Over the Rainbow with Yazmin Ramos
Yazmin Ramos is a media maven whose career includes BET and The Wendy Williams Show; today, she’s the Supervising Producer of Video Lead at ESSENCE. Her latest "production" is becoming a mother to her rainbow baby boy. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Yazmin's amazing media career and her pregnancy journeys as she honors her first pregnancy and expresses immense gratitude during her current pregnancy. We're grateful to shed light on Yazmin and her rainbow baby during Infertility Awareness Week.
Yazmin, you've had an incredible career thus far. You are continuously excelling in the media industry, from being a Production Assistant to your current role as the Supervising Producer of Video Lead. Oh, and you even founded your own clothing company! Can you take a moment to shed light on your career journey?
Yazmin Ramos: I was initially a Business major in college, but I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to do in that field. One day, another classmate, a Communications major, talked about her internship at a magazine and how she wanted to work in media. I thought to myself: I love television. I love everything about it; that's ME. So I switched my major from Business to Communications, and I got an internship at BET, which was a dream come true and where my career in media began.
ESSENCE has always been a place that I've wanted to work. It was on my vision board. I would use clips and snippets from ESSENCE magazine to create this board, and I just manifested that I wanted to work there. I had 12.5 years at The Wendy Williams Show, and I'm very grateful for my years there because I learned a lot. But I started to feel stagnant and that I was in this box that I didn't feel comfortable being in. And when you're uncomfortable, it's time to evaluate your life and make a shift. When you start to feel uncomfortable, pay attention to that. Everything happens [at] the right time. Not only did the ESSENCE opportunity come to me, but [the position] came to me even bigger than the original. And now, being in this position, every day, I am so amazed and so grateful to be doing the work that I do because it really is my passion.
I hope that when people go on Essence.com, they will not only be entertained but inspired by my work. I hope they'll be inspired in every aspect; that it grasps their attention and they’ll admire how it was produced. And maybe there's someone out there who's like how I was in college - trying to figure out what they want to do, and they see these videos and think, “I want to do that!”
My clothing business, Spicy Christians, was never on a vision board [but] I've always loved fashion and am always looking for or creating the latest trends. When I started Spicy Christians, the name itself was so much of a definition of who I am. I feel like there's this preconceived notion of how you should act and how you should be living your life. It was very important to me to change that narrative - and create my own: This is my body, and I'm comfortable with it. When I had my YouTube channel, I wanted to develop merch, and merging my identity as a Spicy Christian seemed so organic. It's really worked out!
You shared on your Instagram that you’re currently pregnant with your rainbow baby boy. Can you share your journey to this pregnancy with our readers?
YR: In December 2020, I had kept taking pregnancy tests, and they kept coming back negative, but I wasn't getting my period. I even went to my doctor to get my tests done, but those also came back negative. After not getting my period for two months, I knew something was going on. In February 2021, I took another pregnancy test, and it came back positive! I wasn't necessarily trying to get pregnant, but I've always wanted to be a mom. I've always put my career first, and my work has been "my baby," but I felt like, "Okay, I'm ready to be a mom now." I was excited and happy when I found out I was pregnant, and at that point, I was six weeks along. I was thinking about my baby shower, the type of labor I wanted, and my gender reveal. I finally had those motherly instincts, and I never had that before. I envisioned myself as a mom, and it was beautiful; my partner was just as thrilled. I told my close loved ones that I was pregnant. I was just filled with excitement.
On March 1st, 2021, I remember waking up, using the bathroom, and there was red. I was nervous because I knew I shouldn't be bleeding, but I didn't think I was having a miscarriage because I didn't feel any pain. I called the doctor, and they told me to come in right away. As I was on the train to the doctor's office, I held my stomach and prayed for everything to be okay. When I got to the doctor's office, they did the sonogram, and she was rubbing the doppler all over my stomach, and I felt like it was taking too long. I had heard the heartbeat before, almost immediately, but it was the quietest room ever this time. And now I was panicking. Finally, [the doctor] said, "I'm not hearing the heartbeat." I said, "What do you mean?" And she said, "The heart doesn't seem to be beating right now…."
I was hysterically crying. I was so mad. I was mad at the world; I was mad at myself. What did I do? It's my fault. I was a wreck. I didn't want to leave the room or speak to anyone. I felt embarrassed, and I didn't want anyone to know. It was hard for me to wrap my head around this news.
A nurse came in, an angel, and said, "Please let me call someone so that you're not alone." She called my partner and told him what was going on, and he rushed over to meet me and go to the hospital. My partner also informed my mom. I was happy that they knew and that I had their support. But I still felt so alone. The hospital confirmed that I had lost the baby at eight weeks. I just cried and cried. I didn't want to leave my bed. I just kept thinking, "Why me? Why is this happening to me?"
I had to go to the procedure post-news, Day 5. After the procedure, I felt sad, but I started to come to terms with it. Being there for the procedure, I saw other women there going through the same or similar situation that I was going through. That was when I realized that although it was really painful what I was going through that this is something that happens to women. And it happens pretty often, more than people talk about. And it's so hard for anyone - any woman who goes through that.
I also went to a fertility doctor, who told me that my egg count was at a "decent" number but that I also didn't have the time not to try to get pregnant again. I learned that my rainbow baby gave me a different form of strength that I didn't know I had. And also gave me an awareness that I didn't know I needed. That awareness was nourishing my womb. A friend of mine was sharing the importance of affirmations for my womb. She told me that you have to give love to your womb. We always talk about self-love and affirmations, but not many people talk about those for your womb; to forgive your womb, to forgive [yourself], and speak positive words to your womb. If I had not gone through what I went through, I would not have this awareness. At night, I would speak to my womb, "You are strong, I'm sorry, and I love you."
How did you mentally prepare yourself to try for another pregnancy?
YR: I booked a solo trip to Puerto Rico, which was the best thing for me. Going into the ocean, feeling like I was cleansing my soul and body, I started to feel brand new again, like, "Okay, it's going to happen again, and when it happens, it will be the right time." I didn't think it would happen quickly, but I was pregnant again in July 2021.
But this time around, from the awareness that I gained and for my rainbow baby, I took all the things that I learned, and I was very secretive about this pregnancy. I didn't tell anyone. I made my announcement when I was six months along. My mom didn't know until I was five months [pregnant]! So it was just me, my partner, and my doctor that knew for a while. It was so hard not to share with everybody. I just didn't want to be so excited and let down again. And it took a long time with this pregnancy for me to feel secure and confident in this pregnancy because I was nervous. I'm so grateful that when I go to my doctor appointments now, I hear nothing but great news and that the baby is doing well.
I still see my therapist throughout my pregnancy. My therapist is amazing. I've seen her for about four years now, and she's incredible. When I was going through my [miscarriage], I texted my therapist, and she called me immediately. She helped me go through those emotions of blaming myself. It took me a long time to understand that it wasn't my fault.
My partner - my fiancé, is also super supportive. And I'm so grateful for that. He's understanding, and I can count on him to be there, especially after what we went through with my first pregnancy.
Your positive energy and willingness to help others always shine so bright. What do you do to tend to your mental wellness for you to have such a motivational and optimistic outlook?
YR: I have my moments that I am going through it, and I just want to be home, but I think that's where the balance is with my personality of being a positive person and always making sure everyone else is good. I watch my favorite shows; I love to laugh (shoutout to The Office). My spirituality and being close to God are important relationships for me. I'll talk about things I'm going through with my fiancé. I can reflect and change my way of thinking to a better perspective. I also know when I need to take time to recharge my battery. I think that's important because sometimes, when we're so busy pouring our cup of energy into others, we forget that eventually, the cup will run low. And I've realized that's not doing any good for anyone or myself.
What message of hope can you give to women who’ve experienced a miscarriage or have challenges conceiving?
YR: I have two messages. My first message is that you're not alone. It's not your fault. It's not easy, and it's a hard situation to get through. But you will get through it. The best way to get through it is to let yourself go through the emotions, go through the emotions of crying, of feeling sad and express yourself. Because the person you are expressing your feelings to will tell you that it is not your fault, and having that reassurance will help you. That's the comfort you need.
Second: Write a letter to your baby. I wrote a letter to my baby, I burned a candle for my baby, and while my baby didn't make it all the way through, my baby is here in spirit. My baby taught me so much in that process. It's not letting go or moving on but being at peace.
All images courtesy of KDG Media.
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