Mom Shares Miscarriage Story and a Message for Others Facing Loss

“To the families who’ve lost a child: You are not alone. Don’t stay quiet. Let the tears and thoughts out.”
save article
profile picture of MaKenzie Schienebeck
Published October 10, 2018
sad person holding hand to window and looking at the rain
Image: Kristina Tripkovic

It was June 2017. My husband and I decided we want to try for our third baby, so we headed to the clinic to get my IUD removed. We kept giggling with excitement in the office before the doctor came in. After it was taken out, we went on our merry way. Everything felt so perfect.

Just three days after my IUD was taken out, I got pregnant! Of course, I didn’t know until two months afterward. At that point I was feeling queasy, very tired and had food aversions. I grabbed a pregnancy 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 told him outside on our deck. The sun shined on us, the breeze blew and we smiled.

We scheduled an appointment the next day for a blood test to confirm we were pregnant. As we sat next to the doctor for the results, he paused and smiled at us and confirmed the pregnancy. We were SO excited!

Another appointment was made. We met with a nurse to discuss family health and 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, just as we had done with our last two babies.

The excitement was unbearable. I couldn’t wait to snuggle my newest addition and have a baby once again! My belly was growing, I was glowing and everything in life felt right. I was proud to be growing a new life inside me once again. I’d 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 got a new crib, Pack n Play, bottle set, gender-neutral clothing, blankets, bibs, toys, you name it—we were ready to spoil another little gift from God.

On September 26, 2018, my husband and I went to our next OB appointment. We were a day away from hitting 13 weeks. (We were counting down the days to the 20-week ultrasound, when we could learn our baby’s gender.) We went in to see 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 and she assured me it happens a lot. Their in-room ultrasound machine was being fixed that day, 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.

Once in the room, 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 uttered five words that shattered my entire world.

“There is no heartbeat.”

The tech couldn’t tell us that, but it was obvious. She tried three more times and it was a flat graph. My once joyful, jumpy baby’s heart that we had seen before was just sitting there, lifeless. I wanted to pull that ultrasound wand out of me, throw it at the wall, run away and go until I came to terms with the nightmare I was suddenly in. I cried. I have never felt something so painful in my life, and I thought I’d been through pain before. My stomach felt like it was ripped apart, my heart felt like it was blasted to pieces, my head hurt and my soul was shredded.

The tech had to call my doctor upstairs. It felt like an 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? Did I ever want to go through pregnancy again?

The doctor explained our various options: We could let the baby come out naturally, I could take a pill or have D&C surgery. We opted to just get out of there and try naturally.

My husband and I were dismayed. How could this precious little baby, for whom we had so many hopes and dreams, die? Why? Why us? We never thought we would be in this situation—yet here we were. The world was gray. I was mad at God. I was mad at myself. I kept denying that the ultrasound was right. I felt like all we had to do was go back in and we’d see baby’s heart.

That night, I sat on the floor of our shower and cried. I stared off into space. I cried some more. My baby had been gone for two weeks before we got the devastating news. I had been rubbing my belly with a dead baby in it. I had to leave the 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 the news, all with my dead baby in me. As I write this, my baby is still inside me. I have to wait for my baby to come out, and I have no idea when it will come.

I walk by my baby’s room full of clothes, toys and what-ifs. We don’t get to celebrate birthdays or Christmas mornings with this child. The outfits, the crib, the toys—they all have to gather dust because we’re not going to be bringing a baby home in the spring.

Miscarriage is rarely talked about. We had planned to not say anything and just let family and friends figure it out, but we called family. I’m not going to live my life pretending this didn’t happen to us. I was one of the one in four women who experiences miscarriage. I knew miscarriage was awful, but you’ll 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, to look okay, feel okay and act like I was going o be fine. But when the day came, I couldn’t bear to see anyone, couldn’t bear to speak. I have cramps and headaches. My body is trying to get rid of the previous baby I loved so dearly. I’m working on getting strong. I have two other miracles and a loving husband who need me.

It isn’t just mothers who suffer a miscarriage. Fathers, siblings and family members hurt too. To the families who’ve lost a child: You are not alone. This happens to more of us than we know. Don’t stay quiet. Don’t pretend you’re okay. Don’t act tougher than you are. Talk to others when you’re ready. Stay strong. Let the tears and thoughts out. Be mad, be sad. Everything will come into place. I’m here for you.

You can follow MaKenzie on Facebook and tune into her Journey to Change page, created to support families experiencing miscarriage.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article

Next on Your Reading List

Monica Garcia of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" television series attends BravoCon 2023 at Caesars Forum on November 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Real Housewives Alum Monica Garcia Shares Heartbreaking Miscarriage
By Wyndi Kappes
Carlos and Alexa Penavega on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 on TODAY show season 72
Alexa PenaVega & Carlos PenaVega Mourn the Stillborn Daughter
By Wyndi Kappes
anne hathaway miscarriage 2015 during off broadway play "grounded"
Anne Hathaway Opens Up About Miscarriage During Off-Broadway Show
By Wyndi Kappes
woman sitting alone in doctor office waiting room
Viral Video Advocates for Separate Waiting Rooms at Ob-Gyn Offices
By Wyndi Kappes
Sad couple comforting each other.
Signs of Miscarriage: Everything You Need to Know
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
ultrasound photo and positive pregnancy test on rainbow background-rainbow baby concept
What Is a Rainbow Baby?
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
woman getting an ultrasound
What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
woman holding a pregnancy test close up
What Is a Chemical Pregnancy? Everything You Need to Know
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
roman woodward foundation roman wrap for stillborn babies
Mom Creates Special Baby Blanket to Parents Coping With Stillbirth
By Wyndi Kappes
couple holding hands during a hard time
New Bill Would Offer Paid Leave After a Family-Building Loss
By Wyndi Kappes
Actress Tiffany Haddish arrives on the red carpet at the 2023 ESPY Awards in Dolby Theatre in Hollywood Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
Tiffany Haddish Reminds Us Coping With Miscarriage Can Take Many Forms
By Wyndi Kappes
maya vander in hospital bed after giving birth to baby girl
Maya Vander Shares How She Navigated Pregnancy After Loss of Her Son
By Wyndi Kappes
Jenna Bush Hager pictured on the Hoda and Jenna Today show on Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Jenna Bush Hager Opens Up About Her Ectopic Pregnancy
By Wyndi Kappes
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 7, 2019 in London, England
Prince Harry Believes Tabloids Played a Part in Meghan’s Miscarriage
By Wyndi Kappes
Taylor Swift performs onstage during NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 20, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee
Taylor Swift’s New Song Sparks Conversation Around Miscarriage
By Wyndi Kappes
person holding ultrasound photo
13 Different Types of Miscarriage and What They Mean
By Maggie Overfelt
best books to read after a miscarriage and best books to read to your children after having a miscarriage 2022
19 Helpful Books to Read After a Miscarriage
By Amy Stanford
Chrissy Teigen attends City Harvest Presents The 2022 Gala: Red Supper Club at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 26, 2022 in New York City
Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Her Life-Saving Abortion in 2020
By Nehal Aggarwal
mother holding baby's hand with rainbow light reflected on them
America’s First-Ever Rainbow Clinic Is Here to Help
By Wyndi Kappes
britney spears and Sam Asghari kissing on red carpet of "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" movie premiere in July 2019
Britney Spears Announces Heartbreaking Miscarriage
By Wyndi Kappes
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List