All day long I had been fielding text messages from Xavier’s father about how difficult the child was.
I informed his father we would try find another solution so he wouldn’t need to watch him during the day.
Xavier’s father had been alone with him for 2 hours maximum, and everything seemed ok.
His dad worked during the night, so the plan was for him to look after Xavier during the day while I worked, and then we would swap over.
Although my former partner raised a 10-year-old I was slightly nervous about the situation, but he kept reassuring me that he had it under control.
Not once did it cross my mind that my son was in danger.
I replied saying I will be home soon and to hang in there. I kept thinking, “just a few more hours and then I can be back home with my baby.”
At 2:30 I got a text that every mother hopes they will never get. “Xavier stopped breathing. Come home now.“
Immediately i called his father and questioned what happened, where he replied, “He choked on milk and we are going to Seattle Children’s Hospital.”
Choking on my tears I gathered my things and headed to the hospital. Once I got there, I heard my baby crying so I thought its going to be okay.
A team of doctors surrounded my tiny 10-pound baby. Once things settled down, they allowed me go over and hold his tiny hand.
I knew something was not right as he suddenly looked pale.
His father was preoccupied with his phone and didn’t have much to say.
Xavier was eventually brought back into the room where I held him. As the doctors kept coming in and out of the room, Xavier began to get fussy again.
I thought these were good things until they informed me there was bleeding in his brain. Instantly I turned to his father and asked, “How could this happen?“
His father didn’t have much to say, and just kept repeating, “He was choking on milk.“
I had to lay Xavier down because they were going to intubate him, and most parents don’t want to witness that kind of thing.
I broke down when we left the room. I just thought how could this be happening to my sweet, little baby?
I realised child abuse was suspected once they explained the brain bleed due to a non-accidental trauma. I was so angry.
Xavier was put into a medically induced coma for 2 weeks while they worked tirelessly to stop the seizures.
They slowly weaned him off medication but warned me he may not wake up. I was taken from room after room, with doctor upon doctor, to prepare me.
We were fighting against two different things. One was the trauma, and the time he went without oxygen to the brain.
I heard everything from “He might be blind” to “He may never be able to learn, walk, talk, move…”
But still I knew he would come back to me.
On the night of the incident his father was arrested for first degree child abuse.
I’m still unsure of the details of what surrounding that day, and not sure if I ever will.
Nearly 3 months on from the injury, I focus less on the “why” and more on the “now what.”
I try to be present every single moment with my baby, now. I am grateful to God for bringing my baby back to me.
My mother lives with me now as I am a single parent and work around the clock to provide for my baby.
We have so many doctors and so many appointments, it’s a wonder I remember them all.
He is in speech therapy, and is also going to be attending Anat Baniel Method therapy to help awaken his brain and re-wire it.
Everyone keeps saying how lucky we are it occurred while he was so young, and that babies are resilient.
There is also a high risk of developing Cerebral Palsy, which we will be able to determine in a 1.5 years.
I strongly believe the more we work with him, the better his odds and he sees people for early intervention services.
You would probably think he was a vegetable if you were to look at his MRI scan as the damage is extensive.
He takes anti-seizure medication which could take up to 2 years to get off of it.
The full extent of his damage is unknown for a few years because his brain is still developing.
He is my miracle baby, my reason for getting out of bed every morning as he is fighting this entire time.
Time and time again, he has proven he wants to live and be present so we continue to fight.
I am grateful every moment of every day for God bringing him back to me and for all those who are still praying for my baby.
When informed he may not live I prayed he would come back to me.
I was so happy when I finally ot to change his dirty diapers again as he is so precious to me.
Even if he can’t see, walk or take care of himself, he is the world to me everything I always wanted.
Prior to the injury, my house was littered with pamphlets about shaking babies and what to do to stop it.
You put your baby down. You walk away. You go cry somewhere, or scream, or talk to someone.
Get your frustrations out, and then return to your baby and start over again.
Xavier still cries and fusses to this very day, and there are moments where I have to put him down and walk away.
Because as a parent sometimes that’s what you have to do. Despite his father was unfaithful, he wasn’t violent and he had a 10-year-old.
I thought this only happened to other people and not someone like me.
Hurting his own son, was something I never imagined him doing I never would have left him in his care.
His confidence was so convincing that everything would be ok he could do this since we couldn’t afford childcare.
Hopefully someone reading our story will take all of it to heart and realize how important it is to not shake a baby.
No matter what never shake a baby. It can be avoided so easy, now a moment of rage has changed my baby forever.
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