sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: MaKenzie Schienebeck
I wanted it to be over. I wanted our once joyful baby to be out of me. The pain of carrying a baby inside of me that is gone was only bringing awful pain. I was given medication to make the process faster. I inserted the four prescribed pills and waited for my body to speed up the process. These pills help rid the baby from your womb.
The next morning, I awoke in pain and blood. I felt sick. I hopped in another hot shower to ease the cramps. This is normal when you’re giving birth. I was dilated. Once I finished showering, I laid on the couch in agony. The pain was immense. I ran back to the shower. My two boys and husband were now up for the morning. My oldest was getting ready for school. Let me note, this was also my 24th birthday. My husband got our oldest on the bus and made me my favorite stuffed French toast for my birthday breakfast. I showered again, and happened to hold my hand out at just the right moment to catch our baby. It was a beautiful little baby with all its anatomy.
We placed our baby in a Tupperware container with a towel temporarily until we could bury him/her. I then laid on the bathroom floor, feet away from my son and husband, who were in the kitchen. I asked my husband for a glass of water. The blood loss was making me extremely thirsty. I recall waking up to my cup of water spilled on the floor around me, blood all over, my husband at my feet as his voice cracking with fear. He was on the phone with 911. After another unconscious moment, I woke up to a stretcher in my house, an ambulance crew, and police. I was taken to our local hospital by ambulance.
Sitting on a white bed and looking at bright lights, I felt blood pour like a waterfall out of me. I asked the nurses and doctor if I was going to die. They looked fearful. My husband held my hand. I was passing out over and over. I felt a strange peace amongst the sickness and blood loss.
My husband temporarily had to leave my side to hand my grandmother our youngest. She took him to her house while my husband stayed by me. As he was away, I grabbed my phone with the last ounce of strength left in me. I wrote my sons and husband a goodbye letter. I felt as if this was it me. My life is over at 24, on my birthday. I recall the immense pain, thinking of missing out on birthdays, graduations, and life with my family. How easily we take for granted the sunrise the next day and the family beside us.
An ambulance crew from Woodruff, Wisconsin, came to take me from Park Falls. My husband followed along in the car. It was a 45-minute drive. I had an emergency D&C and blood transfusions. I asked and EMT if I was going to die. He told me “nobody has ever died in my ambulance, and you are not going to be my first.” He was an angel. He made me feel safe.
After surgery, I received more blood in my recovery room. I was given instructions to sit up hours later. My blood pressure and heart rate skyrocketed, and I passed out. My body was not taking the blood loss and new blood well. I was fearful to ever sit up again. We stayed in the hospital overnight. The next day, after more blood was given to me, we were sent home. I took it easy to recover.
My husband took down the crib and so forth. I sold every baby item and cried each time. I kept TWO items: a black and white muslin blanket with arrows, which I would cuddle it every night, and my baby’s soft, yellow sleeper with ducks on it. I had a cabinet with wedding memorabilia. Baby’s sleeper, pregnancy test and ultrasounds are now in there with our wedding belongings.
I had panic attacks for months. I decided I was not going to be given this card in life without fighting back. I set up a Facebook page to talk to others going through this. I speak out. I want to normalize this taboo subject. I never thought this would happen to me. When I found out I was pregnant, I felt invincible. I felt nothing bad could happen. My biggest fear was something happening to me at birth.
My whole outlook on life has changed. It is a gift. We get so used to waking up every morning that we forget about those who don't. I was almost one of them. I was also one of the one in four woman in every pregnancy that lost her baby. One in four. Let that sink in. I could not fathom the women in my life who opened up about their losses. There are so many of us mothers to angels, but you would never know it. It could be you, your friend, sister, mother, neighbor. It is not uncommon, and it is brutally painful.
We buried our baby in a small wooden box, kissing it as we lay it down into the cold, brown dirt. I purchased blue and pink flowers to plant by our baby. We did not know the gender. Our baby was not going to he buried nameless, so my husband and I combined our first initials and named our beloved angel KC. KC turned my pain into power. My sadness into greatness. I will not stop speaking out until my last breath.
I would also like to tell everyone reading this that you are not alone. Do not be afraid to speak up. If you want to remain quiet, remain quiet. If you want to talk, talk. If you want to cry or grieve, get it out. And last but not least.. do not forget about the fathers. They feel the pain we feel. They helped bring that little life into this world with you. Although they do not carry the baby, they share the love we do. Talk to them, ask if they are okay, support and love them. Sending sympathies to mom? Don't forget dad.
My hope is that I save someone from this pain. I hope you know you are strong, loved and needed. The pain will remain but your strength is stronger. Fight it out moms and dads: you are warriors. God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors.
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.