Not everyone lives on their “birth” day.

*Trigger warning*

This blog talks about baby death, and violent acts committed against a baby.

Do you know where you were last year on October 5th?

That happens to be my birthday, so I know exactly what I was doing. I wasn’t working for starters. I was home that day with the kids, drinking chai tea all day long. Mid morning I went for a walk at my favorite park. I took a bunch of photos and thought about all the things in my life I am grateful for.

Enjoying morning cuddles before a walk.

In another town not so far away there was a very different story unfolding.

A woman was giving birth to her baby, a baby that she did not want. So after he was born she killed him. She hit him in the head, more than once, and put him a garbage can in her basement.

Disturbing isn’t the word to describe this scene. It doesn’t illicit the absolute horror that this actually was.

That was a year ago, it took 11 months to arrest her. I was driving home from work when I heard her indictment announced in the radio. I damn near drove off the road.

The next day was my daughters birthday, Laurel was turning 15. She had asked me to make her a collage board for her party and my car was filled with the supplies to put it all together for her.

That night I sat on the floor of our spare bedroom looking at all the pictures of her and I just cried. Laurel was born at 38 weeks. The baby that had been killed was born at 38 weeks. I looked at the picture of her naked little body on the first night she was born and sobbed. How could anyone do that to such an innocent baby?

Laurel on the night she was born.

What was so hard for me to wrap my head around was the concept of control. So often (99.9% of the time) I work with moms and dads who lose their babies for reasons beyond their control. Placenta abruption, a true knot in the cord, trisomy 13 or 18 … But this… this was in someone’s control. Someone made a decision to harm their baby in the most horrific way possible. It didn’t make sense.

I started to think about the Safe Haven Act and why this mom didn’t use that option. Did she even know about it? If she did was she afraid that someone would not honor the law and try to come after her? Was she afraid that she would be arrested for abandonment? I don’t know the answer, but I plan to find out.

In the meantime I have made calls to a local NYS senator’s office to amend the law. New York State does not allow drop boxes for babies, I plan to change that. Drop boxes are quite literally a place where a mother can drop a baby into a temperature controlled box and walk away without ever interacting with an actual person. It has saved the lives of many babies in other states who have implemented them with the amendment to the law.

A drop box which has a silent alarm
to notify first responders.

At some point I may need the support of my family and friends via emails and donations to make this happen. I hope that people will help me to make this a reality here in Buffalo so that no other full term baby has to lose it’s life needlessly.

In grief groups we talk about the goal of grief being to remember forever, not mourn forever. I’m still in mourning for this baby and I’m hoping that by doing something meaningful to honor him and never forget him that my sadness will shift.

In brain tumor news, sorry for the ridiculously long delay, my last scan in June was stable. I have asked for the MRIs to be spaced out to one year but they declined and compromised with 9 months instead. I’ll take what I can get.

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