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.

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Mom on death row for killing 4-year-old son goes free & you won't believe why

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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About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Add Comment What do you think about her letter?

firsr of all there is so much misinformation on the web that cindy may have connected with some printed incorrect symptoms. eg, do you get cp from a fall? or autism? there might br some web that says so....i would love to connect with her family,, some of whom i have known but lost touch with. anyway i send deepest codolences and know cindy came from a beautiful family,

the saddest picture shows cindy on the pavement with feet showing. she was wearing jeans and a pair of men's socks. you forgret to dress like the beautiful person you are whe ppd sets in. i know. i had it briefly until i found meaningful writing to do 33 years go. i would love to console each member of her family. i cannot forget.

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