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"Digging Deep." - Chelsey's Story

“When I grow up, I want to be a .... Mom." - me.

Age 28 was just around the corner. We attended my husband’s maternal grandfather’s funeral, Grandpa Bruce. During the service, they had a special candle lighting to acknowledge Bruce’s first, unborn, great grandchild. I had a sudden rush of “I feel like I should be lighting one too”. I told my husband after the service that I had that funny feeling. Then, I quickly realized I had missed my cycle! The next day, we went to the store and I picked up some pregnancy tests while we were there. Shortly after we returned to our house, I had to go ‘#1’. I picked up the used test after a couple minutes went by and I saw a second pink line. Faint, but there. I took another. Same thing. I brought it down to my husband who was playing video games during the Super Bowl 2017 half time (the best part). I handed it to him (Oh shush, I wiped it off!). “What am I looking at?”, he said. “I’m pregnant.”, I told him. We gleamed at each other with excitement and joy!

After a looong pregnancy of intense acid reflux, extreme itching from stretching skin, depression and anxiety getting the best of me with just 4 weeks left, I was induced on my due date, October 15, 2017. I was FULL of fluid. Not only could you have popped my feet with a pin, but I had an alarming amount of fluid surrounding the baby. So, to the hospital we went. But, not so fast! After 22 hours of labor and almost 2 hours of pushing, I birthed a healthy baby girl on October 16, 2017. Oh, and I found out the hard way that I am 1% of women whose bodies reject epidurals. Fun fact, right?!

That was the ”top of the hill” for me. My beautiful baby girl, Charlie, couldn’t be more perfect. Still is at 2.5 years old! I tell you this so you understand my body’s reaction to pregnancy. Other than getting to feel my baby move in my belly, nothing else was magical about it. Once she arrived it was all “over” though, right? Did you know that your body can experience pregnancy, labor and delivery as a “traumatic experience”? I mean, yes, now that I’ve experienced it. But, it’s supposed to be the miracle of life. And, it totally is, but my body didn’t think so. After much invasive testing and time off of work, I am now diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and PCOS. While unrelated, both are brought on by trauma. My body decided that having a baby was “traumatic”. Always believing that we would have 2 babies, a sibling for our daughter, we are now faced with the reality that it may not be in the cards for me, for her, for us.

Super Bowl Sunday, 2017, through February 2020 has been quite the journey for me. My husband doesn’t always understand, medically, emotionally.

A lot of times, I feel alone.

I have struggled with so many things from body image and sexuality to dark, dark depression and extreme anxiety. I have a laundry list of symptoms from my newly diagnosed diseases and finally went through with my breast reduction in October 2019. I have been struggling with my body for 3 years. I’m just now at the turning point of getting to know my new body. So, what exactly is ‘my story’? Digging Deep is my story. Every day. Every day I dig deep to find my strengths and to remind myself of the positives. I struggle every day with the person I am on the outside and the inside.

I’m nowhere near who I want to be, but I’m learning that being me is all I can do and that HAS to be good enough for me. I NEED to believe that I am good enough for myself so that my daughter will believe it. If I don’t believe it, why should she?

So, at 31 years old, “When I grow up, I want to be a ... Mom.” - still me.

Very truly yours,



Your story has so many ups & downs - it's so REAL. We think this is why is so important that you shared the truth that so many women face: We feel scared sometimes. We hurt sometimes. We feel alone sometimes. We have to DIG DEEP sometimes.

Thank you for sharing YOUR story. We hope other women will know that they are not alone in their struggles, but they, too - can overcome by digging deep.

xoxo, the Sugar & Spice Girls


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Sugar & Spice Photography is a Minnesota based, women-owned small business that specializes in boudoir and pinup photography.

WE ARE...moms, wives, engaged, divorced or single women...and we are on a mission to share our passion with you! Our intimate & tasteful boudoir photography is created to...

...CELEBRATE each woman's individuality, helping them to look and feel beautiful, be playful and ooze sexuality with dignity, elegance and class.

...ENLIGHTEN and empower the women that we touch, and help them realize that they are beautifully and wonderfully made by their Creator.

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A boudoir photography shoot with us is done tastefully and beautifully with an all female team to nurture your comfort and ensure that you feel pampered, empowered & sexy! Nervous? We will coach you through the entire amazing, super fun experience…from outfit selection to posing! We’ll give you the Hollywood treatment and help bring out your inner supermodel!

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