On Friday, May 21st I woke up at 4:50am. I tossed and turned all night as I anticipated my 7 week ultrasound later that day. I spent the morning watching tv, eating and resting. I tried my best to rest and stay calm before my appointment.
When 12:45pm rolled around it was time for us to head to our 2 o’clock appointment. I tried my best to be excited, calm and cautious.
We checked into the hospital at 1:45pm. The ultrasound appointment was scheduled at a different location because the location we usually go to was booked until mid June. My OB requested that I get an ultrasound between 7-8 weeks.
As we sat in the waiting room, I looked at my phone in an attempt to distract myself from my anxieties. When we were called back I held my breath.
When we got to the room, the person doing our ultrasound said she was a student, studying to be a radiology tech. She explained that she would do our ultrasound, then the tech would look it over, then send it to the radiologist to look over.
As I got on the table and laid back, I kept forgetting to breathe. I tried taking deep breaths and just praying in my head. I trust you Lord. It’s going to be okay. Please just have your way.
The student tech asked a few questions and went to work. She took a look at my ovaries, which felt like forever. She then took a look at baby. I saw a little blob on the screen and was hopeful. Okay, there’s baby. Baby is in the uterus. That’s a good sign. The student tech took a variety of images of baby.
Next, she brought up the heart rate scale. It was flat at first and I got scared. What if there’s not a heart beat? I then saw a wave on the scale as it picked up the heart beat. Then it went flat again. I held my breath. Was that my heart beat or baby’s? The tech started typing and then said. “Heart rate is at 147, and that is excellent.” A sigh of relief washed over my face. She looked at me and said “I knew you were waiting on that.”
After the student tech was finished she left to get the tech. The tech confirmed everything that the student tech found, and reassured me that everything looked great. I asked the tech if there was only one baby, and they both claimed that they could only find one. I was fine with that. The tech also told me that it looked like it was my right ovary that had ovulated so there’s a good chance that it’s a boy if my ovaries are quote on quote normal.
The tech gave me two pictures and sent us on our way. I was feeling beyond relieved and blessed by all that was done at our appointment. I couldn’t stop thanking Jesus. We got to see baby. Baby has a heartbeat. We saw the little flicker of the heart. Baby was measuring right on track at 7 weeks and 1 day. Heart rate was 147, and a normal heart rate is anywhere between 120-180. My due date didn’t change as it was still 1/6/22. All was good. All was okay. I was feeling so blessed!
I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️
It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.
Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?
ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE.
And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way.
This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year.
Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss.
THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared.
Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven.
I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.
This past week, I was able to enjoy a vacation/staycation that allowed me to rest and refresh, get some home/miscellaneous tasks done as well as focus on my writing. Here is a little update of all my writing projects:
Memoir – I am in process of preparing my book to be sent to editors, and excited to read through and focus on the third and final draft.
Self Care Book for Teachers – I have put this book on hold for the moment as I want to focus on other projects that are almost completed. But I will be starting to work on it again very soon.
My 2nd Children’s Book – I started the illustrations and work on the plot this past week and I am getting very excited about how it is coming together! Above is a sneak peek! I can’t wait to reveal my newest project very soon!
This past year, and actually since starting my blog I have developed various goals for myself that are a mixture of personal and professional goals. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that each year I create goals that I hope to accomplish by New Year’s Eve and a Summer Bucket List of goals I hope to accomplish in the summer. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then head over to my blog post….
One goal I am trying so incredibly hard to accomplish is writing and publishing my memoir. My memoir was an idea that first came to light the day after my second miscarriage, in September of 2019. After suffering my first loss, I felt led to start a blog… this blog in fact :). After my second loss, I realized there was more to my story and my grief that needed to be done. I realized that I have a gift of writing and since suffering two losses, though it was devastating… my circumstances had then given me the chance to expand my story and share with others my story, in order to help women like me. My circumstances, my grief and my passion is what drove me to write my book.
I have officially written the first draft of my book and currently working on the second. It’s small, raw, detailed, sad, but powerful… and I’m very proud of it.
I will be keeping you all updated as I continue to make the final touches to my book and begin the self publishing process!
This post was written a year ago, and though a year has passed, I still believe it holds some truth today.
It’s okay to not be okay… and today I am not okay. A year ago today I was happy. I went to a doctor appointment that I thought would leave me joyous and thankful. Instead, it left me with every emotion imaginable, and this is when my grief first began. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was supposed have an ultrasound and hear my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Instead I heard the words “I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Instead of feeling joyous, I left feeling empty and broken.
My life changed that day. I became an angel mommy. I had to learn how to let go of a child that I fell in love with but didn’t get to meet. I learned who my true friends and family were. I learned how incredibly common pregnancy loss is, even though no one talks about it. I learned that there are good people in the healthcare system who go above and beyond for their patients. I also learned how the healthcare system let’s so many women like me down. I learned how to grieve, how to live, and how to be happy again. It wasn’t easy, and trust me… I’m still working on it.
Grief is a burden that we all have to deal with in this life. There is no telling how or when you’ll go through it. But we grieve because we love. It hurts because we don’t want to say goodbye. It’s confusing because we don’t know how to handle it until it happens. But more often than not grief brings people together. Whether it’s losing a parent, losing a sibling, losing a friend, losing a child, losing a neighbor, a coworker or even someone well known… it hurts, and it unifies us.
So today I am not okay. I am giving myself permission to grieve my baby. I’m not going to feel guilty for not being my best today. I’m going breathe, rest and remember what I had before I had to say goodbye, and that’s okay.
I love you Mackenzie! Daddy and I miss you so much. 💕
In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic.
As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice.
For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:
What is something I needed to let go of?
What was something I was ready for?
What did I need to remember from the current time?
At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself.
What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself.
What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family.
What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too.
I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.
2020 was a year many thought would be a fresh start. It was the beginning of a new decade and a year for clear vision.,, or so we thought. But instead we were all taken for a loop by this deadly sickness called the Corona virus. In many people there was sheer panic and anxiety, and not long after the way we once lived our lives was no longer. We went from having the freedom to socialize with anyone and everyone, to being instructed to remain 6 feet apart with anyone out side our household. We were required to wear masks everywhere, and no longer had the freedom to dine in restaurants. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as college were forced to complete their studies strictly online.
This year has been anxiety inducing, confusing, exhausting, unpredictable and unexpected. But despite all of that, we have all had the chance at putting things into perspective. With a variety of shut downs and quarantines we have had more opportunities to spend quality time with our immediate families. We have learned to appreciate the time and moments we shared because they are precious, and the future is not promised.
For me personally, this year has been rough, but I have been given a lot blessings as well. This was a big year for me despite the craziness. Today I would like to reflect on 2020, the ups and downs, the blessings and challenges and everything in between.
Recap of My Goals for 2020
Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. ✔️
Pay off my Car ✖️
Recieve my Certification in Family Life Education ✖️
Get a Pet ✔️
Publish my Memoir ✖️
Move to a New Home ✔️
Get Certified as a Life Coach ✖️
Recap of 2020
I started my last semester of college.
Started taking Plexus daily.
I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.
I started a new job as a Lead Preschool Teacher.
Covid – 19 hit the US and life as we knew it changed.
We moved to our new apartment.
I finished my last semester of college.
My state and pretty much the country was forced into an immediate say-at-home order.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child and Family Development.
I returned back to work after being laid off.
I redecorated my new apartment.
I celebrated my 2nd Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.
I honored my Due Date for my 2nd baby.
Charles and I started trying again.
I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
My husband got a new job.
I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.
I turned 25.
I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
I grew 9 plants on my balcony.
I hit 6 months of working at my job.
Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.
I reached 150 followers on my blog.
I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.
I was named teacher of the month at my Job.
I did some goal setting for the year ahead.
2020 was crazy and definitely a year of change. Moving forward I predict 2021 will bring it’s own set of challenges and blessings. 💕
I have tossed around the idea of posting this photo. I have contemplated if I should even write a blog post about this particular topic as it is so incredibly personal. I have weighed the pros and cons of this post and decided on this. On my blog I have always been real and raw when it comes to my life, my challenges and my grief. Over the last twoish years I have shared the details of my grief and miscarriages because it not only helped me heal and process the trauma of that season in my life, but I knew one day my story could help someone else. Therefore, if I share my stories of pregnancy loss, then I can also share my challenges of trying to concieve and start a family.
Last May around Mother’s Day, Charles and I decided we again wanted to try and start a family. It had been 8 months since our second miscarriage and though I don’t think we can ever fully heal from a loss such as this, we both have gained a lot of growth, wisdom and strength from suffering two losses. So in May we decided to start trying again.
When deciding to try again, we discussed how we did not want to obsess over trying to get pregnant. Rather we were just going to allow what ever happen to happen. I wasn’t going to track my temp or track my ovulation. We decided we were going to try and live our lives and allow God to move when He sees fit.
In September, after 4 months of trying and no luck, Charles and I looked into adoption. The desire to become parents in the last few years has grown so strong, and we both love the idea of conceiving our own healthy baby, or adopting a child. Since September we have continued to research the option of adoption and have found there are a few steps we would need to complete before going any further. So in some ways we are at a stand still.
This past month we reached 6 months of trying. And I was convinced that I was pregnant. I was super hungry, tired, had a cold, emotional, my boobs hurt, my hips hurt, I had some cramping that was different than my normal period cramping, headaches and I was three days late. I hoped and prayed that I was pregnant as it would have been a sweet ending to a crazy year. But that wasn’t the case. Another negative yet again.
The day I took the test I was down, defeated and devastated. But as I write this over a week later, I realize that it was for the best. I don’t know why, but I know it wasn’t meant to be right now. Since my second miscarriage I have asked God to please not let me get pregnant unless I am pregnant with a healthy baby. And so, since getting another negative I look at it that way. As much as not getting pregnant right now is hard, it’s not as devastating for me as it would be to lose another baby.
I keep thinking God just wants me to do more, before having kids. Maybe that’s publishing my memoir. Maybe that’s moving up at my job. Maybe it’s making money through my blog. And maybe it’s just sharing my story with all of you. I don’t know the reason. But I know that I’m not in control. As scary as it is, I want to have a baby. I want to be a mom to a baby here on earth. But I know that if that stick had two lines, I would have been happy, but not excited.
When you’ve suffered a loss, getting pregnant again feels different. Since you’ve already had the worst happen, you’re extra cautious and it’s always in the back of your mind. Is it going to happen again? Am I going to lose this pregnancy? Will this be a healthy baby? Only God knows the answers to those questions. And only time will tell what’s in store for us.
For now, I am going to do my best to keep living my life, teaching preschoolers, loving my family, writing, and appreciating the little things. ❤️
Quite a few months ago, my friend Andrea tagged me in a post on Facebook about a book/devotional that was geared towards helping women grieve and reflect after a pregnancy loss. I immediately preordered this book on Amazon, and impatiently anticipated reading it.
I recently finished this gentle devotional, and I have to say I am impressed. This book is something I wish I had when I lost my first baby. This book not only has 31 biblical reflections that you are encouraged to read each day, but it also has real life stories from women and couples who have endured the hardship of pregnancy loss.
This book offers such a refreshing Godly perspective, that I didn’t realize I needed. It is uplifting, gentle, detailed, sensitive and the real deal. I highly recommend this resource for any woman or couple who has or is going through a pregnancy loss.
Recently, I asked my followers on Instagram and Facebook to send me their questions about my new children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven. I have taken the time to write and answer each one of your questions. Check it out. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven: Question and Answer with the Author Kaylee Rhames
“Great Illistrations! Did you do them?”
I did all of the illistrations for the book. It took quite a bit of practice to have the illistratrations turn out the way I wanted them to. In fact the illistrations were the first part of the book that was completed before anything else. When creating the artwork for the book, I wanted to create something very child friendly, and appropriate that could be shared within the family.
“Advice for TTC (trying to concieve) after pregnancy loss?
Hmm… this question is something I have had to ponder for awhile. I guess the best advice I could give is know that many things are out of your control and try to make the best out of every situation. It’s nearly impossible to not have stress or anxiety when trying to concieve after loss. But at the same time, since much of what the future holds is out of our control, it’s best to give your self grace, stay positive and trust that some good will come out of the storm that you’ve gone through.
“For what ages is the book appropriate?”
So, I tried to design this book to be appropriate for all ages because so many families suffer from pregnancy loss. I think children who would benefit most from this story would be ages 2 – 6 years old. But again, the story can be beneficial for everyone.
“How long did it take you to get your blog going?”
I had my first miscarriage in February of 2019. After a few months of grieving and living in a fog, I wanted to do something with my strong emotions and energy. I decided to start a blog to not only find a healthy outlet for my grief but also to share my story in order to help others. I started my blog in April of 2019. It wasn’t until June of 2019 that I realized my blog was something I wanted to continue as a hobby and eventually a career.
“What inspired you to share your story in a children’s book?”
I have always wanted to write a book, and have always loved children’s books. I remember in February of 2020, I was suffering from the flu and bored out of my mind. But while being down and out at home, I came up with the idea to create a children’s book about miscarriage. At first I thought it was a dumb idea, and possibly too large of a concept for children to grasp. Then I realized that miscarriages are so common among families, and if it is confusing for adults to understand, then I can imagine it is beyond confusing for children to understand. So that’s when I thought i need to make this resource.
Thanks for joining me on my Question and Answer of my children’s book Mackenzie Goes to Heaven! You can purchase a copy of the book at the link below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Not only is this story about a mother who suffers a pregnancy loss, but the characters in the book are also named after my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase, as well as my brother Matthew who passed away as an infant.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is available for $7.70 + Shipping HERE. Digital and Paperback copies are available.
Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.
I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.
At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.
Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.
In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.
Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…
1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily
2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily
3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,
4. Continue to be active daily.
5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is the day we honor all the babies gone too soon. This year I am honoring my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase as well as my brother Matthew.
The International Wave of Light is something I participated in last year. On this day, those that wish to participate are to light a candle in their own time zone at 7pm and let it burn for an hour. Doing this in your own time zone allows there to be a wave of light across the global for 24 hours.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day and I am lighting candles in honor of my babies as well as all the babies gone too soon.
A longing to be a mom is something I have had for a very long time. I’ve struggled the last couple years with anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, possible endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy losses. It has been challenging to say the least.
Recently, Charles suggested that I create a vision board… something that displays my many hopes and dreams of being a mom, whether it’s through pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Today I spent at least three hours creating my vision board. I found it very therapeutic to create an art project that in many ways encompasses the desires of my heart.
This vision board now holds a gentle reminder to keep the faith. Somehow and some way I feel called to be a mom. I believe someday Charles and I will make amazing parents. I don’t know how or when, but I know we will one day raise children of our own.
So for now I am going to focus on my vision, keep the faith God has given me, and hope that there is goodness coming. Good things come to those who wait. ❤️