You may know me as your source for guidance as you build a business or prepare for musical theater auditions…but just like you, that is just a small part of who I am!
The past few years of my life have been some of the most difficult and life-changing and I’m finally ready to bring that part of who I am into my business.
Dealing with loss is never easy, but I truly believe in the idea that “your mess is your message” so I am stepping out in Faith and including this part of my journey in my business, in hopes that I can help even one woman with my story.
That being said, I’m not really a writer. I blog, but when it comes to telling a story like this, I have to defer to my hubby (author/screenwriter/copywriter).
A few years back, he wrote a post for our marriage blog (short-lived!) when we were still in the middle of this journey, but it so eloquently sets the stage for what is to come from me in the future, that I decided to let him kick off this topic of my blog.
Real quick, let’s get some introductions out of the way, shall we?
Welcome! Nice to meet you!
I’m Kelly Gabel and I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur helping women to create their Purposefull life. 💙
I know what it’s like to realize that the plans and dreams you have for your life aren’t going to happen…at least, not the way you expected.
It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge and admit that…and it takes even more courage to do something about it.
I am so glad you are here taking the first steps towards doing.
If you, like me, came out of your infertility journey feeling like you lost a sense of purpose in your life, you are not alone!
I can help! Send me a chat message through the website chat on the bottom right corner of this page!
Or maybe, also like me, you’ve decided to start a new business in connection with your new sense of purpose. I can help you there too!
If you have a business or have been thinking about starting one for this new chapter of your life:
Here is the link you need to grab my free Automate Your Biz Mini-Course too! Get ready to activate autopilot in your business so that you can focus on your clients!
I think you’ll love the Purposeful Biz Facebook community too! It’s the perfect place for aspiring female entrepreneurs to learn how to build a successful business deeply rooted in your redefined sense of purpose. Make an impact while making an income! Come join us! I would love to connect with you personally!
And now, I hand it off to my amazing and oh so talented hubby, Glen.
For some time now we’ve felt we needed to address this issue but it’s been hard because this one hits so close to home. Dealing with loss, as a couple, can not only hollow out your heart, it can put up walls in how you communicate with each other.
Over three years ago Kel and I decided it was time to start trying to grow our family. While we were both unsure of how ready we might feel, how we might make ends meet financially, and how capable we might be as parents – we knew we wanted children. So when Kel first got pregnant we were so excited. She started picking out colors for the baby’s room, our savings went into a baby fund, I bookmarked videos, articles, and journals I could read – I even started shopping for the proverbial “How to Parent” book in bookstores – hoping that Dr. Spock could relay as much wisdom as his namesake often did on Star Trek.
We had even planned out an announcement video – and then as things progressed we finally announced to our parents (camera phone rolling) and cherished their reactions. But then things went south. The tests were coming back in the negatives, the heartbeat wasn’t showing up, and within a few days of announcing – we lost the baby.
Rushing Kel to the ER that day made me feel powerless. I stood by as the doctors did their scans and tests. I stood by and looked on and realized there was nothing I could do to save our child. There was nothing I could do to save my wife from this experience.
Months passed and in time we tried again, this time we were sure we’d do it right. Kel went on hormones, rid herself of caffeine and we avoided every possible situation that might bring about complications in the pregnancy. We prayed fervently but again we lost it. Then the faintest hint of pregnancy arrived once more, and once more it was gone in a flash.
We didn’t cry as much that time and when we lost the fourth child – we barely spoke about it. We went to see specialists then – I had more blood tests in a week than I remember having through most of my childhood. Options were discussed and we finally decided to wait and focus on other things. Last fall, we felt ready again. We knew the risks but we believed God had a plan, and with enough faith and care we could finally hold our baby.
Things went well the first few weeks, the numbers were higher than they’d ever been. All signs were good. We went in for the requisite ultrasound and for the first time I got to see one of my children. It was the size of a peanut but it was alive. I got a copy made of the image. I thought I might even nickname it “peanut” after it was born.
Then, like the rest, that little soul left us. Kel and I knew that it was over. We had not just lost five children, we’d lost the hope of children as well. We told those close to us and they offered what comfort they could. But words just can’t fill a hole like that.
We went about our daily lives. Bills to pay, projects to work on. We had to refocus our goals in life, refocus our thinking. While Kel struggled with it, I kept more or less silent – I just didn’t want to deal with it. I couldn’t understand how a loving God would allow so much heartbreak.
Of course, we were reminded of the loss everywhere we went – it seemed like every family member and friend in our circle were having children. Commercials and billboards blared baby ads, even the stores we frequented seemed to be teeming with adorable munchkins running about. Everyone had a baby, everyone except us.
We spoke about “the loss” as if it was the elephant in the room. And I think in some ways it made us both feel a little distant from each other. When you’re wounded you tend to build up emotional walls without even realizing it. Even if the ones around you are caring, it hurts too much to feel – so you don’t let yourself feel anything.
Oddly enough we came to our breakthrough when we least expected it – we were at home and Kel mentioned she’d never seen the film Castaway. I had it in my DVD collection so we put it in – and something about that movie – I think the feeling of loneliness Tom Hank’s character feels, the isolation, the despair – touched us. We paused the movie and we talked. For the first time, in a long time, we talked about the loss. Every detail.
We both cried and afterward we both felt it was cathartic. Opening up to your soulmate during these times can be the hardest thing in the world. You have to express every honest feeling and understand that those feelings need to be released before you can ever move on. There is no magic pill, expert online guide, or word of wisdom that can take away the pain. But your spouse is there with you during it – they’re feeling the same thing.
When couples marry, they often hear the adage in the ceremony, “For better or for worse”. I don’t think anyone wants to focus on the worse – but remembering that you have someone to turn to, even if you can’t look them in the eyes, someone who will listen to you, even if you can’t say the words – someone that walks with you through this life, is the greatest comfort you can have.
I came upon a photo online recently, depicting a couple releasing five sky lanterns at sunset. I thought of our five children, and how we had to let them go. I wondered if the people in the photo felt alone as they watched those little lights drift away – but I realized they couldn’t because they were standing on that hill together.
To Your Purposefull Life,
If you are facing a reluctantly childfree future after infertility and/or loss and are ready to embrace it, please come join my private Facebook group Reluctantly Childfree: Embracing Life After Infertility Thru Community. You don’t have to walk this path alone. 🤍