Wonderfully Filled Wombs | Courtney

I can't begin to tell you the joy that floods my heart in sharing Courtney's story with you! When I met this beautiful, joyous woman of God, she was a mom of two precious littles with her third on the way.  Courtney has been one of the most consistent sources of encouragement to me during this season. She is so kind to send me messages of scripture or prayer that brighten my days of tears and longing. I pray that you will be blessed by her story and that some of you will find hope and encouragement you've been needing. 

Every high and every low you're gonna go through, 
You don't have to be afraid, I am with you.
In the moments you're so weak you feel like stopping, 
Let the hope you have light the road you're walking.

You're gonna make it.
You're gonna make it.
The night can only last for so long.
Whatever you're facing, if your heart is breaking, 
There's a promise for the ones who just hold on.
Lift up your eyes and see the sun is rising.

Even when you can't imagine how, 
How you're gonna ever gonna find your way out, 
Even when you're drowning in your doubt, 
Just look beyond the clouds.

The Sun is Rising
-Britt Nicole-


What is your lifelong dream?
Growing up and even now as an adult, if you asked me this question I would tell you that getting married and becoming a mommy was my dream. It is my fairytale. 

At 19, I met my husband Jason. We were married after 2 years of dating in May of 2006. 
Two years later, we decided to start our family. We were blessed with our beautiful daughter, Reese Mackenzie, just 2 months before our third wedding anniversary. Shortly after Reese turned one, we decided to expand our family. Our sweet boy, Hudson Jameson was born in 2011, just 3 weeks after Reese turned 2 years old. We were beyond blessed and grateful for our children. Although it was always my dream to be a wife and a mommy, I have never been a person that said I want a certain number of kids. I just knew that being pregnant and having babies was something I longed for in life. I treasured each one of the pregnancy moments. As we approached Hudson's first birthday, my husband and I decided to add to our family. We found out we were expecting our third child who would be due right between Reese's and Hudson's birthdays. We would have about 2 years between each of our children. Since I'm completely Type A and a planner this was perfect for me. Pregnancies had always been normal for me. I would have some nausea but I never had any major complications. 

At 17 weeks pregnant with our third child, I went to the doctor for my normal monthly check-up. I was so excited because I knew that we would get to schedule the appointment to find out our baby's gender. Life was perfect. I laid back for my midwife to use the Doppler to check the baby's heartbeat. As I lay there, it was silent. There was no rhythmic beating. She continued to search. Within minutes, I was having an ultrasound in the office. I can remember just praying over and over that our baby was okay. In those moments, life was forever changed for our family. 

Before I knew it, my husband and I were headed to the hospital. Our third child was gone and I would be induced for delivery. We spent the night in much prayer. God was the One carrying us in those moments. We begged for peace and comfort. 

The next day. October 12, 2012, our son was born. We had not picked a name before this and spent much time in the hospital searching for a name that would honor our special little boy that we would never have a chance to bring home. We named him Emmanuel Gabe. Emmanuel means "God is with us" and Gabe means "God is my strength."
In the days that followed, we experienced the darkest time of our lives. We were blessed to have our closest and dearest friends constantly supporting us and pointing us to God in the moments of weakness when we would cry out in pain. We came home to carefully selected Bible verses placed throughout our home. Meals were prepared and dropped off to ease the burden of worrying about physically feeding our bodies. And then there were the countless hours that our dearest friends just came and sat. Sometimes there would be conversations and other times it was just comforting silence. Despite the physical strain on my body, I was back in church the day after being released from the hospital. I needed to be there. I needed to feel close to God. I can remember spending much time reading my Bible and searching for answers. I completed two different devotionals that I truly believed help save me from slipping down a darker path. 

After my initial second trimester loss, the doctors were not able to do much testing and everyone just chalked it up to a fluke. I had had two successful pregnancies before and no one expected it to happen again. 

About eight weeks after losing Emmanuel, we were grateful for the blessing of expecting another child. While we were still dealing with the loss of Emmanuel, I had let go and felt that we trusted God. By week 12 of pregnancy, I was struggling with some fear. I was choosing to trust and praying to God for comfort. Due to the loss we had just experienced, my midwife added an extra appointment so that I was not going four weeks without being checked. I went for my appointment at 13 weeks and heard the joyous sound of a strong heartbeat. I returned at 15 weeks pregnant and again we had lost our baby. 

My husband and I made the same trip back to the hospital. I can remember the nurses coming in to explain what would happen and unfortunately I would thank them and say I know what to expect. I was heartbroken. We would welcome another son whom we named Jeremiah Luke on March 1, 2013. Again, my husband and I spent much time picking a name for our son. Jeremiah means "exalted of The Lord" and Luke means "light." 

When we came home, I felt like I was back to the same spot as before. After losing Emmanuel, I can remember the pain and loss. A pain that was so deep my body physically ached. I literally felt empty inside. My baby was gone. Now, here I was just shy of five months later and that same exact pain was back. We had lost another baby. I was the mommy. It was my job to keep my babies safe. I often felt that I had failed at my job, the one job that I had dreamed of all my life. There were days that it was all I could do to function and there were moments that would trigger the memories of seeing our boys. 

One of the worse aspects of our valley was the agony of having to tell our daughter. She was three years old when we lost the boys. She had remembered Hudson's birth and what it meant when Mommy's tummy got bigger. She knew we were supposed to have a new baby coming to our family. We had never talked about death before in our house. We would not even tell Reese and Hudson when we killed a fly. We had tried so hard to protect them from many of the harsh, hurtful parts of life. I can remember one night, shortly after we had lost Emmanuel. Reese and I were sitting next to each other at the kitchen table facing the sliding glass door at dinner time. It was a beautiful evening as the sun was just starting to set. As we sat there quietly, Reese said "Hi Emmanuel!" as she stared out the window. I looked over at her and she intently peered out the window. As my heart was pounding, I asked her what she said. She told me in her matter of factly little voice "I see Emmanuel. See him, Mommy." She pointed to the clouds and with the purest innocence of her child heart, she saw her baby brother. This moment will forever be one of the most incredible reminders to me of God's grace. He knew I needed that reassurance and comfort. It was His way of showing me that she would be ok even after this sadness. 

After losing Jeremiah, we continued to pray and seek God. Long before this valley, one of my favorite verses was Jeremiah 29:11-13. It was at this point that we were constantly seeking His face more than ever before. In August of 2013, five months after our losing Jeremiah, we were pregnant again. We would enjoy this news for three days before I would begin a miscarriage that would start during the church service. Why? I kept asking why? I was surrendering everything I had, giving everything to Him. I thought I had reached the end. I thought this would be our chance. I was beyond grateful for the two beautiful children we had and several people would remind me that I should be thankful and just stop. But this was my dream. This was what I had waited for my entire life. I was not ready to give up. God had his plan. His plan is always better than mine. We kept praying and reminding ourselves that He gives us HOPE. 

You see, a few days before my very first loss, I had shared in our LifeGroup that it was my prayer for God to bring me to my knees. Not that I felt I needed to be punished but that I had felt I was depending too much on myself and not on Him. Like I said before, I am a complete Type A planner. I feel safe when I have control of the situation but that is not what God wants from me. 

We would go on to get pregnant again the following month, September 2013. We were already scheduled to meet with a fertility specialist two days after we had found out. I can remember listening to the doctor talk about our baby, our child. I was given two different plans. One plan if the baby lived and one plan if our baby was lost again. Thankfully, after some more testing and discussion, the doctor suspected some blood clotting issues; however, this was not a definite diagnosis and there was no concrete proof. The decision was made to try using blood thinner medications during my pregnancy in the hopes that it would allow for a successful pregnancy. At five weeks pregnant, I began to give myself injections daily in my stomach of Lovenox. I also took a daily dosage of Baby Aspirin along with extra vitamins on top of my normal prenatal. I'll never forget the first time I had to give myself an injection. I had never administered a needle to anyone before, let alone myself. It was a very emotional moment for me that night. In those moments, I stopped to reflect on the journey that had led us to this point. Those injections could save my baby's life, yet at the same time, there was no guarantee. Only God had control of the situation. 

After 39 weeks of pregnancy, numerous injections, countless doctor's appointments and ultrasounds, and more importantly, hours and hours of prayers, Cannon Bentley was born. He was perfect....absolutely perfect. The moment we looked into Cannon's eyes for the first time was such a powerful reminder of God's incredible love for us. 

Our winter season had ended...spring had returned.

I pray to never forget the journey that we have endured over the past two and a half years. And I would tell you in a heartbeat, that I do not regret a single moment of it. Most definitely, I would love to have all of my babies with me here on Earth. That is my flesh talking. I know they live in the most incredible place that is far beyond anything I could ever imagine or that they could experience here. I have experienced incredible growth in my faith because of our valleys and our mountain tops. I have learned to trust God in a way that I never would have if we had not had these experiences. My relationship with my Savior has become that much stronger. I have gained a compassion for women struggling with fertility that I would not understand if it was not for the losses we experienced. I've often said it is like a club that no one wants to be a part of....but at the same time, I am here to say, I would not trade a moment of this time. I've experienced some of the most intimate moments with God during this time. For those of you who are in the middle of your storm right now or in the lowest part of your valley, please know...God hears your cries, He knows your heart and your desires. God's plan is never to harm us, but to give us HOPE. Seek Him in every moment...for every breath you take. I promise you that He is here to carry you through. The winter will end and your spring will come. We may not have the ending we always dreamed of or envisioned, yet it is the perfect ending for us because it is a part of His plan.


I want to leave you with one of the verses that I have clung to since the beginning of our journey.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who had called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10

He is good...ALL the time. 



One day my winter will end and my spring will come. Yours will too. What great words to cling to.
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  1. Wow..bawling as usual!! This story touched my heart in a special way because of the scriptures she found comfort in! Jeremiah 29:11 isy favorite scripture and I hold to that every day. That he is giving me hope and he has a future in mind for me better than I can ever imagine!! Thanks Courtney for sharing!!

  2. This was so beautiful. It made me think of a talk from a past leader of my church, entitled Sunday Will Come, and you can see a short excerpt (2 and a half minutes) here if you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlc5RvmWN4s

    I'm so happy for your sweet family. Thanks for sharing your story and your faith.

  3. That's cool Britt! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The tears are just pouring down my face. Thank you for sharing your story, Courtney! It takes incredible strength and maturity in the Lord to honestly say that you wouldn't change what has happened. It's clear that you have a heart for encouraging other women and families in this struggle, and we are so grateful for you!


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