Just in case

Three powerful words

So I have been thinking about this blog post for a while. I will preface it by saying that this could be a trigger for some of you. I will also preface it by saying I am being so serious in writing about this topic. Some of you might disagree with me and that is completely fine. But I also feel like some of you are waiting for this conversation to start.  It’s a vulnerable and raw topic. It’s just something that’s constantly been on my mind these past few weeks even with the craziness of life. Oddly enough, it was brought up at our MOPS play date this week! I definitely feel like God is calling me to start the conversation. So here we go…..

A little back story:
So I was talking to a friend about two weeks ago and she told me that she was pregnant. It was a really good conversation and obviously, I am so excited for her and her growing family. But she was about 7 1/2 weeks along and she told me that she wasn’t telling very many people until after her first doctor appointment….. just in case. I think we all know what that means. In case you don’t, she wasn’t telling very many people in case something is wrong or something happens in the early part of the pregnancy. If you have ever been pregnant, most of you understand and are sensitive to this… and quite frankly, we all get it and would never blame anyone for waiting….. just in case.

But here is the problem with just in case, it doesn’t matter if we don’t wait and share right when we find out or wait for 12 weeks or 20 weeks; the fact is, anything can happen at anytime and we can’t control what happens. I think we use this idea of just in case as a protection and a way to guard ourselves from the potential of something so unbelievably painful if the pregnancy ends in miscarriage and/or stillbirth. And actually, for anyone to make it through an entire pregnancy without any complications is nothing short of a miracle. It truly is an amazing blessing to have a healthy pregnancy, even in this century filled with so much science and technology!

But why do we do this? Why do we feel like it’s better to wait just in case?

Is it because it’s easier on us if we should lose the pregnancy to have not told very many people? I would argue that it’s harder. In fact, it’s probably pretty lonely.

Is it because we wouldn’t want to bother anyone with our sadness in case of a loss? I would argue that our society would make us feel like our sadness is an inconvenience but the reality is that it’s not. The reality is that miscarriage and stillbirth happen every year in this country.

Now TRUST ME, I completely understand the just in case mentality. When we first started going through fertility treatments, I didn’t want anyone to know.


Because I was ashamed. I was ashamed that my body couldn’t do the most basic task it was made to do: to make a child.

I was upset because I felt that my body failed me.

I was angry for feeling like I had done “everything right” and was being punished for waiting to have children until after I got married instead of when I was single after a college party.

I was resentful because others seemed to just “get pregnant” without even trying and I couldn’t.

I was sad that children are conceived every day by people who didn’t even want them in the first place and here I was longing for a child and couldn’t have one.

I couldn’t have a baby. I still can’t have a baby without help.

No matter what I wanted, it just wasn’t going to happen the way I thought it should happen. The way it was supposed to happen.

I imagine that if I lost a child. I would have a lot of confusion, anger, sadness, frustration and even more indescribable feelings. I imagine it would be one of THE most painful events in my life. I think about that. I think about if we can’t bring our next two embryos to term or if I don’t get pregnant the next time we try to transfer…. I think about that. Because to me, that inability to conceive our children in waiting…..would. crush. me. Because to me, they are already here waiting for us. To me, they are already mine. To me, they are apart of our family. So I understand, just A LITTLE BIT, of those feelings that people must go through when a child is lost in the womb. And when I say A LITTLE BIT, I mean A LITTLE BIT. Just a dash. It’s one of those things you would never wish upon someone else but you can only experience it to truly know how it feels. It’s definitely something I hope I never have to feel.

So what are we guarding ourselves from by saying just in case?

Is it vulnerability? Is it trying to control the uncontrollable? Is it not having to answer anyone when they ask you how you are feeling? Is it because we want to be alone in our sadness? I don’t really know.

What I do know is that in the last 2 years that I have started sharing about our infertility journey, I have helped a handful of women, who felt they were ALONE, not feel alone. I have had so many conversations with women – just. like. me. – trying to make sense of this painful (physically, emotionally, and mentally) infertility journey. These conversations wouldn’t have happened without me being open. Without me, being open to sharing our struggles, sharing our journey, and sharing the truth.

So this is my point: If you can share your journey – share it. Because I guarantee you will find that you are not alone. You are far from alone. Whether it’s a miscarriage, infertility or still birth, there is someone there fighting the good fight with you. There is someone there who can mourn with you. There is someone there who can support you and run along side you. There is someone there that can tell you that YOU WILL BE OKAY. YOU WILL SURVIVE.

Share your journey just in case you end up impacting someone else’s life more than you will ever know. 




**This post is dedicated to the survivors.**

What’s in a name…

Time for a change!

So if you are following me on social media, you should be seeing a few name changes…. it was time I streamlined my social media accounts – everywhere!

I mean names are SOOO important! What do you think about when you hear your name? Last name? Your maiden name? They tell us a story of our lives and our history. In history, names would indicate where in a country someone was from and frankly, our last names are rich with so much history. One of my bucket list items is to find out more about my maiden name and my married name. History is alive and well in all of us! We carry it around us everywhere we go!

So I hope you like the new name…. I feel like it really encompasses my life because most times (read: ALL times) I am just “rolling with it”….

—- Rachel

It’s time I spilled the Cheerios….

The pregnancy that never ends…

Wow. It’s been 3 months since I’ve written. How is that possible? Well I could give a number of reasons, pretty legitimate reasons, why it just hasn’t happened…. but the biggest reason is that I was avoiding it. Weird, right? But now it’s time to get real. Get vulnerable. It’s time I spilled the Cheerios.

Since I gave birth to Madison, I haven’t been doing so great. Sure, I’ve found a wonderful outlet with Rodan + Fields, gotten closer to friends, have watched my sons grow into little boys, have watched my daughter grow from a newborn to an infant, bought a new house and much more. Those things have been WONDERFUL (distractions).

Life seems great. Life is great. But something is wrong (with me). I mean it in the most sincerity…. something is wrong with me. Those of you that have followed our story know Madison’s pregnancy was “exciting”. It was full of ups and downs and I was emotionally a wreck. Then we had Hurricane Harvey just a few days before giving birth which made her birth story, crazy and slightly stressful. And really I thought it would end after that. I thought all I would have to do between her birth and now would be trying to keep my sanity and raise 3 kids under 3 years old and trying to lose enough weight before my sister’s wedding at the end of February.

Well, somehow different plans have been drawn and I am scared shitless.

Since Madison’s birth:

1. I have had two D&C surgeries.

2. I have been told I might need a hysterectomy after I woke up from my first D&C procedure.

3. AND TMI, I have worn a pad almost every day since she’s been born.

4. I have tirelessly thought about our future family plans.

5. I have considered surrogacy for our last two embryos.

All of these 5 things have consumed me over the last (almost) 5 months. CONSUMED ME. Now I am busy in my day-to-day so I can’t exactly think about it on and on BUT mentally it’s always there.

So what’s wrong? Well, essentially, I somehow have had retained placenta left in my uterus from Madison’s birth. Yep. I didn’t know it could happen with someone who’s had a c-section (let alone two), but it has. I am just as shocked that I was on day one when the OB told me that was a possibility. I really can’t even explain how it happened because honestly no one can explain it to me and I have seen many doctors. Essentially, I haven’t really stopped bleeding since I gave birth. It comes and goes in waves. But it never really stops. So how can you move on when this is happening? You can’t. Or, at least, I can’t.

To put it bluntly, it’s been a nightmare. A nightmare I don’t think I wanted to face or make real by writing it down. But I’m ready. 

Since my second D&C (that I slightly regret doing), I have changed doctors and received a tentative diagnosis. I have been diagnosed with sub-involution of the uterus. Basically, my uterus was having a hard time healing from the pregnancy. It’s a consequence of having retained placenta (go figure). The diagnosis is hard to come to and doing the D&C’s actually lengthened the time my uterus needs to heal because, hello, surgery just aggravates it. But I praise God for this new doctor. I have actually been treated with two  rounds of antibiotics because it was suspected I also had endometritis (inflammation of the uterus) and now am on an estrogen/progesterone treatment to hopefully heal my lining of my uterus. My last scan does show I have some more scar tissue or possible more placenta particles. But we won’t know the state of everything until I have a hysteroscopy sometime in March.

Curious about the pathology report from the second D&C I had – yep. More placenta. Did I tell you this was a nightmare?   

So March. Madison will be 6 months old before I know what is the outcome of all this treatment. I will be 6 months into this 3 children gig. Definitely not something I have been happy about. Definitely not something I have been able to really come to terms with until now.

The worst part is that I don’t know what’s going to happen. The worst part is that I don’t know how this will affect our future family plans until March and really, maybe not until we are ready to transfer the next embryo. The worst part is that I don’t know if my next pregnancy will be my last or if this one was my last one. The worst part is we just DON’T KNOW.

What I do know:

  1. My body is shot. I definitely need a big break until we try again.
  2. If there is an inch of belief that my next pregnancy could be my last, we will transfer the two embryos.
  3. If there is a compromise to my uterus that could affect me carrying, we will consider surrogacy.

Is this stuff easy to think about? HELL NO. I am scared out of my mind but I believe with my whole heart that all of the lives we created deserve a chance. I believe with my whole heart we are supposed to have 5 children. I believe with my whole heart that whatever happens, we will be okay. I will be okay. I do believe that. It doesn’t mean I’m not scared. It doesn’t mean I am not angry about it. It doesn’t mean I’m consumed by it. It doesn’t mean I have all the right answers or know how to fix it.

I just KNOW I have two more lives worth fighting for and that’s all I need to know. 


“This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
‘Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.’

He whispered, ‘My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.'”

— Excerpt from Footprints in the Sand


Until next time,


Life on the crazy train

Trying to get off at the next stop…

So let me just say, life is CRAZY. I feel like I just paid for a one way ticket. But since we’ve had the twins – really since I was pregnant with them – we just sort of survived. Honestly, living like that daily BLOWS! I understand it’s a phase of life and we’ve had lots of fun as well but it’s still rough.

One thing I’ve always thrived off of is a clean work space. Well, now my house is the work space soooo not getting to the cleaning pretty much wrecked my world. But I’ve just gotten use to not being able to get to everything and I certainly don’t have large amount of hours to just clean anymore. The result: many things are left undone for a long time until we “get to them”.

Adding Miss Madison made it apparent that things needed to change. One thing I can’t stand more than anything were/are dirty floors. Our dog sheds so bad and it needs to be swept at least 2 times a week to make it bearable around here. But again, that never happened. The result: the clumps of dog hair and dust around. Great. It just felt so dirty. All the stinking time.

My therapist gave us an article to read about mental load and without going into super detail right now, it was so helpful to see how things at our house was really not functioning well for either of us. As a result, we instituted the following “schedule” that allows us to achieve household tasks daily so nothing (hopefully) seems super overwhelming. It’s not perfect but it helps us to know what we have prioritized as needing to get done that day. If I can’t get to the tasks during the day, then we tag team and get them done when the twins go to bed. It’s been so helpful.

Last week, when I was recovering from my surgery, we couldn’t get to anything besides the usual dishes and laundry (that’s a daily thing here). And even though I was ready for a more picked up house by the end of the week I wasn’t nearly as anxious because I knew we had this system in place to help us get back on track!

Linens freshened in rooms and bathrooms
Trash/Recycle Collection
General house pick up: counters, putting away things like laundry, rooms, etc
Bathe Dakota

Dusting and glass (lamps and surfaces)
Laundry – washing only
Getting boys ready for school

Floors – vacuum & swiffer
Laundry – folding only (put away as much as possible)
Kitchen cleaned

Trash collection
Bathrooms cleaned
Getting boys ready for school


Floors – swiffer & mop

Like I said, it’s not perfect but it definitely helps us maintain our home and our sanity a bit better! Hope this helps!


A long awaited update….

The past 5 weeks….

It’s been over 5 weeks since I’ve sat down and wrote. Boy, my heart and head needs this outlet. But how? How does mommy find the time? How does Rachel find the time?

Well for one, I’ve started this post one-handed while rocking a baby to sleep, the twins are coloring (hopefully just their papers – FYI, they colored their table) and Sesame Street is on. And realistically it might take several start and stops just to get it finished but that’s life these days.

So here’s a little update!

The twins: Well, now the twins are 2 years old! How did that happen?! We celebrated their birthday the first weekend of October. Right after their birthday we’ve been battling sickness: respiratory, ear infections, and nasty colds for all! I think we are finally on the mend there. They’ve continued to adjust well to their sister which is such a blessing. I really don’t think we’ve dealt with outbursts related to her, specifically. But they are 2 and boy, dealing with their own developmental growing pains can be particularly frustrating for Nick and me. I feel like some days the words of the day are NO, DON’T DO THAT, STOP TOUCHING THAT, QUIT CLIMBING, STOP HITTING, SAY SORRY, YOU’RE IN TIMEOUT, etc. Then other days I just tell them they will get hurt if they do X, Y, and Z and walk away praying they don’t actually get hurt. But just some days natural consequences are the best teachers. Right? Two 2 year olds are no joke and not for the faint of heart. Then couple a trying day with the twins with a fussy, refuses to sleep baby and you’ve got a recipe for wine by 5 o’clock or a Grand Gold Margarita from Pappasitos, especially if it’s a Wednesday (if I’m not so exhausted by then and I usually am). The best thing we did was give them this small playhouse for our backyard for their birthday! Now with the weather cooling down, we are using it more and more, like today.

Nick: He is so busy at work! David Weekley Homes keeps him busy but he was a champ altering his schedule while I was on c section restriction. It was a tough 6 weeks but we made it thanks to our tribe! My sister and my mom continually step up to the plate for us which we will always be so grateful for!

Madison: She is so amazing! It only took us 7 weeks to discover that she’s a tad caffeine sensitive so overall she’s sleeping much better during the day. She usually gets up just once at night, sometimes twice. Overall the girl gets a medal for giving us the best transition to a family of 5 as possible.

Then there’s me: Juggling the kids on my own is tough. I tell my mom I don’t know how she did it with seemingly effortless grace when I’m here feeling like a basket case. But isn’t that how it goes? I don’t remember my mom being super frazzled 24/7 but I do remember her being there. That’s what I want my kids to remember: me being there. I’ve officially been taking over taking the boys to school by 8am Tuesday and Thursday and picking them up by 3pm! I happy to report the latest we’ve been late was by 20 minutes! Other days we’ve been right on time and I’ve been on time for pick up! Talk about a mom win! 🙌🏻

I’ve been finally able to start working out and I’ve stayed pretty dedicated to getting back into the swing of things (slowly) and staying consistent. I’ve been really working on my eating and that’s stayed fairly consistent as well. I’m 7 weeks postpartum and down almost 25 pounds with about 50 more to go to pre-pregnancy weight. 😳 Can’t believe I just wrote that but it’s true. I would preferably like it to be gone by my sister’s wedding at the end of February so will keep you updated on the progress. I believe switching up my workouts and continually working on better eating habits will help me!

In other news and to slide into your prayers, I’ve also continued to have some postpartum bleeding complications. I feel like I’m finally on a road to getting some resolution but it’s been overall frustrating and stressful as I know this is not the normal progression after having a baby. I don’t want to go into super detail here but if you’re curious, feel free to message me!

Overall, life with 3 under 3 is so incredibly challenging.

So let me answer some of the most asked questions:

1. How is it taking care of one baby? EASY! And it helps she’s pretty laid back. But I rarely just have the baby so it’s still hard! Haha

2. How do you do it? LOTS AND LOTS OF THE SERENITY PRAYER but in all seriousness, you just do.

My side note to these questions: the twins are and probably will be constantly be challenging as we have two in the same developmental stage of life but definitely not two of the same people. It’s incredibly challenging and really, so much fun. But as they are learning to communicate more and more, things are getting “easier” but when that communication breaks down – SERENITY PRAYER IT UP because that’s all that’s going to save you!

3 under 3 is the way to be, 😂😂



A letter to my boys

Before your sister arrives….

Dear Andrew and David:

I have been thinking about this letter for a while now. I get choked up even thinking about it. I’m not really sure what to even say, exactly, but THANK YOU.

**Thank you for sticking in my womb when I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen. It was beyond scary and exciting to know you both were in there.

**Thank you for growing in my womb amazingly the entire 34 weeks we spent intimately together. We didn’t have one major complication besides an early birth.

**Thank you for trusting me (and your daddy) to take care of you in the most scariest days of our life after you were born.

**Thank you for forgiving me when I was suffering from postpartum depression/anxiety and didn’t know if I could do this. Sometimes I still don’t.

**Thank you for teaching me how to overcome some of the hardest and darkest days of my life. I am stronger now because of you.

**Thank you for smiling at me even when I don’t feel like I deserved it.

**Thank you for loving me after I painfully have to discipline you.

**Thank you for your strength and relentless spirits because I know one day those will drive you to reach whatever dreams you have in your life.

**Thank you for being my first babies, my hearts. I will always treasure this time we’ve had together before your sister.

**Thank you for being born together. Watching you together is something magical. A privilege. You will make amazing older brothers.

Thank you for it all. The good, bad, and ugly that has come because of our new adventure as a family. I want you to know that no matter what happens in the next few weeks, you are my boys, my hearts, and the loves of my life. I have learned so much from you in the past 3 years that I ever could have imagined (and we are only beginning).

Just please continue to be patient with me (and your daddy). We have absolutely no idea what we are doing but we know we love you.


With all of my heart,



Hold them close

Moments. We all have them multiple times a day. We have good ones and bad ones. Many times we miss moments. We don’t miss them intentionally; it’s really the hustle and bustle of life that causes us to just let them pass by.

Personally, I feel like I’m so busy some days that by the end of the day I don’t even know if I actually SAW my children (even though they were around me all day). Other days, I’m just trying to survive this moment or that moment. Do you ever feel like that? Maybe it’s not with your children but with work or your spouse? When I was teaching, there were definitely days I just trying to survive. It’s honestly DRAINING to stay in survival mode. I absolutely can’t stand those days because I usually feel more exhausted than if I had one full of activities. I don’t want to just survive life, I want to LIVE it. Don’t you? But how do you live every single day IN THE MOMENT? Is it possible? We could all learn to take a step back and “smell the roses” sometimes. It’s so insane how fast time flies, yet, we tend to let a lot of life pass us by. Sounds sad but it’s the truth.

For me, I do wish I was better at living in the moment. There are times I put my phone away or I’m not checking it as much but I could always do better in that department. We probably all could. It’s so easy to drown yourself in mindless searching or reading articles. Then there are times I turn the TV off – I like it for background sound but it tends to even eat up the moments with all the sound, too. Plus, the twins are paying more and more attention to it these days so it’s a good habit to scale back.

The moments I really love watching are the ones where my boys are playing. Now I do mean all 3 of my boys but watching the twins play is becoming more fun too! They are really trying to talk and they crack me up! And of course, they are becoming more fearless – see evidence in the above left picture. They REALLY LIKE READING and lately I’ve been catching them sitting together with a book “reading”. It’s so cute! They also really love telling Dakota she’s a “good gurl” – haha! Oh and they are masters at saying “NO” or “NO WAY!”. But either way, they do keep Nick and I on our toes. We couldn’t have more of a stubborn pair of children but we knew it was going to happen. My guess is that this little girl might be surpassing them all! Stay tuned. 😊 Lately, the boys, specifically David, really hates wearing clothes. It’s either shorts or a shirt or nothing. Tonight, he went to bed in his diaper. I just usually pray I don’t wake up to pee and poop everywhere because they do like to take their diapers off.

Something I really enjoy are those fleeting moments, the ones you miss once you blink but if you catch them they are ingrained in your mind forever. I had one with Andrew today… It was so sweet. I broke down and gave the boys bottles this morning…. A Monday after a week of being sick is pretty slow going… They were drinking them while watching some Fixer Upper (it’s educational, right?) until Andrew just couldn’t calm down. I really don’t know what was going on. He had a BIG quiver lip and I just scooped him up and cradled him in my arms like I use to when he was much smaller. With the boys wanting to be more independent, holding him like that doesn’t really happen anymore. I barely get snuggles! 😭

He and I had a moment. I SAW him. He looked so much older but somehow I still saw my little fussy reflux baby. Maybe it’s the hormones or the impending new arrival of the girl but I miss them. I miss my babies. It’s incredible how much you forget along the way (and we’ve only just begun) but in a second you’re taken back to a moment. It sends a jolt in your body and you’ve time traveled to that memory.


This picture is one of my favorites. I’m so happy I was obsessively taking pictures in the beginning because a lot of it is hard to remember between the reflux, feedings, and sleep deprivation. Nick was probably at RCIA working on becoming a Catholic so I had the evening with the boys. When they were much younger they both wanted to be near me ALL THE TIME. Makes sense, they were new to the world (the world is scary!). They needed mommy. (Oh how I miss those moments, too). They were also small enough I could have one on a boppy and another in my arms. In this picture, I got David to fall asleep on the boppy pillow and Andrew was in my arms. I’m sure at one point it was the opposite and I somehow creatively switched them without moving but I’m glad I captured this moment.

1. Because Andrew hardly took a pacifier outside of the first few months of life. Quite honestly, I don’t remember it much even then.

2. Because I need to remember I am a rock star. I definitely didn’t give myself enough credit at that time and I am not sure I do now. But I need to. I deserve it. I don’t mean for it to sound like I’m tooting my own horn here but I did a lot of things I didn’t know I was capable of including growing them in my body.

But how I miss holding them both so close to me. ❤️️ I probably needed to pee really bad and I was far from exhausted but they were so sweet to hold like this. I need to remember missing that when they are clawing or pushing at my leg or grabbing at my food. Or just when I don’t think I want to be touched one.more.time that day.

I imagine all parents have these moments. As a fairly new mother of young kids and I feel like we are in the trenches most days but I’m sure my parents have had these moments. I’ll never forget something my dad told me after I graduated from college. He said “Life only goes faster after this.” And boy, was he right. (Don’t let him know that though. 😉 ). I blinked and it’s been almost 11 years since high school graduation, 7 from college and 5 since our wedding day. Where has the time gone? What’s happened since you blinked? I bet a lot! Have you made the most of it? I’m not sure I have.

So I’m working on embracing my moments with my boys, even the bittersweet ones, because soon enough we will all have new ones with the little girl. I hate change, even good ones. However, I do learn to embrace the change, eventually. 😉 This transition seems like it will be hard for me but I am comforted to know she belongs with us. She is needed here for my heart to feel whole. I can’t slow down time or redo yesterday but TODAY I can do something about.


Here’s to the moments,