Be still, and know that I am God. -Psalm 46:10
Today, July 8th, marks the three year anniversary of when my world was completely turned upside down. It is currently around 9:00PM as I write this, and I can picture exactly where I was on this day at this time.
It was a Wednesday night. I was at the hospital, after having brought my son Lucas to the ER about 10 hours before. My baby, then 7 weeks old, lay in the PICU in a medically induced coma having had emergency brain surgery due to a cranial fracture, and an intracerebral blood hemorrhage. I just sat there in complete shock at what had happened since 4AM that fateful morning. I was startled by a knock on the glass door, I looked up and it was a man in uniform accompanied by a lady with a clipboard. They asked if they could come in and talk about what happened. Little did I know at the time, this was the beginning of the end.
I told them Lucas was in the care of his nanny when I was awakened at around 4AM by a jarring scream, which then proceeded to stop. This pattern of screaming and stopping kept reoccurring, so I got up and went to his room. The door was partially ajar, and I stood in the doorway where I could see the nanny had him swaddled in the crib trying to soothe him by “shushing.” He was not settling down, so she picked him up and placed him on her shoulder to burp him. The screaming subsided, but he was obviously very uncomfortable. I finally walked in to the room, and asked the nanny if something happened. She calmly turned around to face me and said she just fed him, so he must have be gassy. I remembered those first months with David, my oldest, and how he would scream bloody murder when he was colicky after a midnight feeding . I figured I must just give birth to gassy babies! By this time it was close to the nanny’s shift being over, and Lucas was obviously not settling down. I told her to go home early, and I would take Lucas. I unswaddled him, and gave him “skin to skin” hoping that would soothe him. It seemed to work. I went back to my room, with my baby in tow, and tried to catch the last few zzz’s before David would wake up. My husband was away on a business trip. He was usually the one to do the early morning feedings, since I needed my sleep due to my medical condition. I’ve had seizures for my entire adult life. After years of trial and error, I finally found a medication that controlled them. However, one thing would almost always trigger them: Lack of, or interrupted sleep. That is why we had a nighttime nanny. They asked me if I had other children. I told them I did, my oldest son David who was 20-months old at the time.
The entire time I am talking, it never crossed my mind, that I was being interrogated. It was very obvious to me what had happened to my son. The nanny must have dropped him, and she simply didn’t tell me. They kept asking me what I thought had happened, and I couldn’t tell them. I just kept repeating he was with the nanny the entire night, I heard the scream at 4AM, I have no idea what happened prior to that. The officer looked at me and told me that the type of trauma my son endured was equal to being shot in the head by a bullet, and that it was a criminal offense. I assumed he was telling me this information to give me a “heads up” I would no longer be employing this nanny. I nodded, and continued to comply with our talk giving him and the lady with the clipboard (who was a Senior Social Worker) all the information I could think of. Keep in mind I had been up since 4AM that morning, and that this was now passed midnight. I was exhausted but I cooperated thinking they would for certain go after this nanny. The social worker asked if they could go take a look at my older son, to make sure he was okay. Again, I complied. He was at my mother’s house whom we visited regularly. I told them he would be asleep by now, and the social worker assured me they would not wake him up. Soon after, they gathered their notes, and headed to the hallway where two female detectives were waiting outside to “talk” to me as well. They were very friendly, giving me their condolences after seeing the state my baby boy was in. They politely asked if I wouldn’t mind talking in another room. As exhausted as I was, I did what they asked, and proceeded to tell the same story I had told the officer and the social worker. When they finished “talking” to me, it was close to 2AM and I told them I couldn’t process anything anymore. I had to go to sleep. They concurred, and I went to bed.
The news I would wake up to the next day… only God could have kept me still.