When You Least Expect It…

At the end of April, I was feeling rather emotional and overwhelmed. Mother’s Day was quickly approaching and it was hard for me to not carry the grief and dread I was feeling about that particular holiday. As I thought about Mother’s Day, I thought about last year when Charles and I decided on Mother’s Day that we would try again for our rainbow baby.

Fast forward to the end of April 2021, and I was feeling defeated. We had been trying for about a year and absolutely no results. Negative test after negative tests. Period after period. I was due for my period on April 29th. I was feeling discouraged and tired of hoping. I finally told myself to stop. Stop getting my hopes up and stop getting excited. I tried convincing myself over and over that every little cramp, twinge, mood swing and hot flash was just my period coming.

When my period didn’t come on the 29th I figured, it’s just late this month. I have had cycles of up to 34 days. I continued trying to keep myself grounded and tell myself my period was coming.

The morning of April 30th, I had a really strange dream. I dreamt I lost my sense of taste and smell but no other symptoms. In my dream I was walking around a room to different foods and flowers while trying to smell them. I instantly woke up sweaty, agitated and gross. My alarm went off for work, and as much as I didn’t want to get up, I knew it was time to start the day… and at least it was a Friday.

I went to the bathroom, and I started to get excited that my period still hadn’t come. I then thought, what if I take a pregnancy test, and when it says Not Pregnant I can stop hoping. I’ll know my period will show up anytime.

I grabbed the last test I had under my bathroom sink. It was the more expensive digital kind. I knew that it would be the most reliable tool I had besides getting my period.

I took the test and waited.

In the moment of waiting I just kept thinking Not Pregnant, it’s going to say Not Pregnant and that’s okay. I’m bummed but at least I’ll know.

It was 4:30 in the morning. I checked the test after 2 minutes. I squinted my eyes at the word on the screen. I was still tired with sleepies in my eyes. I read the word. I read it again.

Pregnant… huh? Where’s the Not? It doesn’t say Not Pregnant. Is it broken? Does Not pop up later? I took a deep breath and wrapped my mind around my surprising reality. I’m pregnant. No way! I’m pregnant! In that moment it hit me and I sobbed with joy, and with hesitation. I praised God and thanked Him for this little blessing!

I’m pregnant. Third pregnancy, here we go!

Post Written 4/30/21

To the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day… This One is for You.

I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️

It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.

Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?


ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE. 


And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way. 

This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year. 

Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss. 


THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. 


So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared. 

Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven. 

I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.

Be More Like Hannah

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.

Another Update on My Writing Projects

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!

Another Negative

I have tossed around the idea of posting this photo. I have contemplated if I should even write a blog post about this particular topic as it is so incredibly personal. I have weighed the pros and cons of this post and decided on this. On my blog I have always been real and raw when it comes to my life, my challenges and my grief. Over the last twoish years I have shared the details of my grief and miscarriages because it not only helped me heal and process the trauma of that season in my life, but I knew one day my story could help someone else. Therefore, if I share my stories of pregnancy loss, then I can also share my challenges of trying to concieve and start a family.

Last May around Mother’s Day, Charles and I decided we again wanted to try and start a family. It had been 8 months since our second miscarriage and though I don’t think we can ever fully heal from a loss such as this, we both have gained a lot of growth, wisdom and strength from suffering two losses. So in May we decided to start trying again.

When deciding to try again, we discussed how we did not want to obsess over trying to get pregnant. Rather we were just going to allow what ever happen to happen. I wasn’t going to track my temp or track my ovulation. We decided we were going to try and live our lives and allow God to move when He sees fit.

In September, after 4 months of trying and no luck, Charles and I looked into adoption. The desire to become parents in the last few years has grown so strong, and we both love the idea of conceiving our own healthy baby, or adopting a child. Since September we have continued to research the option of adoption and have found there are a few steps we would need to complete before going any further. So in some ways we are at a stand still.

This past month we reached 6 months of trying. And I was convinced that I was pregnant. I was super hungry, tired, had a cold, emotional, my boobs hurt, my hips hurt, I had some cramping that was different than my normal period cramping, headaches and I was three days late. I hoped and prayed that I was pregnant as it would have been a sweet ending to a crazy year. But that wasn’t the case. Another negative yet again.

The day I took the test I was down, defeated and devastated. But as I write this over a week later, I realize that it was for the best. I don’t know why, but I know it wasn’t meant to be right now. Since my second miscarriage I have asked God to please not let me get pregnant unless I am pregnant with a healthy baby. And so, since getting another negative I look at it that way. As much as not getting pregnant right now is hard, it’s not as devastating for me as it would be to lose another baby.

I keep thinking God just wants me to do more, before having kids. Maybe that’s publishing my memoir. Maybe that’s moving up at my job. Maybe it’s making money through my blog. And maybe it’s just sharing my story with all of you. I don’t know the reason. But I know that I’m not in control. As scary as it is, I want to have a baby. I want to be a mom to a baby here on earth. But I know that if that stick had two lines, I would have been happy, but not excited.

When you’ve suffered a loss, getting pregnant again feels different. Since you’ve already had the worst happen, you’re extra cautious and it’s always in the back of your mind. Is it going to happen again? Am I going to lose this pregnancy? Will this be a healthy baby? Only God knows the answers to those questions. And only time will tell what’s in store for us.

For now, I am going to do my best to keep living my life, teaching preschoolers, loving my family, writing, and appreciating the little things. ❤️

Discussing Family Planning with My OB

Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.

I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.

At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.

Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.

In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.

Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…

1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily

2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily

3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,

4. Continue to be active daily.

5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.

6. Drink plenty of water daily (48 oz.)

Missing You A lot These Days…

May 13th, 2020. Three days after Mother’s Day. This day had never been so important to me, until I found I was pregnant for a second time. Looking at that second line on a pregnancy test on a late September evening, I thought “This is it. This is my rainbow baby. Thank you Jesus” My joy only lasted for about 20 days, until I started spotting and realized I would lose this baby.

I was pregnant for 7 weeks with a baby my husband and I named Chase. We named him Chase because we were Chasing our Rainbow. Unfortunately that wasn’t”t God’s plan. Chase was only physically with me for a short time, but will be in our hearts forever.

I miss you Chase. I miss you so much. You were in my life for a short time, and as hard as it was to let you go, I thank God for you. Losing you was devastating, but knowing there were other angels in Heaven waiting to take care of you, brought me comfort.

Happy due date Chase. Sorry it has taken me so long to acknowledge this, but I just couldn’t write out my thoughts and feelings until I was ready. I love Baby Chase. 💕

My Worst Fear… Again

The following post is my story of how I experienced my second miscarriage. In this post I show vulnerability in retelling my second loss. I also share details in my miscarriage, so I do want to offer a TRIGGER WARNING before anyone begins reading my post. Please feel free to stop reading, and take care of you if my words, and my story are challenging to read.

At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.


I nudged Charles awake. He held my hand and we both fell back asleep.


I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.

I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.

When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.


I felt scared and alone. I considered waking up Charles, but I didn’t. I didn’t want him to be scared.


At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.

I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.


The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.

A Scare at 7 Weeks and 3 Days

Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.

Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.


Why was I bleeding? This can’t be happening! Not again! I can’t handle this! I can’t handle another loss! I frantically started praying. God please, please keep baby Chase safe! I don’t want to lose him!


I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.

Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.

One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….


Don’t be scared, because your body knows what to do, and it is going to do what needs to be done. So, take care of yourself and be there for one another because this affects both of you.


Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.

That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……

7 Weeks Pregnant

At 7 weeks pregnant… I started to feel better. My nausea started to subside, and food was starting to appeal to me again. I think that since I had already experienced a loss, this symptom made me really nervous and anxious. I feared that I was losing my pregnancy symptoms and I was going to lose another pregnancy. However, I also wondered if it was just my nerves talking and this pregnancy was different than the first.

Around 6 weeks and 6 days I started to experience a really weird symptom. It was an aching pain deep near my cervix. It kind of felt like a menstrual cramp, but also just felt sore. I started to get concerned about this symptom as I had never experienced it during pregnancy before. I asked a friend and even a nurse at my OB clinic. They all said it sounded pretty normal. I also Googled the symptom, which probably wasn’t a good idea. The only term I could find was lightning pain. This is a term used when a woman experiences pain at the start of labor. I figured that probably wasn’t what I had and just decided to trust that everything was okay.

At 7 weeks exactly, I had my first OB appointment. I ended up going to the appointment by myself since Charles had class. It was just like last time as I had to sit with a nurse and talk about my medical history. I also met with the community health worker. In this meeting I felt compelled to share with her about my previous loss and how I was treated. I expressed to her how I was given promotional offers, samples and other reminders from various places. I shared how hurt I felt that I wasn’t given any resources until 3 months later. I expressed how I wasn’t treated kindly by my doctors. Lastly, I shared the struggle in the waiting room and how it can be hard on any woman of loss to have to sit among other pregnant moms.


The community health worker was so kind and supportive. She listened intently and allowed me to feel heard.


6 Weeks Pregnant

My second pregnancy was different than my first. For my pregnancy with Mackenzie, I was in shock for days and not at all prepared. For my pregnancy with Chase, I was very prepared for the first trimester as I knew what pregnancy symptoms to expect. At 6 weeks I was already feeling nauseated, tired, hungry and hormonal.


Though these early pregnancy symptoms weren’t exactly fun, they gave me comfort knowing my baby was doing okay, and my pregnancy was on track.


For this pregnancy, I had my mind made up that I definitely didn’t want too many people to know. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. The reason I didn’t want to share about our pregnancy isn’t because we didn’t want people’s love and support; more less, we just wanted to keep it under wraps until I was further along. I don’t in any way regret telling people I was pregnant before my first miscarriage….. but I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that people will look at you differently when you go through a traumatic event. I also learned that though people may have good intentions… they can say some really hurtful things on the topic of miscarriage. Due to all of this, Charles and I decided to keep things a secret until we were ready to handle other people’s opinions.

At this stage in my pregnancy, I had so much peace. I had peace knowing and believing my baby was going to be okay. All the statistics and stories I had read, told me I was more likely to have a healthy pregnancy than a repeat miscarriage. My HCG and thyroid levels were great for a healthy pregnancy. I was ten times stronger than I was before experiencing a loss. Lastly, my faith, my education, my relationships and my job were all in a good place. Things were starting to go right for once.

A Weekend Away to Honor My Due Date

On Friday September 13th, my best friends Alli, Andrea and I all took a trip to their family’s cabin. This was a well needed trip as not only did we all need a vacation and time to catch up with one another, but I also wanted to take time away to grieve and honor my due date. My due date with Mackenzie was technically on September 16th, but since that day landed on a Monday, we decided to take a weekend trip instead.

The night before leaving for our trip, I decided to share with Andrea and Alli that I was pregnant again. I sent them both a picture of my felt letter board declaring that I was 5 weeks. They both were very excited for us and even suspected I might be pregnant again.

On Friday evening around 5pm, we left for our trip. We were headed up north. We spent the car ride talking and catching up. On the way to the cabin we stopped to get gas, get some groceries, and even got some Subway. When we arrived at the cabin, we got everything situated including turning on the water, and bringing in our luggage. We spent the evening playing board games, and telling stories. It was the perfect way to start our weekend away.

The next morning we woke up to a site so incredibly tranquil. In the living room of the cabin, there is a beautiful front window that faces miles of woods and meadow. This scene is especially beautiful in the mornings as the sun is rising, and the sun shines through the leaves of the trees. That morning we were able to see this beautiful scene, along with deer frolicking through the woods, and the sound of birds singing their morning song. It was breath taking.

That morning I also told my parents about my pregnancy. I texted my Dad and Grandma a picture of my felt board, and I told my mom over the phone. My mom cried but seemed okay. My dad seemed okay but was cautious as well. Later, the three of us headed to Traverse City Michigan. This city was just over an hour away from our cabin. In Traverse City, we walked around enjoying some window shopping. We also took a stroll down to the lake shore and enjoyed beautiful Lake Michigan. Andrea and I relaxed and sat in the sand. Alli took a stroll down the shore.

As I sat on the shore, I took a few moments to soak it all in. As I heard the waves crash on to the shore, I went deep into thought. I was supposed to be having Mackenzie right now. I was supposed to be in labor and giving birth. I was supposed to be preparing to hold my baby. These were things I thought were supposed to be different. I reflected back to this last year, when 2019 began. I got pregnant. I was so scared, but so incredibly excited. I enjoyed my pregnancy, fell in love with my baby, and prepared to announce with my family. My heart shattered when we were given the news our baby no longer had a heart beat. I went through grief, surgery, thyroid problems, weight and postpartum struggles, depression and anxiety. I also started a blog, shared my story in Toi Magazine, got a job as an assistant editor, developed relationships and friendships with other wonderful women, and even started my own business. Lastly, I came to a place where I conquered my worst fear. Losing Mackenzie was the hardest event in my life I have ever experienced, but through it, as my momma would say, I have become resilient.


I am stronger and more resilient because of Mackenzie and because of what God has allowed me to go through. Due to this, I am filled with gratitude.


I continued thinking about how far I’ve come and where I am now. I am pregnant again, I thought. I had come full circle. I thanked God for this beautiful baby. I even thanked Mackenzie for sending us little Chase right when we needed him most. I held a tiny bit of guilt and feared I was replacing Mackenzie with this baby, but I knew I wasn’t. When I last visited Mackenzie’s garden, I asked her to send us another baby. I knew then that God would send us another baby in His timing.

When we returned from Traverse City, we all took a nap back at the cabin. After our nap we made dinner together. Homemade pizza and salad is what was on the menu. It was delicious and fun to cook together. For the rest of the trip, we continued bonding, telling stories and catching up on each other’s lives. Since Andrea and I were both pregnant, the conversation was often surrounded around pregnancy and comparing each of our pregnancies. I am really thankful to have been able to go on this trip with my girls, as well as go to the lakeshore to reflect and honor my due date.

Pregnant Again!?!?

When I found out I was pregnant again….. I was filled with a lot of emotions. The last time I was pregnant, I was excited, scared, confused and feared the unknown. This time I was excited and scared because I feared of the past. I prayed for this baby and had peace for whenever God decided to bless us again. When we were blessed with another baby I prayed over Baby Chase everyday. As my pregnancy progressed, I had a lot of faith, which was really surprising. For some reason, I knew everything was going to be okay. I had peace that this baby was happy, healthy and safe. I hesitated on planning for a future and getting too excited, but I talked to Chase. Charles talked to Chase. We showed him love and were thankful for every single day we had with him.

We again were embarking on a second adventure of pregnancy. Before I got off birth control, I did some deep self reflecting and asked myself Could I handle another loss if it were to happen? I didn’t want to think of having another loss, but at the same time it’s something I needed to consider. I came to the conclusion that yes. Though it would be excruciating, I could do it because of my faith, how much I have worked on myself in the past year and my strong marriage,


I knew Charles and I could survive another loss if it were to happen.


Taking Pregnancy Tests is Exhausting.

In the beginning of September, I had a really strange feeling. Everything was coming together, I was moody, but in a good place. Charles and I started our semester on August 28th. I reflected back to the last time I started a semester, and I found out I was pregnant. It would be nice to be pregnant again, but I wasn’t in a rush. I was in my last two semesters of school, so I was okay with a few months of trying.

I was expecting to get my period around September 7th. Through the first week of school though, I kinda felt pregnant, or had really bad PMS. I really wasn’t stressed since senioritis had officially kicked in. I was just grouchy. Around September 4th, on my Daddy’s birthday food was not settling well on my tummy. I felt hot, uncomfortable and just in a bad mood.


It reminded me of when I was pregnant, but since I wasn’t late for my period… I blamed it on PMS.


On September 5th, I got sick. I ate some Greek nachos with Charles for dinner and threw up. At that point, I knew I was pregnant again. I tried telling Charles but he didn’t think so. That night we took a trip to the dollar store to get some home pregnancy tests. I took the first test that night and it was a big fat negative. I knew it probably wasn’t that accurate because it was in the evening and I wasn’t late for my period.

The next morning when I woke up, I took another pregnancy test. Negative. Maybe I wasn’t pregnant. Just bad PMS this month for some reason. I told myself if I didn’t get my period by tomorrow, I would take the last test I had. Through out the day at school, smells were not appealing, I knew this was another pregnancy symptom, but I told myself I was crazy. That evening I brushed my teeth, and had a gagging fit.


Maybe I was pregnant.


The morning of the 7th, my period didn’t come. I took another test when I first got up. Negative. Hmm… this was getting exhausting. No period. I felt really yucky and three negative pregnancy tests. Charles and I talked and he didn’t think I was pregnant… but he also didn’t think I was the last time either. Something told me I was. I was listening to my body and even though all the tests said no, I knew I was. Charles and I went out and bought the more expensive pregnancy tests. These were the tests you take 5 days before your missed period.

The evening of September 7th, I took the test. I wanted to wait until the next morning so it was more accurate, but Charles wanted answers now. I went into the bathroom and took my 4th pregnancy test in a week. It wasn’t negative… but it wasn’t positive either. There was nothing! No test line and no control line. It was a defective test. I was so frustrated. I then took the other test out of the box and tested again. No line! I was so upset! These were supposed to be the good tests and they were both defective. This was a cruel joke.

The next day, Charles and I picked up two more dollar store pregnancy tests. This was it. I was frustrated, tired and so confused. My body was telling me one thing, but these tests were either broken or telling me something else. If they were negative and I got my period I would be okay. I’d be mad because I spent so much money on tests, but I’d be okay.

The morning of the 9th I started work from home. My boss ordered me lunch and I had a pretty chill day. I didn’t feel good especially after I ate. After I was finished with work I took a three hour nap. When I woke up, I couldn’t take it anymore. If I wasn’t pregnant, there was something really wrong with me. Even though it was the evening, I took another test. I watched the test the whole three minutes. By two minutes, I swore my eyes were deceiving me.


Did I see two lines? It was faint, but there was something there. I knew it!


The morning of September 10th, I took another pregnancy test. Two lines! The second line was slightly darker than the night before. My nephew was having surgery that morning and Charles and I planned to go visit him. Since my OB was in the same hospital, I decided to call and get my pregnancy confirmed that morning. After visiting with my nephew I got my blood work done. Now I just had to wait to know for sure.

Within 24 hours I got my results. I was pregnant! My HCG levels were in the 60’s. Because I’ve already had one miscarriage, my doctor’s office wanted to check my levels in 48 hours to make sure they doubled. By Friday I had my second set of results. I was really nervous. I prayed so hard they would double. When I checked my results online I immediately had peace… they more than doubled. My HCG levels were at 150! I knew then that everything would be okay.

I was pregnant for a second time. I found out exactly one week before Mackenzie’s due date. It’s like this baby was sent from her. After everything Charles and I have gone through, we decided to give this baby a nickname right away. We nicknamed him Chase because we were chasing our rainbow. We were excited again. We were nervous again. But both of us knew that whatever happens, we would get through it together.

Wise Words from My Friend Andrea

Hi, I’m Andrea! How do I know Kaylee, you ask? Well, Kaylee and I have been best friends for half our lives. If you ever get a chance to ask her how we met, do it. It’s quite the story! Today, I’d like to share with you about body image. However, before we dive into such a deeply personal topic, I should tell you a little about me. I enjoy crafting, hiking, anything nature-related, good conversations, board games, changing seasons, experimenting in the kitchen, and all things Christmas. Oh, and my husband is my favorite. We met in college (another great story for another time) and have been married for three years. We have an active, inquisitive 19-month-old son and are expecting a baby girl around Thanksgiving. 

Enough about me. Let’s talk body image.

Remember when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) had their first child and gave the public their first look at their new baby? In the photos released, a beaming but tired William and Kate snuggled their newest addition. Kate wore a beautiful dress that tucked in at her waist and revealed her postpartum baby bump. To my surprise, media in the US centered not on the sweet little bundle of joy, but rather on Kate’s newly postpartum body. I couldn’t believe that after waiting 9-10 months to meet their baby, the public was more interested in how small Kate’s waist was, the fact that her belly still bulged little, and other features not worth noting.

While stigmas surrounding body image affect every person, childbearing women especially experience this reality in a deep and raw way. Some women I’ve known have a newfound security in their body image while pregnant or even after birth, finding pride in what their bodies can do and how many incredible changes they face to nourish and care for a child. Other women face deeper and more extreme struggles when they don’t have the perfectly round baby bump they’ve always pictured, or stretch marks tear across new areas of their bodies, or they face pain with their previously normal activities such as walking, intimacy, or even sitting. 

Pregnancy has a way of impacting every portion of our being, from physical to emotional to spiritual. From the moment conception takes place, our bodies begin a long process of growing, changing, and morphing in new ways. With my first pregnancy, I pictured glowing skin smiling through morning sickness, a perfectly round little baby bump, and minimal weight gain that would slough off with a few months of breastfeeding. Boy, was I wrong. I was instead met with an overall feeling of puffiness from my face to my toes almost immediately after conceiving. My fatigue was overwhelming. I didn’t just feel tired. I looked tired. Acne popped up. When my bump began to show (much earlier than anticipated, I should add), I was met with more insecurity. I’ve always had a rough relationship with my stomach. Attracting more attention to an area I’ve always wanted to downplay brought up even more feelings of insecurity, especially considering the many unwelcome hands touching it (another topic altogether). Yes, I was absolutely thankful to be pregnant, but I just didn’t look or feel the way I had pictured. 

Once I was in the midst of the second half of my pregnancy, my weight gain – while in the healthy range on doctor’s office charts – felt like too much. My jeans were tight and my maternity shirts that had fit me at 18 weeks were creeping too high on my stomach while my bust pushed them too low on my chest. Everything was changing. By 30 weeks, my stomach had reached its limit for how far it could stretch. I tried creams, but my genetics won out. Stretch marks began to span across my growing belly. When I found the first one, I felt panic rise in my chest. “What?! This early?! How many more will I get before my baby arrives?” I’m glad I didn’t know the answer then. I needed time to accept and appreciate my changing body. 

Eventually, I couldn’t see my toes. I could hardly do a patchwork job of shaving my legs. I was too uncomfortable to do much of anything. Basic hygiene took loads of effort. I didn’t feel very human anymore. I used to be excited for this stage of pregnancy when I was obviously pregnant and feeling every movement of my little son…but the discomfort nearly outweighed the excitement. Then I faced guilt for feeling this way. Much of my pregnancy was not what I had pictured.

Then, the day came. The day. I gave birth to my miracle son, my sweet little boy. I had pictured this moment in my mind’s eye countless times. I’d heard women say everything in their world melted away the moment they saw their baby, and nothing else mattered. It’s a bit of a dramatized statement, but it holds some truth. Looking at my son and recognizing that I was his most crucial caregiver brought new perspective to my life. My dislikes about the current state of my body didn’t matter so much anymore. I had more to think about than the size of my waist or how many stretch marks I had acquired. 

Regardless of a shift in perspective, I still had the same body to sleep in, eat in, and see naked in the bathroom mirror. I had the same body to move in, breathe in, and use to care for my new baby. I had to come to terms with what it was. I remember lying in the bathtub at the hospital the first chance I had to bathe after birth. I was exhausted and thankful that I had completed the birthing process. Then, I looked at my stomach…and I couldn’t believe the words that came to my mind. “My stomach is floating.” That once-full belly with a little pregnancy fat and a little pregnancy stretch was floating. My stomach muscles were too tired and stretched to hold it. I felt another wave of panic. “Will my stomach always be like this?! How will I ever run again? How will I ever find another dress that makes me feel beautiful?” But thankfully, I was too tired to dwell on these things for long. 

In the weeks following birth, I was still too tired to do much fretting about what my body looked like. I was caring for a new life 24/7 and adjusting to a new level of responsibility and purpose for me. Eventually, as I emerged from the fog of caring for a newborn, my insecurities began to eat at me again. It took longer than I had imagined for my stomach muscles to tighten again. My extra weight wouldn’t budge much until I had stopped nursing my son. Yet, this round of dealing with insecurities looked different than it had throughout my pregnancy. This time, I had a newfound empowerment. Yes, I was stretched out, tired, scarred, and a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be…but I had carried a life. I wore the battle scars of nourishing another human from the inside out. I plumbed the depths of my heart and mind for strength I didn’t know I could ever muster during the most uncomfortable moments of pregnancy, in that birthing suite, and in the middle of the night fits of colic. And in those moments, I had the opportunity to reassess my purpose in life, and how that intense difficulty served to point me to the One who made me, sustains me, and gave me my son to care for. He gave me meaning and purpose and used even my lowest moments to teach me about himself and draw me in to his incredible grace and tenderness. 

Call me crazy, but I’ve found more confidence and strength in my postpartum body than I ever had in my pre-baby body with my flat, smooth stomach and well-exercised body. Defining my purpose and looking beyond the moment to remember it was more impactful than a few stretch marks could ever be. I’ve been scarred by childbearing…but the confidence I’ve found has meant more than any of my previous body ideals. And that confidence could only be found in seeing beyond the moment and shifting my perspective to my body’s purpose. I am so much more than my body. 

Whether you’ve ever experienced pregnancy, birth, or caring for a baby postpartum, you’re bound to at least experience some form of body image issues. Remember, your body is a vehicle to carry out your purpose in life. It’s not the prize at the end of a race. You have a chance to live every day in this vehicle that will continually morph throughout your life, with or without childbearing. And it’s worth it. Don’t let your body be what defines you. It’s about what you do with your body that matters. Who are you? What do you think? What makes you tic? How do you spend your time? What gives you purpose?