All Articles Tagged "miscarriage"
If you’re looking for your morning cry, I have just what you need, straight from Virginia couple Dana Griffin-Graves and her husband Arkell Graves.
The couple have been trying to get pregnant for the past 17 years with no luck. The Graves told WRIC, an ABC affiliate, that Dana had four miscarriages and suffered a stillbirth when the fetus was six months old. After so much devastation, the couple had given up their dream of getting pregnant.
But recently, Dana surprised her husband with some amazing news.
She prepared dinner and when Arkell walked in the kitchen to eat, she told him that there was some more stuff in the oven.
He opened it to find buns as well as pictures from her ultrasound.
I don’t want to ruin any more of the surprise. Check out the amazing moment and Arkell’s heartwarming reaction in the video she secretly recorded below.
Dana only suspected something was up when, after walking with her friends, she wasn’t losing weight like they were. When she went to the doctor, she learned not only was she pregnant, she was five months along. She immediately began scheming of a way to tell her husband. Since she was five months, she was able to tell him the sex of the child. Their baby boy is due on February 16.
She uploaded the video to YouTube with the caption:
Have your tissues ready! After 4 miscarriages and 1 stillborn birth, we had given up on the idea of having babies of our own, especially at our age…But God!
The video has since gone viral with over a 1.5 million views. Griffin-Graves said she is shocked by the way the video is being shared especially since she only sent the YouTube link to eight people.
“I thought that this was going to be for family only.”
Nope, we’re all sharing in this joy.
Arkell and Dana said these days strangers walk up to the couple already knowing a bit of their story.
Arkell recalled one incident in particular.
“A lady just came up to me and said you’re the big guy who was on there crying. Everything is going to be ok. I’m praying for you. You know in these times we need prayer. So I will take all the prayers I don’t care how they come.”
Dana told WRIC, she’s hoping her story can be a source of encouragement for others.
“It shows that God is able to do any and all things and so I’m grateful and I said if it can help someone else and give them hope that it can happen, then you know that’s what it’s about,”
If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of this sweetness, you can watch their WRIC interview here.
Congratulations to Arkell and Dana! We’re praying for them too.
There is a famous spiritual song that says, “when it seems like the sun wasn’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” In the forums about motherhood and childbirth, infants born healthy after the experiences of a miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden death are considered rainbow babies. I am grateful to have two rainbow babies, Genesis, 19 months, and Joelle, four months.
Prior to having our daughters, our first pregnancy ended abruptly with a miscarriage at six weeks, and our second pregnancy concluded at 38 weeks with the stillborn delivery of our son, Joshua. These were very tough experiences to say the least. Then, managing the fear and anxiety of a reoccurrence during our subsequent pregnancies was even more taxing.
Our oldest daughter, Genesis, was conceived six weeks after we delivered Joshua. On March 27, 2013, we went to the OBGYN for our 38 week appointment and the doctor was unable to find his heartbeat. She thought that the silence was due to awkward positioning so she grabbed the in-office ultrasound machine to confirm. From the moment his limp body appeared on the screen, I could tell that he was no longer with us.
A baby pronounced deceased after 24 weeks in-utero is considered stillborn and has to be delivered naturally or extracted via c-section.
While the doctor’s were setting me up to be induced, they offered me all kinds of pain and psychiatric medicine for coping. I declined it all. My intentions were to be fully conscious and aware of the suffering I was to endure at the hands of the loss. This was my first step in the grief management process: the act of recognizing my own pain.
The days to follow were surreal and humbling. My husband and I spent the next 18 hours in labor preparing to deliver the lifeless body of our sweet little baby boy. We spent the next three months reconciling how to move forward.
Quite naturally, we were not excited about the onset of pregnancy symptoms I began experiencing in late May 2013. We discussed the possibility of us being pregnant, but the grief of Joshua was too fresh for us to think about managing pregnancy after loss. Out of fear of another miscarriage, we postponed all medical confirmations and care until mid-July at the 10 week mark. We also waited to tell family and friends until we cleared the three month mark.
Hiring a grief counselor was our next course of action. It was also the best decision we made. Although postponing medical care was not wise, the unmanaged anxiety from the thought of being in a doctor’s office again was debilitating. By preparing our mindset with a grief specialist focused on infant deaths, we set up a pillar of support to stabilize our psychosis.
This helped us find joy in the possibility of new life and eliminated our fear. We continued to see our counselor bi-weekly throughout our pregnancy with Genesis.
She offered us great words of encouragement like: “You are allowed to say your child’s name whenever you want.” “One child does not replace another, and all our children have special places in our hearts.” “You are still a mother even though your baby passed away.” “God is the author and giver of life.”
Bonus for us, our counselor happened to be of the same faith and supported us with scripture references, as well as mental logic. When choosing a grief counselor seek referrals from your OB-GYN office or your community of faith. We did both and we were very happy with our team of support.
After Joshua was born, I took a year off from work to focus on my own health and wellness. Yes, our income took a major hit and we had to downgrade our lifestyle, but the benefits far outweighed the negatives. While pregnant with Joshua, I did not really have the time to make choices about which types of parenting styles were good for our family. All the decisions I had made were based on what I saw and heard from friends and family members. After taking the time to study books on motherhood from various sources, my husband and I created a blueprint for our family in alignment with our hopes and needs.
The first decision we made that was focused on our future with Genesis was to change doctors. Genesis was born in a hospital with the assistance of midwives instead of an OB-GYN. Our midwives empowered me as a woman and they gave me the freedom to have the type of birthing experience I desired. Not being chained to a bed for 18 hours freed me to move with my contractions, lean on my husband for support and usher in our new baby in an atmosphere of love.
Born on January 23, 2014, Genesis’ arrival truly represented a rebirth for our family. Her infant cries were sweet music to our ears, and the sight of her alive was truly a rainbow in our clouds.
Seemingly, it’s trouble in paradise for newly engaged Bow Wow and Erica Mena.
On Thursday (Sept. 17), the former Love & Hip Hop New York star aired out some of business on social media. Mena took to Instagram to reveal to her 2 million followers that she suffered a miscarriage earlier this year. Of course, it was her and her fiance Bow Wow’s child.
Mena posted a photo that was captioned with a poem where she poured out her emotions regarding her loss. She also tweeted about not being ashamed of speaking her mind. “I’m open about it. I’m not the only one,” she wrote. “Speaking my mind has always helped me deal & heal. So I’m NEVER ashamed. Can you say the same?”
However, Bow Wow disagrees with Mena’s sentiments.
After her big social media reveal, Bow Wow posted a video speaking about his opine on the matter. In the 44-second video, he says that his fiancee was “attention seeking.” Why would he say such a thing? Well, according to him, Mena’s miscarriage occurred five months ago, explaining that the situation was in the past and didn’t need to be brought up.
“First and foremost, I feel like telling your personal business on social media, I feel like that’s one of the lamest things you possibly can do,” Bow Wow said. “I feel like it’s attention seeking, especially when it’s news that happened five months ago. It’s not recent, it’s five months ago.”
Erica’s initial Instagram post has since then been deleted, but watch Bow Wow’s reaction for yourself below.
Earlier last month, former video vixen Karrine Steffans revealed on Vlad TV that not only was she pregnant but she also miscarried.
“I hadn’t’ said anything because it was too early,” Steffans, who was only in her first trimester said. “It’s just personal stuff. So by the time I got off tour in the middle of bed rest and we lost the baby. I just got off of bed rest a week ago, and this is actually my second day out of bed,” she divulged.
While a visibly emotional Steffans spoke out on her miscarriage, she did shy away from revealing who the father’s child would have been. Many speculated that longtime friend and romantic confidant Lil Wayne was linked to the situation. However, Karrine put the rumors to rest yesterday (Sept.5).
The model/best-selling author put singer and Power actor Rotimi on full blast via Instagram as the father. She posted a picture of the 26-year-old with the caption:
“I’ve never in my life seen a man not ache over the loss of his own child until @rotimimusic,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a pic of the “Do Me” singer. “I’ve never seen a man go on vacation while the mother of his dead child hurts so badly…or sing knowing he had a hand in stifling the breath of his own. The truth is a secret but the imagery is a lie and demons dance in the perfect light. But wait…there’s more…”
Karrine then continued, posting a photo of MLK explaining that she has been suffering everyday since her miscarriage and sinking into a manic depressive state.
Damn. I feel bad using Dr. King’s image for this moment, but the words are just perfect. Losing a child is devastating. I’ve been suffering everyday since, and sinking into a manic depressive state. One minute, I’m way up and the next minute, I’m the lowest I’ve ever been. I try to go out with my friends and be normal but the sadness always finds its way in. It’s becoming debilitating and I’m doing all I can to fight it, though I refuse to take the narcotics prescribed to level my moods. I’ve been exercising more, clamoring for endorphins, and trying to stay upbeat, but…it’s all temporary. The hardest part of it all has been not being able to talk about it, not being allowed to cry on the shoulder of the man who has been my best friend, my love, and my rock through so many other hardships. Suffering in silence is a death all its own. I don’t know if anyone else has been through this but I don’t know if I’m gonna be okay. I’ve been trying to set a good, strong example but I can’t anymore. I’m fucking dying over here and sometimes, I don’t know if I’ll make it through the night. In the end, I don’t care what strangers have to say…I have only cared about the silence of those I love. It has destroyed me and what happens next is apropos. Pray for me.
Rotimi has yet to comment on Karrine’s claim or statements.
I personally take great pleasure in women over thirty getting pregnant. With so much pressure from society, the media and our own bodies, to procreate with a quickness, it’s scary to be quite honest. So, I always applaud when a woman over 35 announces a pregnancy.
And I felt the same for Tami Roman.
Like many people, I was concerned about the time of the announcement. Any woman, of any age announcing a pregnancy before the conclusion of the first trimester is risky. Miscarriage can happen to anyone. Still, I was rooting for her to have a healthy baby.
Sadly, that didn’t seem to be the case for everyone else.
I saw far too many comments where people proclaimed she was too old to have a child. Obviously, her body was and still might be capable of conceiving a child. And it saddened me that people were so ready to speak misfortune over her pregnancy. I don’t want to get super deep on y’all but words are powerful. And it would have been nice for people to either keep their negative comments to themselves or speak positively about Tami bringing a new life into the world. Furthermore, it is so frustrating to see women participating in the spread of information that makes many of us so anxious and scared in the first place.
Sadly, she did indeed suffer a miscarriage.
Later, she issued this statement about the loss and her subsequent emotions.
As I sat trying to find the reason, the why, the how come…I remained at a loss for words. My emotions were high and my spirit was low. I don't think anyone will understand the sadness that I felt. All I wanted to do was share a positive moment with the man I love. I couldn't stop crying and asking God why…then a stillness came over me, a quiet, a simple peace. What I'm about to say will seem undoubtedly strange, but it made perfect sense to me. I lost my baby on my mother's birthday. My mother has been gone for two years and I feel she has missed being apart of so many wonderful moments in my life and the lives of my daughters. She didn't get to meet the man I love and she would've really liked Reggie. I came to the conclusion that this is a lesson in love and loss. This is another test of my faith and my strength. I got to a place of eerie calm, believing the spirit of my unborn child is with my mom. I don't know, it made me feel better believing that a part of me is keeping her company. I'm not supposed to understand everything. Some things are so beyond my grasp and extremely spiritual. The loss has shown me how much I would love to be a mother again. I always thought this was about Reggie, that I was doing this for him…but NO, this is about me. I know that now. God needed to know I wanted this too and I DO. I've grown so much since having my daughters and I want the opportunity to be a better mother, with less mistakes, less selfishness and more love than ever to give. I know that I am stronger than this situation and I'm not giving up. This is not a condescending or statistical "I told you so" moment, but instead a "You can defy the odds" empowerment moment. I represent women my age who want families, but feel it's not possible or think it's too late. I plan to show you with God's help, that it can be done. I appreciate the prayers from my friends and family who reached out to me personally and from ALL of you! My babies @jazzanderson @lyricchanel for being so supportive and my love @reggieyb1 for being so understanding. Lets get back to life and keep pressing forward. Please continue to keep us uplifted as we are not giving up or in.
And still, after this heartfelt message, some people still took it as an opportunity not to express condolences but to remind the strangers and their friends on social media that they had “called it.” That they were right. Bragging about being right about the loss of a child. Congratulations.
We were all taught we shouldn’t say anything if we don’t have anything nice to say but I don’t know anyone who follows that rule. But in my house, the message of not speaking ill about people’s children, anyone who’s not an adult, specifically when you don’t have any of your own, was drilled into my head. The sentiment/superstition/ is that speaking ill or harm over someone else’s child, born or unborn, could present problems for you when it’s time for you to conceive.
Be careful what you speak.
In Tami’s Instagram post she mentioned that she and Reggie are going to continue trying to have children. Best of luck to the both of them.
In the first episode of her show, “Living Lozada,” Evelyn Lozada announced, much to our surprise, that she was expecting another child.
Sadly, the exuberant feelings didn’t last too long, in the promo clip for the next episode, her doctor told her that her hormone levels were so low, they seemed to suggest that the pregnancy wouldn’t come to term.
Later, in an interview with People, Lozada confirmed that she did indeed have a miscarriage.
“When I went to my first appointment, everything looked great. My progesterone levels were good.
My hormone levels were dropping. My doctor said, ‘Let’s just see what happens and if anything changes.’ ”
“At my next appointment, my ultrasound went from looking really perfect and beautiful to looking pear-shaped,” says Lozada. “You could just tell, it didn’t look normal.”
Sadly, the process wasn’t a smooth one.
“for me the most heartbreaking thing was knowing that it could take up to a day to maybe a week for it to happen,” says Lozada. “I became so obsessed with it. I kept taking pregnancy tests and one would come out positive, then one would come out negative. It was so hard not knowing when I’d lose the baby.”
The miscarriage finally happened during a photo shoot her family had scheduled to help her feel better.
“I had to stop the photo shoot and just lay down. It was hard.”
Though Evelyn had the love and support of her family, she said it was mostly an experience she endured alone.
“You have a million and one questions in your mind as to what happened. You just feel responsible. It’s your body. It’s a loss that only you can relate to.”
Evelyn questioned everything, from the things she ate during her pregnancy to her age.
“It’s nothing that you ate, or did; it’s not your age. One out of all four to five pregnancies end in miscarriage,” she explains. “I have three girlfriends and it’s literally happened to each and every one of them.”
I responded to the news that Evelyn was pregnant with joy. Yet, others thought she was too old to be having more children. As someone who comes from a family where women have babies into their forties, I didn’t see an issue with it. Particularly, at a time in her life when Evelyn is not only in a seemingly more stable relationship but she’s in a better emotional and psychological space. A better adjusted mother is an asset to a child.
Plus, I thorough enjoy women over thirty giving birth to children, defying the notion that we all need to rush to have children before we’re all “dried”and”shriveled.” We all have a different story. And they don’t have to include a husband and baby before 30. There is life after 35. You can even produce it.
And like the news that she was pregnant, people are equally disappointed with Evelyn’s decision to share her miscarriage story, claiming that she was using the tragic event to further promote her show.
That’s a given. All reality stars are profiting off the stories of the lives, good, bad and ugly. While many are tripped up over the method, I think the message is a pretty necessary one.
Like Evelyn said, many women have suffered from miscarriage and many of them needlessly blame themselves for the loss. There’s a certain level of shame many women feel about having lost a child, so they keep the traumatic nature of their experiences to themselves.
My mother who had at least two, possibly three miscarriages, before I, her first child was born, describes that own period in her life as rather dark. She spoke about hearing a ripping sound and realizing she’d lost a child, trying to collect and save one of the embryos and feeling like everyone around her had a baby.
I don’t say that to be morbid, though it is. I say that because it’s such a common occurrence and women need to know that there is hope after this.
And that’s the message Evelyn was trying to spread in sharing her story.
She concluded her story with People saying, “This was just another tragic incident in my life that I had to deal with. But I say God doesn’t make mistakes. Women just need to hold out hope.”
Evelyn is taking her own advice and is still optimistic about the prospect of having a child. “I’m not checking for when I’m ovulating or anything. I’m like look, I’m pushing 40. I’m going to be 50 with a 10-year-old! If it happens again, that will probably be my last.”
Will Evelyn gain further exposure from this story. Of course. You’re reading about her right now. But I’m also sure her words will help someone who believes their suffering through this alone.
“It Happened Because Of Me”: Kobe Bryant Reveals Guilt Over Miscarriage Vanessa Had As He Fought Rape Allegations
Kobe Bryant has had a pretty illustrious career in the NBA. He’s won championships (with the help of Shaq and also while leading the Lakers on his own), won MVP titles (both league and All-Star Game awards), broken scoring records and found a way to drop 81 points in a game before. Seriously, 81 friggin’ points!
But in between all the highs, there was a very low point that Bryant hit from 2003-2004. If you’ll recall, Bryant was accused of raping a hotel employee at a lodge he was staying at before undergoing knee surgery. Bryant would deny her allegations, but the very married baller would admit to having sex with the 19-year-old woman. The allegations and case would be thrown out after the accuser refused to testify during the trial, though Bryant and the woman settled after she filed a civil lawsuit against him. Bryant would get to keep his freedom, and even experienced a massive improvement in his game and stats (he says he took his frustration out on the court), but his reputation took quite the hit at that time, as did his marriage to Vanessa Bryant.
During his very good Showtime documentary, Muse, which aired this past weekend, Bryant spoke about how hard the allegations, and his infidelity, were on his wife. He even shared that Vanessa lost a child around that tumultuous time. He blames this loss on his mistakes and says that he’s grateful Vanessa decided to stick with him when it would have been easier to leave.
“It’s a man’s job to protect your family. It’s a man’s job to look out for your family. It’s a man’s job to always be the anchor of stability for the family. In that aspect, I failed miserably. Things would have been really easy for her to leave, actually. Especially during that time. It would have been much easier to leave. You leave, you take half the money, you have your daughter. Life’s good. She’s good. But she didn’t do that.
We were expecting and uh…um…expecting our second child during that time. There was just so much stress. She actually uh…she actually miscarried. It’s something that I…I have a real hard time dealing with that. I felt like it was my fault, you know what I mean? We should be building our family, but because of my mistake, because of this tough year, we lost a baby. We try to justify the fact that we don’t realize how common miscarriages are and these things happen. It’s part of the process. But the reality is, it happened because of me. That’s the reality of it. That’s something I have to deal with, and I have to carry forever.”
We know that Vanessa did file for divorce from Kobe in 2011, citing irreconcilable differences, and she almost walked away with $75 million and three homes. But she stuck it out, and the couple reconciled in 2013. They have two children together: Natalia and Gianna.
Becoming a mother is a true gift that not every woman is given the opportunity to experience.
Most women dream of the joys of having their first child and embarking on the journey we call motherhood. However, the journey to motherhood is not always so clear cut. Many women struggle with infertility issues, some lose their children in the womb and some even suffer the tragedy of infant mortality just after experiencing to joy of giving life. Each of these tragedies has its own trauma, and the moment when the joy of motherhood might be taken away a woman feels powerless.
Becoming pregnant, staying pregnant and delivering a healthy child are life challenges unique to women. When a woman is faced with fertility issues, a miscarriage or loss after birth, motherhood instantly becomes unattainable. She doesn’t know how to feel, how to react or even how to cope. In an instant she feels alone with her thoughts and feelings. Her first response is What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Indeed, so many women suffer from these pangs in silence. Why? Is it because they feel ashamed as if they felt inadequate? Or is it because they feel that no one can truly understand their pain? I believe that it is both of these reasons.
Before I had my son, after I had my daughter, I had a miscarriage. Suddenly feelings of inadequacy, sadness, and pain became my reality. I wasn’t sure how to deal with what had happen nor did I understand why. I wanted to just crawl up and shut out the world. I received flowers, condolences and support from my husband but I still felt that no one really understood what I was going through nor did I want to have to explain it or share my pain with anyone. Suddenly I felt so alone. As time passed, I began to slowly accept what had happened and eventually I was able to move on and continue with a semblance of normalcy. During this whole transition, I never sought guidance or support to help me cope with what had happened. I just assumed it was an experience that no woman really talked about. Looking back, I wish I was more willing to seek support and guidance because in reality, unfortunately, there are many women who share this tragic experience. There are many different resources out there that can aid in giving us the support we need.
Babycenter.com, parenting.com, and meetup.com, for example, all provide great resources for locating local support groups. I also encourage using Facebook for women who have experienced such trauma to start their own support groups. This is a great way to get advice from women from all around the world.
It’s time to break the silence. All aspects of motherhood should be embraced even the disappointments and heartbreaks because it’s what makes us better women and better mothers. We need to draw strength from the heartache and share our stories because it’s that very moment that we can begin to heal, move on and seek to once again chart that glorious journey toward Motherhood. The journey is not always straight and sure. There will always be twists and turns that we are not going to expect, but when we can reach out to one another we can lift each other up and the silence can become a resounding affirmation.
Just last month, we were reporting the joyous news that “Married To Medicine” Mariah Huq’s was pregnant with twins. The family even posted this adorable announcement on Instagram.
Long before the Huqs announced this pregnancy, they told Bravo that they had intentions to expand their family beyond the son and daughter they currently have.
Sadly, Mariah’s husband, Dr. Aydin Huq took to his Facebook page to alert the couple’s supporters and followers of the show that they miscarried.
Here’s what he wrote:
“Thank you for your well wishes on our pregnancy. It is with heavy hearts that we must announce that we miscarried. This is by far one of the hardest things that either of us have had to go through, and we are truly saddened by this double loss. We ask that you keep our entire family lifted in prayer, and Mariah a speedy recovery.”
Any woman who has miscarried can attest to the physical and emotional pain that comes with losing a child. We’re praying for the Huq family during this very devastating time.
I know how terribly selfish this will come off simply because of the fact that based on my gender; society expects me to have this inherent desire to bring babies in the world. I know that as woman I am not expected to make any fuss about raising children because I’m a mom and if you ask some folks (read my children’s father) this is what I was born to do, right?
Hello, I’m Opal and will never be the proverbial pregnant and barefoot woman anyone wants me to be. I’ve decided that after two children and a miscarriage I have absolutely no plans to conceive, ever. I would consider having a hysterectomy but I’m pretty sure doing so would have some effect on my self esteem as a woman—guess I’m a girl after all. I’ve recently suffered through a miscarriage but the possibility of having a third child felt like the real trauma. Throughout the duration of the pregnancy I had mixed feelings about having another baby but I was faithful that the dreadful feeling and difficult days would be worth it after giving birth.
I love my kids and all the good that they bring to my life. My two boys are the only reason there were moments of relief after the loss of my third baby. I strongly believe that all children are blessings but I also believe that women should know their limitations. You can’t mention the Duggar family from the TLC’S reality series 19 Kids and Counting without people questioning their reasons for bearing 19 children. I am sure Michelle Duggar has had her fair share of tumultuous days but that could very well be the number of children she is equipped to handle. My number is much lower than nineteen but I think two children suits my current financial and mental disposition.
I’ve been beyond selfless for my two small children but like Jodi’s mom said so eloquently in the movie Baby Boy, “Mama got to have a life, too.” I am not referring to having a life in only a social context. I am no good to my boys when the overwhelmed, exhausted mommy that is too busy being all things at all times that she isn’t allowed more moments where she is allowed to simply just exist and enjoy her children.
The reality of the miscarriage set in and though I was mostly grief stricken I still felt a strong sense of clarity and relief. I have an obscene amount of respect for women like my mother who have enough children to start a basketball team. If you are a parent, then you know what I mean when I say having children requires superhuman levels of patience. Children need a lot of your attention and if you are really good mom then they are going to need you to occasionally interact with them.
Whether you have one child or five the most important part about being a parent is providing your children with a stable environment to thrive in. I’m not sure how anybody else feels about his or her children but I am determined to give my children a fair shot at a valuable life. I want to be able to provide them with all that they need emotionally, mentally and physically. I’ve had some overwhelming moments here with just my two children. There were times where I was sure that I would never graduate, never lose the baby weight, never start an emergency savings account, never not be so tired that I can’t play with my kids.
I want to be sure that I can give my children all of the good parts of myself. A mommy that has been relentlessly depleted sometimes loses herself so greatly in the day to day that she tends to forget to revel in the blessing of getting to know and love their creation.
I’ve accepted that I am currently not emotionally built to raise more than the two children I have. I’ve taken a vow to actively take steps to prevent future pregnancies and am not interested in anymore “go for the girl” talk. I cannot say that I was happy to lose the baby but I will say that I was inspired to continue making measurable strides towards creating the best future for the two I have. One of those things happens to be preventing another pregnancy. I think big families are beautiful—in a “Facebook picture of someone else’s big beautiful family that I can click “like” and keep scrolling” kind of way.
Opal Stacie is a freelance writer based out of the Miami area. Connect with her on twitter @OpalStacie.