able to produce any milk to feed him so he was on the infamil and the simalac the whole time in the hospital. I had to get up every 2-3 hours to feed him and get my vital checked. This became so annoying to me because I was not use to getting so often. I started getting sever migraines and the crying was getting to my nerves. He would still cry for the breast comfort, but nothing was really coming out. It just pain badly. I started stressing this because I know that breast milk was very important for a child nourishment and brain development and he was not able to get that from me. My pressure went sky high and this too was another reason I could not go home, until it went back down to normal. My mom was there for me all the way making me celery and cucumber juice. I drank it and just when the doctors came back in to tell me I will have to stay another extra week to make it 3 weeks, to their surprise I was all good and ready to go home. They were speechless as to how my pressure went from the high numbers back to normal. It was my mother secret ingredient (Home Remedy) of the celery and cucumbers juice that did the trick! I was finally able to go home and get to spend quality time with my son and my family.

I celebrated every single birthday of his from 1 year old – 7 years old. He has had very big parties each year. After 7, I told him that we will just do dinners and travel for his birthdays because he is getting to be a big boy and mommy needed to get a house for him to have his own room. He understood and a day like today, I lived up to that promise and now he’s 9 years old, doing excellent in school and keeping the bright smile on my face each day. He thinks he is my husband, father or my big brother the way he is protective of me. When I go out without him he asked ” mommy where are you going, with who are you going with, when are you coming back, and if its a guy you are going out with make sure he treats you like me or better than me because I only have one mommy”. This makes my day and gives me so much JOY! Now that I have his step father in my life for 2 years, he is such an over joyed child. He still keeps his eyes on his step father and still wants to be my little baby. I told him no matter how big he gets he will always be my little Pookie, Zay-Zay, Siah, and Jah!!!.

I was glad I was able to have a safe and healthy delivery with my baby boy. It was my very first child birth experience, so I did not know what to expect. Once I was in it, I started to learn it all. As much as others who’ve been there would tell me their stories, this kind of experience you have to go through to learn your own experience. Everyones experiences are not the same. Some will have bad morning sicknesses, while others will have nothing at all. I am thinking of baby number 2 now and then, but when that time comes I am praying that it will be just as smooth, safe and a healthy delivery all over again for me.

My little Pookie, ZayZay and siah
He wanted a basketball and the hoop for Christmas

He said mommy I want to learn Karate to protect You!

Today he is now a Brown Belt. He did not get to be a BLACK belt because we moved…
My baby and I Vacation in Canada

Canada Delivery Process…

In Canada they have free healthcare and a guaranteed paid maternity leave in their country. Canada might sound better in these cases, but there are other countries, which we might least expect that do way better with maternity leave and maternal health for its people. Some of these countries such as Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden just to name a few. “Denmark and Sweden offers maternity and paternity leaves from 52 paid weeks to a mix of paid and unpaid leave up to 3 years” (Wilford, 2020). They also have guides in place to help the mothers through the first year of the child’s life. United States is far from trying to help anyone, muchless mothers and their children. It sad, but it is the truth!

Wilford, Denette(2020) It’s a lot better to give birth in Canada than the U.S. But still worse than giving birth in 19 other countries.The loop life parenting. Retrieved from https://www.theloop.ca/its-better-to-give-birth-in-canada-than-the-u-s/