Keagan Grace O’Melia- Part I

Beautiful Baby Girl

It was October of 2003.

Our little family of four flew to Phoenix, Arizona, to visit Nana and Pops (Duff’s parents).

Nana and Pops

They lived in a nice gated community which housed a heated pool and jacuzzi.  I recall trying out the hot tub only to discover that it made me feel quite nauseous.

This wasn’t too surprising, as heat and I have never really been close friends.

The drive a few days later to beautiful Sedona initially nudged the thought into my mind.

We actually had to pull over because I felt so green.

Could I be pregnant??

But I pretty much recovered once my feet were on solid ground and we grabbed some lunch.

I had always been prone to motion sickness anyway.

The air in Sedona was beautifully crisp, a wonderful remedy for queasy me.

The breathtaking scenery, distracting.

We returned to Scottsdale later that evening, without incident, and the remainder of our trip went smoothly.

We even went ice skating in the desert.

I had only the symptom of frequent hunger to remind me..

Could I be pregnant?

And then Nana would dig into her bag, hand me a Luna bar, and all would be forgotten.

It wasn’t until we were back in Carolina that the nausea really kicked into high gear, prompting me to take “the test”.

Now y’all might think I’m crazy…

But as I waited for the test to develop,

I hoped, hoped, hoped, that my instincts hadn’t led me astray.



I was just thrilled beyond belief!!

The months that lay ahead were filled with many twists and turns, and initially, a whole lot of nausea.

I visited a new OB/Gyn with this pregnancy, only to discover they were not very supportive of VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 Cesareans).  They diagnosed me with possible Placenta Previa at 13 weeks and discouraged me from carrying around my other children, lifting heavy things, etc.

I followed the prescribed modified routine over the month that followed.

I then switched doctors for my follow-up ultrasound.

They assured me that I did not in fact have placenta previa and that baby looked great!

I fell in love with this tiny practice comprised of one OB and one Midwife.

I felt so blessed to move forward through this pregnancy with a clean bill of health.  Certainly an answer to prayer.  God knew, as I would later discover, that previa would not be compatible with what lay ahead.

You see Duff began to take a stock market/finance class, at about the same time contracting work seemed to slow down in the triangle area.  We had been feeling the strain a new mortgage places on your life when income becomes more patchy and you’ve overextended yourself a bit.

We questioned whether I needed to work part-time or Duff needed to find new work.

Duff came home from the financial class certain that we needed to sell our house to pay off our debts.

This is not the news a pregnant mom wishes to hear.  Enter sobbing.

During this time, Duff had also decided to broaden his search for new work to include all of the U.S., since local work didn’t look very promising.

We trusted that God had a plan in all of this.

The calls began coming in from Wisconsin.


Of all the places I had entertained in my mind, this one had not made the cut.

But so interesting…that we were getting multiple calls in from Wisconsin about Duff’s resume.  Surely this was God’s plan.

Duff flew up to Milwaukee for an interview and came home very excited about the position.

The offer was made, negotiations occurred, and a deal was struck.

We were moving to Wisconsin in one week’s time.

Packing commenced, moving plans were ironed out, and the house was put on the market. (This is when you can be certain that your garage door will cave in…to increase curb-side appeal. ;) I kid you not.)

Truly, the move to Wisconsin is a book in and of itself.

It began with an expired driver’s license, a destroyed emergency brake, a runaway car, a paint can at the end of the driveway, and a too small moving truck.

It culminated with us leaving Apex, NC, each behind the wheel of a Budget rent-a-truck, with a child strapped in beside us, a walkie talkie in hand’s reach, and a car on the tow bar at the rear.

Picture me, 6 months pregnant, at the Budget truck center, receiving instructions from a man struggling to contain his laughter…

“Just remember these two things, Lady.  First, make wide turns.  Second, never pull into a place where you’ll need to turn around.”

And we were off on a year-long adventure that we would not soon forget.

Oh my goodness, how I wish I had pictures to share.  I’m pretty sure at the time I planned to repress this memory forever.  No seriously.

We lost each other in West Virginia.

My cell phone was dead.

Duff had my charger.

The walkie talkies were out of range.

I was in a PANIC!

When Duff and I were finally reunited I was in need of a good shot of valium.

“What were you so worried about?  You should have just found yourself and the baby a nice hotel and enjoyed the pool until I found you.”

(Ummmm…I’m thinking at this point, I’m really not sure we could be any more different.)

We did finally make it to Wisconsin, despite my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel of the biggest rig I had ever driven.

All of our worldly possessions in those two trucks.

We had 7 days, in a Brookfield, Wisconsin, hotel (payed for by the company) to find a place for our growing family to rent.

(I’m just realizing I haven’t even included the Murphy adoption story.  Another book to be sure.)

We figured after a good night’s sleep we would be ready to familiarize ourselves with the area.

Or not.

We woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground.  It was April.  April!

We slid, skidded, and spun to as many complexes as we could manage.  We sloshed through slush in our sneakers and laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.

By the end of the week we had found a new favorite restaurant and a new place to live.

We signed the rental agreement with one day to spare.

561 Westfield Way

Unit D

Pewaukee, WI

It was time to unload the trucks and all of those boxes before Duff’s first day on the new job.

But wait a minute!  You’re probably thinking…

I though this was the story of Keagan Grace’s arrival into this world?

I’m getting there.  I promise.

I just thought you might enjoy the background story of how we found ourselves living in Wisconsin…home of the Harley, the Packers, Milwaukee’s Best, Chubby custard, cheese curds, butter burgers, and more summer festivals than you’ve ever experienced in your life.

Oh, and the home of alegal midwives.


  1. KatieTalbott says:

    Yum. Did you have to mention cheese curds?!

    It’s weird to me that _I_ remember this part of your story. Have I known you all that long?!

Speak Your Mind