This post has taken me awhile to write due to the many emotions that I’ve had since this experience with CBC Edmonton. I wanted to wait until things settled a bit before writing about it. At one point I wasn’t going to write about it at all because it felt like whats done is done and theres nothing I can do about it, but with lots of encouragement from fellow moms I decided to go ahead and get it out.
On May 30 I received an email from a producer at CBC Radio Edmonton requesting an interview with me regarding the recalled Fisher Price Rock n’ Play. In her research (google) she had come across my blog post on The Baby Bunch website that I had published almost 2 months earlier. In the post I had wrote one short paragraph giving other moms the heads up about what happened to Lukas so that they wouldn’t make the same mistake I did, along with a link to the recall information. I chatted with the producer over the phone first about what had happened the night I found Lukas face down in the Rock n’ Play. Several emails later it was decided that I would do the radio interview as well as an on-camera TV interview with Stephanie Dubois.
On June 5 I arrived at the CBC Edmonton Radio studio downtown for the live on air radio interview for 7:10am. I was greeted by a quick rambling off of the intro that Mark Connolly would be reading prior to the interview. “Blah blah blah blah, an Edmonton mom is sounding the alarm on another Fisher Price product still being sold in Canada” ……Say whaaaat? Who? Me?? I didn’t even know it was a different product until they told me! What alarm??? CBC contacted ME! Near the end of the interview Mark asked me if I had contacted Fisher Price. Why would I have contacted Fisher Price?!? My blog post wasn’t blaming Fisher Price or anyone else for that matter. This was NOT turning out to be the story I was led to believe it was. I was told this was a story about the Rock n’ Play but it was actually a story about ME being outraged at Fisher Price after not following manufacturer warnings.
I raced back to my southside home to “welcome” the TV crew for 10am which was Stephanie Dubois and a cameraman. Looking back now I wish I had never let these people into my home. Right from the beginning I had noticed a few odd questions that seemed to be seeking a specific reaction from me. If my answer wasn’t quite what Stephanie was hoping for she would ask me to take my time and think about it more. Once I was asked to look at two different pictures of a Rock n’ Play and tell her what I thought of it, and when I didnt really have anything to say about it she told me to look again and take my time to describe what I noticed about the pictures. Little did I know that these answers would be edited in to make it the story Stephanie wanted it to be, NOT the story I was telling because MY story had nothing to do with blaming Fisher Price. The story that was aired/published was full of clips pointing out that I didn’t follow manufacturer instructions, that I didn’t buckle Lukas in with the harness and that I let him sleep in the rocker. What wasn’t mentioned was that I knew I had made a mistake and I was admitting to it so that other parents are aware of what happened, and that ALL parents make mistakes (that we don’t need made worse by the Stephanie Dubois’ of the world). They filmed a TON of footage of Lukas smiling and laughing as he ran around them and the camera but they only aired the one clip of the only time he was crying and kicking and I asked if we could stop so that I could go pick him up. Apparently a happy laughing baby doesn’t make for a good news story. I understand this, I just think this is a very sensitive area to try to make even worse by only showing/telling the worst parts.
Later on that night after the story had aired Lukas woke up with teething pain. He lay against me sucking his thumb (yeah that’s right, I let him suck his thumb even though its not recommended by the CPS, shame on me!) as I rocked him back to sleep (another no no in the world of proper healthy baby sleep habits) tears came rushing down my face. I felt so horrible that I didn’t protect my little boy from the harsh world of the media, that his picture was plastered across a story filled with such negativity, and worst of all that Stephanie Dubois had the privilege of hearing his laughter and seeing the smile that comes straight from his heart. He still thinks she’s a good person and I hope that he never knows any different.
The one thing I would like to say to Stephanie Dubois (who is not a mother) is that if you are ever lucky enough to be a mom I hope that no one ever does to you what you did to me. I hope that you never meet another women that will deliberately make you a target and watch as the public tears you apart in an attempt to help herself. We have come so far to recognize the need for support for mothers (new and old). You have no idea what it feels like to be a mom, the guilt we feel and the judgment we face every single day. I am very fortunate that I don’t battle with post postpartum depression after having my son. In a way I’m actually glad that it was me that you choose to make your “news” story out of and not another first time mom that might have already been feeling alone and isolated. I’m sure that you don’t consider the impact that your stories have on its subjects before you make them, but I beg of you to be more mindful of the pain you can cause, particularly to vulnerable people such as first time mothers. The drama that you created with your “news” story could have lead to a little boy losing his mother. How’s that for a story?
The only good thing that came from this experience with CBC Edmonton is that I think this world is a lot better place than we believe it is. It’s made me realize first hand how much the news, even CBC which is publicly funded by taxpayers dollars, can take something that was done with good intentions and blow it up into something it isn’t just to get attention. Maybe I’ll never be able to trust the news again, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.
I live my life and run The Baby Bunch with intention and determination to empower mothers, to support them wherever possible and provide a place where they can share stories and experiences completely free from judgement. As moms we’re faced with so many decisions to make on a daily basis that will effect the most important little people in our lives, the ones we love so much it hurts. Its not easy but having a strong tribe of mommas beside you sure makes a difference. I am so extremely grateful for The Baby Bunch everyday, but especially at times like this. #momlife