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.
Homemade stir-fry is one of my favorite meals to make, because it’s so easy. Like many of the recipes I have shared, part of what makes it easy is that you can generally use vegetables and spices you already have at home.
Olive Oil (4 tablespoons)
Brown Sugar (1/3 Cup)
Thai or Asian Noodles (Ramen Noodles work too)
Soy Sauce (2 tablespoons)
Garlic (1/2 a clove)
Ground Ginger (3 Dashes)
Black Pepper (3 Dashes)
Oregano (3 Dashes)
Basil (3 Dashes)
Any Veggies of your choice! Ex: Celery, mushrooms, onion, peppers, carrots, broccoli, fresh cilantro etc.
WHAT YOU DO…
1. First, fill a medium size saucepan of 2/3 of water and bring it to a boil. Once water is boiling, add noodles of your choice. My favorite kind of noodles to use are the Thai brand stir-fry noodles that can be found at Walmart.
2. Next, pull out a cutting board and chop any veggies you would like to include in the dish.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and place on medium heat.
4. Add chopped up vegetables, and brown sugar to frying pan. Cook until veggies begin to turn brown and dark.
5. Once noodles are soft, remove from heat and drain noodles. Place noodles in a bowl.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over noodles. Remove sautéed veggies from heat and place over noodles. Add additional spices including oregano, garlic, basil, ground ginger and black pepper. Add soy sauce, stir noodles and enjoy. 💕
Over the next few weeks, Charles and I continued going on dates over the weekends and texting late every night. We quickly developed a very innocent and special friendship. On our second date, Charles and I enjoyed a beautiful autumn stroll in the park. After the date, Charles got to meet my dad. It was honestly, just as awkward as I expected. Charles was a true gentleman and introduced himself to my dad. My dad made jokes, tried to be intimidating and asked Charles many, many questions.
After the awkward meeting with my dad, we joined my parents at our local pizza parlor. Charles and I both ordered pizza calzones, that were bigger than our heads. I took two bites of it, and had to get a to-go box, as I was way too nervous to eat. Regardless, of my nerves and the occasional embarrassing moments at dinner, it was all-in-all a good date.
About a week before Halloween, Charles and I were texting late in the evening. I asked Charles something that had been on my mind for awhile, that I didn’t know how to bring up.
Kaylee: So, what do you think we are to each other?
Charles: What do you mean?
Kaylee: I mean do you think we’re friends or special friends?
Charles: I don’t know. I’ve never really had a best friend before. But yeah. I guess we’re friends.
As I texted Charles, I realized I wasn’t being completely clear as to what I was asking, therefore he didn’t know how to answer my question.
Kaylee: Do you see this going further?
I realized I was still being vague, but I was too chicken to come out and say You want to be boyfriend and girlfriend? I am also old school and felt it was his job to ask me… even though, I was dying to know.
Charles: I’m not sure.
I ended up changing the subject to something else. I was afraid I would scare him away with my questions and felt embarrassed for even bringing it up. I told myself I wasn’t going to bring it up again, I was just going to let things play out.
On Halloween, my friend Andrea and I made a spur of the moment trip to her family’s cabin up north. We planned to leave Friday, after I got out of work at 5. I told Charles I was going and he was very excited for us. My mom and Charles took me to Andrea’s house so we could leave right away. It was very exciting to have a guy see me off on a trip,
When my mom dropped me off, I gave her a hug as she told me to be safe and have fun. Charles helped me with my bags and walked me to the front porch. There was a slightly awkward moment as he looked at me, not sure how to say goodbye. He said…
“Well, I hope you have a great time. Be safe, and I will see you when you get back.” He smiled at me, not sure what to do next. Again, I was sheltered, and homeschooled. This was all new to me. Not only was this awkward because we were obviously both smitten and staring at each other, but my mom was also watching from the car, and Andrea and Alli’s dogs were barking at us from the window. Thankfully, Andrea opened the door, and the dogs ran out to greet us, which broke the awkward moment. Andrea said hi to Charles, and they had a quick get to know you conversation.
Charles and I again stared at each other. Charles put his arms out, as if to offer a hug. I gave Charles a hug, and fell even more for this guy that had become such a good friend, and huge presence in my life. We said goodbye, and I walked into the house.
Alli was standing at the counter, out of breath as if she had just ran three miles. She told me she had frantically cleaned because she wasn’t sure if Charles was going to come inside. I found it so funny, that she tried to make a good first impression for the guy that I liked.
On the way to the cabin, I told Andrea all about Charles. I told her about how we met, the different dates we had been on, taking Spanish together and everything in between. Of course, I had told her all of these stories before, but I couldn’t help but talk about them over and over again.
We arrived at the cabin around midnight. We unloaded our bags, filled the wood stove and ate a quick dinner. We spent the evening talking and updating each other on life. From the moment we left for the cabin, the whole trip felt like it was going to be special and truly unforgettable.
The next morning, I woke up to the smell of brewing coffee, and the sound of Christmas music, flooding the cabin. It was officially November, so Andrea was quick to turn on the Christmas music. The first full day at the cabin, I’m pretty sure we did some thrift store shopping, and admired the beautiful changing leaves of November.
Later in the afternoon, Andrea and I drove to the nearest small town store that was famous for its’ jerky, and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our clothes and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt bad, but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay. As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help.
After the firefighters left, I texted Charles and told him what happen. Charles called me immediately to make sure I was okay. I felt a bit awkward talking on the phone, as I had never heard his voice over the phone before. I found it very sweet Charles called to check on Andrea and I. After getting off the phone with Charles, we continued texting. Charles took me completely by surprise at where he directed the conversation.
Charles: Do you think we’re more than friends?
I was completely taken a back and had no idea what to say.
Kaylee: I consider you a very good friend. Why?
Charles: I’d like to think that your my girlfriend. What do you think?
Kaylee: I’d like to be your girlfriend.
At the time, I had no idea how deeply focused I was in my texting conversation with Charles. Andrea asked me what was going on and why I was smiling so much. I started blushing and tried so hard not to get ahead of myself. I told her everything and tried to stay calm and use caution. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to be completely honest and up front with my boundaries, values and expectations when it came to dating, and being pursued by a man.
I told Charles how I had never had a boyfriend before. I had never been kissed and never even held hands with a guy. I also expressed to him that I was not one to be quick in giving my heart away. I had always wanted to be in a courtship and go into a relationship with the intention of marriage, instead of just dating to date. I wanted to date with a purpose, and I wanted to be in a relationship that was honoring to God. After expressing this to Charles, I knew it was going to be either make it or break it. He was either going to be completely on board or I would completely scare him off. I nervously waited for his response.
Charles: Okay, I can understand that. I would like to talk more about this on Monday before class.
That night, I stayed up late talking to Andrea. I went over every scenario of how Monday would play out between Charles and I. I worried that I had scared Charles off, and he just wanted to tell me in person. I worried that I was going to try and end things on Monday because I wanted to avoid getting hurt. I worried that even if things continued into a relationship, that it still may not end in marriage, but with heartbreak.
Before going to sleep, Andrea said something that gave peace. She said:
“With love there is always a risk. Yes you could start a relationship and break up or you could start a relationship and eventually get married. Either way there is a risk, and there is no guarantee you won’t get hurt. But no matter what decision you make, I’ll support you.” Andrea said a quick prayer and we both fell asleep.
The next day, Andrea and I took a quick hike near the cabin, packed up and headed home. On the way home we continued talking about boys, listening to Christmas music, and enjoyed the end of our much needed girl’s weekend away. For the rest of Sunday, I pondered how things would happen when Charles and I would find each other and have our Define the Relationship talk Monday morning.
In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic.
As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice.
For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:
What is something I needed to let go of?
What was something I was ready for?
What did I need to remember from the current time?
At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself.
What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself.
What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family.
What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too.
I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Now, I have also created a coloring book to accompany this gentle children’s book.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book is available for $7.70 + Shipping and Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book is $5.00 + Shipping! Digital and Paperback copies are available.
1. You Have Separation Anxiety When You are Away From Your Cat.
Do you worry about your cat being home alone while you are running errands or at work? Do you wonder if they will be on their best behavior or they will get lonely, if you are never there? If so, then you might be a crazy cat parent.
2. You Rearrange Your Schedule So You Can Spend More Time With Your Cat.
Do you sometimes stay home for no other reason then to spend time with your cat? After a long week of working, do you look forward to spending time with your cat on the weekend? If so, you may be a crazy cat parent.
3. You Talk to Your Cat, and Wait for Your Cat to Respond.
It is true that often times, pets are the best therapists. But not everybody has actual conversations with their pets and waits for them to respond. I am going to make a little confession. Sometimes, my kitty Rocky and I have conversations, and I indeed do wait for him to respond. If you also do this, then you too may be a crazy cat parent.
4. You Consider and/or Adopt Another Cat So Your Current Cat Won’t Be Lonely.
Do you scroll through pictures from your local shelters or pet ads from Petfinder, and consider adopting another feline friend? Do you do this because you have kitty fever or because you want your kitty to have another friend. Maybe even both?
5. You Spend More Money on Cat Toys, Treats, Food, and Pet Furniture Than You Actually Plan To.
Confession time again…. I spent over a $100 on Rocky this past Christmas. But he’s my only baby at the moment, so I have no shame. Do you also find yourself strolling down the pet aisle, or finding ways to adjust your budget so you can buy more things for your cat? If yes, then you too could be a crazy cat parent.
6. You Get Up Early or Stay Up Late Just to Play with Your Cat.
Do you get up early just to spend time with your cat? Do you just adore how loving your kitty can be when he is waking you up and begging you for food early in the morning? Do you jump out of bed, and join your kitty when you hear him bellowing opera kitty music at 2am? If so, then you may just be crazy, or a crazy cat parent.
7. You Rearrange Your Furniture So Your Cat is Comfortable When Looking Out the Windows.
Do you get your cat’s opinion on how to rearrange the furniture? Do you consider how he might want to watch his live tv of birds flying, squirrels gathering nuts, and dogs walking their humans? If yes, then maybe you are a crazy cat parent.
8. You Leave the TV on for Your Cat When You’re Not Home.
Do you worry your kitty will go crazy being in a quiet home for too long and decide to leave on the tv for them? Yes? Don’t worry… I do it too. I’m probably just as crazy as you.
9. You Look Forward to and/or Get Excited to Give Your Cat Catnip.
Do you want your cat to love you?… I mean really love you? Do you look forward to giving them catnip and anticipate seeing the cat be all consumed by catnip? I do.
10. You Consider Your Cat as One of Your Kids.
Do you? I do. My kitty is my baby.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am a crazy cat mom and this was all just for fun. I hope I made you smile and brought some humor into your life today. Well, I’m going to go snuggle my cat now.
For the last few weeks, I have been having some crazy, comforting and vivid dreams. Now I know a lot people these days have been having weird dreams, but I have to wonder if the dreams I have been having have a deeper meaning.
At the beginning of December, I had a dream I was in my bathroom taking a pregnancy test. I stared at the test and waited for it to show a result. I watched as two bright pink lines showed up on the test, and I got so excited…. then I woke up and I was disappointed because it was a dream.
About a week later I had another dream that I again was taking pregnancy tests in my bathroom. I had a whole pile of them on my counter and they were all positive.
Near Christmas, I had a dream I was pregnant, and I looked down at my feet and I couldn’t see them. My big belly was in the way. I woke up confused and checked my belly, nope not pregnant.
On Christmas Eve I had a dream Charles and I had a baby girl. We named her Mercy. I’m not entirely sure why, but we did. In the dream I was wearing a necklace with an M on it. I woke up and told Charles. He wasn’t entirely sold on naming our kid Mercy as a first name, but he wasn’t against a middle name.
On New Year’s Eve, I had a dream I was walking through the woods. I reached the edge of the woods and entered a valley. Above the valley was a bright and beautiful rainbow. It was so beautiful I started screaming and crying. I was so overjoyed, then I woke up.
These dreams are so interesting, and I have to wonder if I am just obsessing over having babies or are these actually signs from above? Maybe, and maybe not. Only time will tell I suppose.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Not only is this story about a mother who suffers a pregnancy loss, but the characters in the book are also named after my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase, as well as my brother Matthew who passed away as an infant.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is available for $7.70 + Shipping HERE. Digital and Paperback copies are available.