Thursday, March 30, 2017

Maybe I Wasn't Done Yet...

After I thought I was done and got all my inner most thoughts out, I was left thinking about my reflections and the things that I know now from looking in the rear view mirror. Hindsight thinking always makes things so clear. So, my hindsight realization is to follow my gut instincts. I remember watching an Oprah episode, like ten years ago, based on gut instincts. It had a panel of women that got themselves out of danger by listening to their gut. It sounds so easy to do, but why do we sometimes ignore it and think with our minds only? I don't know why this episode stuck out so much, but these ladies said you have to practice shutting down your busy mind, and often your emotions for a second to follow what your insides already know. So, I have often attempted this method of being, but feel like life makes it too noisy to do so. I must say when I was at home preparing to go back to work with our baby, I had a gut feeling that something was't right with our setup. I don't think I ever said anything out loud because this is what we had set up. See? Hindsight is so clear on how dumb that sounds, but at the time it was what we were doing. I SO wish I had stopped to be quiet for a moment and so on and so forth, but it didn't happen. So many things could have run a different path. Sigh.
All I can think about now is moving forward and taking that twinge in my gut or feeling like something just isn't right to a new level of attention.

 In fact, we have an old car wash by our house and the big kids had done a number in the back seat of the car with some Cheetos. I was oddly by myself, so I did one of those stops that you do to try to squeeze in odd ball errands while you can! I made a stop by the vacuum area of this old car wash, sort of tucked away in a tree embedded area. As I was in the back of the car, with my booty hanging out of the door, I had a stomach punch. I am putting myself in a vulnerable place and one shove and I was in a car and nobody would have been the wiser. It is stupid that I can't vacuum my chip filled car without having these concerns, but I do because I have to. Needless to say, I listened to my gut, dropped that activated suction tube and left the scene. It could have been just fine, but something triggered a reaction and I listened to it. No questions asked. And I was so proud of myself. I think before, I would have just told myself I was being silly. So, that is where I am on that. I can't decide if it is still my anxiety on high alert or if this is just me taking the time to use my Spidy senses that I have had all along. Does this happen to you guys? Do you know what I am talking about?

I would love to hear about it if you do:) I am trying to figure out where my normalcy lies and where it does not. Well, that is a slippery slope, but you guys know what I mean! Ha! Until next time, meet me out in the sunshine!


Monday, March 27, 2017

The Healing Process...

After we came home from the hospital, we were told to basically just watch the little man. I will never forget when we were coming up with a plan in the hospital, the resident neurosurgery doctor told me to prepare myself for him to possibly be MR. She followed that he was a victim of a brain injury and that it was just going to be a waiting game. We were going to have to see how the brain reacts after the swelling goes down. Pause, take a breath mamma, swallow that sentence and try to keep typing. So, we waited and watched.

As we made our way through all of the immediate issues, I didn't really panic too much on his recovery because I was kept really busy on getting my family back together.  I was focused on what had to be taken care of right then and there. Slowly, as the DPS and CPS cases cleared out, I was left with a baby that I didn't know would recover and neither did the doctors. He was showing clear gains, but I was the one who changed. My nerves had been rocked through all this. What I had seen, heard, felt, and been through had sent a shock wave down my spine. How does one stop those waves of panic? I feel like people had moved on and I was supposed to be with them. But, I was not. I was stuck in a state of panic, replaying those horrid incidents over and over again. It was hell. I couldn't escape it and obsessing over everything that took place over the last six months.

I began noticing daily headaches. I casually took some Advil and went about my day. As time went on, my headaches and face just hurt. I went to get my teeth checked and no issues came up. The dentist suggested a mouth guard, so I had one made for a $400 fix. That seemed to help some, but my headaches were still there and driving me nuts. Have you ever just had enough and decided it is time to do something, anything? Well, that is where I was. Living in purgatory is awful and exhausting!

 I decided to go to a therapist to see if I could try to unravel this ball of utter anxiety and fret that lived with me most of the time. I felt like I missed his cutie early months because I was so terrified of something bad happening again. Blah, such a helpless feeling. After a few visits, I was told that this memory flashback issue was PTSD. Makes so much sense. She said my nerves were standing straight up and I was ready. Ready for the trauma and surprise factor at any given moment. Well, apparently you can't live your life in that manner forever. If you do, you hold your breathe and your tongue pushes up on the roof of your mouth, causing a headache. I figured out the root to my headache. Retraining the tongue to relax is no easy task. But, at least I was making gains. Gaining insight on how I was going to move on and start to enjoy life again. I am working. Working on relaxing my sensors and trying to not relive those moments as much. It is getting better. One day, one run, one yoga class, one walk with my family, one happy hour with my tribe, one date night to try to talk with my husband something other than serious stuff. That baby toddler is still on track for now and we will continue to watch and follow his needs, if any, with immediate care. That is all we can do, right?

Holy smokes, have we made it? Did we get to the finish line? Well, good enough:) I have enjoyed (hard to think that word fits, but it does) "talking" with you about the mountains we were given to climb. You guys have given me a release and it is out there now. Yeah. That was my goal and it blossomed well. I really like blogging, so I will have to move on to some of that silly nonsense talk, like tragic fashion tends and funny kid stories that I would so love to think about. :) That just sounds dreamy!

Any questions? Thank you as always for helping me find the sunshine!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bills, Lots of Bills...

When all this happened, we obviously were in "go" mode with the baby's medical care. Does he need the scan to the blood work, and everything in between? Then yes. Of course, we would all do that. But, after a few months of trying to put the puzzle pieces together, bills were processed and that five night stay at the hospital, surgery, multiple MRI's, x-rays, scans, medicine, etc. were ready for payment. And by this point, my paychecks had stopped rolling in. Might I remind you that we are a household of teachers, so we are locked in with lots of bills and a 50% pay cut. I can tell you that I was starting to panic. Jeff was trying to appear calm, but I know he lost some sleep over it.

Back up to us getting removed from the CPS case. I filled out the role removal paperwork and submitted it and we were officially no longer on the list of possible suspects. With this polygraph, we were also officially removed from being pursued by the DPS. The detective said he was 90% done with us, but the polygraph sealed the deal. I remember him(detective) calling me to tell me this news and he also added that he had been in contact with the Crime Victim's Compensation program through the Attorney General. (I applied for this before we even knew what it was, but just filled out the paperwork given to us on that "go" mode) He said after a long discussion and with there being just enough evidence on our side that we qualified to get all of our bills, gas, time, and lost wages paid by this program. Wait, WHAT? The good Lord shined a beam of sunshine down on me as I sat by the window that day in a silent awe. He really went to bat for us, and I continue to send him Christmas cards every year because he showed the most of human compassion that day. He knew where we stood and made a difference in a very hard line of work to people who needed it desperately.

So, the CVC was my next job to tackle. When I say job, I mean it. I think I spent around 25 days, between naps and nighttime, working on paperwork, calls, more calls, followed by copies and faxes to get all of our information in to Austin. They ended up paying out my school year, and any doctor or hospital bill that was brought on by this crime. We are STILL dealing with getting bills paid, but that is okay. And every time I call them (which is often), I start out by telling Robert how much I appreciate this program and all they have done for us. Ol' Robert and I are besties by this point. Olga is also a big hitter too in our CVC process! We still are adjusting to one paycheck with five people in this family, but have made it work. Thanks to the help of not having medical bills piling up on us. I can not even imagine. Can not.
** When you are called to go to jury duty, please donate your money to the CVC if possible. The karma must be deposited back in that account for the next family to save at such a hard time. Thank you.

As for the legal side of the case. I can't really go into to much more. The D.A. looked over it, but there was just never enough solid evidence and there were some hairy events that muddied the water. So, it was thrown out🤥😠🤐😟

We are still working with another organization on trying to find answers, but is still on going. So, just know we are still fighting to find answers.

I will follow up with the precious babe soon and all the after shock waves that followed this storm. But for now, I will go make some lunch and listen to the rain outside. Because every time I post, I feel a lightness about me and that is a very welcomed feeling.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

One Thing at a Time...

Has your blood pressure come down after the last post? I believe I have just recovered from retelling that mess. But, it was the best and most direct decision we could have made. We had to book a family meeting with CPS and get a "plan" together on how to move on. We were SO worried that they would back out on removing us after the polygraph that was in a verbal agreement only. We couldn't get it in written form, so we were really nervous. Two weeks later we met with the CPS case worker, the director, a mediator, Jeff and I, as well as my mom and brother. It was a little room and really hot. I could feel my shirt getting sticky. As I handed over the polygraph paperwork, I pulled out my obnoxious, but overly prepared folder of notes on who stayed on what night, times and dates of phone calls. You name it, I had it down and documented. She looked at me with wide eyes. I am sure I had the look of crazy in my eyes, but COME ON. Right?

The director reviewed the results and simply sat back in her chair with a sigh and said, "I gave them my word and I always keep my word." "They need to be removed and released from this case." The case worker, who was new to our case because our original one had quit, tried to fight her on the decision. He even asked to speak to her outside and I simply asked if we could do this together in the room (he was a bit worried). But, bless this directors heart. I half way think A)she didn't think we would pass, B) we wouldn't have the money to actually have a legit test done, or C) we wouldn't want to take the test that gave us an out. She changed her tune 100% after this all transpired and I actually saw her heart of trying to do one of the hardest jobs on this planet. She was trying to protect a child when she sees the worst of the worst, day in and day out. As much as I wanted to hate her, I couldn't. I left with gratitude that someone can handle that job and also appreciation for holding up her side of the deal. We were immediately free of supervision. There we go. One thing at a time. Now, let's focus on continuing the bajillion follow up appointments for that baby and see where the legal case is at this point. The sun shined bright that evening and we could gather as a family to tuck in our babies and not one person had to watch us do it. It's the little things, right?

How are we doing out there? Are we still hanging in there on this marathon? Keep coming back, we are getting there! Thank you for sticking with it and I appreciate you coming along this journey with me.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Sweaty Truth...

This next part of the story is a doozy. The polygraph test was when I was hit with the swirling thoughts and confusion on how we were here. Did the show CSI get lost and hit us, because this is not us. However, it was us and it was so scary to think this was to fight for our kids to simply be in our care. One shot. I knew we were innocent, but I had one chance and Jeff had one chance to prove it. Straight up. CPS wanted a polygraph. DPS didn't want to waste precious time and money on us to give us a free polygraph because we were not high interest people in the case. CPS did not care. So, we had to hire a criminal lawyer to be able to attain a polygraph test from a nationally ranked institution. We wanted the best. Because CPS couldn't argue or back down on their side of the bargain of removing us from the case if we showed up with this solid piece of information, right? Well, that is where we were.

We walk in and pay our $1,800.00 to even do this. Apparently our polygrapher is on demand from many government needs, as well as personal folks like ourselves. Our lawyer worked her magic and we were in within a few days. He (The polygrapher) is a man that holds the room when he walks in. A cigar in his mouth (unlit of course), a bold and deep voice, and a presence that made me sweat on sight. I knew he was business. And here I was in a sweater, a lime green scarf, and knee boots. I just felt like I could have melted in the floor. We first had to answer a questionnaire and I did not mark something correctly and he said, "FOCUS" and, "SPEAK UP". I used all caps because he wasn't trying to be my friend. He wanted answers. We started by talking about my job and what I did in education. He was watching me. Watching my eyes, my body language, if I tilted my head to think. This lasted about an hour. The next hour was me retelling  my story about the baby as he typed it down. We went through every detail. I had dropped off the medical records earlier in the day so he could comb through those as well. He knew our story. I guess he is the best for a reason.

Moving on, I went for a restroom break and found a quiet nook in the corner of the bathroom to strike some yoga poses and TRY to find my center, because when I went was showtime. I sit down and the chair faced a wall and a cabinet. It was an old office chair that looked about twenty years old and looked like it had stories to tell. He put the stretchy wires across my chest, my stomach, my finger, and I was sitting on a pad that picked up information too! These wires were looking for pulse, movement in my pulse and the blood pressure machine was hooked up to my arm. NOW, here is the interesting part. I have to tell the truth on certain questions, such as, "You live in Texas", "You are sitting in a chair", and "Today is Tuesday". Easy enough, right? Then he would throw some questions at me that I had to picture the correct image in my head, and lie about it out loud. For example, he asked me about a time I had done something at work that I didn't want my principal to know about. In my head I had to think about a time I snuck in the back door to get to my room without having to face my trusty leader. (Sorry Mrs. Swann if you are reading this!!!) So, as I am picturing myself sneaking in the door, I would have to answer "No" in the lie detector test. There were about 3 types of questions like this. The computer could tell if my mind was focused or wandering. Meaning, I wasn't picturing my truth in my head. If it picked up on that, I would cancel out the test and it would be invalid. Yes. invalid.

Sprinkled in all these questions about nonsense were some about asking if I hurt my baby, seeing my baby get hurt, or if I knew about him being hurt. The brain is an amazing machine. After I was so used to seeing the truth in my head on the silly questions, I was so very clear on what was true and what was not in my FOCUSED brain. So, as he asked the questions about my knowing of the abuse, my head went blank. But, when I had to picture sneaking in late, I could see myself tiptoeing down the hallway. If you had a lie, this machine and this man would pick it up.

We began the test. I couldn't move or it would invalidate the test. The blood pressure cuff cut off my circulation and after the three minutes, my pinky was twitching apparently. He was NOT happy about that movement and said it counted against me. (?) He told me I better get it together and focus. So, on round 2 of the 3 tests, I did better. He said my mind wandered some, and to only think about my truths in my head. Well, with about thirty seconds of quiet between each question, you start to think about what is going on and such. Well, don't do that. The computer doesn't want small talk in your head. By round three. I think I had a near perfect test. I pulled it together and you get your score right there. I was at 98% of no deception, or telling the truth. He said my 178 heart rate was not in my corner and counted for the two percent. Ha. I mean, really. Some things you just can't help. He mentioned that the death row inmate that sat in the chair from the day before was crying like a little boy. So, I felt like a total bad ass. He reads people for a living and said he knew I didn't do it after talking to me for a bit. He also added that he went easy on me because I was trying so hard. Lordy Mercy on Heaven's Gate, can you even? He might have killed me with too much more.

Jeff was next and he completed 99% of no deception on his test. His one percent was with a wandering issue on the first test. DON"T WANDER JEFF:)

 So there you have it. I felt so justified because we had many people doubt that this could have happened, and all we could say was that it had. At least we had some strong evidence that we had been seeking for months on end. We showed up to play and got the proof we needed to clear ourselves from CPS and the DPS on one sheet of paper.

Crazy huh? I will go get my little buddy and go on a walk to celebrate the sunshine and tests that can literally prove ones innocence. That test was what we needed to move on and I am so thankful for that.

See you soon::) Jenn

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

59 Days and One Bathroom...

Hey guys. Sorry for the lull. We have had a birthday, Spring Break, and a toddler taking the fireplace covers off the fireplace for weeks on end, to then tripping and falling face first on said fireplace. It was a hard hit on his precious head and on my heart. So, we are just coming out of the woods on that bit of continued head drama. BUT, he will be fine:) Thank the Lord above.

I have had some awesome friends text and ask what the hold up was on this blog and it made my day. I love that I get to tell my story and people actually want to read it. Kind of like an accident on the side of the road or a bad episode of Vanderpump Rules (Bravo at its best!) You know the story is hard and such, but I believe people can relate on life trials, no matter what the topic. So, let's keep peckin' away.

Immediately, we had a new roommate at our house. My mom and brother really did swoop in and save our little family. They literally quit jobs, used sick days saved to take off for us, and came on an every other night rotation. They truly rose to the occasion and we will forever be indebted to them. We would cook dinner and have them both meet over here to talk about our latest phone calls, character witness progress, lawyer hunt, detective update, polygraph appointments, and so on and so forth. The kids ate it up. They loved all the company and play partners to tuck them in. I mean, Jeff and I couldn't be in the room alone with the kids, so they literally had a fan club following them around!

I can laugh about it now, but our guest bathroom had a bunk shower that we had talked about replacing since we moved into this house 9 years ago. I was sad we had not done that when we had an extra adult living with us for 59 days. I bet they wished we had to. Needless to say, the bathroom has been redone, with a second working shower. Perhaps too late? Perhaps.

The baby was home and recovering with a tube (shunt) on the back side of his head. It drains the fluid and goes all the way down to his stomach to empty the fluid into his urine. So amazing really. It was a tough surgery on his comfort level, but he was feeling better after a week or so. His head expanded with all the pressure, so even though the fluid was draining, his head size is well off the charts at the pediatrician's office. He will have to grow into it, which is okay since he is a big, little dude anyways.

Meanwhile, I had to call my principal at the school I worked at to give our story, so she knew I was going to have to leave my teaching gig right then and there. I had a dynamite group of co-workers that took care of my school stuff. I remember getting a call from my friend Shannon while in the hospital, telling me to hold off on making any emotional decisions. She said my school would hold my job and I had to think before I acted. I did end up leaving mid-year to stay at home, but boy was it nice to feel so loved and supported. Once again. The kindness of friends in these times make me realize how lucky I am in life.

We had to wait weeks at a time to get answers from cps. I mean....WAIT. Wait on this report, that meeting, a phone call. It was brutal. They FINALLY gave us an ultimatum to either wait on the investigation to be completed (which was not going anywhere because the other pending party hired a lawyer) or we could polygraph and clear ourselves. Finally. Ok. Let's do this.

A polygraph it is.

This is a good stopping place for now. I feel like I am all over the place, but that is about right. We spent our days in this very place. Instead of finding the sunshine today, I shall find my bed. Hopefully, I can dream of things that are not stitches and blood. Ugh. I am still coming off that fireplace incident if you can't tell.

Thank you to all that came back to see me. I appreciate you being here.

- Jenn

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Here Comes the Law...

Hi! Welcome back. I have had to muster up some guts to start sharing this blog with the friends in my life. My first instinct is to bury this mess deep down and pretend it didn't happen. So, thank you for letting me share with you, out there. My audience of compassion, love, and unwavering support. (Insert mushy virtual hugs to all!)

Ok, are we ready to go on? So, as we were getting settled in our room. Jeff went to go pick up the big kids after school. They were terribly worried. They had not seen their mamma or their baby brother in 24 hours and that was scary for them. And rightfully so. He was going to bring them up to hug us all and to have a family meeting on the plan for the next few days. They like to be involved with the planning. It is a calming habit for us all. It felt like we were getting our ducks in a row. HA!

Before Jeff got back with the older kids, I had a drop in visit from a Dallas Police Officer. He was dressed in black slacks, a black polo and carried a black brief case. He got me out in the hallway table fast and with little chat. THANK GOD my wonderful friend Cortney had just happen to stop by to hold my strong baby and to be a touch stone for this intense night.
It was a coincidence, but I think the big guy upstairs knew I needed a person in my corner!

As all the nurses watched us and whispered to each other as we crossed the waiting area by the room. I was hot and my ears burned. I looked guilty to them. Which is just such a crazy thing to imagine, but they don't know me and I didn't know them. However, I didn't have too much time to feel. We started the interrogation. He was soft spoken and so kind. I know that sounds weird, but he just asked very direct questions and jotted down the answers as we went along. I was oddly calm because I knew I had nothing to hide. He took my phone and copied some text messages. And that's when two case workers from cps showed up. They just joined in. So, a round table included myself on one side, a detective on one side, and cps on the other. They were now typing my responses. Two hours later, we were done and Jeff just happened to show up with the big kids. They swooped him to the hallway table quickly. They didn't want us talking. Which is how I preferred it. We had had a plan of transparency and that is what sends a clear message in our situation, right?

I didn't cry one tear that night (shock had set in) until cps interviewed my kids to see if they were safe at home. I couldn't be there in the interview, but I stood across the room so my babies could see me and know they were okay. But, the ladies were very nice and talked to kids in such a light way. They are trained to do this and I knew they would be fine. Heck, they thought it was fun. Most importantly, they shined with manners, kindness, and love. The message was loud and clear that these kids had a good home.

I went back to the room to see my sleeping baby and Jeff left to take the big kids home and spend the night with them to snuggle and love on them. I heard a faint knock was on the hospital door. The cps case worker in training (who I am not kidding looked 15) had tears in her eyes. She said they talked to their director and they were fighting for us. I literally dropped to my knees. I knew what was coming. They told me the kids were going to have to removed from our home.
(STOP the presses. You know that mamma bear that lies quietly until woken up to fight a battle? Well, it is all true. Fight or flight. This bear took on FIGHT mode. I just had to give you feel of the room at this time. Carry on!)

And granted these case workers were on our side, but I flipped my fuc&ing lid. (I had to cuss to give you my level of crazy!) SO, at 10 p.m., we came to a deal to have someone live with us and watch Jeff and I with the kids. Which is so wild and crazy, but ok. They can stay with us. OK. At 11:00 p.m., the case worker met my mom and I (Jeff was shipped back to the hospital) at the house to do a surprise house visit to make sure our home was good for all the kids to live in. She was sold on us when she saw a Christmas tree with presents, baby locks on the cabinets, a bed for every person, working lights, food in the fridge. Stuff we take for granted were every sign that we were a great family that made sure our people were safe. But, we had to prove it to the director. Until then, we had my mom or brother come live with us for the next fifty nine days. We had to figure out how to work our way up the system, which is not as easy as it sounds. (Insert vomit emoji)

So, our next two months were getting the baby through surgery to drain the fluid off of his brain, a full blown investigation with DPS on who hurt him, and a side gig with cps to prove ourselves as safe parents. Can you even? I wonder some days how we made it. I guess that bear was working it out to keep up the fight.

OH MY WORD. I am mad just thinking about all this. It's okay bear, you can go back to sleep...this is just a bad nightmare at this point! Blah.

But on a different note. I need someone to follow this blog and someone to comment! I will feel so official! AND really I am not sure how everything works, so I just want to see it first hand!:) Thank you:)
I know you know that I need the sunshine stat after this hogwash. But, I have to admit it feels good to GET IT OUT! Mamma is getting lighter as we speak!

Let's do it again soon, okay?


Monday, March 6, 2017

One Second at a Time...

Now that I opened this can of worms, I suppose I will keep going. Okay, my fellow friends, come gather around as the saga continues. Where were we?

Yes, in the ambulance and headed towards a hospital that could take the best care of my little 9 week old buddy. I was warned by the ambulance driver to prepare myself. That many different people were going to come at us and to just be as honest and ready as possible. My mind was a tornado, shuffling through what was going on vs. what happened vs. how vs. why, etc. and so forth. However. I must say how kind he was, the ambulance driver. I forced a few questions out and I feel like he could see right through me and just stated some hospital facts and sprinkled some kindness of us doing the right thing. I obviously was sucking up any positive moments to meet my emotional starvation and gloom. I think about that kind man now and again and feel grateful that he was our driver that day.

When we arrived, he wasn't lying. We must have been approached by ten different doctors of all sorts, asking us to retell our history, starting when the baby got sick. Jeff and I joked that we would take turns because it was so many times. Looking back, they did that on purpose. If you are not telling the truth, I imagine retelling your story would get shuffled and mixed up if you didn't have that concrete memory in your brain. So, of course, we matched up every time and things stayed exactly as they happened.

We then began the testing phase. X-rays, CT scans, measurements, blood samples. You name it, we did it all in about a 12 hour time frame. They couldn't decide where to place us in the hospital. Like, what area of focus. So, they started us off in trauma. This is the place where people are in car accidents, or something like that to cause trauma to your body. They wanted us to start there to see if he had any broken bones or issues from any other signs of abuse. (Gulp....that statement was hard to write)

He didn't. Although, his head size had grown from all the fluid and blood around the subdural portion of his brain. We had to watch for seizures and sun-setting. That is where the pressure on the brain causes the eyes to look down only. But, he was a bad ass little kid and could tolerate all the changes in his body. Can I give him a trophy for that? Maybe a certificate of toughness? I think so. Man, already a hero at such a young age. Lordy Mercy.

I suppose this is where the police and cps got involved. However, loyal friends. My stomach is in a knot. Tough entry on this mamma. SO, I will stop there and go find the sunshine. Today's sunshine may come with high wind and clouds, but for the love...I will get it in. :)

Until next time.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Let's Get Started...

I have putting off this post. Kind of like putting off cleaning the bathroom. Just hoping you forget about it. However, the son of a gun just keeps creeping up in your "to-do" list replayed in your head.

FINE, brain. I will just do it and get the ball rolling. You get on my nerves, brain. BTW.

So, I had a healthy baby boy in the Fall of 2015. Big ol' boy, close to ten pounds and just a nugget of sweetness. I got to stay home from teaching for nine weeks and just enjoyed every moment of his kind and gentle nature. The week after Thanksgiving, my life was turned upside down. I was missing him as I went back to work and made it about a week back with getting the new normal in place of dropping him off at his child care home. Then my fresh, new baby starting throwing up. He was not able to get his nightly bottle down. We assumed the same the awful tummy bug that had been going around had hit our new bundle. Sadly, the vomiting continued and it came with an achy baby, who cried with movement and blood in his urine. After a trip to the pediatric doctor and the ER two times in two days. Ten doctors finally entered the room after the critical CT scan. An ambulance pulled up to get our baby hooked up for a transport to a different and larger hospital. They were mad and sharp. "Someone has shaken your baby", he says. We were told that the next few days would be hell and he was very sick. I dropped to my knees and literally started blacking out. It was awful, yet stamped on my brain for...forever. The smell, colors on the wall, the nurse telling me to pull in together. It's like I was in a bubble and everyone else was in slow motion. Trying to think, trying to remember...who had my baby? When was he out of our care? So, I call. I call that person and ask her, "What happened with my baby?" She has nothing to say to help. But, no time to question her then. I had to board the ambulance and my husband has to follow in our car. We drive off and I am quiet. My head tells me to talk. I am now on the defense to fight for my kid and show anyone in my path that my husband and I are innocent. 

This is when shit got real.

Ok, brain. I have to stop there. Opening this wound is hard. But, my goal is to not hold it in. Someone out there needs my story as they are embarking on a journey close to ours. I am lucky. I have an amazing husband, family, and friends that walked side by side with me. It is not lost on me to stop and be thankful for that. 


Now I have to go find the sunshine! For real. This wound is deep and hard, but if I can help just one person. That helps.

- Jenn