Harrowing suicide note explains why mom jumped 8 stories with her baby strapped to her
Cynthia Wachenheim--the Harlem mom who died after jumping from her eight-floor window, but whose baby miraculously survived--was convinced her infant son would be disabled for the rest of his life because she had failed to protect him. At least, according to the harrowing 13-page suicide note she left in which she attempted to explain her "evil" decision, as she called it. According to a law enforcement official who told The New York Times he had seen the note, Wachenheim made reference to "two shameful events" that caused her son, Keston Bacharach, to fall and hurt himself.
And although no one, not her friends, her family or her pediatrician, believed there was anything wrong with Keston, his mother says they were all wrong.
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She knew because, as someone who spent the entire day with her baby, she'd noticed he was crying more often and sleeping a lot more. Wachenheim revealed the guilt she felt over the two incidents, that according to her would probably lead to cerebral palsy or autism, had made her totally depressed and unable to socialize.
In an effort to prevent her son from having to live with the "lifelong consequences" of his two falls, the 44-year-old first-time mom, who was on leave from her job as an associate court attorney in the Manhattan State Supreme Court system, decided to strap him on her Ergobaby carrier and jump eight stories to their death... except that Keston survived with minor scratches, cushioned by her body.
Wachenheim was obviously suffering from severe postpartum depression, which can become a much more serious mental illness, like psychosis, when left untreated, according to experts. Why someone as smart as this highly educated attorney wouldn't seek treatment for her depression is difficult to understand. It breaks my heart to think how utterly desperate she must have felt to believe that death was the only answer. Once again, I'm reminded how important it is for us women to always show support to other moms who may be going through post-partum depression.
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