There is a twitch under my right eye and my knees and ankles are throbbing. I have poison ivy that is drying up on my wrists, forearms, chest and at the left side of my solar plexus. I'm strangely glad for it's remaining itch. Part of me wishes it was five days ago when it was still an oozing and all consuming mess.
It's Thursday. No, it's Wednesday.
Last night I stayed up until 2am waiting for the news to go public. I knew it was going to. I kept going online to the major local news sites to see if it was there yet. It wasn't. I fell asleep on the couch using one of our dogs as a pillow and one corner of a little blanket over my shoulder to convince myself I was warm.
At 4am I got up, peed, and got into bed next to my husband who had been sleeping since around 10pm. He could barely stand the whole thing and had finally gone to sleep to avoid thinking about it anymore. I couldn't blame him.
I knew she'd done it. I always know when people have done things. Bad things. The worst things. I can tell. I can feel it. The more evil, twisted, depraved, sick, disgusting and horrifying it is; the more I know it.
Around 6pm I had been in the shower and my husband pulled the curtain back.
He said, "T's baby is dead."
I was holding my head under the shower head to rinse out the shampoo. I closed my eyes. I breathed. My teeth clenched together so hard that I thought I might crack one. I opened my eyes and watched my husband. He wanted me to do something; to make it better. To make it go away or take my beautiful, strong and sun filled arms and hug the earth until little sunflowers pop up all over the place and everyone is happy. I'm good at that - sunflowers and happiness. But not for this.
"She did it," I said.
His eyes widened and he started to shake his head.
"You know she did it and we might as well deal with that fact right here and now."
He closed his eyes, pressed his lips firmly together and continued to shake his head.
I moved away from the shower head and put my warm and wet hands on either side of his face.
"Give me your eyes," I said firmly.
He opened his eyes and I hated everything about everything in that moment. I hated his pain, his running for the hills of denial, and his loss.
"Do not close your eyes while I am telling you this," I said, pressing more firmly on either side of his face.
"Do not look away from me. Keep your eyes on mine."
I could see him shift into gear and get with me. He moved forward until our noses were almost touching and put his hands at either side of my waist so I could get the reality train started.
"She did this, and you know it. She killed her baby and that's all there is to it. She is horribly, terribly, sickeningly, enormously mentally ill and there is nothing - absolutely nothing - in the Department of Family Services system that would or could do anything about the fact that they had to return that baby to her. Our society did nothing to protect her before she had a child, and is not capable of doing anything for any child that has or ever will come out of her body."
I let him close his eyes at that point, but continued to hold his head firmly in my hands. I waited for what I know is one of the loss things in his heart; the death of his own son at 10 days old from an uncontrollable and irrevocable illness.
His chest heaved and his hands drew into fists on either side of me. He pulled me close to him and we stood as one at the edge of the shower. I wanted to pull him into the water with me - to stand him there and strip him down naked. To load up our body sponge with every bit of shampoo, bath gel and soap in there and begin scrubbing. To make him tip his head back and drink water directly from the shower to cleanse his insides as I scrubbed and scrubbed his outsides. Something. Anything. To make it go away.
Alas, he released one deep and lonely sob and said, "My son."
I said, "I know."
He released me and we pressed our foreheads together.
"You in this?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said.
"You really in this? Ready to look at this, because I am telling you, without doubt, that she killed her baby and we are getting ready to hear some horrifying shit."
"I am," he said.
He pulled away to look me in the eyes again.
"Are you in this?" he asked.
"Yes," I said.
But I wasn't. Not really. I lied to him because his son died 10 years ago and the thought of a baby dying at the hands of another human being, its mother no less, takes him down a road of anger and grief that will need lots of support. I am already talking with two of my most trusted friends about this; dumping my own horror, shock, disgust and grief outside of my home so I can support my husband with the strength he deserves.
So I stayed up. I monitored the local news sites. Nothing happened until around noon today when this came across the wire:
WOMAN CHARGED IN INFANT SON'S DEATH
October 6, 2010
In _____________ a woman has been charged in the death of her not quite two-month-old son. She admitted using pillows to suffocate her son for one hour, and has been charged with 2nd degree murder in the baby's death. Police were called to the scene where they found the infant lying unresponsive on his mother's bed. He was transported to ______________ Hospital where he was pronounced dead.