CONFESSION TIME:

Even though we have traveled and lived in Africa since 2012, we have only visited two countries (so far!)

Uganda &  South Africa…specifically, Cape Town- 3 times!

Why Cape Town you ask?

Well…when you visit a place you fall in love with over and over again, it’s hard to imagine traveling to anywhere else. As I type this, I would hop on a plane and head back in a heartbeat! I can’t wait to explore more of South Africa one day soon but this city will always have our hearts. It reminds us so much of our home in California and nothing can beat when a city is filled with both ocean and mountains am i right?

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TRIP ONE  // January 2015

We snuck away to Cape Town on a belated honeymoon of sorts. It was everything we dreamt of and more. Within seven days, we jam packed everything we wanted to do! Turns out we hit up some of the most amazing places that we can’t help and revisit every time!

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TRIP TWO // June 2017

On a whim of sorts, we bought tickets just three days before our trip. We needed to get out of Uganda and we couldn’t think of a better time after our baby girl was rushed to the hospital three hours away from the town we live in due to labored breathing and lack of oxygen. Over the course of five days, she got stronger and recovered from bronchiolitis but handling a medical emergency in a third world country was a strain on our souls to say the least.

So we went back to our favorite place in the world.

It was a completely different season as it was now considered “winter” so our baby girl was bundled up in more layers than she has ever experienced and we enjoyed the tips of our noses turning pink for a nice change from the equator!

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TRIP THREE // December 2018

I texted JP in early November that we should try and go somewhere the first week of December, just the two of us. He immediately texted back “I’ll look into tickets to Cape Town right now”.

A part of me wondered if I should protest and suggest scratching off other places on our bucket list but at the end of the day, we knew Cape Town was everything we needed!

Our girls stayed back in Uganda with so many people caring for them and we took off for a five night adventure. We of course did everything we have done before because we are creatures of habit and we also know what we love, but there were a couple of new restaurants we tried out including the most incredible AirBnb!

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MUST DO’S IN CAPE TOWN

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CAMPS BAY

our tradition is when we arrive in Cape Town

we head to Camps Bay, go to CodFather for some

delicious conveyor belt sushi and then walk down to the

beach to see the Camps Bay Tidal Pools and the most

incredible view of Lions Head!

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BOULDERS BEACH

yup, penguins in Africa.

we went in 2015 and have yet to go back

because of weather and we are holding out

on bringing our oldest with us but goodness,

this was so fun to experience!

 

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V&A WATERFRONT & FERRIS WHEEL

such a beautiful spot on the water to do some

shopping, dining and get an awesome view of Cape Town

from the Ferris Wheel. be sure to check out the

Water Shed to see local artisans work as well as the

Food Marketplace to try some delicious food from

local restaurants and bakeries.

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TABLE MOUNTAIN AT SUNSET

BUY YOUR TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME HERE

one of the highlights from our 2015 trip was taking a cable car

up to the tippy top of Table Mountain. The clouds literally

passed through us while we were up there taking in the sunset.

when we arrived to the cable car spot to buy tickets, there was a

huge line so we hopped on our phones really fast to buy the

tickets and skipping the line ensuring that we could make

it up top that day.

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KIRSTENBOSCH GARDENS 

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMER CONCERTS

walking through this botanical garden in the summer of

2015 was such a dream come true! it’s one of the most beautiful

& relaxing places we have ever been to and in the winter time, it’s

absolutely stunning as the mountain backdrop sits in a cloud.

there are some big musical guests that come throughout the

summer time to perform, so before you visit, see if you can

arrange your dates to match up!

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LIONS HEAD 

this hike was absolutely beautiful but also one of the

hardest hikes I have ever done before. the incline on the way up

was to be expected but once we got to chains and metal ladders

attached to rocks I felt a little intimidated. as soon as we got to

the top, it all was so worth it! * side note: I wouldn’t

personally bring our seven year old and toddler on

this hike with us in the future.

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BABYLONSTOREN

not sure how we found this place on our first trip but…

OH.MY.GOODNESS.

please go, will you?

even if you just head there for lunch it is so worth it!

this vineyard/hotel/spa/garden/restaurant/playground

really is nestled in the town of Franschhoek and is about

40 minutes outside of Cape Town proper.

we have had the opportunity to stay the night

 and it was so worth the investment!

Also, the spa treatments are absolutely incredible!

We have also dined in the greenhouse many times for lunch

and it’s worth it just for the lemonade & scones!

 Make sure you walk around the premises and

be sure to swing on that beautiful big tree!



RESTAURANTS //

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HONEST CHOCOLATE 

the absolute best chocolate shop in the world…

sorry Willy Wonka. They use all dark chocolate

which is my fav and its the most beautiful aesthetic

with their pops of greens, whites, golds and wood.

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THE BOTANICAL BAR

we just found this spot on our latest trip and

it was absolutely delicious. I recommend going

around lunch time to try their Harvest Table Lunch

that is served sort of like a buffet. Everything is organic

and sourced from local farms. Also, it’s just so pretty!

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THE LOADING BAY

we have gone here for brunch on all three

trips and it never disappoints. they have

fresh pressed juice ready for you as well as

the most creative and delicious dishes. Upstairs

you will find an Aesop store too!

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GARDEN COLLECTORS CLUB

we stumbled upon this spot around lunch

time and it’s just the cutest thing in the world.

Right off Kloof street, you can stop in and grab

a bite to eat and a cocktail in the middle of all

of your shopping for the day. I highly recommend

the fish tacos and mule!

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UNFRAMED

right next to GCC you will find

UNFRAMED ice cream which might be the

best ice cream either JP and I have ever tasted.

There is another location in the Food Marketplace

down at the V&A so make sure you try a scoop or two!

OTHER SPOTS:

Clarkes Bar & Dining Room- delicious breakfast & lunch

»

CodFather- this is our spot for conveyor belt sushi!

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Didis Mexican- burritos & tacos

»

Hemelhuijs- brunch is incredible!
»
 Superette- great restaurant in Woodstock
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 Downtown Ramen- enough said
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 V&A Food Market- you can try so many different dishes
from around the world


COFFEE //

Rosetta

Truth Coffee

YOURS TRULY

Espresso Lab Microroasters

Field Office

Kamili Coffee

The Old Biscuit Mill Saturday Market



SHOPPING //

V&A Waterfront has shops like Zara & H&M

The Water Shed at V&A all local artisans

Mungo & Jemima on Long St.

Purr on Kloof St.

Indigenous in Woodstock

The Old Biscuit Mill



OTHER PLACES //

Kalk Bay

Hout Bay

Simons Town

Cape Point

Chapmans Peak

Kleinmond

Waterloof

Stellenbosch



AIRBNB //

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CLICK HERE FOR WOODSTOCK LOFT

this loft is nestled in Woodstock and owned by the loveliest couple!

it is equipped with an incredible shower & bathtub as well as

access to the rooftop! parking is located on the street and easy to access.

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CLICK HERE FOR DREAMY DOWNTOWN LOFT

the dreamiest airbnb we have ever stayed in by far!

has the most incredible views of Lions Head AND Table Mountain and

is situated so well in an open format with two amazing bathrooms, awesome

kitchen, dining table and two comfy beds.



QUESTIONS FROM INSTAGRAM //

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Q: Did you feel safe?

A: YES!

Definitely felt safe! Never felt like I had to

watch my back or that we were in harms way. Cape Town

is a very westernized and bustling city so it felt more familiar to

me than traveling through the city in Uganda. People are

so friendly and it’s a melting pot of so many cultures.

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Q: How is it cost wise?

A: FAIRLY AFFORDABLE!

The flights to get to Cape Town are the most expensive

part of the trip. We have always been shocked at how affordable

food, accommodations and shopping were in Cape Town.

For example a sushi meal that would normally cost us around

$50 in the states costs us around $12 in Cape Town and that’s

for reaaaallll good sushi! We like to eat so our dollar definitely

goes real far in Cape Town!

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Q: Did you rent a car or use Uber?

A: RENTED A CAR!

Cape Town is a very easy city to drive around in.

You are driving on the opposite side of the car and road

but this is something that we have gotten used to living

in Uganda. I think with a little bit of practice and taking

it slow, you could easily rent a car! We just used Hertz and

rented it ahead of time to pick up and drop off at the airport.

Uber is also available and is very affordable!

«

Q: Is Cape Town safe to visit with kids?

A: VERY!

we traveled with our 3 month old baby girl

in June of 2017 and it was such an easy experience.

we dream of bringing our girls there as soon as our

adoption is finalized! there is just so much to do and see!

«

Q: Hikes?

A: Many!

We hiked Lions Head this past visit and

it was reallllllyyyy amazing but also challenging!

You can read about it up above! We wanted to hike

to the top of Table Mountain and take the cable car down

but the day we planned to it had rained.

Also Elephants Eye is an amazing hike we did

back in 2015! There are so many options if

you search “Cape Town Hikes” on the good ol’ google!

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Q: Best neighborhoods to visit?

A: ALL OF THEM!

We loved Woodstock, Camps Bay,

Sea Point & Cape Town City Centre but they

are all so great!

Here is a helpful list for you!



TRAVEL TIPS //

1. Download a currency app on your phone to be able to pull out and check the exchange rate for items.

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2. As soon as you get the airport, go to either Vodacom or MTN to buy a sim card and load up on data. We bought 5GB each for $35 and it lasted us the entire trip. This was using google maps, instagram, FaceTime and google a whole lot.

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3. Try to have small bills and coins on you at all times. When you are parking your car there are parking attendants that will help you and loyally watch your car. It’s always nice to give a small tip for their help!

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4. Cape Town is on the up from a serious water shortage, although it has improved a lot. Just be cautious of your water usage when taking showers, flushing and washing dishes. Also it’s encouraged to buy bottles of water when you are dining out.

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5. I believe the perfect amount of days to stay would be seven nights if you want to see it all and drive around all of Cape Town but if you are looking to experience more of the city life, four nights is perfect!

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6. The most used language is English so don’t worry about not being able to communicate.

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7. For everything I shared above, you can easily find it by entering it into your google maps.

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SO EXCITED FOR YOU TO VISIT CAPE TOWN!

feel free to search our hashtag on Instagram

#onmcleodnege to see more of our Cape Town highlights!

bda

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My body is a strong, beautiful creation that is capable of things that can only be described as a miracle. Since I was very little, I thought the opposite. I was always a bit overweight as a child even when I chose to be active. My family made comments that scarred me for life and only added fuel to the fire of my deepest insecurities. In 4th grade I remember receiving a note from a “friend” that said “your butt jiggles like jello when you walk”…the thoughts that I held deep down, the words only said from my family in a teasing manner finally held ground because other people could see these things too. I always thought if I held them to myself and went on just being the nicest person I could be to others that I could get away with my insecurities not being noticed outside of that big two story house. Turns out I was far from invisible.

 

Food was an outlet for me. I didn’t binge per say but since I was 7 years old, food consumed my mind. Is this good or bad? I’ll eat this today but I will only eat Cheerios tomorrow. Is that little Debbie snack still where I hid it in the fridge? If I sneak down the stairs and through the dining room into the kitchen while my parents are watching tv, they surely can’t notice me sneaking cookies so late at night right? I never hid food in my room like some of the girls I read about in Teen So and So magazine. I couldn’t puke…don’t get me wrong, I tried…but my gag reflex is a solid trap. I could only go 2 days without eating until I caved. I was left with my thoughts. I used to pray to the Jesus hanging on my wall that if I could wake up skinny, my life would be complete. These thoughts would torture myself worse than any 4th grader or family member ever could.

 

This obsession with food, exercise, how I felt and looked lasted until I was 25 years old..until I went to Uganda for the first time. Walking and eating clean was the perfect recipe for me to start losing weight in the most healthy way I have ever tried. Ugandans were sad as I was “losing my fat” and I was so happy. All I was doing was eating fresh from the earth and utilizing long sunny days. I felt so whole for once…like I finally learned who my outer shell was. I have always been so intune with my inside self but my outside self was one big mess. It was as if I finally found the right mechanic for my car…one who understood how this rare and unique model ran and they tuned it right up. I never ran better.

 

A couple years later I wanted to see how strong I could be. It was after our wedding and I had not only gotten fit for that day but also to embrace this change of lifestyle. I was pushing my body to its limits and was shocked at how far it could go. I began eating exactly what that trainer told me to eat and exercising exactly how she told me to. I felt and looked amazing. I could jump off things I never thought possible and lift weights that I thought only guys were supposed to move. I was strong. Finally my outsides reflected my insides. I knew what my body was capable of and since then, even not keeping up with that lifestyle, it has taught me that my body is resilient and can mold to any season that I’m going through.

 

Then I got pregnant with Skye. I had never walked this territory before. It was one I feared I never would be able to explore. Something about being adopted made me long for a biological child even more. I always assumed it wouldn’t happen, yet it happened right away. 10 weeks into this babies life, my body started to let him go. During 16 hours of contractions I turned to JP and said “if anyone ever says women are weak, I will personally hurt them”. Through the pain and the loss and the healing, I learned women are the strongest species on earth and I was so proud to be one them.

 

With this second pregnancy I have never felt more confident. I feel radiant and so at peace in my body. I can’t wait to meet our little girl but it also means only a few more days of feeling beautiful beyond measure. It’s not even from an outside perspective or what I see in the mirror…I just feel so alive in my skin. This is what my body was made for and its capable of a lot. It has survived so much and now it’s growing life.

 

I pray to adore and praise my body afterwards. To love every saggy skin, stretch mark, saggy boob, wider hipped, cellulite inch of myself I see in the mirror. I pray I look at my little one and see how outstanding my temple was created to be. I pray I never feel anything but a goddess for what God created me to be and to show me what my body can do. I pray I respect my body so my girls learn to respect theirs.I pray that if and when their bodies fail them, their hearts strengthen from the pain. I pray no one ever writes them notes that hurt them so deep and that we can cherish every inch of them inside and out to truly show how God created them so perfectly for this world. I pray that even when those mean words are launched at them that they have such a strong knowing of who they are and how loved they are to not even care…but to love more through that. When people throw hurt like that it’s because they are hurting even more. I pray the only weapon they choose to combat that with is love.

 

I know I am blessed. I am blessed beyond measure to survive the brutality of mind games that were played ever since I was a young girl. I am blessed to have lived an overall healthy life. I am blessed to be able to conceive…this I definitely don’t take for granted. I am blessed to even make it to 39 weeks carrying this sweet soul despite how much I long for her in my arms now. I am blessed and I truly do not take for granted every struggle, failure, triumph and victory that God has written into my physical story. Those parts of my story only remind me how very strong He has created me to be.

 

I want to remind you that wherever you are in your physical journey…if you have post partum body, are working towards an exercise goal, are being bullied, in a season of comparison, surrendering your body due to growing your family, struggling with food addiction or rather letting your mind take control of your food intake…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

 

God made you perfect despite what you may think or
what the world may be telling you…He looks at you and sees His beautiful creation. He hears your cries, your pain, your struggles, your desires. He weeps when you weep and He high fives you when you meet your goal. No matter what though, He stays close by so you know that you are far from alone and there is nothing you could ever physically do to make
Him love you any more.

 

He loves you more than you could ever know.
bda

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This Bethel song keeps singing through my soul.

“I feel it in my bones you’re about to move”

Maybe it’s because I am 37 weeks pregnant or maybe it’s because my whole world is about to change but it’s an incredible feeling to know God is about to do something big. Like any day now.

I have been in seasons before where I have wanted that change of to just come. The desert was getting too hot and lonely…I just needed a good rain and clear vision of what’s ahead of me. Now, here I am. Just a few weeks away from meeting my biological daughter.

I have a journal where I write to our children. I write to Skye. I write to our 5 year old girl we are in the process of adopting. I write to a child that is laid on my heart but have no idea or plans of when they will be coming in our life. I write to this baby girl…the one who is currently doing gymnastics in my womb. She is stretching her feet up towards my rib cage and her head is weighing low on my pelvic bone. Literally, I am feeling it in my bones that she’s not only about to move…but that she’s moving.

In this journal I write whatever comes to my heart. If it’s prayers, hopes, dreams, lessons I have learned, facts and events of their lives…I write because I want them to know. I write because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget how God has rescued me out of the valley and now I am almost to the top of the mountain.

Below is a letter I wrote when we hit the 2nd trimester…


JOY!

Don’t get me wrong, your life has been longed for long before you were ever conceived. Your name has been known. We have desired you.

But…we truly had no idea what we were getting into.

After Skye, it was hard to just feel everything we wanted to feel / expected to feel getting pregnant with you. We loved your brother so much. In those 10 weeks our hearts grew bigger than we could have known.

Then it broke.

But you…you have helped us pick up the pieces. You are the answer to our prayers. You are the promise to so many things we asked of God…all wrapped into one.

It took your father and I a long time to get here but we are finally feeling pure joy! I’m dreaming of what you will look like, anticipating your kicks inside of my womb and can’t wait to see you again at the next ultrasound. I long to know your gender…everyone thinks you are a girl. I want to say I know you are a girl for sure.

I am so thankful for you and truly I thank God everyday for this sweet gift of life that represents so many things but undoubtedly you represent hope, resilience and love.


Yes…joy! We are feeling pure joy and it’s been the most incredible triumph of this journey. God’s goodness has broken through and the fears that the enemy laid on us for so long (even when one of our biggest prayers were answered) has vanished. No matter what valley God leads us through next, we will make it out. Because that is the thing…He leads us through the valleys…He doesn’t leave us alone in them just waiting on the outside for us to emerge. He is with us through it all, every step of the way. He illuminates His promises to make the path visible and leading us towards His bright pure Light. And that is where we are heading…as these days lead to the birth of our youngest daughter…we are making our way towards His beautiful, bright, pure Light.

 

bda

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Dear Baby Skye,

If I knew 10 weeks and 2 days ago that today would be the day we would part ways, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Baby Skye, to be honest, the deepest fear I have ever carried is the one that I wouldn’t be able to conceive. I think it goes way back to when I found out I was adopted and I searched for identity in any possible way. Even though adoption is so big on both your fathers heart and mine, we still desired to create something magical together. You.

 

I couldn’t believe it when I took that test the morning of February 18th. Two strong lines in less than 15 seconds. I was absolutely stunned. It was Election Day in Uganda and there was this fear looming in the air but suddenly, the sky’s opened up and brightness shined into our lives.

 

Your father was teaching your sister how to play rock, paper, scissors over breakfast. I hid the test in the back of my pants and sat down with them, my heart beating while thinking of clever ways to share the news. All of sudden he turned to me and said “wanna play?”. I knew this was it. We actually played this childhood game at our wedding ceremony to decide who would say our vows first, so it was quite sentimental. Rock, paper, scissors…show!

 

He cried. Ohhhhh, how he cried. Skye, I have never seen him so instantaneously happy in his life. We hugged forever…maybe you felt it? Although you were the size of a poppy seed then so probably not. He was so happy to learn about you.

 

Me on the other hand…I felt so many things. Shock mainly. We just decided to start trying and already we were pregnant. I felt relieved that it didn’t take that long. Of course I  was incredibly happy not only at the thought of our growing family but now I could kick that lifelong fear to the curb. I could officially get pregnant.

 

Then I felt this sadness. Sadness for the people we know who can’t. Sadness for our loved ones who have been trying forever…really fighting is a better word. Friends who have been fighting for their family.   My heart has broken time after time hearing of their struggles and now here we are, pregnant right away. I was happy but so confused on how this all worked.

 

Then, I felt fear. Fear because I remembered the other times my heart has broken for our loved ones. The times that we got that phone call or text that they no longer were pregnant as they unfortunately miscarried. This was all too common for me to grasp and it seemed like so many people we knew in 2014/2015 all experienced miscarriages back to back. The truth hit me…miscarriage is a possibility because nothing in life is guaranteed.

 

Anxiety and worries consumed me. I googled everything because I didn’t want to do anything wrong that could hurt you. I wanted to give you all the loving and care I possibly could as you grew in my womb. I thought filling my brain with other people’s experiences seemed like a good idea. Actually, it was the worst. Pregnancy boards really felt more like miscarriage boards and again, my heart broke into more pieces. I couldn’t get over how common miscarriage is…1 in 4 women. Four weeks, nine weeks, sixteen weeks, twenty-two weeks, one time, two times, three times. Despite this common tragedy amongst a sea of strangers, I saw strength more than loss. These women have endured so much whether it was infertility, pregnancy loss and even healthy pregnancies. I know those websites weren’t the best for my mind but goodness, I got to know the heart of a woman in a way I have never known. I felt strengthened through everyone else’s vulnerability.

 

I decided to surrender it all to God. I was tired of feeling fear more than joy. As I was praying one day, the lyric “He gives and takes away” came into my heart and it’s played through every day for the last month. Skye, I have learned to count every day together with you as a blessing. 6 weeks and 6 days, 7 weeks and 4 days, 8 weeks and 5 days, 10 weeks and 2 days. That gratitude has spilled over to your sister as well. Every day I thank God for one more day with you two blessings. You are surely His, not mine.

 

During the last 6 weeks, your father spoiled the heck out of us girls. My main symptom was serious fatigue and every day at 2pm it hit hard! He made sure two fans were blowing on me as I rested and worked from bed most days here in Africa. He handled everything with taking your sister to school, making food for us, paying bills and helping with homework. The little things were so hard for me and he never once made me feel guilty for resting and growing your sweet life.

 

Your sister, well she was so excited to finally have someone to play with. So many of our friends around us are pregnant and she got used to the idea that babies grow in bellies and then come out into the world to play. She couldn’t wait for her “baby brudder” to arrive. She would pet my tummy, talk about how she was going to show you her imaginary “pink house” and she even spilled the beans to a couple of people. Needless to say, she couldn’t wait to meet you.

 

There were many things you didn’t enjoy me eating. Avocados, bananas and chicken were just a few. And all of a sudden I was craving food from my childhood…Chex Mex, Nutty Bars, Taco Bell. Thankfully they don’t sell those things here in Africa and I made do with olives and lots of fruit!

 

When I would share the news that I was pregnant with others, they were so excited but there was something in me that held back. It didn’t feel real yet. I just felt like I was sick more than pregnant as I couldn’t see you, feel you or hear you. Our 10 week appointment was the day that I had been waiting for because I knew then that I would finally hear your heartbeat.

 

The day after Easter we met with a midwife in Kampala and she instructed us through everything we could expect. I already knew all of these things because like I said, Google taught me so much in those early weeks. When it was time for the ultra sound, my heart started beating fast. This was the moment I had been waiting for. I invited God to hold onto my fear because I didn’t want it looming in that room with us.

 

He peeked into my body through his ultrasound device and showed me my surrounding organs. Then he placed it over my womb. The machine was outdated but I could make out your tiny body. There was a white dot on your chest and I excitedly asked if that was your heart. I looked up at the technician and could see that something wasn’t right. Everything else was a blur. The technician left. I had tears streaming down my face and I asked your father if he had any idea what just happened.

 

The report said that you were a missed abortion. I had no idea what that even meant but all I knew was there wasn’t a heartbeat. The midwife suggested we wait a week before making a decision on how to move forward…just in case. She also said now that my mind is aware of the situation, my body might begin the miscarriage process on its own. I was still in shock.

 

The long car ride home was filled with different thoughts consuming my brain. I hung onto the midwifes hopeful words…”let’s wait a week, just in case”. That ‘just in case’ showed me hope. I mean, the ultrasound machine WAS pretty old, the technician didn’t have the BEST bedside manner and we are in Uganda after all…lets just hold on to hope for a second opinion.

 

Your father was sitting in the front seat and put on Bethel’s Without Words album. There is a song that goes into “It is Well” towards the end and he lost it. That song is so special to us but especially your father. In the window reflection, I  watched him try to keep it together but the shaking seat told me that he was caving in. I could hear his muffled cry and wrapped my arms around him from behind. I had to be strong for him like he has been strong for me.

 

The next morning waking up felt like a dream but all of a sudden I realized I didn’t feel pregnant at all. My bloating was gone, my chest wasn’t sore and something in my heart just told me that I wasn’t anymore. Seeing as we were going to get an ultrasound for a second opinion that day, I focused on the hope. MAYBE these symptoms were fading because I was nearing the 2nd trimester. MAYBE we could hear a heartbeat.

 

My friend Taylor rushed over to be with me. She listened to me recount the experience from the day before and then asked if she could pray. She prayed for answers, whether it was a heartbeat or bleeding to begin. I told her I didn’t think I could wait weeks to know especially if you passed away already. Thirty minutes later I began to miscarry.

 

When I saw what my body had begun my heart of course sank but I was also amazed at how quickly God answered our prayers! Of course this is the more devastating option but goodness…we had an answer. To be honest, I think I knew this was the case all morning but now I was certain it was reality. While this could seem like a painful realization…I knew where you were and that made me so happy.

 

At midnight I woke up with tight, painful, rhythmic cramps that would last about a minute and then let up before they started again. I quickly realized these were contractions and I was technically in labor except there was no baby that would come out of this. Through these painful contractions that lasted for the next 16 hours I envisioned you in the arms of Jesus. You are smiling, He is smiling…you both look so happy to finally be together. This vision showed me that you were where you were meant to be. Oh Skye, I cannot wait to join you two. I cannot wait to hug you and finally hold you in my arms.

 

It’s been a week of rest and time spent with loved ones. I must tell you Skye, we are all so loved. The last thing we have felt in this experience is lonely. All of your Aunties, Uncles, Grandma and Grandpa have reached out to remind all of us that we are so loved and prayed for. And those prayers, I know you can hear them and we can certainly feel them. All around us is joy, hope and a strengthening of faith. In the moments filled with sadness, anger and sorrow…we focus on those prayers. We focus on the light. We focus on our loving Father.

 

My regrets are that I wish I celebrated every single day with you instead of holding onto fear. While I let go of that anxiety early on, I couldn’t shake the truth of what could possibly happen. I think I disconnected from it all and oddly enough, now I feel closer to you than ever. Should there be another baby brother or sister down the line, I promise to celebrate their life from day one…no matter what the outcome may be.

 

Alas, our time together physically is coming to an end but you will always be in my heart. You will be remembered throughout all of our lives and celebrated every single day. Like I said before, if I knew 10 weeks and 2 days ago that this would be the day we would part ways, I would do it all over again. You certainly have changed me in ways I never thought and I know your life was definitely not wasted.

 

Love always,
Your Mommy
bda
  • April 2, 2016 - 12:48 pm

    Lauren Kovacs - Hi there Mary,
    I sit in the car while our little one naps facing Audubon park in new Orleans while dreaming of our one on the way and remembering our first whom we met and lost in September of 2014. Somehow through Instagram I found you. Your photo of the Daisy and the ultra sound picture captivated me. I had a feeling our stories were similar and they are. What hope we have in the Cross of Christ who gives and takes away for his glory. And for our good.
    I too found that writing my experience with David, our first, was freeing and healing. I had no idea how it would touch others and like you said how many women experience this.
    Reading through your story was a blessing. Thank you for your vulnerablitly, and trust in our Father you’ve modeled. It reminds me of his faithfulness. Know that while reading your story I am praying for you and your husband and little lady. Please let me know how we could serve you and pray for you more.ReplyCancel

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When Cynthia of We Are the Jaquezes reached out to me, it was God’s perfect timing.

JP and I just had this crucial moment when we realized that we needed to surrender our worries and fear when it came to our financial situation. Since moving to Uganda in November, nothing has been certain. We have had to sacrifice more than 60% of our potential wedding photography and dj work by living in Uganda full time. Are we complaining? Not at all!! We are finally all together as family and we couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of expenses and huge student loans to be paid on a monthly basis. So we have been working our tails off taking photo and video work here in Uganda, having our associates in America holding down the fort and carving out time that we will spend in America working. Alas, we knew it was time to get creative and JP and I got down on our knees. We prayed that God would keep us looking towards Him with hopeful hearts full of gratitude and faith. We handed it all over to God and since then, He has blown us away!

One of the biggest ways was when Cynthia reached out (the very next day of us surrendering on our knees) and said that God laid it on her heart to bless our family through her passion of connecting others with essential oils! She has offered to donate 50% of all earnings to our family when you enroll with her and purchase your own starter kit!


Check out her Essential Oil page on her website for more information!


To be honest, essential oils were something I was very weary of at first. Everyone and their mom was jumping on board and usually with things like that, I am more skeptical than intrigued. BUT, I finally caved and bought a bottle of peppermint at a local health food store. I instantly saw all of the wonderful things it could do for headaches, stomach aches, colds and even cooking! ( I once baked peppermint macaroons with it) Peppermint was the only one we had for a long time but before we moved to Uganda, I decided to buy the Young Living Starter Kit just in case.

We have used it every day since.

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The common oils that we use are peppermint, lavender and thieves. We are usually diffusing peppermint in our home whether it is because one of us is suffering from a headache or because we just enjoy the aroma.

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Thieves is a huge hit in our home especially with our little one! Whenever she comes from hanging out with friends who might have sick kids, we rub thieves on her feet every night. Or when we hear a sniffle coming on, we run and grab the thieves. It’s the cutest thing to hear her say “time for oils!” before we read a book for bed. Our 4 year old has definitely appreciated the benefits of oils as well!

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Lastly, one of our most favorites is Lavender. I can confidently say that we use this oil the most as it’s our first bottle to run empty. We use this on any mosquito bites, burns, cuts or irritated skin. We have noticed immediate results and it comes in handy for our lifestyle! It is also a favorite to blend with other oils or diffuse around the home.


I honestly never thought I would be one to be obsessed with oils but now I cannot picture our life without them! Whenever a symptom arises in our home, I just go to google and there is a recipe for cure with essential oils! I promise you investing in a starter kit through Cynthia would not only help our family out in big ways, but also bless you and your family as well!

Check out her website for more information!

bda