sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: MaKenzie Schienebeck
Growing up in a small town full of love, family and friends, life was seemingly beautiful even after enduring many hard times. The people surrounding my life were always there to lift me back up, dust me off, and straighten my crown.
Envisioning my future, I knew I wanted a big family of my own with my husband. We have two beautiful young boys together, ages seven and three. The two of us work hard to keep a roof over our head, food on our plates, and love, laughter and adventure flowing through our house. We knew we wanted another child to add to our crazy, mud-digging, Hot Wheels-filled, goofy household.
One day, while my husband was away at work, I picked up a pregnancy test from our local dollar store. Once home, I went to the restroom, unwrapped that good old box and did the test. Seconds later, I saw two beautiful pink lines. I tried to keep calm and collected as excitement flooded throughout my body. I touched my belly, realizing I was carrying another blessing.
Once my husband arrived home from work, I asked him to come check out the tomatoes in the garden with me. It was my way of getting him alone to tell him about the new bundle of joy. After I told him, we hugged, cried, and went on to tell family and friends.
Doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, days, and nights passed by. We saw our growing peanut’s little hands, feet, belly, arms, head, heartbeat, and wiggling little body all on a black and white screen before us.
The two of us had excitedly purchased all the necessities for baby number three: Pack-n-Play, rock n play, bottles, crib, bedding, toys, blankets, Bumbo, activity mat, diapers, you name it. Baby’s room was set up only two months into our pregnancy. “Excited” is nowhere near the joy we were experiencing.
Our boys would kiss my belly, talk to baby, dream of adventures they’d have as baby grew up with them.
Fast forward to my morning sickness. I had such bad sickness with my previous pregnancies, so I was thankful this last pregnancy that I wasn't enduring the morning sickness after two months. It completely stopped and I felt way better. I continued to rub my belly, make plans, and buy baby products. Our two boys came to appointments and ultrasounds with us. The last ultrasound is where my story turned from sunshine to an unspeakable darkness.
The doctor squirted jelly on my stomach and began rolling the heartbeat monitor around. Thinking she had heard movements or a beat but could not say for certain, she reminded us this is common in early pregnancy. We were given the choice to head home or get an ultrasound. The clinic was 45 minutes away and we had to wait five hours for our ultrasound.
My husband and I decided to take our youngest to the park to play, as our oldest was in school and would be going to his grandmother’s later on if we were not back in time. AT the park, there were giggles, rain, swings and talks. We played until it was time to head back to the ultrasound.
After a while in the waiting room, we were called in. Giddy, we thought nothing of this ordeal. Baby was too small for the heartbeat monitor, right? Time to change into my gown as previous times, lay on the bed in a dim, calm, quiet ultrasound room which always stirred up amazing memories of my babies. More jelly on my stomach and up comes the image on the screen.
My husband was by my side, holding our youngest son. The tech scrolled on baby three, changing screen colors. Flat lines on the heartbeat grid, moving to different angles, round belly, head. Same baby but this time, different story. My husband said "there is no heartbeat.” The tech told us she could not confirm his suspicion; only our doctor could. My soul, my husband’s soul felt crushed within minutes.
Tears of the worst pain flowed down my face. We were walked in a quiet hallway away from public, upstairs to my doctor’s office. The news we already knew was confirmed. We had lost our baby two weeks prior.
I had an awful ride home. How do I tell my sons? How do I tell my family and friends? Did I do this? Did something I ate or do, do this? This cannot be. The ultrasound has to be wrong. My baby is not dead. Denial. Blame. I felt it all.
Once home, I sat on the shower floor as hot water fell upon me. I took shower after shower to soothe my pain, anxiety, and depression. I remembered how I would rub my belly and realized I was rubbing a belly with a lifeless baby inside, unbeknownst to me.
MaKenzie Schienebeck is a mother to two beautiful boys and an angel baby. She is a wife, blogger, and entrepreneur. MaKenzie is Mrs. Price County Wisconsin and running for Mrs. Wisconsin United States