Shawna’s Story


In December 2020, I gave birth to my first child. His birth was extremely traumatic and opened so many doors for me to educate myself before deciding to have another.

A day after his first birthday, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby. This time around, I immediately reached out to a home birth midwife, and planned to have my redemptive, healing birth. I had a weird feeling about telling people and strongly encouraged my husband to not tell anyone just yet as I was nervous something wasn’t right.

Our first appt was on a Friday, at 11 weeks pregnant. My midwife had spent an hour doing vitals, talking with me and educating me even more. When it came time to try to hear a heart beat, she could not find anything. She attempted for about 10 minutes, and asked if she could perform a vaginal exam. On exam she stated my uterus did not appear to be large for a 11 week pregnancy, and she recommended lab work +|- ultrasound. My heart sank, as this fear for some reason had been in my head this entire pregnancy.

I was nervously hopeful that maybe baby was okay, and I just wasn’t as far along as I thought, and then I started spotting Saturday night. My husband was in the shower, and I went into the bathroom and noticed blood in my underwear. I said his name and immediately started uncontrollably crying, my fears had come true. The following Monday was Valentine’s Day. The spotting had not picked up in fact it had slowed, and the constant feeling of not knowing was becoming overwhelming.

Because I had hired a home birth midwife, OBGYN offices were not easy to get into, so I went to a family planning location where ultrasound was available, and I went alone. My husband had been at work, and I needed answers. The ultrasound tech was so gentle and caring. Baby was small, and on external ultrasound, no heartbeat. She had asked to do a vaginal to confirm, so she left the room and I undressed. When she came back, she brought her manager, who sat beside me in the dark, and looked at the screen while holding my hand, and cried with me during the moment I heard those 6 dreaded words. “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” After hearing the news, the woman held my hand over my belly, and prayed. She prayed that I would get the chance to meet this baby again down the road, prayed for my healing emotionally and physically, and prayed that this baby knew that they were loved, and wanted. This was such a memorable moment in my loss story. 

I thought I needed the distraction and went to work over the next few days. The spotting was inconsistent, but every day was a constant reminder that I was actively losing my baby (who had actually passed 6 weeks ago/MMC). On Friday, I had left work a little early, came home to get my husband and we went out to the grocery store. On the drive around 5pm, I started getting some cramping that was manageable, but uncomfortable. By the time we got home, I found myself on the floor on all 4s, trying to find a comfortable position. I skipped dinner, and we laid down on the couch to watch a movie after my son went to bed.

I tossed and turned for probably 30 minutes before getting up and telling my husband I had to move around, I went to the bathroom, and started passing large blood clots, the contractions had picked up quickly and there were no breaks between. We called my midwife as I wasn’t sure at what point was too much blood. She could hear on the phone how much distress I was in, and recommended a hot shower to keep my muscles relaxing since I was getting no breaks between contractions. After getting in the shower, I was able to sway and moan my way through each contraction, all while more clots continued to pass. About 30 minutes later around 10pm, I had passed the largest portion of what was left in my shower. The pain immediately subsided and my husband helped clean me up and get me to bed, and called my midwife. 

This experience was again, traumatic, as I wasn’t expecting a full on labor for 5 hours for such a small baby. This is not something often discussed or warned about. I was however happy to have delivered our sweet baby bee in the comfort of our home, with just my husband and I. The following months, I continued to see Bees, and feel a sense of calm when I would see them. 

On the day before the weekend of our due date, I was driving to work and there was a double rainbow in the sky. I remember feeling so at peace and texting my husband that I was sent a sign. The next morning I got a positive pregnancy test. I was torn between fear and crying happy tears. I remember through the tears thanking our angel bee (I feel like she was as girl), for sending us another baby to love. 

We are now expecting our rainbow baby girl in May, and the rainbow skirt will be worn on Valentine’s Day to honor our sweet bee and the new blessing she is sending to us.  

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt.  She holds her pregnant belly.

A pink stuffed bunny sits on the rainbow skirt with an ultrasound picture.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt.  It flows out behind her.

A pink stuffed bunny sits on the rainbow skirt with an ultrasound picture and a yellow stuffed bee.

A pink stuffed bunny sits on the rainbow skirt with an ultrasound picture and a yellow stuffed bee.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt.  She holds her pregnant belly and stands next to two big trees.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt.  A yellow stuffed bee sits at the bottom of the skirt.

Shawna wears a white jumpsuit and the rainbow skirt.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt and holds it out on both sides with her hands.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt and stands on a road lined with trees.

Shawna wears the rainbow skirt.  She holds up the skirt on one side.

Photos taken by Brandon Reisner.

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