One mother's story: shaken baby syndrome

handsAnother sad side effect of the economic downturn is an increase in child abuse. Here, the mother of a Children’s patient shares the story of how her husband shook their 2-month-old daughter – and how they’ve spent the last few years trying to put their lives back together.

Your life can change in the blink of an eye. I wouldn’t have believed that until it happened to me. Our daughter was almost 2 months old and I was going out for an afternoon with a friend. I was taking my older daughter, Tessa*, while my husband stayed home with our newborn, Erin. When Tessa and I arrived home I was reassured to see Erin sleeping on my husband’s shoulder. I asked how things were and he said that it had been a good day. I was happy to see the two of them sharing an intimate moment.

Over the next two days, Erin was throwing up her bottles and not sleeping well. On the third morning, I changed her diaper and she had a black stool. Shortly after, she started shaking on one side of her body. I called my husband and said that I was going to take her to the doctor right away. I had him on speaker phone so I could tend to the baby. He asked me to take it off speaker and told me that while I’d been out two days earlier he couldn’t get Erin to sleep, and he shook her to get her to stop crying. I was shocked. Why would he do that? Why didn’t he tell me sooner? He said that he was terrified and didn’t know what to do. I told him I was going to call the doctor because she needed to be seen immediately. I also said that I was going to have to tell them what he’d done. He said that all that mattered was that Erin was safe and her medical needs attended to.

The doctor’s office told me to bring her in right away. I didn’t mention the fact that she’d been shaken until we were in the office and Erin had another seizure. From Erin’s pediatrician’s office we went to our local hospital, where I had to repeat the story of how she had been injured and speak to a social worker.

Erin was tiny for her age and veins were difficult to find, so they had to run a line into a vein on her head so they could take blood. This aged me 10 years at least. My poor sweet girl! How could this be happening? When was I going to wake up from this nightmare?

The decision came to transfer Erin to Children’s Hospital Boston. I remember that I was not allowed to sit in the back of the ambulance with her, but instead had to sit in front with the driver. My thoughts were racing. The little I knew about Shaken Baby Syndrome was that it is considered a form of child abuse and my husband could go to jail. The drive to Boston was interminable.

When we arrived, my husband was there. Erin’s color had gone pasty and she had another seizure. The neurologist on call gave her some medication to calm the seizure. Seeing my tiny baby hooked up to all different kinds of machines is an image that I’ll never forget. While in the emergency room, a state trooper and some police officers from our town came to speak to my husband and me. They spoke to us separately. As I began relaying the story, my composure dissipated and the tears began to flow. I blamed myself. I should never have gone out that day. How could I allow this to happen to Erin? I remember the officer saying to me that it was not my fault. I should have been able to trust my husband with our young daughter. Trust is a small little word that carries so much weight.

After the questioning, Erin was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My husband wasn’t allowed in to see her, but I visited her there once she had been put in a room, spoke with her nurses and then headed home to Tessa. On the train ride home, the Department of Social Services called and told me what needed to happen according to the law. They said that my husband could not come home, and I had to go to the court the next day and take out a restraining order against him or my daughters would go into foster care.

My husband was taken by the police back to our town. They informed him that he would need to go to the police station to be charged with the crime the following day. He picked me up after I got off the train, and I told him that he could not come home. He sobbed and apologized for hurting Erin. He dropped me in the driveway and went to a hotel.

Tessa and I slept together that night. I can’t believe I slept, but exhaustion overtook me. I remember hugging Tessa throughout most of the night.

The next day, I took Tessa to the sitter’s house, dropped off clothes for my husband at the hotel, told him to get a lawyer and went to Boston. When I saw Erin in the NICU, her nurses said she’d had a good evening and that the medication had taken care of the seizures. She would need an MRI and X-rays to determine if there had been damage to her brain. Only then could we begin to find out if she would have permanent problems as a result of the shaking. A hospital social worker, who was so compassionate and professional, explained to me that she would only be on our case until we left the hospital, then I would be assigned a social worker from the Department of Social Services (DSS).

My husband had shaken Erin on Sunday. It was Wednesday. Life had changed. My life and my family’s existence were not under my control any longer. What would happen to us? After spending the day with Erin, I went to court and filed the restraining order. The DSS had been very specific about what needed to be included in the order so that I could retain custody of my children. Some of the court employees were not very kind. They reminded me how lucky I was that Erin was not dead. I was an emotional wreck and these civil servants were not being the least bit civil to me.

The local paper picked up the story. The reporter called and had the audacity to ask for “my side of the story.” My job called. Any chance of trying to survive this ordeal in privacy was gone. It was made worse by the treatment I continued to receive from people who knew nothing about our situation, including one of the DSS social workers, who came to my house one morning before I went to visit Erin at the hospital. She read me the riot act, asking how I could have let this happen. “You’re a college educated woman,” she told me. “You don’t fit the usual profile of a mother of a shaken baby.” (I would learn much later at an Early Intervention conference from a state public health official that our demographic was actually the more common one for Shaken Baby Syndrome.)Is this what happens when your child is shaken? Is this how professionals deal with a family in crisis? I was in tears and felt like the worst mother in the world. Hadn’t the police officer told me that this wasn’t my fault? Hadn’t the social worker at the hospital treated me like a human being?

I still had not told my extended family what was going on. I finally called on Friday. One of the hardest phone calls of my life was telling my father what had happened. He was on a plane the next day and was the rock I needed to survive until Erin came home from the hospital the following Wednesday. She was put on Phenobarbital to control the seizures, and to this day has never had another one.

The last three years have been challenging. At first, we didn’t know if Erin would have more seizures or long-term brain damage that would affect her for the rest of her life. A series of MRIs has shown that Erin’s brain has some damage that might impact her vision when she’s older (she wears glasses today), but so far her cognitive abilities have not been affected. She received occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) and other therapies through Early Intervention (EI) from the time she came home from the hospital until her third birthday. And since aging out of EI, she receives OT, PT and speech therapy services at school twice a week and goes to school five days a week. Despite all of this, I know that we’re fortunate; Erin is a thriving and terrific toddler.

There has of course been a lot of fallout from this. My husband didn’t go to jail, but he pled guilty and is on probation. And are we still together? We are. He wasn’t allowed to move back into our home until sanctioned by the court, 18 months after shaking Erin. He was crushed by this incident. Being forced to live away from us for a year and a half gave him time to think about what happened. He thought he had lost his family. He also knew that he had hurt Erin and, as you can imagine, suffers terrible guilt.

The members of my extended family have handled this situation in different ways. My father hasn’t accepted what happened, but forgives my husband. I’m the oldest of four children. One of my brothers trusts my judgment and has put the incident in the past. My other brother and sister wouldn’t accept my husband’s apology and won’t attend any family function where he is present. This hurts me very deeply, but I cannot change their hearts. My only hope is that they will, in time, forgive him and realize that everyone is human and that the world is not black and white.

And then there’s the inevitable question of what we will tell Erin and Tessa when they get older. While my husband was out of our lives, I had Tessa in her own individual therapy to deal with the fact that her father was not a constant presence in her life, but we didn’t talk about why he was gone. And to be honest, I don’t yet know how to explain this to Erin. My therapist told me that I will have to share this with her that I should be prepared for possible repercussions. When the time comes to have this discussion with the girls, we will do it as a family and with the guidance of a family therapist.

For me, the time apart allowed me to go to therapy and figure out what I wanted for my family. I needed to become whole again so that I could be a strong mother. Together, my husband and I attended —and still attend—couples’ counseling. Forgiving him allowed me to heal. Rebuilding trust is an ongoing process. Not everyone agrees with my decision, but when we sit down to dinner as a family and I see the love in Tessa and Erin’s eyes for their father and mother, I know I made the right decision. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and when I blink, I want to see my family together.

* All names have been changed to protect the family’s identity.

If you’d like to ask this mother a question, share your own experience or reflect on her story, please comment below.

What resources are available to families who become frustrated or angry?

Read a Q&A about Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Children’s Trust Fund

Healthy Families Massachusetts

Massachusetts Citizens for Children

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Parents Helping Parents

1-800-632-8188

  • http://www.alexascordato.com Alexa

    Wow, I had chills reading this. I can’t imagine having to go through something this traumatic. To the mother who shared this story, thank you so much for your courage and willingness to let others know what you experienced.

  • Kathy

    Thank you for this very moving story. As a social worker for over 20 years I have seen that very painful situations like this are so complex, and require a lot of compassion from all sides. People do not realize how fragile babies are. Thank goodness your little girl will be ok and your family is on the road to healing.

  • pam

    I am in tears, I am sorry that your family had to go through this. You did everything right and should be so proud of yourself. Your husband must have so much guilt about this. It is hard with a young child because it does get so stressful. I wish you and your family the best of luck.

  • Kerry

    My heart goes out to you and your family — and also your husband. Thank you for your courage in telling this story.

  • Dianne

    Your courage and grace will sustain your family. We all need to be reminded of the fragility of life as we know it. Your husband made a terrible mistake, but took responsibility for it. I can only imagine the pain he must feel is the worst form of punishment. Forgiveness is a powerful source of strength for all of you. As a person and health care provider, I try hard not to judge, thank you for reminding me to treat all with compassion. You are all in my prayers.

  • Cathy

    Wow! My first reaction is what a stunningly courageous woman you must be for sharing such a painful and intimate story. I pray for you and your family and for the day when you have to tell your girls what happened. I am fighting off the urge to pass judgement on your husband as I realize that he made a mistake, and if you can forgive him, then I certainly have no right to judge. My God bless you, your family, and especially your little girl.

  • Heather

    You are an amazing woman. Courage, grace, forgiveness. You did and are doing everything right. May your tribe increase!

  • http://childrenshospital.org Joe L.

    WOW… Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story of forgivness and reconciliation. I think you made the right choice, for what ever that is worth. One choice can change your life and those around you forever.
    Thanks again,

    Joe Luna

    • Elizabeth

      I want to thank you for having the courage to tell your story. I am a Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse in NC and I have taken care of many shaken babies. I have seen first hand the injuries shaking a baby can cause. I must admit that when I take care of a shaken baby in the unit I am stand-offish to the parents for allowing/causing a child to be injured. Reading your side of the story has touched me and will help me to be more compassionate in those situations. I am glad that you have been able to forgive your husband. It sounds like he is truly sorry. I wish the best for you and your family.

  • Michael B

    I know people abuse their children. I know that sometimes parents are wrongfully accused. I am so sorry for your child but glad God decided to keep your child alive. We were not this lucky. The only thing I can think of worse than losing your child….is to be accused to have caused it when you haven’t done anything. I can feel your pain. I am glad you were not at home with him and unaware of what was going on for then they may have come after you too. You and you child are in my prayers. God has his mysterious ways and He has to have some positive that you can gain out of such a horriffic ordeal. To help educate others and maybe prevent this from occuring again. Sometimes this Shaken Baby Syndrome is misdiagnosed. This is also sad in a different way.

    We really don’t know everything abuot this syndrome and several researchers are now qeustioning it. We should have a mandatory differential diagnosis performed so innocent parents do not get blamed for something when they truly are innocent and they are already going thru enough pain without unustly having more added onto their plate. Obviously abuse occurs but these classis signs normally assicated with the Sheakn Baby Syndrome can 100% be cuased by other factors. I know for a fact this syndrome is misdiagnosed from our own personal experience…what I don’t know is how often is this misdiagnosed and how many innocent parents suffer these false allegations. I am most likely biased since we were falsely accused but feel this number of innocents have to at least be greater than those in the medical field realize. What makes it even sadder is most of those involved may really have the best interest of the child in mind and may even really feel their diagnosis is correct. I guess it would be a hrd decision to make for what if the doctor was wrong…either way if they make the wrong choice it could be devastating. I keep this in mind and it reduces my ill-feelings towards those that diagnosed our son with SBS. Maybe they really do care but in our case, at least, they made a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis results in the wrong treatments and is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Just keep an open mind if you really are not certain about a similar case.

  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for sharing your very personal story. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes. Your husband deserves to be forgiven as I am sure he didn’t mean to hurt your child. Shaken Baby Syndrome needs to be brought to the attention of every parent as most parents are ignorant to what could happen to a baby if shaken. Perhaps tell your story will help someone else and I think that is all we can hope for. You are an amazing woman, I commend your husband for staying strong and I am so glad you are still a family. I am most happy that your daughter is doing so well1 Keep on telling your story – some people will judge but until they have walked in your shoes – they have no idea.

  • Alicia

    Thank you so much for your courage to share your story. I am a childbirth educator and I am sharing it with my students (soon to be Moms and Dads). I think this is very powerful. The honesty hit me in the middle of my chest and took my breath away. God bless you and your whole family.

  • http://jukgrl@hotmail.com Haley K

    this story was so intreging! it really informs me of the importance of not getting impatient with my babies. and i am glad that god kept your baby alive!

  • Kim d

    I stumbled upon this story and had to comment. You and your husband are no different than the rest of us. I and my husband are also college educated. The husband is a police officer. As parents, we can all attest to that fact that it’s not always easy. On the contrary, parenting is very difficult. We do it because the long term rewards are azing, and so worth it. That all being said, we all get frustrated. All it takes is 3 seconds of shaking to see permanent damage. That’s it! 3 seconds! It doesn’t sound like your husband ever laid a hand on his girls, otherwise. He just gave in to his frustration. Unfortunately, it was in the worst way, possible. I think the fact that he has to live with what he has done will be punishment, enough. I wish you luck when it comes time to tell Erin what happened. Keep being good parents. And remember the chief
    rule; just walk away! No baby ever died from crying.

  • Suncere Hernandez

    I am an EEG technologist here at Children’s, and I do tests on babies with Shaken Baby Syndrome more often than I would want. Every situation is sad and different but each time I hear another story, it breaks my heart. I aplaud you, Mom in this story, for your courage to tell it and to keep you family together no matter how hard it may have been.

  • ashley

    I’m going through something just like you but I have twins that were born in Oct. and they were only a month old one of them ( Audrey) was shaken and was the reason we were at the hospital. But I went there thinking that she had the flu and she was flown to a different hospital. 4 days later my husband told me he shook her. So they looked over our other baby (Kelsey) she had 4 fractured bones all on the right side. I still don’t know what happened there. They took both my baby’s in to custody and they want to take away my prenatal. I don’t see why I’m getting punished for what he did. and I don’t know what to do to pruve
    to child protective services that I want my baby’s back and none of this was my flat. they said i didn’t act concerned about there injures. I was told i was sleeping when all of this happened. But i will never know. my husband is now in jail and i didn’t go see him at first like the first 3 weeks but I have gone to see him the past 3 week. They don’t want to tell me what steps I need to take to keep my parental rights. please help me the beast you can.

  • Emily Lazansky

    Hello my name is Emily and let me start off by saying you are one brave and strong woman. I honestly look up to you for your courage. I have no idea how hard this must have been and still is and i couldnt even imagine. Getting to the point, i am a student in highschool and i am enrolled in a parenting class. During the class we cover the topic of shaken baby syndrome. For my final we were assigned a topic and my topic just ended up being SBS. I know this topic is very personal but i have a huge favor to ask. I was wondering if maybe you could write alittle something to my class. I think maybe it would be very beneficial and i think after they hear from a mother who went through this they might understand the topic better. I know after i read your story it truley went straight to the heart. It doesnt have to be a long letter but if you could even just write a quick note or something of that sort that would be wonderful. You can say whatever you would want a parenting class to know and anything you have learned from this experiment. I know this is very personal and dont feel obligated to at all. I will understand if you dont want to. But if so please just send it to my email. Thank you so very much for your time. And you and your family are in my prayers! thanks, Emily.

  • christy J

    This comment is for EMILY…..

    You will have a very hard time getting the twins back if you are visiting your husband in jail….They ( the state) will want you to choose between the kids and him….You need to call a supervisor and find out what you need to do(case plan) to get the kids back and you need to make sure you are at ALL the court dates!!!! No more visits to the hubby unless they ( the state) tell you otherwise!!!! This comes from personal experience…Trust and Believe in the LORD-it is a long road!!!!

  • christy J

    Im sorry the comment I just posted above was meant for ASHLEY…

  • Liza

    My mother shook me when I was a child I can still remeber a time when it happened I was two or or three i can still remeber how it feels obviously it makes you very dizzy and sick you feel pressure on your eyes and skull your neck feels like it might brake and your head feels heavy and the fear it overpowering I really thought I was going to be killed I have never been that sceared since that but the worst thing aside from how emotionly distructive it is the worst part is I could not breath I could not get any air and couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t scream that at her to make her stop because I couldn’t get air it was pure terror and one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me though I was a lucky one I was not brain damaged as it was not serious enough my mother was stressed overwhelmed and had deprssion I was not a battered child my mother never really abused me in any other way though she like a lot of perents did smack me you don’t have to be a monster to do it so I beg Perents to be carefull with their children if you don’t have control of yourself stay away from you child the memory of it makes me cry like that little powerless child I was then still

  • Sis.Dee

    Please pray for them and your husband. May I leave you with this scripture Matthew 11 vs 28-30. I wanted to see if baby shaking syndrome is real because a woman brought her 8 month old baby from a hospital who has been in a comma since she was 2 months. Someone actually shaked a baby and Now she has to be feed from a feeding tube. Praise God for his mercy. Mam I will add you and your family to my prayer. God Bless you

    You can go to youtube.com and type a christmas miracle at the river.

    • Katie

      My son is a victim of shaken baby syndome. Although he is a thriving 5 year old little boy, at one point in his life it was expected that he would not survive this ordeal. When he was 3 1/2 months old, his father caused enough damage during a shaking that my son was revived twice at the clinic before being transported to a larger hospital where he had brain surgery, bleeding in his eyes, seizures, and stayed in the intensive care unit for weeks. My ex admitted he had shaken Christian upside down and threw him across the room into his crib. Did I mention this caused 2 skull fractures as well?? Now I ask, where is our justice system???????? My ex recieved 9 months in jail for almost murdering my child. How awful that you would allow this man back into your daughter’s life! Shame on you for allowing this man to cause harm again to either of your children because it could have happened again. I believe all individuals who cause harm such as shaking to a child should recieve an attempted murder charge, because isn’t that exactly what they did?!!? HE ALMOST MURDERED YOUR DAUGHTER ISN’T HER LIFE MORE IMPORTANT THEN BEING WITH THIS MAN???

  • tiff89

    Katie, I completely agree with you. My daughter was shaken at two months old. My premature, 5lb, two month old. She was alone with her father and I still don't know to this day what made him hurt my little angel, she also suffered multiple skull fractures and spent a few weeks in ICU.But I too do not understand how someone could reconcile and forgive such a monster. My daughters father is in jail now, still hasn't been sentenced. My daughter is now 6 months old and I don't know how this will affect her long term.

  • Sandrea

    WOW that jus WOW but i think she did do the right to fogive her husband beacuse no child should be without their father

    • jenhunsinger

      How can she be sure-even with all this counseling-that he will not ever lose control again? If it were me, I would never ever be able to trust him alone with my baby or any baby/child again. If it happened once, you just never know.

  • Sandrea

    WOW that jus WOW but i think she did do the right to fogive her husband beacuse no child should be without their father

  • Sam

    i started crying while reading this. im 16 and when i was four months old, my babysitter took me by my ankles and shook me upside down. i had seizures for the next 2 days, and after getting a spinal tap and a bunch of scans the doctors discovered what happened. i had a brain surgery in which they put a shunt that goes though my skull all the way down to my stomach. my parents tried to sue the babysitter but the cops closed the case because there wasn’t enough evidence against her. people ask me all the time why i still cry about it, “it was in the past and you can’t even remember it” but its the absolute worst feeling to know that someone did this to me and they got off clean. i’ve never heard anyone else’s story about shaken baby syndrome so i really appreciate you putting this up, it helped me a lot. my thoughts and pryers go to Erin and your family

  • Sam

    i started crying while reading this. im 16 and when i was four months old, my babysitter took me by my ankles and shook me upside down. i had seizures for the next 2 days, and after getting a spinal tap and a bunch of scans the doctors discovered what happened. i had a brain surgery in which they put a shunt that goes though my skull all the way down to my stomach. my parents tried to sue the babysitter but the cops closed the case because there wasn't enough evidence against her. people ask me all the time why i still cry about it, “it was in the past and you can't even remember it” but its the absolute worst feeling to know that someone did this to me and they got off clean. i've never heard anyone else's story about shaken baby syndrome so i really appreciate you putting this up, it helped me a lot. my thoughts and pryers go to Erin and your family

  • cber

    What courage it took to share this story, and it really brings tears to my eyes reading it… This was a tragedy in an instant anyone can make a devestaing impulsive poor choice, that has devestating consequences. One step at a time, and give time time… YOUR STORY will touch so many others who read it, and reflect on their own lives or other’s whose lives have been effected through crisis. YOU ARE A LOVING MOTHER, and made a choice that was for you, and your family only… You have all the support sytems in place to be there along each step. Whatever your belief system, Faith, Love, and Prayer and healing together as a family…GOD BLESS YOU ALL….

  • cber

    What courage it took to share this story, and it really brings tears to my eyes reading it… This was a tragedy in an instant anyone can make a devestaing impulsive poor choice, that has devestating consequences. One step at a time, and give time time… YOUR STORY will touch so many others who read it, and reflect on their own lives or other's whose lives have been effected through crisis. YOU ARE A LOVING MOTHER, and made a choice that was for you, and your family only… You have all the support sytems in place to be there along each step. Whatever your belief system, Faith, Love, and Prayer and healing together as a family…GOD BLESS YOU ALL….

  • mother of a shaken baby

    this story is very sad and yet all to common… your right you dont realize how quick your life can change till it happens.. ive been there im still there matter of factly.. i cant see myself forgiving him for doing it all the pain and heartache hes caused.. and like your daughter my son had the will to live.. i agree with katie they should get attempted murder.. they did intend on killing the child if they shook it and it was that small… unfortuanatly the justice system fails us.. instead of giving them a trial and letting their peers decide their fate they get some cop out plea deal.. im very happy to say the man who hurt my son plead to 20 years in prison.. certaintly not enough for me but better than some get.. no matter how many years he gets or doesnt get im left with the peices.. i too had CPS or family services and they treated me so rudely knowing i wasnt home.. yes i blame myself since i did leave my son with him.. but i wont take the blame and say i knew hed do it.. its natural for a parent to feel like they caused this.. as bad as your story is/was be grateful it couldve been much worse.. for one your baby lived thank god.. for two they didnt take custody away.. wich is rare nowadays.. i pray your daughter lives a wonderful life and i pary she never gets hurt again.. keep a watchful eye over ANYONE around your child.. even your own parents.. god bless you and yours..

  • mother of a shaken baby

    this story is very sad and yet all to common… your right you dont realize how quick your life can change till it happens.. ive been there im still there matter of factly.. i cant see myself forgiving him for doing it all the pain and heartache hes caused.. and like your daughter my son had the will to live.. i agree with katie they should get attempted murder.. they did intend on killing the child if they shook it and it was that small… unfortuanatly the justice system fails us.. instead of giving them a trial and letting their peers decide their fate they get some cop out plea deal.. im very happy to say the man who hurt my son plead to 20 years in prison.. certaintly not enough for me but better than some get.. no matter how many years he gets or doesnt get im left with the peices.. i too had CPS or family services and they treated me so rudely knowing i wasnt home.. yes i blame myself since i did leave my son with him.. but i wont take the blame and say i knew hed do it.. its natural for a parent to feel like they caused this.. as bad as your story is/was be grateful it couldve been much worse.. for one your baby lived thank god.. for two they didnt take custody away.. wich is rare nowadays.. i pray your daughter lives a wonderful life and i pary she never gets hurt again.. keep a watchful eye over ANYONE around your child.. even your own parents.. god bless you and yours..

  • mother of a shaken baby

    this story is very sad and yet all to common… your right you dont realize how quick your life can change till it happens.. ive been there im still there matter of factly.. i cant see myself forgiving him for doing it all the pain and heartache hes caused.. and like your daughter my son had the will to live.. i agree with katie they should get attempted murder.. they did intend on killing the child if they shook it and it was that small… unfortuanatly the justice system fails us.. instead of giving them a trial and letting their peers decide their fate they get some cop out plea deal.. im very happy to say the man who hurt my son plead to 20 years in prison.. certaintly not enough for me but better than some get.. no matter how many years he gets or doesnt get im left with the peices.. i too had CPS or family services and they treated me so rudely knowing i wasnt home.. yes i blame myself since i did leave my son with him.. but i wont take the blame and say i knew hed do it.. its natural for a parent to feel like they caused this.. as bad as your story is/was be grateful it couldve been much worse.. for one your baby lived thank god.. for two they didnt take custody away.. wich is rare nowadays.. i pray your daughter lives a wonderful life and i pary she never gets hurt again.. keep a watchful eye over ANYONE around your child.. even your own parents.. god bless you and yours..

  • Anonymous

    How selfish of you…..to keep a man in the lifes of the most precious gift that was given to you! In the end it all is about you and this man cause you will still have to explain why you allowed this man you call a father stay in the life of a child he hurt…..“You can bend it and twist it… You can misuse and abuse it… But even God cannot change the Truth.”

  • elilzabethhopkins

    How selfish of you…..to keep a man in the lifes of the most precious gift that was given to you! In the end it all is about you and this man cause you will still have to explain why you allowed this man you call a father stay in the life of a child he hurt…..“You can bend it and twist it… You can misuse and abuse it… But even God cannot change the Truth.”

  • Tonya

    There is no such thing as shaken baby syndrome. You’ve incarcerated an innocent man and you will probably never know now what really caused those injuries.

    • v.sulkin

      uhh, ARE YOU FORREAL?? there’s no such thing as shaken baby syndrome? and how would you know that?

  • Tonya

    There is no such thing as shaken baby syndrome. You've incarcerated an innocent man and you will probably never know now what really caused those injuries.

  • lauren lewis 828748022

    I had tears in my eyes when i read your story! I want to use this story on my senior project!

  • lauren lewis 828748022

    I had tears in my eyes when i read your story! I want to use this story on my senior project!

  • lauren lewis 828748022

    I had tears in my eyes when i read your story! I want to use this story on my senior project!

  • lauren lewis 828748022

    I had tears in my eyes when i read your story! I want to use this story on my senior project!

  • Anonymous

    responding to tonya

    you are very ignorant… yes shaken baby syndrom is real.. and yes sometimes a fall can cause some LIGHT damage that can be mistaken but when someone admits to shaking a child or when the child has broken bones and bruises its SBS.. as much as i dont like you because of your arrogance i pray this never happens to you, cause you see it is the worst nightmare any living person could experience.. people like you should be taken to the hills and left for bird food..

  • motherofashakenbaby

    responding to tonya

    you are very ignorant… yes shaken baby syndrom is real.. and yes sometimes a fall can cause some LIGHT damage that can be mistaken but when someone admits to shaking a child or when the child has broken bones and bruises its SBS.. as much as i dont like you because of your arrogance i pray this never happens to you, cause you see it is the worst nightmare any living person could experience.. people like you should be taken to the hills and left for bird food..

  • mari

    i honestly dont know how could you forgive him…………..

  • mari

    i honestly dont know how could you forgive him…………..

  • Anonymous

    You should be ashamed for staying together with an abuser who likely permanently damaged your child. Shame on your for putting yourself and your own wants and needs above your childrens’ safety. My own mother did the same thing, again with the excuse “nothing is black and white,” and I can never forgive her for making my entire childhood miserable. “Nothing black and white” does NOT apply to child abuse. Child abuse is SICK and WRONG, no two ways about it, and anyone who is capable of doing what your husband did has sick capabilities within them that you refuse to admit to yourself for whatever reason. How will you explain to Erin that you kept her in the same house with the man who likely ruined her life? Good job protecting your kids, mom. If my man ever laid a finger on my child, it wouldn’t matter how much I loved him or how much I depended on him, he would have his ass handed to him on a platter.

    • Natasha

      I feel like you have I lil point I could never look at him the same ..there would be no way I would consider an intimate relationship not to mention I don’t know how I could live knowing that she without a clue would me made to stare her abuser in the face ..if you get hurt your first reaction is to get away and then you don’t go back and hang out with whoever hurt you..she wasn’t old enough to make a choice I made it for both of them and now have and amazing fiancé and another daughter …and at least I know I don’t have to live with it in the back of my mind I actually moved out of the city it happened because he wasn’t arrested I didn’t want to chance any of us having to pass him at all no accidental bump ins in the malls or rester aunts she went through enough and has the right to be sheltered from the awful life she may have had

    • HaileesMom

      you know what its people like you who shouldn’t open your mouth, you don’t know what people go through unless you are them. Plus even medical professionals will tell you acts of shaken baby syndrome are often occurances when people don’t mean to do it, so learn about it, I am sure if you think about your parenting skills im sure your not perfect either 

      • Jamier8989

         I am so sorry if  this hit a nerve. But no child should have to go thru this since there is much help out there. Please if a parent feels they can not deal with their child give them up or take them to someone else and tell them you need a break. Time out works for parents too. Shake a stuff aminal or something. I have rasied 3 boys and never shaken them while working and attending college. I love my children and always wanted the best for them. please don’t tell me I do not understand. I know for a fact that some people shake their  babies for attention, out of jealous but there is just to much help out there.

        • SisterofSBSvictim

          The problem is that most people dont know that there is help or even that SBS exsits! It is SICK that you know people that shake babies for attention. My adopted sister is a victim of SBS. She has SEVER PERMANT BRAIN DAMAGE! This particual mother is VERY blessed as I am sure she is well aware. My sisters brain was obliterated! She has only a tiny piece of her occipital lobe, and a brain stem. The rest is died. As a result she can not sit, stand, eat, walk, talk, or even hold her head up. In fact it is easier to say what she can to which is only laugh, smile, and cry. She was perfect when she was born. Now she is forever a 3 month old baby. She is 10 and doctors cant explain why she is alive with the amount of Brain trauma she sutained… I agree SBS is inexusible, but so few people ever talk about it that the help that is avaible is unknown.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kim.bailey.9484941 Kim Bailey

      Amen I agree bc if he did it once what will stop him from doing it again & him being in same household doesn’t keep her safe.

  • lumlum

    You should be ashamed for staying together with an abuser who likely permanently damaged your child. Shame on your for putting yourself and your own wants and needs above your childrens' safety. My own mother did the same thing, again with the excuse “nothing is black and white,” and I can never forgive her for making my entire childhood miserable. “Nothing black and white” does NOT apply to child abuse. Child abuse is SICK and WRONG, no two ways about it, and anyone who is capable of doing what your husband did has sick capabilities within them that you refuse to admit to yourself for whatever reason. How will you explain to Erin that you kept her in the same house with the man who likely ruined her life? Good job protecting your kids, mom. If my man ever laid a finger on my child, it wouldn't matter how much I loved him or how much I depended on him, he would have his ass handed to him on a platter.

  • Jewels

    Please help: I have a friend who is going through this at the moment. I have never seen anyone love their child more than her and her husband love their daughter. However, they have never heard of this syndrome (they live in a different country where awareness about this is very low) and have made the mistake to shake them a little during the night. I understand it is considered child abuse. But I know she only shook her a little and combined with a fall a few days later, when her husband and daughter both fell because he tripped, she has had injuries that caused seizures and the need for surgery. After 3 months in the hospital with her mom, last week they took her child and now how a court date for Shaken Baby Syndrome. They are both devastated. It is their first child, and they really didn’t know about this. If they knew that shaking would cause any damage; if they were ever conscious about the existence of such an issue, they would’ve never done that. They really don’t know what to do. What can she do?

  • Jewels

    Please help: I have a friend who is going through this at the moment. I have never seen anyone love their child more than her and her husband love their daughter. However, they have never heard of this syndrome (they live in a different country where awareness about this is very low) and have made the mistake to shake them a little during the night. I understand it is considered child abuse. But I know she only shook her a little and combined with a fall a few days later, when her husband and daughter both fell because he tripped, she has had injuries that caused seizures and the need for surgery. After 3 months in the hospital with her mom, last week they took her child and now how a court date for Shaken Baby Syndrome. They are both devastated. It is their first child, and they really didn't know about this. If they knew that shaking would cause any damage; if they were ever conscious about the existence of such an issue, they would've never done that. They really don't know what to do. What can she do?

  • Anonymous

    yes that would be shaken baby syndrome ,so griefly when i read it i could not control my self. im a neonatologist resident at AGA KHAN HOSPITAL KARACHI PAKISTAN

  • drzulfiqarali

    yes that would be shaken baby syndrome ,so griefly when i read it i could not control my self. im a neonatologist resident at AGA KHAN HOSPITAL KARACHI PAKISTAN

  • melisa monson

    my grandson was 4 months old . when we took him for his 4 month check up. the dr.noticed brain was swollen ordered ct scan. discovered sweeling. sent us to san antonio. to see specialist they admitted him and said it was . shaking baby syndrome,we could not understand how that could happen.the father just recently admitted to head butting my grandson.there hasnt been any formal charges brough against him. he was reported by a friend of the family .that he threw my grandson on the couch and in his carseat. my daughter says she didnt see it happen and wont leave this man.i am fighting for custudy .he is in cps care. he will be a year old in july.i was touched by your story that u put the restraining order on your husband. and that ur husband admitted to his fault. and accepted his punishment even if it meant leaving his family.

  • Sarah

    My family has a very very similar story. I too was treated like a monster by social workers who were supposed to be there to help. I too am well-educated and was told I wasn’t the stereotype. None of my children were shaken, but an incident that was the result of severe depression following a very long deployment brought very similar circumstances into our lives. After a lengthy separation, a lot of counseling, a lot of tears, and having the fight of my life for my children in court, we’re healing. I never lost custody of my children, but only because I literally threw them in my van and ran as far away as I could get to prove I was serious about protecting them from a man who was so destroyed from events unrelated to our family that he simply wanted to die. I have nightmares about losing my children and I am insanley over protective. My life will never be the same again. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I too have family members unwilling to accept my decisions, and I appreciate reading a story from someone else who understands.

    • Sarah

      Hi, I would just like to say that this story is what is saving my family. For the simple fact that we’re going through the exact same thing and it gives us both hope that one day we’ll be able to be a family again, thank you so much for letting me as well as my husband know that we can get through it, it may take time but there’s a light at the end!
      Thank you so much!

  • Toni

    I do believe that you are suppose to forgive, but as far as taking him that sucks yes children need there fathers in their life but how could you ever trust him with your children again that’s the hard part.. he could have very well seen his children without you taking him back. while you were in his presents

  • Leah worrell

    I was thinking all sorts of horrible things just now… (most im sure you’ve already heard) when i read the decision you made to stay with your husband… then i read the last paragraph, that said when you see the love your little girls when they look at their daddy… you did make the right decision. it has nothing to do with “your wants and needs” because i know how i would feel if my husband had done the same… i wouldnt want or need him ANYWHERE near me or my children. you were think of the wants and needs of the girls when you made this decision to stay a family. im sure he has enough guilt to where he doesnt need to feel anymore especially from anything that i could say so im not gunna comment on how horrible what he did is… all that matters is that hes sorry and never meant to hurt his little girl… and when you finally tell them both what happened (most importantly “Erin”) tough she may feel betrayed and hurt im sure in time she will accept her fathers apology and their bond will grow from it…. This is an amazing story about how everyone makes mistakes… some however do learn from them… and how love and forgivness can keep a family together through great tragedy. i loved the last paragraph in this story. you are a stong woman and a wonderful mother. none of this was your fault… as far as your brother and sister and whoever else doesnt agree with the decision youve made, you cant really blame them, but hopifully someday they weigh it out and hopifully being a part of not only your life but your childrens lifes will outweigh the grudge they are despretely holding onto and they finally let go of the hate in their hearts. god bless you and your family i wish you all the best in life.

    with love,

    leah

  • Ellen

    Thank you for sharing your story. My grandson was shaken by his father when he was 2 months old. He suffered from seisures and has been dianosed as being legally blind. He now is 11 months old and is such a sweet child. His life was spared by God and we are blessed daily by his life. Forgiveness for his father was hard, but needed. Your story is the only one I can find that gives us hope for the family to live together some day.

  • Sandylovebasketball

    they are both horrible parents, the mom is worse though for staying with the abuser

  • Aaron Jones

    I’m shocked at the hurtful comments those outside of your situation freely dump on you, as if their opinion is at all important. You are incredible! Your children will in the future, thank you for being stronger than your accusers. The system should be readjusted or targeted to address each case individually, but funding keeps them from being remotely effective. No doubt was this difficult on everyone involved, its sad that those getting paid to help you, do more damage than good. I don’t condone your husbands behavior, but living with his guilt Im sure is far more painful than anything the justice system could throw his way. So glad to see a woman go against the grain and fight for her family. Wish we had more of you.
    Thank you.

  • King

    You all need to grow up. This woman’s husband had one snap. This is no way makes him a terrible person. Any of you could do the same. She decided to stay with him because she loved him. That is a choice that is both brave and honorable. As for her husband, id bet my own life he’s not going to do it again. So stop talking about what you don’t understand.

    • motherofashakenbaby

      NO! not any of us could do i. and I do understand my son is a SBS baby And even with his now disabilities and crying I’ve never shaken him. Maybe you are the one who needs to stop talking about what you’ve never been through, had you been through it you wouldn’t be quick to dismiss it. She loved him? so what! her love for her baby should have been a deeper love since the baby is innocent and can’t defend itself

      • Lamila

        Wow…..really?! I’m sorry that your baby was shaken and I know you hurt. I’ve never been in your shoes so I can’t say how I would feel. But who are you to say that this woman should leave her husband because he made a mistake. Because for one split second he didn’t think of the consequenses of his actions. I’m sure that’s what was meant by it could have been anyone, because no man or woman on this earth is without sin, but you are forgiven on a daily basis. This woman chose to forgive her husband because he is not perfect. I think she deserves a handclap.

      • Abby Laffayette

        I’m sorry, for your baby and all you’ve been through. My daughter recently Passed away and my son is fighting cancer. But if she loved her husband why should she leave him? Who snapped and shook your baby, because you can’t judge people if you’ve done the same. I’m sorry, but it’s not fair. You think that it’s okay for you to do it because you love your son but not for him because he loves his daughter? How is that fair?

      • http://www.facebook.com/kim.bailey.9484941 Kim Bailey

        A child’s life & safety are more important than anything & I be damn if I would stay with the person who harmed my child. I would be calling a divorce lawyer & he would be kicked to the curb. God bless all the families that have gone through this horrible tragedy.

        • Amy Lynn

          i agree kim. im a mom and a young one but even i know between right and wrong. and it was the wrong choice she made to stay. it was a mistake that coulda killed his daughter. shes dumb to stay

  • weep

    I came across this story because of what has happened in my family 2 weeks ago. Everything about it can be applied to my life right now except I don’t know how my little boy (also 2 months old) is going turn out. Only time can tell. But I have so much hope for my baby after reading your story so thank you, thank you, thank you. You don’t know how much hope your story has given me. I, too am staying in a relationship with my husband. He is not a monster. It was totally out of character for him. And I know that through getting help and therapy he is going to sort himself out and get well again. Our little boy is not going to benefit from me throwing him out of our lives. And a lot of social workers simply don’t understand this.
    Your story is my story. And your happy ending hopefully mine too…

  • Makaylacooper13

    this story was very sad i am in school and we have to do a project over shaken baby syndrome and i am going to use Ur story in my paper to help people see how big of a problem this is Ur story was very touching to me i was crying when i read this. i am sorry you and Ur family had to go through this

  • Angelachristina627

    I’m going through this exact situation right now. Happened a week ago, my son (only son) was just released from the hospital and im living with my brother and his wife for support. My son is also on medicine for seizures. The father is in jail (his hearing is not for a month so he will be spending our sons first christmas locked up) and I am mad at him for what happened but when I see the absolute guilt and devestation in his face I just feel bad. Right now I am so thankful I have my little boy but I hope someday my family will be reunited. I wouldn’t want him to not know his father because of one horrible mistake. Found this article looking for anyone who feels the way I do, maybe looking for support.. i dont know but this is so similar to my situation right now I just cried so hard reading it. They say his father is looking at years in jail, my little boy won’t even know who he is. I just keep remembering the day we brought him home, in the car, looking at eachother. I wish I could go back to that day and inform him of the damage that can be caused shaking a baby, he didn’t know. This whole thing could have been avoided, and I keep finding ways to blame myself…

  • Crystal

    This is such a sad and touching story, but in the same aspect Erin can be viewed as one of the lucky ones because she is a survivor. I know you would have hoped for it not to had happened and I can completely sympathize with the way you may feel, I pray that Erin leads a long healthy life and you all can move on as much as you can from this unfortunate event as one can. But what alarms me is that while reading this I knew before you mentioned that you stayed with him, that you were going to in fact stay with him. I knew this because you didn’t seem angry at your husband in the slightest, which really scares me. Sure you may have forgiven him but one day Erin is going to be angry with him! One day she’s going to question why she has to take medication everyday, and she is going to look at you for a certain kind of strength and guidance that you can not provide! You have to be strong for you children, protect you children from everyone and everything! Yes you love him and yes he could have snapped but YOU DOOO NOTTT SNAPPP AND SHAKE YOUR BABY!!! Everyone who is saying he just snapped needs to research how hard you actually have to shake a baby…because it only take a couple of VERY violent shakes to affect the baby…not a second of minor shakes!…n also what is so alarming was that he wasn’t going to tell you until he had NO CHOICE!…JUST THINK, WHY DO YOU THINK HE WAS HOLDING THE BABY WHEN YOU CAME BACK? (probably to soften to cries…or maybe because she fainted….) these questions would haunt me!….You are truely sleeping with the enemy. He is violent and sneaky! Normal, Loving people don’t do things like that to the child! If my husband ever did that to my son…he would be in the icu…opps did I say that!!! But I’m not trying to come down on you just hope you made the best choice for your children I sincerely wish you and your children all the luck in the world! You deserve it!!!

  • Lamil

    Wow….what a story, I’m so sorry for what you and your family had to go through. This could have happened to anyone. Times are rough and we are all human. I think you made the right desicion. God forgives and noone on this earth is worthy of his forgiveness but he gives it anyway, so why wouldn’t you forgive the father of your children, the man that god placed in your life. Yes he hurt your daughter, but at some point in life haven’t we all hurt someone. I will pray for you and your family.

  • Bkleege

    My son is now 39 years old. He was shaken at 10 months old by his Dad. Life was never the same after that day for any of us. My son was in a coma for 10 days and an ulcer formed around the main artery of his stomach causing extreme GI bleeding. The doctor’s bluntly told me that he would die. God had other plans and he lived. His Dad and I became separated and his Dad committed suicide 2 years later. I prayed a lot and struggled as a single parent with a disabled child for many years. I remarried 16 years ago. My son struggled through school but finally graduated with a GED diploma in 1992. He has right sided brain damage and left hemiparesis. Problems with motivation, self abusive behavior like hitting himself while watching wrestlemania or certain sports. Seems somewhat depressed and seems to live in a fantasy world through playstation etc. Going on 40 but more like a 12 year old. He has been in counseling for years without much progress. I have had some counseling also and know that I have to accept him and love him as he is. Try as I might, I can’t fix him. He moved out from our home about 4 years ago. Got in a fight with his 1st roomate who also had a TBI. Next apartment by himself with rehab help, he was doing fairly well until he befriended a street person who stole his money etc. Presently, he just moved in with another roomate who he seems to be getting along well with. However the landlord called me this week to inform me that he had thrown his Wii controller in a fit of anger at a game and smashed the sliding glass door in his apartment. He will be charged for replacing it. My husband and I are in our sixties now and realize that we won’t be around forever to help him. We have had some medical scares. I keep wondering if there is something more I can do to help my son. I have stressed negatives here but he also has a very loving and endearing personality. He has many language strengths and can talk on many interesting subjects. I truly hope that your daughter has a happy and fulfilling life as she grows up. I also wish peace to you and your husband. God Bless.

  • Brianna

    i think you did the right thing… but i dont no if i could forgive my husband for that.

  • Jfstargirl3

    My name is Jamie Lee and I have a story… I was a shaken baby– I was shaken until I was unconscious but somehow God helped me make it through and now I am a survivor.. Hes made me a miracle. I was adopted officially when I was three years old because of what my biological father did to me…. He violently shook me when I was a few months old as a baby..Heres my story:It was my biological dad who shook me… He was mad at something that I was doing…I was too young- I was about a couple months old after I was born when this happened so I don’t remember any of this. But now I’m 15 years old, going on 16 and things have happened that I can not explain. My biological dad beat me, shook me and caused major brain damage.. Brain damage that could either paralyze, or could have given me mental retardation so I could not move or walk, but I could think The hospital nurses, doctors and other people who were treating me did not know how I was going to turn out… But God had plans for me for the future! He helped me every step of the way until I was fully healed.But now, I still have seizures but they are not that bad, and sometime, I will hope to write a book on my whole life and how I was a survivor and I hope in the future when I write it and publish it, I hope people will read it and enjoy my book on my life and my child life on my abuse and personal life and how I am doing now…

  • Natasha

    Honestly hearing this it feels like my life I am 22 now but when I was 19 my child went through the same thing also 2 months old I cryed the whole time ..how uneducated people are and how many times I was blamed for what happened but unlike you when I was in the hospital a nurse said to me how could you let this happen ….the guilt you feel the what if a had just stayed home that day…me and my husband didn’t make it like you said trust is a word that carries a lot of weight…he was also forced out of my house and made to stay away and knowing deep down what he had done couldn’t look him in the face..I was emotionally torn apart because I was heart broken for myself and my daughter and like you I also had an older child who would now not be seeing their father …everything you felt is exactly what I felt the police the courts the social worker….EI speech and optometrists …my heart truly goes out to you and your family for your hard times no one can understand better than someone who had my perfect life flipped upside down in just a second …I’m still in court for it now.. But I also was lucky all the hard work and my daughter is to thriving and never stops amazing me with her strength … Keep your head up and as for your family it hurts and as bad as you felt it they do to and a big part of this is learning to understand that many people have there own opinions and won’t always be great ones but until they have stood exactly were you stand they could never know

  • Jamier8989

    I have a freind who is going through the same thing but… the mother who has finally addimt to shakiing her baby after months of lying has destory other peoples lives. The biological mother stated to the police she didnt know how hard she shaken her daughter but did it out of jealous of her ex boyfriend and his new wife. since this has happen the mother , children srvices and the mother lawyer wants to press charges against the new wife and had the new wife child taken away . i know nothing wil happen to the biological mother who has also shaken her son to where he is voilence and walks with his head to the side. I think the mother should pay for the damage she has cost these children and the lives of all the people she has hurt by her lies. please tell me what do you think??? will the state of ca let this woman go free or press charges against her?? for the damage she has done and costing others who only tried to help her.

  • HaileesMom

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this! I am going through the same exact situation with my family, however it has only been 3 months, the longest three months of my life! I too was very lucky in that my daughter is doing well. I too have decided to stay with my husband and every time i see him I see the regret and remorse in his eyes. But as like your story not everyone in my family sees it the way I do. This was inspirational to know that maybe one day when we see an end to this we can once again be a family as well 

  • Kitah

    I can exactly relate to this story. Recently my daughter who was 6 weeks at the time, now she is 12 weeks old, got shaken by my partner.
    I went through the same ordeal, the hospital, the machines she was hooked up to, the police, child protection, etc.
    My partner, just like yours, didn’t intentionally mean to harm my baby girl, but people need to realise having a newborn baby is stressful, especially when they are crying, and unlike females, males hide emotions and don’t let us know when they aren’t coping.
    It’s a hard thing, a very hard thing to deal with. I am struggling with it all now that I have to manage on my own.
    I do not know how you could of done it with another child!

    But seriously people who have a problem with her partner, leave him the hell alone! Accidents do happen, and unfortunately some bad ones happen but we are only humans!!!!!!!1

  • gurlypowa

    although i find this story very touching, very sad… i disagree with forgiving the husband. reading some of the comments stating that it was a “mistake” angers me. a “mistake” is something like, taking your eyes off the baby and he or she falls off the table. conciously SHAKING your baby, knowing how fragile the little one is… is NOT a mistake. what’s the difference between THAT and punching the baby in the head?? would THAT be considered a “mistake” as well? or sexually abusing the child? is THAT a “mistake”? sorry, but some “mistakes” you can’t even make ONCE. as a parent, i would never let anyone who has conciously hurt my child anywhere near my child again. regardless of who that may be.

    i hope for ur sake that your decision was the right one, and your husband will never ever do that again. your choice was to stay with him… but would you ever be able to leave him to watch over the child again? it will be hard.

  • Melissahancock199

    Why on earth are you still with this man? He didn’t even hve the guts to tell you what he did asap for the sake of your childs health.

  • Baby_girl_xoxox2003

    I am in the same spot you were a few years ago… except my fiancee is is jail right now.. and my son is hooked up to a few machines now.. I am 8 and my fiancee is 20.. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to over come.. and I just want to know how did you over come this?? I am alone with this

  • Abby Laffayette

    You are a great, loving mother! My twins are 3 months old, and I can’t imagine being as strong as you. Your husband didn’t mean to hurt your baby girl. So why shouldn’t you stay with him? An abuser is a repeating offender. Your husband isnt an abuser! I will be praying for you, your husband, and both your babies. I pray that your little girl gets completely healed with no damage and you and your husband find the right words and the strength to tell your daughters what happened someday. Wait until you are ready. Their dad, your husband, isn’t a monster, so what is there to he afraid of? If you ever need to talk, feel free to email me at abbylaffayette@yahoo.com

  • Brycen’s Mommy

    MY SON WAS 5 MONTHS OLD HE WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND STARTED THROWING UP I HAD BROUGHT HIM TO HIS DOCTOR AND THEY SAID IT WAS A VIRUS A WEEK LATEA THINGS STARTED GETTING WORSE SO I BROUGHT HIM TO CHILDRENS HOSPITAL THE DOCTORS SAID HIS BLOOD WORK CAME BACK FINE I HAD TOLD THEM EVERYTIME I PICK HIM UP HE CRYS SO THEY DID XRAYS CAME BACK HE HAD 3 BROKEN RIBS THEY DID A CAT SCAN AND HE HAD BLOOD AROUND HIS BRAIN (SBS) THE ONLY PERSON THAT WATCHED MY SON WAS MY BOYFRIEND WHILE I WORKED THIS IS SOMEONE I HAVE BEEN KNOWING FOR OVER 10 YRS CHILD PROTECTION TOOK MY BABY AWAY FROM ME IM GOING TO COURT TO TRY TO GET HIM BACK I HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT TO THE STATE TAKE PARENTING CLASSES AND HOLD A JOB THATS FINE I WILL DO WHAT I AVE TO DO TO GET MY SON BACK ON THE OTHER HAND THIS MAN PASSED THE LIE DETECTOR BUT WAS ON A NERVE PILL WHEN HE TOOK IT HE HAS HIS CHILDREN AND IS A FREE MAN I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE ARE GETTING AWAY WITH HURTING CILDREN AND BABIES IT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH AND I WOULD NEVER EVER THINK ABOUT GETTING BACK WITH SOMEONE WHO HURT MY CHILD…

  • Cranky_lady13

    your husband made a mistake, one mistake that could have killed your daughter, but everyone has a breaking point, and he was man enough to admit what he had done, he obviously loves his daughter because he felt bad for doing what he did. i think you made the right choice by forgiving him, but word of wise, never forget whats happened, granted it might have been an accident, it could still happen again.

  • SICKOFYOURLIES

    The BIGGEST CHILD ABUSER in this nation is the DOCTORS 42 vaccines that are causing this SHAKING BABY DEATHS.  FIRST IT IS NOT shaking baby, it is the vaccine and doctors are turning on the parents because they are not wanting to admit they murdered that baby and many others with the vaccines.  This nation is insane to believe DRUG companies are for the good of the people.  Over 3,000 parents are in jail with this new syndrome and doctors are the cause.  More and more parents are becoming aware of the murder by drugs and vaccines.  Go to http://www.nvic.org and learn what is in vaccines and the dangers before you vaccinate your child with AMA toxic potions.  Go to http://www.mercola.com to find doctors who tell the truth.  This article is a typical propaganda tool to control the masses through fear.  Now we have a bunch of crazies because of a poor economy.  It did not happen in the depress times and why would they assume it is now.  STUPID AMA, FDA and DRUG COMPANIES are murders!

  • Stephieblob

    What a tragic story. But you guys were honest, paid the consequences, and are taking the right steps now. More than a lot of people would have done. Thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda333

    She should not have been selfish wanting to go out with friends when her baby was just born a few weeks age. My son is almost 4 months old and I have yet to leave his presence. The father must have some brain damage himself thinking that by shaking a baby it would make them sleep. Wtf is wrong with people. If anyone was to harm my child in any way I would never forgive. My child’s life means more to me than my own life. I can’t veloce how much wiser I am than these parents and I am only 19. What a shame. That poor child deserves so much better.

  • Jazmineayers95

    well im doing this research paper in child development, and i was looking up facts and saw your paper, so i decided to go ahead and skim it. it actually made me cry, im soooo sorry about your little angel

  • Peck_47

    Ok so I have been reading comments below and all you people saying he is a bad person **** *** what you guys don’t relize is he is going to live with this for the rest of his life.he is human and every single one of us has had our weak moments. I’m not saying he did not do anything wrong he just couldn’t deal with the situation at hand. He knows it was wrong and I would give my left nut that he would take it back if he could.

    People in the story I hope your daughter lives a good life.

  • Pennyking27

    i as a mother of a new born i cant imagine someone doing this to my baby but on the other hand any first time parent will know how fustrating it is when your baby cries constantly for no reason and u not getting sleep,all these thing play a part in parents snapping,believe me i am not making excuses for what he has done to his child but it does happen and what can u do well i see most of u have already judge without really understanding why it happen,the thing i dont understand about human is that it is so hard to forgive yet we pray for forgiveness so why should we get it if we cant give it i am sure that man is sorry for what he did and he prayed for forgiveness and he already recieved it so give him a break and dont be so judgemental 

  • Abby

    hi everyone, not sure if anyone still chats on here, but i was hoping i could talk with someone who is going threw a case of sbs right now or has in the past. I have great support from God and family but its nice to talk to someone who is also a parent going threw this. My son was admitted to the hospital recently and we were told that his injuries are likely non accidental and go hand in hand with sbs.. drs say that he will most likely never develop past a 2-3 month baby, will never talk, walk, eat, interact. I am his mother and completly devasted. if theres anyone that i can talk to i would appreciate very much thank you..

  • babymiracle

    hi everyone,  i was hoping i could talk with someone who is going threw a case of sbs right now or has in the past. I have great support from God and family but it would be nice to talk to someone who is also a parent going threw this. My son was admitted to the hospital recently and we were told that his injuries are likely non accidental and go hand in hand with sbs.. drs say that he will most likely never develop past a 2-3 month baby, will never talk, walk, eat, interact. etc I am his mother and completly devasted. if theres anyone that i can talk to i would appreciate it very much. thank you..

  • babymiracle

    hi everyone, i was hoping i could talk with someone who is going threw a case of sbs right now or has in the past. I have great support from God and family but its nice to talk to someone who is also a parent going threw this. My son was admitted to the hospital recently and we were told that his injuries are likely non accidental and go hand in hand with sbs.. drs say that he will most likely never develop past a 2-3 month baby, will never talk, walk, eat, interact. I am his mother and completly devasted. if theres anyone that i can talk to i would appreciate very much thank you..

  • Jay22

    I hope you and your family recover fully so that your brother and sister can accept your husband back into the family.
    I never for a second thought that you would leave him while reading the story, it didnt even cross my mind until you mentioned it.
    I would stay wth my husband if I ever had to face this terrible desicion, and I am so glad to hear that your daughted has no major long time effects.
    It was a moment of pure insanity and it happens to mothers and fathers who deeply love their babies. I remember telling my partner when we firt had our baby that if he was even feeling too stressed by crying that he should leave the baby down and go out of the room. play some music to cover the crying if he has to, and calm down before going back to him. But I think that there should be more education, and definatly more education about the fact that fathers can shake their babies too.
    best of luck hun xxxxx

  • T_ospeaks

    Shaking doesn’t cause the symptoms used to diagnose SBS, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics changed the name to “Abusive Head Trauma” because severe impact is needed, and violent shaking would injure the neck before causing injury to the head. No witnessed incident of shaking has ever been known to cause those symptoms. Not even the far more violent whiplash injury of vehicle accidents causes it, but many other things do. It appears that “inconsolable crying” preceded the shaking incident. That in itself is a red flag–it’s a sign of brain inflammation, for one thing, which means the condition may have come first and the shaking after. Vaccines, infections, certain meds and other causes can produce brain inflammation/swelling which in turn can cause hemorrhaging, or there are many caused of blood disorders and bleeding that can come first and cause brain swelling. Where were the neck injuries in this case? –I don’t think so. You may have a parent guilty of frustration and bad judgement, but innocent of abuse and causing injury, which makes it potentially a double tragedy.

  • miraclebaby

    Erins mom: is there a way i can speak to you? do you have facebookor email i can contact you on or can i give you my contact information? Im going trough a similar case in some ways and would love/ appreciate if we can chat.. thank you for sharing your story..

  • kay

    Kay

    me and my ex are now back together again thanks to you thank you for all your help I really appreciate it you have been a lot of help thank you so  much me and him would have never gotten back 2 gather if it was not for your helpful love spell thanks again. sincerely.i will always spread your great work. if you are in need of this man you can contact him, is a good spell caster at reunitingexspell@gmail.com 

  • GracieW

    I never understood how anyone could shake a baby until now. My first son was such an easy baby. He almost never cried, never got sick, slept soundly, cooed adorably and was just the easiest baby in the world. I would read stories like this and feel very judgmental. Now I have a 2 month old son. He has colic and some nights he just screams and screams. I try the swing, the vibrating bouncer, gripe water, nursing, rocking, burping, swaddling…and he still cries and cries. My husband works overnight so I’m on my own at night and during the day when my husband is sleeping. Last night I felt myself growing angry. I was beyond exhausted and the baby would not stop screaming. But I recognized my growing anger. I put the baby in his crib and went downstairs and fell asleep on the couch. When I came back up an hour later, the baby had cried himself to sleep. I felt guilty but I knew he was alright and crying it out would not hurt him. But never again will I judge these parents. Good people who are sleep deprived can snap under stress. Thats why education is so important. Parents need to know if they are feeling angry they need to put the baby down and walk away. There is no shame in that. We’re all human.

  • Lisa

    I can not speak on the sbs but i can speak on mistakes my father shot my sister in the head by a mistake he was outside cleaning the gun and the gun went off and shot my older sister in the head and my mom forgave my father and they being together for forty five years people make mistakes what im trying to understand why she would want to leave and be away from her two month old if she’s not working i have a seven month old i do not let his father watch him and he is a great father babies needs a womens touch so if i have to go the store doctor anywhere my mother watches him and you know what my father did what he did but i finds myself watching every move he makes with my son i dont trust my father that much with him and what he did was a mistake but i dont judge my mother on why she stayed with my father and im glad they together i love my father  

  • Natalea

    If at all possible I would like to speak to the mother who wrote this…I am going through an extremely similar experience. please email me at nnmy16@yahoo.com

  • Littlesandraj

    Would you have keep your marriage vows if you husband was sent to prison for 15 years? If your baby died 2 1/2 years later as a direct result of his actions? It’s easy for people to judge when they haven’t walked in our shoes. You mentioned an older child and I assume he never did anything like this before and I’m sure he won’t again. Yes, he should have told you sooner, but at least he told you. Your lucky that your baby was 2 months old, not 3 weeks old like my baby girl. You love your husband and your family. Your husband was lucky to get probation. I’m happy you were able to keep your family together. I learned something about forgiveness just this past Sunday. We forgive others for our benefit. If we chose to forgive, it does mean that we have to re-establish a relationship with that person. I’m glad your husband is back in your family. My situation was a little different, my husband got sentenced to 15 years, so I lost my baby and husband in one fatal moment. I too trusted my husband to watch our baby. I purposely got pregnant again before he was sentenced to prison so I could fill the void inside of me. I ended up divorcing him and remarrying  a wonderful man that adopted my son. This happened over 12 years ago, and my first husband will be release on August 16, 2012. I still have a connection to him that I’m trying to break, but I am coming to realize why i am having such a hard time, it’s because i feel it’s the only connection to my dead baby. People can say what they want to say, and judge, and say what they would do in our situation, but until they walk in our shoes, they need to keep their mouths quiet because their words only hurt the victims in this situation, the mothers.  And by the way, it’s the father’s job to protect the family including the children, don’t blame the mother’s for not protecting their children.

  • Blhudak

    This is such a heartfelt and honest account of such a tragic situation.  I have such a better understanding of the “human” side of this story.  You and your husband are both humans and should both be treated as such. I can imagine how devastating this has been for both of you. I know how difficult it can be to forgive a spouse, but it can also be the very catalyst for the survival of your family. You are a brave and courageous woman, a loving mother and a supportive spouse.  Please don’t let the negative and ignorant comments make you think any different.

  • Amanda

    Hello,
    I am in the process of adopting my nephew. He was shaken at 6 weeks old, he is now 22 months. He is blind in his left eye and developmentally delayed. Not sure about permanent brain damage yet, he shows a lot of signs for autism, but we were very lucky. My younger sister, 19, moved states to be with me and our older sister when she was six months pregnant. When my nephew was six weeks she was tired and said she just wanted him to stop crying. She shook him, but the crying got worse and so she forcefully hit his head on the tile floor while laying him down causing three skull fractures. She said she was so scared and he was sleeping and breathing so she never told. About a week later she rushed him to the er for vomitting and seizures. It wasn’t long before the doctors figured it out and she confessed. My husband and I took him home after his very brave fight. I completely understand when you talk about social services. One worker told my older sister it was her fault and tried to have her daughter taken from her. We have had him for almost two years now and have always planned to adopt and they have done nothing but try to break us and get us to put him into foster care. I recently contacted our governor and am happy to say that all of those workers have resigned and the adoption begins this month. My sister was sentenced to ten years. She’s taking several self help classes in prison and hopefully soon will be able to take some college courses. We have talked a lot about the situation and I have explained that she will be away and he needs stability. I was angry at her still and she understood. I told her she deserved the chance to start over when her time was served, but not with him. I will tell him the truth when he is old enough, even started a scrapbook, and then he can decide if he wants a relationship with her and he can ask her any questions he has. He is doing really well, he’s adjusting to his sight and progressing everyday. He is a miracle. Your story speaks to me and reminds me that I’m not alone…and neither are you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Lala

    My husband is an alcoholic and an abuser of me physically and mentally. We have a 11 month old boy who is my life. I can tell you from experience that I have been to the very brink of distraction with my child. He to this day is up every other hour, doesn’t nap, and typically no matter how hard I try goes to bed late. I have been sleep deprived without a stitch of help for 11 months. I get no help from my loser husband and my baby wakes up screaming and I lay in bed and my blood boils. I want to scream I want to cry and my anger spills out of me…. I have never hit, punched, shaken, pinched, bit so much as spanked my child. I will tell you this I have wanted to unleash on something anything. This man had an extreme moment of weakness. I must say that his tolerance level was low. But it just happened so fast. He has to live with this nightmare forever. I can see how someone gets there, but education means everything. Just walk away and take a deep breathe. Abuse is cyclical, my anger and frustration has nothing to do with my child really it’s the fact that my husband treats me awful, sleeps in, forgets to pay the bills and leaves me with a high needs baby. This all combined, like in many cases could lead to abuse. I have to remember who is the innocent here and it is sure easy to remember , no matter what my world revolves around my child.

  • Elaine

    You are a very strong woman. I admire you for being that way.Thank you for being an example.

  • janna

    Hi, I have some questions. First, how could you find it possible to let your husband back into your home? After reading this: “A series of MRIs has shown that Erin’s brain has some damage that might impact her vision when she’s older” I was terrified. Aren’t you afraid he’ll hurt your child or both children again?? Reading your article I don’t sense a whole lot of contrition or soul-searching on your husband’s part…you mention that he was on probation, but what about intensive counseling or anger management?

  • UncleHoot

    Curious… Black stool is a sign of a bleeding disorder, which may have many causes. However, it is most certainly not a sign of shaken baby syndrome. Even more interesting is that bleeding disorders are very commonly misdiagnosed as SBS. Sadly, this misdiagnosis may have resulted In a much poorer outcome for this child.
    Could the baby have had a bleeding disorder and have been shaken? I guess that can’t be ruled out, but no shaking may have been necessary.

  • Vanessa Thornton

    Ive been through something very similar, if this mother reads this, I’d like to talk with you! Thorntonvanessa@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    Katie, I completely agree with you. My daughter was shaken at two months old. My premature, 5lb, two month old. She was alone with her father and I still don’t know to this day what made him hurt my little angel, she also suffered multiple skull fractures and spent a few weeks in ICU.But I too do not understand how someone could reconcile and forgive such a monster. My daughters father is in jail now, still hasn’t been sentenced. My daughter is now 6 months old and I don’t know how this will affect her long term.

  • Chiagirllover

    “HE ALMOST MURDERED YOUR DAUGHTER ISN’T HER LIFE MORE IMPORTANT THEN BEING WITH THIS MAN??? ”

    It his child too I’m sure that he never ment to hurt her. From this story what he did wasn’t nearly as bad as what your sons father did but it doesnt change the fact the they both are still the fathers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kim.bailey.9484941 Kim Bailey

    Obviously it isn’t more I portent or else she would not be with him & god forbid those kid(s) are harmed again he won’t be the only one at fault bc she knew what he was capable of from the first time.

  • Janedoe

    Though what this person did is wrong and more awarness and education is in need. The bible says to forgive a person 70x 70 times no one is perfect. And unless you are perfect you should not judge another person. I ask you have you ever been stressed to the limits with a crying baby ?? Unless you have you can’t say how you would react with out the proper education.

  • Melisa

    my grandson is a victim of shaking baby syndrome,he is in the process of getting his health bk in order . he is currently 15 months old and is such a joy!!!! he is still in foster care in san antonio tx, i am his gammaw and i am still fighting for custody of him. i dod not know what cps is going to do with his parents . i am very upset because my daughter wont leave the man who admitted head butting my sweet grandson. he is an alcoholic and a controlling person. i try to forgive but i wont forget. what he has done to gammaws baby boy. pleas anybody who reads this little info. pray for my sweet granson. he has had 3 surgeries allready. drs say he is fine at this time to be precautious and bring bk for follow ups. cps on the other hand is taking their sweet time on letting him come home to me. i pray whatever path our dear lord chooses for my grandson, i know it will be the right one. God bless all of pur victims and their families.

  • SprShedina

    Based on your theory…that same book says an eye for an eye. It is full of contradictions. She is a mother. Her job is to protect the child she was blessed with. That so called MAN is a fully grown adult and should have none better. He was/is selfish to the point that it has caused this child permanent damage. All because his “tender, precious” ears couldn’t take the crying…come on. It’s pathetic. Her concerns and priorities are misplaced. Your brothers and sisters have the right idea….I hope those kids will be okay.

  • Dina

    I’m sure the hurt is nothing compared to the pain and damage, caused by her husband,to a poor defenseless baby…Bottom line is that there is no excuse that can justify attacking someone so small and innocent. He lied and said the day went well…he thought he got away with it just because the child couldn’t talk…that is dishonorable and disgusting.

  • v.sulkin

    you are thinking of the Hammurabi Code, it believes in “an eye for an eye”.

  • Elaine

    very true…. thats the hammurabi code… make sure that you get your facts right before you post something.

  • janna

    This echos exactly how I feel. The man abused a helpless, silent child and then LIED. He completely perverted his role of father and caretaker. The action of shaking a baby itself is horrible, but who knows what would have happened if he fessed up right away and medical intervention was sought??