2021 was overall a good year. There were some changes, some things that remained the same, some let downs, some celebrations and a lot of growth. The biggest thing that happen was God blessing us with the opportunity to start a family, and we are over the moon thankful. ❤️
A Recap for 2021
Published Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book
My Hubby turned 25!
My Kitty Rocky turned 1!
Changed shifts and became an opener at my job.
I celebrated 1 year at my job as a lead preschool teacher.
Started writing my second children’s book.
Paid off my car.
Bought a new car.
Got Pregnant with our Rainbow Baby. 🌈
Started Growing Avocado Trees
Celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with my fellow teachers!
Celebrated my first Mother’s Day pregnant.
We had our dating ultrasound and got to see Baby Bear for the first time.
Told my family and close friends I was expecting.
Made our Big Announcement that our Rainbow Baby was on the way!
Made it to the 2nd trimester in my pregnancy!
We had sequential screening done and got to see Baby Bear again!
Started craving lemons and pickles. Had a feeling we were expecting a Boy.
Started feeling Baby flutters
Won the Dustpan Award for the cleanest classroom at work.
Celebrated Rocky’s 1 year adoption!
Heard Baby Bear’s heartbeat using a Doppler for the first time.
Had our anatomy scan and gender reveal. We were excited to find out we were having a Baby Boy!!! 💙
I turned 26!
Went on a Fall themed Girl’s Getaway with my friends Alli and Andrea.
Told myself it was okay to start buying baby items.
Held a virtual Baby Book Party!
Honored my babies on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Started Decorating the Nursery.
Made it to the third trimester!
Tested Positive for Covid, and had to be quarantined for two weeks
Got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and was bumped up to a high risk pregnancy.
Celebrated 5 years of marriage with my husband.
Packed our bags for the hospital and prepared for Baby Boy’s arrival.
Had our last ultrasound and discovered that Baby Boy has long thick hair.
Got diagnosed with thyroid problems associated with pregnancy.
39 weeks pregnant! Baby Boy is in between the size of a pumpkin and a watermelon. Something exciting happened this week. Baby officially dropped which means we are one step closer to starting labor and meeting our baby. ❤️
Mommy and Daddy and anxiously awaiting Baby Bears arrival. I am officially on maternity leave and have loads of appointments scheduled.
Today I have an appointment with my midwife where I am hoping to get a membrane sweep and schedule an induction in case he decides to be stubborn and not come out on his own.
Later in the morning, I am also scheduled for a pregnancy massage. My midwife made a recommendation that I get a massage in hopes that it will induce labor.
This past week I have also been trying to induce labor at home in different ways, including walking up and down stairs, curb stepping, eating dates, doing figure 8’s with my hips, the miles circuit and yoga.
This weeks symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, nesting, frequent urination, Braxton Hicks, irregular contractions, pelvic and back pain, and lots of baby kicks.
I’m praying baby comes before the end of the year! ❤️
Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! This is our last Christmas as a family of 3… and yes I am including Rocky in our little family. This year I was very hopeful that our Baby Bear would have a Christmas birthday but that just wasn’t meant to be. It’s okay. We know he’ll come when he is good and ready.
This year has been a little crazy, but Charles and I feel so blessed for everything God has taught us this year.
I unfortunately didn’t get to making Christmas cards this year because Christmas just kinda snuck up on me and I ran out of time.
From our family to yours, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
– The Rhames (Charles, Kaylee, Baby Bear and Rocky!
For many, the holidays can be an exciting time of year, with family and friend get togethers, gift exchanges, overwhelming generosity, and the reminder of what really matters in life. But to others, the holidays can be a harsh reminder of grief, those gone too soon, and memories that will never take place. I wrote this post back in 2019, after losing two babies. The holidays were an awful reminder for me of the little family my husband and I were trying to start, but instead we lost too soon. 2019 was overwhelmingly challenging. If you are reading this and you too are just having a year of obstacles that just keep adding up, let me first say I’m so sorry. Secondly, I’m here for you if you need to talk and lastly I hope my story and this post gives you some sort of comfort around this holiday season. ❤️
To be honest, I’m not feeling very festive this Christmas. This past year has been a tidal wave of grief that I didn’t plan for, nor did I appreciate. On top of grief I’ve had other struggles including anxiety, depression, weight gain, self doubt and distress. Some might say this past year has made me stronger, and in many ways I believe that. But in this moment, this past year has only made me hate life.
When you’ve faced trauma, something changes in you. You see things differently, and you know things can get worse because you’ve lived it. When you’ve faced repeated trauma, not only are you traumatized, but also on edge. You’re just waiting for something bad to happen, or something else to go wrong. It’s exhausting, but if you’ve already been blindsided by trauma before, it’s almost an illogical effort to worry and fret for the bad things, in hopes that you will be somewhat prepared if they happen. I have lived this way almost every day this past year, and it’s really not anyway to live.
THIS CHRISTMAS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT.
I have thought about Mackenzie everyday since she’s been gone. Losing her, has changed my life forever. She made me a mom. Even more, she made me an Angel mommy. This year I envisioned caring for an infant at Christmas time. Charles and I would head over to my parents on Christmas morning. She would be spoiled by her Grandma, and cooing at the cats and her Grandpa. She would be wearing the cutest Christmas jammies, and be smiling from ear to ear. Everything was going to be perfect as I celebrated my first Christmas as a mom.
Instead this year, I am celebrating Christmas as an Angel mommy. My baby Mackenzie will not be in her Christmas jammies, and my baby Chase will not be warm in my tummy. Instead I will be here loving and missing my babies, while Mackenzie and Chase will be in Heaven celebrating at Jesus’s grand birthday party. They will be having more fun than I can even fathom. As much as I want them here with me, I know they are safe and happy right where they are.
It won’t be easy… It won’t be easy this Christmas seeing friends and their baby’s first Christmas. But no one said this life will be easy. No one said we are all meant to take the same journey. And no said this world is prefect. So through my tears and heartache, I will get through this Christmas with my family, because my babies deserve to see me have joy my first Christmas as their mom. ❤️
38 Weeks and ready to pop! Baby could come any time! This week baby is the size of a winter melon or a pumpkin depending on which set of measurements you go by.
Today we had a non-stress test and baby did great. He slept in the beginning and they had to use a buzzer to wake him up, but he started moving and grooving after that.
Later, we had a midwife appointment. I have gained another pound and have gained a total of 9 lbs this pregnancy so far. My blood pressure is looking good and baby is still measuring a week ahead. He is still head down, and in a good position for labor when ever he decides to get things moving.
We also talked to the midwife about my ultrasound. Since baby is measuring fine, and passing all of his tests, my midwife said they will let me go to 40 weeks and 5 days before having an induction on 1/11. I did ask to have a membrane sweep done and my midwife said at my next visit (39 weeks) I can have it done.
At the end of my visit my midwife did give me permission to try and induce labor naturally at home. Here are a few things she suggested I should try:
Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Doing the Miles Circuit
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, nesting, nausea, pelvic and back pain, irregular contractions, mood swings and lots of baby kicks. I’m getting very uncomfortable and not feeling cute these days as my clothes just don’t seem to fit right, and everything just feels snug.
This mama is trying and doing what she can to stay active for labor, and allow my body to get ready for whenever labor kicks in. We are getting so excited to meet our baby boy. We are still of course hoping for a Christmas baby, but honestly we will be fine with whenever Baby Rhames decides to make his grand arrival! 💕
So as many of you know, I’ve stayed pretty on top of documenting and taking photos of my pregnancy and bump progress. One thing I really wish I was able to do, is take some professional maternity photos. For weeks I tried budgeting for photos and we simply just didn’t have the funds. Then I tried reaching out to different family members and friends to take the photos, but it seemed like every time we tried to schedule something there was either bad weather or someone was exposed to Covid.
Thankfully at 35 weeks, my Mama took some time out of her day to take a few cute maternity pictures of us. They turned out adorable and I’m thankful for what we have! 🥰
Baby Bear, we love you so much and can’t wait to meet you! 💕
35 weeks with 5 weeks to go! We are almost there!!! This week baby is the size of a pineapple. 🍍
I am really starting to feel the effects of the third trimester. I never thought I would reach a point where I am sick of being pregnant, but dare I say it… it’s just so hard to do the everyday things anymore. Charles has to help me put on my shoes because I just can’t reach my feet anymore. Doing dishes, cooking and any task in the kitchen is nearly impossible with out bumping my belly on something. And if I drop something on the floor, it’s game over. Looking back I have had a relatively easy pregnancy, but I can see why they say it gets so hard at the end.
This week’s symptoms include round ligament pain, fatigue, Braxton Hicks, insomnia, pelvic pressure, stretch marks, nesting, heartburn, body aches, acne, and baby kicks
We got a few things checked off our list this week including
Installing the car seat base in the car.
Creating my padsicles.
Reviewing our birth plan with our midwife.
This week we also had 2 non stress tests and and prenatal appointment. Everything is looking great! My uterus is measuring at 36 cm, so about a week ahead and I’ve gained 1/2 a pound. Heart rate is good and baby is in a great position for birth as he is more on the left side and head down. He has hiccups a few times a day which is completely normal. Blood pressure is good, and we have been passing all of the non stress tests. The only concern this week is Braxton Hicks. I’ve been having about 2-3 every hour. Midwife says all is normal and my body is just getting ready.
We are feeling a little extra thankful this year! I thank God for my family and friends, my job, my kitty, my health, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, our little bun in the oven and so much more! ❤️
This year we decided to change our Thanksgiving menu a little and have a porterhouse steak instead of turkey!
We also stuck with some classics, including crescent rolls and gravy.
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!
This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. As many of you know I have experienced two losses and now our Rainbow Baby is on the way. Because of this I would like to share some resources I created at the time I was going through my losses in 2019.
1. THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN SAY IS “I LOVE YOU, I’M HERE FOR YOU, AND I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS”
Wouldn’t you agree that after someone dies, there’s not really much of anything that people can say to take the pain away. Even though people don’t like to see you hurt, they also don’t know what to say. And when it comes to experiencing a miscarriage, people really don’t know what to say. They can see your grieving, but they don’t feel the loss nearly as deeply because they didn’t meet or have a bond with the life that was once inside you. Unfortunately, our society does not know how to treat miscarriage as a loss or death.
When I was grieving and at my worst, people didn’t know what to say to me either. There were people who said a lot of the wrong things, and there were a lot of people who just left me alone. But the best things people said to me that were not hurtful, did not offer unsolicited advice, and were sensitive were: “I love you, I’m here for you, I’m sorry for your loss, if you ever want to talk let me know, I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you.”
2. OFFERING TO CLEAN, COOK AND RUN ERRANDS.
You know how when someone dies, people make you food? Well, I really appreciated this. I don’t know why food is such a comfort, but it is. It seems that when people don’t know what to say they make food. I had a neighbor make dinner for my husband and I, a yummy dish from the Dominican… it was amazing. Our associate pastor and his wife made us chicken, green beans and potatoes…. so good. My sister in law, who worked all day invited us over and made us a feast! Bless her heart. And my Momma provided me with lots of comfort food when I was recovering from surgery. Food doesn’t make everything better, but in that moment of grief when you need something to numb it for awhile, food helps.
3. PAMPERING THE ANGEL MOMMY
Being pampered by friends and family helped me in many ways. My momma bought me a massage right before Mother’s Day. I had no idea how badly I needed it, until my tears and emotions came out all over the table. My husband went out and bought me chicken wings at midnight when I was having a really emotional night and couldn’t sleep. My bestie Alli came over in the middle of the night and we drove all over town eating Oreos. So many people did kind things for me, when I needed it most, I highly recommend this. Of course I also would recommend proceeding with caution and sensitivity.
4. PROVIDING SPACE TO THE GRIEVING COUPLE
I feel this is super important. The Momma is not the only one that experiences a pregnancy loss. Sure, she is the only one that experiences the physical pain of loss, but it’s also important to remember that father’s grieve too. I know of many men, my husband included who not only struggle to help their wives grieve, but also felt somewhat disregarded when it came to their grief and emotions. So, it is super important to allow the grieving couple time and space. Even recommending a getaway could be beneficial… but again proceed with caution.
5. CHECK IN
Hearing the worst news, that your baby is gone is heartbreaking. It honestly numbs you. Looking back now, I barely remember the time in between my ultrasound and my surgery, and the whole month of March is a blur. I do remember laying in bed a lot, eating occasionally, crying until my head hurt and listening to sad music. I also remember having people check in. It’s something I would have never asked for, but truly appreciated. I had friends and family call and text me daily just to check in and make sure I was alive. So many of them opened the doors for communication and gave encouraging words to my tender broken heart. I highly recommend checking in on a friend or loved one if they have suffered a loss. It’s not much, but also not to pushy. Even if they don’t respond it is still nice that people care for you when you are feeling so alone, Sure, there were many times I didn’t want to talk, but I still loved that so many people cared. ❤️
6. BE SENSITIVE WITH YOUR WORDS
This is a big one… and I can’t stress this enough. Please be very careful with your words. After suffering a loss your mind and your heart are in a truly fragile state. It is likely that the grieving mother is heart broken, constantly blaming herself and hating life. So, it is truly important not to contribute to these emotions of anger and sorrow by saying things like “You’re young you’ll have more, or You shouldn’t have stressed yourself out so much, or at least you already have a baby.”
7. HONORING THEIR LOSS
Above anything else I’ve said, I think this is actually the most important. One of the biggest fears that I and so many moms have, is that the child they have lost will be forgotten, as if that little life that lived in them had never existed. It means the world to me when friends and family talk about my baby. It may make me sad and weepy, but also makes me feel loved and my baby never forgotten. I really appreciate it when friends and family are sensitive and saying they are thinking of me on holidays and anniversaries, because they know it’s not going to be an easy day for me. Showing love and honoring the baby’s memory is literally the best thing you can do to help a woman after a miscarriage.
I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, just a woman, a writer and a woman who has lost a baby. I hope these little pieces of advice help in some way. If you are reading this and you have suffered an unimaginable lost, I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, reach out to me anytime.
27 weeks! Baby is the size of a head of lettuce! This is our last week of the second trimester, and then we are in the final stretch!
This week’s symptoms include Braxton Hicks, leg cramps, swollen feet, back pain, fatigue, hot flashes, strong and unpredictable emotions, round ligament pain, heartburn and baby kicks!
This week we had a little bit of a scare. While working on Monday I started feeling some minor contractions. I felt tightness across my belly, and pain around and under my bump.
I called into work the next day and talked to a nurse at my OB office. She said from what I was describing, it sounded more like the beginning of contractions verses Braxton Hicks. She told me it was a good sign that the pain went away with rest.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with my OB to discuss any restrictions I may need so I don’t start getting contractions too early again. I am also having just a regular check for me and baby.
After my appointment I have to take the 3 hour glucose test, because I failed the 1 hour last week. I’m praying everything is okay and baby and I continue to stay healthy.
24 Weeks! 💕 168 Days 6 months pregnant with 4 months to go! Baby is the size of a Cantaloupe.
Everyday, every hour and every moment is a blessing. I have back pain, fatigue, constant hunger, Braxton Hicks, the constant urge to pee, round ligament pain and other dailly body aches. But you know what else? Everyday I feel little baby kicks and wiggles, I experience joy when I am gifted fun baby supplies, and I fall more and more in love with every ultrasound as I get to see my beautiful Baby Boy. It’s all worth it. All of it. I still have my fears and anxieties of course, but I try not to let that steal my joy. I am so incredibly in love with this baby, and I can’t wait to meet him in January. 💙💙💙💙💙
Alright friends, so originally I was going to do just a huge blog post of all the baby items I have accumulated so far. However I am realizing that that is going to be a really, really, really long post. So I guess I will just make some different posts based on categories. This blog post is going to specifically be centered around Baby Boy clothes.
I have bought a handful of clearance onesies from Target, Meijer and thrift stores. But I have also been gifted a handful of onesies/sleepers as well.
A majority of brands I have in baby clothes are Gerber and Carter, which I hear are great.
Baby Boy already has a lot of Dino stuff. To be frankly honest, I never really liked dinos until I found out I was having a boy. Now I can’t get enough!
I am trying to have a variety of gender neutral and gender specific clothes.
A gift from Grandma!
Also a gift from Grandma. It’s an 18 month Jean jacket but I seriously can’t wait to see our little man in it! 💕
These were a gift from Great Grandma, and I love them because they will likely match baby’s nursery theme of In the Jungle/At the Zoo!
Another gift from Grandma! Since we are having a winter baby, I thought it would be a good idea to stock up on some sleepers.
More dinos and a gift from my coworker!
This is a gift from my bestie Alli. 💕
This is just something I picked up as I thought the sharks were adorable!
This is an outfit my brother and I wore as babies and I can’t wait for my baby to wear it too!
Here is just a glimpse of the variety of hats and socks that have been bought/made for baby boy!
This little outfit is what we picked out as Baby Boy’s going home from the hospital outfit. 💕
Well, that is it for now. I do have much more clothes and baby stuff but I will be sharing that in more blog posts down the line. Getting baby clothes and actually envisioning baby someday wearing these clothes is making it all feel so real. ❤️