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Infant Fatalities: 15 Times Mothers Were Accused Of Being The Cause

Pregnancy is definitely no easy feat. It is surely a fulfilling, exciting, and joy-filled journey; but it is also a journey equally filled with difficulties and hardships such as sleepless nights, extreme physical pains, and lots of emotional turbulence- all in nine months’ time.

After such an experience, surely losing a baby would be devastating for the expecting family- but most especially for the mother who carried the dear child in her womb, or in her arms.  It could be because of a miscarriage, or a growing infant’s sudden death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a phenomenon), with causes known or not known. Worse of all, it could be a fatality coupled with an accusation coming from the husband, or a friend, or a mother-in-law, or even her doctor (which may or may not be true).

Losing a child is terrible and harrowing enough. What more for these mothers who were accused of being the cause of their dear baby’s death? How does one get over the experience of both losing a child and losing a part of one’s dignity and peace of mind? How do these women who were blamed for the deaths of their kids feel?

Having a miscarriage or having a stillborn child is one side of a coin. But there are also shocking stories of how mothers could have negligently or maliciously caused the death of their infants. So what about those accusations that might equally point to a mother’s guilt and maliciousness? Did she really shake her baby to death? Are the allegations of killing her baby true? These are the questions that arise when mothers are also charged or accused of being the cause of the infant’s death. In this article we look at a diverse pool of sad, tragic, and horror-filled stories of many women and their experiences with babies’ deaths.

15 Baby Born At Home Dead After Just A Few Hours

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To have and to lose a baby within just a few hours- what tragedy! Even more tragic or horrible is the news that the mother of the baby, Sandy Hernandez, may or may not have caused such death of her child. In 2014, Hernandez was charged with capital murder for the death of her infant boy. The baby was found alone on the front lawn of their home “with serious head injuries”. Dr. Norma Jean Farley declared that the baby suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

On her part, Hernandez claimed that when she delivered the baby, she took the boy outside of their home and collapsed, hence injuring herself and the baby in the process. Department spokesperson J.P Rodriguez would not, however, give specifics as to why the mother was inside the home at the time emergency medical services arrived, and the motive was still ‘under investigation’.

14 “Doctor Said That I Caused My Miscarriage!”

via: stayathomemum.com.au

A woman who was pregnant for 8 weeks lost her baby in a miscarriage after she noticed some spotting one night after sexual encounters with her husband. Earlier in the day, she had an ultrasound where the baby was in a fine position, but the heartbeat was “At 95” which made the staff worried (but they told her it would be ok). Later that day, she thought the spotting was “no biggie” at first, but the situation turned drastic as she bled through her pads and had to be rushed to the ER. Upon doing an ultrasound, the baby was found to have no heartbeat.

FitMomma81 was then told by her doctor that the miscarriage was her fault! The ER doctor said that it was either the sex that caused it (which FitMomma81 doubts because they did the same thing a few weeks back) or her diet sodas that she drinks daily. “I know that's not true but hearing him say that devastated me,” she said and went to wonder if she really did cause the miscarriage.

13 Woman Charged With Criminal Negligence Over Infant’s Death

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Katrina Leigh Hazlett’s case is a swirl of confusion, tragedy, and tension. At around 7:15 AM on a Monday, police, and paramedics were called to a home in Gatineau’s Plateau due to an unresponsive baby. The infant, upon being taken to a hospital, was then pronounced dead. Though the autopsy ‘showed no signs of violence’ upon the baby, and other details of the autopsy were being withheld, police said they “noticed certain things” while the investigation was ongoing, prompting them to start a criminal investigation and eventually arrest the mother on charges of criminal negligence.

Katrina, hair blonde with pink streaks, appeared to be distraught in the court hearing. Her lawyer Marc-Andre Cayen described the situation as “tragic” and stressed that Katrina, who has no criminal record, has her family’s support. “It’s very sad. I didn’t know what was going on. I heard screaming, ‘my baby’,” a neighbor said. Katrina was released under conditions (such as abstaining from alcohol or drugs) but was set to appear in a court again around June 2017.

12 Grieving Mum Blamed For Baby’s Cot Death

via: buzzfeed.com

Esther Roseman, the mother of baby Grace who died because of a cut-off of oxygen supply due to her head hanging off the side of a cot, said she felt “tortured” because of wanting to take her own life while “having to stay strong” for her family. Her seven-week-old baby Grace had a purple marking on her neck and had died within seconds because she was not able to raise her head that rolled off the side of the cot.

The cot company Bednest accused that it was the family’s fault that the death happened, saying that Esther should not have let the baby be unaccompanied when she was in the cot when its side was half-lowered (but apparently there were no such warnings on the product at that time). But they were not finished! The firm went on further to suggest that it was Esther’s other daughter, the two-year-old Pearl, who may have left the baby in such perilous position! "As her mother, I felt nothing but guilt, self-blame, and shame,” Ester told Daily Mail when she spoke out for the first time since the verdict of ‘accidental death’

11 Woman Leaves Baby In Car While She Gets Her Hair Done

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Say what now?! In a story that popped up just this July 2017, Dijanelle Etta Fowler from Georgie apparently left her one-year-old daughter Skylar in a running car while she was getting her hair done. It would not take much to guess what happened next: her baby had suffocated when she returned to the car around 6 hours later, the car already turned off. How horrifying!

And to add to the horror, police said that instead of calling 911 right away, the mother “called someone to jump the car”, then drove around for hours (with her dead baby still in the car!), before finally calling 911 from a hospital parking to report “a medical emergency”. She was then charged with second-degree murder, concealing death, and second-degree cruelty to children. Yikes, sounds like this accusation has a lot more basis than others so far!

10 Mum Blamed Herself For Two Years

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Laura Monks, a resident of Wigan, England spent two whole years blaming herself because of the stillbirth of her son Reuben. She was so utterly devastated that she believed her own body “caused her baby to die”. In those confusing and harrowing two years, she had no answers, only doubts, and anxieties- always, always zeroing in back on the idea that it was her fault. In fact, the turbulence of emotions she was feeling was so strong her second pregnancy with daughter Niamh was nearly ruined (but the girl was born healthy, fortunately). This successful birth led her to question the actions of the doctors who cared for her when she was carrying Reuben.

It turns out it really was the hospital’s fault because they “admitted responsibility” and Laura and husband were later compensated with around 40k Pounds. It happened like this: at 34 weeks, her baby was breech so her consultant tried to ‘turn him’ in the womb, which was at first successful but the baby later turned back. This prompted the consultant to try again for two more times, and Laura described her to have been “very rough”. Laura was clearly distressed: “There was no panic or urgency. The consultant actually told meshe was going for her dinner and then she would deliver him. I was told toget a shower. I was crying, pleading for someone to listen.” Sadly her baby boy got lost from her arms, but it’s a good thing the hospitals eventually took responsibility, contrary to how Laura described how they were that day, making her feel like they wanted her out as quickly as possible.

9 Mother Attacked By Anti-Vaxxers

via: newsapi.com.au

Sometimes these anti-vaxxers (people against vaccinations, claiming that vaccines cause autism, for example) really just go overboard. Jordan DeRosier, the mother of 7-month-old Sloan who suddenly died in his cot, posted a heartfelt and heart breaking message about her son’s death, and although she did not initially share the cause of death, anti-vaxxers were quick to comment tirades and attacks on her post, saying it had to do with vaccines. Talk about insensitive!

“To those who keep commenting and messaging trying to blame vaccines for our sons death — stop,” she wrote, after many commented and even directly messaged her about her loss. With strength and determination, she showed she will not be put down easily and defended herself online, stating that the baby died because he somehow got himself stuck in the blanket, which she put on him before sleeping (another case of SIDS perhaps?). And with the feelings of guilt and grief, she says: “I will NEVER stop feeling responsible.”

8 “Tragedy On Top Of Tragedy”

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It is truly heart breaking to hear of an infant’s death- one moment the baby is sleeping and another, not anymore breathing. This was the sad case of baby Jahari Jones’ death, sleeping in his crib. His mother, Candice Semidey, was accused to be the cause (and sadly, prosecuted for it). One night she tucked him to sleep by wrapping him in a blanket, putting his face down on top of a chair cushion and another blanket. The woman herself fell asleep, and upon waking, found her son has stopped breathing.

This is the case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, wherein the babies usually less than 1 year of age die in their sleep; and though the exact causes are largely unknown, risk factors such as soft beddings and lying on the stomach can contribute to deaths. Christopher Blake, CEO of First Candle, an education and advocacy group calls this tragedy a piece of the “sad and complicated situation” that is the sudden infant deaths Americans have been seeing. He also noted how law enforcement has struggled with the “fine line between child abuse and an unpreventable SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome] tragedy.”

7 Mother Fed Son “Only Fruit And Nuts”

In today’s case of infant fatalities, an infant boy, so malnourished and with delayed development (he could very well have died!), was allegedly fed only nuts and fruit by his mother, Elizabeth Hawk, a woman from Pennsylvania who professed herself as an “extreme vegan”. She was charged with child endangering for allegedly starving her baby boy.

She was apparently “obsessed” with following the vegan diet (going vegan means consuming only plant-derived foods, so no meat or anything like that!); and according to the Fox8 report, it was said that Hawk wanted to live on sunlight and water (um, okay?!). She also apparently let the boy’s head-to-toe rash be left untreated, which the doctor commented as “inhumane”. Thankfully, the boy was improving at the custody of the father (this story sparked around October 2016).

6 “My Mother Blamed Me”

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A lot of women probably feel that the miscarriage was their fault; perhaps it is due to the mixture of feelings of frustration, loss, and inadequacy. But what more if their own mother, the baby’s grandmother, blamed them for it?! This is exactly what happened to Elizabeth, username Elizabeth0527, which she revealed in a post for Baby Center.

“I told my mom in hopes she would say something to comfort me, but instead she said it was my fault and I was never going to get pregnant again…” she wrote down. How tragic and insensitive! Given the context that Elizabeth herself was waiting for around 3 months to tell her significant other and his family, perhaps to muster up the courage, turning to her mom would have been a logical thing to do. But saying such accusations at such a time seems unacceptable. Her mom even said she would “keep miscarrying”. Truly shocking words. Fortunately, Elizabeth knows how she feels about that fiasco, telling her mom: “Thanks "mom" but F YOU!”

5 “That Was Essentially Placing All The Blame On Me”

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In some communities, talking about stillbirths and miscarriages is taboo. Three women from the South Asian community spoke to the BBC about their experiences with the tragic loss of their babies, and the blame upon them that followed. Sadia (not her real name), a Muslim from Birmingham, is one of these women. In three months’ time, she had two miscarriages. “That was essentially placing all the blame on me,” she said. Because this is what her mother-in-law had to say about her loss: “you really need to think about what you are eating.”

Her mother-in-law had apparently shared the news with her Islamic scholar and came back with those words for her. Perhaps these words made Sadia question if it was truly because of something she’d done. And this makes a difficult and tragic time even more difficult and confusing. Sadia lamented the lack of discussion surrounding stillbirth and miscarriages; she said: "If we are not talking about them, how can we open our minds to understanding what the different explanations for them might be?" We can only hope Sadia remained strong in those turbulent times.

4 "I'm Heartbroken. Who Wouldn't Be?"

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Those are the words the mother of a baby girl killed in a house fire uttered when she was interviewed by media. She insists on being innocent after being accused of leaving her toddlers alone at home. The fire happened on a Sunday, where a one-year-old and a three-year-old were left alone inside, the mother somewhere else. The one year old, named Malaya, was killed. Fortunately, the three-year-old boy survived even if critically injured.

The mother was jailed but released later on. Police insist that she left her kids alone, even said that they found “other signs of neglect” in the house, though they also started working to find more evidence. Neighbours described the mother as a party-goer, often leaving her children around 3 hours at a time, but both her grandfather and father insist she is a good mother.

3 “Today My Mom Blamed Me For My Miscarriage”

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A woman in the “Off My Chest” Reddit forum revealed the sad relationship she had with her mom, and how her mom blamed her for her miscarriage. Throw_away_ladybts described her mother as a “malignant narcissist alcoholic” who seemed to have caused much abuse in her young life. She narrated how her mother judged her partner, apparently because he was not as light-skinned and light-haired (how racist, we would say, though of course, the mother would claim otherwise, as throw_away_ladybts described).

The news of her pregnancy brought joy to her life, though that quickly turned muddy when at 15 weeks she miscarried. And guess who was the first to criticize and blame the poor woman? That’s right, her nightmarish mother. "Jesus gave you a gift and he took it away because you support people who chop up babies,” was what she literally told her daughter (wtf!) because her daughter used birth control in the past and under Planned Parenthood services. Good thing is, our narrator has some sense and proceeded to block her out of her life!

2 “A Terrible Accident”

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The morning of Church Street in Waterford in 2012 was shaken by the tragedy of a baby who was unresponsive to CPR, after being strangled in his sleep because his mother apparently rolled over him when they were sleeping together in bed. “It looks like just a horrible, horrible accident,” Deputy Royjindar Singh, of the Stanislaus County Sherriff’s Dept. said of the situation.

Indeed, what a tragedy it was! The Sherriff’s Department believes the death was accidental, and the mother was not charged either. Although it looks like this was no isolated incident: according to the Modesto Bee, in an eight-month period in Stanislaus alone, about a dozen infants have suffered a similar fate. That is why it prompted their county task force to launch a public campaign educating and warning parents of the dangers of ‘co-sleeping’ with their babies.

1 “Getting Blamed For Miscarriage?”

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This woman is just fed up with all the blame and shame that is being piled upon her when learning of her miscarriage. It was not only her sister but even her co-worker! We don’t think that’s very proper or civil! Hokusmouse, for the Baby Center forum, revealed how her “pregnancy symptoms were low” and how her baby was “super slow” in developing even from the beginning. Her doctors told her it was just bad genes.

Co-worker enters the picture and asks her to her face if it might have been because of her dieting (she lost a lot of weight in the year past) that’s why she miscarried (“Who does that?” Hokusmouse commented and we’d have to agree!). To make things even worse, her sister, who apparently has not called her or emailed her to offer condolences since the tragedy, insinuated to their mother that she caused her own miscarriage. The narrator described the sister as a “microwaves will kill you” kind of person. We’ll leave the judgment of such person to you, dear readers!

Sources: Thesun, NYdailynews, Mayoclinic, BBC, Fox2detroit

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