November 20, 2018

Walking the path of IVF and loss to welcoming baby Luna

Britt is 28 and lives on the Gold Coast with her husband Josh and their two cats. She owns The Elopement Collective and works alongside her hubby making husbands & wives.

This is their story ~

How did your fertility journey unfold?

We always knew that we wanted to start & have a family- we made the decision straight after our wedding to not bother with birth control and let nature take it’s course (we will be married 6 years in September). We didn’t think too much about it during the first year of marriage but as each month ticked by, we both began to question if we should seek some medical advice. We knew that IVF was going to be our journey and have always felt so much peace about that- there was no shame or hurt knowing that it would be a journey to parenthood for us. I always thought that we would get a big surprise one month, an early pregnancy mistaken for a stomach bug and we would take the test, wait for the result and sit on the floor of our lounge room in tears of excitement- but that wasn’t out journey and we found that we had to mourn that dream.

What have been some of the hardest moments along the way?

By far our miscarriage – our little soul that just wasn’t strong enough for a long life here on earth- the most painful false start. That shattered my heart with the type of heartache you cant even describe- 12 weeks of loving them and gone in one sentence- “we cant find a heartbeat, this isn’t a viable pregnancy”. It hit us in different ways- my husband felt like giving up, that having a family wasn’t going to happen for us and he was so mad at God. I was dealing with the numb ache & the physical side of things (including surgery). I always knew we would have a family- I knew that God wanted to give us the desires of our hearts and while it was still a desire, I had to trust that it was on it’s way.

What have been some of the highlights and your moments of breakthrough?

Feeling our current pregnancy wriggle & start moving. Getting to 13 weeks was a beautiful milestone to reach because it was ‘the most pregnant’ I had ever been. This pregnancy, no matter how hard we’ve tried, has been tainted by the loss we’ve experienced. We were gun-shy to get too excited in the beginning and for a while, I did question my body’s ability to make a human.

What would you say to encourage other women starting out on the same journey?

Oh my goodness, where to start. This isn’t your story, this is merely a chapter in your book, you aren’t infertile as they like to call us- you’re on a journey to parenthood. Your baby is waiting and its all about timing- we waited 5 years for our girl and we are so thankful for the wait because it’s brought us to her. Cling to your partner, let this bring you together and only closer.

What do these photos that you have, represent for you?

These photos are so special- snapped by her Aunty Bec who has been with us on this path since the beginning. Taken at a crazy time of our lives where celebrating our pregnancy was the last thing on our mind- I’m so thankful that we had someone who wanted to celebrate this bubba.


Josh and Britt’s precious girl, Luna James, arrived safely in October 2018.

The Birth of Luna ~ Bec Zacher Photography

Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope

Here are some beautiful words penned by Britt in the first few weeks of mothering Luna. There is no love quite like a mothers x

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions–the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honouring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both. 

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honour hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope Britt and Josh Withers Frames of Hope

Family ~ Images below by Tessa Shannon 

Frames of Hope

Frames of Hope

 


Britt is the creator of The Elopement Collective and Josh Withers can be found marrying lovers all over the world ~ Married by Josh


Frames of Hope is a project run by Photographer and Social Worker, Bec Zacher, it is a project that aims to preserve incredible stories through gifting photo sessions to families facing great struggles and those that have walked through them. These families are gifted a professional photo shoot and given the opportunity to share their story so that their voice is heard and their story has a platform to encourage and inspire others. You can read more about Frames of Hope here, support this project and nominate a family for a Frames of Hope session.

Please take a moment to share this story so that others facing similar challenges can be encouraged and inspired. x

Bec Zacher 

ADD A COMMENT

I follow Britt on social media through my interest in the EC. I absolutely love the photo just moments after Luna is born- Mum exhausted and elated and Dad delighted and totally overcome by his own emotions. I think I might’ve cried when I first saw it, after following your journey. I, too, waited a long time to meet my darling daughter, and am glad everyday that she was the girl I was waiting for xx

Thanks so much for your comment Em. That photo just after she was born is so beautiful isn’t it! So many layers of emotion wrapped up in that moment. Thanks for sharing some of your story, amazing to hear that you have a little daughter now of your own xx