There’s no place like home

“Home is not where you are from, it is where you belong.
Some of us travel the whole world to find it. Others, find it in a person.”
-Beau Taplin


As many of you know, I recently took a trip home. By home, I mean New York. The place where I was born and raised.

I want to start at the very beginning, as I find that is the best place to start;
Manhattan New York.

I saw June bug for the first time since the day after she was born, and it was more than I could have dreamt of. I arrived at Brooke and Joes home and was already in awe of the city. I lived in New York state for 16+ years and never once made it to the city. I always dreamt of this place. I don’t remember when I first learned about the city, but growing up, I talked about moving there, working there, running away from home and going there. It was all I’ve ever wanted. My feelings were so validated.

I had received my birth video from our birth photographer the day before I left and held out on watching it. I wanted to experience it with Brooke and June. It was worth the wait. Brooke and I sat with June in between us. We were laughing and pointing out funny things we were so glad that Eva had captured. I teared up a bit, I can’t speak for Brooke.

Aunt Chelsea loves you  June Bug.


Seeing June was awesome, and I felt like she really recognized my voice. She is such a happy, loved baby. She laughed when I blew raspberries on her belly, she smiled almost every time I talked to her. It was amazing. Brooke took me around her neighborhood, we got coffee and ice cream and sat at a park to feed June.


She may kill me for this action shot.


After walking around for a couple hours we went back to the apartment and got dressed to go meet Joe for dinner some where called “Dirty French”. It was so good to see Joe, and strange in my world to see him all dressed up (he came straight from work). The menu was in all French and I am embarrassed to say, that I only understood one word, thanks to ‘The Little Mermaid’. But J&B are experts, so I let them order for me. It’s refreshing to not be picky at all and trust someone else to order food for you. Check that off of my “experiences everyone should have” list. By the way, the food was Delicious!


After dinner Brooke handed me a little bag (it was two days before my birthday). Inside was a BEAUTIFUL Alex & Ani tree of life bracelet. I’ve worn it pretty much everyday since then.

We walked back to the apartment to put Joe and June to bed (it was about 9:30, remember that) and Brooke and I went out to hit the town! Our first stop was a bar called Mace. It was all fresh drink with real herbs and fruit and it was totally our scene. We joked that in order to be a bartender there you had to have tattoos and a man bun. Then we hit a couple other bars that were.. “younger”. I think we both felt a little out of place. Bright lights, loud music, crowded, just not our scene anymore. But we had a drink at each one and talked and talked and talked. It’s funny how far our relationship has come over the past 18 months. I remember a lot of conversations with long lulls where we didn’t know what to talk about or how to respond to each other. When we were still trying to figure each other out. We talked about our lives and our husbands. Our children and the future. We talked about our journey to June bug and our future journey to have a little boy. When we walked back to the apartment, we sat outside for a good half hour because just weren’t ready to stop talking.

I slept in June bugs room and volunteered to wake up with her in the morning. I had to be up at 6am anyway to catch my flight to Syracuse. Most of the time when I stay at someone else’s house it’s weird. You’re not used to their surroundings, their noises, their bed. But I slept sound and felt so comfortable. June bug didn’t wake up until 5am!!! Such a great baby. I changed her and fed her and snuggled with her for an hour while I waited for Brooke to wake up. It was so nice to have that time with her.

When Brooke woke up it was time to say goodbye. Our visit was short but oh so sweet. I knew that I would miss my second “family” but I will see them again soon I’m sure. (p.s. check off ‘take an uber’ from my list too!)

My next stop was Syracuse to see my mother and be with her for her wedding. I don’t want to write too much about this visit as it was a long time coming, and it was also two weeks long, but I do want to talk about “home”.

For many, many years I lived in a city named “Fulton”. It’s not where my mother lives, or where I spent a lot of time during my visit, but I did go there a few times as it’s where my sister, sister in law and many friends live. It was strange going there. I haven’t been there in over two years. The last time I was there, it wasn’t good memories being made. I went and saw Will, went to my spot by the river, visited a few friends, and just drove around looking at how the city has changed, and it’s changed a lot. So many things that were once there are gone, the city looked dirty and I saw a few people who looked homeless walking around.

My favorite spot in Fulton.


As I sat and thought about the city that I once called home, a city that I sometimes long for, a realization came over me.
This is not home.

I have found my home, my forever place. The place that I want to raise my kids,  where I have a career that I love. A place that I’m comfortable and miss when I’m gone. Fort Worth. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would some day come to love Texas as much as I do. So I enjoyed my visit to New York in so many ways. I loved seeing my friends and family and I so loved being able to spend time with my mother. It’s been a long time coming, but at the end, I was more than ready to come home. To my real home…..
But maybe, someday… NYC…

It Takes A Village, To Raise A Woman

“Be a woman other women can trust. Have the courage to tell another woman direct when she has offended, hurt or disappointed you. Successful women have a tribe of loyal and honest women behind them. Not haters. Not backstabbers or women who whisper behind their back. Be a woman who lifts other women.”
-Sophia A. Nelson

I had a long few years, like 22 of them. Some of that is my fault, some a series of unfortunate events or circumstances out of my control. The past two years have also been long, but magic. I’m happy in my life right now, and I don’t think it’ll go away anytime soon. I’ve learned the true meaning of love. I’ve learned what it means to work hard and go after your dreams. I’ve learned how to take better care of myself, mentally and emotionally. I’ve learned that the only one in charge of my life, is me.
And some really amazing women taught me all that.

We don’t always have a positive influence or role models in our lives. But over the past couple years some really very special women have come into my life and taught me more than I thought there was to learn! They continue to amaze me every day. This post, is to talk about those women, their influence on my life, and to show them the love they so deserve.

Laney Sweet. I met Laney about a year ago. We met on a surrogate group and hit it off right away. She was my mirror, my long lost sister. She loved everything birth. A doula. A surrogate. A young mother. A wife. It was a perfect fit. I have enjoyed so many conversations with her about all aspects of life. There have been many days when I called her and she kept me sane, helped me work through a problem, encouraged me. Laney has always been encouraging in my journey to become a doula. Helping me find my place in the birth community. Overall just being a great friend (and my own personal doula)! She invited me to the birth of her surrobabe (who was born this past Wednesday the 27th). As I watched Laneys life, and the life of her intended parents change, it changed mine too. Because of Laney allowing me to be there when that beautiful little girl was born, I have never been so sure in my life that I want/need/am destined to be a doula. Thank you Laney, for taking me under your wing. For always encouraging me and helping me find my way. You are a wonderful friend and I will always love you for all you have done.

Carla Morrow. The very first time I saw Carla, it was at a Tarrant County Birth Network workshop about the different types of midwives and the life of a midwife. Carla looked radiant, happy and full of life. I saw her once in awhile at the birthing center while I was there for appointments but it wasn’t until close to the end of my pregnancy when I actually sat down with her for the first time. I already knew so much about her. Her birthing center, her awesome midwife skills, countless people adore this woman. As many people before me (I’m sure) I felt instantly connected to this amazing women. As my pregnancy progressed I enjoyed her more and more. After one appointment she asked if I was a doula. I answered that I was not, but hoped very much to be one someday. She asked what I did for a living and I told her that I was a chef. She said I should come cater the birthing center, and I laughed it off. Carla was on call when I had June bug. She was awesome. She trusts birth, she trusts women. She was kind of in the background through a lot of my labor, but you could feel her there. I trusted her with my life. When June went home her comment on catering was singing in the back of my head. I’m letting the cat of the bag on this “new job” now. Carla was serious, and now I get to be a part of her wonderful team, this team of fierce and wonderful women. She believes in me. She trusts me. She is such an inspiration to me. She lets me know that it’s okay to struggle sometimes, and that the best people in your life come when you least expect it. Thank you Carla, for being a part of my village. For believing in me and helping me follow my dreams. You have forever touched my heart.

Brooke Moreland. Brooke is so much more than my Intended Mother. Our relationship has grown so much over the past few months. As I learned more and more about who she really is, I felt closer and closer to her. She has become not only a friend but family. Every time I call her with exciting news about my life, she shares in my joy. She continues to encourage me to go after my dreams. She understands my need for a career, to find my place in the world. Thank you Brooke, for making sure that my family was always taken care of while I helped you build yours, even when you didn’t have to. For encouraging me and trusting me and for just being there.

Stephanie Wright. I met Stephanie while seeking employment with her through the Marriott. Within minutes of speaking to her I had already embarrassed myself beyond belief. She hired me right away. I felt a connection to her. When I first started working, I thought she hated me. She pushed me unlike I had ever been pushed. She kicked my ass. Looking back I couldn’t be more grateful for that. She made me the Chef I am today. Without her I never would have been able to go home to say good-bye to my grandmother when she passed away. She fought for me. When I told her about my impending surrogacy she opened herself to me and shared her past with me. She listened to me cry when things got hard and always encouraged me not to give up. When I had personal problems she was there. When times got tough she was there. She gives the best advice and doesn’t bullshit me. I can literally talk to her about anything. She was there when I was depressed. She was there when I was happy. She was there to share my joy when June was born and took care of me after the fact. And even now, even though she thinks I’m crazy for riding that roller coaster again, she’s by my side until the end. I will never, ever be able to thank you enough. For being my best friend, for being my mentor, for being my heterosexual life partner. For always listening and always loving me no matter how crazy I am. For teaching me and encouraging me. For being understanding. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and sharing in mine. I love you forever.

Emma Claire Kimball. Though she will probably never read this, Emma is the most important woman in my life. She is the reason I am who I am. She has given me the strength that I need every single day to be a better person. She reminds me of where I came from and where I want to go. She is the reason I work so hard, why I continue to push myself even when I want to give up. I am determined to give her a better life, a happier life. I want her to never question if she is loved. I want her to know that not once in my life have I regretted having that beautiful baby girl at 15. I will give her the life she deserves, the mother she deserves. She will never question her beauty or her worth. She will never want for anything. She is strong and beautiful and smart. She is my daughter. My whole world.

The point in all of this is, I wasn’t always the woman I am today. And tomorrow I will be different still. I am always learning, always growing. And at least in some part, it’s because of these women. They are all amazing. They are all teaching me and loving me.
They are my village.

When a Good Man Goes To War

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
-Art Williams

No one is perfect, we all know this to be true. But sometimes it’s even harder for us to see our shortcomings in a relationship. Most of the time we feel that all our problems are the fault of our significant other (SO) and surely we didn’t do anything wrong.


Over the past few months I have talked to my husband more than I have in the past ten years. And I am listening, REALLY listening for the first time too. Three years ago we split up. It only last a short month before we found our way back and were dedicated to really put in all of our effort to fix our marriage. A lot of things were said and done during that time that we both wish we could take back, but we never understood why the other felt the ways that we did.


It was years and years worth of built up mistakes that had never been talked about. There was so much animosity and resentment it’s no wonder that we had fallen apart. We talked, and we listened, for hours and hours as we both finally got out our feelings. We let go of each other shortcomings and began to recognize our own. It was amazing.


Why am I writing this? Because I had very little example in my life of what a marriage should look like. What a healthy relationship looks like. How to be a good wife. What a good husband looks like. Let me say, that Curtis and I have been together longer than any relationship either of my parents have been in. So yes, I had very little example of how to make it even this far. I’m not an “advice columnist” type of person, but if I can help anyone in their relationship, help someone fight for love, well I will gladly help. Here is a few things I’ve learned in ten years with my husband:

  1. A teenager will never be a good spouse. I thought I was so grown up when I had Emma at 15. And even more grown up when Curtis and I got married when I was 16 and he was 18. No. No matter how much you go through as a child or teenager, it’s just impossible. You’re still going through puberty, you still think about what you want and trying to find out who you are. My advise is hold off. If you truly love each other there is no rush to get married, save it for when you’re really ready.
  2. Talk about everything, when you AREN’T fighting. Don’t try to make amends or tell your SO about issues while you’re fighting. When you’re fighting your defenses go up, you aren’t receptive. I’ve found that making yourself MORE vulnerable to your SO really helps. I like to have our disagreements sitting in a shower. Your naked, water is calming, and you have nothing holding you back, no distractions. When you aren’t fighting and you think of something that has been bothering you, talk about it. Let them know you aren’t looking for a fight but you need resolution.
  3. Put yourself first, but never forget about them. We all need “me” time. It’s good to have things just for yourself, friends, activities, work. But don’t ever make a decision that effects your “family unit” without thinking about them or talking to them first. And don’t get jealous when they need some time away. It’s not that they don’t want to spend time with you, but we ALL need that time away. It’s good for you both and at the end of the day, it gives you something to talk about. If you spend all of your time together, there is nothing new to talk about.
  4. Own up to your shortcomings. Don’t get offended when something that you did upset your SO. Put yourself in their shoes. Would this specific situation upset you if it were the other way around? Be honest with yourself. Stop and really think about it. Don’t ever be too stubborn to say you’re sorry.
  5. Stop keeping track of the past, let it go. Don’t keep having the same fight over and over again. Have it once, get all your feelings out on the table and make sure you’re being heard, don’t walk away until it is resolved and you can put it to rest, and don’t bring it into the next fight. Let. It. Go.
  6. Say I love you, and mean it. Get out of the habit, of saying it out of habit. When you say it, feel it. Know that it’s true. Let them know it’s true. Kiss them, hold them, feel your warmth and love. Don’t ever stop.
  7. Keep it OFF social media. Don’t ever complain about your relationship on facebook (or any other outlet). It’s okay to need to complain about your SO sometimes. Call your mom, call your best friend. Get it off your chest, get some insight and then let it go! When you complain on social media you belittle your SO for all to see, you give people a skewed perception of your relationship and SO. Remember that there are three sides to every story. Yours, his (or hers) and the truth. Don’t make your family/friends hate your SO because you’re pissed off in the minute.
  8. Support their dreams as if they are your own. Push them. Encourage them. Believe in them. Never let them stop fighting for what makes them happy and complete.
  9. Always remember, the best things in life are worth fighting for. You don’t throw away your favorite book because a page is ripped, you tape it, you repair it. Treat your relationship the same way. Do your best to make sure no pages tare, but if (and when) they do, repair it instead of throwing it away. It can last forever and the wear and tear remind you of how long you’ve had it, how much you love it. Never let it go.


In my relationship, I’ve been the main offender to tearing pages. There have been many times in my relationship when I was just a bad wife. I didn’t put my husbands feelings into consideration. I did things for myself that hurt him. I was immature and ungrateful. Many days I have wondered why my husband has stuck by my side. But when you love someone so much, you’re willing to go to war for them. Sometimes you battle other people, sometimes you battle yourself, and sometimes you battle the demons of your SO. My husband is a good man, a great man. This man has been at war for a long time for me, and just over the past two or three years have I joined the fight. Out of ten years together, I have never been happier than I am now. I have never felt so loved, or given so much love. I have never talked so much, or listened so much. Our wounds are healing and we are nursing them for each other. We are happy. You can be too. It all starts with a choice. Of course it takes two, but if you truly love each other, when one sees the other putting in the effort, normally the other will follow.


“There’s one thing I do know… and that is that I love you,… In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us. Selfish and shrewd. But able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names.”

Beyond the Bump: Life After June

“Your story isn’t calm. The road has been chaotic at times, filled with detours and rain and loss so sudden and soon. Sometimes the bliss was so elevated your heart could hardly hold it. Sometime it was maddening to have, and then to lose. You learn soon enough that it hardly ever goes as planned — gentle, easy, and smooth. But that my friend, is what makes you fascinating. You have something to tell. Something you’ve walked through. Something wild. Something courageous. Something true. You’re made of stories within stories within even more stories. Those quiet depths of you.”
-Victoria Erickson

June went home three weeks ago today. I have kept in touch with them, we talk every few days and I see pictures of their beautiful family regularly. It makes my heart sing each time I see a smile on their faces holding that baby. I am forever changed by our journey.

I want to talk about a lot of postpartum stuff today. From some tips for all newly postpartum women, to the new emotional journey I’m on now that my part in Junes story is over. I’ll start with the light hearted stuff.

Whether you are a new mom or a surrogate or you’ve gone through a loss, the immediate postpartum period can be overwhelming. You are processing the birth (vaginal or cesarean), bleeding, healing and hormones. Not to mention learning about your new body and navigating your family and friends.

I found some new (to me) products that helped me greatly during my first days at home after giving birth.

  1. Depends Diapers – Yes I know “But those are for old people!” WRONG! I always thought they were huge and just like baby diapers, uncomfortable and nothing I wanted any part in. But they are just like underwear with built in padding. Exceptionally comfortable. No mess. No ruined underwear. No pads that move around and get stuck to you. These were the best thing I have ever discovered and seriously, highly suggest buying some before you give birth. You can thank me later.
  2. Earth Mama, Angel Baby – This line of organic products are made for pregnant, nursing and postpartum women. As I didn’t have a baby to breastfeed and wanted to my milk to dry up, Brooke bought me their “no more milk tea”. It tasted wonderful and got the job done! They also have teas to help increase milk supply. I was also gifted their Peri spray. It’s to help heal your lady parts from discomfort, especially if you experience any tearing during birth. They offer many more products for all sorts of things!
  3. Acetaminophen – NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU ARE BREAST FEEDING. I’m not big on taking any kind of medication especially pain killers of any kind. But my cramps were intense those first few days and I desperately wanted some relief. It did the job for me and because I wasn’t breastfeeding it was great and aided in my want to dry up my milk.

As the days have gone by I’ve started feeling a little more like myself every day. For me personally, I got lucky (genetics?) when it came to my postpartum body. I’m already back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fitting in all my normal clothes. I’m very thankful that I didn’t have to deal with those emotions during a surrogate journey. I (personally) feel it’s a little easier to deal with new stretch marks, fat, skin etc. when you’re snuggling your own baby. The emotions/hormones may have been a bit to deal with had I not bounced right back.

My close family and friends have continued to not only be understanding, but great support for me through the past three weeks. I’ve had a couple of hard days for various reasons and they have helped me in every way possible to work through them.

Emotionally how am I? Well, I’ll explain it to you the best I can. When you are pregnant with your own child you do your best to bond with them in the womb. You read to them and sing to them. You day dream about what they will look like and what their life will be like. Who will your child be? What kind of parent will you be?

When you are a surrogate you detach yourself. Instead you imagine your intended parents. You hurt for the losses they have felt. You imagine the look on their faces when they hold their baby for the first time. You spend time getting to know them, their story, their hearts. You become attached to them.

During my journey 99% of the communication was with Brooke. And those last weeks when I went over due, we literally spent every day together. We talked more than we ever had. We dreamed together of the baby growing inside me. I felt loved and important. I was doing something important.

How am I emotionally? I’m okay, but I would be lying if I said I never felt sadness or loss. But to much of your surprise, it is Brooke whom I miss. I find many times grabbing my phone to share news with her and trying to hold back. It’s not that she doesn’t want to talk or doesn’t answer when I do call, but she has a whole new life to navigate. I remember being a new mom, trying to figure everything out and falling in love more and more with my own daughter. They need their space and time to find their routine.

The other unexpected emotion that I am feeling is a little deeper (and mostly hormones). It comes and it goes depending on what’s going on around me, but it’s real. Uselessness.

After being a part of something so big and so important and it coming to an end. It doesn’t help that I can’t go back to work yet, Curtis is gone at work all day, my older two children and at school and my youngest being a very independent child. I’m trying to once again find my place in the world, my meaning. Who am I now? Where do I belong now? I know that I am not useless. I know that my husband needs me. I know my children need me. I know my friends need me. I know that even though my journey is over, I am still important. But in those lonely moments, that’s how I feel, and they are no less valid for me in that moment.

But a lot has happened in the past three weeks. Like, a lot. The first thing I can only give limited details on until we officially announce, but I was recently offered a catering job somewhere very near and dear to my heart. It lets me spend more time with people I care very much about, somewhere I feel at home and do something that I love to do. The second thing, is I got a phone call from the Marriott (where I’ve worked the past two years) and given a pay raise, out of the blue! I now make two dollars more than I did when I first started working there and that is really something! I’ve also done my best to stay involved in the community, in MY community with my people. I had a wonderful learning experience yesterday (that I also can’t officially talk about yet, but there will be a video soon). This was a medical learning opportunity that I never thought I would be a part of. It was truly amazing.

And then today my cup over flowed. A friend very close to my heart asked me why I had yet to get my Doula certification. The truth is, is that getting your certification isn’t cheap and I’ve never had the extra money (and the time at the same time) to go get it… This beautiful heart then offered to pay for my certification. Just wow. To know that someone has so much faith in me, to believe in me so much to offer something like that is beyond anything I ever thought possible. I of course tried to turn her down, but she insisted. I’ve been fighting tears all afternoon.

So what now? Who am I? Where do I go? I’m still not 100% sure what my future holds, but I do know one thing. The future looks so bright. The red threads connected to my life continue to show themselves in places I never expected. The hard work that I’ve put into my life, the love that I’ve given, the pieces of my soul that I have shared for all to see, it all matters. What you put out into the world you get back. This I truly believe. Dreams really do come true.

Until Next June…

“Sometimes when making something so precious, beautiful, and unique’ it takes an extra helping heart”

As a surrogate you wait months (sometimes years) for one moment. The moment when you hand a baby to their parents. You imagine and dream of that moment, that one moment when a parent who was told “no” for so long, finally hears “yes”. The moment they see their baby. The moment they fall in love.

Brooke has known most of her life that she wouldn’t be able to carry a child. But about 6 years ago her and Joe decided it was time to find a way to make their dreams of a family come true. She talked to Doctors who told her she may be able to carry, and then said no, she couldn’t. They faced many set backs. When they finally turned to surrogacy, they found a surrogate, who ended up not being able to carry for one reason or another. So they found another surrogate, same situation. Finally they found me.

Photo by: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

At 6:55am I was in the tub, feeling the waves, riding the waves, knowing each one brought June just a little closer to shore. I reached down and felt her head. Carla was behind me with a mirror and told Brooke to look. I heard her gasp. “Oh June”! I pushed and I heard her cry and gasp again. Each sound she made gave me more strength. I don’t even remember taking breaks between pushes. Just a nice deep breath.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

At 7:06am I reached down and pulled June from the water. I put her on my chest and layed back.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

It became a little chaotic. I could still hear Brooke saying Junes name. I started stimulating Junes back so we could hear that first cry. I felt weak so Carla helped. She let out that beautiful cry and I looked to Brooke who just looked,.. in love.

I looked at June and told her hello. She looked so perfect.


Brooke reached in and touched her daughter for the first time. I wanted to hand June to her, but I knew we needed to wait for the cord to stop pulsing. Brooke was so patient, knowing it meant a lot for her baby to get that blood.


Photo by: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

She put her forehead on mine and thanked me. From there the emotion flowed, and there are no words, in any language that can describe the feeling I had.

I held her up for a minute so Brooke could get a good look at her, and so June could really see her mama.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

After about 8 minutes on my chest there was still blood in the cord, but Carla said we needed to cut it.I looked into the pool and saw that I had started bleeding, heavily. Brooke cut the cord herself and I handed June to her mama.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

The look on her face! It was magic! They moved Brooke and the baby to a corner with her mother and sister for skin to skin and bonding. I got up out of the tub and hung onto the side to deliver my placenta. Curtis on one side, Dana on the other and Carla behind me.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

I delivered the placenta within a couple short minutes, as well as a lot of blood. Way more than you’re supposed to. They rushed me to the bed. I was exhausted, at this point I had only a short hour nap in over a 24 hour period, drank castor oil, had two membrane sweeps and gone through a 7 hour labor, and now I had lost a lot of blood.

I was given a pitocin shot in my shoulder and Carla was checking out my lady parts to see if there was any tearing (there wasn’t), and did a fundal massage (where they push around on your uterus to decrease bleeding).

After a minute I am able to get comfy on the bed and just relax. Dana brought me some snacks and orange juice and I chat with Stephanie (my best friend who showed up while I was in the bath the first time), Curtis and Dana. I watch Brooke and Alex and Cindi coo over the beautiful baby.

Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree
Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

Curtis decided that everyone needed caffeine and I finally get to say the words “GET ME A REDBULL!!!!” It tasted better than I remembered.

At 8:15 Brooke moves over to the bed so that Carla can do the newborn exam. Brooke is an active part (add this to the list of things I love about birthing centers). First, they measured.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

A perfect and exact 21 inches.

Then Brooke weighed her.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

A perfect 8 Pounds exactly.

I was pretty happy, I had promised Brooke a big baby, and June cooked a little longer to make sure I wasn’t a liar.

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

13 3/4″ head, 140 Heart Rate, 14″ chest. 8/9 Apgar. She’s perfect. Carla swaddles her up good, and then I get to hold her. I can’t believe that this little person has been living in me! She is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen (other than my own of course).

Photo By: Stephanie Wright

I snuggled her and kissed her and just loved on her. I noticed something kind of strange while snuggling up with her. My own kids, I remember smelling their heads and just getting a huge rush of oxytocin, just falling in love harder. I smelled June out of habit and you know something, she didn’t smell like my babies! Not that she smelled bad of course, but isn’t science and nature amazing?! Though she came from my womb, my hormones (and/or hers) knew that she wasn’t my baby. No bonding, in love feelings. Oh I adore her so much and I can’t wait to see her again, but truly no feelings of loss.

I gave her back to her mama so that I could take an herbal bath (a wonderful thing that helps with healing and is so relaxing! Plus it felt nice to wash up a little bit!). I had a nice soak and then was ready to get out and eat something. I stood up and took Curtis and Danas hands. Right away I knew that something was wrong. At first I thought maybe I just stood up too quickly. I felt dizzy and weak. I slowly felt my energy drain, tunnel vision, tunnel hearing. I reached both hands for Curtis. He told me to squeeze his arm, I did the best I could. I heard him talking to the midwives saying that my grip was loosening but I was still trying. I half stepped, half Curtis lifting me out of the tub and was laid on the ground. Someone was holding my legs straight in the air, and Curtis was by my side holding my hand, talking to me. I have really no memory of the conversation going on around me. I heard their voices but not the words. I opened my eyes and Carla is the first face I remember seeing. For some reason my first thought was “Oh no I don’t want to go to the hospital”. Slowly my tunnel vision and tunnel hearing faded. Dana brought me orange juice that I sipped on and seemed to help along with a honey stick.

Finally they got me sitting up and on a stool that they wheeled over to the bed. An IV was placed (I don’t even know where it came from! I love that birthing centers have everything for an emergency, HIDDEN somewhere. No scary medical equipment unless it’s needed). Lissa (another midwife) brought in pancakes and bacon and I sat and ate and drank more orange juice.

Everyone gathered on the bed to take group pictures (I don’t have those yet) and I held June again. Curtis went to go pick up our kids so that they could meet June Bug and Joe had finally landed and was on his way to the Birthing Center. Joe got there first and I got to experience that moment all over again when he got to meet his daughter for the first time.

Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

Magic all over again. It was beautiful to see them together.

Photo By: EvaDiana Photography Edit By: The Birthing Tree

My kids arrived and got to meet my belly buddy who they have watched grow over the past 9 months. It was adorable. Emma was the most excited, the boys were just kinda like “yeah, she’s cute but whatever”.

We all hung out at the birthing center for another hour or two. Just kinda enjoying each other, planning what to do from there. Brooke invited me to go to the hotel with them, as tempting as it was to spend more time with them I decided that a nap was what I wanted most.

I left the Birthing Center and went home with my beautiful family. Stephanie came over after my short nap and her and Curtis took good care of me. Later on Brooke and her sister came over, saying they had a gift for me.

This picture really does the basket no justice!

They brought me this HUGE basket! Full of wine, snacks, things to help my recovery (like a rice heating wrap, no more milk tea, and peri spray), and things from my favorite shop in Austin (The Herb Bar). A ton of lavender things (which Brooke and I both kind of flocked to this pregnancy), a gift card from Brookes mom to a local restaurant for Curtis and I, and more wine! It was beautiful and so thoughtful!

They went back to their hotel and Stephanie went home. Laney called me and said she would be coming home that night and asked if I wanted her to stop in. We decided it would be nice for her to stay here. She got in late and we stayed up for awhile, me telling her all about my eventful labor and birth. When we turned everything off and went to sleep I passed out, HARD! It had been so long since I had been able to sleep soundly. Laney woke up every couple hours to see if I needed anything, but I slept the whole night.

The next day was my beautiful daughters 9th birthday, and also the day that Brooke, Joe, June, Alex and Cindi were leaving to go back down to Austin. Laney left around 8:30 and Stephanie arrived shortly after that. Cleaning up my house and helping to take care of the kids for me. She was awesome.

The whole crew showed up just after noon to say good-bye. Each of the kids got to hold June for a minute and say good-bye. Stephanie got in some baby snuggles. We laughed and talked about the baby and their first night together. I snuggled her and fed her a bottle and said my good-byes. To be honest it was harder saying good-bye to Brooke than the baby. Though I wish I had been able to get in some more baby snuggles before they left (who doesn’t love baby snuggles!?).


So that’s it… for now. I have a trip planned to NY in June and will be spending a night in NYC with them. I’m excited to see them in their own element, go out with Brooke and Joe and get me some more baby snuggles! She’ll be two months old then! Crazy thought!

So until next June…

Some things are worth waiting for: The Story of Junes journey Earthside

The Birthing Center looks different at night than it does during the day. It smells different. It has an energy, it’s welcoming and understanding.

Brooke, Curtis, Carla, Dana and I made our way into the Center and up the stairs to the birthing suit. I mention that I have yet to call Laneys back up birth photographer, Eva, and that I was unsure of when to do that. I hand someone my phone and tell them her name. That’s the last time I saw my phone for many hours. It was glorious to not be attached to it or to care about it. I knew that all updates from this point on would be taken care of by all the wonderful people who surrounded me. I felt safe, I was unafraid.

I could feel all my contractions in my hips. Dana was awesome putting counter pressure on them, helping bring that pain down so I could focus on the contraction it’s self to help baby move down the birth canal. Carla wanted to check and see where we were. Earlier in the day I was 2 1/2cm, 80% and -1 station. Carla smiled at me, “You are definitely in labor!” I was at 4cm, 0 station and my waters were broken, just leaking slowly. They put a giant Depends diaper on me so I didn’t leak everywhere… it was pretty sexy if I do say so myself.

We put on Classical music on Pandora and I get on the birthing ball to do hip circles. It feels much better than it did at home. I think their ball was bigger and better inflated. Either way, it helped a lot. I remember hearing Danas voice behind me, talking to me and gently asking questions about being comfortable and asking if I needed anything. At 3am Eva, the birth photographer, arrived. It was the first time we had met. But I am an open book and easily opened myself and our space to her. I was grateful to know that someone was there who would be able to document this experience with pictures for us.

Soon after that Dana starts asking about other positions, I just remember saying “sure” to everything she said. Curtis came over and I hung from his shoulders during a contraction. I felt safe, but it was uncomfortable and made me nauseous. I went into the bathroom and threw up a bit. I remember being angry that I was throwing up. I wanted to eat and drink and stay as energized and hydrated as I could. I would never be able to do that throwing up. Dana brought in some peppermint oils and the smell helped so much, it really surprised me.

I remember asking about Joe a few times. Brooke had called him when we first got to the birthing center, but it was still hours before he could get a flight from NYC. I remember asking where her mother was (who had been staying at the hotel in town with her the whole time), but I guess she wanted to sleep through most of my labor and would come later. And I remember asking about Alex, Brookes sister. I am always concerned when people travel, wanting to be sure they get where they are headed safely. I asked about Alex a lot.

When I left the bathroom I went back to the ball and everyone started hanging my birth affirmations. They looked beautiful and I felt proud of all the hard work I had put into them. Dana and Carla asked about my favorites:


“Birth is not only about making babies. It is about making mothers.”

For me, as a mother of three beautiful children who am totally in love with, this quote hits me in the heart every time I look at it. I wasn’t just growing little June Bug, I was growing a mother and a father too. Dana and I talked about what I looked forward to most. “The look on Brookes face when she sees her daughter for the first time”.

At 3:40 I agree to get in the shower, hoping it will help to warm me up (I always feel like I’m freezing while in labor), and hoping the water will help with my contractions. The water feels amazing. I look at Dana and tell her “Best idea ever”! In between contractions she asks me if I want Brooke or Curtis to come comfort me or help me. I knew that they were there and that I could count on them for emotional support, but Dana was exactly what I needed for both emotional and physical support. During each contraction she talked to me, telling me to relax my body, to let the waves come to bring June to shore. She helped me steady my breathing and knew just the right  counter pressure at the right time to help me. When counter pressure wasn’t needed, rubbing my back or arms while continuing to help me focus.

I labored standing up for awhile, continuously asking if Alex had made it from Austin safely. She arrived around 4am. I tried different positions in the shower, squatting, sitting. Nothing felt right and I went back to standing until 4:20 when Carla suggested we try some more moving around to help speed things up. I am zen. I am happy to do anything to help bring June to her family faster. I get dressed and Dana, Carla, Eva and I head for the stairs. I take them two at a time, sideways (so there is a lot of widening in my hips). It didn’t last very long before I started to feel nauseous again. I end up on the bed, smelling peppermint oil to calm the nausea when I overhear Curtis. He’s in the kitchen with Brooke and Alex, telling them the stories of my previous labors. I’ve never heard them from his point of view before. This ups my spirits a lot as I get a nice rush of Oxytocin, feeling so in love with my husband, and so thankful that he is there. His voice is the calm in my storms.

I know sitting on the bed isn’t going to help progress labor at all, so I get up and stand next to the couch, squatting during contractions. The pressure is unreal but I continue to do it, I know gravity is my friend. I don’t remember why, but I end up sitting backwards on the toilet, with a pillow on the back of it. It’s comfortable and I can feel transition coming. We must be in the home stretch! I can feel pressure in my bottom and can feel myself baring down during each contraction. It’s 5am and they start filling the birthing tub. Curtis comes in and checks on me often, not wanting to get in the way, but making sure I know he’s there. He is supposed to be at work at 6am. He is a supervisor and has to go open the store but promises he will be back as soon as he can. I don’t want him to go but know that he has to. Carla checks me to see where we are. No one tells me the numbers but Carla says we are close.

I get in the tub and it feels great. Brooke is by my side, sitting on a stool, updating her family and continuing to check to see where Joe is. I believe at this point he was just getting on a plane. The contractions during this time are intense and I can feel everything in my butt. It makes the pain more intense and I can’t get comfortable sitting in almost any position. By 5:45 I’m throwing up again. I feel bad because I can hear everyone else trying to hold it together and not get sick too. Everyone laughs and jokes that Brooke may need her own bag to be sick in. She was such a trooper. Brooke becomes more involved at this point, seeing me splashing water on myself they give her a cup and she poors water over my back and belly. Dana suggests I do a seated lunge to keep me from being in one position, I comply, and its nice to get off of my butt. It’s now 6:10 and Curtis is finally back. I feel like I can relax again, I just don’t feel safe without him there. I feel so much better I joke that I feel like a frog in my current position. Yeah, I can still joke, even in the throws of labor.

This is where things changed. I’m starting to push, I can’t control it, my body is ready. Carla wants to check me again so she knows where we are. She checks me and I hear the words I’ve heard twice before. “There is an anterior lip remaining.” She starts to explain but I already know all too well what is going on. June might have been born already, but shes caught on a piece of cervix. This happened with both of my boys. I am overwhelmed with emotion and fear. I look for Curtis. “I can’t do this. I can’t do it again.” I can’t even comprehend what I’m going to have to do.

The anterior section of the cervix is nearly always the last part of the woman’s cervix to be finally taken up into the lower segment of the uterus. An anterior lip occurs when the top of the cervix swells, but the rest of the cervix has completely dilated. An anterior lip can slow the woman’s progress from the 1st to 2nd stage of labor, because the swelling will usually take time to reduce, before enabling the woman’s cervix to be pulled up, and around the baby’s head.

With Collin I pushed for four hours before his head could pass the lip, and with Lex my midwife manually removed the lip during one excruciating contraction.

Carla offered those two options, to continue to labor and wait for the lip to move on it’s own, or she could manually remove it for me. I begged that she move it even though I knew the pain that came along with it. I was taken out of the tub and put on the bed where I got into the “normal” position for pushing in a hospital. On my back, knees up, someone holding my feet, chin to chest. Literally the worst position ever and painful without someone pushing part of my cervix out of the way. THREE contractions. It was torture and my zen was gone. I screamed and tried to not cry, I tried to not be defeated. Finally after those three contractions the lips was gone.

It’s 6:55am and I get right back in the tub. I’m on hands and knees and I reach down to feel her head, it’s there. I hear Carla telling Brooke to look and hear Brooke gasp and let out a small cry. I push slowly so that I don’t injure myself, but I am motivated again. I hear Brooke behind me. I push again and most of her head is out, I reach down and I can feel her little ear, I say this out loud and hear Brooke even louder now. One more small push and her head is born. Carla is doing something behind me, I ask her what shes doing and she says nothing but I can feel her touching me. I ignore it and give one good big push with the next contraction.

At 7:06am on March 15th 2016 June Bell is born.


You can’t rush perfection

March 1st 2016. Brooke had finally arrived in Fort Worth for the birth of her daughter. Our plans were all laid out. Birth plans, birth affirmations, hotels, when the rest of the family would come, how long everyone would stay. We thought we had it all figured out.

Prodromal labor. Better known as “false labor”. False labor isn’t really a fair term. It isn’t active labor, but every contraction is doing something for your body, and the baby you hold inside. Even experienced moms can have a hard time telling the difference.

Two weeks. Two weeks little miss June kept us on our toes, kept us waiting, kept us wondering. It got to the point where Brooke and I were convinced that I was going to be pregnant forever. Was there REALLY a baby continuing to grow inside me, or was it a figment of our imaginations?

March 14th 2016. We have an appointment at the Birthing Center before they even open. They are so accommodating to us. They know our situation isn’t the “norm”. They know that it’s not just an anxious mom waiting for her baby to be born. Our story is so much deeper, and has been going so much longer.

Shannon was the midwife we were seeing that morning. She checked Junes heart and then gave me a membrane sweep/strip with Evening Primrose Oil, twice. After we had some hard things to talk about. I was 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant. At 42 weeks, you can no longer deliver at the birthing center, as your risks for complications go up. We talked about some more natural ways to kick labor into high gear, and what we would be doing if we went all the way to Friday (42 weeks). At the mention of an increase in the chances of stillbirth, Brooke and I agreed that was not a risk we were willing to take. We set up for an induction Saturday morning, hoping we wouldn’t have to use it.

I went home to rest but felt some good contractions, so I decided instead that I should get dressed and go for a walk. Be alone with my thoughts and maybe encourage my contractions to pick up. As I went to put my headphones on and walk out the door Brooke called me. We talked about what we were both comfortable with as far as interventions and length of the pregnancy. I talked to her about my current set of contractions and my plan to walk, as always she offered to come walk with me.

I just want to pause my story for a minute to talk about Brooke. We are totally different personality types and come from different worlds. But I truly love this woman. Waiting (almost) two weeks later than we expected June to come was hard, demanding, exhausting. But I am so grateful for those two weeks. Brooke and I got to know each other on a whole different level. I got to see her soul in a new light. Each day came with new challenges, and we seemed to be on an optimistic/pessimistic pendulum ride. But we were riding it together, holding tight to each other for strength and courage.

While I was on the phone with Brooke, Shannon popped up on my call waiting. She asked me about what Brooke and I had decided on a number of things and I shared our thoughts and wishes with her. She said that when we left the office that morning she could feel the disappointment and defeat come off of Brooke and I. She was determined to help us get the birth we’d been dreaming of and to keep me out of the hospital. She asked how I felt about castor oil, and if I would want to come back in as the last appointment of the day for another sweep. I agreed to both.

I drank 3-4oz of castor oil as fast as I could and ate as much as I could. It can’t irritate your insides if your insides are empty. I knew it would hurt and I knew I was in for a long night, but I was SO beyond ready to give birth. Brooke picked me up at 4ish and we made our way back to the Birthing Center. Shannon gave me another two GOOD ROUGH sweeps with the EPO and I started bleeding  (which is a good thing). While we were there this time we talked to Carla (the midwife in charge at the Birthing Center), and Shannon went over newborn care things with Brooke. When we left Brooke mentioned how exciting it was that she had had that talk with Shannon, because we always talk about the pregnancy and labor, but talking about the baby just made it feel more real, and made her feel like her baby was finally going to come. We had made plans to go to the store to grab some things I needed after the appointment, but I could feel the castor oil taking effect and didn’t feel up to the trip.

Once home I texted with Brooke a couple times. I was still bleeding, in and out of the bathroom and having some contractions but I down played them because I was sure it wasn’t labor. Curtis and I headed to bed at a decent time that night, around 9pm. I slept hard, like I hadn’t slept in days, but for only a short time. I woke up around 10:30 and thought I was still having cramps from the castor oil, I got up and used the bathroom but was still having the pain. I tried to lay down and go back to sleep. I soon realized the cramps were actually contractions, but still I tried to force myself to sleep. At around 11 after failing to sleep, I had one really good contraction and found myself trying not to make noise so I didn’t wake Curtis. In the middle of the contraction, I physically felt a “pop” and immediately my contraction stopped.

I was extremely confused. Was that my water? I sat up in bed and felt just a little trickle. I got up and went to the bathroom. Still bleeding, and now there was fluid, but not enough to be my water. I must be crazy. I put on a pad and went back to the bed. I tried to convince myself to go to sleep. No such luck, the contractions were on top of each other and I was starting to make noise. I grabbed my body pillow and went to the living room. I refused to wake up Curtis and it end up not being labor. I sat on my exercise ball, brought up some music and tried my best to relax. I was unsure on what to do first. I wanted to call my Doula Laney but she had to go out of town to take care of some very important personal business.

At 12:12am I texted Laneys back up Doula, Dana. I told her what was going on and decided for myself that this really was the real thing. I called the on call midwife, Carla at 12:15 and updated her. She said to wait for Dana and then we would re-evaluate and decide if it was time to come to the birthing center.Dana called me at 12:27 and said she was on her way, but she was about an hour away. I decided it was time to wake up Curtis and stop sitting alone in the living room. I woke him up and told him to make himself some coffee, it was going to be a long night. I also decided it was time to call Brooke and tell her that he daughter was finally coming! I called her at 12:31… AND SHE DIDN’T ANSWER! I was shocked! She had been so on edge and on top of her phone for weeks! I couldn’t help but chuckle. I gave it a few minutes while I gave Curtis the full rundown of what was going on and texted Brooke hoping maybe she would hear that. After another five minutes with no reply I called again. When she didn’t answer the second time I called her sister who answered on the first ring. I told her what was going on and that I was freaking out a little that Brooke wasn’t answering. She promised to get a hold of her and said she was going to be leaving Austin and be on her way soon. Brooke finally called me at 12:55 and I had her talking to Curtis because I couldn’t talk through contractions. At 1:09 Dana sent me a text saying she would be at the house ASAP and wrote some encouraging words. Brooke arrived at my house at about 1:15. I labored there in the living room trying to find something comfortable between the couch and the wall and the ball. Nothing gave me relief. I called Carla back and told her I couldn’t wait any longer and needed to come in at 1:46. She said she was going to hop in the shower and then go to the birthing center, she would meet us there in 30 minutes. I was anxious waiting for Dana, and more anxious questioning myself on where I was in my labor. I told Curtis and Brooke to grab our things, and we head out the door at 2am just as Dana is getting there. At the bottom of my stairs I have a good contraction, I hear a car door and feel Danas hands at my waist, she speaks to me and I don’t remember what she said, but all I know is I let go of the anxiety I had a short time ago.

We make the 15 minute drive to the birthing center, I make Curtis drive slow because every bump we hit makes the pain so much more intense. I see Danas vehicle speed up around us. I have a good three or four contractions on the way there. When we pull up, for some reason I think Carla isn’t there yet and I’m going to have to labor in my truck. Dana comes straight to my side (where she stays until long after the baby is born, Doulas are awesome). I look up after a contraction and see Carla.

Relief. It’s time to have a baby.

Long over due: Baby Watch 2016

It came out of no where. I knew it was coming, I started Maternity leave at the end of January. But still, it came out of no where.

Mama B flew from NYC to Austin, Texas on the 23rd of February where her sister lives. On March 1st, she drove into Fort Worth and I breathed a huge sign of relief. Knowing that she was right here made it so much more real, but also relieved a lot of my stress. My biggest nightmare has always been going into labor, and her not being here when her baby arrives. Her mother flew in the same day from NYC so she could also be here when June arrives.

That night I was craving sea food so went and checked out a place called “The Flying Fish”. Mama B, Curtis, all three kids and myself. It was so great just being all together.

As we ate I started having contractions. I tried to ignore them but they seemed to be rather close together. Then in the middle of a conversation I had one that kind of took my breath away. I couldn’t hide it, so both Curtis and mama B decided it was time to start counting contractions. We went home and I timed them for an hour. They were pretty consistent. Six minutes apart. After an hour I called my midwife and asked what she thought I should do, they weren’t strong, and I could even talk through them. But I was feeling anxious because Daddy J still had to get in from NYC and June Bugs Aunt had a three hour drive from Austin to be able to be here. The midwife said it sounded like labor was coming, and to give them the go ahead to come to Fort Worth. Mama B was ecstatic. I called my doula and she said to sleep, if it was labor, it would still happen but I needed rest to have all my energy for labor. So we all went to bed, Curtis called into work, Junes Aunt hopped in the car and dad bought the first ticket he could.

The next morning (March 2nd) I was still having consistent contractions but they hadn’t gotten any more intense. We decided to go for a nice long walk to try to encourage baby, so we went to the zoo.


After walking for a few hours we went to lunch at Risckys BBQ. My doula called me and set out to find a chiropractor who would see me to be sure that June was in a good position and that that wasn’t delaying labor. We went home and I called the midwife to see if I could get in to check what position June was in. I got right in. June was in optimal position for a smooth labor. I went to the chiro anyway. After being readjusted, my contractions totally stopped.

The next day (March 3rd) felt like a bit of a let down. We had rang the bells and set off the alarms, and everyone was just waiting. Waiting for me to pop. A pop that didn’t feel like it was coming. I tried to relax all day, and invited “the family” over to watch the GOP debate and hang out. They brought Chicken Express (we eat a lot ya’ll) and we watched the circus, I mean, debate. It was hilarious.

The following day was my due date, March 4th. I had been so sure that I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore by this point! I was slow moving, each day sleeping less and becoming more sore. At 1;30 we had an appointment with the midwives. The entire crew came (mom, dad, grandma, aunt). June was perfect, measuring on point, still in perfect position, and she kicked the heartbeat doppler. We asked for a membrane sweep, but at 10% effaced, 1 1/2 CM and a “-3” station, I knew it wouldn’t do much. June bug is holding on tight.


Due Date Belly

I had some contractions after that, but I ignored them. I knew it was not Junes birthday. We went to Central Market for some lunch and had some great laughs. My anxiety started to go down. I knew everyone was waiting on me, but the more time we spend together, the more loved I feel, the more comfortable I am, the less anxious I am.

March 5th was Mama B’s birthday! Curtis had drill so I was home alone, over due, tired and sore, with all three kids. We made some birthday cards and watched some Harry Potter. The kids helped me get the whole house clean and then Curtis and I got dressed up (which we don’t get to do often) to go out to a nice birthday dinner. It was amazing! We were there for three hours. Talking and laughing, all getting to know each other even better. We talking about our pasts, about June bug, we even talked about what our futures looked like. Where we see our journey going from here. How we will be involved in each other lives after this. After all, how do you go through all we’ve been through together and not be family after. This was by far my favorite day all week.

I bet I can guess what she wished for.

That night daddy J said he was flying back to NYC in the morning, and Aunt A was driving back to Austin. Dad only has so much leave and as much as we love hanging out, we all agree it’s better he gets to use his leave for when his daughter is born. And Aunt A has a business to take care of. They’ll be back when I’m REALLY in labor.

Yesterday was a quiet day for the most part. Mama B came over to watch the Dem Debate, but we ended up watching close to none of it. My close dear friend Kelly was in the area and she stopped in and we sat and talked and laughed and reminisced. It meant a lot to me that mama B got to meet Kelly. I hold them both is very high regard, admire their drive and respect their knowledge.

So here I am, March 7th, 3 days over due. I don’t get more than two hours of consecutive sleep. My hands and feet are swollen. I’m always hungry, but no matter what I eat it gives me horrible heartburn. I’m hormonal and cry over just about everything. But you know what? I’m feeling pretty great. Yeah I just made a list of over due pregnancy complaints, but I’m fine. I’ve been waiting for June Bug for about a year, but her family? They’ve waited YEARS.

I wish more than anything I could hand them their baby girl right now. I’m over all my anxiety, I don’t care how uncomfortable I am, or even if it gets worse. In the moment I may complain, but really, what I’m feeling is so trivial in comparison. Over due. This little girl is for sure over due, but not because she’s still in my womb. And every day is one day closer to her finally being where she belongs. In the arms that have longed for her for so long. I’m just a little piece of this puzzle, but I feel honored to have it.

Whenever you are ready June Bug. I know that you will get here on your perfect day. You’ll be surrounded by so much love, and joy. No rush sweetheart, we all know you can’t rush perfection.

Looking toward the future: 2016

2016 will be great!

I’m not making any “new years resolutions” this year, no promises to anyone that won’t be kept or will be forgotten in the weeks to come.I made no promises last year, and 2015 was an amazing year in every way for me. I have goals that I’ve continually set for myself over the past year that I plan to keep moving toward.

  • January 19th is Curtis and I’s 10 year anniversary. TEN YEARS! I’ve been putting up with his crap for an entire decade! It’s amazing and astounding but not surprising. Curtis and I have had our bumps, but we aren’t quitters. We promised to put everything into each other, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
  • In late February or early March, I will be giving birth for the fourth time. Maybe the last time, maybe not, I won’t pretend to know what my future holds. I’ll be surrounded by support and love. And I will hand my little womb mate to parents who have waited years for her. This is what I look most forward to in 2016. And yes, I will have wine ON HAND to celebrate! haha!
  • After June goes home and I’ve had time to recover I’ll be going back to back work full time and working toward a promotion that I desperately want and am dead determined to get. If after a per-determined amount of time it hasn’t happened, I’ll be moving on. Up or out. I’m ready to further my career.
  • For the first time in almost two years I’ll be going to NY in June. I’ll be stopping in NYC to see J&B and little June Bug for the first time since giving birth. And then flying on to CNY to prepare and celebrate my mothers wedding. I’ll be able to see family and friends I haven’t in SO long and I can not wait!
  • Curtis and I have set goals for ourselves when it comes to money, and the future. We are working towards being debt free, and getting our ducks in a row to buy our first home. It may not be in 2016 and we’re okay with that, but the momentum has started so that we can finally find four walls to call home.
  • And last but NOT least, in August… my baby, my youngest child, will be starting school. This is a whole new chapter in the Kimball home. All three of our children will be in school all day. No more lazy baby days. No more snuggles in the middle of the afternoon. And on our days off, the house will be quiet and empty. I’m so conflicted about this! I’m happy to not have tiny babies in the house anymore, but where has the time gone!?

So no, no resolutions, no promises or goals. Just life. My life, our life moving forward. I look forward to seeing how our plans pan out, and to see what life has to throw at us this next year. So here’s to 2016! May it bring all my dear friends and family abundance in love, health and wealth. May you be able to look back at 2016 with the same awe that I now look back at 2015 with.

Happy New Year.

Saying good-bye to 2015

Every year for as long as I can remember I have written a blog post saying good-bye and looking back at the past year on NYE. This year is no different.

2015 is a year that I will never, ever forget.

I brought in the year working, working more than I have in my entire life. Busting my fucking ass.

A few weeks into the new year I was sent B&Js profile. I read through it and found similarities that I was sure I wouldn’t find with anyone else. At this point, they had already said they liked my profile. When I opened their pictures, I fell in love. I knew, I am going to have these peoples baby. Crazy right?


I met them in March and my dreams of a baby called June Bug were validated when they told me they wanted a little girl, and her name would be June Belle. Destiny.

In March I also decided that I needed to step away from work a bit, and eventually I decided it was best for me to go part time. A career choice that scared me, but looking back, the best thing I could have done. During this crazy time, I decided it was time for a personal, physical change… which obviously means chopping off 3 feet of hair!


The next three months were full of trials in both my personal life, work life, and the surrogacy. Set backs, paperwork problems, needing extra vaccinations. It felt like it would never end.

June 17th, in Austin Texas, we transferred one perfect girl embryo, hoping she would make a temporary home with me. I took SO many pregnancy tests! SO MANY! Every day it got a little darker, and I got a little more tired. Every day is got a little darker, and I couldn’t tell J&B! They had sworn me to secrecy until BETA (blood draw) day! On June 29th, almost 2 full weeks after transfer, I finally got to call J&B, and tell them myself that they were going to be parents!

Cue morning sickness. Cue intense pain due to hormones. Crippling, can’t get out of pain, literally in tears pain. Maybe the worst pain I have ever been in. I pushed through. I complained of course, it’s human nature. But I still took that damn shot, every, single, day.


After a scare where I started bleeding at work, and ended up in the ER, we finally got our first sonogram. SURPRISE! IT’S TWINS!!! shock.

We were pregnant with twins for another three weeks, all of which we were told conflicting things. It will survive, it wont survive, it’s not viable, oh look a heart beat. By our 10 weeks appointment, it was just June Bug.

I took the entire month of July off of work, between the emotional ups and downs and the physical pain, I needed rest.

When I went back to work, I was back in full swing. And the rest of the year has been spent putting all my effort into work, and taking care of myself/June.

Not a whole lot going on with my kiddos. Of course they are growing everyday. We have good days and bad days. Emma is determined to be a scientist, Collin still wants to be batman and Lex wants to be a rock star. Emma and Collin excel in school in most (if not all) areas. Both of their teachers are constantly bragging about them and they are both up for the gifted program.


I am saying good-bye to 2015 with a kiss on the cheek and my sparkling juice raised in the air. It’s been a good year, no, it’s been a great year. And I have a very good feeling, that 2016 will be even better.