I don't talk about this much, not publicly. Before Evee, I had gotten myself into an incredibly abusive relationship with a sociopath. A true sociopath who will never change. I'd say I have a stronger personality, I get along with, and like women better than men, I'm clearly bad at picking them, and I'm just smarter than what I was the day that I met this man, and I still harbor some shame & guilt for falling under that "spell" because of what it did to my life, to my kids, to my family, to my career.
Things were great in the beginning, and all that. The abuse was ever so subtle. Looking back, man I was so ridiculously naive. Things very slowly got worse but the gaslighting & brainwashing was at it's finest with this one, so I didn't really see it until it was too late. He convinced me that my family was the enemy, that they didn't support me because they had no interest in getting to know him, and for numerous other reasons. I worked from my home, but every time I was on the phone or the computer, I was "talking to another man", and so eventually I stopped working my business and gave it up because I couldn't handle the fighting, the raging jealously.
The emotional abuse was far worse than being thrown with a hand around my neck into the wall or getting punched in the gut so hard I thought my stomach had exploded and couldn't breathe or walk right for days. I'm a very smart woman, but when you're in that "trap", that emotionally brainwashed cycle, it's so hard to let go. It eventually became a sick, twisted game of cat and mouse.
Then eventually, he had took me away from everything that I had, and made me completely dependent on him. I lost a lot throughout that "relationship", or whatever you'd call it. I was in the deepest of depressions, I knew (then) things would never get worse than what they were, and months before I eventually "escaped", I was done being brainwashed, used, abused. I hated him. He made my self-esteem non-existent. Not physically, but that this was the only kind of "love" I was worthy of.
Then I found out I was pregnant. After a bit of shock, it almost felt like God was giving me a second chance, I had some hope, but I knew I had to get away from this man to get that chance. The second attempt was successful, with the help of police and a good friend, I successfully got out of the hell I had gotten myself into, for good.
I got myself into a doctor, and Evee and I were physically fine. I got myself the a whole lot of counseling and therapy for PTSD from a year of severe domestic violence, awful depression, anxiety, my lack of self-esteem, the list goes on. It helped. As I grew, I became happier and more hopeful. I started up working from home again as a virtual freelance assistant, saving money for us. I connected with my amazing family, especially my parents, who have always been there for me. Waiting for me to get back up off my feet, well usually helping me get back up, and saving me.
I don't think many people have parents like I do. They have a deep love for all their children and grandchildren, they'll do anything to help make sure we are all safe, and unique parental instincts. I'm incredibly grateful for them.
Anyway, I couldn't wait for that little girl to come, and August 19th, 2018, she finally did. It was love at first site. Everyone says that, but I was seriously obsessed, protective, proud, all of it, instantly. I took videos of her, couldn't stop taking pictures of her. I kept telling my sister, my mom, everyone around me, isn't she so perfect? Doesn't she look just like a doll?
She never left the room, I didn't sleep much because I was so excited about how perfect she was. That she was finally here. That she was ALL MINE. She latched on and ate like a boss baby right off the bat. It wasn't even "just hormones" because I can close my eyes and remember the excitement, the passion, the high that I felt as soon as she came into this world. It makes me smile to think about, and sob as I type it.
Evee and I had an instant, powerful bond. She rarely left my arms, and I was gone for a couple of hours once day to go to a wrestling match with my dad and my mom watched Evee. Otherwise she was always with me. That's how I wanted it. I craved her. I was a young mom with my first child, Ella, and I definitely got overwhelmed and didn't know what I was doing most of the time, I needed a ton of help from my parents, I got frustrated. Not with Evee. She was not just my priority but my hobby.
I remember the last week of Evee's life pretty well. The Houston Rockets and James Harden were on a bit of a roll. I play DraftKings (haven't had to make a deposit for a few years I'm pretty good at breaking even or better in my $0.25 games, ha!). I remember the early part of the week leading up to her death was easy & happy, as usual. That whole month was. Jesus, the whole 6 1/2 months she was alive was a breeze until her last morning. Lots of "up-the-back" poopy diapers, but it didn't bother me.
Every day there was a new milestone, or so I thought, every mother "sees something" in their babies. We notice every little thing, every little difference. So the day she received her vaccines and the day after, when her brain was being infiltrated by immune cells due to the cytokine storm that was occurring due to the 6 vaccines she had received, and she was shaking her head back and forth constantly, with a "trying to smile" look, I thought she was learning to tell me no!
When her cheeks had turned red and developed that sandpaper like rash that never went away, even after death, she was a bit lethargic, her body was extremely exhausted. It’s actually the cytokines your body produces to fight off the flu or cold that make you feel so tired and lousy. Now, imagine having 100-1000X as many cytokines in a tiny little body. The sandpaper like rash is a textbook reaction to a cytokine storm and the inflammation occurring in the body. So is lethargy. So is tremors and/or difficulty coordinating movements (like the head shaking). Fatigue. This is a good, simple explanation of a cytokine storm. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cytokine-storm-syndrome-4842383
But the mom in me thought all of that was Evee teething.
I remember February 27th, the day Evee got vaccinated. A few hours after the appointment where I received no information, the nurse couldn't even recite all 6 vaccines she was about to give, and she charted the wrong location where the vaccines were given in Evee's chart (they're just so diligent), the rash had started to develop and some increased head shaking had started, along with a bit of lethargy but I still got her to laugh a bit.
The Rockets were playing the Charlotte Hornets, I think? I had James Harden, Clint Capela, AND Kemba Walker in my lineup, they were on a roll and so was my lineup, big scoring game, and I was dancing around the living room and cheering, yelling at the TV, picking up Evee and dancing with her, and she was chuckling at me and smiling, not her big, "from the gut" laugh, no. I never heard that laugh again. But she was having fun. That was the best part, that is the best part about motherhood. We can be ourselves, we can be crazy, we can be a mess, and they still worship us. Rockets won that game, it was close. My lineup won $20-$25 that night! Then Evee & I went to bed together. I played "Sleepy Paws,” and talked to her until she fell asleep.
The next day, February 28th, I cooked an early lunch/dinner. Evee slept most of the day, very needy for her momma which was fine by me. The rash on her cheeks was rough, and warm-hot to touch. I still assumed she was teething. Lots of diarrhea that day. She just didn't feel good, all day long. You could see it. She was trying to muster up that happiness & excitement she had almost every single day, but she couldn't do it.
We watched Tom Hanks movies all day up until the Rockets were going to play that night. She always wanted to eat, solid food time was a treat for her, but she wanted nothing to do with her food that night. She kept shaking her head no, at the time it was so cute and funny, "she's so smart, telling me no & shaking her head!" A dangerous, ou