Even writing or thinking about this is a bit (actually, a lot) nauseating but I was reading today about the infamous case of the New Years Baby, the beautiful little boy Camryn Jakeb Wilson who made headlines for being the first baby born in Summit County in Ohio in 2008.
The baby was in the local newspaper and on TV. A joyous celebration, that ended when he was killed by his father, who shook him so hard that he killed him. Baby Camryn was 10 weeks old.
The father, Craig Wilson, received a 15-years-to-life sentence yesterday. He admitted his guilt from the onset and did not contest his sentence and did not request a trial.
Apparently the father was upset over an argument he had and frustrated with the baby and shook and squeezed the child before placing him in a swing. There is no need to go into further details but we can imagine the lengths he went to in order to kill the baby.
From the National Center for Shaken Baby syndrome, Shaken Baby Syndrome is ..."(shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child."
The Center estimates at least 1400 babies or small children are badly injured or due as a result of the brain injuries that occur when they are shaken.
A crying baby is usually considered a trigger for parents or caregivers to shake the child in order to quiet them. As the mother of a child who had chronic colic and acid reflux disease for eight months, I despaired at times when my baby cried for 6 or 7 hours with no break. I cried a lot myself, such was the helplessness, frustration and yes, anger I felt. When would it end? What did I do to deserve this? How can any human cry and scream for 7 hours with no break? Why do I just want to walk away?
If you have been through this, you probably asked yourself the same thing. Chronic colic can drive a parent to despair - and there is no shame in admitting it. Or at least I don't feel shame. It was what it was. And many times I called my husband and asked him to come home early. I felt I was going to scream at my baby to stop or that I would just collapse with my hands over my ears and cry till he got home. Fortunately he was able to get home and after 8 months, my baby finally outgrew the colic. We now can joke.
When my kids ask if they were adorable as a baby, we tell them yes. When Colic Child asks, we look at each other and mouth NO!!!!!!!! It's good to be able to smile now. But it wasn't funny then. It was draining, isolating and depressing. I thought it would never end. My relationship with this child could not be closer, but it took some time to bond. It's hard to bond with anyone who screams and cries all day. Even if that person is a child you wanted so badly.
Many children who are shaken have colic. A crying child is the number one trigger for shaking a baby.
But there is never any reason to shake a baby. Nothing good will come from shaking a child. If someone feels like they are about to, it's better to place the crying baby in a safe crib and walk away and call for help. Even if they lay crying in bed until help arrives - it's ok. Anything is better than shaking.
We underestimate our strength and we underestimate a baby's fragility. Brain damage can occur quickly when a baby is shaken and irreversible brain damages occurs even if there is "only" one instance of shaking.
For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome, contact the Center here "www.dontshake.org
If you need help coping with a baby, call a friend, a relative, the Shaken Baby Center or a service agency who can help. If you suspect your child has been shaken, call your pediatrician or take him or her to an ER
Do you have experience with Shaken Baby Syndrome? What do you think of this man's sentence?
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