Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

Credit: starlegacyfoundation.org/awareness-month/

A lot of people think of different things when they think of October. Some may think of Halloween, some may think of pumpkins, scary movies, or costumes, others may think of Christopher Columbus. I think of all those things plus one more—babies! You see, October is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. During October, we take time to remember those who have lost a baby. Either while in the womb or while the baby was an infant. This awareness is something very dear to my heart.

Statistics say, 1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy; I am the one in four. I have lost three babies during pregnancy. I was nineteen years old when I first felt the sting of losing a baby. At sixteen weeks pregnant, I was about to find out what the gender was when things took a terrible turn; I ended up at a hospital hearing the worst news of my life; my baby did not have a heartbeat and, I was in labor. My heart sank to the floor; all I could do was cry. You see, I had never held this baby in my hands, I had never kissed that baby’s face, but I loved that baby more than my own life. Unfortunately, this would not be the last time I felt the pain of losing a baby.

After my miscarriage, I got pregnant again, months down the road, and ended up carrying the baby to term. God gave me my precious rainbow baby, Landon. When Landon was a year and a half, I found out I was pregnant again; this was a huge surprise! We were not planning on having another baby quite so soon, but we were still thrilled! Before we could even start picking out names or nursery colors, I started experiencing the same type of symptoms I had with my first miscarriage. A few days later, the doctor confirmed, I had miscarried again. You would think the second go-round would not be as hard as the first, but the pain still cut to the core.

I was twenty-two years old when that wave of pain hit again. I was engaged to my now-husband and was planning a wedding when I found out I was pregnant. We were overjoyed and continued with our wedding plans. About six weeks later, after we returned from our honeymoon, I found out once again, the baby I was carrying had passed. I was devastated. This pain was something I had felt before, and I knew what to expect, but nothing prepares your heart as it breaks for this new life that has slipped through your fingers. All I could think was, it was me. It was my body rejecting my babies. The doctors ran tests but could give me no explanation of why I kept having miscarriages. I honestly thought I might never be able to carry another child to term.

Today as I write this, I can say the Lord has been so good to me. He blessed me with three beautiful children. After my last child, I went in to have my tubes tied. While the doctor was performing the procedure, she noticed I had a lot of scar tissue around my tubes and got concerned. She brought me back into surgery a few weeks later to do a complete removal of my tubes; to check for cancer. I did get good results back from the test, but the doctor said something to me that I’ll never forget. She said I don’t know how you had three babies. You should have never been able to carry a baby with that amount of scar tissue around your tubes. I knew right away where my three blessings came from; It was the one who numbered the stars in the sky and told the ocean how far it could go.

If you are the one in four like me, know that you aren’t alone. I know the pain you have felt and the burden you carry. I wish I could say it gets better, but I will always hurt when I think of my three angel babies. I would love to know what they look like and if they act like me, but I know that they’re in the arms of Jesus, and one day I’ll get to meet them all.

Much love,

Chelsea

Credit: http://www.mideastpaleo.com/breaking-the-silence/

Finishing the Race

Race stuff
Before the race

I have one word to describe how I feel today. SORE! Yesterday, my friend Emily and I accomplished a huge goal. We ran our first half marathon. It was an incredible experience, and I am so glad I did it. This year has not gone as planned, and most of the training I was supposed to do, did not happen.

When I got to the race yesterday, I was terrified of the unknown. I wasn’t sure how I would do or how my body would handle the physical part of the long run. About three miles in, I was feeling pretty good and was trucking along. We ran as much as we could until we got to the hills (there were so many hills), and then we would walk a little. At mile ten, I started feeling the effects of the physicalness of the race. My legs were hurting, my foot was hurting, and my head was hurting. I just kept using my mantra; I can do all things through Christ and kept pushing myself. When we got to the last couple of miles, I was so tired! I was walking more than I should have been and was about ready to give up, but I knew I only had a little more to go. I popped an energy gel in my mouth (not tasty at all) and started running again.

The last mile was so hard. It was a very long road that leads to a parking area where the finish line was. This road had hills like no other, and the closer I got to the finish line, the more I thought I would collapse. Thank God for my friend Emily. She looked at me at one point and said, come on girl! We got this, run to the finish line, and I said you go ahead, my legs are hurting; I will see you at the end, but when I saw her running towards the finish line, it inspired me to run too. I took off and ran as hard as I could until I completed the race. That was the most exhilarating moment! I knew I had finished something huge, and I was so proud of myself.

I proudly wore my medal around my neck until I got home. I wanted people to know what I had accomplished. Today, I still feel that proudness, along with the aches and pains. For anyone thinking about running a half marathon, I say go for it! It is the most challenging and mental thing I have done since childbirth, but I would do it again to feel the exhilaration at the end. Who knows, maybe one day I will convince myself to try a marathon-or maybe not.

One of the many hills we had to climb
At the end of the race 😀

Half Marathon

Me and Emily at our first 10k

October is one of my favorite months of the year because I love Halloween! I also love the fact that during this month, the leaves start becoming multi-colored, and everything looks magical.

This October is exciting for me because this Saturday (yes, in two days), I will be running my very first half marathon. I am very nervous and feel like I’m not as prepared as I should be, but I am ready to check this off my bucket list.

I will be running with my best friend, Emily. We ran our first 10k last year and immediately decided to try the half marathon. Well, COVID happened, and the race was moved from April to October.

During this time, quarantine laziness kicked in, and we figured our marathon would be canceled or changed to a virtual run; we didn’t train as much as we should have, but here we are, two days away, and the race is still on.

I can’t lie; I am scared I’m going to fall out half-way through the run, but I keep reminding myself, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”

I would love to hear from all the runners. What are your go-to tips and tricks for half marathons and marathons?

Much love,
Chelsea

Last year at the Pumpkin Run

Seeking Approval

image from: thegeriatricdietitian.com

I care way too much about what people think of me. It has been a problem for me, as long as I can remember. From the way I walk, talk, dress, raise my kids, my marriage, and everything in between, I let people have that power over me.

People do not realize they have that kind of power, but they do. When they whisper about you, never say kind things about you, or acknowledge your achievements, all of that affects you. Well, it does for me. We are humans, and we want and need approval for everything.

When I leave my house to run to the store, I look in the mirror at least three times to make sure I look decent enough; in case I run into someone I know. When I get my kids dressed, I make sure they look acceptable; because what will people think of me if my kids are not matching! When I post on social media, I have to make sure everything is perfect, because you know everyone is perfect and have perfect lives, so mine has to be perfect too!

I have recently started this blog, which has been huge for me. I am out of my comfort zone, and every time I write a post, I re-read it multiple times, dwell on it, and question what people will think. I think, am I going to hurt feelings? Is someone going to disagree? Is my writing too bland? I exhaust myself thinking of how much I stress, trying to seek approval.

Why do we do this? Why do we care so much about what others think of us? Honestly, the only person we should be seeking approval from is God. Nothing or no one even matters.

Today, I am turning over a new leaf. I am going to stop worrying about everyone else and what people will think, and worry about myself, my happiness, my family, and what my Heavenly Father will think of me.

“Life is too short to be anything but happy!” –Abhishek Shukla.

Dreaming of Big Cities

Seeing Times Square for the first time

I have lived in this small town in North Carolina since I was born. I don’t know what it is like to live in a big city; I have imagined it to be kind of scary. Last year I traveled to New York, which is the largest place I have been in my entire life. I was in culture shock. People were not that friendly, traffic was horrific, and everything was so fast-paced. You couldn’t even sit down at a table to eat in a lot of restaurants. I was not in “Kansas” anymore.

One thing that I noticed while being in this bigger city was that no one knew me. I didn’t walk into a store in New York City and hear someone say, “Hey girl, how have you been?” People just walked past me like they didn’t even care to know who I was or where I came from; I liked that. Living in a small town is not that fun. The movies portray it to be so magical and warm and fuzzy, but it’s a lot of drama.

You cannot go to Walmart or any Dollar General without at least five people knowing you, and if you walk in any beauty shop in town, you can hear as much of the town gossip as you would like. People know Every. Single. Thing. , about you and your entire family. Even the stuff you have barely talked about; They’ll know that too.

I loved the fact that in New York City, no one knew who I was, who my parents were, what school I went to, who I was married to and then divorced, who I’m married to now, how much debt I have-okay, I’m sure you get the point. I’m just saying it isn’t that great being the talk of the town. I would love to go somewhere where people don’t know who I am.

As crazy as New York was, I loved every minute that I was in that city. Maybe one day, this small-town girl will put her brave pants on and travel the world. Until then, I’ll aim to be the star of old, Small Town Friendly.

View from Central Park, NYC

Happy Sunday

Don’t you love Sundays? It’s a day to relax and reflect on the week you just had and think toward the coming week. I like to chill and recharge before I head into another long work week. I also spend half of my Sunday’s with the blues because I dread going back to work the next day (I’m sure most people can relate).

On this particular Sunday, I am extra thankful for Instacart. You see, I tend to “plan” on going to the grocery store on Fridays and end up looking in my bare cabinets on Sunday’s and realizing I can no longer plan, but I must go or my children will be eating the “extras” (the stuff I buy, that doesn’t get eaten, that hangs around for weeks) this week. Whoever created Instacart deserves an award. I will gladly pay an extra ten dollars to have someone shop for me and then bring it to my home. Especially on Sunday’s!

Well, you guessed it. I put it off all weekend and after breakfast, I realized we still had no food for the week, so hello Instacart (as I am typing this, some wonderful guy or girl named Dexter is currently in Aldi shopping for me 😬). If you have never tried Instacart, you are missing out! I was reluctant at first, but after that first feeling of freedom from the grocery store, I was sucked in. Now I throw a twenty at the Instacart app just to keep them in business.

Anywho, I hope you guys have an amazing Sunday and if you are sitting there with that black cloud over you because you must go to the grocery store today, try Instacart. I promise you will thank me later! I will attach a copy of my Instacart link, and I think you will save ten dollars off your first purchase.

Much love,

Chelsea

Get $10 and free delivery from Instacart! Use my code: CLOVELACE2BB1FB or link: https://inst.cr/t/V040RXFSUXhK

Love, Love, Love

Two of my favorite things

Good morning! I’m starting my day off with coffee and Jesus. What about y’all?😊

I wanted to tell y’all about this new Bible I bought a few weeks ago. It is incredible! It breaks down the full meaning behind the Greek and Hebrew words so that you clearly understand what you are reading. I have always struggled reading the Bible because it was hard to comprehend, but this Bible makes it so clear that I feel like I’m reading a regular book.

Sorry to go on an on about it; it is a life-changer! I’ve been telling everyone about it since I got it. So if you are looking for a good study Bible that helps you break down the original version, this is your book!

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I got my copy on Amazon so I’m attaching the link for the Bible for anyone interested. ☺️

DMV Nightmares

Let me start off saying, the way our Government does things is a bit ridiculous. I know that certain rules must be in place to make sure everything is the way it’s supposed to be, but this new REAL ID thing is a little bit much. My license had expired; since everyone eventually would have to switch over to the REAL ID, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.
Well, I go to my local DMV office and give the worker all the required documents (which again…a bit much) and she proceeds to tell me that because my name on my birth certificate is different from my license, I will have to have my marriage license…um, okay but my license had my new last name because I changed it when I got married.
I said, “okay, I’ll bring it back by to be scanned in” (which is not as simple as coming back at any time, due to COVID-19 restrictions).
So, I make an appointment and go back to my next appointed day with my marriage license. The lady now says, “Oh, because your last name is different on this marriage license (I had been married before), you’ll have to bring back this marriage license and your previous marriage license.” Are you kidding me?? I have to go to the courthouse and obtain a certified copy of a marriage license that I don’t need, to then come back to the DMV for the third time. Oh my gosh, I thought my head was going to explode!
Five days later, after going to the courthouse, paying ten dollars for an old marriage license I don’t want, and traveling back to the DMV, I had to redo all the first steps. Which included taking a NEW PICTURE when I looked like I had just rolled out of bed!! Y’all, I have never been so irritated at someone as much as I was at the DMV worker who told me to “step in front of the blue wall and look at the camera!”
Needless to say, if you go to get the REAL ID and you have a different last name from your birth certificate, make sure you have all of the documentation that shows how you got to the new last name you currently have. I promise it will save you many trips! Also, another word of advice, make sure you always go to the DMV ready for a picture or, you’ll end up looking like an ogre on your license.

Our People

Some of my people

Isn’t it crazy how hard life is? Most days I feel like I’m barely scraping the bottom of a broken barrel, trying to survive. One thing that I have realized since I have reached the “marvelous thirties,” is that we need “our people.” These people I speak of are the friends or acquaintances we have made along the way, that have helped us even when we didn’t realize it. You know that person you met at your first job that you immediately became besties with or that friend you met at church that always has the words you need to hear at the moment you need to hear them the most? These are our people! I never thought about it until now, but wow! How in the world would I have made it without them?
Some of my “people” that have helped me, do not even realize they have. That’s the beauty of it! The friend that gave me advice on raising kids and growing older; the friend that sat and listened intently to my breaking heart; the friend that felt like a mother to me, but encouraged my walk with Christ; the friend that just made me laugh all of the time; the friend that has recently come into my life and filled a void I didn’t even realize was there. These are my people.
It is funny how God has a way of placing these people in our lives at the perfect time…but then again, he is God! If you don’t know who these people are in your life, take a minute to think of people you have met in your lifetime, that have made an impact on your life. I bet it won’t take you long to realize who your people are. Thank you, God, for my people and new “people,” in my future.