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Was blind but now I see - Carri Me Away


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We just discovered a cache of screenshots from Carri Me Away.

I was not an FJ member when these events happened, so I'll leave it to those who were to explain the situation and answer questions. I know this much: it ended in tragedy.

It will take several posts to get all the screenshots uploaded.

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I can give a quick overview of what happened. Carri Chmielewski was orignially discovered when she posted about using the "family cloth" aka cutting up strips of fabric and using them instead of toilet paper. This was discussed at length here http://freejinger.yuku.com/topic/602#.VK7BtyvF_zk

The family had 8? children, all home schooled by Carri who was a SAHM. She was extremely active in the cloth diaper world and had a strong presence on the "diaper sewing divas" site.

It really came to a head when she was late in her pregnancy with, what she believed to be, twins. Her midwife, Brandi Woods, was the sole medical care during this late stage. SHE WAS HUGE but was told that she was having twins. Her crack midwife went along with it and they planned a homebirth.

The pregnancy continued and her health worsened. We urged her to seek medical treatment and she refused. Her BP was high and she was complaining of extreme fatigue. Time passed and she was nearing her due date. She began to get a bit desperate and questioned what she was doing. She quickly stayed her homebirth course by steadying herself with the bible and youtube videos about birthing twins.

And then she went into labor... and things went south fast. The local Fox station played the 911 call where she begged to go to the hospital. Once she got there she was rushed in for emergency surgery. She had to have an emergency hysterectomy and the baby, Beneniah, died. She almost died as well.

Her husband, Mark Chmielewski posted to the blog that the condition had nothing to do with the homebirth. It was a blatent lie. She posted pictures of the dead baby and media outlets began asking questions. Then the blog and their entire internet presence was scrubbed.

Our thread is here:

http://freejinger.yuku.com/topic/664/t/ ... K7BSCvF_zk

The midwife is still practicing

home4birth.com

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According to Carri's blog post above, the name was supposed to be "Benaiah."

And I am an awful person, because I'm calling that baby Benihana in my head (you know, that teppanyaki restaurant place where they cook in front of you on a flattop grill).

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And I am an awful person, because I'm calling that baby Benihana in my head (you know, that teppanyaki restaurant place where they cook in front of you on a flattop grill).

I've done the same thing. She started an organization called "Beniah's wings" right after the death. She made outfits for babies that die to wear. She's spelled his name so many different ways, though.

She does appear to still be on facebook here:

facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001816288921

There are some pictures that are public but not much. I wonder what the kids are up to, whether she gave up some of the headcovering ways, maybe even let her kids go to school. I doubt it, but one can hope.

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  • 1 year later...

I began my RN career a few moons ago as a labor and delivery nurse.  Being relatively new to FJ, and having just reached 75 posts, this is just nothing short of a horror story.  RIP baby Ben, you didn't have to die.  SHAME!

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I remember reading this on diaper sewing divas as it unfolded.  I thought it was an embolism?  Was it ever confirmed what truly happened?

I remember Carrie as very sweet and very earnest, but suggestible and easily swayed.  I do think I remember the midwife being an ignorant ideological nutjob.  I'll have to go back and look at the screencaps, as much as I can handle anyway.  If I remember correctly, we were pregnant near the same time and that shit scared me to death.  

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  • 1 year later...
7 hours ago, Buzzard said:

I think about Carri and her children a lot. 

Of all the FJ stories Carrie has always stood out for me.  I remember reading that thread when I was still a lurker and being horrified. 

I hope she can find peace and happiness now that she has broken free. Stories like Carrie are so important for us to remember. For all the "perfect" looking patriarchal families like Erin and Chad Bates there are so many Carries who suffering greatly under the patriarchy. 

Edited by formergothardite
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I don't think I've ever heard of her before.  What an awful story!  To think that someone actually lived it, it's just horrible.  I'm glad she's finally free, but as you said - a very great cost.  Her sons are probably going to follow their father's example, but at least there is some hope for her daughters to have a real future.

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Everything about this breaks my heart. I don't have the words to express the depths of my hatred for fundamentalism and the abusive men that use it as a cover for their vile victimization of women and children. Carrie and those kids deserved so much better. 

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I'm so glad to hear she's out. I hope things only continue to improve for her. I can't even imagine the amount of strength and hard work it took for her to leave. It's so tragic that anyone was ever abused and hurt the way she was, and it kills me to know it happens every day. Thank you for the in-depth and thoughtful post, @Buzzard

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I remember her story very well, and how awful it was to see it all going down. I have thought about her often over the years, and wondered how her life turned out.

I didn’t know about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her piece of shit husband, but I am so glad to hear that she has gotten out and has begun a new life. I wish her the best.

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Wasn't there another fundy wife who seemed to love her life and then died in a car accident that was actually a suicide?  I might have it all wrong, because that happened before I started reading FJ, but I think I heard a few mentions of it way back then.

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Glad she’s out.

I noticed on the Facebook link that he’s friends with Wendy Jeub and Gregg Harris. There’s a lot of scripture on that Facebook. Jarring contrast to the bruises in the photos on this thread.

I wish her and her children well. Hope her sons can come to their senses somehow.

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1 hour ago, Flossie said:

Wasn't there another fundy wife who seemed to love her life and then died in a car accident that was actually a suicide?  I might have it all wrong, because that happened before I started reading FJ, but I think I heard a few mentions of it way back then.

If it's the one I'm thinking of (cant' remember the name) but they were fundy lite adoptive family??  They had several kids, then adopted several from Africa I think.  She posted very upbeat stuff, I really enjoyed her blog, to be honest.  Kids were super cute, then she committed suicide in the family van.  Apparently she had depression, possibly bipolar?? Jenny something was her name.  Last name was Grolius or something? 

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