On Friday April 30th at 4 something in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. With my eyes heavy, and body exhausted from the work week, I contemplated on whether or not I should take my very last pregnancy test. I was only a day or two late for my period, which wasn’t unusual for me. And to be honest I was feeling pretty defeated. I was tired of wasting my money on pregnancy tests, and getting my hopes up month after month only to receive negative after negative.
I had one final digital pregnancy test under my bathroom counter. It would expire by the next month anyway. I thought why not? It was my morning pee, and they say that’s the most accurate anyway. I peed in a cup, took the test and waited. I prepared myself for disappointment yet again. While I waited something told me to take pictures and document the moment. I figured whether the test was positive or negative, it was apart of my story that I could one day share to help others, so I did.
I watched as the test counted down, and a word flashed on the screen. I instantly thought, it’s broken it sayspregnant, where’s the not? I had grown so accustomed to reading the words Not Pregnant that it took a moment for me to realize this was a positive test. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby… and the rest is history.
I spent the next few weeks harboring this little secret until around 6 weeks when I told close friends and family. I told my job around 7 weeks and publicly announced between 11-12 weeks.
Pregnancy was one of the best and most anxious times in my life. I constantly feared we would suffer another loss, but as each week passed I started to calm down and enjoy pregnancy little by little. During pregnancy I dealt with morning sickness, sciatica, grieving for a friend who suffered a loss, gestational diabetes, Covid and a long and painful induction. Pregnancy was not easy, but overall baby and I both remained relatively healthy.
On January 2nd, 2022 God blessed us with our beautiful Rainbow Baby. Matthew is our world. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. He’s a perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy.
I share this all with you because in many ways my story has come full circle. Mother’s Day is approaching and I know first hand the feeling of dread, and grief that comes with this holiday to women who struggle with infertility and women of pregnancy loss. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I also want you to know that I am living proof that God answers prayers. He hears you. When the doctors say something is impossible, He is able to make things possible. He can turn ashes into beauty. He can do anything if we just have a little faith. I thank God for my beautiful rainbow baby every single day, and even though it was hard and sometimes excruciating, I thank God for the journey he took me on because it molded me into who I am today as a person, as a writer, and now as a mom.
If you are reading this and you long for a baby… I see you, I hear you, I was you and I’m praying for you. Remember the bigger the storm, the brighter the rainbow. 🌈 I pray you are blessed with a baby and a family of your own. It may not be the way you pictured or when you wanted but I pray it happens for you. God is bigger than anything else and He can make a way, if we just have a little faith. ❤️
One year ago, I wrote out a list. This list was how I hoped to see myself a year later. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how my life was, how it is now, and if things turned out the way I was hoping.
Recently, I was doing some journaling and I thought, why not make a plan of how I hope things are for us this time next year… so I did.
On this Day Monday April 26th, 2021, what our life looks like now:
Married to Charlie for 4 years
Live in a 1 bedroom apartment
Own 2 cars
Been at my job for 1 year
Have had 2 miscarriages
Spent a year of trying to conceive so far.
Have a 13 month old kitten named Rocky
Written 1 children’s book
Published 1 children’s book
Not vaccinated with Covid vaccine yet.
How I hope to see our life a year from now…
Married for 5 years Yes!
In process of moving to a 2 bedroom apartment No, we are staying where we are.
Own one car Yes!
Been at my job for 2 years No, only 1 year and 9 months.
Have had 2 miscarriages Yes
Spent 16 months trying to conceive then finally got pregnant. No. We only spent a year of trying.
7 months pregnant No. My baby is almost 4 months old!
Have Rocky and another 10 month old kitten. No. We only have Rocky right now. 1 baby and 1 kitty is enough.
Published 2 children’s books No. Not yet.
Published memoir No. Almost!
Fully vaccinated Yes!
Starting the beginning steps of becoming a foster parent. No. Not at this time.
My life isn’t exactly how I thought it would be a year later, and that’s okay. In fact, I believe it’s better than I ever expected. ❤️
Easter this year did not go as planned. I had all these high expectations that everything would go smoothly and my son would have the very best first Easter. My expectations were we’d get up, listen to worship music, have breakfast, dress up for church, read the Easter story from the Bible and children’s bible as a family. We’d find some church service virtually to view online, and/or go visit some church for a sunrise service. We would then head to my parent’s house for lunch, spend time with family, take some gorgeous family photos outside and create precious memories until the sunset and we headed home.
Those were my expectations…..
This was my reality:
Matty woke me up around 6:30-7am. I changed him, nursed him and we played. He was in the best mood! Everything was going great. I turned on some worship music and got some breakfast. After that it was like a switch flipped. Matty got fussy and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I changed him, burped him, tried feeding him, putting him in the swing, letting him play on the floor… nothing was working. I woke up my husband and he was exhausted and struggling to get out of bed.
I then decided to get Matty dressed. Now as a new mom, I knew better than to put him in his outfit I wanted his pictures done in until right before hand in case he had a blow out or spit up. I however didn’t factor this in when I was putting on my Easter dress. Matty started screaming as I got him dressed. I became frustrated and impatient as I quickly tried getting him ready. I picked him up so he would stop crying… and… he burped. It was quiet and I figured that’s why he was screaming. He had a bubble. And within seconds a waterfall of baby spit up went down my dress. Of course.
Charles got up and got breakfast. I walked around the house bouncing our 3 month old trying to get him to calm down. I tried different positions, singing, rocking… nothing. When Charles was free I handed him off. Low and behold Matty stopped crying immediately.
By this time it was already 9:30, and I was at least an hour behind on where I wanted to be with our morning. Charles pulled out the children’s bible and handed it to me. I read the scripture about the empty tomb, and Jesus coming back. Matty sat on his Daddy’s lap smiling and listening. The minute we were done he started screaming again. I nursed him and put him down. We started loading up so we could decide where we wanted to go for church.
By the time we got the car loaded, and Matty in his car seat it was already almost 11. No matter where we went to church at the this point the service would be almost over. And of course Matty woke up in his car seat and started crying. The morning was not off to a good start.
We got to my parents close to 11:30am. Matty fell asleep in his car seat just minutes before we pulled in. When we got in the house Matty was all smiles at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Me on the other hand, I was officially in a funk. I was taking it rather personally that Matty was in a bad mood at home, but all smiles at Grandma and Grandpas. I was disappointed things weren’t going as I had planned and I felt the weight of grief on my chest that I just couldn’t seem to shake.
My mom made ham, green beans, corn bread casserole, jello salad, deviled eggs, hors d’oeuvres, and baked potato which tasted great. Everybody was exhausted after dinner and we all took little cat naps throughout the afternoon, even Matty… thank goodness cause that baby needed sleep.
In the afternoon, Matty seemed off. He had a bellyache, acted like he needed to poop but couldn’t and was gnawing and drooling like crazy as if his mouth hurt. Poor baby, it felt like one thing after another. I tried handing him off when I could so I could get rest while I had help but when your baby doesn’t feel good, sometimes the only thing they want is mom.
In the evening before getting ready to leave we tried taking family photos. There were more outtakes than good photos. Matty seemed uncomfortable and didn’t want to smile in any of them… and if you know my baby boy you know he is very photogenic and loves to smile. We were also stuck taking pictures inside since it was a chilling 45° and I didn’t want to take Matty out in the cold if he already didn’t feel good. This all made for awkward, poor lighting family photos.
By 6:30, we said bye to my parents and headed home.
On the way home, I found myself sitting in the backseat with my baby, sobbing on the way home. Some big emotions I had been trying to keep buried all day were welling up to the surface. It dawned on me how old my other babies would be on this holiday. Mackenzie would be two and a half and Chase would be one. Grief never really goes away. I then found myself feeling guilty looking at my son with a tear stained face. Was I being selfish for wanting things to be perfect? Did I seem ungrateful because he was now here, but i still missed my other babies?Was I being a bad Christian for focusing on my grief and motherhood rather than remembering the true meaning of Easter?
By the end of the day, I felt defeated. I tried. I tried making my son’s first Easter the best I could. But you know what, he’s not going to remember it anyway. All he is going to remember is that he was loved. And as he gets older he will continue to feel loved and learn the importance of Easter as his Daddy and I teach it to him. And that’s what matters, not some picture perfect holiday.
The following post was written after my first loss in 2019. In this post I discuss my crisis of faith and the peace I felt when I had finally come to terms with my first loss.
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.
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.
When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I started discussing baby names. I wanted to find a name for a girl and a boy. I wanted to do this so that when we found out at our 20 week anatomy scan what we were having, we could give the baby a name right away. There was something about giving baby a name for the second half of the pregnancy that made things seem even more real.
On my birthday, when I was exactly 19 weeks pregnant, Charles woke up and told me he had a dream. He dreamt that he was at some sort of musical event and his old choir director from college saw him. They started talking and his old choir director said “How’s baby Matt doing?” Then he woke up. Charles had another dream that same night where he was playing with a baby girl named Grace.
Later in the morning as we were getting ready for breakfast Charles told me about the dream. He then suggested that if we were having a boy we should name him Matthew and if we were having a girl we should name her Grace.
I was shocked at his suggestion for the boy name, because Charles had momentarily forgotten that I had had a brother named Matthew. My brother Matthew died before I was born. He was 9 months old and died of a rare genetic condition, At first I wasn’t totally sure how I would feel about having a brother and a son named Matthew.
Throughout the week, I continued contemplating both the names Matthew and Grace. I focused mostly on Matthew because I still had this strong feeling we were having a boy. I decided to look up the meaning of the name Matthew just to see what it said. A gift from God. I thought How perfect is that!? Our rainbow baby’s name means A gift from God. Charles and I loved the meaning of the name and we also loved that it was classic, biblical and could be shortened to Matt or Matty.
About a week later we had our anatomy scan. We found out we were having a precious baby boy. We didn’t tell anyone about the boy name we had picked out until 23 weeks. At that time, I asked my mom if she would mind if we named our son Matthew. She was absolutely honored that we had even considered that name. She loved that her first grandson would be named after her son and she loved the meaning of the name.
So there you have it. We named our son Matthew. He is named after my brother and is our gift from God. ❤️
After my miscarriage, I was very angry with God. I appreciated people who prayed for me, but I did not want to hear of God’s promises or biblical scripture. I was having a crisis of faith. Eventually, I was able to find joy and forgiveness in God and what He has planned for me. The following is a list biblical scriptures that I found helpful after my miscarriage. My hope is that if you are reading this… you can also find joy and comfort in these scriptures.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” – Isaiah 40:31
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalms 56:3
“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.” – Psalm 46:5
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6 – 7
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
This past year, was a good year for us as we grew our family, got a new car and Charles got a new job. I can only imagine how amazing 2022 is going to be. Below is a list of things I hope to accomplish in the year 2022. 🎉
My Goals for 2022
1. Give Birth to our Beautiful Rainbow Baby!
He is due any day now and we just can’t wait to meet him!
2. Start a Small Business on the Side
If you’ve been following me since the beginning you probably remember my Etsy business? My Etsy business was a little shop where I made and sold hand knit and crocheted items. I would like to do something similar to that again. Or at the very least learn to sell things on EBay or Poshmark.
3. Finish Reading the Entire Bible
In 2021, I made it a goal to read the entire Bible. I didn’t quite read the entire thing, therefore this is a goal I would like to pursue until it is completed.
4. Move to a Bigger Place to Fit Our Family of 4!
With Charles, me, our new baby and Rocky… we are going to need to find a new place to live because our one bedroom apartment is getting a little too small. We are hoping to find something that fits our needs whether it be an apartment, townhouse or house.
5. Publish 1 of My Books
I kind of took a step back on working on my books this past year. It really wasn’t my intention but between working full time and being pregnant, my book ideas simply took a backseat. I am hoping to get al least one of these projects finished and up and running this year.
6. Pay Off Half of My Car
Since student loans keep getting pushed back, I thought I would take this year to focus on paying off a good portion of our car.
7. Knit Charles a Sweater
Since Charles and I started dating back in 2014 he has always wanted me to knit him a sweater. I am going to be honest, I have just never had the patience to knit him a sweater. But this year I am really going to try because I know it would mean a lot to him.
8. Create a Will
Now that I am mom, I want to make sure my Baby Boy and my kitty are taken care of if something were to happen to me. This year I want to create a Will so my wishes are met and my family is taken care of.
9. Make Money Blogging and Turn My Blog into a Job from Home
This has been a goal of mine since I started my blog, and with raising a little one there is nothing I would love more than to work from home now. I hope this year I can find the time and self discipline to make it come true.
10. Write 500 Blog Posts
I have been blogging since April 2019, and I thoroughly enjoy it. In 2021 I published up to 315 blog posts. This year I am going to try and reach 500. Let’s see if I can do it!
This year is going to be one for the books… I can feel it! Let’s get started!
It’s round up time again! I am sharing my most liked, commented and viewed posts since my last round up. Check it out!
Sequential Screening During the 12th Week of Pregnancy
In this post I discuss not only the anxiety that comes with going through a pregnancy after loss, but also our experience with different genetic testing.
First Few Little Kicks
Feeling baby kicks for the first time was amazing and nothing like I had ever experienced. ❤️
18 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)
This post is about my pregnancy update at 18 weeks.
Gender Reveal!20 Week Anatomy Scan
Hitting half way in my pregnancy was a huge milestone. Going to our anatomy scan and being able to see baby and all his features was so exciting. My favorite part was finding out what we were having. 🥰
27 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)
This post is about my 27 week update of my pregnancy.
Decorating the Nursery/ Organizing Baby’s Things
In a one bedroom apartment, you are very limited on space. However, I love how our bedroom/baby’s nursery turned out 🥰
10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant
For the most part I had a pretty easy pregnancy until I hit the third trimester. In the third trimester I dealt with GD, thyroid problems and covid. In this post, I talk about the things I will soon miss about being pregnant.
Feeling a Little Extra Thankful
Being pregnant on Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. Charles and I cherished our little family of two + a fur baby, before our rainbow baby arrives. We also spent the morning cooking together.
37 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Third Trimester)
In this post I give a 37 week pregnancy update, and talk about ways I am preparing for labor.
Friends, I am happy to say we have finally picked out a name for our son, of whom is due very soon. Picking out a name wasn’t as easy as we thought. Since I am a teacher and have been for almost 6 years now, I have come across a lot of names in my career that, let’s say have left an impression on me. Whether it was negative or positive, there are just some names that I couldn’t possibly name my son.
So far, Charles and I have shared Baby Bear’s name with only a few close family members and friends. However, I don’t plan to reveal his name on here until after he is born. I have decided however that I will give you guys a hint.
Hope you’re ready because here is your hint!
Baby’s first name starts with an M and is biblical.
I would love to hear your guesses on what you think Baby Bear’s first name is!
Officially 8 months pregnant! 32 weeks and Baby Boy is the size of a squash! We only have 8 weeks to go!
This week has been crazy and I’m a little late posting a bump update, but trust me… I’ve had a good reason. About a week ago I was exposed to someone with Covid. I got a test on Wednesday and tested negative. I started to develop Covid/flu like symptoms Wednesday night. I got retested yesterday (Sunday) and tested positive for Covid.
This week has been exhausting, challenging and scary to say the least. I am fully vaccinated, and have known full well that I could still get Covid while vaccinated but I can honestly say I did not expect to get Covid 8 months pregnant. I have developed pretty much all the symptoms of Covid these last 6 days including cough, fever, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, headaches, loss of smell and partial loss of taste.
A lot is up in the air at the moment as I am still waiting to hear from my OB about any testing or extra monitoring for baby and I that may need to be done. All in all, I’m doing okay. It honestly depends on the moment.
Baby is still moving and grooving which gives me great peace of mind. I am also doing my best to rest and take it easy at home while I can before I return to work and leave for maternity leave in a few weeks.
I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for my hubby, baby and I. It’s a scary time and there is so much unknown still about Covid. Regardless of our fears we are still doing our best to trust and have faith that we will get through this and all be okay and healthy very soon. ❤️