It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

Miscarriage

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. 💕

Let’s Change the Way We Treat Women Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage.

Life After Miscarriage, Miscarriage

This past semester, I took a public speaking class. I had quite a bit of apprehension before taking this class as I really don’t like speaking in public. In fact, I have registered for this class a handful of times before, but have always dropped it before the beginning of the semester. What can I say… I really didn’t want to take this class. However, since I am close to the end of my college career, I figured I better get it done, since it is a required course.

In this class, I had the opportunity to give a persuasive speech on a topic I am very passionate about. I took about a week to contemplate and brainstorm on my topic, until I was ready to present the speech topic to my professor. The topic I decided was miscarriage, but not just miscarriage. I wanted to give a persuasive speech and argue that their be a change in the way women are treated after suffering a miscarriage, in society and in the healthcare system.

I organized my speech into 3 main points:

1. Language, and what to say and not to say to a woman after suffering a miscarriage.

2. Policy changes that I would like to implement in the healthcare system.

3. Advocacy for women of loss.

The day of my speech I was very anxious. I was scared I would break down while speaking because this topic was too close to home. I was afraid I would trip over my words, forget something or go over my time limit. Ultimately, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. Regardless, when it was my turn to get up and present my speech, I took a deep breath, prayed that God would help me through, and began.


“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child… there isn’t a word to describe them.” – President Ronald Regan


The above quote by Ronald Reagan was my attention getter for my speech. I went on to argue my main points and why I feel there needs to be a change. I ended my speech by saying: It is likely you will know someone in your life who has suffered a miscarriage, and coming from someone who has suffered two miscarriages, my hope is that you take something from this speech and change the way we look at miscarriage.

At the end of my speech, my classmates applauded and asked me various questions about miscarriages, pregnancy and resources. When class was over and I was walking out, a girl in my class came up to me. She told me she loved my speech, and really appreciated the things I had to say about miscarriage and some good things to tell women who have suffered a loss. She even disclosed to me that she too had suffered a miscarriage, and it was the worst most terrifying experience of her life. As she confided in me, in the middle of the hallway, I so badly wanted to give her a hug, as I too knew her pain. But when I looked in her face, I could tell she was fighting back tears, and it took a lot for her to come and talk to me. So, instead I said “thank you for sharing that with me.” She smiled while still holding back tears and went the other direction.

In that moment, I knew I was meant to give that speech, and I again understood that I am meant to share my story and advocate for miscarriage/pregnancy loss. Even though it’s hard, and even though I didn’t really think this was my purpose, I now know I have to do it. Even if as an advocate, author or speaker I only impact one person… I know I will have made a difference.

Continuing My Story… Writing My First Book

Life After Miscarriage
I am 1 in 4 women who have suffered a miscarriage. This is something I used to tell myself before I got pregnant with Baby Chase. After losing Chase, I realized I was no longer 1 in 4. I was now 1 in 100 woman who have suffered two miscarriages. For some reason these statistics gave me comfort, because I knew I wasn’t just a statistic. I was and am a person, a grieving mother just like all these other women in this statistic, and we all have something in common… we all have lost more than one baby.
In the days after my miscarriage, I went on with life. I went to class Tuesday morning and took an exam. I went to work as per usual, and I did my homework that was due that week. I just wanted to move forward. I didn’t want to sit in sorrow or fall into depression. I wanted to keep going because I had already done so much work to get to this happy, healthy place after my first loss.


On Monday morning, the first full day I was no longer pregnant, I knew it was time…


It was time for me to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while but didn’t have the courage. When I got pregnant I told myself I would do it after school, but now that I had lost another baby I thought, why wait? I decided it’s time to write my book, my memoir of the love I hold so dearly for the babies that I have lost. It’s time to continue to share my story not only here on my blog, but also in a book where I can reach other people. I set a goal for January 2020. Yes, the date is coming up quick, but honestly most of my story is already written. I just have to keep going.

My Worst Fear… Again

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

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.

Grief & Mercy 2nd Blog Post Round Up: A Look at My MOST Recent, Liked and Popular Blog Posts

Just Me Blogging

1. Grief & Mercy Blog Q & A: I Am Answering All Your Questions About Miscarriage, Grief, Healing, Recovery and My Personal Experience

I really enjoyed writing this post. On Instagram a few weeks prior to writing this post, I asked women who have suffered a loss, if they had any questions that they would like me to answer. I truly enjoyed answering all your questions as well as sharing my own experience.

2. My First BIG Opportunity as a Blogger

This post was fun to write because this was my big break. I had no idea when first starting my blog I would be asked to share my story in a magazine and eventually work for that company. It’s honestly another example of the great big plan that God has for me, that I couldn’t see at my very lowest point.

3. Mother’s Day Part 1, 2 and 3

My Mother’s Day posts were pretty popular. I enjoyed writing these posts because I was able to reflect my first Mother’s Day weekend as an Angel Mommy. I divided this post into 3 parts because I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers and honestly each post had a specific purpose. Part 1 was more about strengthening my marriage. Part 2 was about grief and advocacy and Part 3 was about peace and comfort.

4. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day October 15th

To be honest, before suffering a loss… I had no idea there was a whole month dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. This year, I have looked at the month of October completely differently. This is the month that we remember all the babies gone too soon. I loved writing this post, as I yet again was able to advocate for women who have suffered a loss.

5. The Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage

This post is all about things to say and do after a woman has had a miscarriage. After suffering a loss myself, I realized truly how many people don’t know what to say or how to comfort someone after a loss. I felt it was truly important to write this post so more and more people know how to help an Angel Mommy in her grief.

6. The Decision to Try Again

Writing this post felt like I had reached a moment of peace. I had peace in knowing what had happen, happen for a reason. I also had peace at whatever would happen next.

7. The Best Thing My Husband Ever Told Me After My Miscarriage

This post is one of my personal favorites as, not only does it have one of my favorite engagement photos, but it also allowed me a place to publicly thank my husband for being my rock. Though we have had our ups and downs, Charles has truly been amazing through our loss.

8. A Breakthrough in Counseling and Finding Acceptance

My Breakthrough, a moment I knew I would hit eventually…. when I realized that I had come to a place where I would one day want to try again. I share my Breakthrough in Counseling with all of you to not only break the stigma of counseling, but to also show that with a lot of time and work, healing does happen.

9. Making Peace with God

I was angry…. so incredibly anger. But through a lot of work, I was able to restore my faith and find peace in my heartache. In this post I not only discuss my faith but also about how I came to terms with my loss.

10. Redoing My Home Office

Redoing My Home office was a project I have been wanting to tackle for awhile. This past summer I was able to accomplish this goal. In this post I take you through the various changes and organization to make my home office.

11. Mackenzie’s Stepping Stone and Flower Garden

Creating Mackenzie’s garden was peaceful and unbearable. In this post I discuss the closure that was felt between my family and I as we created Mackenzie’s garden.

12. Reopening My Etsy Shop

Reopening my Etsy Shop was super exciting. I love creating and selling beautiful handmade baby items. Check out how I reopened my shop, and check out my shop link located on my main page and in this post.

13. Trying to Conceive (TTC) Lifestyle

Early morning workouts, prenatal vitamins and positive affirmations are many things I tried while beginning my trying to conceive lifestyle. Check out this post to read more about how I prepared my mind, heart and body for the future.


A Look Ahead…

Taking Pregnancy Tests is Exhausting

The title of this post is pretty self explanatory. Coming soon!

A Weekend Away to Honor My Due Date

A Weekend Away with the girls filled with laughter, coffee, cold mornings, woods, homemade pizza, Lake Michigan, and girl talk. Coming up soon!

The Trying to Conceive (TTC) Lifestyle

Life After Miscarriage

Towards the end of summer, Charles and I started talking daily about kids and trying to conceive yet again. We stayed up some nights having long conversations about every possibility. What if we can’t get pregnant? What if we have another loss? What if I have to have surgery again? What if I have to go on bed rest? What I have an ectopic pregnancy? What if we have twins? How will we afford baby? When will we move to a bigger place? How will I take care of my mental health during pregnancy?….. Literally so many questions we would contemplate and ask each other daily. After many, many, many conversations we finally came to this conclusion. We can’t control everything. Anything can happen this next time around. So the real question was, can we as individuals handle it, and is our marriage strong enough to handle it.

We decided we wanted to start trying again at the end of summer, however we also agreed to keep each other accountable and not be obsessive about it. Our goal is to put our complete trust and faith in God, and what ever happens… happens. I decided to stop taking birth control at the end of July. I did this because I know birth control can stay in your system for awhile. It really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant again for at least a few more months. But we knew it was possible. We didn’t technically start trying yet in the sense that I wasn’t totally tracking my ovulation or anything, we just were no longer using protection.

During this time as well as all summer, I was doing everything I could to have a health trying conceive lifestyle. I wanted to be as healthy as I could for my next pregnancy. I made a lot of changes in my life including, limiting caffeine, faithfully taking my prenatal vitamins and thyroid medication; eating healthy such as healthy greens, working out regularly and teaching myself coping skills on how to better manage stress. With all these changes I knew I wasn’t going to be perfect, but also knew that making an effort wasn’t going to be for nothing.

One last thing I did at the start of our journey of trying to conceive was positive affirmations. I realized through friends and family that I have had quite a negative mindset since my last pregnancy. I am not very kind to myself and say things that should not be said to another human. I realized through reading books and talking to others that I needed to be kinder to myself, and I needed to have a positive mindset. For example; instead of saying things like “I will never be a mother.” I would say “I will be a mother someday soon, when God blesses me with another baby. Or “I’ll probably not be able to get pregnant or lose another baby.” AI would say “I am going to get pregnant and have a happy and healthy baby.”

It may sound silly but these positive affirmations were really useful in changing my mindset and giving myself hope. I was starting to get excited to pursue this journey of chasing our rainbow baby. Even though I didn’t know how long it would take or what the future would hold, I had faith that things were going to happen just the way they were supposed to happen.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (October 15th)

Life After Miscarriage

Today is the day we remember. We remember the babies gone too soon. Whether you are a mother, father, sibling or grandparent of an angel, this is a day set aside for you. Coming from someone who has endured a painful loss, I can tell you first hand that this day of remembrance is not the only day I remember my baby. I remember my baby everyday.

Today October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Our past president Ronald Reaghan proclaimed this day many years ago. In honor of this day and the many babies that are gone too soon, people often light a candle in honor of their baby.

If you or someone you know has lost a little life, I strongly encourage you to light a candle in honor of the baby gone too soon. I also want to say whether your loss was a week ago, a year ago or 30 years ago… I am sorry for your loss and I am sending you love today.


{ADVERTISEMENT) KER Creations studio is a cute baby boutique inspired by my Angel Mackenzie. In my studio I sell baby hats, baby bows, baby Christmas ornaments, Mommy and Me hats and MORE!


Wise Words from My Friend Andrea

Physical Health, Pregnancy

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?

Seeing the OBGYN Again

Life After Miscarriage

In May I had my follow up appointment with my OBGYN. This appointment gave me some anxiety for about a week. I knew in my heart that I had been doing a lot better emotionally and mentally. I had been working extremely hard to find myself again. I worked through many emotions, counseling sessions, exercises and coping skills. I knew I was never going to be the same person I was and I still had a long way to go, however I was seeing great progress.

When Charles and I went to the OB, I was slightly nervous but did okay. Our wait in the waiting room wasn’t too long, and I was thankful they weren’t too busy. When I saw my doctor she said she was very impressed and glad I was doing a lot better. I expressed to her how I was going to do my very best to take it easy this summer and heal. She agreed that this was a good plan.

I also discussed with her how Charles and I would like to start having kids soon. Even though the miscarriage wasn’t my fault, I still wanted to know what I needed to work on and how I could be healthier before getting pregnant again. At the appointment my doctor and I made a list of things I should work on before Charles and I begin trying.

  • Lose weight and have a better BMI.
  • Exercising more and walking
  • Having better ways to manage my anxiety, meds, getting outside and walking, blogging etc.
  • Saving $$$ for Baby
  • Getting my thyroid under control with meds.

Making Peace with God

Faith, Life After Miscarriage

So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.


Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.

When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.


“We got married in the same church my grandparents were married in 50+ years ago.”


Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.

My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.


“My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.”


The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.

The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.

By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.


” I don’t really think I had one ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, but rather a bunch of little moments…”


So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.


{ADVERTISEMENT) KER Creations studio is a cute baby boutique inspired by my Angel Mackenzie. In my studio I sell baby hats, baby bows, baby Christmas ornaments, Mommy and Me hats and MORE!


Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.

It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.

I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.

“Be Still and KNOW that I am God.” – Psalms 46:10

The Best Thing My Husband Ever Told Me After My Miscarriage

Life After Miscarriage

My husband is amazing. In many ways we are the same, but in so many other ways we are completely opposite. We compliment each other pretty well. Sharing a life with another human isn’t complete bliss. There’s highs and lows when it comes to marriage. There’s friction, laughter, goofiness, inside jokes, stress, tension, devotion and love. Marriage is great… but marriage is work.

After we lost our baby, my husband really didn’t know how to help me. He didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing, so he often times stayed silent. This made the tension in our marriage grow. I was angry because I took his silence as insensitivity and him being unattached, when in reality he just didn’t know what to do. Eventually after many meltdowns, fights and shouting matches we were able to make peace. I was able to tell him what I needed and he was able to offer help and comfort.

Around Mother’s Day my husband said something so incredibly thoughtful. I don’t even think he realizes how his words impacted me. He knew Mother’s Day was going to be a very tough day. He comforted me in many ways that day, but one thing he said that I absolutely adored was “Happy Mother’s Day. And you’re still a Mother. You are a good mother because you will always remember our baby. She’s in Heaven and I guess we needed her to watch over us.”

I love Charles so much. These words that he said to me have stuck with me and given me strength. He’s an amazing husband and a beautiful Angel Daddy. ❤️

The Decision to Try Again

Life After Miscarriage

Sometime in May, after my breakthrough in counseling and our Mother’s Day Getaway… Charles and I continued considering the idea of trying again. If someone had told us that we would desire to have another baby a few months ago, after we had just lost our baby… I wouldn’t have believed it. But it’s true. Charles and I are both in this peaceful place and desire to be parents someday soon.

Throughout our many discussions on this topic, I have disclosed with my husband my fears and anxieties of trying again. It’s scary. It’s a risk. There are so many things that could happen. We could have trouble getting pregnant. We could have another miscarriage. We could have a stillbirth. We could have a difficult pregnancy, or delivery. Or… we could have a healthy normal pregnancy and delivery. It takes so much energy to worry about what could happen. I’m quickly realizing, that this is no way to live.

This summer before we start trying, I have set a few goals for myself; including eating healthier, losing weight, saving money, finding activities I enjoy, starting my personal small business, and just taking care of me. I have been on this journey of self discovery and healing for a little while now. It has honestly been one of the best summers of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I grieve and miss my baby every single day, but I have grown from what I’ve lost. It’s truly amazing.

So, yes someday soon Charles and I are going to try again. I don’t know when. I don’t know how long or if we’ll even be able to get pregnant. If we do get pregnant, I haven’t even considered how soon we will want to share our news. All I know is this… I am not in control of everything. I can and will do my best to take care of myself, but ultimately the future is in the Lord’s hands. I have faith and through this journey, that’s what I choose to hold on to.

A Breakthrough in Counseling & Finding Acceptance

Life After Miscarriage

In the beginning of May I saw my counselor for the last time. She was considered a temporary counselor at the university and only worked during the school year. After my last session with her, I would then be transferred to a new counselor to see through the month of June. At this particular session, I was starting to get to a good place. I still was emotional but wasn’t quite as unstable. I was also very motivated by this new found calling of advocacy that it put me in a generally better mood.

While sitting down with my counselor we discussed how I was doing, what I was doing to cope, how the end of the semester went and just the usual. While discussing my future plans for school I remember pausing for a moment. I wasn’t entirely sure why but my throat began to tighten and tears welled up in my eyes. As I discussed the future, I considered the aspect of having children again. As I thought about it, my counselor stared at me. I was having a breakthrough.

I hadn’t entirely thought about the concept of having children again. After such an excruciating loss, I never would of thought I would have this feeling or longing to have a baby again…. but I did. I confessed this to my counselor and began to cry. It took me completely off guard. I came into the session feeling pretty good, and I left emotionally drained.

After my session I went home and reflected about what had went on in counseling. I couldn’t believe I felt the way I did. Never in million years had I thought I would ever feel this way again. When I lost the baby my mom had talked about yearning and how she felt yearning after losing my brother. I guess that’s what I was experiencing too. I am an angel mommy. But I still longed to be an earthly mommy. I still wondered and worried if I would ever get that chance. I accepted the fact that I lost a baby. But I also accepted the fact that if I were to get pregnant again, I could lose another baby. Or we could have a completely healthy baby and completely healthy pregnancy. One thing was for certain…. it was in the Lord’s hands and I had reached acceptance.


{ADVERTISEMENT) KER Creations studio is a cute baby boutique inspired by my Angel Mackenzie. In my studio I sell baby hats, baby bows, baby Christmas ornaments, Mommy and Me hats and MORE!


The Hours Leading Up to My Procedure…

Miscarriage

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. 💔

“Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson

What is Grief?

Miscarriage

Grief…. Grief is a season we enter into when someone dies. Depending on the relationship with that individual, how they died and when they died will often affect our process of grief. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross there are 5 stages of grief.

Denial – this is the moment when you receive the news that your love one is gone and you can’t believe it. Your mind refuses to believe it. You live in disbelief anywhere from a few minutes to a few days (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I experienced denial when I received the news that my baby had died. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to imagine a future without her. I didn’t want to let go of the dreams I had for her.

Anger – this is the moment you start to understand and realize what has happen. You grow angry. Bitter. Hurt (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I felt this way between the days of my ultrasound and surgery, as well as days after. I was so angry. I was angry at myself. I was angry at my doctors. I was angry at my husband. I was even angry at God. I was angry that my baby died.

Bargaining – this is the moment you start to ask the “what if?” and “why?” questions. It’s when we start to wonder and even believe their had to have been something we could have done differently (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I was in this stage for awhile. Daily, I would ask myself why did my baby have to die? Why didn’t I see this coming? What did I do to deserve this? I’m her mom, why didn’t I know she was gone? I should have known. I would have given anything to change what was and to have my baby be alive and okay.

Depression – this is a stage you can enter into over and over again. This stage can last for months or even years on end (Kubler – Ross, 2019). Days after my surgery I bounced back and forth between stages, but I mostly lived in the depression stage. I remember lying in bed for days, sobbing and unable to move. The sadness was too much.

Acceptance – this is typically the last stage of grief and we usually enter this stage weeks, months or even years after already going through the other stages. This is the moment that we aren’t necessarily okay that a love one is gone, but rather we accept this is our new reality and understand that our loved one is no longer with us (Kubler – Ross, 2019). As I write this today, I believe I am slowly coming out of depression and entering into the acceptance stage. As I take the opportunity to write and work on myself, I have come to realize that as heavy as my grief can be, life goes on. I will always miss my baby, but I am still alive and here to do good work in honor of her.

One thing to remember about the 5 stages of grief is that not everyone experiences them in this order. Some people experience denial and depression first, while someone else may experience anger and bargaining first. It is also helpful to remember that these five stages are a cycle. Almost everyone who is living in grief will enter each stage at some point and they may enter them many times before finding acceptance.

There is no set time limit on grief. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. For me personally, I believe I am taking longer to grieve more than some other angel mommies. I also feel that I am more public with my grief… by writing a blog and sharing my story. Not only does this help me talk about Mackenzie but it also helps me not feel so alone.

“The only person who gets to decide what grief looks like, is the person experiencing it.” – Megan Devine


If you are interested in learning more about the five stages of grief, I have provided a link below.

https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/