25 Self Care Activities to Try this Summer ☀️

Miscarriage

I am a huge advocate of self care and taking care YOU and your health. The following is my top 25 self care activities that I highly recommend trying this summer.

25 Self Care Activities

1. Take a Bubble Bath

2. Read a Favorite Book

3. Go to a Favorite Restaurant or Try a New Restaurant

4. Play a Board Game with a Group of Friends

5. Start a Journal

6. Go to the Beach

7. Try a New Recipe

8. Organize Something in Your Home

9. Go to the Movies

10. Binge Watch a Show on Netflix or Hulu

11. Complete an Easy DIY Project

12. Start a Workout Routine

13. Commit to a Daily Prayer or Meditation Routine

14. Try Some Yoga

15. Go on a Nature Walk

16. Go Browse a Local Farmer’s Market

17. Take a Road Trip

18. Go Thrift Store Shopping

19. Pay it Forward, Buy Someone Else’s Meal

20. Volunteer at a Local Charity

21. Try a New Beauty Routine

22. Create an Art Project

23. Go on a Camping Trip

24. Create a Summer Playlist

25. Revamp Your Wardrobe

Receiving the Healing and Growth Award

Life After Miscarriage

On Friday April 12th, we had our end of the semester Peer Educator Party at my internship. During the party we did some professional development training as well as had a catered dinner from Fazoli’s. It was a great way to end the semester. During the party the Health Promotion internship coordinators also handed out awards to a few very deserving peer educators. There were a variety of different awards including the Above and Beyond award, the Collaboration award and the Healing and Growth award.

When my coordinator announced the Healing and Growth award, I had no idea who it was intended for. As she announced the award she explained that the peer educator who would be receiving it was being recognized for overall dedication to the program, willingness to be introspective, dedication to self growth and healing, and dedication to survivor growth and healing. I looked around the room full of 20+ peer educators, excited to see who would be recognized. My coordinator Danielle then called me up. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I started crying as photos were taken. I gave my coordinator a hug and told her thank you.

Receiving the Healing and Growth award through my FIRE Internship was an awesome milestone. I had come so far this semester from getting pregnant, switching internship sites, having a miscarriage, having surgery, enduring the grieve process, finding myself again and doing my best to try and complete this semester. I was very thankful for this award, as it truly displayed my current goals of growth and healing after my miscarriage. It also inspired me to keep going, keep growing and keep healing.

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

Making a Memory Box

Life After Miscarriage

At the end of March, I compiled all of my baby items that I specifically wanted to put away into a memory box, dedicated to my baby. I also gathered sympathy cards, hospital bracelets, pregnancy photos and my ultrasounds. I had gone to the store with my mom and picked out the box and letters to decorate it. I was officially ready to begin this new project.

One evening, Charles went to a hockey game while I stayed home. I thought this would be a good opportunity to put together my memory box, since Charles just wanted this to mostly be my thing. I laid out all the letters on the table, and plugged in the glue gun into the surge protector to heat up. I picked out the letters I needed for Mackenzie’s name, and placed them where I would want them. Once the glue gun was heated up, I began gluing the different letters and designs.

Once I was finished, I began placing the different mementos in the box. I started to tear up as I put away the onesies, and the baby hat. I was absolutely so excited to have my baby girl, and dress her in the cutest outfits, I reflected. Sorrow filled my heart yet again as I folded each piece of clothing and placed them in the box. I guess I would have to wait to have a baby, if I ever get the chance. I thought.

As I finished filling the box, the craziest thing happen. I was deep in my thoughts when… BOOM! I saw a spark about ten inches from my face come from the glue gun. I jumped back into the couch stunned. I looked around and noticed my tv which was playing, was now turned off along with half the lighting in the living room. I looked at the once blue, but now black smoking glue gun on the table. My glue gun exploded. I ended up calling my parents and calling maintenance to help me as I had blown a fuse. That night I learned you are not actually suppose to plug a glue gun into a surge protector. Apparently, since it has a heating element, the surge protector can mess with it as I had seen first hand… lesson learned. All in all, despite that minor near death experience… I loved my memory box and how beautifully it turned out.

“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly… always knew love.” – J Clark – Coates

The Birthstone Ring

Miscarriage

On Saturday March 16th, I was still doing my best to rest and recover from surgery. By now I had noticed a drastic drop in my pregnancy symptoms including losing my strong sense of smell and my gagging reflex. I still felt bloated and fatigued but not nearly as much as before. On this day, I remember reading posts on my online support group. I remember hearing about how angel mommies find different ways to remember their babies who have gone to Heaven. In a poem I had read online, it had mentioned how a mom had had a ring of her baby’s birthstone on her hand. This was a symbol of two things. 1) the birthstone represented the month the baby was born and or was called home and 2) the momma had the ring on her finger to symbolize her baby holding her hand. I loved this idea! I told Charles what I read and he thought it was neat too. In fact, with him being the amazing husband he is, he decided to take me to the jewelry store to pick out a ring. ❤️

On the way to the store we tried to decide what birthstone I would want for my ring. Should we choose sapphire since my due date was in September or should we choose amethyst since we lost our baby in February? We pondered this on the car ride there and ended up deciding on February. We chose February because that was the month everything happen. That was the month I had both my ultrasounds as well as my D & C . It was also the month my morning sickness was the worst and we decided on the name Mackenzie. I also took into consideration that once I have my ring, I would not only be reminded of Mackenzie but also when I was pregnant, which was for the whole month of February.

When we got to the jewelry store we asked if we could see birthstone rings for the month of February. The cashier took us over to the counter where they kept the rings. Charles and I could both tell she didn’t seem to be in a good mood. She showed us the four different options for the amethyst birthstone.

“Is this ring for you?” The cashier asked me.

“Yes, but it’s not my birthstone… but I will be wearing it. Can I try on that one.” I said pointing to the ring with three hearts.

“So, it’s not for you.” She said looking confused, and handing me the ring to try on. I was conflicted on if I wanted to tell her it was in memory of our baby. I didn’t know if I was prepared for her reaction… what ever it was. She kept staring at me as if she wanted an answer. I tried on the ring.

“It’s for our baby.” I said. She stared at me.

“Oh, so you need a kids size ring?” She really didn’t understand and I was starting to get frustrated.

“No, it’s in memory of our baby. We had a miscarriage in February.” I really didn’t want to share this much with a stranger, especially since I was still sensitive about the topic. But, I still felt obligated to give it to her.

“Oh, well… you’re young you’ll have more.” She said. She had absolutely no emotion. No compassion. I looked at my husband with hurt and rage in my eyes. Did she really just say that to me? He looked back at me with empathy as if trying to say I know you really want to slap her, but please don’t do it. “So you were due in November?” She asked as if not sure what to say.

“I was due in September.” I didn’t look at her. I was done with this conversation. I was done talking to her. I was really hurt by what she said. I told Charles I wanted the ring I had tried on and we bought it. The cashier tried to get me to sign up for a credit card. I sternly told her no and walked away. I was done.

When we got to the car I cried. I cried with happiness because I got my ring but I also cried with sadness and anger by what she said. It was so hurtful. I think what made it hurt the worst is the fact that she acted like she did nothing wrong. It broke my heart. Why would you say that to someone? You don’t know if I will ever be able to have another kid, and also if you don’t know what to say when another human tells you something sad, at the very least try and be humane and say I’m sorry.

Regardless of the fact that the cashier hurt my feelings that day, I was very happy and thankful for my ring. It really meant a lot to me that Charles wanted to get one for me. It’s not even the fact that he bought me jewelry, but it’s the fact that he was trying to be there for me and understand what I was going through.

Seeing the Rainbow 🌈

Miscarriage

On Thursday March 14th, my day consisted of being at my internship, and going to one of the student organizations. More often than not, my friend Reaghan and I would usually go get dinner after our RSO meeting. Our meeting let out at 4:30pm that afternoon. When we got ready to leave, we were greeted by sunshine and a quick spring thunderstorm. It was a very weird scene to be in the midst of. As we walked through campus getting soaked and trying to think of what to eat, Reaghan pointed out something in the sky.

“Look! It’s a rainbow!” She said excited. We both smiled and pulled out our phones to take a picture. As we looked at the rainbow I was filled with joy… something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Later that night we went out to a local pizza place with our other friend Gillian and got pizzas for $3.14 since it was 🥧 PI Day.

After eating my pizza and heading home, I kept thinking about the rainbow we saw. It was so incredibly beautiful. Seeing this in the sky reminded me of a quote and a bible verse I had heard and read in the past…

“Lord, make me a rainbow… I’ll shine down on my mother. She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors.” – The Band Perry

“…and the rainbow hath been in the cloud, and I have seen it, to remember the covenant age during between God and every living creature among all flesh which is on the earth.” – Genesis 9:16


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Seeing this rainbow in the sky restored some of my faith in God. I had been angry with Him for weeks. I said some very hurtful things. I still had a broken heart, but seeing this rainbow in the sky gave me hope. I had hope that my baby Mackenzie was in Heaven. I had hope that she was not in pain now and had never felt pain before. I had hope that she was watching over me, and that she was okay. I had hope that my pain wasn’t going to last forever. I was reminded of the rainbow from the book of Genesis and how God keeps his promises. I thought about that rainbow and thought about my calling to be a mommy someday. Seeing that rainbow after a crazy storm gave me faith that God keeps his promises and He would keep His promise to me. I am now an Angel Mommy, and I will be an earthly Mommy someday. ❤️

My Summer 2019 Bucket List ☀️

Miscarriage

Self care is extremely important to me, and more so now since after enduring a tremendous loss in my life. This summer I am taking the opportunity to rest, rejuvenate and take care of myself. I have created a list of summer goals I hope to complete by September 1st 2019.

My Summer Bucket List

  1. Take a weekend getaway with my husband
  2. Visit Lake Michigan 3 times
  3. Go garage sailing
  4. Visit 10 different cafés
  5. Write up to 50 posts on my blog
  6. Go to Disneyland
  7. See Aladdin in theaters
  8. Commit to a weekly workout routine
  9. Reorganize and decorate my apartment
  10. Complete my internship
  11. See Toy Story 4 in theaters
  12. Visit with old friends
  13. Read 2 new books
  14. Go kayaking
  15. See A Dog’s Journey in theaters
  16. Start Eating Healthier
  17. Lose 15lbs

10 Weeks Pregnant… A Fourth of the Way There.

Miscarriage

On Monday February 18th, I hit 10 weeks of my pregnancy. At this point I had grown used to a Monday morning routine of waking up, thanking God for another day, and opening my pregnancy app The Bump to see how big baby was that week. At 10 weeks baby was the size of a strawberry. So precious. It was simply incredible to read how a little life inside me could grow and change so much in just a matter of weeks. On Monday mornings, I also got into the habit of having Charles take my weekly bump pictures to see when I would start showing. Before leaving the house for the day, I would send the picture to close friends and family. I loved being pregnant.

At exactly 10 weeks I had my first OB appointment with my midwife. To be honest… I was very emotional at this appointment. I was still feeling rather dizzy and famished no matter how much I ate. I was also starting to show which I thought was a little too early. My midwife was very kind and gentle to my emotions and boat load of questions. She gave me the same advice that Marci gave me in that maybe I just needed to add more protein into my diet. She also suggested that I drink more water, because sometimes especially when we’re pregnant, our body can signal to us that we are hungry, when in actuality we are thirsty. She also expressed to me that I may be showing if my uterus is tilted forward. I found that very interesting. My lab work also came back from the 15th of February and everything was completely normal. No gestational diabetes for me… thank goodness. We scheduled my 11th week ultrasound for Monday February 25th. I couldn’t wait! 🧡

After my appointment, my mom and I headed to Meijer to pick up some groceries. She had been such a good mom through all of this. She listened and helped me talk through my anxieties. She also answered any questions I had about pregnancy and helped make sure I got the nutrients I needed for me and baby. We bought many items that would hopefully curve my hunger including nuts, sardines, peanut butter, cheese sticks, and more. I loved having this time with my mom and peace believing I would soon start to feel better.


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A Baby Named Festus

Miscarriage

When my dad found out I was pregnant, he was overjoyed about being a grandpa. He would text me everyday about how he was gonna teach our baby how to cut wood, start a fire, pee outside and so much more. It made me excited knowing he was excited for this new role in life. At about 5 weeks pregnant, I had a few nicknames for our little bundle of joy including Fetus, Baby and Baby Rhames. Charles and I didn’t want to give any other names to our baby until we knew the gender.

One day I told my parents, “Fetus doesn’t like pizza.” As much as pizza sounded good, it never settled well after I ate it. From the moment I called the baby Fetus, my Dad instantly started calling the baby Festus. Apparently, Festus is the name of a mule from the old tv show Gunsmoke. Festus was a close variation of Fetus so that’s what he stuck with. Even though the name was a little strange… I kind of liked it. Throughout the weeks, my Dad continued to text me about baby Festus. Over time, I thought it was a cute little gender neutral nickname. I was super excited to tell our baby about their first nickname. ❤️

Valentine’s Week

Pregnancy

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

A Baby Girl

Poems, Pregnancy

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

A Baby Girl Monday November 26th, 2018

Dear Lord, why do I bother?

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

For as long as I can remember…

I have wanted a baby that I can hold forever.

This child I will one day receive,

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

I will love her with an everlasting love.

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

This will be the next generation of me,

And she will be someone sassy you’ll see.

Lord, please transform me into a mother.

And in turn, I will truly love her.


{ADVERTISEMENT) KER Creations studio is a cute baby boutique inspired by my Angel Mackenzie. In my studio I sell baby hats, baby bows, baby Christmas ornaments, Mommy and Me hats and MORE!


The First Time I Saw You

Pregnancy

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Hard Keeping a Secret Like This…

Pregnancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When it Begins to Feel Real…..

Pregnancy

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

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

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

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

“You know what that means?” She asked.

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

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

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

Sharing the News!

Pregnancy

Telling Charles…

The night I found out I was pregnant, my friend Alli and I made a late night run to the CVS store just down the road for some prenatal vitamins. Alli stayed with me for a little while as I slowly overcame my shock and talked about all that I was feeling. We later got a text from Charles saying he was on his way home.

When he arrived and after Alli left, I tried my best to play it cool. In the last five hours, I had quickly realized I am really bad at playing it cool. When Charles saw my face he immediately knew something was up.

“What?” He said frozen trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

“I’m just happy to see you.” I said trying to work my way into the conversation… instead of just blurting it out like I wanted too.

“You can’t fool me, you look like you want to say something.” He said very persistent. Crap, I knew I wasn’t able to keep it together for long. He knows me too well. We made our way over to the couch. He started organizing his backpack and setting up his saxophone. “Just tell me.” He said.

“I took a pregnancy test…. and it…. was positive.” I said very hesitant. The reason I was hesitant is not because I was afraid he would be mad, it was more because it wasn’t planned and I just didn’t know how we were going to figure all this out.

“No you’re not.” He said sternly. Well, that response threw me off.

“Yes I am.” I said reassuringly.

“Quit playing.” He said. Okay, he was obviously in denial.

“I am… do you want to see the tests?” I said. I mean I wasn’t lying. Charles was quiet for what felt like forever, but really only about a minute.

“Okay, well I’m glad you told me. We’ll figure this out.” He said calmly. That’s the reaction I was looking for. Charles continued to be in shock for the next few days, but he slowly came around and got excited.


Telling Jeanie and Reaghan…..

Thursday January 10th, I was still in shock. Honestly, I was still in shock for a good two weeks. That particular day was very busy. I went to my internship from 8 – 3:30pm and then headed to campus for a meeting of the student organization I was apart of. When heading to the meeting I was slightly thankful that I hadn’t heard from my closest friends at school in awhile. To be honest, I was kind of avoiding them. I knew if they saw me, they would read it all over my face… because we’ve already established I’m really bad at playing it cool.

I walked into the building and headed up the stairs. I stopped when I saw Reaghan sitting on the stairs talking on the phone. Why is she here? I thought. She waved hi to me and continued talking on the phone. I suddenly got really anxious and didn’t know what to do. I walked up the stairs and then saw Jeanie. Oh crap…. I’m not gonna be able to hide this. I then walked back down the stairs. I considered leaving but realized I couldn’t because I was the Vice President of this group. I then headed back up the stairs and paused midway. Reaghan stopped talking on the phone and looked at me very concerned.

“Are you okay?” She said staring at me. Uh… no, I just found I’m pregnant and I’m freaking out. But it’s cool, I’m fine. I was so conflicted, but Charles and I weren’t ready to tell people yet.

“Yeah… I’m fine.” I said and quickly headed up the stairs. I saw Jeanie and asked her to follow me. We headed to my professor’s office. Now, this professor is not like any other professor. She is literally one of my biggest cheerleaders at school. She has helped me and Jeanie both so much on personal stuff and stuff pertaining to school. Sure, her assignments stress me out sometimes, but overall she is great.

Jeanie and I walked into my professor’s office. She greeted us and said she was excited to see us. I told Jeanie to close the door because I was literally about to burst.

“What’s going on? You look tired.” My professor said concerned. I stared at her and Jeanie and just let it out.

“I’m just really stressed and overwhelmed…” I started sobbing at this point. “And I just found out that I’m pregnant.” Both Jeanie and my professor gasped and covered their mouths. It was in sync. It was great. “So yeah, I’m tired.” Jeanie and my professor both stood in shock.

“Oh my gosh… are we happy about this?” My professor asked cautiously. I continued sobbing.

“Yes, I mean I’ve always wanted kids…. I just thought it would be once I’m done with school.” I said sobbing. My professor gave me a hug. I didn’t know it at the time but Jeanie texted Reaghan during this time. Reaghan entered the office.

“You have news?” Reaghan said. Jeanie and my professor looked at me eagerly.

“Kaylee has news.” Jeanie said excitedly. Reaghan looked at me. I pulled out my phone and tried finding a picture of the pregnancy tests. Suddenly, I was startled because Reaghan figured it out.

“Is it a baby?! YOU’RE HAVING A BABY!?…. Oh Kaylee, give me a hug!” I was then tackled by a group hug by Reaghan, Jeanie and my professor.


Telling Andrea…

Okay, so do you remember that show ICarly? Well, me and my friends used to like that show as teenagers. At some point when that show was really popular they had ICarly toys at McDonalds, and for what ever reason I got a ‘magic meatball’ from McDonalds that was part of the show. The magic meatball in the show was basically a magic 8 ball,

So, on the evening on January 10th, my friend Andrea sent me a Snapchat video. In the video Andrea explained that she found the magic meatball we had when we were kids. I honestly thought we got rid of it a long time ago. In the video Andrea held up the meatball and said “Magic meatball… is Kaylee pregnant?” She pressed the button on the magic meatball and it said “The answer is no.” She then said. “The meatball said no, I guess you’re not pregnant.” The video ended and I busted up laughing. What are the odds that she would ask me that the day after I found out. I texted Andrea and decided to break the news…. After all, she is kind of the reason I took the test in the first place.

Kaylee: The meatball said no?

Andrea: Yes… guess that’s how it is then.

Kaylee: It’s inaccurate then.

Andrea: Wait What!?!? Are you for reals?!

I then sent her the picture of the pregnancy tests.

Andrea: Oh my word Kaylee I’m so excited for you!!!!


Telling my Parents…

On Saturday January 12th, the shock was slowly starting to wear off. I started doing a lot of research on pregnancy, babies, diet and anything else I could think of. As much as these different materials helped, I really just wanted to talk to my mom. Charles and I talked it over, and we agreed it was okay if I told my parents. That morning I called my mom… and I chickened out. I told her I really needed to talk to her but I hesitated and asked her just to call me later. That evening she called me, and I knew I needed to tell her.

Mom: “Hi… you wanted me to call you.”

Kaylee: “Yeah… I um… have to tell you something.”

Mom: “Okay.” It was silent. “Go ahead and tell me.”

Kaylee: “I’m scared.”

Mom: “it’s okay, tell me.”

Kaylee: “Don’t be mad okay….”

Mom: “Okay, tell me.”

Kaylee: “I umm… was three days late for my period… so…. I took a pregnancy test on Wednesday… and um it said I was pregnant, and I took a second pregnancy test and that one also said I was pregnant.” My Mom was silent.

Mom: “………………ok………sigh……….ok………what does that mean regarding school?”

Kaylee: “Um, I guess I will have to go part time or take a semester off and finish up in June 2019.”

Mom: “Okay…… Are you okay?”

Kaylee: “Yeah, I’m okay…….. Are you mad?”

Mom: “No, I’m not mad…… Can you tell you’re Dad?”

Kaylee: “Yeah” I said hesitant.

My Mom handed my Dad the phone and said “You’re daughter needs to tell you something.”

Dad: “Hello.”

Kaylee: “Hi Daddy”

Dad: “Hi Sweetie, what’s up?”

Kaylee: “Don’t be mad okay….?”

Dad: “Okay” He said sounding confused.

Kaylee: “I umm… was a little late… so on Wednesday I took a pregnancy test and it said I was pregnant. Then I took a second one, and it also said I was pregnant.”

Dad: “Okay, WOW. Well…. congratulations. I know this wasn’t planned but I’m happy for you and Mom and I will be thinking about you and praying for you.”

Kaylee: “Thank you” I started to cry.

Dad: “What’s important now is that you get in to see a doctor so you can be taken care of, okay?”

Kaylee: “Okay”

Dad: “We love you, we’re always here for you. Congratulations.”

Kaylee: “Thanks Dad.”

Well, when telling my parents I actually expected complete opposite reactions from both of them. When I broke the news to my mom she was really shocked, and even admitted it in a text that evening. I expected her to be excited right away. My Dad on the other hand, I expected to be in shock like my mom was, but instead he was excited and very reassuring.