My name is Brittany and my fiance, Justin, and I decided to put this page together in the hopes of getting some help funding our elopement so here's our story:
We met in 2014 on Tindr of all places. He caught my attention with his hair and he never even looked at my profile but when I messaged him first, he enjoyed talking to me enough to ignore my terrible pictures and want to meet up. We went to dinner on October 15th and I've never felt more comfortable with someone I didn't know in my life. Even when I tried to cancel our second date because I'd gotten sick and was having a terrible reaction to the meds I was prescribed, he brought me flowers (the first I'd ever gotten in my life) and took me to his house to make me his cure-all soup and let me sleep on his couch all day. That was when I first thought I loved him - and I never looked back.
We were officially engaged on October 11th, 2015 - a few days shy of our one year anniversary because he couldn't wait and wanted to surprise me. We'd already planned to pick up my engagement ring from our jeweler when we got back from our anniversary trip but on the first stop, the ski lift in Flagstaff, AZ, he surprised me with the box on the way down from the top. If I remember correctly, his exact proposal was something along the lines of, "Don't you dare drop this," as he pushed the box into my hands at least a few hundred feet in the air.
I swear I glowed for a solid six months even though my family missed the official announcement that they arranged and everyone quickly lost interest when we told them we didn't have a date in mind yet. Truth be told, we didn't decide on a date until some time later when Justin's younger brother got engaged - and shortly after, my younger sister followed suit.
With the sudden pressure of both our younger siblings planning weddings, the date we'd thrown around between ourselves as a joke was something we had to give out to make sure it wasn't taken from us. We'd decided on October 15th, 2020, our anniversary and a wonderful string of numbers for us to uphold for the rest of our lives. With one sibling planning for September or October this year and one planning for October or November next year, it was suddenly very important that we let everyone know what date we had in mind. Obviously, we weren't in any major rush but we quickly found out that our siblings were. There were engagement parties put together by our corresponding families and within six months, my sister was already setting up her first dress appointment.
I went to my first dress appointment by myself so that I could at least say she didn't beat me to that and didn't have to suffer the shame of rushing to schedule something with my family too.
Two weeks later, I woke up with serious period cramps that just wouldn't go away. Justin asked me several times if I wanted to go to Urgent Care or something and I brushed it off - I'm a girl, I deal with that sort of thing almost every month and I know there's not really anything anyone can do. But two hours later, when he was leaving for work and I was huddled on the couch again with the heating pad, I gave in and got myself ready to go for an uncomfortable drive. It felt like I waited forever and when they finally got me back into a room, it felt like it took even longer. They asked me all the usual womanly questions and eventually made me give a urine sample - and imagine my surprise when they came back and said I was pregnant.
They weren't equipped with an ultrasound machine but were able to put some machine on my stomach and locate the heartbeat for me. They said I needed to go to the ER immediately as I seemed to be in labor and since I hadn't ever missed a period, there was no telling how far along I was or how worried anyone should be. I'd been texting Justin the entire time with updates and as soon as I left the urgent care, he called and told me he was dropping everything to rush home. He had to change, had to drop off our work trailer and trade vehicles and he still managed to meet me at the ER before they'd even come in to take blood.
That day is all a little hazy in my mind, Justin could probably provide more details on everything but I'll do my best. There was worry throughout the emergency department because I'd unknowingly gone to a hospital with no maternity or delivery ward. There was no OB/GYN in the hospital and it took quite a while to find a gynecologist with any obstetrician experience. It took forever to get an ultrasound and the cramps - or contractions, I guess - just got worse and worse. Then they actually took me up for the ultrasound and with the tech pressing on my stomach, the contractions sped up and got infinitely stronger. I remember the doctor who'd initially seen me coming in to talk to me and Justin about what kind of chaos I'd caused by coming to a hospital that wasn't equipped to handle babies in any way, shape or form. They were trying to decide if there was time to transport me, which hospitals in the area were even options since there was possibility we'd need a NICU. He talked about giving me some drug that would actually stop the contractions if they really needed to and the entire time, the nurses expected me to be able to sit still and stop tangling the wires and tubes hooked up to me.
I was already 8cm dilated but the contractions were slowing down, so the decision was made to transport me to a hospital a little more than 10 miles away. It was the hospital I, as well as all three of my siblings, had been born in over the last 24 years. I'd never ridden in an ambulance before and I was so thankful Justin was with me even though in the back of my head I knew we were leaving two cars behind and wouldn't have any transportation from the hospital when everything was over.
At the hospital, everything seemed to stop. Oh, I was still having contractions and they still hurt but all the rush, the panic around me dropped away once I made it to Labor and Delivery. There were two nurses that passed through the room occasionally, checking my highly elevated blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat and who knows what else, but that was all and they were only ever in for a few minutes at a time. There was an OB/GYN who introduced herself when I first got there, checked how dilated I was and then left, only to be seen again at the moment of delivery. It was too late for pain killers so I got to experience every agonizing second, crushing Justin's hand and twisting and turning on the bed. I could barely tell what was contraction and what was just panic, so when the nurses asked me to start timing them, I was completely lost. They had to go by my blood pressure, which kept spiking every time I had one.
Just before 5 on November 27th, I had a perfectly healthy, full term baby boy that I never even knew I was pregnant with. We could barely support ourselves, let alone a baby. It was the biggest shock I think I've ever been through and without Justin, I never would have been able to cope.
We spoke with a social services worker with the hospital about our options and she gave us the information for a couple adoption agencies. We made a call the next morning and there was case worker in my room before lunch. She even called a therapist to talk with us, since she recognized how traumatic the entire situation was. We sat with the therapist for more than an hour and then with the case worker even longer. We picked a family that same day but were assured that as long as I was in the hospital, he would be too. We just weren't ready to give him up; I never thought the attachment would form so quickly, or be so strong.
We should have had three days. I had to be held in the hospital because my blood pressure remained elevated and we were told by the social worker and the agency case worker that the baby would remain admitted to the hospital as long as I was, even though he was perfectly healthy. But in the evening on Day Two, we were informed that there'd been some sort of mix-up and since he was healthy, he was going to be released at midnight and our options were for him to be released to Justin or released to the adoption agency. It was devastating and the only thing that made it remotely bearable was the fact that Justin's family had already visited and my family was going to be able to make it before the deadline. It just felt so rushed and it meant that in the end, Justin and I only had a few minutes with him to ourselves.
I've never felt a feeling like I did those days in the hospital and every day since, I'm hit with some small reminder - when I'm not being beat in the face with a bigger one. We get updates four times a year, but we haven't been able to open the ones we've gotten. This controls our lives through the simple fact that we're doing our best to ignore the gaping hole that's been left behind.
I'd never wanted kids but it's been eight months, almost to the day, and all I want is that indescribable feeling back. Justin and I laid out a couple rules, though, and I have one of my own. First, we need to be financially stable and able to afford a child. Second, we need to have a clean, safe home and we don't think that's going to be the one we're in now. And my personal rule - we need to get married.
October 15th, 2020, has felt like so far away since we first picked the date but in the last few months, with his brother having parties and throwing together a wedding in less than a year and the constant knowledge that my sister is working on putting together something for next year, we've gotten antsy. Our families haven't expressed any interest in our relationship or what we want to do, other than my mother dictating that if I didn't have her at the ceremony, there'd be hell to pay. We've watched his family bend over backwards and pay for everything for his younger brother, from the engagement ring melted down from old family jewelry to the engagement party and the bridal shower, but no one has even offered us any support in trying to plan this event that we're only having for our families - we'd have been happy getting married in Vegas on my birthday the year after we got engaged.
That's why we're turning to you, the wonderful hordes of the internet, to help us say screw tradition, screw our families expectations and help us take that step towards our future together. We've run into nothing but financial trouble since my stay in the hospital and all we want to do is get ourselves on the path to having a family of our own.
Our goal is to run away in November and celebrate our baby's first birthday by getting married and committing our lives to each other. Without our families sticking their noses in everything. Without the pressures of putting together a wedding. Just us and our love for each other and the life we brought into the world together.
Right now, we're asking for $1,500 for the plane tickets. We need to purchase them at the end of next month, so anything we can get to help would be much appreciated. Anything beyond that would go to our hotel, then food, then maybe winter clothes because I've lived in the desert my whole life and have no idea what it's really like to be cold. If we can meet at least this first goal, we're going to send anyone who donates a wedding photo of us.
We know we're going to get married one day, we're just looking for help turning a day that left a horribly painful memory into a day that we look forward to and celebrate, for more than one reason.