In recognition of October being pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.
MaKenzie Schienebeck reached out to us to share her story of loss with others in the hopes of helping with both personal healing and to help others going through a similar life situation. Because miscarriage and infant loss is a hard reality faced by so many families, we believe it is worthy to share with the preface that the following is a real story, that is difficult on the heart to read, but does explain the emotional roller-coaster faced by 1 in 4 women.
My Personal Story
This is raw as it was written straight from the heart through teary eyes. I am aware of many mistakes in this writing but hope you can work through it & your heart can feel our story. Please share our story with others so we can start to normalize this!
It’s June 2018, My husband and I decide we want to try for our third baby. We had ventured off to the clinic to get my IUD removed so we could start the process of adding a new addition to our beautiful family. We kept giggling with excitement in the office before the doctor came in to remove the IUD.
After it was taken out, we went on our merry way and ate a yummy meal together. Everything felt so perfect. Fast forward only THREE days after my IUD was taken out, I had gotten pregnant. I didn’t know until two months afterward. I was feeling queasy, very tired and had food aversions.
I ask my husband to grab us two pregnancy tests from the dollar store on his way home from work one day. Once he got home, I grabbed one test, headed to the bathroom and within seconds two very strong purple lines showed up. I came out of the bathroom with an obvious smile on my face, asked my husband to come “check the tomatoes” in the garden with me and I told him outside on our deck. The sun shined on us, the breeze blew, we had some great smiles! We scheduled an appointment the next day for a blood test to confirm we are pregnant. As we sat next to the doctor for the results, he paused and smiled at us… We smiled back, and he confirmed we were pregnant. The two of us were SO excited!
Another appointment was made. We met with a nurse to discuss family health and get our pregnancy started. We heard baby’s strong heart on the doppler alongside our first ultrasound. Baby was a jumping bean with a great heartbeat!
Once we got home, we hung the ultrasound on the fridge, and told family and friends, similar to the way we had done with our last two babies. The excitement was unbearable. I was so excited to snuggle our newest addition and have a baby once again! My belly was growing, I was glowing and everything in life felt right. My anxiety and worries diminished during my pregnancy. I was so proud to be growing a new life inside me once again. I would rub my belly every day, talk to my baby, dream of my baby… My two boys would talk to my belly and tell the baby how much they loved him/her. My husband and I had gotten a new crib, pack n play, bottle set, gender neutral clothing, blankets, bibs, toys, seats, rock n play, you name it… We were ready to spoil another little gift.
A few weeks after my last ultrasound I was feeling amazing. No more morning sickness, no more food aversions.. I could travel without getting too sick! Everyone told me maybe it means we are having a girl this time. I was pretty thrilled, to say the least. Boy or girl, I knew I was blessed to be a mommy again!
On September 26th, 2018 my husband and I went to our next OB appointment. We were a day away from 13 weeks. We counted down the days until we could get our baby’s gender ultrasound and buy the coordinating clothing. Our youngest was with us and he was such a good sport that day. We went in, got weighed and I had lost a few pounds. Then we went to the room to get baby on the doppler. My doctor put some jelly on my belly and rolled the doppler around to find that little booger. She thought she heard baby a few times but the doppler wasn’t being reliable at this stage and she assured me it happens a lot. Their in-room ultrasound was out of office that day being fixed so she asked if I would like to come back in a week or get an ultrasound the same day downstairs. We opted for same day.. My appointment was at 10:25 and they couldn’t get us in until 3:00.
We live forty-five minutes from the clinic so we planned to wait the day out. We went out to eat with our little man, headed to the park by the lake, went shopping, won a bunch of toys from the claw machine and then back to the waiting area at the clinic. My youngest son was enjoying making the elderly happy at the clinic. I was getting impatient with the long day we had had.. when a nurse finally called my name, we went with her and went to another waiting room. We were called in at around four o’clock pm.
Same procedure as always. Take off your pants and wrap a blanket around your waist. I had to have a pelvic ultraound because I have a retroverted uterus. My baby lays way back instead of up front like other women’s pregnancies. This is actually pretty common, and had not affected my other two pregnancies.
The lights turned off, and the ultrasound started. The tech measured all my organs and uterus. She then proceeded to scan our baby. We saw a precious little round head, a sweet little round tummy, feet, hands, all the good details. She pulled up the heart rate graph. I saw worry in her eyes but since I didn’t know her too well, I put it off. I looked over at my husband and he said five words that shattered my entire World.. “there is no heart beat”.. She cannot tell us this information, but it was obvious. She tried three more times and it was a flat graph. My once joyful, jumpy baby who’s heart we had seen many times was just sitting there.. lifeless. I wanted to pull that ultrasound out of me, throw it at the wall, run away and go until I came to terms with what nightmare I was living in. I cried. I cried pain. I have never felt something so painful in my life and I thought I’ve been through pain before. My stomach felt like it was ripped apart, my heart felt like it was blasted to pieces by a line of riffle fire, my head hurt and my soul was shredded.
The tech had to call my Dr upstairs.. it felt like eternity. When we went up to talk, I couldn’t stop thinking of how I lost my baby. I felt like I did this. What did I do wrong? Why did this happen? How could I have stopped this? Do I ever want to go through pregnancy again? We were told of ways that this can all be taken care of per say. Naturally let my baby come out, take a pill, surgery (dnc). We opted to just get out of there, talk it out and try natural.
My husband and I were disgusted. How could this precious little baby we had so many hopes and dreams for….die? Why? Why US?! We never thought we would be in this situation… Yet here we were. The World was grey. I was mad at God. I was mad at myself. I kept denying that the ultrasound was right. I felt like we had to go back, and we would see baby’s heart.
We called family. We hadn’t planned on telling anyone but family and letting others just figure it out. Miscarriage is rarely talked about. I was the 1 in 4 women whom it happened to. My baby was gone two weeks before we found out. I have been rubbing a belly with my dead baby in it. I had to leave a clinic with my dead baby inside me. I had to sleep that night with my dead baby in me. I had to eat, drink, sleep, talk, walk and move on after hearing this news….with my baby still in me. As I write this story for you to hear, my baby is still inside me. I have to wait for my baby to come out of me.
I walk by my baby’s room full of clothes, toys, what ifs… We don’t get to celebrate birthdays, Christmas mornings, anything with this child. The outfits, the crib, the toys, they all have to gather dust because we are not going to be bringing a baby home in the Spring.
The night after we heard this news, the day after as well, I sat on the floor of our shower with warm water coming down… I cried. I stared off into space. I cried some more. It is so hard to live life with an untold story in your belly. I am not going to live my life and pretend this didn’t happen to us. I knew miscarriage was awful, but you will NEVER know until YOU go through it and I really hope you don’t ever have to experience this pain.
I had planned to go to work two days after finding out. I wanted to be tough, look okay, feel okay and act like I was going to be fine.. The day came and I couldn’t bear seeing anyone, I couldn’t bear to speak, I have cramps, headaches.. My body is trying to get rid of my precious baby I loved so dearly. I am working on getting strong. I have two other miracles who need me and a loving husband. My husband got excited seeing a car seat on sale, and I did with a baby monitor….Then we were slapped in the face with the reality that THIS baby is no longer with us.
I hope you all have a place in your heart for the mothers, fathers, families of babies who were born in Heaven, born to soon, never came home, came home but left too soon.. I hope you all can give your sincerest condolences to these families as it isn’t just the mother, fathers, siblings, family members hurt too. I hope you all know, it wasn’t just a miscarriage… We missed out on a baby, a future, a toddler, a child, a teen, an adult, a wedding, grandkids from this baby, everything. We lost a child with a heartbeat.
I believe now that God has a reason for these things. Sometimes they hurt. He has new plans for our life now. And I hope you cherish your babies and children because as yours are learning to walk, ours is learning to fly….
Rest in Peace KC, mommy, daddy and your brothers love you. I will NEVER forget you and when we get to Heaven, you are not leaving mommy’s arms ever again! Watch over us baby! <3
To the parents who’ve lost a baby or child, don’t stay quiet. Don’t pretend you’re okay when you aren’t. Don’t act tougher than you are. Don’t talk if you don’t want to talk. It’s ok to let your emotions out for the World. Talk to others, when you are ready, who’ve been through the hell you have been through. Stay strong. Let the tears and thoughts out. Be mad, be sad. Everything will come into place.. You are NOT alone, this happens to more of us than we know. This “miscarriage” diagnosis is seemingly invisible. I am here to change this! Whether our precious babies were 1 day, 13 weeks, 40 weeks or beyond.. they EXISTED and were OUR babies! Keep their memory living on! I am here for you!
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