Why Representation Matters

Parenthood Experiences

By: Ivory Bruinsma
Growing up, and well into my adult life, my dad coined the phrase “know your black history”.

As a kid, I really wasn’t concerned with knowing  all the black people who ever did anything. I knew enough; I knew Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X and of course Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I figured I pretty much had my bases covered and bonus there were a couple women thrown in there.


Five Essentials for a Short Maternity Leave

Parenthood Experiences

By: Katherine VanHenley

Reading about maternity leave in the United States makes me sad on a couple levels. One, because most of what you read is how inadequate maternity leave is here. Two because that’s usually all it is, reading over and over about how ridiculously short it is. And if you’re a mother who has no choice but to take a short maternity leave, it makes you feel pretty crappy about yourself and your impending motherhood.

Another Tantrum? I’m (not) a Good Parent

Parenthood Experiences

My son is two years old. To most, he’s a sweet, smart, quiet boy who doesn’t give strangers the time or day. His normal facial expression in public says, “Don’t talk to me,” lol!  As his parent, I fully support his stranger danger.  When he does talk, he’s complimented on his clarity and range of vocabulary. He’s polite and uses his manners…

He’s Shy, Sorry not Sorry! Why & How to Care for Introverts

Parenthood Experiences

For Real KadenI had to do my research. My son definitely demonstrated the traits of an introvert and I found myself apologizing to people for his inborn actions. In the pit of my stomach, I knew that I, his parent, was wrong for apologizing. I needed to switch to advocating and affirming how he was reacting to nuisances, people included.

The Fears of Potty Training

Parenthood Experiences

“It’s potty time…”

Giggling, “Nooo!”

Potty Training. The taboo cloud evoking fear that follows parents and children.

Disclaimer: Every child is different,  therefore parent discretion is required.

Parents fear forcing their kids into fearing the toilet. Children fear the porcelain toilet bowl and letting go the comfort of the diaper. Who’s under the most pressure – the child or the parents? My guess, the parents.


Infertility, Parenthood Experiences

MY story; OUR miracle.

My mom birthed me at age 16 years old and ever since I could remember, she made me promise her that I would not be a teen mom – that I would do all the things she wanted to do as a teen and young adult. Little did I know, the act of conceiving a child naturally was going to be very hard for me.

I was a late bloomer. Puberty didn’t hit me until age 15! Many women would say, “Lucky you,” but I was internally freaking out and wondering when was I going to get the honor of becoming a woman. When my cycles finally did come, they were sporadic and violently painful, sometimes missing school or work were my only options.

Fast forward about 10 years >>> I’m a newlywed of three years and ready to extend my family. My partner and I are trying BUT no conception.

No one can prepare you for the emotional agony of negative pregnancy tests. I again felt like I did as a teenager – wondering, what is wrong with me? Why NOT me? My husband and I both had careers, owned our home/cars, and weren’t living pay check-to-paycheck. We were ready. My body was not…

At this age in life, my friends were having kids and even my younger sister and brother were having kids.  I was becoming angry at the world. I looked around and saw so many people accidentally getting pregnant and women having babies within a year of trying. My hope and energy were drained; we decided to seek out medical help.

Soon after visiting an OBGYN doctor and getting an ultrasound, my husband and I found out that I have  PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My pelvic ultrasound reveiled many cysts (former eggs) just sitting in my ovaries. Putting all the technicalities aside, it basically meant my body was not ovulating. I can’t get pregnant without an egg in my uterus. In short, it is just REALLY hard for me to get pregnant.

PCOS is treatable, so through prayer and a hormone regime, we were committed to overcoming infertility. About eight months later, in October of 2013, we were blessed with OUR MIRACLE and finally got a positive pregnancy test.

Unspeakable joy flooded our hearts. Even as I write this post, tears are streaming from my eyes.  The miracle happened right when I felt like giving up, but God…

Before we told any and everyone, we made sure the pregnancy would stick. Sure enough, at 10 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound reveiled I had blood in my uterus – a sign of a miscarriage. My heart dropped. Anger filled my soul. Tears and screams burst from my face. I got myself together the next morning, went to work and taught my class. After school, I drove to an empty parking lot and screamed/cried/prayed some more. My husband called and reminded me that stress will only make my uterus more stressed. So I chose to let go and let God. Within two weeks, the blood cleared up. The chance of a miscarriage had withered away.

I was on my way through a positive pregnancy. Then, week 22 of my pregnancy I started having painful contractions. I couldn’t stand or walk. I was projectile throwing up and could not control my bladder. We rushed to urgent care and urgent care wheeled me into the birthing center. The tears of fear streamed again! The nurses didn’t know if I was having my baby. My husband and I were so scared. The pain was every 5-7 minutes. Fast forward several hours >>> the doctor determined that I was passing a kidney stone and gave me props for handling the pain so well. She said if I can handle kidney stone pain, I can handle childbirth pain too. We thought we were loosing our baby, but God…

Anyhoot, the reason why I’m sharing my story is to remind myself that these kinds of miracles are possible. We are trying to conceive again and my body has been worse after having my first child. People say you’re more fertile after your first baby; well the opposite has happened to me.  I didn’t have a cycle until 20 months after having my son. He’s currently 22 months. We are currently on another hormone regime and feverishly putting our faith in God (not ashamed of that).

I may have PCOS for the rest of my life, but through faith and modern medicine, I know it can happen. But if my first miracle is all that is in my deck of cards I’ve been dealt in life, then I’m more than grateful!