Brittany R’s Story

My husband and I met in college our freshman year and by the summer of 2013 we had become a couple. Fast forward to December 2017, we got married in the backyard of my nana’s house with our parents, siblings, grandparents, and a few friends in attendance. Now, I have always wanted kids. I was afraid that it would be a bit more difficult because I suspected that I had Endometriosis just like multiple other women in my family had. I just didn’t know how hard it was going to be.

In April of 2019 I decided to go off of birth control. If we got pregnant, we got pregnant. My husband and I were not going to stop anything from happening. Five months later, in September of that same year we got our first positive. I was really excited but a little cautious because my mom’s first pregnancy was a miscarriage. After we found out, that weekend we went to the mountains with our long time friends, we told them and got to do a little celebration with them. However, the next day after we got home, I started to bleed.

I miscarried September 23th, 2019. Then on October 22nd, 2019 I had a mass that was thought to be cancerous and my right part of my thyroid taken out. I do not know if this added to the difficulty of me getting pregnant because it would not be until December of 2020 that I would get pregnant again, just to lose that baby too.

Then by some miracle, I got pregnant in January 2021. That pregnancy turned into my double rainbow baby: Mackenzie Alyse. I did get pregnant again 4 months after having my daughter. Unfortunately we lost him too. I had a missed miscarriage and had to have a D & C at 11 weeks 4 days on April 1st, 2022.

In September of 2022 we found out we were pregnant again, and I am currently still pregnant with this rainbow: Matteo Aziel.

My pregnancy with Kenzie was rough physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, I had a 2.5 cm cyst on my left ovary for almost half of my pregnancy and I had hyperemesis gravidarum… There was maybe 10 weeks in my 3rd trimester that I didn’t throw up, but I was nauseous the whole pregnancy and throwing up 3-5x a day outside of those 10 weeks. Mentally I was freaking out until she was born. Having lost her first two siblings, I was terrified that I was going to lose her too. How can I trust my body to bring her to term, if it has never been able to before? I didn’t trust my body. Even in this pregnancy, I don’t. Emotionally, I’d hold my breath and tears until every milestone of my pregnancy. Then I would cry that we passed it and that she was okay. I was able to have a vaginal birth with minimal tearing with an epidural.

In this current pregnancy, I am again considered high risk again. I did have placenta previa, but thankfully, when I saw the MFM for a second time around 20 weeks, it was completely out of the way and posterior. My Ob still considers me High risk due to my thyroid, but I do not need to continue to see my MFM as long as I see my endocrinologist and stay on top of my thyroid levels with my medication. I still have the same feelings and fears as I did with Mackenzie. I am literally counting down the days to being full term and my son is good to come earth-side.

I am thankful that I have been able to stay pregnant this long with 2 out of my 5 pregnancies. It still sucks that I have unexplained infertility, per my OB. I personally think I have late implantation and low progesterone. I advocated for myself with this current pregnancy to at least get my progesterone levels checked, but ended up with a prescription of progesterone instead as I made the point that taking progesterone during the early part of my pregnancy would only help my pregnancy. I believe with my whole heart that is the reason my son is still growing and alive, and that we did not lose him in the 1st trimester like we did with his 3 angel siblings.

With my first two pregnancies (baby squish, and baby peanut) I was between 5 and 6 weeks along when I lost them. With my 4th pregnancy, Amias was 6 weeks and 2 days when we last saw heart tones and the last time he was alive. At 11 weeks and 4 day is when I had to have my procedure to have him taken. With Amias, we were blessed to be able to have his remains sent to a funeral home that would cremate him for free. I now have a part of his ashes in a necklace and the rest in an urn that sits in a memorial space that is usually seasonally decorated with names of other angel babies that are his “friends”.

My emotions after I had lost my first two babies I was angry and upset that my body couldn’t get with the program to get and stay pregnant. I just wanted to have a living baby. Losing Amias was much harder because I knew that my body had JUST been able to bring a baby to term, why couldn’t my body bring Amias to term too? After losing Amias, I knew that I had up to 6 months after his exit to get pregnant again before having an issue with getting pregnant instead of just trying to stay pregnant. Looking back, I was not really ready to start trying again. There is a lot of grieving while also trying to stay as calm and stress free for this current pregnancy. There is also a lot of guilt that our current son has made it farther than Amias.

Something that is special to me about my earth-side baby is that Mackenzie recognizes Amias’s necklace and urn. She will say his name and point to him and motion to hug him or blow him kisses. She asks for him almost every day and It makes my heart so happy that she loves her little brother, even though he isn’t hearthside with us. I would love to eventually have remembrance tattoos for my angels.

Some things for other loss parent(s) that I want you to know:

For the parent/partner who carried the baby- It is not your fault. It will take time to really believe this, but it really isn’t. You do everything you can to keep your child safe with the knowledge you have and that’s all they ask of you. There are just some things that are out of our control. You are also not alone. If it weren’t for some of my friends, my husband and other loss mamas, I would have been in a very bad place mentally. Do what you need to do to grieve. Do not be afraid to seek out professional help. Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve.

For parent/partner who is the support: You will also grieve in your own way. Give yourself space for that. Also bear in mind that your partner will need you as they will feel guilty for not being able to keep that baby safe. All you can do is be there for them. Whether that means cooking meals, helping your partner take care of themselves, and take the mental load off where you can.

Brittany is wearing the rainbow skirt.  In the background is green foliage with yellow flowers.

Brittany is wearing the rainbow skirt.  In the background is green foliage with yellow flowers.  She holds her pregnant belly.

Brittany is wearing the rainbow skirt.  She looks down at her pregnant belly.  She is standing on sand with mountains in the background.

Brittany is wearing the rainbow skirt.   She is standing on sand with mountains in the background.

Photos taken by @letsmakeastorytogether.

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