Hi, my name is Brandy, and my husband and I have six children here on earth, and six babies in heaven. I have never really sat down and put our entire story on paper, and to be honest I have never really told our entire story, so pray with me as we go through how God has taken us from where we were, to where we are now.
In June of 2013 Bryan and I and our five children (at the time) were preparing to move from South Carolina to Alaska. We felt God calling us there and we were excited to go. We had found out that we were expecting baby number 6, and were super excited although we kept the news to ourselves. On the drive to Alaska, I started having some symptoms that were concerning to me, and the day we arrived in Alaska I called an OBGYN and told them what was going on, they had me come in the same day. To our shock and heartbreak, we learned that our baby no longer had a heartbeat, and that I was in the process of miscarrying. We were devastated; we had never had any issues with pregnancy before, and were just in shock. We had literally just moved and didn’t know anyone there, and since we didn’t really tell anyone that we were expecting before we left, we felt so alone.
During, and after the first miscarriage I had terrible anxiety attacks. I had never really had those before either, so it seemed that things were just getting worse. The doctor assured me that this was most likely just a one-time occurrence. I was given those dreaded numbers, the miscarriage statistics that I guess are intended to make you feel better about what you are experiencing, but didn’t help me. I was told that most likely something was wrong with the baby and that is why the miscarriage happened, and that it was okay to try again, so we did.
A couple of months later we found out we were once again expecting a baby. We were excited, but also scared. It seemed that everyday was terrifying as we waited for the first appointment. Much to our shock and disbelief, when the ultrasound was done, there was no heartbeat. I dreaded hearing those words, and would quickly come to hate those words. I was once again given those same statistics, and sent on my way. After doing the “walk of shame” out of the doctor’s office, I tried to process what was happening, and why it was happening again. Along with the fluctuation of hormones and emotions came even more anxiety attacks.
I wanted to find some answers about why this was happening, so I found another doctor and was very hopeful that she could help. I went in for an appointment and we discussed what we could do to try to find out what was going on with my body. I had several tests done, tons of blood work, all of which came back normal except for one. It showed that I have what is called MTHFR. I was given a pamphlet with a little information, a website address, and told to make certain modifications to my diet and life style.
I was relieved that the doctor found something, and hoped that if I made the changes that she suggested, everything would be fine. A couple of months passed, and we once again became pregnant. We were super excited, and terrified at the same time. Everyday seemed harder and harder to cope with. The doctor allowed me to come in early, given my history of miscarriage, and things seemed okay at the first appointment. I was relieved to say the least, and gained a little bit of hope that day. I was hopeful that things were turning around for us, and that this time we would be okay. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I once again started to experience the symptoms that I had become all too familiar with, and I knew immediately what was happening.
It is hard to find words to adequately describe what I was feeling at this time. I was devastated, physically and emotionally drained, and quickly beginning to feel hopeless. I wanted so badly to hold my little angels, but was left empty each time. I felt so alone, and honestly the only reason I made through is because God carried me through.
We decided to wait a little longer to try again, but after a few months we once again saw those little pink lines, and were happy to be expecting another little bundle of joy. This time the excitement didn’t last very long at all. We had another miscarriage. This one happened early in the pregnancy, but was still just as devastating. I was so blessed to have made some great friends by that time, and felt like we at least had someone to talk to. There were still no additional answers as to why this had now happened four times in a row.
At this point we decided that we were no longer going to try and conceive. We totally left everything up to God. We were surprised to find out that we were pregnant again. At this point when I saw those little lines appear, I was terrified! It seemed like all of the joy was gone, and I was full of fear and uncertainty. I prayed and prayed that this one would make it to full term. We made it through the first appointment and heard a heart beat!! We were so excited. We had gotten farther with this pregnancy than with many of the ones before. Things seemed to be going well, and we made it to the 15 week mark, then at an ultrasound appointment, we once again heard “the words”. We were told that there was no longer a heartbeat. The little heart we had seen beating during two other ultrasounds, was beating no more.
We were once again crushed. At this point I started having some serious complications physically. I ended up in the ER with high fever and chills, it turned out that I had a very serious infection, and began to hemorrhage. I was rushed into surgery for a d&c to remove what was causing the infection and stop the hemorrhaging. I spent the night in the hospital, was given some strong IV antibiotics, and sent home. The physical nightmare didn’t stop there, I ended up back in the hospital two more times and ended up having another d&c for the same miscarriage due to the fact that I started hemorrhaging again. It is never comforting when you hear a doctor who has been practicing medicine for over 20 years say that he has never seen anything like this happen before, only read about similar situations. I was left both physically and emotionally weak and tired.
At this point we decided we were not trying anymore, it was just too hard. We felt that God was once again calling us to move, this time back to South Carolina, so we packed up our things and moved. Once back in SC, we once again became pregnant, and were hopeful that things would be different. I was sent to a specialist, and placed on new medications. Then on New Years Eve, I started having those complications that were all too familiar by this point. After a visit to the ER, and the doctors office in the next few days I ended up having another miscarriage. This one was full of complications as well, which included another surgery and several visits to a specialist and months of follow-up blood work. I was so ready for this part of our lives to be over, and was then told by the doctor that I should just not become pregnant anymore because it was too risky. She scheduled me for surgery to have my tubes removed. The day before the surgery, her office called and cancelled the surgery due to a scheduling error in their office. Little did I know that their error was Gods plan.
Not long after that we found out that we were pregnant again, and were totally shocked. We had not planned or even tried for another baby. That doctor told me that she would not see me because I was too high risk, so I was sent to a specialist. I was once again placed on special medicine, and the wait began. The doctor’s office that I had to go to was an hour away from our home, but I was committed to do whatever it took to have a healthy and full term pregnancy. Much to our surprise we continued to have good appointments, and slowly we passed all of the milestones we had not passed with the previous six pregnancies. Had it not been for our faith and trust in God, I don’t know how we would have made it though, but on March 3, 2017 we gave birth to our miracle rainbow baby. A healthy and happy little girl. We were so excited, and continue to be excited each and every time we look at her beautiful little face.
I am not sure why we went through so many losses, and will probably never know. The one thing that I do know is that God uses all things for His glory. Through my experiences God has taught me so much, and even though the lessons were hard, I am thankful for them. If my experiences and what I learned from them can help even one person find the comfort and peace that can only be found in Jesus, in their time of pain and grief, then it was all worth it.
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17)
*Guest post from Brandy Watts-Palmer AK