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Filtering by Tag: family


Cynthia Simpson


 After being married for two years, Val (my husband) and I decided it was time for us to start a family. I have never been on birth control, which I read can sometimes delay you from getting pregnant, but regardless it was my understanding that it would take some time to conceive. 

Getting pregnant was the easy part. Seeing the pregnancy to full term, now that was the biggest challenge.

I became pregnant after one month of trying and we were totally surprised. I thought great that was easy! After about 6 weeks into my pregnancy I started spotting. I went to my doctor and she told me that the pregnancy was not viable and I would soon miscarry. She prescribed me some medication to help with the cramps. We were both disappointed, but I read somewhere that having a miscarriage is something that could happen the first time around so we were not discouraged. Without delay, we tried again and two months later we were pregnant again. We were excited and thought ok we got this! However, being pregnant a second time around felt different. I didn’t have any of the normal symptoms like tender breasts or feeling nauseous as I did the first time. I found a new OBGYN and after 8 weeks I went in to get a sonogram and the doctor told me that this pregnancy was also not viable and I would soon miscarry. That was when I started to worry. Was there something wrong with me?

People never talk about miscarriage, so I had no idea that it was so common nor did I understand that there could be so many factors that could cause you not to carry to full term. It could be your age, fibroids, your partner's sperm, it can even be the combination of you and your partner's genes making it impossible for the two of you to have children.  The doctor did a round of tests since this was our second time going through this. Getting pregnant was the easy part. Seeing the pregnancy to full term, now that was the biggest challenge.

The tests came back normal and there was no physical or genetic reason why we could not have a baby. Sometimes miscarriages just happen. The doctor told us that we should wait for two menstrual cycles to pass before trying again so that my uterus could heal. In March of 2017, we started trying again. I found out I was pregnant in September, a week before my husband’s birthday. I had a rush of emotions when I took the pregnancy test and it was positive. I was excited at first, but then doubt began to sink in. I didn’t want to go through a third miscarriage. I told Val if this didn’t happen maybe we weren’t meant to have kids. We agreed that if it would be just the two of us, then that would be enough. Val, however, was very optimistic which made me hopeful.

When we went in for our first sonogram I was about 6 weeks pregnant. The room was small with low lighting. I lay on the examining table and lifted my shirt so she could put the wand on my stomach. Val held my hand as we looked at the monitor and right away we heard a heartbeat! With the last two pregnancies we never heard a heartbeat so we were ecstatic!

In my first trimester of this pregnancy, I had the tender breasts but not much nausea. I really didn’t feel any significant changes going on. I was also very paranoid and scared that something might happen. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about my pregnancy and for the people that did know I kindly asked them not to ask me how I was feeling. If I wanted to talk about being pregnant I would open the dialogue. Somehow I thought by not talking about my baby, it would make me feel less anxious if something were to happen, but thankfully with every month my fear of miscarrying diminished.

In the second trimester, I began to show and finally started to get into the notion of having a baby along with this new body. By New Year’s Eve, which is also my birthday, I was 5 months pregnant and we had a house party where I wore a black form-fitting dress to show off my belly. Since we didn’t announce on social media that we were expecting, some of our friends that came were surprised to see me pregnant! As we partied the rest of the night and counted down to the New Year, I let go of any anxiety and allowed myself to become excited about having a baby.

I share my journey with you because I think it's important that we are open about what happens when you are trying to conceive. It's so common to have a miscarriage, yet people never talk about it. So if you are going through this don't be discouraged and please believe that you are not alone. 



Cynthia Simpson

With Thanksgiving Day a few days away, my plans are to go back home to Philadelphia where my mom will prepare her traditional candy yams, greens, string beans, mac & cheese and not to mention her mouthwatering turkey! I love to cook and help my mom out in the kitchen, but when it comes to making the entire Thanksgiving meal for my family, even I am a little intimidated. 

Are you interested in cooking for Thanksgiving this year, but haven't a clue on how to get started? Well not to fear, Martha Stewart is here to help you out! Martha has collaborated with meal delivery service, Marley Spoon, that will send you everything you need including step-by- step instructions for a full Thanksgiving spread.

My friend Kate Storey, Senior Features Editor at Hearst Digital, decided to take on the challenge and ordered the Thanksgiving meal box. Kate informed me that she was not that experienced in the kitchen nor has she ever cooked a turkey before, but regardless, my husband and I were happy to be invited as her taste testers. We arrived to dinner at 7pm equipped with good appetites.  The spread was certainly impressive - A full turkey cooked to perfection, creamy mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprout salad with pomegranates and cider vinaigrette dressing, classic stuffing with herbs and dried cranberries. Then for dessert we had homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Everything was moist, full of flavor and just incredible! 

 Here is a short video of the delicious meal and our wonderful evening.  For more details about Kate's cooking experience, read the full article she wrote for Delish

Thanksgiving Dinner