Sometimes we see a beautiful, happy family and never know the mountains climbed and pain endured for such a family to even exist. Brittni’s family’s journey began before she was even married at just 18 years old when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Brittni was told that she would likely have a difficult time conceiving babies, if she was able to conceive at all.
Brittni chose to follow Jesus as a little girl and grew up attending Pleasant Valley. Her relationship with the Lord grew as she grew, and eventually she found herself at a Christian college in the beginning stages of a relationship with her now husband, Jarrod. It was in that first year of school that Brittni received a phone call from her doctor with her diagnosis.
“Like most women, you dream of becoming a mom and when you’re 18 in college and getting a phone call when you’re at school, it is definitely hard. Then having to be upfront with Jarrod that I may or may not be able to have kids – I knew the relationship could get serious quickly but that’s a major thing for people, so I had to work through all of that with him early on.”
The Kingstons wed in 2009 then committed to hosting a community group of freshmen high school students and walked with them through all four years of high school. They began trying to grow their family when their students were seniors, knowing that it would most likely be a journey, but completely unaware of all the patience, sorrow, pain, and joy their journey would hold.
After trying to conceive naturally for six months, Jarrod and Brittni began working with their doctor to help address some of the deeper issues preventing Brittni from getting pregnant. The medications she took made her incredibly sick, and still, there was no baby. Brittni and Jarrod were emotionally exhausted when they decided to take a break from medications while their family walked through an incredibly heavy season with her brother. Their focus shifted for the time being, but Brittni’s prayers for future children didn’t stop and her longing to become a mama was as strong as ever.
About a year after they began trying to conceive, they started a new treatment plan with their doctor, and just a few months later they were pregnant!
Their miracle baby was alive and growing and moving.
Jarrod and Brittni announced their pregnancy on social media when she was just eight weeks along. They chose to celebrate and recognize the miraculous life growing inside of her. Accompanying the picture of Jarrod’s office with a notice of his eviction to make room for baby, Brittni wrote, “Whatever lies ahead – God is good, faithful, and our cornerstone.”
After 12 miraculous weeks with their sweet baby, Brittni headed into an appointment while Jarrod was out of town and found out their baby’s heart had stopped beating.
“I was mad at God and mad in general. That was a hard year of infertility. And that was when people were just starting to talk about infertility more openly, so a lot of people didn’t know what to say or do about it. My family had walked through a hard season, and it didn’t seem like it was fair to have another thing happen.”
Brittni pauses for a moment to wipe the tears from her eyes as she remembers that tragic day.
“But God provided and I remember…”
Brittni’s voice catches and trembles as she continues to share:
“So many aspects where God was so good. The doctor had to be a believer the way he treated me and made sure I was ok. I showed up on the doorstep of a friend who was in my community group who had a miscarriage before, and God led me to where I needed to be. The next day, my nurse was a Christian and knew my parents. She prayed over me. So many moments I knew God was there, even though I remember laying in the hospital bed thinking,
‘How will I feel joy again?’
But God was good and faithful in providing the community we needed to encourage us and be present at a time that was really, really hard.”
The room is thick with emotion and remembrance. Remembrance of the sorrow, the loss, and the precious life that God ordained and created with a purpose.
“But God is still good and He gave me my miracles.”
Brittni’s brother had a friend who had walked a similar road, and when she found out about Brittni’s miscarriage, she wrote Brittni, reminding her of the truth she had spoken when she announced her pregnancy just a month before. This friend used Brittni’s own words to remind her of the anthem God had laid on her heart months ago – “Whatever lies ahead – God is good, faithful, and our cornerstone.”
“I needed to be reminded of that truth, so it’s the truth I kept going back to.”
As Brittni and Jarrod grieved, they didn’t grieve alone. They chose to name their baby Brighton and had precious friends who made a point to show the Kingstons that Brighton’s life mattered.
“People sent us things all year, and we received things that had [Brighton’s] name on it. About six weeks or so before their original due date, my friend, Katie Purnell, sent me something to remind us that Brighton isn’t forgotten.”
Brittni was so touched by her community’s support and remembrance, she now makes a point to mark her calendar to check on other people who have miscarried. The friends that helped remember Brighton’s life are so precious to them.
After a few months of allowing Brittni’s body to heal and a few more months of treatment, Brittni and Jarrod found out they were expecting another baby – two years after they began trying to conceive. Excitement was mixed with the intense fear that she might lose this baby too. She’d known so many women who had multiple miscarriages in a row, and it took a long time before it felt like they were safe – until she could finally breathe.
“I was trying to find faith and trust that God will provide while also recognizing that God doesn’t promise it to be easy. By the time we were 16 weeks pregnant, we started to feel a lot more at ease. We were so, so thankful, and it is different when you go through infertility and miscarriage. No matter what ‘twings and twangs’ I feel, it is all viewed through a little bit of a different lens.”
Her second pregnancy opened up a lot of doors to talk about her faith with people at work. When people would ask why Brittni wouldn’t complain about morning sickness or different aspects of pregnancy, Brittni got to share that God is faithful no matter the hardship.
Brittni pauses to play peek-a-boo with her toddler for a moment, her Bible and notebook that reads “Give Me Jesus” is stacked next to her from the time she spent with the Lord earlier in the morning. Her little one giggles and waddles back to his toys as Brittni shares with a beaming smile and sparkling eyes,
“My first thought after holding Barrett was, ‘God is so good.’ Just the realization that he’s here and he’s healthy and God answered our prayers, giving us the gift we didn’t know we would ever get.”
When Barrett, lovingly nicknamed Bear, was a toddler, they began the same fertility treatments they used to get pregnant before. After a short time, they were pregnant again. Brittni and Jarrod were on pins and needles the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy, and Jarrod was at every single appointment.
Baby Briggs joined his brother, Bear, and then one year later, Brittni and Jarrod were astounded to find out they were expecting again – without the assistance of any fertility treatments! They weren’t even trying, so this baby was a big, wonderful, and shocking surprise from the Lord.
Brittni says that faith has come easily for her over the years, but going through so many trials in such a short period of time, shored up that belief in her that God is faithful.
“I just finished reading Esther this morning – the book where God isn’t mentioned but He’s so prevalent in – always working behind the scenes, using bad situations to still bring about His glory. And so knowing that we’ll have hardships again, we don’t know what that looks like but we’ll have more, it gives me confidence that we can still walk out on the other side seeing that God worked in that time, whatever that will look like.”
Looking back, Brittni knows that her faith is stronger because she now knows from experience that God is good amidst the trials and He provides what we need.
Brittni smiles slightly, one hand resting on her miraculous belly, and says…
“Jesus is faithful.”
Written by Kendra Leeanne