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Category Archives: children

Guest Post: Silent Miscarriage

This one is near and dear to my heart, as I have two adopted kids. My ex and I were also unable to have another child and suffered a devastating loss when our daughter died at 32 weeks of gestation. There are few things out there more devastating and heartbreaking than having to give birth to a child you know is dead. Having suffered regular miscarriages as well, I am well familiar with what the author of this article – an Army buddy of mine – is feeling. The heartbreak is no less real, and as I tried to get past my own feelings at the time, I also noted with some degree of bitterness that while we were having trouble keeping a baby, my brother and his wife – drug addicts whose children we had to adopt due to neglect brought on by the situation – had started talking about having yet another kid! They didn’t seem to have any trouble conceiving and keeping a baby! (At the time I told my dad that if they even tried to have another kid after giving both of theirs up for adoption due to their inability and unwillingness to give up their drug use, I’d go over there and yank her uterus out through her ass.) Meanwhile, those of us fighting to have children had to face sometimes insurmountable adoption or in vitro costs, as well as multiple heartbreaks every time the child we wanted so badly died.

So here’s Carmen’s story. Please read and share.


By Carmen

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was absolutely elated, but being the realist that I am (o.k., negative person) I prepared myself for signs of a miscarriage. I’m not sure why exactly, apart from the fact that I conceived my first child in the midst of an tumultuous  first marriage to a high school sweetheart and let’s face it, things that seem perfect have a tendency to get ruined.

I met my husband about seven years ago and after spending a year long-distance dating, we got married. We didn’t meet online, but instead met playing softball and reconnected a year after my divorce and a year into my husband’s active duty Army contract in Germany. When he returned home, we decided to take it slow, focusing on his career, college, and building our ideal home. After a few months of trying, I noticed my boobs were extremely sore while I was away on a routine business trip. This particular symptom was the tell-tale sign of my first pregnancy, so I decided to take a test. When it came up positive, we were beside ourselves.

My husband was everything my first partner wasn’t. He was there, and not out of guilt. He anxiously waited for cravings to jump into the car at a moment’s notice and appease them. He fetched me Tums when my heartburn was acting up; lectured me about my caffeine intake and told me to take it easy at spin class. We wanted to wait to share the good news with our now six-year-old, but I noticed that Brad (the husband) would lash out at Gabriel (the son), whenever he would lay on my stomach or ask me to jump on the trampoline. Looking back now, he really just wanted Gabriel to see me the way that he did, not the rough and tumble mom and Soldier I once was, but the fragile, baby factory I had become.

I should probably mention at this point, I am in the Army too, and have been about a decade longer than my husband. I had to be especially cautious to get my appointments taken care of because as a member of the National Guard, our Annual Training was coming up, as was my Officer Candidate Course I knew full well I could not participate in as an expectant mother. So I scheduled the earliest appointment I could, but in the meantime we shopped for baby toys and clothes, things I had long since parted with. We cleared out the guest room, chose a spot for the crib, registered at a baby store and set out to tell our closest friends and family. We even had announcement photos taken during our trip to Disney World. In fact, every photo I took I had my hand on my belly so I could one day tell my child that she went to Disney World before she was born. Yes, she was a girl. I had always planned to name my daughter Emily Jane after my late grandmother but one night I had a dream about our baby. I held her in my arms and I told someone standing next to me that her name was Ayden. I looked it up the following morning and found out that it meant “fire.”

Two days after our return from Disney, I was measuring about six weeks based on the date of my last period. I walked into my Daytona-based OBGYN full of hope and excited to see baby Ayden. As I said before, I was prepared for cramps, bleeding, some sign that this pregnancy was not meant to be, but none presented itself, and nothing prepared me for what was about to follow. The sonogram technician could not locate a heartbeat. “No big deal,” I told myself. I was three weeks pregnant with Gabriel when I peed on a stick the first time, so maybe I just wasn’t as far along than I thought. The doctor came in to speak with me however, and informed me that I had a 50/50 shot of having an abnormal pregnancy, one in which I would eventually miscarry or the baby would fail to form. It appeared that I had a fertilized egg and a sack but nothing else. Even thought I had all the symptoms of being pregnant I would not stay that way.

She recommended labs to measure my HCG levels. At the point I was at, they should be doubling. I had them checked the week prior and they were 850. I went to check out choking back sobs and snapped at the secretary trying to schedule me for my next ultrasound when she said “Is this a surprise? Aren’t you excited?” Honestly, don’t these people read charts before popping off at the mouth?! I managed to hold everything in until I reached the car and called my husband, the super excited, amazing father-to-be to tell him everything was not right with the world. In short, I lost it. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t speak. I just sobbed uncontrollably into the phone, but even in the face of all that negativity, he held out hope that everything would be fine.

When I finally made it to the lab location, I handed the nurses my chart with tears in my eyes. The bitch looked right at me and said “everything happens for a reason.” I wanted to scream. I wanted to shout: “what reason?!” Did I commit some unspeakable sin? Did I cut someone off in traffic earlier that day? Was I going to win a million dollars then next morning but could only collect if I had no baby? What the hell were they saying that to me for?

We waited and prayed for a week, even after the levels came back slightly less than double. We reached out to our church friends who had been praying for us to conceive. We were heartbroken but continued on like we were still going to have a healthy, beautiful baby. Against the orders of my nurse sister-in-law, I poured over internet questions about this issue. The only names I could find for this situation was “blighted ovum,” “silent miscarriage” and “missed abortion.” In almost every situation, the doctor could not find a heartbeat but a few weeks later the pregnant woman returned, undeterred, until finally a heartbeat was found. Other than a few questions in Google, nothing was written on the subject.

My husband and I decided to get a second opinion. It obviously wasn’t the doctor’s fault for having to deal with such a frightening issue, but I felt she could’ve done more research or told me more lightly that my baby was dead and our lives were never going to be the same. On Monday, April 17, we went to visit a highly recommended doctor in Jacksonville. The moment I saw the image on the screen, I knew our worst fears had been realized: there was no baby. The sack was empty, and even smaller than before.

He was very kind, took the time to go over every detail of my six-week pregnancy to conclude that there was in fact nothing he could do. I had had a missed abortion. I had in fact conceived, but my baby could never form – would never form. I would continue to feel and essentially be pregnant until I wasn’t. He determined the best course of action was to perform a D&C, in which they essentially dilate me and remove the sack and tissues in my uterus that are not in fact a fetus.

I left the hospital and drove for an hour in the wrong direction. I blared Metallica and when I got home, drank a bottle of wine. I didn’t want to see anyone. My husband, the gracious and magnificent man that he is, poured me each glass and cried alongside me. My friends and family wanted to come over and help, and I warned them that I was not my chipper self. They would not find me buried in the Bible, sobbing softly, but instead back to my southern roots, tipsy and angry. It didn’t make sense. I did everything right. I had no symptoms. Why was my baby dead?

On Wednesday we checked into the hospital and waited patiently for the surgery. I cried a bit when I had to put on my hospital gown; when I examined my pregnant little belly pooch for the last time, knowing that Brad would no longer place his hand on it hopeful, but out of sadness. All in all, I held it together pretty well until the head nurse came by. He started by saying this was all a legal requirement, but would need to know if the hospital should dispose of the remains of if we had contacted a funeral home. I lost it again. I thought it was tissue. I thought it was a failed pregnancy, not a baby I was having removed from my body – that I did not sign up for.

Eventually we went through with the D&C anyway. It seemed like the best course of action to move past what happened and begin healing. We prayed for Ayden. There will never be another her. We loved her and will never forget her. As I reflect back on these events, I just wish there was more to read. More to prepare myself for what happened. I even found out my mother had the same circumstances between my brother and I, minus the mandatory funeral home talk. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that in every circumstance there is an opportunity to help and minister to someone else in pain. My hope is that someone else reads this and knows that they are not alone. Evidently this is yet another scientific mystery that knows no cause. There is nothing you or I could do to make it any easier or to prevent it from happening, but we can share the pain.

Another thought is we fight for women’s rights – reproductive rights especially. There should be healthcare for women. There should be accessible birth control for all. But I can’t help but wonder, are those of us fighting to conceive being represented as well? Adoption costs are still astronomical as are the costs of invitro. It just seems if we are supporting women from all walks of life, our voices should be heard as well and our issues addressed just as swiftly.

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Detroit Doctor’s Defense About as Convincing as ISIS Promising Women’s Suffrage

A Detroit doctor was arrested recently for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on little girls as young as six years old! I had to step back a bit and take deep breaths before writing about this, because every time I looked at her foul face, I wanted to rip it off and feed it to swine. How anyone could do something like this – a doctor, who has sworn to do no harm – to an innocent little kid in order to ensure these little girls never enjoy sex and never become intimate with their loved one without mass amounts of pain, all in the name of chastity!

The story is sickening. Little children forced by their mothers to spread for this the Johns Hopkins-educated “physician,” and be mutilated after what appears to have been an anesthetic shot. Yeah, they were fully awake.

The girl said she took off her pants and underwear and laid on an examining table with her knees spread apart and that the doctor “pinched” her on the place she goes “pee.”

Also on April 10, the second girl told investigators she came to Detroit and went to a doctor’s office.

The girl also identified Dr. Nagarwala as the doctor she saw in Detroit and that the doctor took off her pants and underwear and put her on a table. The girl told investigators she “got a shot” on her upper right thigh and that it hurt and she screamed.

This twisted, sick sow mutilated little girls for her warped religious faith, and the mothers who dragged their kids to undergo this procedure, lying to them about what they were about to undergo, need to be prosecuted as well. This is believed to be the first criminal case that’s brought under the law that criminalizes FGM in the United States. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said, “According to the complaint, despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims.” Good for Mr. Blanco and good for the DOJ for having the balls to bring this odious gargoyle to justice.

And no, this certainly is not the same as circumcision, that’s performed widely not just for religious purposes, but also for health and hygiene. There are people who argue about the health benefits and some frothing adult douche freaks who actually affix weights to their junk in order to stretch the skin back over the head of their penis, after being circumcised as infants, but ultimately, it’s a relatively safe choice that has no impact on sexual pleasure and is certainly not performed to ensure sexual activity is so unpleasant and painful that the patient shies away from sexual activity until absolutely necessary for procreation!

While parents may make the decision for their infant – and in some cases, more grown male individuals make that decision for themselves – there’s a lack of overwhelming medical evidence that the child experiences long term harm from the procedure.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says there is no health benefit to FGM, but there’s certainly a lot of harm.

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

While little girls in backwater shitholes are getting mutilated with dirty implements, rusty blades, and even broken glass by untrained hags who apparently enjoy ensuring that little girls grow up just as miserable and deformed as they were, incidents of harm and injury in male circumcision are rather rare, depending on age and implements used, according to the WHO.

Neonatal circumcision is a simpler procedure than adult circumcision and very low rates of complications (0.2–0.4%) have been consistently reported in large series of neonatal circumcisions in the United States of America and Israel (143, 154– 157). Most of these are relatively minor (bleeding and excess skin) but definition of “complication” varies – for example in one of these studies (157), the rate of “significant” complications (systemic infections, haemorrhage in a patient with factor VII deficiency, circumcisions of infants with hypospadias, denudation of the penile shaft) was 0.2%, but 2% of patients had some complication (mainly bleeding or infection).

The purpose differs. The procedure differs. The outcome differs.

One can oppose male circumcision and make that choice accordingly for their offspring, but you’d have to be an ignoramus not to see the difference between a procedure designed to keep girls chaste and pure until the husband decides it’s time to play by taking away her desire to be physically close with someone she loves and a procedure that for the most part has no lasting deleterious effects and has some documented health benefits.

For her part Nagarwala claimed in court that she merely removed “a mucus membrane from the genitals” for religious reasons, which was wrapped up and given to the parents to bury — a practice the defense claims is performed by a small sect of Indian-based Islam called Dawoodi Bohra. Of course, the women of Dawoodi Bohra would beg to differ. A total of 98 percent of respondents in a recent online survey said they were subjected to the practice known as khatna or khafd, which involves cutting the tip of the clitoris, and 81 percent of them said they were not okay with the procedure.

Nagarwala’s defense doesn’t hold water. She mutilated these children – while they were fully conscious – for her skewed religious ideals. This wasn’t harmless and it wasn’t a membrane. She scarred these children, and she should rot in prison.

If there’s any justice in this world, she’ll get “circumcised.” With a rusty shiv.

Mother of the Year Kicks Little Boy Out for Voting for Trump in School

Stay classy, leftards. Stay classy. A video went viral the other day of a mother – or I should say egg donor – from Houston recording herself tossing her little boy out of the house for “voting for Trump.” In school. In a mock election.

The video shows the mother’s reaction to learning her young son voted for president-elect Donald Trump in a mock election held at his elementary school.

“Since you voted for Trump, you can get your sh*t and get out. Uh uh, the suitcase is packed by the door.” the woman says at the beginning of the video.

In the video, she repeatedly tells her son to take his suitcase and get out of the house. The child is clearly terrified and crying, pleading with his mother to let him stay.

Once outside the home, the woman made the boy hold a sign saying, “My mom kicked me out because I voted for Donald Trump.” As he walks down the sidewalk, the woman says, “Bye, Donald Trump lover.”

Later in the video, the woman asks her child why he voted for Trump to which he replies because he sees Trump a lot on TV.

I will tell you the video is horrifying to me as a parent and as a human being. The little boy is terrified. He’s weeping and pleading as this pernicious cunt tells her 8-year-old child to get his “shit” and “get out.” The child’s tears are heartbreaking and his hysterical, frightened wails are literally making me shudder.

She forces him out and hands him a sign that said  “My mom kicked me out because I voted for Donald Trump.” As he walks down the sidewalk, the woman says, “Bye, Donald Trump lover.” The little lonely form cries out for his mom as she walks away from him, and then dejectedly falls to the pavement, as another little boy, who I assume is his brother, weeps uncontrollably as this pestilential excuse for a human being walks away.

This is abuse, folks, plain and simple. This is intentional trauma inflicted upon an innocent child, who says he simply voted for Trump because he saw him on TV.

And yet, according to the story linked above, the “authorities,” who jump on parents and take children away for simply allowing their kids to walk home from the playground alone, refuse to do anything about this blatant, repulsive depravity!

The “authorities” come running any time a gun is even mentioned about being in the house by a “concerned” (read: nosy) neighbor. “Suspected” abuse from an anonymous source is enough to bring child protective services to the door. Running late from an errand, leaving your kids outside for a while? That’s cause to have them taken away!

And yet, detectives who investigated the case claim the woman told them she was just joking and that she was sorry about the video.

What???

cryingA joke? What kind of heartless, cold, callous cock goblin could think of playing a joke so traumatic and cruel on an 8-year-old child? Who could think this is funny?

Yeah, I’m sure she’s sorry. Now that the video has gone viral, and the police came a knockin’ at her door! Now, she’s sorry?

She wasn’t sorry watching her terrorized little boy scream in terror at the top of his lungs?

She wasn’t sorry seeing his defeated, dejected form collapse on the sidewalk?

She wasn’t sorry, hearing his brother wail in dismay as they walked away from her weeping boy?

No, she’s only sorry about the video. She apparently not sorry for bullying and intimidating her own child.

And while I’m not normally someone who would send child protective services to anyone’s door, to me this is a clear case of emotional abuse. This noxious sack of anal ooze shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a child, and yet, the police merely shrugged and claimed the kid looks to be “in good shape.”

You can bet that if there was a report of an unsecured gun in the house – no matter how inaccurate – those kids would be foster care by now! But in this case, emotionally terrorizing a little boy doesn’t add up to child abuse, according to the “authorities.”

What kind of message is this “mother” sending to her child? Certainly not that he’s free in this country to make his own choice about whom he would like to see in a leadership position! Certainly not that he can be honest about that choice!

In this case, an apology is just not enough.

 

Guest Post: Jessica Elise – Blessings and Challenges/Hope and Regret 

I’m going to share something with you, my dear readers, that I don’t normally share. Obviously, those close to me know, but generally, I haven’t spoken about this publicly. The reason I’m doing so today is because many times, when you experience an indescribable tragedy, you feel alone. So alone!

Logically you know you aren’t the only one. Your rational mind tells you there are others, but your heart isolates you inside this cocoon of tragedy, agony, and loss. So you internalize and try to forget…

… Until you run across something so heartwrenching, so unreal through which one of your friends has suffered, that your own pain pales in comparison.

It happened yesterday, when my friend Chris posted something that made my breath catch. He graciously wrote this post that explores his unspeakable agony for me to publish, because I asked him to. Maybe I’m posting this as catharsis. Maybe it’s catharsis for both me and him.

In 2002, my daughter Jordan Nickole died at 32 weeks of gestation. It was a difficult pregnancy. We did amniocentesis because the OB found a large cyst or bubble that covered the entire back of her neck in an ultrasound, which denotes Turner Syndrome and can cause a panoply of medical and developmental problems, including short height, failure to start puberty, infertility, heart defects, certain learning disabilities and social adjustment problems. It means that the X chromosome is either completely or partially missing.

I was told I had the option of aborting if the test came back abnormal. We thought long and hard about it, but decided not to. The amnio came back negative, and as relieved as we were (I remember getting the call at work and getting dizzy and falling down on the floor weak with relief), the doctor watched me and Jordan closely from then on.

At 32 weeks, she couldn’t find a heartbeat. She tried several times, stayed late until after 1900 hrs., and finally sent me to the hospital.

Long story short, I was forced to give birth to a stillborn. I refused all night. I told them I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t do it. But in the end I had to.

For years, I pushed Jordan’s death to the back of my mind. And then Chris wrote this. Maybe it sounds monstrous, but I feel a little less alone.

I hope Chris does too.

———————————

This is a hard post to write. I’m not even sure of the reasons for writing it. I’ve had 14 years to process. Maybe I want to help someone else with my struggle. Maybe I want to just get it out. Maybe I just want someone to relate. I don’t know.

Interpret as you will. I’m not sure I care.

Usually when a person starts talking about regret, it’s in reference to some boneheaded mistake they’ve made in their lifetime, or the trip to Disney World they didn’t take.

For me, it was about looking for a piece of machinery.


Jessica Elise was born January 17th, 1994. Most people who take the time, either remember it as the California Earthquake or Ice-Storm#1 (There would be another icestorm in a few weeks that made this one look like a piker) Babs Streisand’s house got damaged. I remember that one acutely because I sincerely dislike Babs. Love her singing voice… don’t like her.
We knew things weren’t going to be “normal” with this one. Our son, bless his soul, had been a rough delivery and Jessica had been rough pregnancy. We’d seen doctors, and more doctors, and genetic experts and more tests and all we got were more questions.

We got answers that afternoon. The best answer is that we had a beautiful baby girl. Jessica Elise (“I will see the promise of God” loosely translated. I actually didn’t know that when we picked the name, but it actually makes a little sense now.) The not so good answer was that she was going to be a challenge, medically.

Jess was going to be a both a blessing and challenge. Micropthalmia meant she was never going to be able to see without some sort of “eyeball transplant” or Star Trek level technology. Esophageal Atresia meant surgery to connect stomach and esophagus so she could at least keep from drowning in her own saliva. So… challenges.

For eight and a half years, my wife, my son, our extended family and friends and I, and the people we came to know because of Jess faced the challenge of raising and helping that little girl live. That little girl who one OB/GYN told us would be a “monster,” and we ought to consider aborting her. The little girl who we were assured would never laugh, never talk, never walk, never love us back, and so we ought to allow “nature” to run its course and let her choke on her own spit and snot…which “might not be a bad thing.”

Sixty plus surgeries. Countless days and hours spent in hospital rooms and hallways. Hours hoping and praying for another breath on her own. Watching a pediatric nephrologist jumping for joy because she peed on her own because that meant her kidneys hadn’t failed.

Challenges and blessings.

Eight and a half years. How in the world do you try and recount all the amazing things you learn taking care of a baby like that? How do you recount all of the times when medical science was either flat out wrong in its predictions or flummoxed by a little girl with a snaggletoothed grin? (She lost two of her teeth during a surgery when the OR tech accidentally knocked them out during intubation.) How do you talk about the tears that roll down your face when your daughter, grabs your hand and desperately, frantically wants you to tell her that she’s “pretty girl” (using tactile sign) because her face was massively bruised from having eye socket expanders placed that day, and she had apparently heard her parents talking about how bad she looked (remember she wasn’t even going to be able to know we loved her)?

Having that little girl was the biggest challenge and one of the three greatest blessings I’ve ever known. My son and my wife are the other two.

Eight and a half years. That level of care will take it out of you. Even with help, it will drain you and exhaust you, mind, body and spirit. It drained all of us. We were happy to do it, glad to do it. You don’t do any less for someone you love, but there comes a time where there is nothing left to give.

There also comes a time where the body just will not work anymore. For most of us, that doesn’t happen until we reach a good ole age. But not for Jessica. For months, she had been having problems digesting food, getting weaker, getting sick easier. Looking back it’s easy to see the problems, but inside the storm it’s harder to make out, you just brace and wait for the next blast.

We’d all had it. We’d taken so many hits. We were tired. And when you’ve gotten that tired, you rely on, depend on, some sort of routine to maintain your sanity in an insane situation. That routine, almost a complacency, is dangerous. They say the most dangerous place to drive is right near your home. The reason is that you relax from the routine… you’ve driven this stretch so many times, you could do it in your sleep… right? Up until the deer jumps out from nowhere.

I was out of work but starting school for my degree. I was homeschooling Christopher and taking him with me on school days (we lived right down the street from the Christian College I was attending, and a classmate’s wife was more than happy to kind of ride herd on him with her own kids until I got out of class). Christine was working on the other side of Baltimore and thus had the only real working vehicle capable of hauling all of us. She hadn’t wanted to go, things weren’t “right,” but I made her go, so that she’d have some sort of “normal.”

The weekend had been abysmal. Jess was getting sick and was miserable. We almost couldn’t console her; we’d go into her room, quiet her down, put on her favorite music album and make sure everything was OK; then back out into the living room. Then an hour later do it again. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

She had gotten skeletally thin, like a prisoner of war or a famine victim. There was no muscle tone anymore. The peritoneal feeding went through her, literally. It was almost undigested.

She was breathing heavyly that day. She was probably getting an infection, I thought, as I changed her and her bedding that morning. I’ll keep an eye on her and maybe start getting things ready for a trip to the hospital.

By afternoon, I’d already contacted Christine and let her know that we were definitely gonna be doing an all-nighter at the hospital. “But don’t worry,” I said. “Don’t kill yourself getting home.”

“What are her SATs doing?” my wife asked.

“Not sure; I’ll dig the Pulse Oximeter out and run a check. (For those who don’t know, it’s that thing in the hospital you wear on your finger or two with the red light. It measures the amount of oxygen in the blood.) At least that way, we’ll have number to throw at the ER docs.”

Christopher was watching Buffy on TV as I started looking for Jess’s Pulse Ox. I had made sure the O2 cannula was in her nose earlier and had been running O2 during the day to see if her breathing would calm down. No dice.

Also, no Pulse OX. We had recently moved and were living out of boxes, but I could have sworn we’d used that Pulse OX since we moved in. I looked everywhere for that thing. I tore closets apart. I tore boxes apart. I re-tore boxes apart.

I looked in on Jess. She was breathing more labored now. She was nearly thrashing, she was in so much pain, from exactly what I don’t know, but it was breaking my heart to watch.

I had to take a break. I sat down and watched TV with Christopher for a little bit, trying to rack my brain where the machine was. I called her nurse that cared for her on weekends. Nope. Didn’t know. Hadn’t needed to use it.

I went back around the house, now frantically trying to find a piece of equipment that did not want to be found.

Christine called and had left work. Traffic around Baltimore being what it was, it was going to be an hour or more before she got home. I had to find that machine before she got home. I had to get the baby ready to go.

I went in and started stripping her down to give her a cleanup and new change of clothes. There was something really wrong. She was gasping for breath, even with O2. I had to find that damn machine.

I don’t know exactly how many minutes later it was. It couldn’t have been very long. Ten? Fifteen? I gave up on looking for the bloody thing and was just going to get her packed up.

The first thing I noticed is that she’d messed her bed. Well, that was “normal” for the day. I think I’d changed her bed at least four or five times. I also noticed that she was quiet. I went over to the crib and realized that she also wasn’t breathing. She was a very odd pale shade of… when they say blue, it’s not. It’s a weird pale.

Some people get hysterical when crap really goes wrong. I get very calm. It’s weird in its own way, I suppose. You can tell just how far it’s dropped in the pot, by how calm I am. I get bent out of shape by some of the most mundane things, but…

I told Christopher to call 911 and tell them to send an ambulance. I started doing CPR and begging her to cry or move or do something.

The EMTs didn’t take long to get there. I told them what the situation was, and they set to work. The police arrived at the same time… of course they did. I’ve been around enough LEOs and EMTs over the years to know the drill.

I calmly told them the event of the last however long it was and the name of Jessica’s doctor at Johns Hopkins where she was a patient.

I knew I was going to jail. The house was a wreck. I mean seriously a wreck. The baby’s room was a mess. She was nearly naked, covered in crap, pill bottles, medical supplies, boxes, clothes, everything was strewn everywhere during my search for the O2 monitor.

I was calm. Too calm. I was going to jail.

Didn’t really care.

No punishment could ever come close to what I was feeling. What I AM feeling even today.

My little girl died, and I wasn’t there.

I’ve said that before, and people invariably explain it away. But the bottom line is I WASN’T THERE. I will go to my grave and I will not ever feel good about that.

We spent eight and a half years preparing for the day she left us. Knowing it as a fact of life every day for eight and half years. And when the time came, was she surrounded by people who love her? Was her daddy there holding her hand and giving her to the angels. NO. She died alone in puddle of crap fighting for her next breath. How do you tell yourself that’s OK?

Intellectually, even in my faith I know that it worked out as it needed to. I want to believe, I DO believe that in her final moments God was with her. But it really doesn’t make a difference. Even if God WAS there, I wasn’t, and that’s what I regret. I probably always will.

You can say what you want. At this point I really don’t care.

I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m writing this, intending for someone to read. Some will probably say I’m looking for attention… maybe I am. Maybe I need someone to tell me one more time that it’s OK. Maybe I’ll believe it this time. Maybe I just want someone else to know that if they’ve gone through this, they’re not alone. A new set of friends lost their baby to miscarriage yesterday. I can’t say I know how they feel, but I know grief and regret, and the endless what-if’s.

I don’t know. Take from this what you will. Do with it what you will. I don’t give pat answers anymore. All I have is a hope. That I’ll see her again someday.

I miss my girl.

One more year, Jess. Miss you, pretty girl. Hopefully, I’ll be there sooner or later.

P.S. I found the Pulse Ox the day after the funeral when we returned to the house. It was sitting right on top of a box that I had torn apart several times looking for it.

Where were you?

Those of you who know anything about my past history, know that I adopted my two daughters from my half-brother, who died in 2006 from complications due to prolonged drug use, and his wife. You know the history. I won’t rehash it here. Needless to say, the kids had issues. A lot of them. But we felt they were innocent and needed a chance to thrive and be loved and cared for by parents whose first priority wasn’t to stick a needle in their veins.

This is why stories like this are so painful for me to read, and the subsequent reactions to stories like this enrage me to the point of losing control. It started out with police arriving on the scene of a drug overdose. One male, already dead, and a barely alive female. Their four children, ages 7, 5, 2, and one month were being comforted by neighbors.

An officer-in-training with [Michelle] Burton lent the two boys his flashlight; soon, the toddlers were running around, shining it in people’s faces.

The 7-year-old was quieter, Burton said. The officer asked if she needed anything.

The girl asked if someone could sign her homework, so she could turn it in to her teacher the next day.

“That broke my heart,” said Burton. “She said, ‘I did my work.’ She pulled it out and showed it to us. It was math homework, (like) ‘Which number is greater? Which number is odd or even?’ … I told her, ‘Sweetie, you probably won’t have to go to school tomorrow. … But where you’re going is going to have everything you need.’”

In the apartment, Burton found an unopened can of infant formula and a baby bottle; she grabbed both.

At the precinct, officers bought whatever the other kids wanted to eat from a vending machine. There, Burton removed her vest and other police gear so she could comfortably hold the infant and give her a bottle. It had to have been hours since she had been fed, Burton thought.

burtonBy all accounts it was a tender scene. Someone took a photo of Burton comforting the baby, and her husband posted it on social media, because he was proud of his wife. Apparently, she had a knack for comforting children in distress and was often called to accident scenes or any incidents involving families. On this particular night, Burton was two hours from the end of her shift, but she decided to stay and help.

She didn’t have to. She just did, apparently because she’s a decent person.

But being a decent person doesn’t shield you from screeching abuse from those who have an agenda. In this case, the children’s aunt and other unidentified family members decided to initiate backlash and take their howls of outrage to the Birmingham city council.

Instead of being grateful that this tiny infant was comforted in her time of need – when both parents stuck needles in their arms, instead of taking care of those who need them most, this toothless hag decided that the baby’s rights were somehow violated.

Mary Purnell Adalane, the aunt of the baby in the picture, spoke out at the Birmingham City Council meeting Tuesday. She said she and other family members felt like the baby, who’s just shy of two months old, was “exploited.”

“This child has a right and it’s been violated. This police officer exploited this child,” Adalane said. “No one gave them permission to take that picture.”

Adalane also added that some family members first learned about the baby’s parents overdosing by seeing the picture on social media.

Let’s examine this a bit closer. Mary Purnell Adalane has a problem with a husband posting a photo of his wife comforting a tiny, defenseless baby on social media.

Where the fuck was Mary Purnell Adalane when her sibling (I’m not sure if she’s related to the mother or the father) was shooting up?

adalaneWhere the fuck were the other relatives who have an issue with this photo?

Where the fuck were these screeching shit weasels during their relatives’ obviously unhealthy habits? Heroin use isn’t exactly easy to keep a secret. Trust me. I’ve seen it.

Where the fuck were these loved ones when the children approached their neighbors for help because they couldn’t wake mommy and daddy?

If they learned about the OD via social media, they weren’t paying close attention to what was going on in these children’s lives beforehand.

Where were you, Mary Purnell Adalane and crew when your sibling(s) were using? Were you so clueless? Were you so uninterested?

Now, I fully realize that some people are better at hiding drug use than others, so there’s a small chance that they really were completely oblivious to the drug use and subsequent overdose. They might live far away, and just didn’t know. That’s totally possible too.

Frankly, my kids were living first in Ukraine, and then in Israel, and somehow we still knew that they needed to be rescued. Somehow we still knew that their parents were more concerned with their next fix than they were with the girls. So, I don’t accept that as an excuse. If you care about your family members, you make it your fucking business to know!

But moreover, how were this tiny baby’s rights “violated” by a husband posting a proud photo of his wife on social media? He posted no names, and merely showed a photo of his wife caring for a child that needed care. What right was violated? How is that exploitative?

You know what that baby has a right to? She has the right to be cared for. She has the right to be fed, and to be comforted in her time of need. She has the right to have someone hold her close and ensure she’s safe, fed, and loved.

(By the way – if anyone comes over here spewing political/libertarian rhetoric about what technically this infant’s rights are, I swear to fucking god, I’m going to throat punch the first motherfucker who does that! This is not what this post is about, and if you make it about that, you’re a heartless asshole.)

She received none of that from this shrieking, toothless cunt, who all of a sudden reared her repugnant face to claim the baby was “exploited” after the photo taken by a proud, loving husband of his wife going above and beyond to do her job and care for this poor little baby!

That tells me Mary Purnell Adalane and the unidentified shitbag relatives are out for media attention and a payoff. Mary Purnell Adalane and the shitgoblins related to these innocent, neglected children are the only ones doing the exploiting!

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