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'Losing a child is like losing a future': Idaho mother coping with her son's stillbirth six years later

Posted at 4:50 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 10:38:53-04

March 16 marked six years since one Idaho mother lost her first child — a boy she would later name Daniel.

At 38 weeks, Brendy McConnaughey knew she was in labor. She and her husband made their way to their birth center only to be sent home.

"Losing a child is like losing a future," McConnaughey said.

In the U.S., one in 160 babies is stillborn each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts say the cause behind one-third of those births is unknown.

"Kids aren't supposed to die. They're just not, and we're not prepared to deal with that," said Kymber Jenkins, CEO of the Treasure Valley Trauma Intervention Program.

The Treasure Valley Trauma Intervention Program has helped Idahoans experiencing extreme trauma in chaotic environments for the past six years.

TIP of the Treasure Valley was founded in 2015, the same year they were dispatched to McConnaughey's home after Daniel's stillbirth.

Following the loss of her son, heartbreaking reminders kept coming McConnaughey's way — bills from the hospital and doctors reaching the thousands. But the physical reminders were the most painful.

Idaho mother coping with her son's stillbirth 6 years later

"Nobody thinks about the fact about you have milk and there’s no baby, you know, it’s just a reminder. Everything every day is a reminder that there should be a baby in your arms," she said.

McConnaughey, her husband, and her daughter find time each year to remember the life Daniel could have lived. She said after the experience with the Treasure Valley Trauma Intervention Program, she hopes to become a volunteer soon to pay forward the support she was given six years ago.