healing

‘I snapped a photo of my daughter on the exam table, bragging about my healthy girl. ‘Come feel this,’ the doctor said. I put my hand on her belly. My heart sank.’

“We were about to walk out the door with a good bill of health when the doctor asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when I remembered her large tummy. He immediately laid her down on the exam table and began feeling around on her belly. His face quickly changed to concern. I looked at my husband and said, ‘This can’t be good.’”

‘A co-worker came up to me. ‘Half your face looks a little strange.’ I tried to respond, but couldn’t move my mouth to speak. My first thought was, ‘Am I having a stroke?’

“I rushed to the hospital. The pain was so bad I literally thought, ‘There’s no possible way I am going to survive this. A human being can’t survive this much pain.’ I was prescribed a copious amount of medication. When would I stop needing it? Never. I thought I would never get a chance to be a mom, but I didn’t want to give up my dream.”

‘She was HIV+ and we knew she was our daughter. Time stopped when we saw her. She was absolutely beautiful and perfect, but her oversized clothes hung loosely on her tiny frail body.’

“We were looking for a child with HIV. When we learned she was positive, we KNEW she was the one. She was 2 years old and only weighed 15 pounds. I started seeing a trauma counselor. James learned how to breath in public again, knowing no one was coming after us. Then BAM – Morning sickness!”

‘I heard him reach the bedroom and scream. ‘There’s something wrong with the baby!’ I grabbed her and started touching her face, opening her mouth. ‘WHAT? How is that even possible?’

“I remember opening my balcony door and screaming. People across the street stared up at my window while Nick ran into the field to help the paramedics find us. I rode to the hospital, holding Jaymie-Leigh wrapped in her Peppa Pig blanket. I just stared, hoping and praying she would just look up and smile at me.”

‘I was an intern. He was the manager. I was in his home with his wife and kids. He knew what he did was wrong, but that he could get away with it. That same year, the unthinkable happened.’

“I didn’t know what to say or do. I was frozen. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t concentrate. My mind pretended like it never happened. I felt like I couldn’t ‘risk my career’ by speaking up, so I remained silent. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Just graduate and get a job.’”

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