Preggo Partners

An assuring scripture that I always cling to when I try to go at things alone is Eccl. 4:9-12. It states how two are better than one, emphasizing the power of agreement, synergy, and help. Whether the season you are experiencing is good or bad, it’s always better to be going through it with someone versus by yourself.

Last year I was offered the opportunity to travel both to Paris and Dubai. My only expense would be is airfare. While those are both places I wanted to experience, the offer was only extended to myself and not my husband. I mean what would be the point of sitting under the Eiffel Tower without being about to snap a selfie with your life-long partner. Certainly in these instances, 1 was a lonely number.

One of the greatest gifts I’ve had during this maternity process is having some pretty awesome preggo partners to experience it with. My first preggo partner is Dominique, whose due date is separated by only 72 hours from mine. We found out about our pregnancies and made the big announcements within days of each other. Today I wanted to get out, get walking and challenge myself to get a good walk in. My husband had to handle some ministry business so who did I call? The only woman that is just as desperate as me to do whatever it takes to get our babies out of us. In less than a hour we took the trek uphill for about a good mile. It was a beautiful day coupled with temperatures in the near 80s. There were separate moments when we both got tired, felt pains and even contractions. I am certain if I tried to make that trip by myself I would not have made it pass the STOP sign on the corner. Again 2 are better than 1.

There is an ongoing joke not to drink the water at New Life Community Church because it’s not only myself and Dominique with child but also my good friend Iguehi who surprised us all with the announcement of her pregnancy in the early Spring. She has an amazing testimony and I can’t wait until she shares it with the world. So here we are three wives blessed to bring life into this world and enlarge our families. If two are better than one, you can bet three is exceptional.

Just yesterday during church Iguehi and we tried to give each other a hug and had to pivot to give side hugs because our bellies were in the way! Iguehi is a beautiful woman inside and out. Pregnancy is an experience that forever connects you with other mothers. You can feel their anguish, pain, and joy that they are experiencing which causes you to have automatic compassion towards each other. I was sharing how uncomfortable falling to sleep was to Iguehi one day. The next day she showed up on my doorstep with a pink body pillow that floored me. At that time we didn’t know the gender of the baby and I had prayed about it that morning. So when I saw the pink body pillow I knew it was confirmation that I was giving birth to a girl and my sleepless nights would be coming to an end.

My next preggo partners I have yet to have the pleasure to meet, but they both inspire me. Being able to follow both Serena Williams and Sanya Richard-Ross on Instagram has allowed me to be a part of their maternity journey. I am a huge tennis fan, and truth be told the reason I was introduced to the sport was because of the Williams’ sisters. A few months ago Serena shocked the world when she announced her pregnancy, but the kicker was that she had just won her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open all while being pregnant! How freakin’ amazing is that.

Pregnant women doing amazing team, I’m here for that!

 

As a former track & field athlete and forever Sanya fan since her days at University of Texas at Austin the news of her pregnancy was exciting to hear. After marrying her college sweetheart who is a retired NFL player, multiple Olympic appearances and titles under her belt they are now expecting their first child.

Not only is Sanya keeping physically active and running a business with her husband, she recently published a new book, “Chasing Grace”. I think you see the root of the mental sisterhood we have right together right??


In my mind what connects us is the grace given to us to accomplish great things all while producing life. This is not to say bringing life into the world isn’t enough on it’s own, but you get my drift. Women, there is nothing we can not do. So here is to a legacy of children who will rise and call us blessed, who has victory, love, and compassion embedded into their DNA because the whole 40+ weeks we carried them we lived out our purpose. To all the other pregnant women out there, may you be strengthened with all the grace you need to achieve your goals and produce life.

 

Pulling the Pregnancy Card

In the words of Smokey from Friday, “take advantage man, take advantage!” Let’s face it, there is something special about a woman carrying a little human inside of her…right? And don’t let the mommy to be dressed in such a way that compliments her growing bump, is pleasant and wearing a smile. For the most part, I have been on the receiving end of so many “pregnant passes”. I remember waiting in line at the grocery store with my basket filled with a decent amount of groceries. The guy in front of me insisted I went ahead of him. “Thank you,  sir”. Considering my bladder is being squished by a 7lb baby, the restroom is a place I have to hunt down like a scvanger and utilize often. Many places post the “Restrooms for customers only” sign proudly, but after a peak of my side profile and a flash of this pretty smile an associate quickly hands over the keys.

While I haven’t had to use the bump to get out of a traffic ticket, I had to put the bump to use several times when picking up the boys from school. See, at their school parking is tight and the drop-off/pick-up valet circle is crucial. Not to mention the only parking is on a steep hill. So I will admit a time or two I parked in the red, sashayed my way pass the parking attendant to get the boys. Their teachers didn’t hassle me when I declined to volunteer as a field trip chaperon.

Also, my nail shop experiences have been enriched by the ladies tending to my hands and feet. Either it’s out of pure pity, or like other mothers they can identify with the physical burden of childbearing. I am certain a few extra minute were added to the massage portion of my pedicures along with extra consideration to my comfort. The ultimate pregnancy pass I have received would probably be from my husband.

I mean he has truly been the real MVP of our family. Since I had such a hard time during my first trimester being sick, getting up early and getting the boys clothed, fed and to school was something he quickly took charge of. Now nearing the end of the pregnancy food prep and house cleaning has been a thing of the past. Now only if we can keep this trend going. 🙂

In a few days, I may not have the bump to get me to the front of the line, but I surely will be flashing the adorable face of Baby J to get us extra sprinkles on our ice cream and white glove service wherever we go! In it all, I am grateful for the grace and kindness shown to me by strangers, family, and friends.

Do you offer preferential treatment to pregnant women? Comment below…

 

Maternity Journey: Growing Stronger As A Family

Since the news of Baby J’s arrival excitement and anticipation has filled our home.

The boys willingly offered to share their room with Baby J. Between the two of them dibs have been made on who is going to feed and cloth her. But you already know they went deaf when I asked, “who is going to change her diapers?”

If you know my husband, you know he is a emotional guy, so the idea of caring for a daughter has him like a huge marshmallow. Sine the boys no longer respond to his, “who needs kisses?” request, he now knows he has a guaranteed yes coming for the next decade.

While many look at the reality of more children as mo’ expenses, mo’ responsibility, and mo’ problems I have always had a different outlook. This is not to say I’m trying to be Kate+8, but hear me out.

A new addition to our family means more love to go around,  more memories to make, another life changer to raise, a greater legacy to leave, and since we have only one full bathroom at the moment more patience to be exercised. Being somewhat of an independent person, this pregnancy has caused me to lean on my husband more, being willing to ask and accept help. God always knows how to give you what you need to grow you into the person He has called you to be. This 10 month journey has done exactly that.

We know family isn’t only categorized by blood. Sometimes you are closer to those who do not share the same blood line with you. During this journey, God has knitted certain people closer to me and our family. It amazes me how people call at the right time offering some type of encouragement, fellowship, help, and love.

I remember during my first trimester, I was feeling weird and just needed to get out of my sickness slump. On that day as soon as I got out the shower I got a call from one of my sorority sisters seeing if I was free for breakfast. We will disregard the fact those tasty breakfast tacos went down and made their way back up. The nutrients I needed that morning was a social outing more than actual food. There is something special about the expantacy of a child. Other mommas and women can identify with the struggle and know this is a season where their support can be the difference between a bad day or a good one.

Even now, our church family is so kind to where I get weekly calls from someone to see if we need anything. One Sunday after church out of no where one of our members, who by the way is pregnant too brings over dinner for us!

Lord knows I hadn’t defrost, prep, or made anything for us to eat that day. But isn’t that what family is all about? Being there for each other during the lows and highs of life. Experiencing the good and the bad, allowing love to be action. I just want to be make sure that I am as good as a friend/family member to those who have been a blessing to me.

So I humbly appreciate all the grace and love that has strengthened our family as we grow from a crew of four to a tribe of five.

via GIPHY

#blessed

 

 

 

Since I’m Still Pregnant…Maternity Journey Part II (Perseverance)

It’s July 9 and technically a day before Baby J’s due date. I know, I know…if we’re close you may have thought her due date was July 7. Well, that was the date I was praying for. I mean how cool would it have been for her birthday to be 7-7-17!!?? The crazy part is that on Friday, July 7 from 5am-10am I experienced contractions every ten minutes. Then they just STOPPED! WTW??? Five full hours of contractions, me preparing my mind for active labor, holding my baby for the first time within a few more hours, putting on makeup, packing up the car, and scarfing down my last good meal before you are starved during labor and delivery all for nothing. SMH

I mean, I even light weight shedded a tear, because I felt God was giving me my heart’s desire, for my baby girl to be born on such a divine day as 7-7-2017. But He was like SIKE!!!! So here I am still pregnant, but grateful so I figured I would finish blogging about my pregnancy journey.

So let’s chat about my glorious second trimester. Technically it was from February-April 2017. Medically speaking, the second trimester is when morning sickness ceases, your energy rises, you come to the realization that you are for real for real carrying life inside of you, and you feel some what human again. Let me back up to say I had declared 2017 as the year of, “Brunch, Book & Baby“. Theses were the three major assignments that I would fully dedicate myself to. The best way to be successful in life is to define your focus and what success looks like to you and the 3B’s was it for me.

I spent the turn of the new year, February-March four months pregnant, finishing writing and revising my first book! That’s right, while pregnant I was able to dedicate time, mind space, prayer, writing, and editing to create a written piece that would empower people to overcome barriers so they can achieve their dreams. If I am completely honest, there was a span between December-January where I was tapped out. I had nothing to write, I was sick and feeling completely uninspired to finish the manuscript. Originally my goal was to have the manuscript finished before the end of 2016. Needless to say, December 31, 2016 came and swiftly went without a finished manuscript. I was discouraged, but didn’t want to let all the hard work I put into writing the book be for not.

After sending my first draft to a few friends, getting their feedback, revising it again, finding a professional editor, going through several rounds of edits with him and finally having a finished manuscript ready to present to my publisher so I could release the book at my annual brunch I felt so accomplished! That process was not easy by no means, but by the grace of God I did it!! All while being pregnant and adjusting to the physical and emotional toll it takes on your body.

At six months pregnant I stood as a published author. How freakin’ amazing was that? To top off being a newly published author, on April 9, 2017 I hosted the 2nd Annual Power of Her Brunch with nearly 200 women in attendance at the Mira Vista Golf Club.

I was able to use The Power of Her Brunch as the official book release/signing event for my book Dream Chaser. I humbly signed every single book purchased that day, snapped photos with attendees, and soaked up every minute of that experience. Words really can’t express how amazing that event was.

Remember, I was six months pregnant and fashion options were not on my side. So my sister made me a custom made all white beaded dress with a detachable cape to wear to the brunch. Who said you can’t slay and be pregnant at the same time!

My second trimester was extremely memorable. Not necessarily because of the physical pregnancy, but what I was able to still experience and do while being pregnant. Some people view pregnancy as a disability, causing you to push pause on life and your dreams. The things I was able to do and experience while being pregnant I believe I transferred that same strength, faith, and ability to my daughter that was literally with me every step of the way.

When I was able to open the 88th Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Far Western Region Ecumenical services with prayer that liberated many, she shared that moment with me.

When I spent countless hours writing and revising 30,521 words that became “Dream Chaser…How to Overcome Barriers and put your life in motion“, the same amount of dedication, fortitude, insight, and prayer I had to mustard up was deposited into her future work ethic.

When I planned and hosted The Power of Her Brunch speaking to 200 women declaring them to be Dream Chasers, the hustle, collaboration, faith, and words of inspiration spoken were deposited into her spirit.

And finally by God’s grace while seven months pregnant I pulled off a book tour to Fresno, CA not knowing for sure who would show up, where to host the event, and who would assist me. So I pray the faith it took to pre-order books, drive over two hours to share the message of Dream Chaser is embedded in every fiber of her being.

Whether you are pregnant or not, maybe you are carrying more than you think you can bear, or you’ve been tasked to handle something that was not part of the original plan. (Remember I had plans, and this pregnancy was not part of it.) Allow these truths from God’s Holy word that have carried me through each and every valley towards triumphant encourage you to persevere.

  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

  • “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” Philp. 4:13

  • “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8

And the coolest part of it all, THE BEST IS STILL YET TO COME!!!

 

My Pregnancy Journey Part I

Here I stand, or should I keep it real and say “lay”. Laying here in my queen size bed 39 weeks pregnant awaiting the labor pains that will bring a miracle into this world. Words that sum up my current situation are anxious, a little slothful, hungry, and tedious pain. As I ponder upon the fact this season of life is about to end, while a new one awaiting, I feel so blessed. It seems just yesterday I had taken my boys and nephew to the movies to see Trolls. I was eating up all their snacks, came home feeling extremely hungry only after eating a full meal.

I knew something wasn’t right. I had a pregnancy test already on hand from a 2-pack I had purchased a few months ago. I remember hearing that your “morning pee” is stronger for the purposes of an accurate pregnancy reading. So I decided to wait until the morning to confirm what I was 70% sure about.

My husband and I were pretty content with our two boys. I mean we were six years past the baby stage. They boys could bathe themselves, both of them were in school so no day care expenses crunching our budget, and amazingly they can also make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…#winning If I was honest, I did long to have a daughter, but one thing was for sure if the baby ended up being a boy, we were NOT trying again!

 

While my pregnancy started off rough, I can attest that, “trouble don’t last always!” This pregnancy was like nothing like my first two. Between the both of them I may have had morning sickness 5 days max. This one had me relocating to the bathroom and becoming too familiar with the white porcelin. It had became so bad that I had evil thoughts of sadly wanting the pregnancy to end. How selfish and short-termed I was thinking. I even had to go to the ER which is a blog post within itself, because I felt I was so close to death.

Needless to say I can confess that, “my redeemer lives!!!” After finally getting over the first 14 weeks of pregnancy I began to enjoy the fact that I was producing life. The scripture, “before I place you in your mother’s womb, I knew you…” was so becoming surreal. Because although I was having an unique experience with my daughter that no one else on earth will every have, it was so assuring that even before we connected, that she was destined and created by God!

Here are a few memorable moments of my first trimester…

  • Before I made the announcement to my family, we were visiting Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. Before I even said “hello” to my grandmother, she hollered, “What you got in there?!” Keep in mind I was only about 8 weeks pregnant and hadn’t been to the doctor.

    • Telling our sons they were going to be big brothers! We were out on a family outing to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Jack London Square. It was getting pretty cold outside and our tummies were running on low. So over their favorite meal, pizza, we dropped the big news. “Mommy has a baby in her stomach and you guys are going to be big brothers!” Check out the video for their response.

 

  • Revealing the bump at church! For those that don’t know I am a Pastor’s wife. Depending on what circles you belong to that can mean a few things. I’m the “First Lady”, Women’s Director, and the engine that keeps the church moving at times. Needless to say, I have a big group of people that love and support me. So when I wore a fitting striped dressed that hugged my new bump it was quite exciting. Remember, we have a 6 and 7 year old sons, so this was no where on the radar and was a complete surprise.

 

Just as the word says in Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord, a reward from him“. I am looking forward to shepherding the heart of a world changer, being a role model of femininity and Godliness to Baby J.

Check back tomorrow for Part II