Sunday, June 15, 2014

#26 - The Start of a New Chapter (Journal Entries Through October 2011)

Well, it was bound to happen.  After feeling so uplifted and prayed for from our little town, our extended family, out-of-state friends, and even people we don't even know, we got an anonymous letter in the mail from someone local that's not supportive.  In fact 'he' accused us not only of hurting our baby girl, but also taking advantage of the situation.  'He' continued with how we should not let Bryer receive therapy services through the Infant Toddler Program when it was 'our fault' that she was in the state she is in to begin with.  'He' was angry that we had 'gotten away' with this.   The letter goes on and on, but I'm not wasting my time on it.

When I first read it, I have to say I was hurt.  There were tears.  Jason was stronger and didn't give it as much thought as I did.  As much as I didn't want to worry about what someone thought of me, I let it matter.   We have had so much community support, but I knew that there were probably those that either didn't know the whole story or had given in to small town gossip.  I have to say that I can't blame them.  If I were them, I would struggle with the opinions of the doctors too.  Those that know me, well, they know me.  Those that don't, I have come to now know, don't really matter.  Now that I've let my emotions settle, I feel extremely sad for the person who wrote it.  He has taken his judgements so far as to spend the time in negativity to write to us in an  anonymous letter instead of coming to us.  I have nothing to hide.  I'm an open book - about that day, about Bryer, about the process we have been through.  Most people don't ask, but I don't suppose I would either if I were on the other side.  If I could, I'd welcome a crowd to be in that room with me on that day.  But honestly, those that want to gossip, will do just that.  Those that matter wouldn't need to be in that room.  They already know. 

Oct 19, 2011
After being down for 4 days sick, I have had time to think.  Time to work things out in my head.  Stress.  Grief.  Lack of rest.  Accept some things that I hadn't been ready to accept.  Not everyone is supportive.  That's okay with me.  I would love to please everyone all of the time, but it's just not possible.  I will be who I am and for those that matter, it will be good enough.  I have known for a long time that Bryer's spirituality and the effect she has on people is exactly how it should be. 

However, it has been harder for me to accept where she's at in her recovery, especially nearing and celebrating her 1 year birthday.  When do we cross over from 'recovery phase' to 'this is how it is'?  Our lives and our future are so completely different than they were a year ago, or even 10 months ago.  While sometimes I'd like to go back and change it all back to how we were, I know the growth we have endured and embraced has all been for a reason.  I'm not ready to say 'worth it,' but definately for a reason.  Eventually I hope to get to a point that I can say it was all worth it.  It may not be in this life that I see it come full circle. 

After family pictures this month, I lined up our picture from last year next to our picture from this year and can physically see the growth our family has endured together.  We are not only intact, but we are happy and growing together even stronger than before.  That's what this life is made of. 

October 2010
October 2011

When I look at one of my babies, new and clean, I wonder what God has in store for him/her.  What will they be when they grow up?  What strengths will they have?  What weaknesses will they work on?  Which of mine and Jason's traits will they take on?  Looking at Bryer as a newborn, (I won't lie) I felt like this was my chance at a softball player.  Piper is our girly girl and into glitter and baby dolls, so I figured Bryer would be athletic.  After all, having two parents that played collegiate sports have to rub off somewhere, right?  Even in utero she was a fighter, a kicker, a rib puncher.  But over the past 4 days of letting my body heal from being sick and being able to think, I have had to let all those ideas and hopes go.  It was painful and liberating at the same time.  Painful to think that maybe neither of my girls will follow in my footsteps.  Painful to give up those hopes of coaching them on a softball diamond.  Painful to know that the things I hoped for them may never be the way I had planned out in my mind.  It was liberating also to let all those things go.  Not to hold on to those expectations anymore.  To let God's plan fall into place for them instead of my plan for them.  Maybe all those skills Bryer showed in utero were those fighting skills she'd need just to stay alive - not to dive after ground balls.  I'm okay with that now, although it's been a process. 

I was content.  In a happy place. 

Then Jason went to re-new his drivers licence and happened to talk with the sherriff, not unusual in a small town like ours.  He informed Jason that the criminal case had been transfered to a bigger county prosecutor.  Now they can do with it what they want.  They will decide if charges should be filed.  So, now all over again, I have stress and things weighing on my mind.  I want to trust the Lord that this is the way it is supposed to be and everything will work out.  I did turn all this over to Him, right?  It's a blessing that this piece of it wasn't going on at the same time as everything else.  THAT may have been more than I could handle.

Note:  Usually Child Protective Services will step in at or close to the same time as criminal charges.  I feel strongly that those 2 things happening at the same time would have been too much for me to handle.  God gave us what we could deal with, on His timing.  As we have learned through this process, this alone was a miracle and a tender mercy from the Lord!   

Since then I feel like I've reverted a little on my anxiety level.  There are lots of questions going through my head - Will I be arrested?  Will there be a trial?  Will there be a jury?  Will our attorney be able to put an end to all of this?  Will a positive polygraph matter?  Plus Jason left to go hunting (I completely understand that he needs a break and time away also), but that doesn't help.  Back to laying Bryer down for a nap and then check all the corners in our room and under the bed and in the bathroom to make sure no one is in there with her before I lock her door on my way out.  My mind knows there's no one in there, but my conscience just wants to KNOW that I left my baby where it is safe.  Wierd things that go through my mind.  My heart also skips a beat if I go in and the blanket is over her head or she is breathing shallow.  It's just mind games, but I wish I could get rid of them.  It's a very conscience thing for me to turn those anxieties over to the Lord, and not 'pull it back out of his pocket' after I've given it to Him. 

I just want to have the peaceful, easy feeling that I've had with all my kids up until last year.  If something happened, it was an accident.  Kids fall off their bikes.  They skin their knees.  They pinch their fingers in doors.  They try silly experiments that even require stitches.  I snuggled them until they felt better or gave them a kiss on their owie.  In the case of my active boys, they get stitched up, they ice it, and go home.  There's no 'proving' I didn't hurt my child.  No life or death.  Natural consequences.  No freak out or worry about a cut on a head or finger.  Or worse - my kids being taken away.  Just fix it and move on.  Now I worry about every fall off their bike, trip when they run, a high fever, slammed fingers in the door.  The questions run through my head - Was Bryer active enough before she went to sleep?  Was she overly tired or fussy for a reason?  All the things I second guess because we still don't know what happened. 
Friday, Oct. 21

Jason came back through the office to find me in the kitchen and told me an officer was here to see me.  I dried my hands off and introduced myself and confirmed I was who he was looking for.  He handed me a set of legal documents stating that criminal charges have been filed.  Felony injury to child. 

My stomach dropped.  I instantly became sick.  The case has obviously been passed down to the bigger county prosecutor because our prosecutor feels unfit to try our case.  In my opinion he only takes cases that he can enter into a plea bargain with.  I will be honest through and through.  Not easy, but I will stand for truth and rightousness.  I used to teach the 12 and 13 year olds when Jason and I lived up north.  After saying our theme each Sunday, we'd say, "Stand for truth and righteousness."  Isn't that what I am being tested with now?  Standing for truth?  It echos in my mind.  It's not the easy way by any means.  In fact, if I were looking for an easy way out, I would lie and probably get a shorter sentence/community service/parole.  However, I am held accountable to God for the choices I make in this life.  To God!  No matter how hard.  No matter the consequences. 

Oct. 24, 2011

I watched a video with Joseph B. Worthlin called "Come What May and Love It." 

He said the tears shed today by the faithful that have had something taken from them will be repaid 100 fold.  I have to count on that and have faith in the eternal plan of salvation.  It makes my heart hurt to think "What if?"  I left church yesterday and felt so good, so supported, so full of spunk for another week.  And later Sunday evening I started reading articles about other people tried - and convicted - of SBS cases.  Now they sit in jail.  Seriously in JAIL! 

Makes me sick to think I could miss Piper's first day of school or Hunter receiving the priesthood or Bryer's first steps or Sawyr's first basketball game or Walker's first time mutton busting.  Makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.  Makes me sick to think of Jason, my sweet, supportive, enduring husband, having to single parent all by himself.  And then I wonder where my faith is.  If we do all that we can do, then God will make up the rest.  Right?  Isn't that what faith is?  God surely would not want me to spend time in jail.  Would He?  I hope and pray that it means I don't spend time in jail.  But if I do, could it be part of God's plan?  Would He ever have a plan for me to spend time in jail?  It's rough.  And confusing.  It's the hardest thing I have ever, ever, ever had to go through, but I feel God's hand and the comfort it brings.  And for that I am thankful and will continue to sleep peacefully, relying on that. 
Oct. 26, 2011
Jason made it clear to attorney today that we WILL NOT except a plea bargain.  We will battle it out to the end, no matter what that is.  We're fighting, 100% honest, and have the Lord on our side.  Liberating.  The truth will set you free - right?!  Innoscent until proved guilty?  Obviously not by Health and Welfare standards.  Not by some comments I have read on other stories in the news.  I don't care.  I am accountable to God alone.  No matter what happens in this life.  No matter what.  There is a bigger picture here.  Not just this life right now, but after we die. 


I received two plates of goodies this week.  They were more than just treats for my sweet tooth...  Nice gestures that brought encouragement...  Empowerment to do the right thing...  I'm so thankful for those that support me.  I find myself relating to Job in the Bible.  He had everything taken from him - his land, his animals, his friends, his children, his wife.  He didn't have people that were praying for him or people that brought goodies by to let him know they were thinking of him.  He was alone, but still had faith.   

Also heard a beautiful song by Hillary Weeks today.  A good friend put it on my Facebook wall and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time.  I needed this today!  Beautiful Heartbreak, I think it is called. 

It's bedtime.  Bryer is crying.  Satellite training tomorrow on visually impared babies/kids.  Getting my rest is so hard to do and fit everything in within the day.  I'm so thankful for a supportive husband who does all the work I don't want to do, but desperately needs to be done - research, phone calls, approaching people, etc. 
Oct. 29, 2011
I am a naturally a postive person.  It takes a lot to get me emotional or for me to 'grrrr' at my kids.  It's usually something like spilled cereal on top of juice on my cleanly mopped floor, and then a toddler than decides to poop on the carpet, and then kids in front of the TV for way too long, and then a messy house that I just cleaned and a couple of whinney preschoolers to top it off.  And then I want to grrrrrr....  I love my children, but to have the patience that I need with them, I need to get away sometimes.  Breath in some air.  I think most moms would say they are better moms once they have had a break and had some mom-time.  But in the situation we're in, I feel like I am scrutinized for feeling like that.  I'm in a 'fish bowl' as my college softball coach used to tell us.  Everyone is watching and looking.  It's made me look at myself and see who and how much I critique others without even realizing it.  It's judging.  No way around it.  It's part of the 'natural man' way of thinking because we are human.  I'm working hard to put off the natural man, to take the Lord's way.  Be compassionate.  Understanding.  Give people the benefit of the doubt.  And then I look back and see the trials we've been through and see the humbling experience it's been that I didn't even know I needed.  How could I get to this point of realizing details about myself that needed refining without this experience?


I took a second polygraph test.  Jason found him after calling around so many places over 3 different states.  He had almost given up when he got a call back from a certain poligrapher with very high credentials.  He is going to law school, but in the process is a trainer for many of the polygraphers in the area.  The list of credentials he holds all checked out legit, so we booked an appointment. 

I told Jason and didn't want anyone to know about this new polygraph test.  I didn't want the pressure of people asking how I did or expecting an answer when we were done.  So, we packed up our kids and drove 4 hours to where his office is.  After introducing ourselves and some small talk, Jason took the kids to the park and to get ice cream while the polygrapher interviewed me, "On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most honest, how would you rate yourself prior to Bryer's accident?"  After some thought I responded with a 7.  There were times I didn't tell the whole truth about how many cookies were left for everyone to share or where I was in the process of getting back home or how much money something really cost.  Petty things I could have and should have been honest about.  Then he asked after Bryer's accident how honest have I been.  I thought about it hard and responded with a 9.  Now I felt guilty about skipping a couple pages when I read to my kids from a long book I didn't really like.  I find myself going to great lengths to be completely honest in everything I do. 

He also asked who the single most important person in my life was.  I said my husband.  He marked that down and said that was interesting.  (He later told me that not many people say their spouse, and that it was a very positive sign to have a relationship in the right direction.) 

He went into an in-depth interview about me, my relationships, childhood, parents, siblings, extended family, any of the times I was not honest with any of these people, past traffic tickets, anything I needed to clear off my chest, and details about the day Bryer stopped breathing.  The interview took over an hour - much longer than the one I took before my polygraph at the police station.  He seemed much more thorough and in-depth with his questions. 

When we both felt I was ready he hooked me up to all the testing instruments...  The chair pad to sense movement, the blood pressure cuff, the spring around my chest to measure my breath, the palm sensor to measure sweaty palms.  It was all too familiar as to the one I took at the police station.  He then did a test to see if he had it all calibrated right.  That was something the police station never did.  He held out 5 cards in front of me, face down, and asked me to take 1 of them, but not to show him what it was.  He asked me to look at the card, remember what it was, and then put it away so no one could see it.  He said he would ask me a series of questions, in which I was to answer 'no' to all of - even when he got to the question of asking if my card was the number 5, I was to lie and say no. 

We proceeded just as he instructed.  When we were done with that part of the test, he told me that usually he had to repeat this part of the process a few times just to be sure, but that I was so obvious when I was lying that it showed perfectly and it proved the machine was calibrated the right way.  He proceeded with the rest of the polygraph.  He asked questions that we had discussed in the interview, including specific questions about that day - with nearly exactly the same wording as was at the police station. 

When he was done, he unhooked me from all the machines and calculated the results.  He said with his background and credentials, he believed me to be clear of all harm done.  I did not hurt my baby.  Maybe I should have felt a rush of relief, but I didn't.  I felt a steadiness - just a positive feeling that he knew what I knew.  It wasn't relief, because then there would have had to been a pressure there to begin with.  It was just the facts.  Clear and simple.  I am innocent.  Check it off my bucket list if nothing else.  (That sense of humor mentioned from "Come What May and Love It," right?) 

We learned a few things from this polygrapher.  With his credentials, he does a lot of the training for the police departments.  #1 - He said a polygraph should never be done with a post partum mother because of normally adjusting hormones after having a baby.  #2 - He said a polygraph should never be done around stressful times of the year such as the holidays.  #3 - He also said a polygraph should never be done during a time of trauma.  In short, the polygraph at the police station should have never been administered as a mother with a 2 month old baby, 2 days before Christmas, when I didn't know if my baby was going to live or die.  All 3 factors were a detriment to getting a clear reading, and as a result it had been falsely determined that I was being deceitful. 

Now that I'm cleared, one part of me wants to shout it from the roof tops.  Another part of me wants to be quiet about it - because those that know I am innocent have always known.  They, along with me, did not need a polygraph test to tell them so. 

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