This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s Teacher Appreciation week! Teacher Appreciation week is when children, families and the community take time out to thank teachers.
Since it’s Teacher Appreciation week, I thought I would share the many reasons why I love being a teacher.
1. I get to teach the next generation. Do you know what a privilege it is to teach and inspire those who will one day change the world? It is the best feeling and I am so honored.
2. I get to have 20+ new friends every year. Some times I don’t feel like I’m just a teacher. I’m also a nurse, referee, therapist, coach, substitute mommy, chef and so much more. I get to see these kiddies everyday for 8 hours a day. I love it!
3. Being a teacher helps my baby fever. I want to have my own kids so badly. But for now, I have the privilege to love on and care for the kids in my class as if they were my own.
I could keep writing reasons why I love being a teacher, but it could go on for hours, so I think I’ll stop there. I do want to remind everyone very quickly to thank a teacher this week! Teachers are amazing. We don’t become teachers for the money. We become teachers for the kids. So, thank a teacher!
For the past couple weeks, I have been reading a devotional focused on Hannah and her journey of infertility and longing to be a mother. I have found that this book, is the kind of book that you read when you need a pick-me-up. This isn’t the kind of book that you read in a couple days, at least for me. It’s a book that you can pick up and put down in order to let the message of the words marinate in your mind and resonate in your soul.
These past few weeks, I have been heavily investing and putting my all into my job as a teacher. It’s in many ways a good distraction of the circumstances I am often dwelling on, but sometimes it still doesn’t satisfy what my heart truly longs for. I spend everyday with children, I teach, care for, and build relationships with children that aren’t mine, but I love and care for as if they were my own.
Everyday is a challenge, as I did not think I would be where I am today. Some days are worse than others. Every holiday, I anticipate another pregnancy announcement and every time I am envious that I am not the one announcing. Every April Fools day, I am infuriated that someone is making a joke out of being pregnant when there are so many women who are struggling to get pregnant. Every family gathering, birthday, holiday or celebration I feel like something is missing. I feel that Charles and I should be bringing along a car load of kids to join in our family memories.
I try to put my all into my writing, my family, and my job but it’s just not enough sometimes. I have this yearning to be a mom that I simply can not fight. Since the young age of two I can remember carrying and loving on baby dolls that my family gifted me. In Young Five’s I can remember playing house with my classmates and I always wanted to be and was the mom. Growing up I always cared for animals such as a stray litter of kittens, baby bunnies born in my backyard and a baby chick all as if they were my baby, Even as a young adult to now, I snuggle and care for babies I know, watch and teach with my whole heart. Being a mom is who I am and who I have always desired to be.
The 2 pregnancies, 2 losses, 1 D & C, a year of trying, grief and trauma… it’s changed me. It’s damaged me. I am recked by anything dealing with death, sick or dying babies, miscarriages, and the harsh reality of grief. I’ve clawed my way back from the dark road of mourning I once faced, but I still sometimes feel broken. My life was altered by loss. The year of 2019 was so significant that when I look back on my life I think of before my first pregnancy and after my second miscarriage. It’s a powerful reminder and something I will never forget. It changed me for the good and the bad.
I share all this, to be real and honest about how I look at my life. I love my life, I do. But I guess don’t feel I am fulfilling the purpose God has for me or feel that my cup is only half full. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe this is right where I’m supposed to be, but if it were… wouldn’t I feel differently?
When I feel this way, I often think of Hannah. All Hannah wanted was a baby. She was jealous and envious her husband’s other wife was able to have babies, but she was not. Hannah went to the temple and prayed. She was so distraught that the priest thought she was drunk. Hannah was not drunk but so emotional and passionate about her hearts desire. As Hannah prayed she asked God yet again for baby. She promised God that if she was given a child she would dedicate them to Lord. Eventually, Hannah was blessed with a beautiful baby. Of course, I am paraphrasing this story, but if you are interested in reading it, check out the book 1 Samuel.
Through studying Hannah’s story I have learned a few things.
1. Certain things are just out of our control. I can hope, I can pray, and I can fast; but the Lord is going to do what He is going to do.
2. God hears you. It may not seem like it. He may seem milllions of miles away and completely silent but he hears us when we pray and when we come to him with our needs, and our wants. He knows and he wants to help us. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s wait.
3. Sometimes it’s not all about me. This was a hard one to swallow. But it’s not. If I had my way I’d have two living children with a third on the way, living in a two story house on Lake Michigan. But it’s not all about me, and I don’t always get my way. When we pray for things and the answer is no or wait, that is really tough. But there is a reason for it. God isn’t saying no just to say no. I believe He puts our best interest at heart. He knows our hearts desires and he knows what’s best for us in each season of life. And as hard as that is, the best thing to do is to trust him.
4. Put your focus on God. Hannah prayed day in and day out for a baby. And yet until she went to the temple, did she change her prayers and change her focus on God and what he has for her verses what she wanted. I can imagine that it took a great amount of humbleness to put God first.
So, to come full circle. I am changed and sometimes feel broken. I don’t feel like I am currently living up to my potential. But yet I know that God has a plan for me. I know that, God is bigger than anything I may face. I know that i want the Lord’s will to be done rather than my own. And I know that God sees me. God knows me and God loves me. So I am going to be more like Hannah. I am going to humble myself, I am going to put my focus on God and what he wants for my life rather than what I want. I am going to try to understand and accept that there are just certain things out of my control. And I am going to keep loving Jesus, doing my best in my job, in my family, and in my life. I am going to be more like Hannah because I am going to keep going even when it gets hard.
This past week, I was able to enjoy a vacation/staycation that allowed me to rest and refresh, get some home/miscellaneous tasks done as well as focus on my writing. Here is a little update of all my writing projects:
Memoir – I am in process of preparing my book to be sent to editors, and excited to read through and focus on the third and final draft.
Self Care Book for Teachers – I have put this book on hold for the moment as I want to focus on other projects that are almost completed. But I will be starting to work on it again very soon.
My 2nd Children’s Book – I started the illustrations and work on the plot this past week and I am getting very excited about how it is coming together! Above is a sneak peek! I can’t wait to reveal my newest project very soon!
About three weeks ago, I was on Pinterest, and I stumbled across a video about how to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit. It looked easy, so I decided to give it a try.
First, I gathered up a few avocado pits I had from an avocado and tuna fish sandwich the day before.
Then I peeled the skin off each pit.
Next, I got a paper towel for each pit and made them very damp. Then I wrapped the paper towel around each pit.
Once they were all wrapped, I placed each pit in a ziplock bag and sealed them tight.
Then, I taped each bag to my sliding door. At this point in the planting process the avocado pits don’t need sunlight. But I still hung them up just so I wouldn’t forget about them and they’d be near my other plants.
Fast forward to 2 and a half weeks later and I checked on my avocado pits.
One pit had finally cracked and sprouted a root! I was beyond excited. It was then time to place it in a full vase of water.
At first I used tooth picks to support my pit, but the tooth pics just ended up sliding, causing the pit to sink to the bottom of the vase. I then tried a rubber band, and plastic wrap.
About three days later I checked on my other avocado pits. One avocado pit has also opened and sprouted a root. The last pit had shown no growth so I figured it was a dud.
And there ya go, two successful avocado pits have sprouted and have successfully been transferred into water. Stayed tuned for more updates on my planting this season. I will be giving more updates in the coming weeks!
This past year, and actually since starting my blog I have developed various goals for myself that are a mixture of personal and professional goals. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that each year I create goals that I hope to accomplish by New Year’s Eve and a Summer Bucket List of goals I hope to accomplish in the summer. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then head over to my blog post….
One goal I am trying so incredibly hard to accomplish is writing and publishing my memoir. My memoir was an idea that first came to light the day after my second miscarriage, in September of 2019. After suffering my first loss, I felt led to start a blog… this blog in fact :). After my second loss, I realized there was more to my story and my grief that needed to be done. I realized that I have a gift of writing and since suffering two losses, though it was devastating… my circumstances had then given me the chance to expand my story and share with others my story, in order to help women like me. My circumstances, my grief and my passion is what drove me to write my book.
I have officially written the first draft of my book and currently working on the second. It’s small, raw, detailed, sad, but powerful… and I’m very proud of it.
I will be keeping you all updated as I continue to make the final touches to my book and begin the self publishing process!
On Monday November 3rd, I was a mixture of anxious and excited to see Charles. Everything in me had hopes that Charles was feeling the same way I was, and wanted to start a romantic relationship. But there was still a small part of me that feared that he just wanted to be friends.
After my first class Monday morning, I met up with Charles in the main hallway of our community college. Seeing Charles with a huge smile on his face gave me immense butterflies. I was falling in love with him minute by minute.
We sat down in the student center and discussed everything that we had already talked about over the weekend. We talked about any previous relationships we had had, what we wanted out of a romantic relationship and our intentions. We discussed boundaries, values, expectations a potential timeline and anything and everything in between. We then decided to take a day to think about everything we discussed as well as pray about it, before moving forward and officially start dating.
On Tuesday November 4th, Charles and I met in the cafe of our community college before Spanish class. Charles asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and we officially entered into a courtship (dating with the intention of marriage). We decided we did not want to rush things. We didn’t want to immediately say I Love You, hold hands or be too close. We also wanted to save our first kiss for if and when we got married. Together we decided we wanted to use this time to get to know each other, grow closer to God and be the best people we could be in school, in our families and in our relationship.
After we made it official, we gave each other a hug, took a selfie, bought two frappes and walked to Spanish completely head over heels.
About two weeks later, Charles invited me to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. Even though it was casual, I was very nervous for this family gathering. I decided to bring a plate of brownies to the meal, in hopes that it would help to make a good first impression to his family.
Charles was living at his Pastor’s house at the time we started dating. When I arrived and met his pastor, I instantly felt welcomed and at home. Throughout the day I was also able to meet his nieces and nephews as well as his sister and other close family friends.
At this family gathering, I was able to get a little taste of an old fashioned southern Thanksgiving. The food was amazing. There was fried chicken, turkey, ham, cabbage, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, corn, and mashed potatoes. It was amazing. The best part of the day was his nieces and nephews. My brownies were a huge hit with his family and even one of his nephews said they were “divine”
Celebrating our first holiday together was a lot of fun, and definitely one for the books.
Monday through Friday, work 8 – 5pm. On Saturdays catch up on house work and errands, maybe take a nap if there’s time. Sunday do absolutely nothing if you can besides watch a virtual church service and catch up on your latest drama on Netflix. If you’re like me, this too is what your life looks like in a nutshell, week to week. For me, I am usually feeling the stress and slight dread of Monday by 4pm. I start to think about if my uniform is clean, if I have anything to pack for lunch the next day, if my lesson plans are all set and ready for the week, and if there is anything else I am forgetting. I also consider if there is anything that I can do to wind down and relax so I am ready for Monday. I will be honest with you though… I sometimes push off my selfcare in order to be productive, which I sometimes end up regretting. Regardless, I am here to assist you in how to wind down and rest on a Sunday night, as well as take my own advice; in order to be ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
I know it may sound tedious, but in order to help me wind down on Sunday and actually set aside time for self care, I create a schedule. I get it, I do… it may sound like more work and stress to create a schedule, but it will honestly help in the long run. Orginally, I used to rely on sticking notes that I would use to jot down my to do lists on Saturday evening. But now, I have created a very neat and organized schedule I use for Sundays.
Here is an example of the organized schedule I use. In this schedule I created an area for my to do lists, and I have divided it into morning, afternoon and evening tasks. I also have a section for various self care areas I hope to focus on throughout my Sunday. Sometimes, life is crazy and I’m not always able to devote each area of self care, but I try to focus on at least 3. Lastly, there is an area for a deadline in which I hope to get things done for the day, as well as reflection questions.
I will say that planning and scheduling out each part of the day isn’t for everyone. Some people find it more stressful, while others find it very helpful. Either way, I hope this tool helps in some way. For me personally, I absolutely love seeing everything I need to get done in black and white. As I am able to get them done, I also find it so satisfying to be able to cross things off my check list and keep going throughout my day. Sometimes life gets repetitive and hard. We all need a little reminder now and then that it is okay to stop and take care of you. So please do whatever helps make you feel good, rested and refreshed for the week ahead.
If you are interested in using the My Sunday Schedule template, Click below to Download the PDF. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
On Monday February 25th, I woke up bright and early. I was officially 11 weeks pregnant and I was gitty about our ultrasound that afternoon. It had been three weeks from our last ultrasound, so I couldn’t wait to see how much baby had grown. Since that ultrasound, I had begun to show and felt some twinging and pulling on my sides… but no cramps which was a good sign. My morning sickness was slowly starting to subside as well. I looked it up to see if it was normal for morning sickness to taper off around 10 and 11 weeks. Apparently, a certain percentage of women say their morning sickness ended around this time of their pregnancy. Charles and I were also excited because after this ultrasound we were going to make the public announcement about our sweet baby. I went to class that morning with Charles, and then went to my internship meeting, I let my internship coordinator Danielle know I would have to leave a little early to make it to my appointment at 2pm. When I left for my appointment, I let Jeanie know I would be texting her soon with baby’s newest glamour shot. Since Charles had class all afternoon, my parents picked me up and we headed to my appointment.
When scheduling for this appointment, I was informed that both of my OB’s office ultrasound machines were down and I would need to go to Out-Patient testing instead. Out-Patient testing was located on the opposite side of the hospital. When I arrived in the office, I remembered coming here when I was fourteen. I was having issues with my gallbladder and also had to have an ultrasound. This gave me a little comfort knowing it was a familiar place.
When they called me back, my mom and I headed down the hall to the ultrasound room. My dad decided to run a couple errands while we were at the appointment. When I walked in the tech asked me my name and birthdate,
“So, what brings you in for an ultrasound today? Is it your first ultrasound?” He asked.
I explained to him that I had had an 8 week ultrasound at the Alternatives Clinic. I went to that appointment on Tuesday February 5th and was 8 weeks and 1 day, however baby was measuring at 7 weeks and 4 days. The tech listened as I laid back on the table and lifted my shirt. My bladder was full again but not nearly as much as my previous ultrasound. The tech put the warm jelly on my belly and placed the wand back and fourth. He grew quiet for a minute which made me slightly nervous, but I just told myself he was looking at my ovaries and then he would move on to baby. My mom sat next to me watching the screen and asking questions about any tests I should have done. The tech continued to stay quiet.
He zoomed in on baby and I saw her again for a second time. She was starting to look like a baby. I could see the outline of her head and body. She was so tiny but had grown so much. The tech asked me again when I had my last ultrasound. I found it really strange that he kept asking me questions but he didn’t really answer any of our questions. I then saw him check the heart beat. He brought the measurement scale up on to the screen and I didn’t see anything. That was weird.
“I’m sorry… I’m having some issues” He said nervously. Oh great, this ultrasound machine isn’t working either, I thought. “I’m going to go get our radiologists, because I am seeing that the baby is only measuring at 8 weeks and 5 days.” He said then left in a hurry.
My mom and I both looked at each other. My first thought was, good baby has grown…. but wait, I’m supposed to be close to 11 weeks, not 9. I immediately got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something was wrong.
“See, I told you you’re having twins!” My mom said jokingly. On the way to the appointment I asked my mom how she would feel if it was twins. She said she would just laugh because that’s how life goes sometimes. I continued worrying about baby. Maybe she’s disabled. Maybe she has a serious health problem. Maybe she’s a dwarf. Maybe there is twins and one is just hiding behind the other and one is taking the other’s nutrients. Maybe everything is fine. There was one thing I knew for certain, I wasn’t having any bleeding or cramping so baby was still alive… I thought.
The ultrasound tech returned with the radiologists behind him. He introduced us to the doctor and he shook our hands and sat down. “Hi Kaylee.” He looked at me with pity eyes… why was he giving me pity eyes? “So, we took a look at your ultrasound and it seems that the fetus has died. Their was no heart beat. I’m very sorry… I know this isn’t an easy thing to hear.” I stared at him. He was lying. This was a sick joke. I’m still pregnant. My baby didn’t die. “I do want you to know that it’s nothing you did. More that likely it was due to a chromosomal abnormality and the baby was just unhealthy.” I continued to stare at my doctor. My breathing quickened. I felt something touch my hand that startled me. Turns out it was my mom holding my hand and crying. Was this really happening?
“She fell a few weeks ago on the ice. Could that have caused this?” My mom asked with a cracked voice.
“More than likely not. In early pregnancy such as this it’s usually something wrong with the baby. 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, unfortunately everything has to go perfectly right for there to be a healthy pregnancy” He said. I could tell he was trying to make sure I didn’t blame myself… too late.
“So, when did the baby die?” My mom asked. That was my question too.
“At 8 weeks and 5 days.” He said matter of factly. We were concerned that if my baby had been dead inside me for approximately 11 days, was that going to make me sick. The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it since they caught it now. When the doctor left, I was grateful. I was done talking to him anyway. Even though he was just doing his job, a part of me hated him. He just gave me the worst news of my life, and I wasn’t about to be nice to him. When he was gone I got up and went to the bathroom. My mom wanted to hug me but I didn’t want to be hugged. I knew if she hugged me I would start to feel it, and I didn’t want to. At this moment I just wanted to be. I wanted be in this state of shock where I didn’t feel anything. But more than that, I wanted to rewind time. I wanted to go back and make sure I did absolutely everything perfectly in my pregnancy… but according to my doctor that wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
When I returned to the bathroom I was hoping it was all a dream. Sadly, no. My mom was still crying. From this point on I blocked everything out. As I write this and try to remember, I really can’t. My mom tells me that the tech was very shaken up and said he was sorry, he wasn’t expecting this at all. He shared with my mom that him and his wife had lost two babies… one at 6 weeks and one at 7 weeks. My mom also tells me that I called into work and got the night off since I was suppose to go in at 5pm. I guess I also texted Charles and told him what happen. Looking back I probably should have been more gentle than I was, but in this state of shock I was not thinking clearly.
Somehow, we ended up at my doctors office. I have no recollection of how we got there. I do remember going up to the front desk of the office.
“Can I help you?” The receptionist asked. I stared at her. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I started shaking. I couldn’t speak without crying, and I didn’t want to cry. So I stood there with my mouth hanging open probably looking like an idiot. My mom came up behind me and told them why I was there. They told us to have a seat and I would get called back. I sat in the waiting room feeling like every pregnant belly was staring me in the face. This was not fair. I couldn’t sit there. I couldn’t sit still because I knew all my emotions would hit me. I went to the bathroom. When I returned they called me back. Thank goodness.
We followed the nurse down the hallway to our exam room. She asked me for my name and birthdate as I stood on the scale. I then sat on the table and stared at the floor. This is not happening, I repeated in my head over and over again. Shock and denial were what comforted me in this moment. The nurse asked me about any medications I was on.
“Prenatal vitamins…. well I guess not anymore obviously!” I said with a passive aggressive tone. I didn’t know why I was so rude to her. She didn’t do anything wrong, I was just mad. She explained that I could still be on them if I wanted to. Some women just take them as vitamins whether they are pregnant or not. She then came over to me and took my temperature and my blood pressure. She asked about cramping and bleeding and I told her I had had none. She then looked at me with sad eyes. These weren’t the same eyes that the radiologists gave me. These were empathetic, I’ve been where you are and it hurts eyes.
“Can I give you a hug?” She asked. I nodded my head yes even though I knew what was coming. She hugged me and held me and I felt it. My world shattered. Everything I had hoped and prayed for was gone. This pain was unreal. It hurt. My baby was gone and I didn’t even know it. I sobbed in anguish and cried all over her scrub top. She held me tight for a long time. She said she had been there and even though I wouldn’t believe it now, I would get through this. After she left I met the doctor on call. He was very clinical and not at all compassionate. He said he was sorry but his tone and body language said he didn’t care. He gave me three options. He said I could allow my body to pass my baby naturally, I could take a pill that would speed things along or I could have a D & C procedure where they remove baby and the dead tissue. I chose to have a D & C.
When I got ready to leave the exam room my mom gave me a hug. She said she loved me. I melted into her arms and sobbed. I couldn’t believe this was happening. As we left the office I walked through the waiting room. Tears shed down my face as I felt like I was moving in slow motion, and yet all I wanted was to get out of there. I wanted to get away from the constant reminder that I was still pregnant but my baby was gone. As I walked past the pregnant women in the waiting room one of them locked eyes with me. She grabbed her belly that looked to be about 6 months along and covered her mouth. The emotions of shock and devastation came over her face as she looked at my tear stained face. She knew. I kept walking. Even though no words were exchanged I can imagine that if I had stopped she would have said “I’m sorry and I’ve been there too.”
The drive back to my apartment is a complete blur. I don’t remember returning home. All I remember is sitting on the couch in the living room crying. My mom sat next to me hugging and comforting me. She sent my dad out to go get us some comfort food. I wasn’t hungry. I sat there and stared at the laundry baskets full of baby items I had accumulated in the last few weeks. They were a mixture of items I had made or already had, as well as items from friends and my mom who would splurge on the baby clearance items every chance she got.
Sitting there on the couch, I felt so numb. I wanted this to be a bad dream. This was not how the day was supposed to go. I was supposed to see my baby. I was supposed to hear her heart beat for the first time. I was suppose to send the picture to Charles. We were suppose to make our big announcement. It wasn’t suppose to be this way. I did everything right and I showed no signs of a problem. How did I miss this? How did I not know that my baby had died?
While my dad was gone, I asked my mom to bag up all the baby items and just take them away. I didn’t want to see them. I didn’t want to be reminded of what almost was. However, as she did this, I felt crushed. I wasn’t ready to let go of the excitement and dreams I had as I looked at the baby items. I decided to keep a few things out to keep with me. I placed them in a cardboard box and decided that when I was ready I would create a memory box.
When my dad returned he brought me back a shamrock shake. Bless his little heart. Charles also returned home around this time. Charles hugged me and held me and allowed me to cry. My parents were concerned about us eating and kept asking what we should do for dinner. They offered to pick up food and bring it back so we could eat in. I told them I wanted to go out. I didn’t want to be in this house anymore. It just all still reminded me of baby.
We decided on Red Lobster and drove separately. I rode with Charles. In the car, Charles and I talked and he tried his hardest to comfort me. I told Charles I wanted to name our baby. I remembered seeing in the movie Heaven is For Real, how the daughter that the mother miscarried was up in Heaven without a name. I didn’t want that to be our child. I wanted our baby to be up there in Heaven with a name. For awhile I had been having strong feelings that we were carrying a girl. Charles was hoping for a boy. We talked about it, talked about why we felt the way we did and discussed different names we liked. We decided on naming her Mackenzie. It was beautiful.
At dinner my parents tried there hardest to try and put a smile on my face, but I wasn’t having it. I was in mourning. They respected that but I know it hurt them to see me this way. Throughout the evening I texted the people I had originally told I was pregnant that I had lost the baby. Most responses were I’m so sorry and Is there anything I can do? and Oh Kaylee, my heart breaks for you. It was comforting that so many people cared but was also just another reminder that this was not a dream, this was reality.
I decided to stay with my parents that night. I started cramping and was terrified that my body would try passing the baby over night. As much as I wanted to be with Charles, he was in the middle of his midterms and I didn’t want to stress him out even more. I didn’t want to keep him up all night with my worry and grief. I also didn’t want him to have to take me to the hospital if I started hemorrhaging or something else went wrong. So, I stayed with my parents, snuggled some kitties and tried to mentally process the day. This was the worst day of my life.
The night I found out about our baby, I laid awake. I tossed and turned. I couldn’t go five minutes without crying. As the hours passed, the more my new reality would hit. I’m not having a baby. I’m not gonna be a mom anymore. These thoughts just broke my heart over and over again. As I laid in the bed awake, I thought back to when this all started. I thought about Andrea asking if I could be pregnant. I thought about Alli bringing me the pregnancy test. I thought about the excitement and disbelief we all had about me being pregnant. I thought about my mom and I shopping for maternity clothes. I thought about my crazy pregnancy cravings. I thought about both ultrasounds. I thought about the dreams that Charles and I had for this little girl…. I found myself holding my breathe still in a state of shock. How can this journey suddenly be over? Just like that.
By 3am I couldn’t take it anymore. The series of events that occurred in the last 7 weeks kept swirling around my head. As much as it was torcher to think about, I didn’t want to forget. This was my story. This didn’t all happen for nothing. I didn’t understand the reason, but I knew I wasn’t meant to suffer in silence. I thought about the pros and cons of sharing my story. People may give me pity or think I just want attention. People may say something insensitive or just the wrong thing and it could hurt more. People would forever look at me differently.
That night I wrote a brief status on my Facebook of my pregnancy and miscarriage. I outlined it as a letter to Mackenzie. The decision to write my story wasn’t an easy one to make, and I knew I was taking a risk. However, I chose to tell my story for three reasons.
1) I wanted control. I felt like I had lost all control in this situation. That’s one thing that made this situation fall into the category of a traumatic event. I the victim or survivor lost all control in the loss I was experiencing. I not only wanted to find some grasp of control in this situation, but I also wanted some control of what others may say to me. Ever since Charles and I got married, it never fails that every few weeks someone is asking us when we are going to have kids. Due to what had just happen to us, I didn’t want anyone to ask. I thought that if people knew our story they would be respectful of our loss and allow us to choose when we want to talk about starting a family.
2) I knew I wasn’t alone. As much as it hurt and as much as I felt like I must be the only woman in the world to feel this pain… I knew I wasn’t. I knew there were others out there like me. Many have suffered in silence while others have shared their story publicly. I wanted to be able to connect to those who have gone through this pain, so that I could find some glimmer of hope that I could get through it too.
3) I wanted the world to know Mackenzie. Naming her, talking about her and sharing our story made her real. I didn’t want her just to be an idea, or dream. She is real. She did grow inside me and sadly she was called home.
So I did it. I shared my story around 4am on Tuesday February 26th. To this day I still can’t believe the impact of sharing my story….
The night of February 26th, I was absolutely restless. I tossed and turned in bed until about 12:30am. I finally got up and started pacing. I was still staying with my parents. My dad woke up when he heard me awake pacing throughout the house. My dad kept me company and talked to me throughout the night. My cramps kept getting worse the more my anxiety increased.
Around 3am I felt the need for comfort. Food and my dad’s company wasn’t quite meeting my needs. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be okay no matter what I did. I wanted my baby to be okay, but she wasn’t. I went down to my parents basement and found the garbage bags full of baby items that we had packed away two days ago. I dug through them in the dark until I found what I was looking for. I started to get frustrated and almost give up… and then I found it. I found Mackenzie’s quilt. The quilt that Alli made for her. The very first gift that Mackenzie received, but would never be able to use. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and hugged it tight. This is exactly what I needed, something to hold.
I headed back upstairs with the quilt in hand. I rested in the recliner chair in the living room and watched Jimmy Carson with my dad. Ever since I had received the news of our baby at the ultrasound, my arms ached. They ached and felt like I had recently carried a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of grief or what exactly, so I did a little research. Apparently, some women experience pain and ache in their arms after a miscarriage. This is because of the psychological longing of wanting to hold their baby. This information gave me comfort. I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving a longing for my baby. Holding the quilt helped immensely. It wasn’t my baby, but it was a tangible item that gave me comfort.
By 5am I was absolutely miserable. My dad had given me 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and I was still in a boat load of pain. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down. It hurt to stand, and it hurt to walk. My cramps were intense and at least at a 8 on the pain scale. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared there would be blood, but there wasn’t. By 5:30am my gut told me to go to the ER. When I had scheduled my surgery the nurse said if my cramps became too painful or I was bleeding uncontrollably then I needed to be seen. So, as my dad got the car ready, I woke up my mom and we headed to the hospital. I called Charles on the way, and scared him out of his sleep. I felt kind of bad. He had two midterms that morning and I didn’t want to be selfish… but I needed him.
My trip to the ER is pretty fuzzy. I remember Charles meeting us there. I remember him holding my hand. I know I had a pelvic exam done and they said my cervix wasn’t dilating yet. I remember it was painful. I got a shot in the arm for my pain and it made me incredibly loopy. I remember the PA talking to me and telling me I was going to have my surgery tomorrow as scheduled. I also saw an ER doctor. He prescribed me Norco for my pain. He told me “Normally, it’s not safe to take when you are pregnant, but since you are not choosing to continue the pregnancy, it’s the best option.” His words hurt me. I wasn’t choosing to go forward with the pregnancy. Excuse me? I didn’t have a choice in any of this.
Even though it’s all a blur, the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind about the ER visit is prayer. I was furious with God. I had developed a hatred for Him and how He took away my baby… but at the same time I needed him. I was scared. I didn’t want to live this life but also didn’t want this pain anymore. I wanted God to either kill me or get me through because I couldn’t do this on my own. My faith was shaken but it wasn’t gone completely. I needed God to get me through this because I felt literally everything slipping out of my control.
On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to get my pain med prescription filled. Despite the fact I had had a shot for my pain less the three hours prior, I was still in some pain and discomfort. It wasn’t as bad sitting down, but if I had to stand for more than a few minutes, the pain was intense. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got very frustrated with the pharmacist. They tried telling me they didn’t accept my insurance, when in reality I had straight Medicaid at the time and everybody accepted straight Medicaid. Not only that, but I had just picked up meds for my husband a few days earlier. We have the exact same insurance and there was no issue. According to my dad, he could tell I was in a lot of pain as I leaned on the counter at the pharmacy. My Dad said I was very close to climbing over the counter and strangling the people at the pharmacy because they kept arguing with me… but I didn’t. We ended up going to a different pharmacy and had absolutely no problem. Thank goodness.
When we got back to my parents house, my mom pulled me aside and hugged me. It’s almost like she knew I needed that hug before I even knew to ask for it. She’s a really good mom. “You need to embrace this baby. Spend some time by yourself with just you and baby. Talk to her. Because tomorrow… you are going to feel so empty when she’s gone.” She said hugging me and holding me tight. I sobbed all over her shoulder. I did not want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby. I didn’t want to stop being pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone. Charles came over in the afternoon. He brought me flowers that were sent from Andrea and Alli.
That evening around 6pm, I went into the bedroom I was staying in and closed the door. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall. I was snuggled in many layers of blankets and gripped Mackenzie’s quilt and held it in my arms. As I sat there, I realized that my mom was right. I was spinning out of control and trying to avoid the loss and pain that was currently consuming my life. I tried just to breathe. As I started to calm myself down I began to feel it. All the emotions of pain and sadness came to the surface. My baby died. I had a miscarriage. No. No! This wasn’t happening! Why did she die!? Why did she have to go? For two hours I sat in that dark bedroom crying over my baby. I gripped my belly wishing so much that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I would have given ANYTHING for this not to be real. My mom came in to check on me. She comforted me. In many ways I felt better. The physical pressure of needing to cry was gone but the pain and sadness continued. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
The morning of my surgery I woke up confused. I actually got more than three hours of sleep and felt slightly rested. It believe it was due to the amount of crying I did before falling asleep and the pain meds I was on. I called Charles when I was more awake. It was around 5am and I needed to be at the hospital at 9am. Before the miscarriage and everything had happen, Charles was offered the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. Since we had already payed for the trip, I told Charles he should still go. As hard as it may be for him not to be here, I still wanted him to go and try and enjoy himself. I felt that everything had been taken away from me, so in my effort to protect Charles I still wanted him to go on his trip. When I called Charles he was getting ready to leave for the airport. I don’t really remember the conversation but I know we were both pretty emotional. After hanging up, I regretted telling him to go on his trip. I wanted him here, but it was too late.
Before leaving for the hospital I took my final pregnancy bump pictures. Taking the pictures was something I needed to do, but it also broke my heart because I knew it would be for the last time.
The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.
Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.
When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.
She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.
My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.
My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.
After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!
They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Then I was out.
I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.
I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.
“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.
When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.
“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.
Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.
This post was written a year ago, and though a year has passed, I still believe it holds some truth today.
It’s okay to not be okay… and today I am not okay. A year ago today I was happy. I went to a doctor appointment that I thought would leave me joyous and thankful. Instead, it left me with every emotion imaginable, and this is when my grief first began. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was supposed have an ultrasound and hear my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Instead I heard the words “I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Instead of feeling joyous, I left feeling empty and broken.
My life changed that day. I became an angel mommy. I had to learn how to let go of a child that I fell in love with but didn’t get to meet. I learned who my true friends and family were. I learned how incredibly common pregnancy loss is, even though no one talks about it. I learned that there are good people in the healthcare system who go above and beyond for their patients. I also learned how the healthcare system let’s so many women like me down. I learned how to grieve, how to live, and how to be happy again. It wasn’t easy, and trust me… I’m still working on it.
Grief is a burden that we all have to deal with in this life. There is no telling how or when you’ll go through it. But we grieve because we love. It hurts because we don’t want to say goodbye. It’s confusing because we don’t know how to handle it until it happens. But more often than not grief brings people together. Whether it’s losing a parent, losing a sibling, losing a friend, losing a child, losing a neighbor, a coworker or even someone well known… it hurts, and it unifies us.
So today I am not okay. I am giving myself permission to grieve my baby. I’m not going to feel guilty for not being my best today. I’m going breathe, rest and remember what I had before I had to say goodbye, and that’s okay.
I love you Mackenzie! Daddy and I miss you so much. 💕
It’s February, and I’ll be honest. For most of this month, I have had the February blues. For many, the month of February is the love month. But for me, it’s a month of grief. In the month of February, I am always reminded of my first pregnancy loss. I wish I could let it go, and I wish I could forget… but I can’t. So, for now I am just going to push through. February is almost over. I can get through this.
Also, I apologize that I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do. Please be patient with me as I get through this month.