Battling Anxiety

Miscarriage

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety. As a kid I remember being super sensitive to my environment and the emotions of others around me. I could instantly feel someone else’s pain or stress by the look on their face, the posture they carried, or by the tension around them. As a child, I didn’t like seeing the people I loved under stress… so I felt I needed to bare that stress myself. When people around me would talk about their fears and worries, those instantly became my fears and worries. Over time as I developed this somewhat unhealthy form of compassion, I ended up creating the thoughts and fears that would forever feed my battle of anxiety.

As an adolescent and teenager, more of my anxiety really took off. In this stage of life their are so many tough choices that need to be made, including making friends, keeping friends, romantic relationships, what you want to be when you grow up, where you want to go to college, how are you going to go to college, getting a job, going to church and so many others. I had come to realize that teenagers become very pressured by the older population about what we want to do with the rest of our life… when in reality, we don’t know and we feel like we can’t make mistakes trying to figure it out. I was overwhelmed constantly by these thoughts. I would wonder everyday how I was going to make these decisions and how I will be a complete fail if I don’t choose wisely.


As I entered adulthood, I guess you could say my anxiety became unmanageable. I am very ashamed of the dark road I took that was led by my anxiety and depression. Inflicting physical pain and committing self harm was a choice I made out of fear, anxiety, depression and anger. I was letting my anxiety take over. I was losing the battle. I was losing myself. When some good friends of mine as well as my mom found out about this behavior, I went through counseling and got the help I needed. When my counseling sessions ended I felt better. I felt hopeful. My anxiety was managed.

After many different life changes including graduating community college, getting married and becoming a lead preschool teacher… my anxiety grew worse. I struggled to find my footing within these new changes and roles I played. How do I be a good wife? How do I be a good teacher? I don’t want to let anyone down. I don’t want to mess up….. These were the thoughts that haunted me every single day.

Once I returned to college in 2017 and finding out I was pregnant in 2019, my anxiety once again became unmanageable. How was I going to balance school, work, a husband, a small income, and a baby? How can I be the best I can be? How am I going to do this? I would lay awake for hours unable to get comfortable, wondering, scared and asking God for guidance. How am I going to keep my baby safe? What if something happens to my baby? What if something happens to Charles? I can’t do this on my own.

One night when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I couldn’t sleep at all. I was super uncomfortable which is weird since I didn’t think that happen until later on. I stayed awake worrying about everything that was out of my control. I worried about my husband’s health. I worried about our baby’s health. I worried about where we were going to live. I worried about if I was doing everything right for our baby. Since I couldn’t sleep, I headed out to the living room, turned on the lamp and sat on the couch staring at my shelf full of children’s books. I had these books on the shelf because they gave me comfort and reminded me of the joys of teaching a preschool classroom from a few years back. As I stared at the books, I decided to take one and read it aloud to baby. I’ve heard that this can not only help with fetal brain and emotional development, but reading in general can also help with anxiety. I read her Llama Llama Red Pajama and My First Bible. Doing this little activity at 3am gave me the peace and happiness I needed to fall back asleep. It helped me gain perspective.


Anxiety is not an easy battle to fight. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. alone who fight this battle everyday, myself included. The stressors and challenges of our lives can feed into our anxieties. There are many moments that anxiety can be managed, while there are other moments it becomes overwhelming. Society teaches us to not worry, shake it off, and to be okay. But sometimes we aren’t okay. Sometimes we can’t shake it off. And sometimes we can’t be strong. There are days in our lives we have to be able to take a step back, and take a mental health day…. and that’s okay. I had come to realize this during my pregnancy. I realized that I was taking care of my husband and my baby, but I wasn’t taking care of me… I’m important too. I needed to take care of me so I could take care of my baby. I needed to go to counseling, develop coping skills and learn to let go of the things I couldn’t control. Like most everything else in life, it was something I needed to work at, because my baby mattered… and because I mattered.

Valentine’s Week

Pregnancy

The week of February 11th through the 15th was pretty crazy…..

On Monday February 11th, when I was 9 weeks pregnant, I finally had my first OB appointment. This was the intake appointment where we were asked many questions about both sides of our family history, as well as mine and my husband’s health. I also had the chance to talk with a social worker about any concerns, fears and resources that were available to us. This was such an exciting appointment. I was overwhelmed by so much support and resources to women in this community who are expectant mothers. I was also given a folder full of information and educational resources. Receiving this support gave me peace about the upcoming months of my pregnancy.


On Tuesday February 12th, I started my internship at FIRE. Parts of me were really excited to start this internship… while other parts of me were exhausted. I felt really behind and just wasn’t motivated to do anything. I was throwing up at least once a day at this point… either because I ate garlic or I simply ate too much. I was tired, it was snowy and I just wanted to hibernate for the rest of the winter. Everyone tells you how much your pregnancy hormones can affect you, but until I actually experienced it… I had no idea.


On Wednesday February 13th, we had yet another snowstorm over night, that covered most of Michigan. My university had yet again another snow day. Charles and I both were okay with this, as we just spent a nice day at home watching movies and relaxing.


On Thursday February 14th, was Charles’ birthday. It was also Valentine’s Day. On this cold morning we woke up around 6am. We headed to Denny’s to enjoy a nice breakfast while also getting Charles a free birthday meal. It was a very nice breakfast as talked and dreamed about Baby Rhames. We were getting so excited to start planning for her arrival. We knew that we weren’t going to have too many more dates before her arrival, so we definitely wanted to enjoy this time of just the two of us. Later that day, after going to classes and work we met up for dinner at the dining hall. We ate with some friends and during the meal I gave Charles a Valentine’s Day card. It was handmade and super cheesy, but he loved it.


On Friday February 15th, we had a busy day. I went to my internship at 9am. Charles picked me up at 1pm and brought me lunch and a mango smoothie. We headed 45 minutes away to get our taxes done. When we arrived at our tax person’s house (sorry, I’m not totally sure what his title is), we discussed with him our year and how we were expecting a little one in September. Unfortunately, we couldn’t claim baby on our taxes this year…. but next year for sure.

After completing our taxes, Charles and I stopped at Walmart because we both had to pee and couldn’t wait until we got home. After this experience… I am NEVER EVER EVER GOING TO A WALMART ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AGAIN. This experience was honestly worse than Black Friday. Not only was it packed and Charles and I almost got hit twice just walking into the building… but the bathrooms were completely disgusting. Toilets were overflowing, diarrhea on the floor, people didn’t wash their hands, it was awful. I’m sure you can imagine how gross this is, but try imagining this while also being pregnant. When I was pregnant my sense of smell was superhero strong. So, if I got a whiff of something disgusting I would immediately engage in an involuntary gagging fit. And if I couldn’t stop, I would start throwing up…. which is exactly what I did. We both tried our hardest to get the heck out of there. So I repeat again, I will NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN GO TO A WALMART ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

Once we arrived back in our home town, I went to the lab to have my pregnancy glucose test completed. I was really nervous for this test as I had researched and heard about the challenges that gestational diabetes can have on a pregnancy. Never the less, I knew I still needed to get the test completed. As I sat in the waiting room for an hour, I watched other pregnant women and their kids. I was getting so excited to be a mommy. I was so thankful I had gotten this far in my pregnancy. I thanked God for these moments of peace, joy and excitement that overwhelmed me.

A Baby Girl

Poems, Pregnancy

On Monday November 26th, I was experiencing a lot of baby fever. I really wanted to start a family, but also really wanted to finish school. So, I wrote this poem to capture my feelings and desires of having a baby girl someday. After my 8 week ultrasound in February, I was flipping through my notebook and completely forgot that I wrote this poem. I had no idea that when I wrote this I would become pregnant just over a month later.

A Baby Girl Monday November 26th, 2018

Dear Lord, why do I bother?

All I truly long for, is to be a mother.

For as long as I can remember…

I have wanted a baby that I can hold forever.

This child I will one day receive,

Will truly be a gift, that I can’t believe.

I will love her with an everlasting love.

And I will dedicate that child to the one up above.

This will be the next generation of me,

And she will be someone sassy you’ll see.

Lord, please transform me into a mother.

And in turn, I will truly love her.


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The First Time I Saw You

Pregnancy

On the morning of February 5th, I was super excited. I could hardly sleep the night before. Today was the day I was having my 8 week ultrasound. Today was the day me and Charles were going to see baby for the very first time 🧡. My appointment was scheduled at 5:15pm at the Alternatives Clinic where I had my pregnancy confirmed. Unfortunately, due to the outrageous winter we were having in Michigan, I kept having to reschedule my OB appointments. As much as I wanted to get my prenatal appointments started… I didn’t want to die getting there. Thankfully, the Alternatives Clinic has a program that if you are unable to get in to see your OB, they will provide a 8 week ultrasound.

So here I was that Tuesday morning, hardly able to contain my excitement. Since my appointment wasn’t until 5:15pm, I still had to go to my internship and try to go about my day as casually as possible. When I arrived at my internship, I was told I was having a meeting with my coordinator and other people within the organization. Was I in trouble? I thought. I disclosed to my coordinator that I was pregnant because I didn’t want her to keep sending me home for what she thought to be a never ending stomach flu. Did she tell everyone else I was pregnant? Were they going to let me go because of my pregnancy? Isn’t that illegal? I was shaken.

During the meeting they were very up front with me and told me that they did not think that because of my situation and with all the snow days, I would be able to complete my internship hours in time. So I had a decision to make. I either needed to ask my instructor for an incomplete, or withdrawal from my internship and appeal or ask to be moved from this internship site. The stress of this decision hit me like a ton of bricks. What was I going to do?

As I thought about my decision throughout the day I realized I didn’t really like my internship anymore. I was very excited when I first started earlier in the semester, but once I found out I was pregnant, everything changed. This wasn’t the work I wanted to do any more. So, as hard as it was I went to my coordinator and told her I didn’t want to do this anymore. She suggested I take a few days and give her my final answer then.


At 4:30pm Charles picked me up and we headed to the Alternatives Clinic. Despite my emotional and stressful day, I was still really excited. I was pregnant so I was a bundle of emotions. On the way there I drank 20 oz. of water. I was also instructed not to pee until after the ultrasound as it helps the technician see the baby better when you have a full bladder. Once we arrived to the clinic and checked in, I really had to pee…. but I couldn’t. I had to hold it. Looking back, I’m sure I was really annoying complaining to Charles in the waiting room about how much I had to pee.

They called us back about ten minutes later. We went into a room and went over some basic information. To be honest, it was very hard to focus when all I could think about was my full bladder. We were then moved to the ultrasound room. I got up on the table and laid back. I lifted up my shirt and the technician placed some warm gel on my belly. She then moved a wand over my belly.

Charles sat in a chair next to the table and we both watched the large screen on the wall. The technician looked at my ovaries before moving on to look at baby. I was getting slightly nervous since she wasn’t saying anything. Was everything ok?

“I see baby by the way, I’m just checking your ovaries first.” A sigh of relief washed over me. She sees baby, it’s gonna be okay. I continued praying in my head that everything was going to be alright.

The ultrasound tech zoomed in on baby…. and I saw her. So tiny. So innocent. So fragile. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I was seeing this. I couldn’t believe the concept of two people who fell in love and made a baby. We made this baby. God allowed this to happen. It was indescribably amazing.

“There really is a baby in there!” I said choked up with tears in my eyes. This was real. I was really pregnant. There really is a baby. We were having a baby. The technician took screenshots of our beautiful little miracle. “Such a cute little raspberry.” I said excited. The technician zoomed in on the picture and explained that the little flicker in the middle of baby was her sweet little heartbeat. I couldn’t believe it. Her heart was beating inside of me. This was incredible. Based on my last period I was 8 weeks and 1 day. However, baby was measuring at 7 weeks and 4 days. Her heart rate was 142, completely normal. When the ultrasound was over and I was FINALLY able to pee, we were given a few pictures to take home. We were also given nutrition information, and a homemade baby blanket. The nurse who assisted me in my pregnancy test, prayed over me, my husband and baby before we left.

That night I texted everyone who knew I was pregnant a picture of the ultrasound. Everyone was so excited for us. My momma called me and even started crying. It was such a beautiful end to a emotional day. That night I placed one of the pictures of baby on my nightstand. I stared at the picture until I fell asleep. I was so in love. This little baby is what I have always wanted. I couldn’t wait to meet her. 🧡

It’s Hard Keeping a Secret Like This…

Pregnancy

On the morning of Sunday February 3rd, my husband and I got ready for church. On the ride there we talked about when we should start telling others about our “new little edition.” We were excited but also cautious. I was sick all the time and it was getting hard to hide my symptoms. We wanted to tell Charles’ side of the family and other close friends because we wanted them to be apart of this journey with us. However, we were hesitant in sharing the news in that is was still really early. At this point I was only 7 weeks and 6 days pregnant. We both couldn’t help but fear… what if we lose the baby? Is it going to be hard to tell people we lost the baby? There is a very high percentage of having a miscarriage in the first trimester, which is the first 12 weeks. But knowing this, we still chose to tell Charles’ side of the family and close friends because if we were to lose the baby, we would want the support of others and not suffer in silence.

When we arrived at church I felt like everyone could tell I was “with child”. Granted, we were just at church two weeks prior, but a lot changes in two weeks when you’re pregnant. When we arrived Charles got a phone call from his mom. Ironically, she happen to be in town that weekend and wanted to see her baby boy. Charles left for a little while during the service. When he came back I asked what happen.

“Did you tell her!?” I asked eagerly…. while trying not to be too loud as the pastor was preaching.

“Oh, she already knew!” He said matter of factly. “She’s Momma she knows everything.” I busted up laughing. Of course she knew… a mother always knows.

Once the service was over, we met up with Charles’ sister, nieces and nephews. We excitedly told his sister that she would be getting a new niece or nephew and told his nieces and nephews they would soon have a new cousin. We also told our pastor we were having a little one on the way. They were all very excited for us.

On our way home we stopped to visit Charles mom again. Of course it wasn’t a quick stop, and she pampered me and baby with some homemade food. She was over the moon about being a Grandma again. We also stopped at my parents house and they spoiled us with food to take home. Before this experience, I could only imagine the joy that a baby can bring to a family…. and now I was living in that joy, and it was wonderful.

Around this time I also had my Mom tell my Grandma that I was pregnant. Her first reaction was…

“I knew she was pregnant!” And then when my mom called her Great Grandma she started to cry. It was really sweet.

In the evening of this day I texted a few more close friends and told them I was pregnant. Some of them were in disbelief while others congratulated us and were immediately excited. This was a really exciting time and I was so thankful for it.

A Rocky First Trimester

Pregnancy

The next few weeks of my pregnancy weren’t easy. For the semester I was interning at a government agency that required me to volunteer anywhere from 15 – 20 hours a week. I was also working 10 hours at the dining center, and taking three classes. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I had already dropped out of one on campus organization and continued to cut my hours at work. On top of that… we literally had Antarctica pay a visit to Michigan this past winter. There was so much snow. There was so much ice for weeks. It was also very, very, VERY COLD. There was one day it dropped down to -40°. Due to Hell freezing over and every business in the county closing, I was losing internship hours and was unable to make them up at home. I was very stressed

My pregnancy symptoms came in full swing when I hit 6 weeks. I had a very strong pregnancy nose and could smell tuna a mile away… which usually got me into a 5 minute gagging fit. Vomiting was pretty unpredictable. There were some days I would throw up only once, while others I didn’t throw up at all, and others I would throw up five times in a day. I was tired… so tired. I would fall asleep often at my internship, in class and practically any time I sat down. I loved pickles though. I loved them so much, I would eat a jar a day… practically. One food I could not handle… was garlic. Whether I was eating pizza, garlic bread, pasta, or anything else, I was guaranteed to throw it up. Baby did not like garlic. I was also peeing constantly. It felt like every half hour… kind of annoying.

On January 28th, I was feeling really sick. I was nauseous, throwing up, peeing all the time and even felt some slight cramping and burning. I was 7 weeks pregnant at this point and a little concerned so I thought I should go get checked out. My symptoms got worse towards the evening so Charles took me to the ER. In the hospital I was tested for STIs, and a UTI infection. It turns out a UTI is exactly what I had. Apparently, they are fairly common in pregnancy. Thankfully we caught it early and I was able to get on medication quickly and feel better.

Since telling my parents of the news that they were going to be grandparents, they were over the moon. My mom had went out and bought a ton of baby items on sale at Meijer, and my Daddy already nicknamed the baby. Their excitement got me excited. Every Monday I looked forward to sending bump updates to my family and friends. I couldn’t wait for our little one to be here in September. I also couldn’t wait to get through this rocky first trimester.

When it Begins to Feel Real…..

Pregnancy

On Monday, January 14th after class, Charles and I headed to the Alternatives Christian Clinic. I didn’t know much about this clinic except that their organization is centered around Christian values and they offered free pregnancy testing. I was really excited to go to this appointment, but also hesitant. I knew it was important to get my pregnancy confirmed for not only my own peace of mind but also my family’s. However, I still feared for the worst. What if I wasn’t really pregnant and it was just a fluke? What if it was an ectopic pregnancy? What if I had a miscarriage? What if there was some other reason the test was positive? What if this was all a dream… and I was gonna wake up any minute? I was afraid to find out the truth but at the same time… I needed to know.

We walked into the clinic, and immediately I felt welcomed and comfortable. I asked if I could have a pregnancy test done, and within a few minutes they took me back. I sat in a cozy room with two comfy chairs. Around the room and on the counter there were a variety of different visuals, and resources about pregnancy, birth, motherhood and everything in between.

A short time later a nurse arrived and talked with me. She asked me questions about my family, my life, and my beliefs. It was a nice conversation. She then allowed me to take the pregnancy test. We talked for a little while longer before the timer went off and we checked the results. We both looked at the stick that laid on the counter.

“It’s two lines.” I said with a smile.

“You know what that means?” She asked.

“Yup, that means I’m pregnant.” I said. I immediately felt peace. I knew it was real. I took three pregnancy tests and they were all positive. Thank you Jesus.

The nurse offered me what felt like a million resources about WIC, breastfeeding, baby items and second hand shops, parenting classes, health insurance, adoption, nutrition, and what to expect in the next 8 months. We calculated that my due date would be September 16th based on my last period. I was exactly 5 weeks. We also talked about some pregnancy symptoms I had already started experiencing including, slight cramping, breast tenderness, and nausea. The appointment ended with the nurse praying over me and my baby. I was also given a baby hat and a pair of booties that I couldn’t wait for little baby Rhames to have some day.

When I left the clinic, Charles and I both were slightly scared but getting really excited. It was beginning to feel real.

Leap of Faith

Just Me Blogging, Miscarriage

Hello World!

My name is Kaylee. I’m taking a leap of faith by starting a blog. I’ve actually always wanted to start a blog, but never had the courage. Honestly, I didn’t really think I had anything worthy of reading and writing about…. until now. Recently, in a counseling appointment, I came to the realization that I wanted to share my story. Therefore, my counselor encouraged me to journal and blog. So, here I am. Before I dig into the nitty gritty of what this blog is about, let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I am 23 years old and have been married to my husband Charles for 2 1/2 years. We live in the beautiful state of Michigan, and I have lived here all my life. We are both full time students balancing classes, jobs, and our marriage. I am currently studying Family Life Education, and my hope is to graduate December 2019… but we’ll see. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, knitting and crocheting, writing (….da, that’s why I created a blog), organizing and decorating, traveling… especially to the lake shore, sleeping, and binge watching Netflix. 🙂

Creating this blog was a big step. This past year, I have had insane ups and downs, grief, joy, trauma, anxiety, depression and crisis of faith all wrapped in one. In order to get through these many obstacles in my life, I have had to be willing to pursue a journey towards healing. This has not been easy. It is incredible that one large event can create ripples through out my life, family and friends, and affect everything. What I went through on February 25th, changed my life forever.

I am 1 in 4 women who have suffered a miscarriage. I refuse to stay silent about the trauma I have endured. Miscarriages are more common than people realize because we don’t talk about them. Since my experience I feel that I need to share my story, not only for myself and my own personal healing, but also for other women who are suffering in silence.

I realize that reading about a miscarriage can be sad. I also realize that my story can be triggering to others, as everyone goes through something in their life. So, if you are triggered or are unable to continue reading what I have wrote, it’s okay to stop and take care of you. I appreciate you reading this far. 🙂 I am going to be sharing very intimate details of my miscarriage that may be hard to hear… but unfortunately the reality is miscarriage in itself is hard to hear. I also realize that any woman reading this may have also suffered a miscarriage in the past, present and future. My goal of this blog is not to make others sad, but to bring awareness about miscarriage.

So, if you are still with me and want to hear my story then sit back, relax and come with me as I embark on this journey of writing and healing.