1 Year Ago Today, I Found out I was Pregnant

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 says pregnant, 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. ❤️

Easter

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.

Creating a Baby Routine

Now that my baby is 3 months old, I have decided to try to implement more structure to our day-to-day life and set a routine for myself and my baby. Since he is still very little, I am not expecting our routine to be very strict, but rather would like to have repetitive tasks throughout the day that can help my baby feel more secure and allow myself to better plan out each day as it comes.

Our current routine is pretty basic.

  • After each nap baby wakes up, gets changed, has a feeding, burps and snuggles mommy or whoever is caring for him.
  • He has 8 feedings in a 24 period and eats every 2-4 hours.
  • He has anywhere from 1 to 4 naps in a day.
  • Baths are at night before bed 2-3 times a week.
  • Tummy time, swing, music and sensory play happen periodically throughout the day, but at least 3 times.
  • With the weather getting nice we sometimes go on a walk or spend a few minutes on our balcony.

Below is an example of what I would like our routine to look like between now and when he turns 6 months old.

I’m hoping by 6 months we will be very close to our baby sleeping through the night, but we shall see.

This is only the general framework of our routine, I’ll keep you posted on how things are going! 💕

Sprucing Up Baby Boy’s Nursery

In the past few weeks as our baby boy has gotten older, we have been sprucing up Baby Bear’s nursery!

This crib was a gift from family friends who buy storage units. It’s considered a mini crib which is perfect for apartment living. We also put up the animal pictures which were a gift from a coworker off of my registry,

A majority of our son’s books are in the living room, however I like to keep a couple in his bedroom for easy access and late night story time.

We have continued to keep his shelf with bins full of clothes and it is perfect and a very efficient system.

Matthew started rolling around 7 weeks of age. He is now 10 weeks as I write this. Between 7 and 8 weeks we transitioned Matthew from the bassinet to the crib. However, we have kept the bassinet and are using it as a diaper changing station until he fully grows out of it.

This diaper caddy has been a lifesaver. We love having everything accessible and organized for diaper changes.

I decided to also create a bath time basket where all his wash cloths, soaps, shampoos, extra diapers and brushes can be found. I also am hanging his towels on a hook nearby where it can be easily found. I am currently storing this in his room while we continue to give him baths in the kitchen sink. Once we switch to doing baths in the bathroom, I would imagine we will move everything there.

Finally, I’ve continued to store blankets, sheets, bibs, socks and shoes on this shelf.

Thanks for taking this fun little tour of our Baby Boy’s updated nursery! 💕

People Who Inspire Me: Meet My Mom

Mom… a simple 3 letter word that means the world to me. When I was little, I had one constant in my life. I had one person in my life that cared for and loved me every single day. I had one person that fed me, changed me, hugged me, kissed me good night, sang You Are My Sunshine, and showed me what it looks like to love someone else, and that person is my mom.

As a preteen and teenager life was pretty rough and confusing. I can recall countless times of feeling hurt and rejected by friends. I can remember many embarrassing and awkward moments, that I don’t care to share or relive. But through all the heartache, changes and confusion my mom was always there.

When I first met my husband, and I didn’t know if I should allow myself to let my guard down and actually open my heart up to someone else, my mom was there. She listened and talked me through it. She taught me what I should look for in a husband and how I deserved to be treated.

When I went through my biggest events of my life, my two miscarriages; my mom was there. My mom never left me alone. She too had suffered loss and knew full well the pain and grief I was living through. She felt my pain, she understood it, and she wore my heartbreak too.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without my mom. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. She’s amazing. She inspires me to be a good person. She has conquered so much in her young life and been dealt a pretty crappy hand at times, and yet she keeps pushing forward. She still finds joy in the little things like her playful cats, or watching America’s Funniest Home Videos on a Sunday night.

My mom taught me practically everything I know. She taught me how to love others, show compassion and empathy, how to clean, create a budget, do everyday household chores, how to read and study, she taught me how to use coupons and get a good deal, and how to turn a few simple ingredients into an amazing meal. My mom has taught me a lot. But more than anything, my mom taught me how to be a good mom. From growing up and watching her raise me, I have been able to learn how to selflessly be a good mom myself. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good of a mom as she is, but I’m learning, I’m growing and she is still there when I need help.

Mom, I know you’re reading this and I hope you know that I don’t think I can truly ever thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. For now, I think the best thanks I can give you is watching you be an amazing grandma to my son. So thank you Mom. Thanks for raising me, teaching me and loving me. I can’t wait for my baby to grow up and get to know the amazing person that I call Mom. ❤️

My 2022 Goals Check In

1. GIVE BIRTH TO OUR BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW BABY! ✅
2. START A SMALL BUSINESS ON THE SIDE (In the planning process)
3. FINISH READING THE ENTIRE BIBLE (In process)
4. MOVE TO A BIGGER PLACE TO FIT OUR FAMILY OF 4! (On hold for now)
5. PUBLISH 1 OF MY BOOKS (In the editing process)
6. PAY OFF HALF OF MY CAR (In process)
7. KNIT CHARLES A SWEATER (In process)
8. CREATE A WILL (Haven’t started)
9. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING AND TURN MY BLOG INTO A JOB FROM HOME (Haven’t started)
10. WRITE 500 BLOG POSTS (In process, 344 written so far!)

1 goal met, several in process and 9 months or so left in 2022. Let’s keep on a keeping on!

Kid’s Corner: Paper Plate Ice Skating

Do you have some busy bees in your home who seem to constantly be on the move? Do you feel like the walls are closing in when it’s raining or too cold to send the kids outside? Do you ever run out of ideas of indoor activities to try with your kids?

Well, here is a simple idea that your kids will love! This activity is perfect for kids ages 2-5! All you need is these two around the house items: Paper Plates and Markers.

First, give your child two paper plates. Explain to them that you are going to create ice skates! Provide your child with markers to decorate the plates. You can even include other art supplies such as stickers, paint, glitter glue, etc.

Once your child has finished decorating their skates (paper plates), then place the plates on the floor. Demonstrate for your child how to step and slide on the carpet while remaining on the paper plates.

Once your child has mastered sliding across the room while using their ice skates, throw on some music and let them go to town!

Organizing Our Laundry Room

Recently, in between feedings, naps, snuggles and baths; I decided to take some time in my laundry room and do a little organization.

In a one bedroom apartment we really don’t have a ton of space. However, I absolutely love having a washer and dryer in our apartment and not having to drag our laundry to a community laundry room.

Our laundry room is a mix of a storage room, pantry, baby boy’s closet, laundry room and furnace room.

Regardless we are thankful for what we have and I am so grateful I was able to take the time to organize it.

Anxiety and Motherhood

I never realized I could love someone so much… I thought to myself as I held my brand new baby not even 6 hours old. I looked into his deep brown eyes and thought I love you so much. I love you more than I ever thought I could. As each moment passes I grow more and more in love with you. With these intense emotions and genuine endorphin high, also came fear and anxiousness.

I felt a piece of my heart leave my body when I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. It was beautiful but also incredibly terrifying. For 9 long months, 39 weeks and 3 days I carried my baby. I loved him, nourished him, prayed over him, worried about him and protected him. As a mama who knows loss, I knew throughout my pregnancy that at absolutely any moment this miracle baby I was carrying could very well be taken away. Throughout my pregnancy I continuously told myself things for me to make it through. I just have to get to 5 weeks… I just have to get through 6 weeks…. I just have to make it past the first ultrasound and if baby is okay, I’ll be able to breathe. I just have to get through the first trimester. And ultimately I would say I just have to get through this pregnancy. Once I get though this pregnancy I will be able to relax and all will be okay. Little did I know that my love, as well as my anxiety for my baby was only beginning.

While in the hospital the first two nights of my baby’s life I didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep not because he was crying but because I was so scared of losing him. I was afraid he would stop breathing if I wasn’t watching him. I was afraid he would aspirate. I was afraid he would some how suffocate from his swaddle or his organs would suddenly stop working. It was a never ending cycle that I’m sure a lot of moms encounter. It was exhausting and sometimes hard to live in the moment and enjoy my sweet newborn.

As the weeks went by I continued the roller coaster of postpartum anxiety. Was Matthew eating enough? Was he pooping enough? He sounds congested, did he aspirate? He’s crying, is it a hungry cry or is he in pain? He isn’t comforted when I hold him, is he mad at me? He failed his hearing test, does he have an impairment. Throughout this cycle I had a hard time taking care of myself. I would forget to eat, forget to drink which would ultimately mess with my milk supply and make me irritable and impatient. I would refuse to sleep because I hated hearing my baby crying even though I completely trusted my husband when he would get up to care for him. I kept putting my baby first but forgetting that I can’t be the best mommy for my baby, if I didn’t try to take care of myself too.

Postpartum anxiety is a real thing. I had no idea. I had only ever heard of postpartum depression. But these moments of mind racing, panicked anxiousness was real and hard to control. I wasn’t crazy, but going through what a lot of mamas do.

Since becoming an earth side mama, I love deeper, cry harder and laugh longer. I also fear the worse and struggle with just letting go and letting God do what he’s going to do. Part of that is just being a mom and part of that is postpartum anxiety. Motherhood is a beautiful blessing and I thank God everyday for my beautiful rainbow baby. And with time, meds and rest my anxiety and emotions will eventually settle down some. I’m getting the help I need as well as taking it one day at a time.

Motherhood is a journey. Just like how trying to conceive, pregnancy and labor are all journeys in themselves; motherhood too is a journey… and accompanied by love and anxiety.

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta is something I just thought of and wasn’t sure if it was a real thing. So, I went to Google to see if anyone else has combined chickpeas and pasta, and sure enough it’s a real thing! I scanned through a variety of different recipes then decided to make my own!

Check out my Chickpea Pasta recipe below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta
  • Chickpeas (1 can)
  • Olive Oil
  • Tomatoes (1)
  • Black olives (small can)
  • Pepperonis (10-20)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese

First, boil a pot of water. Depending on how many noodles you want to make will depend on how much water you choose to boil.

Next, pour penne pasta into boiling water. Stir occasionally until noodles are soft and tender.

Chop tomatoes, black olives, and pepperonis.

Next, drain noodles and place in a bowl.

Drain canned chickpeas, and combine in bowl of noodles.

Then add olive oil, chopped pepperonis, olives, and tomatoes.

Season to taste with minced garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Why We Named Our Son Matthew

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. ❤️