9.16.2014

Journey of Childlessness




















I sat down to write this post with every intention of writing about my divorce. I just feel like I am not quite ready yet. It is not that I am not ready to share my story, I am I just feel like I need to tell you a different story first. This story I have never told, to anyone outside of my inmost circle of loved ones. Also, as I tell this story know that my husband, at the time of this story, and I are no longer together. It is alright though, it has been years and I am now with the most loving and sweet guy.

About two years after we were married my husband and I began to try to have a child. We were a little unsure, as most I am sure, if it was the right time or not. We had just recently moved to Texas for his new job, and finances were still pretty tight. However, after discussing it with close friends we realized if you are always waiting for the right time for something you will always be waiting. We tried for almost a year before I got pregnant. I know this is frustrating to some, but for us we knew the right moment would come and we were pretty patient. Besides, we were still very young. I remember when I first told him he did not really believe me at first, and even when he did he was somewhat passive about it. I was ready for the new-found daddy to be jumping up and down with me or offering me a hug from excitement. I guess that was not us, now that I look back.

We did not share our news with anyone, as we wanted to wait till the beginning of the second trimester to make sure everything was alright. I never had any actual morning sickness, just a lot of dizziness. This was the first time I began to get car sick though. Also, I had never had heartburn prior to being pregnant and my heartburn got to be so bad I would sit up at night crying. I knew if I could just hang in there it would be all worth it though. I had began to journal the pregnancy as a keepsake for my child. I was adopted at birth so to me this was special. I went eight weeks before I actually called to make an appointment at the OB/GYN, mostly because I was scared to death of anything medical related. Since I was a new patient, she could not get me in for two weeks, which was not so bad because a lot of time ultrasounds do not show much until then anyways. Plus, everything seemed to be going great.

A day before my ten week mark I had just arrived home and went running through the apartment to the bathroom. This was a common occurrence for me, since baby made me have to pee constantly. There, sitting in my bathroom, I stared in shock at a bright red streak. No, no - this could not be happening. I slowly walked out of the bathroom and laid on my bed, waiting for my husband to get home from a late night at work. I began having panic attacks, but eventually calmed down thinking it was just one streak and I had read that sometimes women spot a little while pregnant. A little later, when my husband got home, I explained to him what had been going on and he said I was just getting myself worked up about nothing that everything would be fine.

NOTE: I am going to pause here and just tell you that the next paragraph is descriptive so if you feel uncomfortable, you do not have to continue reading.

By this point, I had to use the restroom once again but hadn't because I was too scared of what I might find since my stomach had began cramping. I could not wait any longer, I hesitantly walked back into the bathroom and sat down, I then heard it, the plop. The cramping worsened instantly and tears began streaming down my eyes. My body began to shake so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. I slowly turned around and looked down, there was blood everywhere. I was devastated. I sat down on the bed and called my husband in to explain everything to him. I do not know what to tell you about his reaction, it was so passive. I thought this was something we both wanted. I called my best friend, who had already had four kids and one stillborn, to ask her what to do. She cried and prayed with me and told me to get to the doctor the first thing the next morning. I quietly hung up the phone and got on my knees. "God, I have begged you to protect this little one," I prayed. "God please I am not strong enough for this, please stop the bleeding. Please don't let me lose my baby."

The next morning I got up early to call the doctor's office the second they opened. They gave me an appointment that afternoon. Wow, was that a long day. When I arrived to the doctor's office they asked me if this was my first appointment, to which I answered yes. She then asked if I was excited to which I gave her an extremely quizzical look. She asked once again if I was excited to be having a baby, and I, not so nicely, looked at her and said "I wouldn't be if I was not bleeding so bad right now." She simply handed me my clipboard of forms and closed the window. My husband was there with me and he filled out the forms for me while I dazed off into my mind. So many thoughts ran through my head that day. It was heartbreaking to sit in that office and watch mommy's walk in and out with beautiful smiles on their faces. I was so thrilled for them, but was hurting so bad both emotionally and physically. Forty-five minuets passed, and I walked back up to the window to ask why it was taking so long...they had forgotten me. Another thirty minuets later the nurse called my name. As we walked back, we stopped at a little testing station for a urine sample. I was so frustrated, upset, and tired at this point I could not understand why I could not just see the doctor right away. The nurse smiled at me and asked how I was. I once again gave another quizzical look and told her not good. She just smiled and told me pregnancy is hard. She gave me a cup and pointed me across the little hall to the restroom. I turned and looked at her and asked if she still wanted me to do this since I was bleeding, and she said yes a little blood never hurt anyone. When I returned, I handed her the cup and her eyes grew. My cup was almost completely red. She then asked me if I was miscarrying, to which I replied that I thought so. She shooed me into a room and asked me why I did not tell anyone, to which I replied that is exactly what I told the receptionist when I called to make the appointment. She told me to undress and lay up on the table - what a mess! Yet another, thirty minuets went by before the doctor entered. I was so angry and frustrated by that point, but she was so sweet and caring you could not help but adore her. She checked everything out and told me that she wanted to do an ultrasound. She looked sad, and began explaining that sometimes these things happen, if fact, one in four women miscarry. A few minutes later as I lay in the ultrasound room looking at an empty screen, tears began to uncontrollably fall down my face. My doctor was so sweet that she sat in the room talking with me until I could calm down a little. I do not remember a lot of the rest of that appointment, it was mostly routine things I believe. I was given my appointment card to have my blood tested and a prescription for a pain reliever then we headed towards the elevator.

I was devastated, not just because my dream just slipped from my hands, but it is amazing how soon a mother builds a connection to the baby growing inside of them. It is not something I can even explain to you. As we entered the parking lot and began walking towards the car, my husband looked at me and said, "Oh well, we will wait the three months and try again, no biggie." I think he thought he was trying to be encouraging but these words hurt so much. No biggie? We just lost a child but it was no biggie? I did not know this then but those words would eat at me for years and cause a lot of resentment and anger. My husband did not say much else to be during the next few weeks, I do not think he knew what to say. Honestly, he just invested himself more into his work and I dealt with the depression that comes with miscarriage.

Almost exactly a year later, I was pregnant again. This time I was extremely hesitant, and I was reluctant to be happy. I set up an appointment right away. I was not going to put it off this time. At five weeks, I entered my doctors office once again, thankfully not waiting as long as I did before. I was slightly a little more optimistic since I had extensive blood tests that even evaluated my chromosomes. My husband and I once again met with the doctor in that tiny room. She was smiling this time saying everything looked good. We were then sent into the ultrasound room to attempt to get some kind of picture on the screen. The smile faded from her kind face. She would not turn the screen to us, but simply said she was not happy with the size and she thought I would once again miscarry in a few days. After she left the room I sat there and thought...Why? Why me again? The statistic is suppose to be 1 in 4, why am I going through this for the second time? I spent the next week on the couch since this time I actually was having a false labor. The pain was horrible and there was not even a reward of holding a precious baby at the end. This continued for two days while my husband disappeared into his work.

A half a year later, I was pregnant for the third time. At this point I knew this baby was not going anywhere. In fact, I knew that it was going to be a girl. I nicknamed her and bought a few clothes and books. I hardly had any morning sickness and I actually felt pretty good. I was making sure to not get stressed and even went in for a pre-natal massage. I had gone to the doctor as soon as I missed my period and she had noticed a few of my levels were lower then she would like them to be so she gave me injections. I was so excited when I still had not seen any blood nor had any cramping when I went in for my twelve week appointment. I actually had fun going to this appointment, and was probably the first time anyone in that office saw a smile on my face. I went through all the routine steps that happen during an appointment. Then it was time for the ultrasound, I couldn't have been more excited. I laid back and waited as she viewed the screen. I was watching her face intently. A tear streamed down her face. As she choked up, she quietly said so me, "Sorry." This moment was surreal. I could  not understand why she was saying sorry, I was so sure this was it. I was not bleeding. My doctor informed me that sometimes your body has trouble discharging a miscarriage so there were some steps we were going to have to take in order to prevent me from getting an infection, I chose taking the prescription.

This prescription she gave me made me go into yet another false labor which was painful and made me incredible sick. It was horrible. Not only that, but my husband disappeared a couple days later to visit a friend out of town. I was alone. I had not told anyone but my mother about my pregnancy and she was seventeen hours away. The week following my third miscarriage was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I battled depression extensively and had no desire to even get out of bed. I was angry at my husband for leaving me while I was suffering so much.

Difficult years followed, as my dream of motherhood shifted from joyous hope to desperate pleading, to the grief of impossibility and finally, to settled acceptance that it just was not going to be.

Although there is much more to the ending of this story, that I will share later, I have now come to a contentness about not having children. I know, you are probably gasping right now saying why would she write that? I also know that I could adopt or foster children, but I have chosen instead to invest in the lives of those already around me and my friends children and my career. I am not angry or even heartbroken anymore, in fact, I find great joy in watching other people raise their children. I understand this decision is not for everyone, but it is the right decision for me. I thought this decision would eat away at me, but honestly I could not be more happy in my life right now because I know I am exactly where I am suppose to be doing exactly what I am suppose to do. The only challenge now is getting other people to understand that childlessness is something I have honestly chosen.

I do have one piece of advice that you can take or leave. So many divorces are caused by a loss of a child. If you have to go through a situation like I did do not allow it to pull apart your marriage. Get help, do anything you have to. In our case there was a lot more at play behind our divorce then just a loss of our babies, but we still let our marriage take a huge hit nonetheless. Also, I understand the intensity of depression, and if you feel depressed for any reason, do not hide it - talk to someone. I held mine in for so long, and to finally let it go is so freeing.




84 comments :

  1. I can't imagine the amount of courage it took to walk through that-- and then to share it. Thank you. You've given me some things to think about and you have my support! *hugs*
    <3
    Daisy @ http://simplicityrelished.com

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  2. You posting your experience is extremely courageous I hope you know that. *HUGS* I've been through it as well and I'm not sure why others are passive about. I think it's just this really personal experience that only others who go through it know how to feel. Keep your head up high and know you have a great purpose in this beautiful world.

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    1. I am so sorry you have had to go through it too, and you are right that there is nothing to be passive about. xo

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  3. My heart aches for you just reading this. No one should ever have to go through this, especially more than once. I am so sorry that you had to endure this, but thank you for sharing your story and being brave enough to help let people know they aren't alone. I haven't experienced a miscarriage as we haven't tried for children yet, but I know many who have and it's a hard path to walk. You're an incredible woman.

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    1. You are so sweet, thank you so much for your kind words. You brought tears to my eyes!

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  4. You are so incredibly strong and an inspiration for so many woman. I cannot imagine what that must be like... Thank you for telling your story, the whole story in such an inspiring way!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this story.... It takes so much courage to be honest like this. I know that so many women will find this post helpful. xoxo

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  6. I can't imagine how hard this was to write and share, Brittney, but I also think of other women who might be reading this and having experienced similar things... what comfort you must be giving them. You are one strong soul!

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  7. You are so strong. I admire you :-)

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  8. It took a lot of courage to write this, thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you for taking time to read!

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  9. This is my first visit to your blog and I feel a little bit like an intruder, but want to say thank you for sharing your story, I know it is not always easy to do. I am childfree (I choice) and I too just enjoy the children around me, that is good enough for me and I am glad you found peace and joy in the same!

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    1. Aww, never intruding, I appreciate you reading and sharing about your choice to be childfree - it is definitely something that not all people understand.

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  10. I am so proud of you for sharing this! I can't even imagine how hard this must have been (and probably still is) but I'm so glad that you are sharing your story to encourage other women who have been through the same thing.

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  11. I am so so sorry that you've had to go through the pain and heartbreak of three miscarriages. Having miscarried myself this February I know how awful it is. I also felt like I had no one, it was one of the most horrible times of my life. Big love and hugs to you, you're so courageous for sharing your experience xo

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    1. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, and I also so sorry that you felt isolated, that's awful.

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  12. Miscarriages are so hard. I can't imagine the pain you have been through. I'm glad you are happily with someone now.

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    1. Thank you, I am happy about that too!

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  13. Oh my gosh! Thank you for sharing all of this! My boyfriends sister in law has gone through 4 miscarriages in 1 year which has been really tough and so hard to watch her go through this in her life. They figured out the cause of it and she is now on medication. She is so determined to have a baby so we shall she what happens. I was thinking of sending her this link but I am a little scared she was get too emotional reading your story :/

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    1. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that. I could never imagine going through four miscarriages in one year. It is a blessing that they figured out the cause though! I will be praying for her! You can give her my email if she ever needs support, britt@yellowumbrellablog.com

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  14. :,( I lost my first this past May and I feel, deep in my heart, that I'll never have children. I don't know how I know, I just know. Sometimes we just feel when things aren't meant to be. I understand your grief, and your pain, and finally, your acceptance. You'll stay in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. I completely understand Ashley. I had that feeling too. Honestly I had the feeling that I would never have kids before we ever tried. I suppressed that feeling for a long time, but I almost wonder if it was my mind's way of preparing me for what would never be.

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    2. I am so sorry for your loss and you will be in my prayers no matter what your future holds. I keep a specific prayer lists just for people like you who have lost their little ones and I am writing your name on there right now.

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  15. You are so strong to have gone through such emotionally-trying challenges, facing them and persevering, and by coming to the place that you are now. I can't express adequate condolences, but I am very touched and impressed with you sharing your story so openly - for that, thank you.

    I wish you all the best in living a full life that is filled with happiness across a wide range of forms, because you so richly deserve it.

    I've been trying for a family for 1.5 years now (I'm 36), and it has been emotionally trying to see our friends get married, get pregnant, and have kids... all the while during which we're still trying. We're not giving up, but it's not easy to have the constant disappointment. (there have also been several times when my period was 7 wks apart, so I'm pretty sure something might have been 'happening', but it didn't work out)

    Still hoping for the best, but... I can commiserate a bit with what you've gone through. *HUGE HUGS*

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. I understand the constant disappointment, so much and I will be praying for the absolute best for you!

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  16. I am so very, very sorry for all of your losses. Those angel babies are with you every day. I really have no words but I give my thoughts and love to you.

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  17. Oh I am so sorry lovely. Thank you for sharing with us though I imagine it was harder than I can ever understand.

    We had our little boy in July, when I took the test, I jumped round the house doing my best not to give it away until I had spoken to my husband. When he did get home he didn't jump around he actually got really quiet and almost worried. Yay not quite the response that was expected but okay......

    A friend of mine at church has just become godparent to my little boy, on and off she's had trouble conceiving etc. Her and husband made the tough decision of what to do next and it's taken quite sometime to come to terms with. She says that some days it does still hurt that she won't be a mummy herself but she's blessed with friends who have kids and she can be the cool auntie kind of thing.

    When we were kids, one of my mum's friend's was the cool auntie. She'd spoil us something rotten as she didn't have kids of her own.

    My friend Hanna who I used to go to university with went through a miscarriage earlier this year, she blogged about her experiences. I don't know if it's of interest but if it is the link is http://www.mummyofalltrades.co.uk/2014/07/the-reason-i-took-break-from-blogging.html

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    1. I guess some guys just respond differently, it was odd. Thank you so much for the link, I have already opened the page and plan on reading right now.

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  18. My heart breaks for you and there is nothing anyone can say to take your pain away. I just try to keep in mind, everything always happens for a reason, even if we don't understand what that reason may be.

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    1. You are exactly right! All things do happen for a reason!

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  19. Thank you for sharing your story, I was captivated from beginning to end. I truly believe that like you said "I know I am exactly where I am suppose to be doing exactly what I am suppose to do." So many times we let the image of the life that we believe we are supposed to have,keep us from enjoying the life that we currently live. We are always where we are supposed to be and when you can finally except that you can totally see the blessing in everything that happens to you. Again thank you for being so open and sharing your experience.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words. :)

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  20. I'm crying reading this. You are such a brave woman! Hugs and love to you! <3

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  21. I don't have anything to say that is constructive or profound. Just that I am so sorry for the rough times you had and wish you peace and happiness.
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    http://theaccidentalmama.com

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  22. Wow, I started reading not knowing where I'd end up! Thank you for this story and for telling it with the peace you've found! May you be a blessing to all those around you, and continue to to find happiness and contentment where you are!!!

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  23. Thank you for sharing. You are so wonderfully brave!

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    1. Thanks for taking time to read my story!

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  24. ah, so sad. It's the rough times that make the good times good. keep your chin up.

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  25. This must have been really difficult to share and just truly awful to go through. I'm so sorry for everything you've have to deal with. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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  26. This was so heartbreaking to read, I am so sorry. You are a strong brave women xxx

    http://theaussieosborns.blogspot.com.au

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  27. This is so heartbreaking. I'm so sorry to read this story and feel so much sympathy - I wish I could give you a hug! My mum lost a baby between my younger sister and I and she never ever got over it. She always wanted lots of kids (I'm one of four) and I hope to have my own little brood one day, but the fear of everything that comes with it scares me so much!

    Your bravery gives me strength.

    Katie <3

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    1. Please do not let stories like mine make you fearful. Carrying a child is such a blessing and even the short time I felt with mine was amazing. Carrying a child takes away all fear and pain. I wish the best for you!

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and being brave. So much love to you.

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  29. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. You are so brave!

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  30. There are no words... hugs and love xx

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  31. I can relate so much to this as I dealt with infertility for many years and know that I can no longer have kids. I'm so glad that you've come to terms and can view this in a positive light.

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    1. I am so sorry you have had to gone through the struggle o infertility. I promise you will still be blessed greatly in your life.

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  32. I am so sorry that you had to deal with this. Hugs friend.

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  33. Wow. I sat here clutching my tummy the whole time. As a mom of two, I can't even imagine what losing three children must have been like. I appreciate you sharing your story. I know it will encourage someone else who thinks no one understands what they are feeling.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  34. I don't know if I'll have the right words to tell you how sorry I am for you. My husband and I tried to have a baby for quite a while, it was devastating getting my period every month and seeing everyone else announce their pregnancies. I think it was the hardest time in my life. We are expecting a little girl in January and I cannot tell you enough how blessed I feel for this new life. You are completely right, it's amazing how fast you can fall in love with something so little. I cannot imagine the pain you went through and my eyes are a total wreck for your loss. When I look back on the time I was hoping for a baby I can only think that it all happened for a reason, I wasn't supposed to have a baby quite yet. If you ever need someone to chat with please let me know!!! xo, alyssa

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    1. Ahhh, congrats! I am so excited for you. I hope the best for your little family, and I pray everything goes smoothly. It is hard to want something so bad with no luck and watch everyone around you getting what you want.

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  35. i am so sorry that you (or any woman for that matter) every would have to experience something like this. my heart breaks for you

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  36. Thank you for sharing this. I know that your resolve to be content as a result of that particular season in your life will bring you more joy than you've come to know even at this point. Yours is a very unique ending to a story that happens more often than most people know, and for that I hope that you become a beacon of hope to other women who come to the same resolution as you did. God bless you as you continue being who He created you to be.

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    1. Wow, you made me tear up, your words are so kind and sweet.

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  37. Brittney. Wow. You are so so strong. You're story leaves me speechless. I don't know how you pushed through all that. I just can't imagine. You are an inspiration to other women! I hope life brings you much happiness! <3

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    1. You are so kind, thank you so much.

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  38. Thank you so much for sharing your struggle. I respect and admire you greatly for both your decision and your willingness to share with others.

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  39. The courage you took to write this, I am sure, is helping so many other women out there who are keeping silent. You are incredible and brave and never forget that.

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  40. Brittney, all I can say is that I'm not sure why you were put on this particular path but the fact that you are using it to do good and help others is such a blessing. You are amazing and strong for not being jealous of the mothers around you and for being content in your path. You will be blessed! I'm not sure in which ways but you will be blessed. Thank you for being so open and honest. Beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words. I already feel blessed in so many ways. I have an awesome family that I now live close to and my cousins are having such adorable children that I can spoil!

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  41. Wow, I'm struggling not to cry while reading this. I've never been married or tried to have children, but the doctors always tell me I'll probably have difficulties, and I can only imagine what this must feel like. Beautifully written too. Praying for you.

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    1. Stay hopeful! I think the most important thing you can do when you do choose to try for children is to stay hopeful and positive. I wish you the best of luck!

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  42. My heart is hurting for you right now. I hope your story help other women in need or going throw the same thing. Thank you for sharing as i'm sure it was not easy to write out for all of us.

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  43. I too have experienced a false labour with my first (and only pregnancy) and the emotional and physical pain was unbearable. I was in the hospital for 10 hours screaming with pain on maximum morphine and the doctors just told me I was being silly and that miscarriages happen all the time, till they eventually saw me and realised it wasn't just a normal miscarriage and rushed me into surgery cause I was losing so much. I can relate with your story and it brings things back to me too. You are incredibly strong to take control the way you are, and i only hope if I have to deal with the same thing again I can be as strong as you. Almost a year on and I still think about it all the time x

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