Pregnant and filled with worry | My Pregnancy and Birth Story

When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic – over joyed to be exact. But shortly after the initial high wore off I become worried, then anxious, then scared and sometimes terrified.

Was I going to miscarry? When should I tell people we’re expecting? How should I do it? What will people think? Is my husband as excited as me? Oh Gosh, what’s life going to look like? 

Am I going to be a good mom? How will I know what to do? Will I ever feel ready or like I have it all together? Wait. What’s going to happen with my work? How will I manage a business and a baby? When do I take mat leave? When do I start getting the house ready?!?!?

And on and on and on and on.


I felt like the perfect storm of caffeine and adrenaline. And in my worst moments, like a crazy person content to walk down every terrible rabbit trail.

Fear and nerves consumed far too many days.

One of my biggest struggles was the fact that past 12 weeks, I could no longer walk more than a few minutes at a time, let alone run or workout. For a woman who’s struggled with body image issues and disordered eating for most of her life, this was breeding grounds for the devil to taunt me with thoughts of passing on my issues to my baby.

Measuring consistently small in the tummy and the funny looks from others when I told them how far along I was, didn’t help much either.

I battled thoughts of thinking it was my fault and that surely I was doing something wrong. Great… already I’m a bad mother! 

Then come 28 weeks, I woke up to blood. Baby was safe, but from that day forward we’d endure weekly ultrasounds to check on baby’s safety and discover each week something else “was wrong.”


Did they know what? No. Could they give me anything more than guesses? No. It simply didn’t seem fair.

At 36 weeks, my water broke and we rushed quickly to the hospital. (Because they didn’t know what was wrong, I was advised to come as soon as possible.)

Everything possible raced through my mind and as I quietly clutched to my birthing plan, I had a sneaking suspicious nothing was going to go “just right.”

And boy, was I right. 

Within one hour, they found the root of every problem they’d discovered along the way. And only one small thing had kept them from seeing it… Blood work. They’d never drawn it!

Why? Because they didn’t ask me if I’d had headaches (which I had) or experienced dizzy spells (again, yes. Many times over). But I’m not the doctor and I didn’t think it anything other than dehydration, anxiety or low blood sugar. Go figure. 

[Friends, please take the initiative and tell your doctor every symptom you’re experiencing even if it seems perfectly normal. In pregnancy, even the smallest things can be indicators of something much bigger.]

Again, all I heard was, “my fault.”

We were rushed into critical care, assigned one to one nursing and was informed I had undiagnosed pre-eclampsia. They summoned me to labour in bed and informed me I was allowed no food or water, period, until this nightmare was all over.

 I was at risk of seizures or bleeding out and the baby’s heart rate was rather low. In the nicest and calmest way possible, they shared that they needed to get baby out for both of our safety.

I don’t think at the time I quite understood the severity of my situation and I applaud my medical professionals for that. They did nothing but make me feel safe and secure, when in reality there was much at risk.

They graciously humoured me while I persisted in having a natural delivery until the very last minute. It wasn’t more than mere minutes after receiving my epidural [24 hours in] that they told me my baby was in critical condition and they rushed me in for an emergency C-section. 

I woke up almost 10 hours later, completely drowsy with minimal recollection of anything. I had no idea my daughter was in the NICU and was as fragile as a china doll. And that’s exactly what she looked like.

Preemie Baby NICULabour and DeliveryLabour and Delivery

While lengthy, she was as petite as could be with no fat to hold her heat [initially she couldn’t be out of an incubator for more than 10 minutes at a time] and features that looked far from human – almost angelic. They insisted there had to be a cause; that while in gestational age she was near-term, her body was not. And so began the gamut of tests to determine yet another “problem” without an answer. 

While our daughter got passed from the NICU to paediatrics, I had my own issues to look after. My pre-eclampsia was’t getting better; ironically worse.

While I see now that it was a gift being in the hospital while my daughter was [as oppose to being discharged and having to drive back each day to be and feed her] at the time it did nothing but feed into my “bad mommy” guilt.

The baby nurses wanted me to be there around the clock to look after and feed my daughter, while my nurses insisted I stay in bed and recover or I’d never make it home to begin mothering. I felt pulled in opposing directions and shamed by the people that were supposed to be helping me.

Don’t get me wrong, my nurses were amazing and diligently advocated for both me and my baby, but I felt crushed by expectations that had me failing before I could begin. 

Are we starting to see a pattern here?

At every turn in my pregnancy and delivery journey there were no answers or rule books to follow. I had zero control and nowhere to place my trust in other than God…

and even that wavered on a minute by minute basis. It looked more akin to half-hearted “Jesus” pleas beneath my breath than anything “holy” or “good Christian like!” I couldn’t remember scripture for the life of me nor could I muster the energy to read my bible. I didn’t want to talk to people, ignoring the 85 text messages from people I love.

One week later, we all left the hospital with strict orders for my [painfully slow] recovery. And despite thinking the worst was behind me, I quickly realized it was only the beginning. From the marathon of labour, I entered the bootcamp of mommy hood, which I affectionately refer to as my “dark days.”

View More: More: More: More:

I see now that my pregnancy was the beginning of a slow unraveling – of learning to surrender control to God one itty bitty step at a time.

And when people ask me how I managed? How I got through it with faith that’s strengthened, I can say only this: 

By the Grace of God. 

Because honestly, I did nothing. 

Sure, I guilted myself into praying. I tried to force myself to read my bible. I used breathing exercising when I was anxious and I tried to get outside everyday. I took lots of social media breaks but the sad truth is, underneath it all, I was still striving; still trying in my own strength to “keep things together” – to save myself! 

It wasn’t until I left the hospital that my faith was truly tested and every thing I knew about being a “good christian woman” shattered in a million pieces.

I went from being someone who studied diligently the bible each day to not opening it for weeks. From a woman who prided herself on prayer, to barely mustering more than single worded pleas. To keeping every sabbath holy and attending church faithfully, to disappearing from congregation until our daughter was six months old. We stopped going to small group and I hid from everyone I knew. I screamed at my husband, pushed him away and wrestled daily with this woman I hardly recognized in the mirror.

I was angry and hopeless and the only place that felt safe was alone with Jesus.

To everyone around me it looked like my world was falling apart but the truth was it was finally falling into place.

Jesus was at work refining me, stripping away the masks that were keeping me from being seen- and seeing him properly!

In those raw and vulnerable weeks of darkness, I sensed God’s presence like never before. I sensed his nearness, his forgiveness, his gentleness and most overwhelmingly, his love for me.

For the first time in my entire life, I was doing absolutely nothing and God was still delighted in me.

…completely unearned and entirely underserved.

And like a light bulb switch suddenly flipped, I believed with unwavering faith, that He actually likes me and thinks highly of me, even when I mess up or do absolutely nothing for him; even when I’m a big fat heap of ugly on the floor, who can’t get her emotional crap together!

When I least deserved his compassion, his mercy and his comfort, He lavished it upon me. He became my friend, my father and my saviour.

God took the chains of religion that I was waving high, broke them, shattered them, and taught me who He really is.

And my head knowledge of faith being about relationship, not religion, became heart knowledge for the vary first time!

Kailey-Michelle Photo8

When it comes to changes in my life since Eden-Elle was born, I could seriously write a novel. Nothing looks the same, including my eyes, my heart and even my head. But I can sum it up like this:

Everyones pregnancy journey looks different. Everyones labour and parenting does too. But one thing stays the same:

Motherhood changes us in ways we can’t prepare for.

Our world topples when we hold that baby in our arms and suddenly, our priorities fall into place. Our eyes are opened, unveiled as if for the first time, to what truly matter most in this world.


And friend, I believe God will do this for you too.

It does’t matter what your journey looks like, how messy or unsure you feel, lean in to Jesus and he will meet you were you’re at.


Photo Credit: Yinger Wong (Maternity), Christine Pineaar (New Born), Wakefield Productions (Final Headshot)



What do Perfectionism, Control, Vulnerability and Love have in Common?

My pregnancy was the beginning of an unravelling – of finding the end of my rope – and the battle grounds to surrender.


I was blinded by my own abilities and talents, by my self-discipline and self-motivated ways. If something needed doing, leave it to me. If something needed changing, give me the steps to follow. From my career, to my marriage, to my health and even my faith, I had everything “under control.”

But the problem with control is that it’s simply an illusion, because we are only ever “in control” when things are within our ability to control them!

Read that again.

We are only ever “in control” when things are within our ability to control them!


And what is it we can control? Our thoughts, our perception, our attitude, our response and reactions. But that’s about it.

And the problem was, I spent 80% of my life worrying and striving to control things that were out of my control.

DSC_0086DSC_0098DSC_0107Preemie Baby NICU

I strived to be perfect in everything: to have the perfect career, be the perfect friend, daughter, wife and Christian woman; to have the perfectly clean house and cook x number of days a week; to have the perfect body, eating habits and work out routine; to never get mad, angry or frustrated with people (to their face); to help out and give (time, resources, money) even when it was at the determinant to my personal priorities; over commenting in fear of letting people down; marking every Christian “check box” to keeping and progressing in my faith….


I was bound by (my) laws and rules and if I broke even one, I believed I was a terrible person- a failure and surely I needed to try harder.

I tried – and tried some more- until I nearly died. 

And if I boiled it all down, it was all simply an attempt to control what people thought about me and whether they liked me; things that are completely 100% of our my control!
The accolades and achievement were striving to feel worthy. The over committing was striving to be liked. The helping and giving was striving to be accepted. The perfect marriage and body were striving to be wanted. And the perfect faith was striving to be loved.


But what was the real motivator behind my behaviour- the master that held me slave to my striving: FEAR; Of People seeing me – really seeing me- of being found out, rejected and ultimately unloved.

Do we see the vicious cycle?
The reality is, perfectionism – the chase for perfect – is entirely unattainable because we cannot control the uncontrollable. And when we spend 80% of our energies trying to control what isn’t within our abilities, we have no energy left to work on what we can control. And we ultimately end up feeling like a failure at everything!


Perfectionism is a myth and a lie. It’s completely and entirely impossible to achieve and in chasing it, we’re setting ourselves up for failure in every area of our life. We will never win the race, we will never arrive and we will never find lasting peace, joy or contentment on this journey.

And every area we struggle in is an arrow pointing to a genuine problem with our heart- a referral pain to the deeper issue down below:
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Achievement
  • Accolades
  • Addiction
  • Workaholism
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Stress
  • Glorifying “Busy”
  • Indecisiveness
  • Sexual Strongholds
What do all these things have in common? Control.
They were an attempt at grasping for control. And while I attempted to balance the spinning plates for years, they kept me blinded to the real problem – pain I’d simply kept pushing down deeper.


The problem with pain is that when unresolved it continuously resurfaces in our life, many times deceiving us, because it looks different the last time. 

My perfectionistic ways were simply masks – armour I was using to protect myself from being seen- from having to acknowledge and own the pain from my past.


When we choose to hide our real selves from the world- when we omit the messy hard parts of our lives and keep them hidden the world – we cloak ourselves in shame.


Shame is a word we all struggle to connect with or we reserve for people who have done “really bad things.” But the fact is:

Shame is universal. We all have it, but it’s triggers and how it manifests itself behaviourally looks different for everyone.

What it does have in common for all of us is feelings of fear, anger, sadness, depression, blame, disconnection and loneliness.


So if we look at the areas in our life where we feel like that, we’ll discover that truthfully, were blanketed in shame; there’s something we’re running from or something were choosing to hide, maybe even from ourselves.


And the key to removing the cloak – to breaking free from shame-  while simple in theory, can be extremely difficult in practice.




Vulnerability is the key to breaking the chains of shame- of all the negative feelings we’d rather run from.


If we imagine a graph, shame on one end, and acceptance and love on the other, then vulnerability is the dial the moves us from one to the other.


When we choose to allow our selves to be seen- when we have the courage to own our stories and share them with others no matter how marred or messy- we give others permission to own their own hard parts.

When we can learn to sit in our own dark cave and not run from it, than we can sit with others in theirs.

And what does that do? It connects us.


And connection is the key to feelings of love, acceptance, belonging, joy, meaning and ultimately purpose.
16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God …they suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence.  Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
So what does it take to do this? How can we begin to embrace vulnerability and own our stories?
It starts with taking an honest look in the mirror.
  • What do we struggle with?
  • What do we dread others finding out or seeing about ourselves?
  • What parts of our past do we want to hide or are ashamed of?
  • In what ways do we beat ourselves up, harm ourselves or push our selves into “behaving?”
It starts there, with a pen and paper, writing them down and choosing to no longer hide them; to own who we really are, right now in this current season, and trusting we’re not alone.

Take just one thing, go and share it with someone.

Might I suggest God first?
He is faithful and just to forgive us, heal us and make us new when we seek him with our whole heart.
 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
 DSC_0129Kailey-Michelle Photo10
But we must remember, our lives are in a perpetual cycle of learning, growing and ultimately of surrendering control; moving into a deeper relationship of trust and intimacy with The Lord.


God knows what we need and when. He’s not impatient or hurried to see us smarten up and get our act together. He is patience, steadfast, gentle and merciful, seeing us not for who we are now or defining us by our circumstance; he sees us for who we are in Christ- for the women we will become and for all he designed us to be.


The ultimate rose cored glasses if you will. Not because he’s a fool in love [but he is that too!] but because of our inheritance in Christ- the ultimate gift we’ve been given through his death.


God is slowly at work in our lives, ever refining us, purifying our minds and transforming our hearts to be more like Jesus, until the day of Christ’s return.


Grief Filled Grace

My entrance into motherhood was anything but pretty. It shattered every elegant notion and bliss-filled fantasy that I had held onto in my 9 months of waiting. I don’t know why I was shocked when reality came crashing down… my wedding experience was no different.

This is how God has refined me time and time again; in the shattering of my perfect laid plans that my mess has become my message – where God has humbled me, stripped me raw and taught me grace, compassion and love for others, as well as myself.

I had been praying for the last year that he would heal me from the things that still held me hostage after years of trying everything [in my strength] to fix myself and for the first time in my entire life I believed he would, with every fibre of my being.

And a strange knowing told me motherhood would be the beginning of that journey.


It started with my pregnancy roller coaster: the inability to control my every changing body, not being able to run or workout past 12 weeks, facing my fear of food to discover it as fuel, and weeks of tests and complications that had no answers. All the while I felt alone, like I didn’t know who to trust or turn to for answers. Was there a right one?!

I was slowly accepting the reality that only God knew. As much as the doctors could tell me one thing, God was ultimately in control of this pregnancy.. of my hearts condition … of my healing journey.

My delivery was point 2 seconds in before my birth plan got ripped to smithereens and as I grieved my loss of control there [like I had any in the first place over this!] God began a work in my heart preparing me for the trauma of what was ahead.

Labour and Delivery

I never dreamed I’ve be hooked up to IV’s, summoned to a bed and without [any] food or drink for nearly 48 hours. I never dreamed I’d hear the words “undiagnosed pre-eclampsia. You might want to call your family. ” or that a weeks recovery in the hospital would be just the beginning; that my daughter would spend that same duration in intensive care, subjected to test after test asking a “why” that still isn’t answered. That I’d blame myself or that this would open the flood gates of grieving the loss of my 6 month old brother when I was 6 years old- a pain I’d never been able to touch.

Preemie Baby NICUpre-eclampsiaLabour and Delivery

I feared every day that my daughter would die. That God would take her from me and I’d be a heap of nothing on the floor forever….

And while anxiety surged hourly panic attacks through my veins and my fear bore witness to a woman unrecognizable to those who love me most, it brought about a vulnerability I’d never dared let anyone see- not my husband, my family or even God. It ushered in conversations I’d played out in my head for years, confessions of anger and frustrations and most beautifully, the asking of forgiveness for the ways I’d judged, blamed and harboured resentment for years- some my entire life.

And it was there, in the midst of my ugly brokeness, that my healing began. That I came to the end of myself and finally took Gods hand admitting defeat. And like a switch, my heart changed and I surrended. Fully surrendered to whatever God has planned for me.

new moms | motherhoodnew moms | motherhood

While I wish I could tell you things got easier from that point on, they didn’t and I’d go on to walk 8 weeks of darkness before the sun would shine again; the anxiety still plagued me, worry was my best friend, tears were my comfort and a quiet numbness kept the Kailey of yesteryear seem far far away. Yet God felt near and more real than ever before. I could feel his arms hug me, his palm cup my face and his whispers sing delight over me.

With every new dawn, I would extend a trembling open palm accepting each day as grace; every messy, unknown part of it.

And slowly but surely, my standing turned into walking and my walk into a run; my murmurs to grumbles, my grumbles to signing and signing to shouts of praise.

new moms | motherhoodIMG_6351IMG_5918IMG_6356
A mere 3 months in, I still go back to that place when all feels hopeless and my weakness seems all consuming in this thing called motherhood. But Im learning what it truly means to lean on God, to know his strength rather than my own and to keep glued my eyes on him while everything else grows gravely dim.

new moms | motherhood

I’m settling into the passengers seat and for the first time, enjoying the ride.

Leaving room for miracles

When The Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive. Genesis 29:31

Our Father is a gracious father, who loves us unconditionally. His heart breaks for the things that break ours no matter how big or small. He grieves when we grieve, he rejoices when we praise and his desires to see us prosper in a hopeful future.

But by proposer, I don’t necessarily mean financially. I mean to flourish in the places he has put us; to have hope and joy beyond circumstance.

Leah was given to a man that did not want her and The Lord saw her. He wanted her to be loved and appreciated, so He blessed her with Child.


She gave him praise, but like us, far too often, she worshiped God while clinging to her earthly desires- expecting him to answer her prayers and heal her wounds in the way she felt was right and just.

“The Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Genesis 29:32 B

Three more times would Leah conceive, each time thanking God while focusing on her plans and making clear her expectations of Him… God that is.

Hear that. Expectations.

Oh how I have expectations for my life. And make them very clear to my Father. So often I dawn a Leah mindset, making known and clinging to my hopes and expectations for this life, like he owes me something for my “allegiance” to him.

But heres the thing; our hopes and expectations are so small! Compared to what God is capable of, our plans are akin to making sand castles in the mud slums because the idea of white sand at the beach is incomprhensible.

IMG_0083 IMG_0087

The problem isn’t that our expectations are too high – it’s that we are far too easily satisfied.

Keeping our fists clenched, clinging to hopes for a “pretty little life,” we stifle space for God in our plans…

We don’t leave room for miracles!

Because that’s what he is capable of if we’ll simply make room and let him!

Miracles. Glory.



Yes, that’s what I desire to see in my life, more than the fulfillment of my demands and expectations. They never satisfy anyway… for long.

I know. I chased achievement after achievement; always raising the bar and never satisfied. 

Why? Because theres a hole in each of a us; one that God artfully created for a purpose and that purpose is him. It’s a void that only he can fill.

But so often, we try and stuff it full of the things of this world- distractions, busyness, influence, significance, accomplishment, possession, control– even good things, like service and loving others – and allow our actions to blink a no vacancy sign to the baby looking for an inn.

And when the sign flashes, God moves on.
No he doesn’t leave us. No he doesn’t disown us and not love us.

He simply knows how we’ll respond. He searches for an open hole- a willing and longing heart that desires to know him- to hear him…

to live for him, rather than ourselves.

It wasn’t until her fourth child, that Leah would mature enough and let Go of her expectations, simply giving God praise and surrendering her need to be loved by a man.

“This time I will praise the Lord.” Genesis 29:35


What heart ache could God have spared her if she had simply run to him from the start? How powerfully could he have revealed himself to her and comforted her, if she would have trusted him for the answer? How many laps around the mountain and years wandering in the desert of despair could he have saved her from, giving her joy and contentment in its place? How could he have used her to relate to others in similar situations and bring him glory?

We’ll never know. But if his promises are true, and I know they are, it would have been something to write home about!

Because when we seek him with our whole heart, there we will find him. And when we ask for what we need to do his will, he will give it to us abundately. And when we trust him with our lives, he will finish what he has started in us, taking our threads to weave a masterpiece.

A life that shines of his Glory and goodness.


Let’s not be like Leah or the Israelites wandering in the desert.

Lord help us to trust you with our lives, beyond our feelings and our circumstance, clinging to your promises and running to your for our every need. Because you are our best friend, our confidant, our healer, our comforter, our forgiver, our only hope and security! Help us to love you with our whole hearts and desire to know you unlike anyone one. Because the more we seek your face, the more we’ll taste glory and live the life we were made for!