I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
Well, let me be the first to admit, I have dropped the ball, BIG TIME,
and I have to apologize to so many people. Citizens of
www.westallisnow.com who read my articles, I owe you a huge "I'm
sorry". As you read further you will understand why.
Eighteen years ago I was serving as a Medical Specialist in the US Army. Pretty impressive, hey? That is not a fact a whole lot of people know. Of course my friends and family know, but when I am talking about me, I usually refer to myself in the here and now.
While at work in the clinic eighteen years ago, I took a test. Yep, I had a very positive test result. A little blue plus sign appeared. My life as I knew it had changed. It was my one defining moment. Although I cannot recall every emotion, I knew I was happy. I was going to be a mom.
Being a mom has given me the gift of unconditional love. It has given me so many blessings, but in truth, it has been the greatest adventure of my life. I have been given the gift of two daughters, now ages 15 and 17. They are both healthy, happy and love me still just as much as the day they realized they were mine. I could not imagine my life without them. I take not one day for granted.
With that being said, most every man and woman I talk with expresses the same feelings of love for his or her child. Each parent I know would give their life for their child. At this stage in my life, with my children so close to adulthood, I have to admit I am struggling. I have approximately 1095 days until my children may decide to leave my nest. I believe my nest is comfortable. At times, since our nest is less than 1000 sqft, we may feel like we are sitting on one another, but I would have it no other way. Being able to walk 20 feet to see one or the other is a wonderful feeling. God help me when they move out.
Recently I talked about parents who had trouble controlling their children. The ones who have never heard of discipline. Some of the comments below the article were from those who agreed. Others stated I had no right to judge. Well, I am going to open a can of worms. Those who opposed my last article may now come to the "dark" side. The side of right.
I opened the paper today and an article caught my eye. "West Bend man charged with abuse, 2 month old girl put on life support". I am attaching the link below. Warning, the article is not for the faint of heart.
My heart sank as I read how this man stated he became frustrated and hurt his daughter. Without getting into too many details, the gyst of the story is as follows: Michael Below was home with his daughter and became frustrated because of the infants crying. He states he was under a lot of stress because of financial difficulties. He does not know what got over him. He just lost control and was frustrated. This baby now lies in a hospital bed. She has severe traumatic brain injury, hemmorhaging in her eyes, a skull fracture and brain swelling. Her wrists have begun to curl. This indicates her brain functions were shutting down. She is on a respirator with no response.
Let's take a step back. The mother of this baby found out approximately 12 months ago she was pregnant. She too had a plus sign. She carried her beautiful baby daughter to term and entrusted her to the father. When the father picked her up from work at 10pm, she noticed the baby was breathing strangely and was fidgety. After calling for an ambulence, she arrives at the hospital and receives the above news. After the initial tests, they discover older rib fractures on each side of her chest and an older brain hemmorhage. The father has admitted to causing those injuries several weeks earlier.
It is time we step up and talk about something which has permeated our society at an all time high. Child abuse is one of the most undetectable situations in the world. It occurs every minute of every day. Parents and family members are the most common of abusers. The news is saturated of the most henious stories regarding the abuse of children and infants. Although most would admit they are appalled by it, few take action and do something about it. Well, unless it happens to our own children, right?
I believe there are a few very simple steps we can initiate to ensure more children are salvaged from a life filled with abuse and possibly even death.
The first step in my book is for the obstetrician to keep a log of any signs of instability in any man or woman who step into his or her office for their pre-natal visits. In my opinion, most of us can spot a person with poor parenting skills from a mile away. If you as a doctor see poor pre-natal signs, what is your responsibility? Do you pay attention to how a man or woman reacts to their other children? See any signs of abuse already occuring? I mean, it is a law that if you see an abused child in the ER, you have to call the police, right? Why not report expecting parents to an agency so they can keep a log for a possible future court case?
The second step would move into the delivery room. If the delivering obstetrician or nurse feels unsure of what skills the parents obtained throughout the pregnancy, they could suggest courses offered by the hospital. They could sit down and discuss more than how to buckle up the baby on the ride home. Most nurses are aware as well of parents who lack certain skills. All parents love their new baby will exhibit certain feelings, emotions and want to be close with their baby. It is time to look past the labor and delivery and into the next 18 years of that child's life.
The following step would be for the delivery nurse to make a few follow up calls every year. Why not? I mean, you just saw every inch of that woman's innermost being. She grunted, pushed and listened to you. Why not establish a relationship with her afterwards? The parent you befriend may share information with you regarding her or her family life. You may be the only person this parent feels comfortable enough to open up about abuse in the home. They may even admit they are somewhat overwhelmed. What a great opportunity to save that child from what could be their last day with normal brain function.
I believe that most parents come into the delivery room with health insurance. I wonder, do you think insurance companies would cover follow up visits other than shots for baby? Why not make an allowance for parents to visit 4 times a year. My gosh, the parents could even sign up for classes before they leave the hospital. The delivery room nurse could then keep a log and send out a friendly reminder to the new family. Think of how little time it would take to do it via email. A minute or two at the most?
Another thought would be to establish a safety line for all parents. A new 800 number. This line would be completely confidential. If a new parent, like the one above, feels stressed out, they would have someone to call. I can understand why some men would feel ashamed to admit they are losing control. As a man, you are supposed to be strong, hold it together. Yet, these are the same men who "lose it" with their newborn babies. They had no-one to talk to and took out their frustration on their bundle of joy. The same bundle of joy who cannot tell the other parent that mom or dad gave them brain damage.
"Mom and Dad, guess what? I am small and helpless. I know my crying is annoying, but it is the only way I can let you know something is wrong. Maybe I just want you to hold me close, for one more minute. I am fragile and want you to see me grow up. I want you to teach me to play ball. I want you to see me get on the school bus for kindergarten. I want you to walk me down the isle. I want to someday be a parent, just like you. Although I can't say it, I love you. Please don't hurt me".
It is time we as a society put a huge plan in place to protect our children. Instead of going overseas to make peace, why not start at home?
Lastly, it is our responsibility to report any abuse that we witness. If a child in your family is suffering at the hands of a parent, family member, adult friend, etc, make an anonymous call. Abuse comes in many shapes and forms. It can be mental, physical, emotional and of course sexual. I know it can be scary to confront an abuser, so please make a call to CPS or a non emergency call to your local Police Department. It is always better to be safe than sorry regarding children.
If you are a parent, and feel out of control, call someone. Please. I am begging you. Put your son or daughter in their room and walk away. If they are crying it means they are still alive. If you are frustrated and walk back in that room, it may be their last moment on this earth as an alive functioning human being. You may take away their ability to grant you and your spouse their every first. A first smile, crawl, step, hug. Do whatever it takes to refrain from picking up your child. There are so many things you can do today to alleviate what you are going through. Find out what is not working in your life and make a promise to change it. Call your best friend and let it all out. Call someone to come over to give you a few minutes to get out of the house. Call your spouse and see if they can come home early from work. Get on your knees and pray. Do anything before it's too late.
I welcome comments and solutions to the above issue. It is huge, but the more people who agree the sooner we can make a change.