Rainbow Baby Blessing

Click here to read Part One: Fertility, Ovulation, Miscarriage, Oh my!

God’s timing is everything. As you know from part one of my fertility journey, my husband and I experienced a miscarriage in July of 2020. After our miscarriage, we decided to take a break from TTC (trying to conceive) for about 6 months. During that time, I decided to hit the road for an OR travel nursing contract in Maryland. Maryland is my happy place for travel nursing because it’s where I met my husband. I locked in my contract to start the second week of November 2020 and felt so relived to be leaving my permanent job status once again. I chose to end all ties with the hospital I was working with at the time. No PRN, weekends, nothing! Adios peeps! I’m out! The day before my husband and I loaded up our car to hit the road, we finally had our house warming party on Nov 7th. Now, I know we were taking a break from trying, but something spoke to me loud and clear during the house warming to check my LH (luteinizing hormone) levels using the PreMom Ovulation strips. The peak in LH is what signals the release of an egg from one of your ovaries.

I tested twice on Nov. 8th, three times on Nov. 9th, and once on Nov 10th. As you can see in the picture of my tests, there was a significant jump from the 8th to the 9th. When I got a HIGH reading I was shocked, so I tested it again and it was even higher so I knew my LH was going to PEAK soon. I tested later that evening, and there was a drop which means I for sure hit my LH peak on the 9th of November. We made sure all the necessary ingredients and tasks were done before during and after my peak. Literally, seven days later on the 17th, I experienced implantation bleeding/spotting. It was such a very small amount, but that’s the very moment I knew we were pregnant again! I could feel it in my bones, and I was starting to look like a glow worm! I didn’t want to rush to conclusions or take a test too soon, but my thoughts went into overdrive.

Are we really pregnant again? This would happen when I decide to take a travel assignment! Lord please let it stay this time. OMG! God blessed us with a rainbow baby! Lord, please let us meet this blessing you’ve given us. How am I going to tell Rio? How long should I wait to tell him? Lord I just wanna thank you! My thoughts went on and on. My next period was expected on Nov 24th and I told myself that I was going to wait, but the need to know broke me down! Three days after my implantation spotting, on Nov 20th, I took a PreMom pregnancy test and it came back positive!

I was over the moon, but it was still too early to really let excitement set in. I started having flashbacks to the bleeding and pain I felt from my miscarriage. I diagnosed myself with Wipe Anxiety. Every single time I went to the bathroom I was analyzing every inch of the tissue for any early signs of miscarriage. It was great working in a new operating room at the time, because learning their set up and flow helped to keep my thoughts at bay, plus I didn’t know these people from Adam. That made it really easy to keep my business secure. I couldn’t keep the results a secret from my husband for more than 5 days. Seeing his face light up when I delivered the news just melted my heart. We prayed together about all of my anxiety and left it in the Lord’s hands. I had to pray my way back to peace and tranquility. I didn’t want my fears to steal my joy of having my rainbow baby. At our first ultrasound at 8 weeks, we got to see the heart beat. It was so reassuring to see that all was well. Then at 10 weeks I had another scan, because I decided to get the remainder of my OB care in NC. The 10 weeks ultrasound was when it really hit me. There is a little human growing in my womb and he or she already has such personality!

Ultrasound at 10 weeks

My husband and I decided to keep the news under wraps until we made it through our first trimester. After telling our close family and friends, we decided to refrain from any social media posts or big announcements. We just wanted to get through our pregnancy with as little to no complications and see our love in human form first. We feel so honored and blessed to have this second chance at becoming parents, and with the help from our doula and the continued love and support from our family and friends, we are ready to welcome our little princess into this world soon. Yep! We’re having a girl! I’m sharing our story in hopes of encouraging someone else who may be trying to conceive as well. I learned so much from joining fertility communities, and watching TTC (trying to conceive) stories and tip videos on YouTube. It helped me along the way, knowing that I wasn’t alone and that the thoughts and feelings I had were the same for many women all over the world. My journey comes with tears of sorrow and tears of joy and forced me to lean on something much greater than myself.

Up Next – Part III: Labor & Delivery

5 Tips To Overcome Discouragement, Distraction & Derailment

If you have been called to do something, or if you have been giving a vision to be, create, or provide something great, 9 times out of 10, you’ve faced discouragement, distraction, and even derailment. 

What is the difference between people who never fulfill their calling and people who reach their mark and go beyond? Glad you asked! 

  1. Have a plan you can execute
  2. Face your fear of failure head on. Everyone does it, so fail early and learn from your mistakes.
  3. Overcome comparison or the need to fit in. Focus on what makes you unique.
  4. Let go of a perfectionist mindset. Accept your human flaws! Embrace them and realize you will improve the more you do a certain task.
  5. Link up with purpose pushing partners aka accountability partners:

You must use discernment here because you can’t tell your goals, dreams and visions to just anyone. 

They must be a like minded, passion driven individual that can help you maximize your greatness without feeling small themselves. 

Your PPP (purpose pushing partner) isn’t a small minded person who gets jealous, discourages you, is overly critical, or tells you all the reasons it won’t work. Or even worse, takes all your ideas and tries to make it their own. 

Oh and how can I forget the people that “oh okayyyy” you, but never check up, support, or ask how they can help. These are the people that are quick to put a size on your blessings, gifts, and talents.

They won’t succeed at your calling because it doesn’t belong to them! God trusted you to bring it forth. 

J.D. Gailliard, 2021

Important key word here is partner. That means energy matches energy! You can’t go looking for all this support and positivity if you aren’t willing to give it back. You must never forget that YOU are responsible for making it happen. You can’t look to everyone else to do the work that you aren’t even willing to do.

This isn’t a one up buddy, but a partner that wants to see you win just as much if not more than you do. 

Lastly, keep in mind who will benefit from you being obedient to your calling or purpose. Think about the individual that needs to hear your words, receive your services, work with your team, buy your life changing products, or just be inspired or encouraged by the life you live to find their own purpose in life. When you manifest your dreams, calling, or purpose, it opens doors for so many who are depending on your success. 

Sometimes, the biggest hurdle to overcome is YOU! Your own fears of failure and ideas of perfection lead to discouragement, which allows you to become easily distracted by the smallest things. Boom! Just like that, your vision and purpose are derailed. How long this time?

It might be time for you to clean house. Not only with your thoughts, but also the company you keep. Do you have purpose pushers in your life? Are you telling all your visions to people who would be scared to even dream as big as you? Are you willing to remove certain people from your team.

Just because you lost me as a friend doesn’t mean you gained me as an enemy. I’m bigger than that. I still wanna see you eat, just not at my table.

Tupac Shakur

As a Life Coach, I want to see everyone win. I realize that it’s not always easy to put a plan together, execute it, remain encouraged and be motivated to complete it. We all could use support to overcome discouragement, distractions, and derailments. That’s where I step in. I can help you assess your visions and goals, and help you design SMART goals. It’s my duty to hold you accountable and provide support from start to finish. It’s my desire to push you beyond just being good, but to see you living a purpose filled abundant life. I can also connect you to people that can help you get things moving in the right direction. You need a wellness coach? Got it! Business Financing? Got it! Buying a home? Got it! Help starting a legitimate business? Got it! Click here to sign up for a FREE 30 minute consultation call and let’s get started on making your visions and goals a reality!

Fertility, Ovulation, miscarriage, OH my!

I know I am not the only woman in this world who has made some weird face or reaction when hearing one of these words or acronyms. The words fertility, ovulation, and the acronym TTC (Trying To Conceive) bring about an array of emotions, thoughts and expectations from person to person.

Picture it! North Carolina. 2005… high school is done, and now it’s time for my freshman year of college and all the birds and the bees conversations, and health class lectures got an upgrade. Instead of just talking about sexual reproductive organs, abstinence, and condoms, the amount of information went into overdrive. STD’s, contraception methods, fertility, freezing eggs, fetal abnormalities, genetics, and historical cases of vulnerable populations being sterilized without their consent. My goal was to be as safe as possible, and prevent any babies.

If you’ve ever had a pregnancy scare, and had to wait those 2-3 minutes for your results, or your period was just playing hide and seek, you also know the feeling of relief when you confirm you are NOT pregnant.

I say all of that to bring you up to date with my life when I hit my thirties. I was single as a dollar bill with no children, no promising relationship options, and a mindset to leave behind any immediate thoughts for love, marriage, or starting a family one day. I packed up all of my stuff in August 2019 and started my travel nursing career in hopes of living my best life with no societal expectations to settle down or start a family. I did however consider freezing my eggs just incase the right person came along. I later decided not to go through with freezing my eggs, and decided to leave my chances to fate.

If you’re a return reader, you know what happened next. On my first travel nursing assignment, I met my now husband. Meeting him threw me back into the thoughts of fertility, TTC (trying to conceive), and ovulation quickly. We were both in our thirties and looking forward to marriage and starting a family. My husband already knew his little swimmers were up to par from past testing, but I felt overwhelmed with my own thoughts. What if I finally met my forever husband and we can’t conceive? I was an A+ student at not having children, but what would be my baby making grade? My GYN doctor said that I was good to start trying. She also checked my thyroid levels and other blood work. She told me that there was no need to worry about infertility until we reached the one year mark of trying. I didn’t have a history of PCOS , fibroids, endometriosis, or irregular periods, but my doctor was concerned about my weight, and recommended a low carb diet, and wanted me to lose 30 lbs.

On the back end, I was doing research and felt overwhelmed stepping into the TTC Community. Just trying to read a post, felt like I was decoding morse code! It was too early to get a hysterosalpingogram, or any fertility testing, so I was left to just doing the do! As I started reading posts and watching videos about trying to conceive, I saw how supportive the global TTC community was. There were women from all over the world sharing their success tips, difficulties, and losses. This TTC glossary helped me make sense of everything I was researching.

Star Trek Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I researched everything from taking your basal body temperature, evaluating your cervical mucus, using over the counter ovulation prediction tests, fertility supplements, fertility enhancing foods, and weight loss or low carb diets to get a bun in the over. Oh, and how can I forget when I stumbled across home insemination YouTube videos and position guides that literally had me almost standing on my head for an hour!

Yep, that’s me wrapped up in my fertility cocoon propped up against the wall! lol

Thankfully, throughout all of my research, my husband was a team player and willing to do whatever I suggested. The biggest thing we did together, well aside from doing the do, was changing our diet. We increased our intake of fertility supportive/enhancing foods. We also increased our water intake, I started taking a prenatal vitamin, and we both increased our cardio workouts.

After seven months of TTC, a dear SBC(Sister by choice) reached out and suggested a supplement called Geritol. Word on the street in the TTC community is, “there’s a baby in every bottle.” After doing some research, my husband and I decided to start taking it. Voila! We conceived. Badda boom, badda bang! Now I can’t credit our success to just the Geritol, because we were running on all baby making cylinders, but I do find the timing interesting.

Unfortunately, twelve days after our first positive test (6 weeks and 4 days gestation), we suffered an inevitable miscarriage which led to a complete miscarriage four days later. I had never experienced such intense uterine cramping in my life, but then again, my body was letting nature take its course. My miscarriage started while I was at work in the operating room of all places. Thankfully, I was able to pass all products of conception in the privacy of our home and did not require any surgical interventions like a D&C (Dilation & Curettage). My OB/GYN medical team was so supportive, informative, and caring. Every woman and their partner/support person may feel a spectrum of emotions when experiencing a miscarriage. I think the biggest takeaways for my husband and me, were:

  • Miscarriages are very common although not commonly talked about
  • I am ovulating
  • Sperm is swimming, and in the right direction and speed
  • There is no blockage from my ovaries to uterus
  • No one is to blame
  • We must continue to trust God’s plan and promise

Even though I had faith to trust God’s timing, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I never felt feelings of envy or jealousy when I saw or heard babies, but there was this longing to see the day when I could nurse or interact with a child of my own. After trying and experiencing loss, my husband and I decided to take a break and just enjoy each other without tracking windows, temperatures and drinking teas. I still kept an open ear for tips and advice from TTC forums.

The TTC community was making a lot of noise about this app and these strips that were changing the ovulation awareness game. A close family member gave me a box that she used to successfully conceive as well. Although, I wasn’t trying to stand on my head or do anything extreme, I figured tracking my ovulation would be helpful.

Click the PREMOM image to purchase my favorite ovulation strips.

Women Pregnancy Test GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Screenshot of my own test results.

Well, now I have some real numbers to look at when tracking ovulation and my husband and I have found our way back to spontaneous intimacy without being so “deposit” driven. If you or someone you know is currently TTC, know that there is a global community of women across many platforms that want to see your conception hopes and dreams come true. I’m thankful for all the women that continue to coach me on, support my journey, and pray for me. If sharing my journey helps just one person, it’s worth it. At the end of the day I choose to trust God’s timing. I will continue to support other women through their own unique journey. Please don’t let this be a one way get to know me street! I want to hear about your fertility, ovulation, conception, or miscarriage experiences. Got tips? Share those too! Community and support are priceless.

Up Next – Part II: Rainbow Baby Blessing

Vegas Wedding & Minimoon

In September of 2020, Rotimi and I planned a very simple inexpensive wedding ceremony in Las Vegas, NV. We didn’t invite any family or friends and we only told our close family and friends that we were going. Going to Vegas during a global pandemic was actually relaxing for me. I was used to Vegas jumping from the second you get off the plane. We came during a time when Vegas was at 50% occupancy and still had mask mandates, no shows playing, and some curfews still in place.

We got married at The Little Vegas Chapel around 11am on Sept 25th. We got dressed and caught an Uber from The Signature at MGM Grand. Our Uber driver didn’t say a single word to us and for a minute I thought we were going to be late after he made a wrong turn. During our last few moments before arriving at the chapel, I was listening so hard to any possible small voice telling me to run. There was nothing. I looked at my soon to be HusBae to try to read anything on his mind and he was as cool as a cucumber! I took a deep breath, and realized all this happiness was mine and I was the only one trying to sabotage it. I heard a small still voice say, “Enjoy love and never let it go.” That was it for me! It was clear from the start of the morning that the stars were in alignment for this special day. I got both my lashes on successfully on the first try. That was magical for me at the time! I walked down the isle, we exchanged vows, said I DO, kissed, and even got some marital advice from an officiant dressed up like Elvis.

After our wedding, we headed back to the hotel for some down time and then we explored the Vegas strip. We did a little gambling, shopping, watched the water show at the Bellagio.

The next day we took a Grand Canyon tour of Eagle Point. This was a perfect time to check this off our bucketlist. There were no large crowds to deal with and people were keeping their distance.

All in all, we had a wonderful time. We didn’t try to cram too many activities into our stay because we wanted to have some time to just relax and enjoy one another as husband and wife. We will plan other trips to Vegas in the future and be sure to include the Grand Canyon Floor Tour and a trip to the Hoover Dam. I would love to hear about your adventures in Vegas. Share some of your favorite places to go and your favorite activities to do while in Vegas below in the comments.

Buying a Home

Rotimi and I were still living and working in the DMV area when we started looking for houses in February of 2020. We sat down and made a list of our “must haves” and a list of areas we were willing to consider home. After considering cost of living, school districts, access to healthcare, access to healthy food, and earning potential, we felt like good ol’ Raleigh, NC would be the perfect place to call home. I wanted to be closer to my mother and Rotimi was willing to go wherever as long as we were together. Gotta love him!

We linked up with an amazing Realtor, Jermaine Smith, who took my list of must haves and put together a housing tour for us the third weekend in March. We came down and toured 4 or 5 sites. The last one was a winner! We started the process to become homeowners immediately while interest rates were sinking to an all time low due to the unfortunate global Covid-19 pandemic. We moved in on May 30, 2020! This journey was filled with hills and valleys and plenty of bumps in the road, but we made it happen with the help of God, our family, and an amazing realtor and mortgage lending team. Check out our youtube video where we give you alllllll the tea on our journey, along with tips to help you along your own homeownership journey.

Made Just for Me

In 2019, I wrote a blog post titled “Finding Love.” In this post I talked about barriers I placed in my own way to finding a love I could call my own. The post itself was me taking a step in the right direction. Kudos to me! Sometimes the hardest part of growing, is facing your own indiscretions, flaws, and thought processes that no longer serve you on your path in life. I am always telling people that you must do the internal work to be your best self before you expect someone to offer their best self to you.

Well sis, I did the work. My work included meditation, therapy, spiritual reconnection, and reassessing what I really wanted my life to look and feel like. I had to have my “man in the mirror” moments times ten. Society places so many life expectations on us all, and then there is comparison, ready and willing to sneak in and steal your joy. I turned 32 in 2019, and I was single with no children, pets, or a house plant. As an only child to an aging parent, I made it a priority to get additional help to care for my mother. I had to establish boundaries and give myself permission to live my own life.

After doing the work and giving myself permission to step out on faith and start a new chapter in life, I found myself taking my first travel nurse contract in Baltimore, MD.

Travel Nurse In the Operating Room

In my mind, I was going to travel to as many states, and even countries working as a nurse and live my best life meeting new people and celebrating all that life had to offer. The biggest part of my journey was not worrying about timelines and societal checklists.

Not even 30 days later, I met the man that would change all of my plans. I hate to say it, but as cliché as the saying is, it was right. It all happened when I least expected it. September 17th, 2019 was the day I went on my last first date. When I met Rotimi, it was like all my fears never existed. Every brick from every wall I worked so hard to break down was now being used to build a path to a love that was just right for me. Every text, phone call, moment together, and embrace was different. I remember hearing a song on the radio one morning when he was taking me to work, titled Real One by Chanté Moore. It spoke to every single new and exciting feeling I felt.

I literally felt like I was in a dream and was glad that nothing would wake me up. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a life long lover of love. I was always telling people that I don’t know when or how love is going to happen for me, but when it does I’ll know because it’s going to require a special person to embrace all that I am. I also always said that when we meet, it won’t take long for us to build the love and life of our dreams.

Welp, I found him and everything was progressing rather quickly! So why was I still looking around shocked that everything I spoke over my life was literally manifesting itself before my very eyes? Uhhh….cause it was me! I was used to celebrating love for everyone else BUT me.

Once again I prayed, ” Lord if this isn’t the one for me, let he be moved as far as the east is from the west.” That was one heavy hitting prayer! It was known to make people go ghost seconds after I said AMEN! But what do you know, Rotimi was still there taking in every new moment with me. I was over having the conversation with my friends, you know the one. Me on Monday: I met this guy! Friend: Oooo, dish! Tell me all about him! Me on Friday: Nevermind!

Well, I replaced the need for that conversation and decided to have a little meet and greet. He didn’t realize that he would be meeting a group of my friends, my pastor, God parents, and my mother all over the course of a few weekends. It just felt right, what can I say? Everyone seemed to like him, but I’m sure people were betting to see how long he would really last. There were even some associates that just couldn’t handle my happiness and overwhelmingly obvious glow. I was completely unbothered and just wanted to focus on our love and building a life together.

This love story started in September of 2019, and in May of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, Rotimi and I purchased our first home! In July of 2020, Rotimi asked me to marry him while we were hiking at one of my favorite parks. In September of 2020, we committed our lives to one another in holy matrimony in a private ceremony with just the two of us and a man dressed like Elvis in Las Vegas, NV. What once felt like a dream is really my reality. There were no check boxes, no timelines, and no pressure. We truly allowed God to take the wheel and we haven’t looked back since. When two people that are ready to experience the greatest love of their lives come together, something magical happens. Never stop loving love. Never give up on finding a love that is just right for you. You must keep your heart open for love and the happiness it brings, but first and foremost, you must find that love inside of you.

Finding Love

For the last 3 weeks, I have had several deep conversations about love, relationships, dating in 2019, and barriers to finding love. I am very single and waiting for the right person.

😍Well scratch that, I’m not waiting. 💁🏽‍♀️ If I’m being totally honest with myself, I must admit that I have sabotaged some situations that could’ve been great. 👀 I have written some people off for something small, and never really given the idea of a relationship a second thought, 🤷🏽‍♀️and I have made myself so busy and unavailable that even the best of the best got weary. 😭

I have been known as a runner. As soon as things feel “too right,” or are going “too well,” I RUN LIKE FOREST!

I say all of that to admit that I have built the Walls of Jericho around my heart out of fear of losing someone I love. Yes, this goes back to Daddy Issues 101. After experiencing that kind of pain, I subconsciously started building walls that would leave me here as a 31 year old single woman, who deserves and desires love, but is too afraid to receive it out of fear that it will one day tragically leave me.

I give great applicable advice to friends and associates about the very love I won’t allow myself to experience. The few times that someone did make it through a crack, it led to heartbreak at the time. Now, looking back, I see the lessons I was being taught.

As I said earlier, my goals for the month of April are assessing, addressing, and adjusting mental areas in my life that are hindering me from truly living my best life. The walls must come down. I am doing the internal work to prepare myself for the blessings of love to come. It’s not easy, but what do I have to lose? Everything will be a gain and I will cherish it while I can.

A Day I Will Never Forget

On Febuary 21st, seventeen years ago, my father passed away. I still remember that day vividly. Only a few days before, I left my father’s side to be with another friend who just lost her mother. Before I left, my father grabbed my hand and told me, “Always listen to your mother, know that she is always right and will always have the last word. Go and be with your friend, because I know in your time, she will be there for you.”

This was the last time i saw him before he passed.

The night before he passed, I tossed and turned and had a very peculiar dream that all started with a devastating phone call.

I woke up that morning to an early phone call that my mom answered. I was still uncertain of the message, but i knew it was concerning my father. My mom dropped me off to school and went to the hospital.

I don’t remember a single moment of my day until around noon. I remember walking down the Y hall, excited to go to Mr. Guidry’s 9th grade Civics class, which I always looked forward to. I remember the look on his face and the tone in his voice when he told me I had been called down to the front office to go home.

My heart dropped, my face flooded with warmth, and everything became a blur. I knew in that moment, the first man I ever loved was gone. As I walked down the hall, I kept repeating in my head, “your father is dead,” so that when I received the news I wouldn’t hit the floor. I attended the same high school where my father taught for many years, and many of his close colleagues already knew the news I had yet to receive. As I turned into the attendance office, I saw my mom sitting in a chair. I saw her mouth moving, but don’t remember hearing a single word she said. She was so composed and yet in her eyes all I saw was loss.

I never left my mom’s side. She was transparent in all the preparation needed for final care of a loved one. I learned so much and will always appreciate my parents for making sure I was well educated on handling business throughout life.

I can only imagine what my mom was going through in these same moments. She’d lost the love of her life, who she affectionately called Bobby. My mom lived out her vows, “…in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” She is the epitome of grace, professionalism, resilience, love, and loyalty. She advocated for my dad ever step of his illness and fought for his benefits as a veteran of the country. Thank you for never missing a beat Delzora Stringfield. 😘 You have and continue to teach me so much.

There’s not a day that goes by that I dont miss my dad. I look just like him, so I still see him everyday. I know he knew he wouldn’t live to see me age into adulthood, because he tried to pack twenty years of life into me. My parents made sure I knew how to hunt, drive, change a tire, balance a checkbook, vote, do laundry, deposit and withdraw funds, call 911 for assistance, and most importantly how to advocate and care for my loved ones, all by the age of seven.

Everyday, I honor and remember the life of Robert S. Stringfield. A man who fought for this country, educated and prepared many souls for the real world they faced, provided and cared for his family, and lived his life with a God given purpose to serve.

Continue to rest in peace and contentment my love. 🙏🏾🌹❤🌹🙏🏾

Grief is not something that consumes our lives for only a short moment. Grief can be felt every moment past an event causing loss. If you or a loved one are suffering from complicated grief or need assistance with adapting and using healthy coping mechanisms, please reach out for help. You are not alone.

Helpful Resources

Grief Resource Network

Encouragement for Grief & Loss

British Colombia Bereavement Hotline

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