MacKenzie R’s Story

Cameron and I have been together since our freshman year in high school, we are high school sweethearts who have been very much in love since September 19, 2018.

Our first child together was miscarried in July of 2019, we were going into our sophomore year. We weren’t ready to be parents yet. The pregnancy was kept a secret out of fear so I never received any prenatal care. The day I lost our baby I was at home alone. I lost my baby in the bathroom. I will never know how far along I was or why I lost my baby. Even though we weren’t ready to be parents, the loss was the most devastating thing I’d ever experienced. We grieved in silence for several years before telling anyone.

Our second child also wasn’t planned but we welcomed them with arms wide open. Baby was confirmed to have no heartbeat in December of 2022. I don’t have any known health issues so the reasons are unknown as to why I haven’t had a successful pregnancy yet.

I got a positive pregnancy test one month after losing our baby in 2022. On Easter of 2023, I cracked open an egg and found out I was carrying a baby boy. It was a very exciting and emotional day for us because we never made it this far with our previous pregnancies. We named our son Cameron Louis Giovanni Zezza Jr. Our son was very healthy and active in the womb. The doctors told us he was perfect at every appointment. I was thrilled every time I felt his movement.

I never imagined this would be a reality for me, I was very grateful to have him. He took my world and filled it up with so much happiness, I hadn’t been happy for a very long time. I never took one moment for granted. I made my little boy a whole playlist of songs he kicked to the most. I danced and sang to him every day, that was our routine. I still listen to his playlist every day.

In July, we moved from TN to SC. It was a very last minute decision to move but we did it with CJ’s best interest in mind. After a week and a half of being settled in SC, one day I noticed that I didn’t feel him move since the night before. So I waited and I did everything I could think of to get him to move again. I was drinking water, taking a walk around the neighborhood, eating the sugary foods all in hopes to feel movement again. My mother told me that sometimes my brother had quiet days in the womb, so I thought this must be one of those days and everything would be fine the next day.

I went to bed and woke up and still didn’t feel movement. I went to the ER alone and I was thinking that he would show the doctors I was just overreacting. He wasn’t fine, there wasn’t a heartbeat, and I dealt with receiving all of the bad news alone. He had a tightly twisted umbilical cord due to lots of movement, it cut off his blood supply. He had been deceased inside me for almost a whole two days. I called CJ’s father and he arrived to the hospital, shortly after he arrived I was induced.

CJ was born on August 1st 2023 at 7:21am. He was 29w3d and we were supposed to be in the safe zone. Getting to hold our baby for the first time came with lots of emotions. He was so beautiful, he looked very peaceful. We listened to our playlist together like we always did and we danced our first and last dance. I watched the nurses bathe my baby and then they dressed him up in a gown that was donated to us by another loss mom. Anything we could have brought for him would’ve swallowed him whole, the gown fit him perfectly. They took hand/feet prints, and they clipped a piece of his blonde hair for me to keep. We sat there for hours holding and admiring our son until it was time for us to say goodbye.

The thought of someone else walking away with my baby was unbearable, so I made the choice to walk him to the nursery after our hospital stay was over. Once the nurse opened the door to the nursery I heard the living babies crying. This made my heart hurt more than ever before, this was the hardest goodbye. I have never screamed and cried so loud before in my whole life.

A couple months went by, in the midst of the grief of our son I got a positive pregnancy test on October 16 2023. This is our triple rainbow baby! Out of fear of not bringing this baby home we have decided to not announce until 35wks, possibly even waiting until birth to announce. On Valentine’s Day 2024 we found out at our anatomy scan that we were having a little girl. We were so happy, but it was still so hard for us to allow ourselves to feel joy out of guilt that our son would think we were replacing him. After having some long conversations together, we both have come to the conclusion that he would want us to be happy instead of spending the rest of our lives sad.

After passing 29w3d, we have now started allowing ourselves to feel joy and be hopeful that we will bring this baby home. We have named our precious triple rainbow Sunny Belle Zezza. I never knew I’d be making friends with other loss moms after my son was born. Loss moms are the only ones who have been able to help me through these hard times.

A mom named Eliza Perez donated the gowns to the hospital where I delivered my son. I got one for my son to wear and an extra one to take home with me as a keepsake. She left a note encouraging me to treasure the last moments with my baby, it also included her story. Eliza was the first person to let me know I wasn’t alone in this pain. Her and many other loss mommies have taken their pain and used it to help others in the same shoes. Loss moms are some of the most selfless and strongest people I’ve ever met. They are the only ones who have been able to build me back up and encourage me to keep going despite everything. Without them I don’t think I’d be here today.

The rainbow skirt lays across the sand. A large teddy bear and two smaller ones sit on the rainbow skirt next to a photo of MacKenzie's stillborn baby boy.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. Her husband stands behind her and she holds three teddy bears.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. Her husband stands with her and they stand on the beach.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. Her husband stands with her and they stand on the beach in front of a wooden bridge.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. Her husband stands with her. They had a baby onesie that reads "Sunny Belle".

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. She holds a teddy bear with a shirt reading "Cameron" in one hand and two smaller bears in her other hand.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. She stands on a beach in front of a long wooden bridge.

MacKenzie wears a pink dress and the rainbow skirt. Her husband stands with her and they hold hands walking on the beach.

Photos taken by M&S Photography.

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