Mom of Fame – Brooke: Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Brooke is another amazing mom we were so happy to interview for our Down Syndrome Awareness month! She found out that her son, Ashton,  was “rocking an extra chromosome” while she was pregnant and hasn’t stopped advocating for him since! She talks about how important it is to put your marriage first, what it was like having a baby who needed open heart surgery, and how her son gave her a strong voice. Please help us welcome Brooke into our Mom of Fame, she’s another mama who definitely deserves it!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My name is Brooke and I married my high school sweetheart, Jesse, 6 years ago on October 12th, 2013. We grew up in Wisconsin and went to college there. We now live in Littleton, CO and we love to hike and snowboard and spend time outside with our dog and son. We expanded our family on February 8th, 2019 with our son, Ashton Thomas, who rocks an extra chromosome.

Miller Family Picture Church

What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

I think the best advice I was given from a friend and from our church was to put our marriage first and to show each other love so that our son has a good example. Another piece of advice was to not lose ourselves in our child. We still spend time with friends and do our hobbies with and without him. Getting in date nights is so important!

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I think motherhood is more difficult but more rewarding than I expected. Ashton has a ton of appointments and went through open heart surgery. Having a special needs child can be exhausting in that aspect. But, his one smile will turn around your entire day. I never want to stop snuggling him.

Ashton 8 months

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I believe my three strengths are advocating for him, juggling working full time and being a mom, and finally showing him love. I know he can feel how much we love him already.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

There have been a million moments already of feeling overwhelmed, and he is only 8 months old! I think the most stress was the week of his open heart surgery. It was so difficult watching him wean off pain meds and not being able to hold him for days. He developed chylothorax, so I was unable to breastfeed him for weeks and I felt like we kept getting kicked while we were down. Now, he is an excellent nurser and he is so strong and recovered much faster and better than I ever would.

Ashton fall

Is there anything you feel you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I have really tried hard to maintain my work, my relationships with my friends and family and my husband, along with my hobbies. We have had difficult moments juggling time together as a family and time alone as husband and wife. Luckily, our parents have been very helpful in watching Ashton so we can have time alone. I think I have gained a strong voice that I didn’t know I had with advocating for him and shouting his worth.

What do you want your child to learn from you?

I want Ashton to learn to love and accept all people, no matter what they look like or believe in. I want him to be kind to everyone and to grow up knowing Jesus and to have a strong faith. I hope he finds a passion later in life and will find a career that he loves.

Ashton elephant

Since it is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, what is the most important thing you want people to know about Down syndrome or about being a mom to a child with Down syndrome?

I want people to know how awesome Ashton is and that my life is not any worse than a mom of a “typical” child. Yes, we have more appointments and stress about his health, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He is so perfectly him and his extra chromosome makes him so happy, sweet and loving.

Ashton motherhood shoot

Birth Stories: Emergency C-Section Vs. Planned C-Section

Written By: Naomi Legault

Jax: 4 years old

When I found out I was going to have my first baby, Jax, I started on a planning frenzy. I had to find out the gender as soon as I could to plan out the nursery, choose my stroller colour, buy clothes and more! For all the research I did, the one plan I didn’t think about as much was the birth plan. I had no idea what to expect, so my plan was to just go to the hospital and have a baby when it was time. I did have a lot of unanswered questions: What does a contraction feel like? Will my water break? Where will I be when it happens?

I’ll never forget being wheeled over to see Jax, my heart was exploding.

I was about 10 days late. It was torture for me because I hate the unknown; obviously problematic when having a baby. Turned out that I had to have a membrane sweep to move things along, a couple of days later I started having contractions. I never knew what they would feel like but once they came, oh boy! It was super early in the morning, I started timing them, showered, and did some minimal make up (in extreme pain). I don’t even know how I did it because when I was trying to get dressed it felt impossible. My mother-in-law was visiting at the time, and said “you need to go NOW”.

When we got to the hospital, I finally had some relief. I can’t say enough good things about the hospital that I was at but I had unfortunate luck with my first nurse. I was in so much pain and she basically told me that I wasn’t going to get any sympathy from her since she had four kids. Luckily I got an epidural and much better nurses. Makes all the difference!

Finally Jax in my arms.

Once the epidural kicked in, I just waited for things to progress. After 8 hours of labour we needed to have an emergency C-section. For starters, dilation wasn’t progressing and then actually began to reverse. I also had a very high maternal fever and the baby had pooped inside. So at this point, the doctor said we need to get this baby out now or it’s dangerous for mom and baby.

It all went so fast and before I knew it Jax was born! It was a bit scary for me because, again, I didn’t know what to expect. He came out looking blue which is apparently very normal but we were a bit worried. They needed to work on him a bit with his breathing and monitored him closely. When I finally got wheeled over in the bed to see him he turned his little head as soon as he heard my voice. My husband and I couldn’t believe it.

And just like that, I was a mom.

Leaving the hospital with Jax.

Hudson: 2 years old

When I found out I was pregnant with Hudson, I immediately knew that I was NOT up for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). There was no way I was going to spend 8 hours in labour only to find out that I needed another emergency C-section. Having it planned was an odd feeling but I did enjoy knowing when he was coming and likely no surprises. The other great part was… no contractions! How could I turn that down? Other than my miscarriage, I had never experienced such horrific pain!

Welcome to the world, Hudson.

About a week before I was scheduled to deliver, I started having extreme high blood pressure and was in and out of the hospital that whole week on bed rest. I really wished at that point that they had done the C-section early but no such luck. That said, it may have been any doctor on call and I wanted to wait for mine. I felt like I knew what to expect with the second C-section, but it was a little bit longer since it wasn’t a rushed emergency. Certainly not a pleasant experience overall but nor is pushing (I bet).

We women are tough cookies, aren’t we?

Time to go home, Hudson

Recovery wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either, especially the second time around, when I also had a toddler in tow. Luckily both times my husband had two weeks off and I had lots of family to help me.

There you have it, blessed with two beautiful, healthy boys, Jax and Hudson, 4 and 2 years old. I can’t imagine my life without them!

Two best buds settling in at home.

Mom of Fame – Naomi

Naomi is the epitome of a fun mom. She has two toddler aged boys and she’s always taking them somewhere or doing something exciting to keep them entertained. Because of this she decided to start a blog to give other moms ideas of things to do with their own kiddos. We were so excited that Naomi agreed to share some of her expertise with us, all the way from Canada!

She talks about why she loves being a stay at home mom, why moms just need to accept help and how she keeps her boys healthy. Please help us welcome her into the Mom of Fame and be sure to check out her blog at the link below!

Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.

We are a family of four living in Ottawa; Canada’s capital city. My husband John, myself (Naomi), and our toddler boys, Jax aged 4 and Hudson aged 2. We certainly have our hands full with our boys who are so full of energy, they keep us busy all day long! I was a working mom, now turned stay at home mom, and I absolutely love it. I never thought I would be but I’m feeling so fortunate that I’m able to stay at home. My eldest, Jax, will start school this September and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. I’m happy I got to spend all this time with him before he goes to school. Jax is a January baby so he will be one of the older kids in school and starts later which gives us more time together. Hudson too, being a February baby.

I started my blog in the summer of 2018. Since I had Jax in 2015, a friend of mine kept encouraging me to start a blog. I always shrugged it off, until more people started suggesting it since I was always out doing fun activities. Everyone said I might as well write about it and finally I thought, hey why not! I am truly enjoying it and have loved connecting with other mom bloggers all over North America.

What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it?

Accept the help! People will naturally want to help, so take the frozen lasagna and accept the babysitting for a nap. Have your friend over who also went through a breastfeeding nightmare in the beginning. I listened a wee bit but I’m guilty of not accepting help. My neighbour and friend were wonderful in helping me with my breastfeeding challenges and I was able to breastfeed both children for the first year.  

Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

Absolutely, 110%. That’s what friends and family are for.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

Honestly I don’t think I ever had any foresight into motherhood. I knew it would be harder than my childless life and it certainly is. You’re trying to keep your precious ones alive and thriving.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Firstly I like to think I’m a fun mom. We are always somewhere on the daily. Whether it be a play center, a museum, a pumpkin patch, an apple orchard, winter festival…you get the picture! I love being out and about, and they are always having so much fun so it makes me feel good to know they are getting the most out of life (even at an early age).

Keeping my kids healthy and active. I try my best to introduce them to new healthy foods and recipes regardless of resistance from one or both. We keep active with soccer, swimming, gymnastics and more. They have even started to exercise with me.

Last but not least I’m nurturing in general and to their personalities. I let them try different things to see what they’re excelling at and provide accordingly.

Describe a time you were completely overwhelmed as a mother?

Probably the early days of bringing a newborn home with a 2-year-old around. Trying to breastfeed with a toddler was chaos. Luckily, like anything else in life, we eventually found our groove.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since  becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I’ve gained everything and can’t imagine my life without my kids. What I have lost, is the ability to just leave and do whatever I want at any moment of time. The ability to just go to the mall and shop for three hours. It’s just not that easy with kids in tow. It’s amazing how errands without children feel now! It’s such a luxury and I’ve lost free time essentially, but doesn’t everyone when they have kids? At nap time it’s a decision between laundry, or forget it and just relax. One thing I know is that I will miss not having that free time when they are older and don’t want their mom during teenage years, or when then go to college or university should they choose that path.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

Empathy, respect and compassion. I pride myself on these qualities and as a mom, bullying worries me so much. All you can do is teach your kids life lessons and hope that they take it all in. You never know your child might be the bully and you must work with it. Kids can be cruel and it’s a scary world unfortunately.

I also want them to continue to learn safety rules because I truly believe you can never be too safe in this world. There are terrible people in our world and we have to try to keep our kids prepared and as safe as possible.

Pregnancy the Second Time Around

Exciting news in our household! We are expecting our second child! It’s crazy how different this time around has been. You don’t really have much time to think about what’s happening or to slow down even for a second.


You also feel so many more emotions.

Excitement. Nerves. Excitement. Anxiety. Excitement. Guilt. Excitement. This is how my brain worked when I found out I was pregnant with my second child.

  • Excitement over bringing another amazing life into this world.
  • Nerves about how I was going to do it all (working, two kids, photography).
  • Excitement over growing our family.
  • Anxiety about how I was going to love another baby as much as I love Ben.
  • Guilt. So much guilt. Weird, right? I have guilt and excitement for the same reasons.
  • Extreme excitement for Ben to get a sibling. A built in friend.


My little family is incredibly excited to start this new chapter in our life. We are insanely blessed and cannot wait to bring this little one into the world.

Moms of two – Any advice?! Ben is still coming around to the idea of a sibling. He obviously doesn’t ‘get’ it yet, but is always saying ‘no, thanks’ when we ask him if he wants a brother or sister!!


Mom of Fame – Melissa

Walking into Melissa’s home we were greeted by her two little girls. Her little boy was busy in the other room watching one of his favorite shows. The girls came in and out showing us some dance moves and wanting to be involved in the conversation.

All the kids were happy to pose with their mom for photos and you could clearly tell how enamored they all are with her. Being the mom of three little ones can be such a crazy ride, but Melissa organizes everything with such ease (at least it looked like it to us). She even showed us her organizational wall; a place where the calendar is located (so no one misses a thing), book bags are hung and homework and forms go.

She might have three little children and work out of the home, but you would never see any sort of stress on her face. She takes it all in and she makes everything look easy. She deserves the title of Mom of Fame!


What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

I thought about this. I guess it depends on what age, I feel like it changes. As babies, and I was a nanny before so I feel like I knew a little bit, to get a schedule and stay on it. That really worked for us. I always did that and that was such good advice. I always had a bedtime and all my babies went down at that bedtime. It always worked. We always did naptime at the same time of day and we just kept on a schedule. Still to this day, we go to bed at a certain time during the school year and a certain time in the summer. We keep to our schedule and I never had the problem with  my kids having a hard time going to bed. Everyone just knew it was bedtime and went to bed. It made my life really easy.

[I] sometimes [give that advice to other people]. I don’t feel like I’m quick to give advice. If someone asks me to I will, but I don’t know if I’ve ever given it out. Everyone has their own way of doing things and what works for you doesn’t work for everybody.


How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

It’s way more tiring than I ever imagined it would be. You think you can do it all, but you can’t. I don’t know how any mother does it as a single mother. It’s more than you think it will be. That’s the biggest difference. It’s more work than you expect. It’s worth it! And I always think to myself, “in 15 years I won’t have all of this work anymore and I’m probably going to miss it!” So it’s okay.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

So this one was hard. First I thought…

Multitasking and being organized. I feel like that’s a big strength. I work from home and I’m balancing clients, and the kids, and my kids play sports and they dance. I can keep it all under control.

Then after that, I was like, “I don’t know…what else?” So in my group chat I asked my girlfriends. I said, “you guys, what are my strengths!? I don’t even know!” And surprisingly everyone says…

Patience. I don’t think of myself as being patient. But my girlfriend said, “I didn’t think of you as being patient either until you had children. And you are so patient!” So I guess I’m patient!


Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

I feel like I’m overwhelmed a lot. The biggest overwhelming time was when I had [my daughter] and [my son] was 20 months old and she got really sick. I remember we spent two weeks in the hospital with her, from 3 weeks old to 5 weeks old. I felt so overwhelmed and so bad because I had a 20 month old at home and I stayed at the hospital every single night. It was awful. I just felt so guilty that I wasn’t with [my son] at home and then I felt so guilty even if I left the hospital to go shower. Even though my sister would come stay at the hospital I would come home and shower, see [my son], and go back. That was the most overwhelming two weeks ever. Just not knowing what was wrong with your baby and trying to be a mom to another baby, you feel like you’re neglecting because you’re not there.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

Not really, I really don’t know. I feel like I’m the same person, but better! You grow up. Even if I wasn’t a mom I’m sure I wouldn’t want to be doing the same things I was doing before. I don’t feel like I lost anything really.

Obviously I gained patience, that my friends never thought I had before [laughs]! I’m able to juggle things now. I gained, obviously, children.


What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I thought about my girls, I really hope that they get friendships like I have. And for [my son] too, but as a girl, as a woman to have those amazing friendships with other women is priceless. I’ve grown up with my best friends my entire life and just having them to back me up and to have someone else to talk to and to be able to share your experiences with. I really hope that for my girls, especially. I hope that they learn to be kind and nice people.

You have three small children, you work from home, you have a million friends and you seem to always be doing something fun. How do you prioritize your life with everything you have going on?

I don’t know if I’m always doing something fun! [Laughs]. So working from home with three kids is super hard. It’s a struggle. Weekly I’m struggling. My kids aren’t old enough yet to technically fend for themselves in the house while I work. So having to always have a babysitter here or have somebody here or try to schedule my work around who has dance, who has whatever. It’s a daily struggle. I’m lucky that my mom lives [close], my sister lives down the street, I have 15 and 16 year old nephews that will babysit for me. I have people to help me out. I couldn’t do it without that. That’s probably the most difficult to balance is working from home.

Obviously our kids are the number one priority. And work. But I also make my friends and our family, our relationships a priority too. I just try to balance it all. It’s a little different with my girlfriends now. It’s not like, “oh, let’s go out to dinner!” We hang out with our kids. So it’s quality time, but it’s hectic when you have 12 kids running around and you’re trying to talk. So I still try to do stuff, but it’s different stuff now. It’s not always easy, but I make it work. You just make it work!

Mom of Fame – Lisa


We both met Lisa when we were going to college at Michigan State University. She is a completely genuine person, has a great sense of humor and has fun wherever she goes. We can tell she is using those same traits to her advantage when it comes to motherhood.

We met her at a park near her house where she says they basically “live” during the summer. Her 2 year old daughter and 5 year old son had to walk right by the playground to come sit with us (basically torture.) But they were good sports and even took a few pictures before they went to go play with their dad. It gave us some time to have a great chat with their mom. 

She is a teacher who spends her days taking care of other people’s children (middle-schoolers—scary, right!?) and the rest of her time taking care of her own! We had so much fun interviewing Lisa and found ourselves laughing the whole time. She talked about having her first-born while living away from her family, dealing with medical issues, and how she stays calm amidst the chaos (lots of singing—especially Christmas music)! She is an amazing mom and you can see it on both of her kiddos’ faces. Welcome to the Mom of Fame, Lisa, you definitely deserve it!

What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

I think the best piece was when I was told, “the days are long but the years are short”. Because when my son was born he was a hard newborn—he was colicky and had allergies, it was hard. We were up 5 or 6 times a night and I would remind myself of that. Like, this time is long right now but it’s not going to be like this forever. They sleep eventually [laughs]. And now he’s going to kindergarten. I’m like, “oh my gosh, how is he going to kindergarten already!?”

It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.

I would [give that advice to other people]. I think it just reminds you to appreciate the time. It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.


How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

When I was pregnant with my son not many of my friends had babies and we lived in a different state at the time so I don’t think I really had an example of friends with young kids to watch. I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t know that I even had a “this is what it’s going to look like”. We were kind of winging it daily. I read all the pregnancy books, but I never read the “now you have a kid” book. Which was probably a mistake. But I’m really happy with our family and how things are. This is how I wanted it to be. I think everything is actually really good. We have a fun time together.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I’m a pretty calm person. Even when the kids are upset I’m usually pretty calm through it and it helps to calm them down sometimes. Even if I’m kind of flustered I try to remain calm. I read somewhere once to sing to your kids, at times when they’re [upset], especially as babies. I just remember with diaper changes, the kids going nuts on the diaper table and I would just sing. And I read that it was more for you than for them. So sometimes I just sang whatever I wanted! It was a lot of Christmas songs, whatever month it was!

I’m a determined and hard-working person. I think in raising them already I’ve been pretty determined about things. I gave up milk protein because I was really determined to nurse [my oldest]. I feel like that’s a good lesson for my kids; I want them to be determined, hard-working people. I hope that’s a strength.

We have a lot of fun. I feel like we’re always doing stuff. We live [at the park] pretty much. We just always look for fun activities, even if we’re just at home. We do dance parties and “fun wrestling”. I just hope my kids are having a lot of fun because I feel like we are.


Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

Ohh, let me think [laughs]. I think overwhelmed is when they’ve been medical issues—beyond the daycare colds that they all get.

When it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming.

We’ve done the hospital visits, stayed overnight at the hospital, we’ve done specialists. [It’s overwhelming] when it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming. I feel like we’ve generally been pretty calm through it and then afterwards we were like, “oh my God, that was really scary!”

In the day to day, I feel like going back to work when they were babies was an overwhelming time, too. Because both kids went on sleep strikes then. So just working and functioning and hopefully doing good at your job. I think the medical stuff has always been harder, though.


Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

No! [Laughs]. I don’t know. Free time! And sleep. I don’t feel like I’ve actually slept in five years!

[I’ve gained] everything. This is just my life now. The kids are my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I want them to learn to be kind people and caring and hard-working. I just want them to know that they’re very loved. We moved back to Michigan so that they could be surrounded by family. So there’s a lot of people that love them and see them. I just want them to know that they’re loved and share that love. I want good people. You want the world for your kids, right?


What was the difference in having your first child in North Carolina (and away from family) and your second in Michigan (with family around)?

It was harder [in North Carolina], for sure. [Our first] was colicky and difficult and we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. We never had a break. The first time we left the house without him was months and months in because we didn’t know who to get to babysit him. It was different because there wasn’t a ton of support. People flew down to see him but then they would go back. I remember when people left the first time I was just crying and my husband went to work too and I was like, “oh my God, everybody left me with a baby here. By myself.”

In Michigan [with my second] we had a lot more support. People came to the hospital to see her. That was nice. I remember in North Carolina my husband had to leave the hospital while I was in labor to go take our dog to the kennel. When he came back I was in *labor*. He was *late*. He went and I was peaceful, and he came back and I was like, “where were you!?” Here, we took [our first] to grandmas and it was no big deal. It was definitely easier, for sure.

Mom of Fame – Katie


Recently we had the pleasure to “meet” another wonderful blogger. Katie is the creator of the blog Homespun Habits, a special education teacher and a mother to three beautiful children. We aren’t sure how she does it all, but she seems to do it while also having fun! Her blog is another one we would really recommend, especially if you need some DIY inspiration! Here is a little more about her in her own words:

I am a special education middle school teacher. I am currently teaching where my children go to school and feel so blessed to be able to be there with them.  I also teach a couple of classes every semester for a state university. Blogging is something I have always wanted to do and just recently took the leap. I am approaching my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. We have 3 kids. 2 boys and a girl ages 8, 5, and 3. We also have 3 dogs so it is always a little crazy at our house. At times it can be overwhelming but we wouldn’t change anything!

We loved Katie’s answers and pictures, and we think you will too! She gave us an honest view of motherhood by touching on post partum anxiety, being flexible when necessary, and adjusting to having a daughter after two sons.

Welcome to our Mom of Fame, Katie! Thank you for participating in our interview!


What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

“You can’t do it all.” And “you be you”. Those 2 things have stuck with me and I would definitely pass that advice on to anyone. I’ve learned the importance of simplifying life.  It makes things so much easier. Be you. Don’t try and be anybody else. You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

Honestly, at this point I don’t really remember how I imagined it. I’m sure it was more like happy music playing in the background with kids holding hands and skipping along the sidewalk. Wrong!!! Haha! Although those precious moments do happen…they are few and far between. The reality is motherhood is hard. Everyday brings a new challenge.


What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Oh man I feel like I could use 3 strengths 😉 No but really I am super organized. That definitely helps to manage the constant chaos of 3 young kids. I’m a hard worker. I hope they can recognize that one-day and implement it into their own lives. I’m not perfect. I’m trying to take each day at a time and be more flexible and not get upset when things don’t go perfectly.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

I can still remember when my oldest was a newborn. My husband worked 12 hours shifts (which he still does). The days were sooooo long with a baby that I was just getting to know.

Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess.

It was summer time and it was so hot outside. I can remember sitting outside on the backporch just rocking the baby praying that I could make it until my husband got home. I felt so overwhelmed with that first baby for a while. He totally rocked my world as I knew it. Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess. I had post partum anxiety and didn’t figure it out until he was about 6 weeks old.


Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost everything about myself. I don’t say that in a sad, depressing way. But life is no longer about me. Everything I do, every decision I make is based on my kids and their well being.  I do find that as they are getting older I get to get a little bit of “me” back.

I have gained so much. A new persepective and outlook on life for sure. Seeing life through the eyes of a child is a much more magical place to be.


What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I want them to learn to be kind and always love others. Hard work pays off. Don’t expect anything from anyone and don’t do things for people expecting something in return. Choose happy. You are responsible for finding your own happiness. Always remember it’s okay to not be okay. Most importantly I will love you forever and you can always come home.

What is biggest difference between raising your boys and your girl?

Boy was this a shocker for me. After having 2 boys the little miss rocked our world. I always envisioned this sweet little girl with braids quietly playing on the floor with her Barbie dolls. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Our little girl is a firecracker with a huge personality and attitude. We wouldn’t trade her for the world though. She keeps up with “her boys” as she calls them and doesn’t miss a beat while shes at it.

5 Things I Learned About Miscarriages (After Having One)

DSC_0061My husband and I had only been trying for a month when I took my first pregnancy test. It was a long shot, but I like to be as prepared as possible so I couldn’t wait for a missed period. Shock of shocks there were two very obvious lines. I went out and told my husband and we were both super excited…and a little panicked. I only told a few people (my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and best friends). I knew I wasn’t “supposed” to tell anyone before 12 weeks but I was so excited and I couldn’t keep it all to myself until then. Besides, if anything were to happen those were the people I would talk to about it anyway. 

For the next month my pregnancy was completely normal. I had some morning sickness, a lot of heartburn, and was very tired. The day before my 8 week appointment with my doctor I was at work and started to have faint cramps and then started to bleed. I immediately called the doctor and the nurse assured me that this can be normal but that I should come in just in case. I left work and met my husband at the doctor’s office. I had an ultrasound and it confirmed our worst fears; I had had a miscarriage. I obviously knew that miscarriages happened, but I didn’t know much about them. After having one, this is what I learned:

  1. It happens a lot

I didn’t ask my doctor many questions when I first found out what happened. I needed some time to process before I learned more about it. When I went back a few days later to have my blood drawn (for the first of many times – you need to make sure your hormone levels go back to 0) she popped in the room to talk to me. The only question I could think of was “why?” She told me that miscarriages happen in 1 out of every 4 pregnancies. I never realized the percentage was so high.

Once I had had my own miscarriage and realized how many other people it had happened to I started to hear about it more often (or I just started paying more attention to those whose were talking about it). Other friends went through it, friends of friends went through it, and even celebrities were talking about going through it. Although I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone it was nice to hear that other people knew what I was going through and that I wasn’t alone in my feelings.

  1. You feel guilty

After my doctor told me how often miscarriages happen she went on to tell me that nothing I did caused mine. It was very nice to hear, but I of course didn’t believe her. I went back through everything I had done the past 2 months to figure out what went wrong. In the month before I knew I was pregnant I had a few glasses of wine. The morning I found out I had fallen on my knees trying to catch my dog. Every morning I had a cup of coffee. I told her all of this, and more, and she still assured me that none of that caused the miscarriage.

Even if it wasn’t my fault directly, it was my body’s fault. I think that is the hardest thing to deal with. My body basically betrayed me. It was in charge of the most precious thing and it didn’t protect it. Even though I am a very logical person and understand what the doctor (and everybody else) told me it is nearly impossible not to feel guilty. The guilt subsides over time, but it never really goes away. Even now, no matter what anyone says, it’s still there in the back of my mind. 

  1. It hurts

I thought once my doctor told me I had a miscarriage, it was over. What I didn’t realize is that my body still had to pass what remained of my pregnancy. She told me that I would bleed for a while and pass a few clots the size of a golf ball or lemon. I’ve read that some women don’t even feel this, but I felt every bit of it. Now, I had always had bad periods so I was used to painful cramps. And that’s how it started. Then the next day I had the most painful cramps I had ever felt (until I was in labor that is!). Those lasted for about an hour until I passed a clot. Once the clot came out my cramps immediately stopped.

I thought I was through the worst of it so I went to work that night (I didn’t really have a choice so luckily the pain had stopped). I was the director of a daycare and we had a Meet the Teacher night for the beginning of the school year. I had to stand there, smile, and meet the new families joining our school. It wasn’t easy but I at least wasn’t in any physical pain anymore. Then I went back to work the next day for our last day of summer camp. While most of the students and teachers were outside for recess I started having the really painful cramps again. I worked 30 minutes from my house and didn’t feel like I could safely drive so going home wasn’t an option. So I laid on the couch in my office hoping nobody came to the door. I heard a class coming back inside so I got up to go back to my desk and I passed the second clot. Again, I immediately felt better. Knowing what I do now I definitely wouldn’t have gone back to work so soon.


  1. It changes your next pregnancy

I was extremely lucky and was able to get pregnant again 5 months after my miscarriage. Although I was so excited that I was pregnant again I was also terrified that something bad would happen. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want to jinx it. I didn’t want to buy anything for the same reason. I wouldn’t even discuss what we needed for the nursery, or when to have my baby shower until we had the 20 week ultrasound to confirm everything was okay. Even after that I was cautious with how excited I would let myself get.

Every time I went to the doctor to hear the heartbeat I would be in a panic until I heard it. If I didn’t feel him move enough my heart would sink until I did. My doctor even noticed how nervous I was and told me, “you need to let yourself enjoy this pregnancy”. I tried, but it wasn’t easy. I will obviously never know how I would have acted through pregnancy without having a miscarriage first. I am naturally a nervous person so I’m sure I would have had nerves along the way. I really think, though, that having one completely changed my pregnancy journey.

  1. You don’t get over it

About a month after I had a miscarriage I had a friend who suffered the same terrible misfortune. One day several months later we were on a walk and she said to me, “I thought I would be over it by now. When do you think we’ll be able to get over it?” I obviously had no idea but I said, “I think it’s like a breakup. We won’t be able to get over it until we are pregnant again and actually have the baby”. This turned out to be somewhat true. Obviously having my son helped me get over what I had been through. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that I had to have the miscarriage so that I could have my son. I’m still not completely over it though. My heart still skipped a beat on April 13th (my original due date) and I’m sure it will for years to come.


Miscarriages happen a lot. Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when it happens to you. This was my personal experience having a miscarriage and what I learned from it. I know that all people experience it differently and go through different things. I was very lucky that I only had one and that I was able to get pregnant and have my son after it. I know not everyone is this lucky and my heart goes out to those who are still trying. 

I haven’t told many people (until now) that I even had a miscarriage. I thought it was important to write this, though, to help others going through the same thing. If you have experienced a miscarriage (or several), what did you learn?