“Puedo tener su numero del telefono? Charles said to me one day as I was gathering my things and leaving our Spanish class 5 years ago.
“What?” I said, not sure what he was saying. I tried, but I was not that good at Spanish.
“Puedo tener su numero del telephono?” He said again, and stared at me looking for an answer.
“I don’t know what you are saying… you want my phone number?” I asked confused and flattered.
“Si” he said excited. I gave him my phone number and went on my way. This was pretty much the conversation that started everything.
After meeting each other on September 4th, 2014…. we became aquaintances. We then began Spanish class buddies and eventually friends.
After asking me out 3 times, I finally said yes and Charles took me out for Indian. It was so sweet, yummy and awkward… but first dates usually are. By November 4th, 2014 we decided to make it official and become boyfriend and girlfriend…. or Novio and Novia.
We dated for a year and 8 months before getting engaged. He was so nervous as we walked through a park downtown, pulled out a ring, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him… of course I said yes. It was the best birthday present I ever received.
Exactly 3 months later, we tied the knot on November 12th, 2016. We had the perfect fall wedding with many of our friends and family in attendance. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in, and my Daddy gave me away to Charles. It was beautiful.
Before meeting Charles, I had never really considered dating someone let alone marrying someone of a different race. I have always been open to meeting new people no matter what they look like or where they come from, but I honestly just never thought I would be in an interracial relationship.
Dating Charles made me realize we were from two different worlds. There were a lot of cultural differences that I was not at all use to. A lot of slang and phrases Charles would use I didn’t understand, or had never heard before. Thanksgiving was a huge culture shock. I was used to turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fruit, corn on the cob and pumpkin pie. In Charles very soul food oriented family we had turkey, ham, fried chicken, greens, yams, corn bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cabbage. It was amazing.
When we got married I learned more things about being a black and white interracial couple. For instance people stare at us. Sometimes they are staring at us because we’re cute together, but other times they stare at us with disapproving looks… it’s very uncomfortable.
Regardless of these differences, I truly enjoy being in an interracial marriage. I enjoy being with someone who has a very different background than I, but also shares the same values. For better for worse, for rich or poor, in sickness and in health, black or white…. I love Charles so much and I am honored to be his wife.
For 4 years, this date has been engraved in my heart as a date of what ifs. I’m not going to say grief gets easier, but maybe a little less fresh. My first pregnancy was filled with dreams, promise and high expectations. Unfortunately, it ended sooner than I had prepared for or anticipated.
My daughter Mackenzie, my first angel baby was due September 16th, 2019. I have spent the last few years honoring this date, and taking time to pause and remember my pregnancy, and my baby.
This year things were so different. In the midst of teething, feedings, tears, a sleep regression, and the daily duties of motherhood… I kind of forgot about the day and it’s importance. Truthfully, In the back of my mind, I knew it was coming. But, it didn’t hit me until midway through, that the sacred due date was today.
I felt horrible.
I feel like I forgot about my baby. I didn’t mean to, but with the daily busyness and choas of life, it just happened. On the other hand when I did remember the day, I almost felt guilty, like I wasn’t being fair to my son Matthew. I am so incredibly grateful for my baby boy. I thank God everyday that he is healthy and I am able to raise him and love him earth-side. But by missing one baby, my Angel baby; I didn’t want my other baby to feel like I wasn’t grateful for him and that he is here. It’s complex and irrational thinking that I can’t seem to explain.
Today, I took my son to my Angel babies stepping stones and we laid a pumpkin gourd in honor of the day. It was simple but sweet.
Some may say I should just get over my previous losses by now. I mean, I got my rainbow baby. But it’s just not that simple. I know that without losing my other babies first, I may not have the baby that I have now. So all and all, I love my rainbow baby, my son Matthew. He is a treasure, and more than I could have imagined. But I also love my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase. Their presence was short, but their memory and my love for them lives on forever.
Today is one of the many days throughout the year that I remember all my babies, both in Heaven and Earth-side 💕
In January of 2019, my life took a turn and headed down a path that I didn’t see coming. Many of you know this story as it has been the foundation of my blog. I got pregnant for the first time. In February I suffered a loss that would not only be a defining moment in my life, but would also change the way I live my life.
After my first pregnancy loss, I spent a lot of time at home. As I grieved and healed from the loss of our baby, I spent a lot of time in my thoughts. I spent hours on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, watching other influencers on stories and in their posts.
In the summer of 2019, I put a pause on therapy. My therapist didn’t work through the summer, so took that time to really dive into what I felt my purpose and new found calling was… advocacy. I was passionate and felt led to advocate for women like me who had suffered a pregnancy loss.
In September I was ready, and I was motivated to share my story to anyone who would listen, and help those who had experienced loss. My what would have been due date was approaching, so in the midst of being passionate, I was also grieving. Then I got pregnant for a second time.
This was it. This was my rainbow baby. I was nervous but almost over confident I wasn’t going to have another loss. Things would be different this time. I went to school, went to all my appointments. I ate healthy. Everything was going to be just fine. Then at the end of September, I had my second loss.
I was numb. I was confused. I did everything right… and I still lost another baby. I beat myself up. I again had that intense passion and a little whisper in my ear that said share your story. Write a book. That was it! I should write a memoir. My blog was doing great. Why not take it a step further and start writing. The beginning of the writing process really wasn’t difficult because I just had to take bits and pieces of blog posts and turn it into a book.
In February of 2020, on a whim I created a rough draft of a children’s book that explained miscarriage in a child-friendly way. In March of 2020, I got a new job teaching, literally right before the big pandemic. In April of 2020, I graduated college. Being a new college graduate and starting a new job, my writing took a back seat.
In May of 2020, Charles and I decided to try for a baby one more time before pursuing adoption. It was frustrating, terrifying, and very much out of our control, but we said we’d give it a year.
In June of 2020, I decided to publish the children’s book I created back in February. I was touched by its’ small success and this motivated me to continue writing my story. I occasionally fiddled with my story on weekends or holiday breaks. But it wasn’t until December of 2020 that I finished my first draft.
In April of 2021, I was feeling very discouraged. We received negative test after test. It was feeling like my opportunities of being pregnant and having a baby had come and gone. At the end of that month I missed my period, and was pregnant for the third time.
For months, I had been experiencing writer’s block when it came to my book. I told myself I should have finished and published my book before I got pregnant, but that just didn’t happen. My blog continued to do well. I created stories, reels, posted pictures of my life, home decor and was hopeful to soon be sharing our pregnancy.
In May of 2021, I started telling a few people we were pregnant after having our first ultrasound. I fought morning sickness and fatigue which was awful, but also reassuring that things were likely okay with our pregnancy.
In June, I shared with the world that I was pregnant. I was hopeful that third time was it for us, and that this would be our rainbow baby. 3 pregnancies and we were finally able to make a public announcement.
In August, we found out we were having a baby boy. I was engulfed with sleepers, nursing bras, bassinets and diapers. My manuscript continued to take a back seat. To be honest, I was slightly afraid to read it while being pregnant. I knew by reading my memoir I would be reliving the pain and grief of our previous losses, and I didn’t want to do that while caring for my so far healthy third pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was actually going perfect. Every ultrasound and appointment seemed to be right on track, until October when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and November when I got Covid. This led to non-stress tests 2 times a week along with my normal OB appointments. This took up much of my time on top of working 35-40 hours a week.
We had our rainbow baby in January of 2022. Everything fell into place. My husband and I both had great jobs, and we were blessed to finally have our rainbow baby. You could blame it on hormones or endorphins, but at the time I felt like I had it all and didn’t feel a need to share my story anymore.
It wasn’t until I wrote out our birth story, and it occurred to me that there was a reason I hadn’t finished my memoir yet. Maybe my story wasn’t finished with the miscarriages. Maybe my story wasn’t only about loss and grief, but faith and hope. I pondered this for awhile and realized deep down, I still indeed wanted to write and publish my memoir.
So here we are, 8ish months after I gave birth and 3.5 years since my story began. In these times of chasing around a mobile baby, I find myself with the desire of changing my focus from influencing to writing. I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, but it’s just not me anymore. I’m ready to focus on my writing and focus on sharing my story through print.
Through this process of fine tuning my purpose, I have wrote out a few general goals/ideas I hope to pursue in the near future:
Sign up for a Writing for Beginner’s Workshop
Scrap my first draft, start fresh but also continue the story and add my third pregnancy and birth.
Back off from my blogging IG, and focus mainly on the blog.
It’s been fun being an instagrammer, but I’m ready to come back to my first love so to speak, which is writing. ❤️
The smell of a specific perfume, or the noise of a powerful laugh; the thought of a memory that happened many years ago, yet feels like was only within a few moments. The thought of missing someone so heavily that all of time stops, and your entire body grows cold.
This is grief.
I recently had a dream that my grandparents came over to my home. They were over the moon and all smiles about my son. They snuggled with him, played with him and laughed so deeply that it shook the house. They were honored to be great grandparents. They were in love with my son.
Then I woke up.
I woke up and remembered my Grandma and Grandpa were gone. Both had been gone for a few years now. One died from Alzheimer’s and the other from cancer. I remembered they were no longer apart of this life. They never got to be great grandparents and they never got to meet their great grandson.
This is when grief returns.
There are moments, I look at my son and I just can’t believe he’s mine. He’s a perfect mix of both his father and I. I can’t help but think of his siblings, the babies we had before him that we never got to meet.
Grief hits hard.
Last year when I was pregnant for my son, my best friend was pregnant with her daughter. My best friend lost her baby before 21 weeks. It was painful. It was excruciating and it wasn’t fair.
Grief has defining moments.
My senior year of high school, a girl I knew from youth group drowned. At the time I could hardly fathom someone around my age dying. How could it be? She had so much life to live and so much love to give. Why?
Grief is apart life.
Without death there is no life. Without life there is no love. With love comes risk. We risk loving someone even though we know we could lose them. Love is more than a feeling, yet with it sometimes comes loss which can be excruciating. If we don’t love we don’t live. And if we don’t live then, what’s the point?
Grief is a reminder.
As hard as it is to grieve, it reminds us of what we had. It reminds us of the good in our lives, the relationships and the memories. By grieving we aren’t forgetting those we love, we are remembering and we are honoring those gone, usually way too soon.
This post was created in December of 2019. I had a lot of hardships in 2019 that let to a lot of grief, depression and anxiety. I decided to share this post as a way to reflect on the things I’ve overcome and the strength that Jesus gave me. ❤️
This year… I feel like Job. In the Bible, in the book of Job, it talks about a man. This man had the highest integrity in all the land. He had favor and perfection in God’s eyes (Job 1:1). One day, Satan challenged God. He wanted to know if Job, this man of God with great faith, would still have great faith if he was put to the test. So, God allowed bad things to happen to Job (Job 1:6 – 12). He was put to the test. Job lost his children, was stricken with boils, felt grief, and pain (Job 1:13 – 20). Through this season of trial and tribulation, Job didn’t lose faith… but he did ask the question of why?
I ask myself this question everyday. Why do bad things have to happen? Why do we have to suffer? Why do we have to feel pain? Job asked and argued these questions with friends and with God. He wondered and pondered that as a follower and believer of God, why did he have to struggle? Why did he have to suffer? Why did he have to lose his children? If God is such a good God, why does he let these things happen? if we are followers of God, shouldn’t we be blessed for being faithful and not have to face pain and heartache? Job goes on to argue his case with God for many chapters. Through each chapter, I feel as if I too have asked each one of these questions, trying to fathom why bad things happen to good people. One question that I couldn’t really find, that I’ve asked this past year is Where was God?
WHERE WAS GOD?
Where was God through Job’s suffering? Where was God when he lost each and everyone of his children? Where was God when I lost mine? Where was God when I anticipated my second ultrasound, only to hear the words I’m sorry, but there isn’t a heartbeat. Where was God when the grief and heartache hit me as I woke up from surgery? Where was God when I was bleeding, and feeling labor pains knowing full well I was going to endure a second loss. Where was God this past year when my car got totaled, losing my job, my husband’s health, my health and all the crap I’ve had to suffer. Where was God!?!
GOD WAS THERE
As much as I don’t want to believe it, God was there. God was there through every moment of Job’s suffering, and He was there through every moment of mine. When bad things happen, he doesn’t just vanish, even though he seems so incredibly distant. He’s their, watching, and waiting. He waits to see how we will respond to a situation. In the waiting He isn’t closed off, but rather he’s there with open loving arms. It is up to us in every rough situation to run towards Him, or run away from Him. He is a just God, and He is a good God. He is perfect in every possible way, and we are sinners and honestly don’t deserve anything good. We don’t deserve good things, but he gives them to us anyway… because He is so good.
If there is one pet peeve I have, it’s not knowing the reason. When things happen good or bad, but especially bad… I want to know the reason. I want to know the reason why my babies had to die, why my Grandma died of Alzheimer’s, why I’m vision impaired, and why my brother died before I was born. I want to know the answers to all of these questions, and have wanted to most of my life. But unfortunately, I may never know. I may never know the specific reasons why bad things happen in this life. But I do believe this. We live in a sin tainted world, and we are sinful creatures. Nothing in this world is perfect, therefore bad things are going to happen. I don’t believe God inflicts bad things on his children, but I do believe he allows them to happen. I think one reason God allows bad things to happen, is so we can appreciate the good, and we can be thankful for the blessings that we receive. I also believe it is a reminder that this world is only our temporarily home. We will not be apart of this world or live this life forever, there is a perfect world ahead if we receive the grace that God has for us.
So, to bring it all full circle. I feel like Job this year. I have had a rough year of two miscarriages, a surgery, grief, losing a job, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, hypothyroidism, totaled car, and on and on and on. It has been one thing after another. 2019 has been the worst year of my life. With that being said… I know greater is coming. I have to believe that things are going to look up from here. Otherwise, I would just be giving up. This year has been hell, but has made me stronger. God allowed a lot of trials to happen this year, but I know he never stopped loving me. At the end of Job, God gave Job abundant blessings… not because he particularly deserved them, but because God loved him. Therefore, as hard as it has been, and as much as I want to give up… I won’t. Satan won’t take me out of the game that easily. I have faith 2020 is going to be great. I won’t lose faith.
In the last 2 months or so my life has been turned upside down, spun around and tossed out a window… okay, I may be a little mellow dramatic. But life has changed a lot and I am nowhere near where I thought I would be.
In late February, or early March (I can’t remember) I made the decision to be a stay at home mom. This was my dream, or at least part of it. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom and have some sort of hobby/small business out of my home. It was a hard decision to make, but one I didn’t make lightly. After I had Matthew, I knew there was no way I could leave him to go back to work unless I absolutely had to.
In April my husband quit his current job and got a new job with better benefits, and higher pay. Everything felt like it was falling into place. I was a stay at home mom living out my dream, and he was working a better job living out his. Until the economy continued to tank, the war in Ukraine began, and the outside influences started to affect our daily way of life.
My husband started commuting for his new job. It was a hour and a half away. The drive wasn’t terrible. But the gas prices started to put a toll on our finances. As prices continued to go up on food, gas and everything else, we realized that my husband was spending more money to get to work, than he was actually bringing home. At the same time we also needed new tires and a new windshield for our car. I offered to go back to work. My husband was completely against it. He wanted me to live my dream as a stay at home mom, and he knew it was ultimately better for our son if I could stay home for him… and don’t even get me started about the cost of daycare if I went back to work.
After thoroughly looking through our finances and discussing things with family, we decided to break our lease and move in with family for the time being. It wasn’t an easy decision, but we really didn’t have any other option. So in 1 week we packed up our one bedroom apartment, paid to break our lease and moved in with family.
We have been moved in for about two weeks now. Life is crazy and out of our routine, but we are safe and saving money as the world around us continues to be unpredictable. I’m hopeful life will calm down as we unpack and settle in and this will be a blessing in disguise.
This post was written back in 2019 after my first loss.
Closure…. something we all needed. On a gorgeous sunny day in June, my husband, my mom, my dad and I all created a flower garden in honor of our baby girl. We cried, had a moment of silence and planted beautiful purple flowers. My mom also bought some solar lanterns that glow at night and have a beautiful butterfly each on the inside. It all turned out beautifully tranquil.
Two weekends later we created the stepping stone. My dad, husband and I placed letters in the cement while my mom took pictures. There was some form of healing in this activity. One of my biggest fears is others not believing or cherishing my baby’s life and the fact that she was and is real. By placing letters in the cement and creating a garden and stepping stone for her, this again reaffirmed that she is real and she will always be loved.
Though the letters aren’t straight, the symbols aren’t center and it doesn’t look perfect, to me it’s beautiful. A few days later my mom said she looked out the window at the garden and saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering near the lanterns. This warmed my heart. ❤️ I’m so thankful to my parents to allow us to create a garden in their backyard, since we currently live in an apartment and don’t have the means at this time. I’m also thankful to not only my family but everyone who has shown love and respect for my baby’s memory.
As I write this, I can proudly say I have been nursing for 3 1/2 months. That’s 15 weeks, 109 days, approximately 872 nursing sessions, 218 pumping sessions and roughly 600 oz of frozen breast milk. Nursing in a nutshell has been… HARD WORK!
When my son was first born, we immediately did skin-to-skin contact and tried our first session of nursing. It was a challenge at first as we struggled with positioning and latching, but my amazing labor and delivery nurses helped me.
When we were transferred up to the Mother and Baby floor, my son’s blood sugar was checked and was reading fairly low. It was thought that since I had nothing to eat that day after my water broke at 3am and he was born around 2:30pm, that that was likely why his sugar was so low. It was also considered that my gestational diabetes was playing a factor here. I tried latching immediately when we got settled into our room but it wasn’t working. Since his sugar was low and he was exhausted from the birth, he was getting lethargic rather quickly. I became very frustrated and discouraged.
After a few minutes my nurse recommended that we try an alternative so we could get some nutrients into his body quickly. She suggested that I request some formula or some donor breast milk. I was on the fence for doing either of these alternatives as I was worried about nipple confusion. I took a moment to discuss with my husband, and we decided to go with the donor breast milk option. I decided that it was better for my baby to be healthy over latching on to me. I had my preference of course but when it came down to it, I didn’t mind how my baby was fed, just as long as he was happy and healthy.
Thankfully my son took the bottle of donor milk just fine. I felt some relief briefly only to worry about how his next feeding would go, and his next one and so on. My nurse encouraged me to try and feed him every hour to hour and a half in order to help keep his blood sugar up. They stressed that if he doesn’t wake up to eat then I needed to wake him.
Every hour from about 5pm to 2am I tried feeding my baby. Every hour we would struggle to latch for 10 minutes or so. My baby would seem disinterested and I would start crying. feeling like a failure as his mom. At one point around midnight I called my nurse in to see if she could guide me in positioning my baby so I could try and get him to latch. I had just seen her about a half hour before hand and before leaving she said “Let me know if you need anything. Don’t hesitate to hit your call button.”
When my nurse came back in, I asked if she could help me position my baby again to see if I could get him to latch. She seemed rather irritated and came over to the bed to help. Charles was doing his best to get some sleep so that I could hopefully get sleep later. After my nurse helped us latch she left the room saying “You know this is when Dad needs to assist you because we can’t keep coming in here to help you.” As she left I felt so hurt and embarrassed. I never intended to bug her, she literally just got done telling me to call if I needed help. After that I felt like I was on my own when it came to figuring out breastfeeding.
Throughout my time in the hospital, I decided to start pumping. I had read that pumping would help me increase my supply so that I could produce more milk for my baby. As my baby’s blood sugar numbers improved, his feeding schedule was moved to every 2 hours. So every hour I was either pumping or nursing. I tried latching every chance we got but during our entire time in the hospital he only successfully latched 3 times.
On the second day of our hospital stay, my son was scheduled for his circumcision. As the doctor came to take him to his procedure she did a quick exam and paused. She looked at me and said “Is he having any issues latching?” I told her that we had been struggling. She said she noticed as my baby started sucking on her finger that he had a tongue tie and that could very well be why he was struggling so much to latch. She explained that the procedure to correct it could be fixed at the same time as his circumcision. I felt some relief as she explained all of this but also fear as he had to go through another procedure, even if it was only minor. I called my husband and talked it over with him (since he was running errands) and we agreed to have it corrected.
On January 4th, we were discharged from the hospital. I was totally and completely terrified of leaving. Were we ready for this? Could we really take care of a baby that was less than 72 hours old? I was still struggling with this whole nursing thing. What if I couldn’t feed my baby? What if he needed formula? There weren’t nurses, lactation consults or doctors to check in on us and measure his weight everyday. I was fearing the worst and started down a hormonal postpartum spiral.
I think the only thing that stopped me from completely losing my mind was that my parents came to our apartment the day we came home. With the strict covid guidelines at the hospital, the only family members I had seen since being in labor was Charles and Alli. I felt some relief as my parents arrived and got to meet our baby. He was sleepy but he was happy. They instantly fell in love with him and I felt like I was doing something right.
I wrote this post two years ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. I will be thinking of all Mommies this Mother’s Day, no matter what motherhood may look like to you. ❤️
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.
On Friday April 30th at 4 something in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. With my eyes heavy, and body exhausted from the work week, I contemplated on whether or not I should take my very last pregnancy test. I was only a day or two late for my period, which wasn’t unusual for me. And to be honest I was feeling pretty defeated. I was tired of wasting my money on pregnancy tests, and getting my hopes up month after month only to receive negative after negative.
I had one final digital pregnancy test under my bathroom counter. It would expire by the next month anyway. I thought why not? It was my morning pee, and they say that’s the most accurate anyway. I peed in a cup, took the test and waited. I prepared myself for disappointment yet again. While I waited something told me to take pictures and document the moment. I figured whether the test was positive or negative, it was apart of my story that I could one day share to help others, so I did.
I watched as the test counted down, and a word flashed on the screen. I instantly thought, it’s broken it sayspregnant, where’s the not? I had grown so accustomed to reading the words Not Pregnant that it took a moment for me to realize this was a positive test. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby… and the rest is history.
I spent the next few weeks harboring this little secret until around 6 weeks when I told close friends and family. I told my job around 7 weeks and publicly announced between 11-12 weeks.
Pregnancy was one of the best and most anxious times in my life. I constantly feared we would suffer another loss, but as each week passed I started to calm down and enjoy pregnancy little by little. During pregnancy I dealt with morning sickness, sciatica, grieving for a friend who suffered a loss, gestational diabetes, Covid and a long and painful induction. Pregnancy was not easy, but overall baby and I both remained relatively healthy.
On January 2nd, 2022 God blessed us with our beautiful Rainbow Baby. Matthew is our world. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. He’s a perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy.
I share this all with you because in many ways my story has come full circle. Mother’s Day is approaching and I know first hand the feeling of dread, and grief that comes with this holiday to women who struggle with infertility and women of pregnancy loss. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I also want you to know that I am living proof that God answers prayers. He hears you. When the doctors say something is impossible, He is able to make things possible. He can turn ashes into beauty. He can do anything if we just have a little faith. I thank God for my beautiful rainbow baby every single day, and even though it was hard and sometimes excruciating, I thank God for the journey he took me on because it molded me into who I am today as a person, as a writer, and now as a mom.
If you are reading this and you long for a baby… I see you, I hear you, I was you and I’m praying for you. Remember the bigger the storm, the brighter the rainbow. 🌈 I pray you are blessed with a baby and a family of your own. It may not be the way you pictured or when you wanted but I pray it happens for you. God is bigger than anything else and He can make a way, if we just have a little faith. ❤️
The following post was written after my first loss in 2019. In this post I discuss my crisis of faith and the peace I felt when I had finally come to terms with my first loss.
So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.
Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.
When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.
“WE GOT MARRIED IN THE SAME CHURCH MY GRANDPARENTS WERE MARRIED IN 50+ YEARS AGO.”
Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.
My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.
“MY ANGER AND MY HATRED WAS SO STRONG AT MYSELF AND AT GOD.”
The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.
The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.
By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.
” I DON’T REALLY THINK I HAD ONE ‘COME TO JESUS’ MOMENT, BUT RATHER A BUNCH OF LITTLE MOMENTS…”
So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.
Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.
It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.
I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.
Mom… a simple 3 letter word that means the world to me. When I was little, I had one constant in my life. I had one person in my life that cared for and loved me every single day. I had one person that fed me, changed me, hugged me, kissed me good night, sang You Are My Sunshine, and showed me what it looks like to love someone else, and that person is my mom.
As a preteen and teenager life was pretty rough and confusing. I can recall countless times of feeling hurt and rejected by friends. I can remember many embarrassing and awkward moments, that I don’t care to share or relive. But through all the heartache, changes and confusion my mom was always there.
When I first met my husband, and I didn’t know if I should allow myself to let my guard down and actually open my heart up to someone else, my mom was there. She listened and talked me through it. She taught me what I should look for in a husband and how I deserved to be treated.
When I went through my biggest events of my life, my two miscarriages; my mom was there. My mom never left me alone. She too had suffered loss and knew full well the pain and grief I was living through. She felt my pain, she understood it, and she wore my heartbreak too.
I honestly don’t know what I would do without my mom. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. She’s amazing. She inspires me to be a good person. She has conquered so much in her young life and been dealt a pretty crappy hand at times, and yet she keeps pushing forward. She still finds joy in the little things like her playful cats, or watching America’s Funniest Home Videos on a Sunday night.
My mom taught me practically everything I know. She taught me how to love others, show compassion and empathy, how to clean, create a budget, do everyday household chores, how to read and study, she taught me how to use coupons and get a good deal, and how to turn a few simple ingredients into an amazing meal. My mom has taught me a lot. But more than anything, my mom taught me how to be a good mom. From growing up and watching her raise me, I have been able to learn how to selflessly be a good mom myself. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good of a mom as she is, but I’m learning, I’m growing and she is still there when I need help.
Mom, I know you’re reading this and I hope you know that I don’t think I can truly ever thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. For now, I think the best thanks I can give you is watching you be an amazing grandma to my son. So thank you Mom. Thanks for raising me, teaching me and loving me. I can’t wait for my baby to grow up and get to know the amazing person that I call Mom. ❤️