New Possibilities

Life After Miscarriage, Miscarriage

No, this is not a pregnancy announcement or a trying to conceive announcement. This isn’t an announcement at all, but rather a vision for new opportunities. I love having friends and family who know me. I love having these people in my life who take the time to listen and care for my needs and desires as a person and as a woman.

Recently, one of my best friends gave me a gift. At first when I received the gift, I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. My friend Reaghan gave me a planner, but not just any planner. She gave me a Mommy To Be planner. This planner is specifically for expectant moms who want to organize and prepare for their baby’s arrival.

Now, I didn’t ask for this gift, and frankly I was a little shocked to have received it. After my first miscarriage, I knew I would eventually want to try and have another baby. But after experiencing a second miscarriage, I’m not really sure how I feel. I’ve had two pregnancies that ended with surgery, and trauma. I don’t know if I can bare another loss. I don’t know if my heart can take it. It scares me.

However, even though I’m not sure if I could handle another pregnancy, I am sure of something. I want to be mom. I believe I will be a mom somehow and in someway. Whether it’s through foster care, adoption, pregnancy, surrogacy, or ministry… I believe it’s what God has called me to do.

I think that’s why Reaghan gave me this gift. Not because she thinks I’m trying to get pregnant, and not because she didn’t know what to get me, but because she knows me. She knows I want to be a mom and she knew just what to give me in this time in my life, when I simply don’t know what the next step is. She is a true friend. ❤️

My Worst Fear… Again

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

The following post is my story of how I experienced my second miscarriage. In this post I show vulnerability in retelling my second loss. I also share details in my miscarriage, so I do want to offer a TRIGGER WARNING before anyone begins reading my post. Please feel free to stop reading, and take care of you if my words, and my story are challenging to read.

At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.


I nudged Charles awake. He held my hand and we both fell back asleep.


I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.

I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.

When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.


I felt scared and alone. I considered waking up Charles, but I didn’t. I didn’t want him to be scared.


At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.

I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.


The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.

A Scare at 7 Weeks and 3 Days

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.

Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.


Why was I bleeding? This can’t be happening! Not again! I can’t handle this! I can’t handle another loss! I frantically started praying. God please, please keep baby Chase safe! I don’t want to lose him!


I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.

Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.

One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….


Don’t be scared, because your body knows what to do, and it is going to do what needs to be done. So, take care of yourself and be there for one another because this affects both of you.


Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.

That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……

Wise Words from My Friend Andrea

Physical Health, Pregnancy

Hi, I’m Andrea! How do I know Kaylee, you ask? Well, Kaylee and I have been best friends for half our lives. If you ever get a chance to ask her how we met, do it. It’s quite the story! Today, I’d like to share with you about body image. However, before we dive into such a deeply personal topic, I should tell you a little about me. I enjoy crafting, hiking, anything nature-related, good conversations, board games, changing seasons, experimenting in the kitchen, and all things Christmas. Oh, and my husband is my favorite. We met in college (another great story for another time) and have been married for three years. We have an active, inquisitive 19-month-old son and are expecting a baby girl around Thanksgiving. 

Enough about me. Let’s talk body image.

Remember when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) had their first child and gave the public their first look at their new baby? In the photos released, a beaming but tired William and Kate snuggled their newest addition. Kate wore a beautiful dress that tucked in at her waist and revealed her postpartum baby bump. To my surprise, media in the US centered not on the sweet little bundle of joy, but rather on Kate’s newly postpartum body. I couldn’t believe that after waiting 9-10 months to meet their baby, the public was more interested in how small Kate’s waist was, the fact that her belly still bulged little, and other features not worth noting.

While stigmas surrounding body image affect every person, childbearing women especially experience this reality in a deep and raw way. Some women I’ve known have a newfound security in their body image while pregnant or even after birth, finding pride in what their bodies can do and how many incredible changes they face to nourish and care for a child. Other women face deeper and more extreme struggles when they don’t have the perfectly round baby bump they’ve always pictured, or stretch marks tear across new areas of their bodies, or they face pain with their previously normal activities such as walking, intimacy, or even sitting. 

Pregnancy has a way of impacting every portion of our being, from physical to emotional to spiritual. From the moment conception takes place, our bodies begin a long process of growing, changing, and morphing in new ways. With my first pregnancy, I pictured glowing skin smiling through morning sickness, a perfectly round little baby bump, and minimal weight gain that would slough off with a few months of breastfeeding. Boy, was I wrong. I was instead met with an overall feeling of puffiness from my face to my toes almost immediately after conceiving. My fatigue was overwhelming. I didn’t just feel tired. I looked tired. Acne popped up. When my bump began to show (much earlier than anticipated, I should add), I was met with more insecurity. I’ve always had a rough relationship with my stomach. Attracting more attention to an area I’ve always wanted to downplay brought up even more feelings of insecurity, especially considering the many unwelcome hands touching it (another topic altogether). Yes, I was absolutely thankful to be pregnant, but I just didn’t look or feel the way I had pictured. 

Once I was in the midst of the second half of my pregnancy, my weight gain – while in the healthy range on doctor’s office charts – felt like too much. My jeans were tight and my maternity shirts that had fit me at 18 weeks were creeping too high on my stomach while my bust pushed them too low on my chest. Everything was changing. By 30 weeks, my stomach had reached its limit for how far it could stretch. I tried creams, but my genetics won out. Stretch marks began to span across my growing belly. When I found the first one, I felt panic rise in my chest. “What?! This early?! How many more will I get before my baby arrives?” I’m glad I didn’t know the answer then. I needed time to accept and appreciate my changing body. 

Eventually, I couldn’t see my toes. I could hardly do a patchwork job of shaving my legs. I was too uncomfortable to do much of anything. Basic hygiene took loads of effort. I didn’t feel very human anymore. I used to be excited for this stage of pregnancy when I was obviously pregnant and feeling every movement of my little son…but the discomfort nearly outweighed the excitement. Then I faced guilt for feeling this way. Much of my pregnancy was not what I had pictured.

Then, the day came. The day. I gave birth to my miracle son, my sweet little boy. I had pictured this moment in my mind’s eye countless times. I’d heard women say everything in their world melted away the moment they saw their baby, and nothing else mattered. It’s a bit of a dramatized statement, but it holds some truth. Looking at my son and recognizing that I was his most crucial caregiver brought new perspective to my life. My dislikes about the current state of my body didn’t matter so much anymore. I had more to think about than the size of my waist or how many stretch marks I had acquired. 

Regardless of a shift in perspective, I still had the same body to sleep in, eat in, and see naked in the bathroom mirror. I had the same body to move in, breathe in, and use to care for my new baby. I had to come to terms with what it was. I remember lying in the bathtub at the hospital the first chance I had to bathe after birth. I was exhausted and thankful that I had completed the birthing process. Then, I looked at my stomach…and I couldn’t believe the words that came to my mind. “My stomach is floating.” That once-full belly with a little pregnancy fat and a little pregnancy stretch was floating. My stomach muscles were too tired and stretched to hold it. I felt another wave of panic. “Will my stomach always be like this?! How will I ever run again? How will I ever find another dress that makes me feel beautiful?” But thankfully, I was too tired to dwell on these things for long. 

In the weeks following birth, I was still too tired to do much fretting about what my body looked like. I was caring for a new life 24/7 and adjusting to a new level of responsibility and purpose for me. Eventually, as I emerged from the fog of caring for a newborn, my insecurities began to eat at me again. It took longer than I had imagined for my stomach muscles to tighten again. My extra weight wouldn’t budge much until I had stopped nursing my son. Yet, this round of dealing with insecurities looked different than it had throughout my pregnancy. This time, I had a newfound empowerment. Yes, I was stretched out, tired, scarred, and a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be…but I had carried a life. I wore the battle scars of nourishing another human from the inside out. I plumbed the depths of my heart and mind for strength I didn’t know I could ever muster during the most uncomfortable moments of pregnancy, in that birthing suite, and in the middle of the night fits of colic. And in those moments, I had the opportunity to reassess my purpose in life, and how that intense difficulty served to point me to the One who made me, sustains me, and gave me my son to care for. He gave me meaning and purpose and used even my lowest moments to teach me about himself and draw me in to his incredible grace and tenderness. 

Call me crazy, but I’ve found more confidence and strength in my postpartum body than I ever had in my pre-baby body with my flat, smooth stomach and well-exercised body. Defining my purpose and looking beyond the moment to remember it was more impactful than a few stretch marks could ever be. I’ve been scarred by childbearing…but the confidence I’ve found has meant more than any of my previous body ideals. And that confidence could only be found in seeing beyond the moment and shifting my perspective to my body’s purpose. I am so much more than my body. 

Whether you’ve ever experienced pregnancy, birth, or caring for a baby postpartum, you’re bound to at least experience some form of body image issues. Remember, your body is a vehicle to carry out your purpose in life. It’s not the prize at the end of a race. You have a chance to live every day in this vehicle that will continually morph throughout your life, with or without childbearing. And it’s worth it. Don’t let your body be what defines you. It’s about what you do with your body that matters. Who are you? What do you think? What makes you tic? How do you spend your time? What gives you purpose?

The Decision to Try Again

Life After Miscarriage

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

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

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

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

Starting My Blog

Just Me Blogging, Life After Miscarriage

As I went through grief counseling in April, I reached a lot of milestones. At this point I had gone through every stage of grief at least once, except for acceptance. I was starting to become more stable with my emotions, and ultimately I felt good as I made steps in the right direction. During one counseling session, I discussed how I wanted to share my story in detail. I didn’t know how to do it, but I knew I had a lot to say. My counselor suggested starting a blog.

I considered this idea for a little while. It was one of those ideas I couldn’t let go. I lost sleep over it as I contemplated this as the answer I had been looking for. Is this what I’m meant to do? Am I meant to be an advocate through blogging? This thought consumed me. I wrote a timeline of different event topics from the time I got pregnant until now. As I looked at my very long list of topics, I realized this was my next step.

I started my blog with my first blog post Leap of Faith. I decided that would be a good title for my first post as this was a leap of faith. Creating a blog and talking about how I have gone through a pregnancy, miscarriage and healing was not only risky but also vulnerable. I had no idea who would read it, what people would think or how I would be perceived as a person. Even though all these thoughts and fears came to mind, I still wanted to do it. I wanted to share my story. I wanted to give resources and support to those who have experienced the same form of loss. I wanted to write and share my story… and so I did,

“And what, you ask does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive, and that it is a gift and privilege, not a right.” – Ray Bradbury

The People Who Reached Out to Me

Life After Miscarriage

The days, weeks and even months after we lost our baby; I had many people reach out to us and show us support. The topic of miscarriage is such a taboo topic. People don’t know how to talk about it. People don’t know how to handle it. It’s sad, especially since it’s so common. I believe one reason people don’t know how to deal with it, is because it boils down to beliefs and when we as people believe when life begins. Now, I’m not about to turn this post into a discussion of abortion… or at least that’s not my intention. But I do want to point out that since some people believe life begins at conception, while others believe life begins when a heart starts beating, and still others believe life begins once a baby is born; then that may be why people don’t know how to handle the topic of miscarriage. They don’t believe miscarriage is a big deal because they don’t believe a woman has lost a baby. They believe a woman has lost a ball of cells or tissue that was turning into a baby. Coming from someone who has had a miscarriage, that makes me feel like my experience, my loss and trauma was insignificant, and that’s not fair. Now, this is just my opinion and coming from my perspective but I believe life begins at conception. Whether I lost my baby at 8 weeks or 8 months… it still hurts. It’s still a loss. I will forever grieve that loss.


Despite the fact that miscarriage has a stigma and is such a taboo topic, I was definitely greeted by many woman who gave both me and my husband love and support through one of the most challenging times in our lives. My friend Alli was a major support for me. She came to the hospital when I had my D & C, she messaged me and checked on me everyday for weeks just to make sure I was still breathing and getting through each day. She would come over at a moments notice or take me out when I just needed to get out of the house. She would listen to me vent, give me advice and just find ways to make me smile even when I didn’t think I would be able to smile again. I have been friends with Alli for over ten years and I am eternally grateful for her friendship and all she’s done for me in my life.

My friend Christa was very kind as well. She would send me funny videos of her lip syncing songs and just goofing around with Snapchat filters… anything to make me laugh. She also sent me encouraging videos, telling me it was okay to be sad and it was okay to grieve any way I needed to. I talked to her on the phone a few days after my surgery and it was so comforting to talk with someone who just listened. She is a great listener.

My friend Reaghan was also a really good listener and empathetic. I tell Reaghan all the time she should be a counselor. She literally has a good sense of when to speak up and when to be silent and just listen. There were days I needed that. There were days I would go through every emotion of sadness, anger, depression, joy and everything in between. Reaghan would never interrupt me through my cyclone of emotions. She would sit and listen but also jump in and remind me that this miscarriage was not my fault. I’m so grateful for her.

My friend Andrea was also very helpful. When I told her the news about my baby, she was devastated. With her being a new mom herself, she couldn’t imagine the pain I was going through, and was also heartbroken for me. When talking to Andrea, I knew I could be brutally honest with her. I told her I didn’t want to feel this pain anymore. I told her I wanted to die. She was very supportive and encouraging, even though I wasn’t very accepting of her encouragement at the time. She said she would walk through this journey with me, and she sure has. She also reminded me it’s okay to be angry at God. We can be angry and we can be confused of His reasons why. It’s okay. I’m very thankful for her and her encouragement.

My mom… she has been my biggest support from my pregnancy all the way until now as I write this. After losing a child herself, she knew all too well the pain and loss I would go through when we found out my baby had died. Even though she didn’t have a miscarriage, and my brother died as an infant, she understood the loss of a baby, loss of control, and the loss of the dreams when losing a little life. She has understood and helped me navigate through every phase of the grief process. When I was little, I remember asking her “What if I lose a baby too?” It was a question I was scared to ask, but couldn’t help that it crossed my mind. My mom said “Well, I guess it just means we were both meant to go through it.” This answer scared me, and I hoped and prayed I never would have to go through it… but unfortunately I did. It sucks. Death is awful and apart of life. Grief takes a lot out of us. Trauma makes us remember we are not in control. So, through this experience even though it sucks, my mom and I have been able to bond and grow closer than we ever have. I thank God for her every single day.

My friend Jeanie also helped me navigate the grief process. She recently lost her uncle and knew all too well how grief can feel never ending and hit you when you least expect it. There were many times I would become triggered or simply fall apart, and she was almost always right there to hold me and tell me to feel what ever I was feeling. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone and she made it safe for me to let out my emotions. I’m thankful for her.

My internship coordinator Danielle was also very supportive to me. She believes self care is super important, and helped me not to feel guilty when I needed to take care of myself after my loss. She has been so incredibly understanding through everything. She has helped me through triggers and panic attacks. She reminded me the importance of being gentle and taking care of myself. She encouraged me on every little accomplishment I’ve made and helped me reach my goals. Lastly she has encouraged and educated me on how to be an advocate for miscarriage and infant loss. She has helped me reach my dreams.

All of my professors this past spring semester were also helpful and understanding through my loss and miscarriage. Without me even asking, they offered me incompletes, extensions on assignments and everything I needed to succeed this past semester. It was hard at times to be open with both of them about what I was going through, but because I left that line of communication open, they were willing and able to work with me and help me succeed.

My friends Maryanne and Ally offered me many prayers through my grief along with so many others. I didn’t truly realize how strong the power of prayer can be, until my husband and I experienced this loss. I didn’t understand how a loss can bring people together and encourage people to support each other. I am so thankful to everyone who sent good thoughts and prayers to me and my husband.


Another thing that surprised me when I decided to share my story, is how many people came forward and told me they too had had a miscarriage. They too understood the pain and loss that I was experiencing. They too knew just what to say in order to help me in this difficult season in my life. I had one friend who messaged me and told me she thought I was very brave for sharing my story. She said she herself her suffered a miscarriage with her first pregnancy and suffered in silence. She now has her beautiful rainbow baby. She has been such an inspiration to me. I had another friend reach out to me and send me bible verses, gospel songs and words of encouragement as she too experienced a miscarriage a few months prior. I had another women private message me and tell me they had had miscarriages many years ago, and now they have other living children of whom are healthy and doing well. But they all told me they never forget the babies they lost and how they can’t help but wonder who those children would be if they weren’t called home so soon. I also had another woman message me who has suffered many miscarriages, and now has two children whom she has adopted.

All these women who reached out to me, have truly inspired me and helped me as I grieve and heal after my miscarriage. I never in a million years thought I would become a part of this club that has babies in Heaven. It’s not a club you ever wish to be a part of. But there’s something about all these women, as well as myself that we all have in common. I firmly believe we have an angel in Heaven watching over us. Through the loss of losing our babies, we look at life differently. We learn to appreciate the little moments, and even find some strength in our short comings. I personally, also have found comfort in God, and how yes He called my baby home and it hurts, but I find comfort in knowing she never felt pain. She is in a beautiful place where she is living her best life and watching over me.

“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child who never comes.” – David Platt

Presenting on Trauma

Life After Miscarriage

On Monday April 1st, I had to give a presentation on trauma on the brain for my internship. I originally picked this topic when I transferred to my new internship site. The topic of trauma and how it affects the brain and development really interests me. I spent a lot of time working on this project through my recovery time at home. I decided to create this presentation using a trifold presentation board. Not only was it therapeutic for me to understand the affects of trauma, but I also enjoyed being creative and assembling this presentation.

When it was time for me to present at 12:30pm, I was a little nervous. I don’t enjoy public speaking, but at the same time I was up to the challenge and wanted to do well in this internship. The presentation was only going to be about 30 minutes and I was presenting to about an audience of 10 peer educators. When I started the presentation, I did okay. I tried sounding enthusiastic as well as professional when presenting on my topic. Towards the middle of the presentation, I remember reading my notes and feeling a lump in my throat. I wasn’t really sure why. I had practiced this presentation many times, and yet I was getting choked up. My voice started to crack as I read to the audience different traumatic events that can affect people

“Car accidents, natural disasters, losing a child, including miscarriage, infant loss or still birth…..” Then I involuntarily stopped talking. My mouth could open but no words were coming out. It was the same problem that happen when I tried talking to the receptionist at my OB’s office. “Um…” I said trying to talk. My mind was blank. Why couldn’t I talk. Why did I feel like I was about to cry. I felt humiliated standing up there not being able to talk. I had practiced this and I was fine, but now that I was presenting I was being triggered by my own presentation. Eventually, I was able to start talking again. I don’t know how but I did. I don’t remember much more after that. I know I finished the presentation but I’m pretty sure I rushed through it and didn’t make a lot of sense.

Once I was done I was ready to get out of there. I left all my stuff and stepped into the hallway. I broke down and started crying. I felt humiliated I couldn’t keep it together. My friend Jeanie came out in the hallway and held my while I cried. She could tell I was triggered too. We both went to a different room where we could cry and calm down. My coordinator Danielle told me I did a good job even though she could tell I was having a really hard time. Despite the fact that I was triggered while presenting on trauma, I was still proud of myself for coming as far as I had and for getting through the presentation. I was also very thankful for the opportunity to research and present on the topic of trauma, and hope to have the opportunity again someday.

One Month Later…

Life After Miscarriage

The last week of March wasn’t easy. I didn’t realize it until later, but since the month of February only has 28 days, the month of February as well as March fall on the exact same days of the week. For instance I had my ultrasound and was given the worst news of my life on Monday February 25th, and I had my D & C on Thursday February 28th. Since February has 28 days instead of 30 or 31, March 25th also fell on a Monday and March 28th also fell on a Thursday. I found this really interesting as I approached the one month mark of having my miscarriage. It almost felt like déja vu. The 25th of March wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure I was sad and I reflected a lot on what had happen a month ago, but since I was in so much shock that day, I think that’s why it didn’t affect me as much. Thursday March 28th however, was rough to say the least.

I woke up that morning feeling the heaviness of fresh grieve once again. It was as if I was under a weighted blanket and I honestly did not have the strength to get up. I called in sick to my internship, and my coordinator understood. My husband was worried about me. He had to go to class and work, but he was hesitant to leave me alone. I told him I would be okay and I was just gonna get some rest.

I remember laying in bed and pulling out my phone. I started scrolling through social media pages, which I now know was a big mistake. Within minutes I saw two pregnancy announcements for babies who would be due in September and October…. I lost it. I laid in bed and sobbed. The pain, the grief, the sorrow it all flooded back as if the miscarriage had just happen yesterday. From that point on everything set me off. My arms ached again as I longed for my baby. I grew angry and started yelling at God again for taking my baby. I was also still lactating and it was becoming unbearable. Every time I cried, I would lactate. It was ridiculous. It was a constant reminder that I no longer had a baby. It wasn’t fair.


That afternoon I became very emotionally unstable. I decided to call my doctor. She had mentioned at my last appointment that if I am not doing well emotionally, or physically then I need to call her. When a nurse at the office answered I was already crying. I tried holding back my tears so she could understand me. I told her how frustrated I was that I had been lactating for over three weeks. I also explained to her that my surgeon had told me to give the office a call if I wasn’t doing well… and I obviously wasn’t. She asked me if I wanted to speak with a social worker. I paused and said “Yeah, it would have been nice if you had offered that to me a month ago!” I probably shouldn’t have yelled at her, but I was so frustrated. I was still angry the social worker was too busy to see me the day of my surgery. I had so much support when I was pregnant, but once I miscarried, I slowly felt the support dwindle away. She ended up transferring me. I left a message for the social worker stating I wanted to talk, I wasn’t doing well and I would like some resources to help me cope through my miscarriage. When I hung up the phone, I felt like nothing was accomplished. All I did really was cry and leave a message.

After that intense meltdown on the phone with the nurse, I took a nap. I was emotionally drained. When I woke up about an hour later I got a text from my best friend. I unlocked my phone and read it. I instantly got a pit in my stomach and tears started to well up in my eyes again. My best friend was 5 weeks pregnant… and I started crying again. Part of me wanted to fake it and say congratulations, but since I was so unstable I knew it wasn’t a good idea. I had already yelled at the nurse over the phone, I didn’t also want to yell at my best friend. This was a happy thing, and I didn’t want to be selfish and make it all about me. So, I decided not to respond.

I ended up calling my mom and crying to her, as well as reaching out to my online support group. I talked about how challenging it is to see pregnancy announcements. On the one hand I wanted to be happy for them, but I wasn’t…. I was jealous. I was suppose to be pregnant! I was suppose to be showing and getting congratulated. Secondly, it’s challenging because I instantly had anxiety for everyone else who was pregnant. What happen to me was awful, and I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else. Even though I was jealous and angry, I still prayed for those women and that their babies would be okay. After this emotional day of seeing three different pregnancy announcements, and the fact that it landed on one month since my surgery; I decided to unfollow some of the pregnant and young moms on social media. It wasn’t going to be forever, but just for the meantime until I reached a place where I could handle it better.

That evening I went to dinner at the dining hall with Reaghan. I wasn’t hungry for anything except ice cream. I ate three bowls of it. I had no shame. I needed comfort food that day. Reaghan was so supportive and such a good listener as I talked, cried and stuffed my face with ice cream. After being quiet for a moment I remember telling her “I miss my baby.” as I silently cried over my ice cream. She said with compassion “I know… and it’s okay to be sad Kaylee. It’s okay to feel everything you’re feeling” she knew exactly what I needed to hear.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

Why?

Miscarriage

I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.

Bargaining

I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.

“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.

When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.

“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.

Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.

“I have heard your prayers and seen your fears; I will heal you.” – 2 Kings 20:5

Saying Goodbye…

Miscarriage

The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.

Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.


When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.

She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.

My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.


My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.

After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!

They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Then I was out.

The Hours Leading Up to My Procedure…

Miscarriage

On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to get my pain med prescription filled. Despite the fact I had had a shot for my pain less the three hours prior, I was still in some pain and discomfort. It wasn’t as bad sitting down, but if I had to stand for more than a few minutes, the pain was intense. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got very frustrated with the pharmacist. They tried telling me they didn’t accept my insurance, when in reality I had straight Medicaid at the time and everybody accepted straight Medicaid. Not only that, but I had just picked up meds for my husband a few days earlier. We have the exact same insurance and there was no issue. According to my dad, he could tell I was in a lot of pain as I leaned on the counter at the pharmacy. My Dad said I was very close to climbing over the counter and strangling the people at the pharmacy because they kept arguing with me… but I didn’t. We ended up going to a different pharmacy and had absolutely no problem. Thank goodness.


When we got back to my parents house, my mom pulled me aside and hugged me. It’s almost like she knew I needed that hug before I even knew to ask for it. She’s a really good mom. “You need to embrace this baby. Spend some time by yourself with just you and baby. Talk to her. Because tomorrow… you are going to feel so empty when she’s gone.” She said hugging me and holding me tight. I sobbed all over her shoulder. I did not want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby. I didn’t want to stop being pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone. Charles came over in the afternoon. He brought me flowers that were sent from Andrea and Alli.

That evening around 6pm, I went into the bedroom I was staying in and closed the door. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall. I was snuggled in many layers of blankets and gripped Mackenzie’s quilt and held it in my arms. As I sat there, I realized that my mom was right. I was spinning out of control and trying to avoid the loss and pain that was currently consuming my life. I tried just to breathe. As I started to calm myself down I began to feel it. All the emotions of pain and sadness came to the surface. My baby died. I had a miscarriage. No. No! This wasn’t happening! Why did she die!? Why did she have to go? For two hours I sat in that dark bedroom crying over my baby. I gripped my belly wishing so much that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I would have given ANYTHING for this not to be real. My mom came in to check on me. She comforted me. In many ways I felt better. The physical pressure of needing to cry was gone but the pain and sadness continued. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye.


The morning of my surgery I woke up confused. I actually got more than three hours of sleep and felt slightly rested. It believe it was due to the amount of crying I did before falling asleep and the pain meds I was on. I called Charles when I was more awake. It was around 5am and I needed to be at the hospital at 9am. Before the miscarriage and everything had happen, Charles was offered the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. Since we had already payed for the trip, I told Charles he should still go. As hard as it may be for him not to be here, I still wanted him to go and try and enjoy himself. I felt that everything had been taken away from me, so in my effort to protect Charles I still wanted him to go on his trip. When I called Charles he was getting ready to leave for the airport. I don’t really remember the conversation but I know we were both pretty emotional. After hanging up, I regretted telling him to go on his trip. I wanted him here, but it was too late.

Before leaving for the hospital I took my final pregnancy bump pictures. Taking the pictures was something I needed to do, but it also broke my heart because I knew it would be for the last time. 💔

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

A Trip to the Emergency Room

Miscarriage

The night of February 26th, I was absolutely restless. I tossed and turned in bed until about 12:30am. I finally got up and started pacing. I was still staying with my parents. My dad woke up when he heard me awake pacing throughout the house. My dad kept me company and talked to me throughout the night. My cramps kept getting worse the more my anxiety increased.

Around 3am I felt the need for comfort. Food and my dad’s company wasn’t quite meeting my needs. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be okay no matter what I did. I wanted my baby to be okay, but she wasn’t. I went down to my parents basement and found the garbage bags full of baby items that we had packed away two days ago. I dug through them in the dark until I found what I was looking for. I started to get frustrated and almost give up… and then I found it. I found Mackenzie’s quilt. The quilt that Alli made for her. The very first gift that Mackenzie received, but would never be able to use. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and hugged it tight. This is exactly what I needed, something to hold.

I headed back upstairs with the quilt in hand. I rested in the recliner chair in the living room and watched Jimmy Carson with my dad. Ever since I had received the news of our baby at the ultrasound, my arms ached. They ached and felt like I had recently carried a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of grief or what exactly, so I did a little research. Apparently, some women experience pain and ache in their arms after a miscarriage. This is because of the psychological longing of wanting to hold their baby. This information gave me comfort. I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving a longing for my baby. Holding the quilt helped immensely. It wasn’t my baby, but it was a tangible item that gave me comfort.

By 5am I was absolutely miserable. My dad had given me 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and I was still in a boat load of pain. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down. It hurt to stand, and it hurt to walk. My cramps were intense and at least at a 8 on the pain scale. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared there would be blood, but there wasn’t. By 5:30am my gut told me to go to the ER. When I had scheduled my surgery the nurse said if my cramps became too painful or I was bleeding uncontrollably then I needed to be seen. So, as my dad got the car ready, I woke up my mom and we headed to the hospital. I called Charles on the way, and scared him out of his sleep. I felt kind of bad. He had two midterms that morning and I didn’t want to be selfish… but I needed him.


My trip to the ER is pretty fuzzy. I remember Charles meeting us there. I remember him holding my hand. I know I had a pelvic exam done and they said my cervix wasn’t dilating yet. I remember it was painful. I got a shot in the arm for my pain and it made me incredibly loopy. I remember the PA talking to me and telling me I was going to have my surgery tomorrow as scheduled. I also saw an ER doctor. He prescribed me Norco for my pain. He told me “Normally, it’s not safe to take when you are pregnant, but since you are not choosing to continue the pregnancy, it’s the best option.” His words hurt me. I wasn’t choosing to go forward with the pregnancy. Excuse me? I didn’t have a choice in any of this.

Even though it’s all a blur, the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind about the ER visit is prayer. I was furious with God. I had developed a hatred for Him and how He took away my baby… but at the same time I needed him. I was scared. I didn’t want to live this life but also didn’t want this pain anymore. I wanted God to either kill me or get me through because I couldn’t do this on my own. My faith was shaken but it wasn’t gone completely. I needed God to get me through this because I felt literally everything slipping out of my control.

What is Grief?

Miscarriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.