By Allana Pinkerton, Global Safety Advocate for Diono
#1 READ THE MANUAL: Most of us do not read manuals. Installing a car seat is serious business. Manuals are written according to how the car seat is crash tested. Read the warnings and then refer to the pages for your specific installation. Watch installation videos on company websites.
#2 SLIDE THE BELT IN THE RIGHT PLACE: Car seats have belt paths for either the seat belt or the lower anchor straps. Convertible seats have two belt paths: rear-facing and forward-facing. It’s very important to use the appropriate belt path.
#3 INSTALL THE SEAT TIGHT: The car seat should move less than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back when you tug at the belt path. If there is too much movement, start the installation process over or change to another seating position.
#4 HARNESS YOUR CHILD PROPERLY: Your child’s harness works just like a race car driver’s harness. The harness should fit snug and comfortable. If you can pinch the harness webbing at the collar bone between your thumb and index finger, give another tug on the adjuster strap until you can’t pinch any webbing. While there might be room near the belly area, a snug fit up at the collar bone is all you need.
#5 CHECK YOUR WORK: Most car seats are unknowingly installed incorrectly. Finding a professional to check your installation could possibly save your child’s life! There are many dedicated Child Passenger Safety Technicians who are willing to help.
1. Only use No VOC and No Odor paints: Before you paint your baby’s nursery that perfect shade, make sure the paint you’ve chosen does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or harmful odors. Such paints can off-gas for months, or even years, exposing your newborn to unnecessary chemicals that can lead to respiratory distress or other serious medical conditions.
2. Avoid thick pile carpeting: Carpeting harbors many environmental allergens, often increasing the air pollutants in confined spaces. These environmental allergens, such as molds and dust mites are often found in carpeting with thick pile (fiber) and can compromise the air your baby breathes. Avoiding carpeting all-together is the safest air quality option, but parents who insist on having carpeting in their baby’s bedroom should at least use a low pile carpet, as they are easier to clean and maintain. These parents should also schedule regular professional carpet cleaning and always request the extraction based method for most effective allergen removal.
3. Purchase natural, chemical-free furniture: New furniture may give off cancer-causing gases such as formaldehyde. Baby furniture, especially cribs, is notorious for high levels of this dangerous gas. To avoid this, parents should not purchase furniture that contains pressed woods or heavy lacquers.
4. Replace the window air conditioner or regularly change central air filters. If your window air conditioner is more than 3 years old, take a flashlight and peer into the vent and housing. It’s likely you’ll see progressed mold everywhere. Old air conditioners spew out exponential mold spores, which in turn contaminate bedrooms, leading to coughing-based illnesses. If you have central air conditioning or heating, you should also change the air filters and schedule a quality cleaning of the HVAC unit. Replacing old and compromised units can drastically reduce the threat of sickness.
5. Control the humidity. Too much overall humidity, often caused by humidifiers, leads to unwanted bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Mount a hygrometer (purchased at any hardware store) on your nursery wall to measure the humidity; if the relative humidity in the room exceeds 60%, then reduce the amount of time you use your humidifier. Remember to fully clean and sanitize the humidifier at least every other day.
6. Use a HEPA filter vacuum: In order for a vacuum to have HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) credentials, it must filter and capture 99.7 % of physical matter below the 0.3 micron level. HEPA vacuums, then, remove the harmful, microscopic allergens that often result in respiratory illness. Miele brand vacuums are some of the best to control allergens and improve the overall air quality. Make sure, however, to change out the bag once it’s more than half way filled. Use the correct floor attachment for optimal cleaning.
7. Avoid any remodeling prior to or after the birth of your baby: During renovations ultra-fine debris such as fiberglass, mold spores and even asbestos dust is released into the air, where it can stay for several weeks. These ultra-fine particles are much more dangerous than larger particles, as the lungs have difficulty filtering the microscopic airborne debris. Because infants’ and children’s’ lungs are still developing, they are most prone to serious infection and bronchial irritation.
8. Use a quality air purifier in the nursery: There are an overwhelming number of air purifiers on the market, all claiming to increase the indoor air quality in a given room. It is important to do your research on the best air purifiers based on the room size and individual needs.
9. Clean the windowsills: Windowsills often absorb excess moisture, leading to fungal growth. The most typical mold found in this area of the bedroom is Cladosporium, which can become airborne easily and often leads to poor air quality in the room. Because babies are particularly sensitive to mold presence, parents should regularly clean nursery windowsills, making sure to remove excess debris to prevent the onset of Cladosporium.
There are numerous reasons for you to seek the services of a tutor. For instance, your child may be interested in getting ahead in class. On the other hand, he or she may have fallen behind their class and you want them to catch up. One-on-one tutoring is a perfect solution to achieve either of these goals. When you decide to use a tutor, follow the following tips to help you make the right choice.
Find Out About The Tutor’s Training And Their Past Experience
First and foremost, it is important to note that all our tutors are BC Certified Teachers. This means that they have the requisite education and training to teach specific subjects. However, every tutor will come with small differences. As such, you should find out the level of knowledge that your prospective tutor has.
Additionally, you should find out whether they have tutored or taught before. You should find out whether the tutor is adept with the current curriculum. You should find out whether he or she is familiar with the textbooks that your child is using. Finally, there are teachers who have training in tutoring kids with special needs. If this aspect of your tutor’s capabilities is important, you should find out.
Find Out The Tutor’s Availability
Matters of schedule are important to consider. Importantly, you try as much as possible to schedule lessons for periods when your child is most willing to learn. With regards to frequency of lessons, it depends on the purpose of the lessons in the first place. If, for instance, the purpose of the lessons is practice and repetition, you should schedule a higher frequency of lessons. On the other hand, when the purpose of the lessons is to prepare for a test, you will need fewer lessons, say a single lesson.
Furthermore, in the case of a child with special needs, you will need a higher frequency of lessons. Orton Gillingham requires students to have tutoring lessons at least twice a week. Also note that tutors availability will change quite a lot and, therefore, you need to be flexible and many tutors will go an extra mile to accommodate your needs.
Find Out The Tutor’s Teaching Style
Considering that everyone is unique, you can be sure that every tutor will have their own teaching style and philosophy. As such, you need to work with a tutor who has a teaching style that works for your child. This is important as the relationship your child builds will last quite long. Additionally, any personality clash will impede the development of the child.
To this end, ask the tutor if they do prepare extra materials when needed. Find out whether they are familiar with textbooks your child is using. You can also run a trial run and ask for feedback from your child.
Communicate To Your Tutor About Your Child’s Learning Needs
For the best results, share with the tutor the goals of the lessons. Be open right from the start. If you need your child to prepare for exams or if your child is struggling to learn, make it known early enough so your tutor knows how to plan accordingly. If you do not mind, you can share your child’s teacher’s report with the tutor can get a better and fuller understanding of the current situation.
Find Out How The Tutor Monitors Progress
It is important to take stock of progress and there are many ways of keeping track of progress. Always discuss with the tutor after every lesson if possible. Alternatively, you can call the tutor or ask them to write an email report. If you need longer one-on-one reports, you can schedule appointments with the tutor. Finally, if you do not mind spending some more, you may have the tutor write a report on the topics discussed.
You may have figured out by now that the topic of children with special needs is an important one to me. A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about Autism that stemmed from a blog that I am a fan of called A Day in the Life of a Warrior. If you haven’t read my previous post about A Day in the Life of a Warrior
I am a fan of the blog, because it really opened my eyes to the daily struggles of Autism.
The Warrior mom that writes this blog introduced me to an essay about a mom dealing with a child that has a disability. I read this for the first time YEARS ago, and I have never forgotten it.
In fact, now that I am a parent this essay resonates with me deeply, and I wanted to share this essay with my fellow moms.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.
Nearly 300-children under the age of five drown in pools and spas every year. The number one way to prevent drownings is through proactive parent supervision, but most drownings occur when a child was thought to be in the house but slipped outside without anyone knowing. This year alone, at least two children drowned days after their family moved into a new home.
In 77% of accidental drownings, the child had been seen 5-minutes or less before being missed. That’s why pool safety advocates at Life Saver Pool Fence urge parents to install layers of protection in a home before they move in. These are designed to block kids from getting to the pool or at least slow them down so parents have more time to get to them before the child gets to a pool.
High locks on all doors and windows
Before you move in, install locks on doors and windows that are high and out of the reach of young children. Put them on every door and window that leads to the pool area. Some drownings happen because a parent didn’t know their toddler had figured out the door knob or lock and the simply walked out on their own. Don’t forget sliding glass doors that small children can slide open.
Door and window alarms
Home buyers who have never owned a pool may not realize children are drawn to water, even when it is cold outside. Families can self-install simple contact alarms for doors and windows that lead to the pool, or contract with a security company. In every case, it’s important to keep the alarms activated. If an older child disables the alarm, a younger sibling could easily slip outside without anyone knowing.
Also consider installing an alarm on any gates that lead to the pool. Adults can use a bypass switch that will keep kids out when there is no one around to supervise.
No doggy doors
If you have toddlers in the home, any pet doors that grant access a pool or spa should also be permanently sealed off. Toddlers are known to mimic their pets and may follow them right out the doggy door and into the pool area. That puts both the child and the pet at risk of falling in the water. Instead, move the doggy door to an area that is secure with no access to the pool or spa
Pool Safety Fence
Perhaps one of the most reassuring steps is installing a pool fence. Fences should be at least 4′ tall and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Mesh pool safety fences, like Life Saver Pool Fence, have proven to be an effective layer of protection with a transparent and aesthetically pleasing look that is easy to remove and reinstall by the homeowner. Make sure the fence surrounds the pool, so there are no doors or windows leading directly from the home into the pool area.
There are several types of alarms that will provide another layer of protection against drowning. Surface pool alarms will trigger an alarm inside the home when the water’s surface is broken. However, a small child could quietly walk down the pool steps and slip under water without making a big splash or setting off the alarm, so they cannot be used alone.
Subsurface pool alarms detect disturbances beneath the surface. They cost more but are less prone to false triggers than floating alarms and more reliable than surface alarms.
Child Immersion Alarms
When you first move into a home, consider using a wearable immersion alarm, like the Safety Turtle, which triggers an alarm inside the house if the sensor gets wet. This is especially important in a new home when you are unfamiliar with the area. It resembles a watch and can protect against all water hazards including a neighbor’s pool, ponds, and rivers.
Assign Water Watchers
When children are in the pool, assign one person as a designated Water Watcher and change shifts every 15 minutes. Active supervision means sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children – no phones or reading materials. Do a regular headcount and step in when there is too much horsing around. If you have to walk away for any reason, another adult must be designated as the Water Watcher.
Do not leave a toddler or young child in the pool area without adult supervision. Older children are not always as sensitive to the dangers of drowning, and my not recognize the warning signs.
Clear out pool area after swimming
Get in the habit of always removing floats from the pool when finished, especially toys that could attract a child to the water. Children who are in pursuit of a toy won’t think twice about breaking the rules to get it.
Also make sure to move any tables or chairs away from the pool fence so they cannot be used to climb over. Make a rule from day one that the pool area is for swimming only, so children don’t get used to being near the water when parents are not around.
As soon as a parent and pediatricians feel comfortable, all children should receive swimming lessons. Some organizations even offer training for infants to roll over and float, and to swim to the edge of the pool in case they fall in.
No matter how much instruction your child has, it’s important to give them a refresher if they have not been swimming in a while, like the winter months. That’s true even in warm weather states, like Florida, Arizona, and California where drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five.
Every parent, babysitter, and teenager should be trained in CPR. Check out local community centers for classes as soon as you move to your new home. This training is essential to get oxygen to the brain and can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.
You cannot drown-proof a child, but every layer of protection that you add significantly reduces the chance of a child drowning incident– the more, the better. Of those steps, pool safety fencing is arguably the most effective at preventing fatal drowning incidents because it physically prevents access to the pool, making your pool safer for your children and your neighbors.
Being double blessed with twins can be shocking, scary, and exciting.
You’re probably glad to get two babies out of one pregnancy, but nervous about what to expect.
Questions are normal during pregnancy, especially if your body is creating more than one person at once. You’ve probably researched how many outfits and bottles you’ll need to buy, but you’ll also need to know what to expect for pregnancy and birth.
Here are 5 things you should know when you’re pregnant with twins.
1. Say Goodbye to Comfort
Before you know it, your twins will be taking up all your real estate. You’ll be uncomfortable “high” and “low.” You’ll have one baby kicking your rib cage, while the other is sitting so low, she’s causing some excruciating back pain…and of course pushing on your bladder, making the bathroom your new home.
Twin moms roughly gain about 10 pounds more than single baby pregnancies, thanks to extra amniotic fluid, blood volume, tissue, uterine growth, and of course the babies combined weights. Some twin moms even have two placentas.
This extra weight will test your body, and like many twin moms, you’ll probably have more swelling, heartburn, and backaches than if you were carrying one baby.
Be sure to take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, and exercising. You may even want to try a super sexy support belt to help ease the discomfort.
2. Stronger Morning Sickness
If your morning sickness is unrelenting, you might be carrying twins.
Double the babies can mean double the hormones, which equals more nausea and vomiting.
Morning sickness can also begin even earlier when you’re expecting multiples. And, unlike its name states, it can hit you morning, noon, and night.
Morning sickness is often one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and is thought to be caused by the rising levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). HCG is typically intensified in twin pregnancies, which would explain the persistent nausea.
But, the good news is, that even with twins, morning sickness still typically ends around week 12-15.
3. Higher Risk
More babies, means more risk. Because you’re carrying two, you’re at higher risk of complications, like anemia, gestational diabetes, and postpartum hemorrhage. You’re also at higher risk of having placental problems, preeclampsia, and cesareans.
With twins, you can have one or two placentas, and because your placenta(s) covers more of your uterine wall with twins, you’re at greater risk for complications like placenta abruption, where it detaches from the uterine wall, and placenta previa, which is when the placenta covers (or nearly covers) the cervical opening.
Twin moms should be extra diligent about the warning signs of preeclampsia, as it can lead to seizures, stroke, and liver failure if left unmanaged. Be on the lookout for sudden swelling, high blood pressure, blurry vision, and severe headaches.
With higher risk of complications, comes a higher rate of c-sections. More than 60% of twin births are C-section deliveries, and often dependent upon how your babies are positioned or if they’re in distress. But remember, just because you are at higher risk, doesn’t mean you can’t have a safe vaginal delivery with twins. It is totally possible!
4. Expect an Early Arrival
Because you’re at higher risk for complications, you’re also more at risk for delivering early. But, even if you don’t have complications, simply because you’re carrying multiple babies, puts you at higher risk for preterm labor.
Roughly, 60% of twins are born before 37 weeks, so be sure to know the symptoms of preterm labor, and don’t be afraid to check with your provider if you’re unsure. As long as your water hasn’t broken, there’s often things your doctor can do to help delay delivery.
Lower your stress and anxiety of an early delivery by taking a childbirth class before month 6, hiring a lactation consultant (preferably an IBCLC), and touring your hospital’s NICU.
Help to prevent an early arrival by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and avoiding heat and long commutes.
5. Delivery is Not Much Longer
The good news is, you get two babies out of one labor!
And, while your labor might be a little longer with twins, they are typically born just minutes apart. Many doctors do try to deliver your second twin within half an hour after the first, but if the second twin isn’t in any distress, there really is no need for a time limit.
After your first baby is delivered, that urge to push is going to continue, unlike with single deliveries. I have even heard of a few moms that had no idea they were having twins until that urge to push didn’t go away after their (first) baby came out!
The thought of delivering two babies may seem daunting, but don’t be afraid. Your doctor will monitor you and your babies closely to make sure you have the safest delivery possible.
Twins can be a blessing and a curse. With all the extra weight and hormones that come with carrying multiples, often comes crippling nausea and chronic pain. You’re also more at risk for complications, cesareans, and an early delivery. But at the end of the day, two little people are growing inside of you, and that is amazing!
As a new parent, perhaps you noticed that Baby Onesies all have a similar layout. But you probably don’t know why, do you? Don’t feel bad. Most parents don’t learn this trick until their kids have long outgrown their favorite adorable baby onesies.
If you’re new to all this though, and especially with twins — surely you’ve had an epic diaper blowout by now. You know the kind. The one that sends a stinky mess launching out the leg holes and up the back. As you stand there, trying not to cry because you desperately want an adult and realize that you ARE the adult while trying not to simultaneously vomit from the stench, you try to craft your plan as to how you can prevent the oozing mess from further spreading. After all, babies are notorious wigglers and jigglers.
Well, hang on just a minute. Before you take that poop-covered onesie off, there’s something you need to know. That shoulder design that is common to all onesies is created this way for a purpose. This design is to make getting baby dressed and undressed so much easier, but it also comes in handy when there’s a mega-mess like this. The envelope-style of the shoulders makes it easy to roll baby onesies down off your
baby instead of pulling it over her head, streaking poo up her back and into her hair.
While many parents often bemoan the snaps at the bottom, just think that these are loads better than ties or buttons. The real genius in the onesie design is in the shoulders. We’re not saying you will always save yourself from having to drop everything to give your little ones an immediate bath, but with this shoulder design, you can thank your lucky stars that you’ll never ever have to create an even more unnecessary mess.
Now that we’ve got that TMYK covered, you only live once and babies are only little once. Sure, you can have more of them (and isn’t making them the fun part?) but each baby is unique, sweet and special, and each one deserves to wear fun and cool onesies so that you can trot out those drooling chubby-cheeked baby photos to embarrass them with when they’re teenagers.
TheFunBaby makes some of the cutest baby onesies around. Each one is individually handcrafted in the USA and comes with some of the most cleverly adorable prints around. From things like “Taco Bout Cute” with a cute taco graphic to pop culture references every mom and dad will love like quotes from Mean Girls (My Mom’s Not a Regular Mom. She’s a Cool Mom.) and Dumb and Dumber (Mocking Bird, YEAH), you’ll wish they were made in your size (and can be upon request) so you can be
Twinsies with your Twinsies :).
Everyone knows that pregnancy is not an easy part of life, but when carrying more than one baby, things can get rough. However, with a healthy regime, one can ensure an amazing journey for the babies. We’re breaking down five important habits to take note of when expecting twins.
1. Healthy Eating
It is very common for an expecting woman to give in to her cravings, it’s a basic part of pregnancy. But, having a healthy and nutritious diet can ensure a healthy pregnancy. There is a misconception that if a woman is expecting more than one baby, she has to eat more than what a mother expecting one baby eats. However, gaining significantly more weight than one that is expecting a single baby is common. Here’s where a balanced diet comes in, something we’ve been learning since we were in grade-school. Think healthy, but tasty. Fruit, Veggies, low-fat yogurt are ideal. Instead, maybe start getting used to throwing all your crisps down the sink.
2. Anemia (Don’t Freak Out!)
What many people aren’t aware of regarding twin pregnancies is mothers enduring so have a higher risk of having anemia. Anemia in twin pregnancies are more than twice as common than in single pregnancies. But don’t fret, there are so many iron enriched options you can consume. You may also be going through quite a few blood tests and will probably be prescribed iron-supplements. However, consuming foods with iron can double in help. Cashews, spinach and roast beef are amongst some of your options.
3. Stay Active
We know that during times like these laziness can take over. However, gentle forms of exercise can ensure an active and healthy multiple pregnancy. As you will probably experience fatigue, giving yourself that gentle exercise during your pregnancy can be of huge help. However, make sure to stay away from intense workouts that may result in stressing your joints too much. For example, Pelvic muscle exercises are useful to keep them intact after birth. There are so many light workouts available even on the internet for pregnant women that provide a healthy lifestyle.
4. Stay Social
Stressing out will do more harm than good. When you get feelings of anxiety, talk it out. Speak to anyone from your family or your friends. Even if you are not comfortable speaking to anyone about emotional struggles regarding your pregnancy, just talk to them. Make yourself engaged with others so as to prevent the bottling up of emotions that isn’t very healthy for you nor the baby. When you have someone to talk to, you are telling yourself that you are not alone in this beautiful journey and you have nothing to worry about.
5. Catch a few zzz’s
It will probably be hard to hear, but when the babies are born, the first few months will be rough because a lot of sleep and energy will be lost. Which is why during this time of pregnancy it is very crucial to get as much rest as possible. The reason sleep is so important during this time is because the amount of work your organs were putting in when you weren’t pregnant are working four times more now that you are. And in order for your organs to work efficiently, you need sleep. So, try to get as much sleep as possible. We know that it will be hard as some pregnancy issues will make it difficult to make that happen, but you can try.
Don’t stress, eat healthy and stay active. Just keep this in mind and you will ensure yourself a beautiful multiple pregnancy experience. Being a mother is hard in general, and when faced with more than one child at a time, things can escalade. Just remember, focus on the present, and everything will fall into place.
Drowning is not what we are used to seeing in the movies – with someone splashing around and calling for help. It is usually silent, especially with young children who do not realize they won’t be able to breathe underwater.
That’s why it is important to assign one person as a designated Water Watcher and change shifts every 15 minutes when children are in the pool. Active supervision means:
Sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children
No phones or reading materials!
Do a regular headcount
Step in when there is too much horsing around
If you have to step away, another adult must be designated as the Water Watcher
Do not leave a toddler or young child in the pool area without adult supervision. Older children are not always as sensitive to the dangers of drowning, and my not recognize the warning signs.
Warning signs someone is in trouble
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., explains why there is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help. A person who is drowning is simply in survival mode.
Except in rare circumstances, people who are drowning cannot physiologically call out for help. When someone is gasping for air they cannot speak. While they may be able to pull themselves up momentarily above the surface of the water, they are not above the water long enough to exhale, inhale and yell for help.
Someone who is drowning also cannot wave for help. They cannot voluntarily control their arm movements, as they instinctively extend their arms laterally to press down on the water’s surface to try to leverage their bodies and lift their face out of the water.
Look for these signs of drowning:
Head low in the water, mouth at water level
Head tilted back with mouth open
Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
Hair over forehead or eyes
Body is upright and vertical, but there is no leg kick
Hyperventilating or gasping
Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
Trying to roll over on the back
Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.
Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water.
One way to be sure is to simple ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer, they are probably okay. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to rescue them.
That’s also why every parent, babysitter, and teenager should be trained in CPR. This training is essential to get oxygen to the brain and can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.
One year ago was the worst day of my life. I was assaulted while holding my at the time almost 1 year old daughter and I was 24 weeks pregnant with my twins by my ex fiance/baby daddy. My older daughters witnessed the entire thing. One year ago I saw 5 years of my life disappear before my eyes. I lost everything. My home, my job, my heart and almost my mind. The assault was so bad that I was forced onto permanent bedrest because I kept falling into premature labor. The man I devoted myself to, the man my daughters looked at as a father, my best friend, the love of my life, hurt me so bad not only physically but emotionally as well. I found out that he was abusing drugs and it was as if I never knew him at all. He showed no remorse at all after the assault. He even laughed in my face. I was living a nightmare. Due to the assault my twins still were born prematurely at 34 weeks even though I worked so hard to keep them in. While my twins were in the NICU I found out that he had been cheating on me too. I was completely ? broken and felt defeated.
In the last year I have become a single mother to 5 daughters, relocated, lost my job, had surgery due to injuries sustained from the assault, have battled the courts pro per (won full legal and physical custody) and am still continuously going back to court dealing with my ex boyfriend’s criminal trial cause through all of this, he still claims to be completely innocent. He has sent letters threatening harm on me and my family, violated restraining orders, etc etc. This last year has been hell!
But… Through all the pain, hurt, loss, etc etc I have managed to start to find myself. Lots of times I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to survive this, but I have. I also now know that I’m worth something and deserve better. I have chosen to be happy and live not be miserable and die. I have chosen to not be a victim of domestic violence and instead be a SURVIVOR. I am choosing to show my daughters that it’s not OK to be treated any less than they deserve and even though things may seem impossible to overcome, that there’s always a way.
Today I stand proud and I am no longer shameful for being a single mom of 5. One year ago I thought my life was over, but little did I know that it was just the start of greatness. I’m still picking up the broken pieces from that day, but life is only getting better one day at a time. I’m so grateful that my children are safe and that I chose to leave my ex because he might have killed me the next time around. My daughters give me purpose and a reason to keep fighting. I will never give up and I will continue to conquer every battle that’s put in front of me. Everyday is a struggle, but I keep pushing and pushing.
For those who have read up to this point, thank you for listening and never ever think you’re not strong enough because you are! – Danielle F