I was first introduced to this nanny named Joanne by my Aunt.
My Aunt brings my 5 years old cousin to the neighbourhood kindergarten every morning, and brings him back around afternoon. She saw this woman everyday, 2 toddlers by her side, and a few months old baby in a stroller. Joanne was also bringing one of the kids which she babysit to the kindergarten as well. That is how my Aunt got to know Joanne is helping people to look after babies and toddlers.
I raised up this thought of finding a nanny to look after Hazel to my mum as I am going back to workforce and putting her in infant care is a very rush thing for us. Its very difficult to pick her up by 7pm sharp, as I usually work beyond 6pm, can’t make it in time. Putting her with a nanny, timing will be more flexible. My mum remembered my Aunt mentioning about Joanne before, and she also bumped into her quite a few times in the market, so she told me maybe I can get her number and call her to ask how much she charges and where she stays.
Within 2 days, I got hold of her number and gave her a call. She sounded friendly and told me I can go up her house to take a look at the environment before deciding. She also sounded very experienced, as she was very confident she can handle Hazel when I told her my baby is quite naughty and bad tempered. Her flat was just a few blocks away from my mum’s place, and her charges were reasonable, so I fixed a time to visit her house the next day morning, with Hazel and my Aunt.
Joanne is staying in a one bedroom flat. Even though it is not big, but her things are not cluttered around, and looks spacious. A small living room, a kitchen and a bedroom. She has a 10 years old daughter, and they came from Malaysia. Her purpose of babysitting is to earn more money and saved them up for her daughter. Her husband is not earning alot, that is why she babysits.
When I brought Hazel there, she did not cry. As what some elders says, babies are very sensitive. If they doesn’t like that house, once they stepped in, they will cry. So when Hazel didn’t, I was more confident in leaving her under Joanne’s care. During that time, Joanne was only looking after one 4 years old toddler.
Before deciding, I brought hubby up to her flat as well. He thought it was ok, and so we decided to put Hazel there. Joanne was very nice. The first few days when I have to work overtime, I called her up and told her I will be late in picking up Hazel, and apologized. She assured me that it was ok, I don’t have to rush, and even asked me to settle my dinner, shower first then pick her up. Whenever I picked Hazel up, Joanne will tell me whether baby poos, what color, how was she that day, she cried and etc.
2 weeks later, I realised that Hazel always cry whenever I handed her over to Joanne before I head to work. During that time, I never thought much about it, but now, I was thinking maybe Hazel was trying to tell me something. It was my fault for neglecting that.
On that fateful evening, I was still in office when I received a call from her. She told me nervously that Hazel isn’t herself. She looks very tired, and refused to open her eyes no matter how she tried to wake her up. And she poos alot that day, as Joanne changed her formula milk. She was not very clear as to tell me how serious it was. From my end, I thought Hazel was just too tired and refused to move as she just wants to sleep, which sometimes she was like this at home. So I told Joanne, wait till I go pick her up and see how she is. Shortly after, she called again to tell me Hazel should be fine because she drinks her milk.
When we reached her place, Hazel was sleeping. It was true that no matter how I moved her, called her, she has little response. We went home and decided to bring her to see a PD. My parents was looking after her for me while we are preparing her stuff to go out. My father suddenly called me and asked me to take a look at her thighs. There were bruises on both of her thighs! I immediately called Joanne and asked what happened. She said she saw Hazel isn’t responding to her, so she tried to massage her thighs harder, and see whether she will wake up due to the pain. What was she talking about??!! Is that the way to handle this kind of situation? The only way is to call me immediately! And I already told her not to change the formula so fast, and yet she gave Hazel 1 feed of her usual milk powder and the rest of her feeds the new formula! I was super pissed off with her and hang up.
PD clinic already closed, so we brought Hazel to KKH A&E. While we were waiting to do registration, she went into seizures.
She was rushed into the emergency room. When the doctors saw the bruises and her fits, they asked us did we shake her violently. No, we didn’t. They asked who was the main caregiver. I told them Hazel was taken care by a nanny. The doctors told us they will proceed to inform the police and the social workers about this as they suspected it to be Shaken Baby.
My world was crushed.
What happened to my baby?
My heart was so painful when I saw the doctors trying to stop Hazel’s seizures and they put needles in her, took her blood, and yet, Hazel did not even cry. She was unconscious.
And all I can do was cry. She was only 3 months old.
Joanne called me the next day to tell me she did not do anything to Hazel. I was too sad and angry to listen to what she has to say. She admitted the bruises were caused by her, but she did not shake her. She kept on apologizing, but will sorry save my baby?
Since then, I did not hear anything from her. My mother did bump into her several times in the market, and everytime Joanne saw my mum, she always ask how is Hazel.
Many people asked me any charges against her? No. There was no evidence to prove that Hazel’s injury was caused by her. She is still looking after the 4 years old toddler now.
I will never get to know what happened that day, or what has caused the injury to Hazel. How I wish Hazel is able to tell me.