My name is Brittany Ross. I am the founder of Mission 108, speaker, traveler, yogi, activist, and truth-teller. I am a wife, daughter, friend, mother to three miracles that never made it earthside. And I am patiently (and not-so-patiently, depending on the day) waiting on our rainbow.
My husband and I met and started dating in high school. We fell in real love, real fast. We got married shortly after the law allowed and have been married going on seven years. Robbie plays professional baseball for the Boston Red Sox. I live a fast-paced and exciting life that includes chasing from state to state, going to endless baseball games and events, while also pursuing my dream of successfully running Mission 108 (a 501(c)3 anti-trafficking organization), empowering women, and inspiring others by teaching yoga and guiding people back home into their bodies.
It’s a lot, right?
My journey to motherhood began on a trip to Uganda. We found out I was pregnant less than a week before I was scheduled to leave for Jinja. I made an intuitive and prayerful decision to go on the trip and trust in God that everything would go according to plan.
Like many silly adults, Robbie and I had a plan for what life would look like for us. That included a five-year plan to add children to our crazy, zoo-like life. This plan made sense to us because we got married so young. By that point, we would have had a few years of stable MLB income to support a family.
We both grew up in Christian homes and had a sturdy faith. Or so we thought.
We never expected that a part of our unplanned plan would be three miscarriages and a two-year (and counting) battle with infertility. Especially during some of the most exciting and thrilling times in our lives. Aside from being physically drained, I also experienced a heavy load of shame and grief for having been in Uganda during my first pregnancy. I blamed myself, believed my body had failed me and that I was a disappointment to my husband.
During this season of loss and grief, I was starting Mission 108, receiving my yoga teacher training, and traveling. In so many ways, this gave me something sturdy to focus on and instilled a hope in me I needed. I traveled to safe homes in India and the slums of Africa, listening to stories of hope and healing that gave me a sense that God had His hands on my womb and was leading me somewhere beautiful. I heard the stories of young women who’d been trafficked and raped to the point of infertility. Somehow, in a very divine way, their stories brought me back to life.
Miscarrying is like carrying death around inside of yourself. Emotionally and physically. Our reality was that every pregnancy meant another loss. I could no longer trust my body to do its job. I was giving birth to death and saying goodbye to what no longer was.
The incredible thing about facing your pain is the softening in who you are becoming. Pain changes us, carves us into better, more insightful beings. I’ve learned that beautiful things are born in dark places. Seeds begin life in the darkness of soil, and babies in the darkness of the womb. Some of God’s greatest masterpieces started in the midst of darkness and pain.
I am a mother and a creator of embryos that will never see the light of earth. While that is a very real and logical way of looking at it, I also know that those little beings woke up in the hands of Jesus. There is so much joy in that truth.
My love for those embryos was too big to die when their hearts stopped beating. That love is Heaven’s love – something death can’t take away. Miscarrying and my body failing to protect those beating hearts was a true depiction of this broken world. But the person that I became after carrying them for such a brief time was an even truer depiction of God’s love for me. The love that emerged in my marriage when we were both at our lowest was a sign that God does infect the human heart with his perfect love.
Webster’s says the word “mother” means a woman in relation to her child, to bring up a child with care and affection, or to give birth to. By definition, I am not a mother yet. But thankfully God moves outside the walls of our definitions.
Some of the greatest things I’ve seen God do in my life were found in the moments I decided to look again. My original perception was that I was robbed. But leaning on God meant looking at the pieces of my life through a different lens. I had to decide if I wanted loss and sadness to be my story, or something different. Something with a beautiful ending.
I could either look at my experience as a robbery or I could look at it as a restoration. I don’t believe God does things to cause us pain. But I believe He can use pain to carve us into the people we are created to be.
After all of the loss, I asked myself, “What do I have left?”
I knew there was one thing that miscarriages, pain, and even death could not take from me: FAITH. I had confused faith with what I could see for my future. I thought faith and sight were one in the same. But Scripturally, faith and sight are opposites.
I thought the opposite of faith was doubt. But the opposite of faith is sight. I was looking at infertility and saw no way out. I thought maybe my destiny was to chase the dream of motherhood only to settle for empty arms. But if that’s true, who is God?
They call a child born after pregnancy loss a rainbow baby. I am sure you can image why. God takes the devastation of the storms in our lives and gives us rainbows.
Robbie and I are waiting on our rainbow baby. I suppose we all are waiting for something. And while we wait, we are being sharpened and softened.
We have to remember: this is not our home. The ache we feel inside is meant to be filled by Heaven’s love. I can’t wait to meet you there.
Until then, we have to keep looking into the Bible. It’s a love letter that reminds us we are deeply loved by a wondrous God.