At my last OB apptiiontment with a midwife, I was offered some optional prenatal testing called sequential screening. The tests looks for various genetic abnormalities including Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrous, Spina Bifida and more. The test is done by looking and measuring baby through ultrasound as well as testing for different hormones through a mother’s blood draw.
I considered this test when it was first offered to me, and decided to do it for two reasons. 1) because of my history with miscarriages I wanted to know all I could about baby. and 2) with the family history of my brother dying as an infant I knew I could be higher risk for different genetic abnormalities.
On the day of the test, I was a bundle of nerves, as I always am. I went to work that morning as normal as possible. Teaching preschoolers was a good distraction for most of the day. However, as the time drew closer and closer to the test, my fears and worries started to creep up on me.
I confided in many of my coworkers, and they encouraged me and sent me many positive vibes before leaving for my test. The funny thing is, at the time I wasn’t even concerned about the results of the test or any genetic disorders that may be found. I was actually scared of the actual ultrasound. We all know how ultrasounds give me anxiety since my last two losses. I was more concerned that I had lost baby and didn’t even know it. What if baby’s heart stopped beating? What if baby stopped growing? In between work and my test I also confided in my family and friends, read my bible and did some deep breathing.
Charles and I headed to our appointment. I prayed and talked to him the entire time. Charles reassured me that everything would be just fine. When we arrived, we were called back immediately and shown the ultrasound room. Before laying down and preparing for the heated jelly, I confided in the tech and told her I was very nervous.
I laid down and prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. The tech turned on the screen, asked me some questions and began the exam. I held my breath and watched as she looked for baby. She said “There’s baby, and there’s the heartbeat.” I sighed with relief and thanked Jesus. The tech measured baby’s heart rate and it was 163. Perfect. She then started to take images of baby’s heart, stomach, head, and spine.
Baby made little movements here and there but actually looked like he or she was sleeping. The tech still had a few more images to take. She tried nudging baby with the probe and getting baby to turn or roll over… that didn’t work. She then thought she’d take a moment to look at my ovaries then come back to baby. She continued nudging baby with the probe, asking me to roll to my left then roll to my right then flat on my back. She asked me to roll quickly and roll slowly. She asked me to walk around, do some stretching, and anything to get baby to try and move.
As the tech tried nudging baby again, baby turned it’s head and looked at us. It was hilarious and obviously trying to tease the tech. Then baby started waving it’s arms and tried sucking it’s thumb. Baby even put one hand on its forehead, as if feeling irritated and trying to be dramatic. Baby was just stubborn and really wanted to nap. I told the tech during the appointment that this time of day after work is normally my nap time, so it’s understandable why baby wants to take a nap. Eventually, baby cooperated enough to where we were able to get all the photos needed for the test.
After the test I was given a bunch of pictures of our photogenic baby and sent to the lab for some blood work. I was told all of my scans and blood work would be sent to the Mayo Clinic and I would receive results from them within a week or two.
When it was time to go home, all I could do was stare in awe over baby. So many pictures. I got to see baby move and I got to see baby’s heartbeat. Charles actually enjoyed himself too because baby was starting to look like a baby! I shared the good news with my family and friends. They were excited, relieved and so happy for us.
I even shared this little update on my Facebook page as I truly want to not only share in my pregnancy with others, but also share the struggle of pregnancy after loss. I wrote:
It’s funny, now that writing is my hobby, I’m usually really good at explaining what I’m trying to say. But today, I’m at a loss for words. I guess I’ll try and speak from my heart, and maybe just maybe it will make sense. . I’m going to be completely honest, pregnancy after loss is freaking scary. Sometimes I lay awake at night worried, and over analyzing my symptoms hoping and praying baby is okay. Other times, I am happy, I am at peace and I am content. . Today, I didn’t know what I was feeling. I was hoping and praying for the best, but truthfully planning for the worse. When you’ve gone through loss you know what the heartbreak feels like and you remember the never ending grief, and in someways you never really escape it. . This afternoon we had a special appointment. I walked into the room holding my breath and giving it to Jesus. The minute I heard the tech say “there’s the heartbeat.” I knew it was all okay. . Baby is happy, healthy and stubborn! Heart rate was 163. And I’m measuring a few days early so we are already at 13 weeks! I don’t think I could have asked for better news even if I tried! Baby is okay. We are overwhelmed with joy and feeling so blessed!
On Monday, June 14th I made an appointment with my midwife to check for a UTI. I was scheduled to see a midwife a week later, but was notified that my appointment was cancelled due to a conflict with the provider.
When I got to the appointment, I explained to the nurse that I was 10 weeks pregnant, and needed to be checked for a UTI. She listened and understood. She also expressed how she found it odd that I hadn’t seen a midwife yet for the initial first pregnancy appointment. I explained I had an appointment scheduled but it got cancelled. She said she was going to try and figure something out and see if since I was already there, if they could just do everything at once.
When the midwife came in, she introduced herself and explained that we were going to get everything done that day. She asked how I was feeling and we went over symptoms. She explained different testing that I can get during pregnancy in order to test for various genetic disorders. She also did a Pap smear, checked for a UTI and STIs.
However, before doing all the hard “down there stuff” she said she was going to use a Doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to the midwife that I was very nervous about hearing the heartbeat. After having two losses, ultrasounds and dopplers give me anxiety. She told me to try and stay calm. She said I had only about a 50/50 chance of hearing the heartbeat that day since I was only 10 weeks and a couple days. She encouraged me to at least try it, and if we didn’t hear a heartbeat we could always do a ultrasound.
As I laid back on the table, I prayed to God that his will be done and that he would help in whatever would happen. She put the Doppler on my belly and searched for the heartbeat. I was fully expecting her not to find it, and after a few seconds I heard the quick swishing sound of baby’s heartbeat. The midwife said “there it is. That’s your baby” I started crying, and looked at Charles. We got to hear baby’s heartbeat. Baby was okay. Baby was growing. This was the furtherest along I had ever actually gotten in a pregnancy. I was on a high and beyond thankful. The heart rate was 166 and absolutely perfect.
On Wednesday of that same week, I had an appointment with centering. Centering was a support group offered through my hospital designed to help empower women and build relationships with other moms. I showed up to my OB office to check in with the support group 10 minutes early. I was directed to wait with the coordinator just outside the office. We waited and waited and waited. It was quite awkward to be honest. After waiting an extra 10 minutes, so 20 minutes total, we decided to head over to the classroom building.
At the classroom building I met the midwife and the community health worker. They expressed their gratitude that I came and apologized that I was the only one that showed up. They said centering was a great program, and they would do their best to try and get me in a group, with more people. The midwife said, since I came all that way, I might as well check my vitals and be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat.
I had my blood pressure taken and it was somewhat high for me 129/91. The midwife wasn’t too concerned as I did walk across the hospital campus and was kinda bombarded with information. She said after hearing the baby’s heartbeat we would check my blood pressure again. I also stood on the scale and lost a pound. She said that was completely normal especially since I had been experiencing morning sickness.
After taking my vitals, I was then moved to a bed, where they would pull out a Doppler and check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to this midwife that Dopplers and ultrasounds make me very nervous after experiencing 2 losses. She said she completely understood. She did warn me that on the Doppler she was about to use, it was very rare to find the heartbeat before 12 weeks. She said she didn’t want me to panic if we couldn’t find it. If that did happen then she would just take me back to the office to have an ultrasound.
As she pulled out the Doppler and placed it on my belly I took a deep breath. I convinced myself she should be able to find it since, they were able to find the heartbeat using a Doppler before. I prayed. The midwife searched and searched and searched but she could not find a heartbeat. She was able to detect my heartbeat over one of my arteries but she couldn’t find baby’s. I began to panic. No, this can’t be happening again. Baby was fine just two days ago. After a moment the midwife said, “Well, it’s your lucky day. We’re going to take you to get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby again.” She must have saw the panic and fear in my face because she then said “Don’t let that worry you. Like I said, this is a crappy Doppler and very hard to detect a heartbeat before 12 weeks.” I took some more deep breaths and said okay.
The midwife and I walked back to the OB office. I got settled into a room while she searched for a bedside ultrasound machine. I laid on the bed and prepared for the worst. She put the jelly and probe on my belly and looked for baby. Only a few seconds went by and she said “See! There’s your baby. You see the little flicker? That’s baby’s heartbeat. It’s beating strong. Oh look! Baby is dancing!” After hearing this I was finally able to look at the screen. Baby was okay. Baby was on the move. Baby was precious and such a gift. I took pictures of the monitor so I could show Charles later. She said everything looked great and my mind was put at ease. I thanked her for taking such good care of me and baby. She gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Before leaving she took my blood pressure one more time and it was completely normal.
What a week! At 10 weeks, baby reached two major milestones. 1) Baby’s heartbeat could now be detected on a Doppler… depending on the Doppler they use. and 2) Baby is now moving in the womb. I had never seen my baby move on ultrasound before, and it was quite a site to see. Thank you Jesus for this gift! 💕
Pregnancy dreams. Vivid pregnancy dreams of things that make sense and things that seem absolutely pointless. I’m only 4 weeks pregnant and I am having dreams about Covid, having another D & C, eating all the doughnut holes in the kitchen, spaghetti and other yummy food, chasing ducks through a thunderstorm and watching kitties play in mud puddles.
I get it. Vivid pregnancy dreams are often the cause of pregnancy hormones. If that’s the case then I’ll take them. Even though I’m starting to get morning sickness and even though my breasts hurt and I’m extremely tired; I am happy and so incredibly blessed.
Dating Charles was better than I ever imagined. Even though neither of us drove at the time of our courtship, we still found ways to spend time together through the week and on weekends. During the week Charles and I would come to school early and leave later just so we could grab a bite, study and spend time together on campus. There were a variety of dates that I loved and will cherish forever, but here a few of my favorites.
Walking the Christmas Lights
For our first Christmas together, Charles and I walked the Christmas lights in the downtown of our city. It was chilly to be walking more than an hour outside, but it was absolutely thrilling to run through the 12 Days of Christmas, and dancing through candy canes to the Grinch song. At the end of the evening we bought some hot chocolate and got to know each other.
Sunday Afternoon Lunch at Clara’s
On a variety of Sundays, Charles and I would try finding a place to eat lunch after church. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of restaurants open on a Sunday afternoon in our downtown area. One restaurant that was always open was a classic restaurant on the river called Claras. We spent many Sunday afternoons going to Claras, splitting a plate of chicken wings and enjoying each other’s company.
The Air Show/ Carnival Date
Going to the air show/ carnival our first summer together was one of my favorite dates. We had so much fun browsing through the flea market, riding the Ferris wheel and playing carnival games. One memory I do have from that day was getting conned by a Carney, but hey I guess that’s part of the experience. We ended the evening eating chili fries, and watching the hot air balloons.
Swimming in the River
One day after work, I had about 5 hours to kill before my evening class. Charles suggested that we be spontaneous and find a place to go swimming. He told me to wear my swimsuit under my clothes and bring a towel. So after work we walked all around the city trying to find a place to go swimming. Our goal was to go swimming in the local river that ran through the city. However, we wanted to find a private, and quiet location to do this. We searched and searched for about 3 hours, walking probably 6 miles and arguing a majority of the time. I was tired, hot and just wanted to swim. Charles was determined to find the perfect spot for us. Eventually, after a long brutal walk, we found the perfect location. it was a cute little area off a sidewalk near the river and the woods. Once we arrived we couldn’t wait to jump in and cool off. After jumping in we quickly realized, we had made a terrible mistake… the river was dirty and smelled like dead fish. What was even worse was I didn’t have time to go back home and shower before my evening class. And it was my internship class, something I really couldn’t skip. So, I ended up going to class smelling like dead fish. Thankfully the windows were open and no one said anything. That night I called Charles and we laughed about the whole thing.
Chinese Food after Work
When we were dating, I was working at a childcare center. Behind the childcare center there was a delicious Chinese place that Charles and I loved going to. The best part about this restaurant was the buffet. We loved it.
Coney Island Breakfast
Some morning before work, and even some Saturday mornings we went to our local Coney Island. They had the best breakfast. It was the perfect little diner for us to talk, eat omelets and enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes, Charles and I had the opportunity to babysit his nephews. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was slightly overwhelming. I really enjoyed watching Charles wrestle and have fun with the boys. Charles really enjoyed me getting to know his family.
Movie nights were probably my favorite and what we did most often. We spent a lot of time in my parent’s basement watching movies. Sometimes it was dramas or comedy’s, and sometimes it was classic Disney cartoons. I would usually end up falling asleep by the end of the movie, but we both still had a great time.
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!
On Monday November 3rd, I was a mixture of anxious and excited to see Charles. Everything in me had hopes that Charles was feeling the same way I was, and wanted to start a romantic relationship. But there was still a small part of me that feared that he just wanted to be friends.
After my first class Monday morning, I met up with Charles in the main hallway of our community college. Seeing Charles with a huge smile on his face gave me immense butterflies. I was falling in love with him minute by minute.
We sat down in the student center and discussed everything that we had already talked about over the weekend. We talked about any previous relationships we had had, what we wanted out of a romantic relationship and our intentions. We discussed boundaries, values, expectations a potential timeline and anything and everything in between. We then decided to take a day to think about everything we discussed as well as pray about it, before moving forward and officially start dating.
On Tuesday November 4th, Charles and I met in the cafe of our community college before Spanish class. Charles asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and we officially entered into a courtship (dating with the intention of marriage). We decided we did not want to rush things. We didn’t want to immediately say I Love You, hold hands or be too close. We also wanted to save our first kiss for if and when we got married. Together we decided we wanted to use this time to get to know each other, grow closer to God and be the best people we could be in school, in our families and in our relationship.
After we made it official, we gave each other a hug, took a selfie, bought two frappes and walked to Spanish completely head over heels.
About two weeks later, Charles invited me to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. Even though it was casual, I was very nervous for this family gathering. I decided to bring a plate of brownies to the meal, in hopes that it would help to make a good first impression to his family.
Charles was living at his Pastor’s house at the time we started dating. When I arrived and met his pastor, I instantly felt welcomed and at home. Throughout the day I was also able to meet his nieces and nephews as well as his sister and other close family friends.
At this family gathering, I was able to get a little taste of an old fashioned southern Thanksgiving. The food was amazing. There was fried chicken, turkey, ham, cabbage, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, corn, and mashed potatoes. It was amazing. The best part of the day was his nieces and nephews. My brownies were a huge hit with his family and even one of his nephews said they were “divine”
Celebrating our first holiday together was a lot of fun, and definitely one for the books.
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. 💕
Over the next few weeks, Charles and I continued going on dates over the weekends and texting late every night. We quickly developed a very innocent and special friendship. On our second date, Charles and I enjoyed a beautiful autumn stroll in the park. After the date, Charles got to meet my dad. It was honestly, just as awkward as I expected. Charles was a true gentleman and introduced himself to my dad. My dad made jokes, tried to be intimidating and asked Charles many, many questions.
After the awkward meeting with my dad, we joined my parents at our local pizza parlor. Charles and I both ordered pizza calzones, that were bigger than our heads. I took two bites of it, and had to get a to-go box, as I was way too nervous to eat. Regardless, of my nerves and the occasional embarrassing moments at dinner, it was all-in-all a good date.
About a week before Halloween, Charles and I were texting late in the evening. I asked Charles something that had been on my mind for awhile, that I didn’t know how to bring up.
Kaylee: So, what do you think we are to each other?
Charles: What do you mean?
Kaylee: I mean do you think we’re friends or special friends?
Charles: I don’t know. I’ve never really had a best friend before. But yeah. I guess we’re friends.
As I texted Charles, I realized I wasn’t being completely clear as to what I was asking, therefore he didn’t know how to answer my question.
Kaylee: Do you see this going further?
I realized I was still being vague, but I was too chicken to come out and say You want to be boyfriend and girlfriend? I am also old school and felt it was his job to ask me… even though, I was dying to know.
Charles: I’m not sure.
I ended up changing the subject to something else. I was afraid I would scare him away with my questions and felt embarrassed for even bringing it up. I told myself I wasn’t going to bring it up again, I was just going to let things play out.
On Halloween, my friend Andrea and I made a spur of the moment trip to her family’s cabin up north. We planned to leave Friday, after I got out of work at 5. I told Charles I was going and he was very excited for us. My mom and Charles took me to Andrea’s house so we could leave right away. It was very exciting to have a guy see me off on a trip,
When my mom dropped me off, I gave her a hug as she told me to be safe and have fun. Charles helped me with my bags and walked me to the front porch. There was a slightly awkward moment as he looked at me, not sure how to say goodbye. He said…
“Well, I hope you have a great time. Be safe, and I will see you when you get back.” He smiled at me, not sure what to do next. Again, I was sheltered, and homeschooled. This was all new to me. Not only was this awkward because we were obviously both smitten and staring at each other, but my mom was also watching from the car, and Andrea and Alli’s dogs were barking at us from the window. Thankfully, Andrea opened the door, and the dogs ran out to greet us, which broke the awkward moment. Andrea said hi to Charles, and they had a quick get to know you conversation.
Charles and I again stared at each other. Charles put his arms out, as if to offer a hug. I gave Charles a hug, and fell even more for this guy that had become such a good friend, and huge presence in my life. We said goodbye, and I walked into the house.
Alli was standing at the counter, out of breath as if she had just ran three miles. She told me she had frantically cleaned because she wasn’t sure if Charles was going to come inside. I found it so funny, that she tried to make a good first impression for the guy that I liked.
On the way to the cabin, I told Andrea all about Charles. I told her about how we met, the different dates we had been on, taking Spanish together and everything in between. Of course, I had told her all of these stories before, but I couldn’t help but talk about them over and over again.
We arrived at the cabin around midnight. We unloaded our bags, filled the wood stove and ate a quick dinner. We spent the evening talking and updating each other on life. From the moment we left for the cabin, the whole trip felt like it was going to be special and truly unforgettable.
The next morning, I woke up to the smell of brewing coffee, and the sound of Christmas music, flooding the cabin. It was officially November, so Andrea was quick to turn on the Christmas music. The first full day at the cabin, I’m pretty sure we did some thrift store shopping, and admired the beautiful changing leaves of November.
Later in the afternoon, Andrea and I drove to the nearest small town store that was famous for its’ jerky, and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our clothes and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt bad, but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay. As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help.
After the firefighters left, I texted Charles and told him what happen. Charles called me immediately to make sure I was okay. I felt a bit awkward talking on the phone, as I had never heard his voice over the phone before. I found it very sweet Charles called to check on Andrea and I. After getting off the phone with Charles, we continued texting. Charles took me completely by surprise at where he directed the conversation.
Charles: Do you think we’re more than friends?
I was completely taken a back and had no idea what to say.
Kaylee: I consider you a very good friend. Why?
Charles: I’d like to think that your my girlfriend. What do you think?
Kaylee: I’d like to be your girlfriend.
At the time, I had no idea how deeply focused I was in my texting conversation with Charles. Andrea asked me what was going on and why I was smiling so much. I started blushing and tried so hard not to get ahead of myself. I told her everything and tried to stay calm and use caution. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to be completely honest and up front with my boundaries, values and expectations when it came to dating, and being pursued by a man.
I told Charles how I had never had a boyfriend before. I had never been kissed and never even held hands with a guy. I also expressed to him that I was not one to be quick in giving my heart away. I had always wanted to be in a courtship and go into a relationship with the intention of marriage, instead of just dating to date. I wanted to date with a purpose, and I wanted to be in a relationship that was honoring to God. After expressing this to Charles, I knew it was going to be either make it or break it. He was either going to be completely on board or I would completely scare him off. I nervously waited for his response.
Charles: Okay, I can understand that. I would like to talk more about this on Monday before class.
That night, I stayed up late talking to Andrea. I went over every scenario of how Monday would play out between Charles and I. I worried that I had scared Charles off, and he just wanted to tell me in person. I worried that I was going to try and end things on Monday because I wanted to avoid getting hurt. I worried that even if things continued into a relationship, that it still may not end in marriage, but with heartbreak.
Before going to sleep, Andrea said something that gave peace. She said:
“With love there is always a risk. Yes you could start a relationship and break up or you could start a relationship and eventually get married. Either way there is a risk, and there is no guarantee you won’t get hurt. But no matter what decision you make, I’ll support you.” Andrea said a quick prayer and we both fell asleep.
The next day, Andrea and I took a quick hike near the cabin, packed up and headed home. On the way home we continued talking about boys, listening to Christmas music, and enjoyed the end of our much needed girl’s weekend away. For the rest of Sunday, I pondered how things would happen when Charles and I would find each other and have our Define the Relationship talk Monday morning.
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.
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. 💕
A few weeks went by, and Charles and I began talking and getting to know each other in class and through text. I tried very hard not to get my hopes up or read into anything. As a very reserved, previously homeschooled girl, I had never had this kind of friendship with a guy before. Because of this I was constantly questioning, what does this mean? Is Charles interested in me as more of a friend, or does he just want to be friends?
I was secretly asking myself these questions daily. As much as I wanted to be pursued I tried to stay grounded and enjoy this season of friendship and what ever it lead to. I was quite content in this thinking for awhile, until Charles would say things that would throw me off. For example, he would casually mention how we should hang out sometime outside of school. Or our professor would say something about food, and Charles would say that we should go together sometime. Because he said these things so often, I was under the impression it was his way of asking me out. But I also doubted myself, and thought I was just reading too much into it.
When ever Charles would mention, hanging out and going out to eat together, I never really answered him. I wasn’t answering him to be mean, I just didn’t know if he was serious or what we were to each other. At the time we really hadn’t had a define the relationship talk. All I knew is that, I was really starting to like Charles, maybe even more than a friend.
One Thursday morning in October, I headed to my Spanish class. I got to the door when I noticed a note saying our class was cancelled. I was super excited to not have class, and have extra time to work on some homework. I started to text Charles to let him know class was cancelled, when I saw him making his way down the stairs. He was walking and talking with another female classmate.
I’m not going lie. When I saw him, I was crushed. I told myself I got my hopes up for nothing. He’s just a friendly guy. He probably just wants to be friends. He’s not interested in me in the way I was hoping.
The three of us looked at the note. Charles was mad our professor didn’t email us, and he came to school for nothing. Our other classmate decided to go home, and it was just Charles and I standing in the hallway.
Despite the fact that I was questioning our friendship, I still really wanted to spend time with Charles. Charles said he had nothing to do for three hours until his next class. I had work in two hours. I knew it would be a wise decision to go find a quiet spot in the library and catch up on some homework. But, my gut and my heart told me to ask Charles to hang out. I almost didn’t say anything. But I knew the worst he could say was no, so I gave it a shot.
“I have a couple hours before I have to go to work, do you want to hang out in the student center?” My voice was shaky, but I was trying so hard to be brave.
“Okay” Charles said smiling. We then headed to the student center. I was dangerously smitten, still not sure what to think.
The intention was to sit in the student center, grab a bite to eat, have some light convesation and do some homework. That did not happen. Charles and I sat for two hours talking. I forgot to eat and we never pulled out our homework. We talked about everything from school, to our faith, to childhood, to family, to friends, to food. Charles again mentioned that we should go out to eat sometime. I pondered his question for a moment. Since I was already feeling brave, I decided to give him an answer.
“Okay, we can go out. When would you like to do it?”
Charles seemed surprised that I actually said yes. It must have thrown him because he didn’t say anything for a minute. After a long pause he finally said,
“Sorry, I’ve never done this before.” He then seemed to get nervous and not sure what to do next. “Well, you said you’ve never tried indian food before, and there’s a new Indian restaurant that just opened. Would you like to go there?”
I told him yes. It then became kind of awkward as we ironed out the details. We discussed how this is considered a date for the both of us. Charles mentioned that he wanted to do it after he would get paid that Friday, and we determined a date and time.
Our first date was planned for Saturday October 10th at 6pm. This only gave us both two days to prepare. I was so excited but so incredibly nervous.
On Saturday morning, I did some studying and went out to brunch with my momma. We had a very enjoyable meal talking about boys, dating and just growing up. I was super thankful to have this time with my mom before my very first date.
Around 4pm I started to get anxious, and had no idea what to wear. I settled on wearing dress pants, a nice shirt and my favorite jean jacket. I also spruced up my outfit with a little bit of perfume and some jewelry.
After scheduling our date, I made arrangements with my best friends Andrea and Alli to also come to the restaurant we were going to eat at. I did this because 1) I still didn’t know Charles all that well and I wanted to make sure I had a way to leave the date if things went south. 2) I was extremely nervous, and felt it would help me knowing somebody I knew was nearby and 3) this was a first for me and I needed the support and a little gentle push from my friends.
Around 5:30, my mom drove me to the Indian restaurant where I was planning to meet Charles. On the way to the restaurant I continued blabbering on to my mom about how nervous I was. When we turned on to the street where the restaurant was I began I get huge butterflies. This is stupid. This is so stupid. Why am I doing this? Just when I was deep in my thoughts about this whole thing, my mom said…
“Oh look, I see your friend!?” And just like that sheer panick came over me. I freaked out and yelled to my mom.
“Ah, mom I’m not ready for this! Drive!” I startled her with my response, and she continued driving trying to calm me down. As we continued driving we passed Charles walking to the restaurant. I asked my mom to circle the block a few times, as I still needed a few minutes. She tried her best not to laugh at my ridiculousness and kept driving.
About a minute later I received a text from Alli, asking why we passed the restaurant. I then realized that when my mom said she saw my friend she was referring to Alli and not Charles. I was obviously not thinking clearly as I realized my mom hadn’t even met Charles yet, so she didn’t know what he looked like.
I took a few minutes in the car to calm down, and let my mom pull into the parking lot of the restaurant. I greeted Alli at the front door, and she had a huge grin on her face. She asked me what happen and I told her the whole story. She laughed and told me everything was going to be fine, I then as politely as I could told Alli to go inside since Charles was coming. She looked at me confused.
“No, I’m going in with you.” I looked at her dumb founded.
“No you’re not, Alli he’s doesn’t know you’re coming.” At the time I was so nervous I didn’t realize how rude I probably sounded. My best friend took time out of her day to do this for me and I was acting like a brat. Alli, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry I was so rude that night and made you sit at a booth by yourself. I love you and I’m also sorry if I never apologized until now for that. 😭
Eventually, Alli went inside and sat at a table. Charles met me at the front door of the restaurant. He greeted me, told me I looked beautiful and held the door open for me. We made our way inside, and were seated at a table right away. Charles and I sat at a booth in some awkward silence. We nervously smiled at each other then buried ourselves into our menus.
After we ordered our food, I had nothing to hid behind, so we were forced to talk. Once we got over the initial awkwardness of this being a date, we started to have fun. We talked about the usual things, faith, school, family, and future plans. We both had some very yummy curry and both were creeped out by our waiter.
By 8 o’clock we were both full and tired. Alli was getting ready to leave as things were coming to an end, and my mom was almost at the restaurant. I offered Charles a ride home and a chance to meet my mom. He agreed and we both walked out to the car. Charles was friendly and polite to my mom. He thanked her for letting him take me out and said he appreciated the ride. When we got to his house he said goodbye to my mom and said goodbye to me. Everything was adorably perfect…. until he went to close the door.
He said: “Goodbye Ma’am, goodbye Kylie.” And shut the door, I felt embarrassment for him. Kylie? Did he forget my name?
Once I got home, I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up late talking to my mom all about our date. It was nice to have her perspective and I was thankful she was able to meet him. She said he was very nice, very educated and she could tell he really liked me and I really liked him. We both laughed at the fact that he called me Kylie. I was really hoping we just didn’t hear him right.
Around 12am, when I was getting ready for bed, I received a text from Charles. He said he had a really nice time, and he hoped I did too. He texted GoodNight Kaylee, and again I had butterflies.