An excerpt from “Without My Consent”
Copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 (references to prior copyright material 1977)
A forthcoming book Written by Noelle Rose Andressen
A brutally honest sharing that delves deeper into the psychology of the splintered psyche and how it can be mended. All in her own words, Miss Andressen discusses her experiences being sexually abused.

We are all imperfect beings, but there’s perfection in imperfection. We may enter this world as near perfect beings, untouched yet by: human hands, violations, harms and hurts. None of us get out unscathed from the etchings of life. We all must travel through this world with some type of appendage attached to our souls, but there is hope. Miss Andressen once again shows you how she triumphed over tragedy and turned her ashes into beauty.


“...4 minutes and one second would change a heart forever. Why do I make a big deal about it being precisely 4 minutes and one second? Not because I’m anal or pompous, but because I believe that is exactly how long it took to change a heart. If this dance was only 4 minutes long, who knows if it would’ve been as effective. That one second could have been what changed this person’s heart. That one second could have been what ultimately made this person see me for the first time and let them know that I understood and cared. 

You see, being a survivor of sexual molestation or rape allows you to see similar signs that you as the victim displayed. I saw these “signs” and behavior patterns in this other person and I wanted deeply to share with this individual that I understood. However, to approach them face-to-face would seem too much as a confrontation and scare them away; this I didn’t want to do. I chose dance as my voice to express what happened to me. We all have gifts, dance was one of mine, as was my heart and my voice. To watch something in the dark, in a theater, where no one can see your eyes or your reaction--it is safe. It is safe as an audience member to “feel the experience”™. You can shed all the tears you want, no one will know. That is why I made this 4 minute 1 second dance that you all have come to know as “RED RIBBONS”™. It grew over the years and is now a complete 55 minute “Dance Drama™” that my company” “Rubans Rouges Dance™” brings to life every so often.

We use “RED RIBBONS™” not only as entertainment but as a community outreach; an opportunity to hep mend hearts or at least get rape and molestation victims to take the first step: Talking about it and then getting help to heal.

The twisting of the red ribbons that you see in the film was symbolic and a means of pacification. For many years I would fidget with my fingers and nervously pull at my long hair. It was how I dealt with what happened to me but I was always unsure what exactly had happened to me. Had these flashbacks been a real re-telling of my past or were they just moments in time encapsulated from nightmares…I needed to know the truth of what happened to me; but how would I seek the truth. The truth has a funny way of making itself known when we least expect it.

One night, my mother called me, she was very drunk and in serious emotional turmoil. She painstakingly shared with me her tale of being molested. I was in my early 20s. She began her story with tears and then strengthened as she continued. She was raped by her father every night from the earliest time she could remember-she was very young until she was around 17 and (the same year she was pregnant with me). My father “rescued” her, they got married and had me near Christmas time. 

Mom explained why she never left me alone with Grandfather; but I remember his hands pulling up my yellow dress. I remember Nana saying she’d be right back. I remember Grandfather pulling down my training pants; I remember the blue walls and white crown moulding and the medallion on the ceiling. I remember waking up crying with heavy tears and a black belt wrapped around my neck. He was whipping my back with the slack. It reminded me of a tail or a snake with two holes down its spine and two big teeth. I remember my Nana’s voice asking what happened? He said, “She was a bad girl.” 

That was it! Mom never left me alone with him, but Nana did. I don’t know and won’t know if it was intentional, if it was planned, if I was a “sacrificial offering” to him. I still wrestle with why she would leave me with him--she must have known what happened to my mom, how could one not unless she justified it or she was afraid of him. She was institutionalized for a time, it could be because she did know what was occurring and she couldn’t handle it. It could also be that she was about to come forward with the truth and he silenced her. He was an abusive man - mentally fractured.

Mom continued and shared how her father used a belt around her neck, one with two prongs. Her heart released the details of how he would position her and all the violating intricacies that I can’t even speak of now. 

Then I knew this was no dream, this was no movie. This was real. This is what happened to me, just like it happened to my mother. I wanted to share with her my experiences but she was so drunk and so deeply in pain. She reached out to me, I needed to be there for her and put my instance aside for a time, she didn’t need to have her sorrow compounded by my story. I don’t think she would’ve been able to handle the news, it would’ve broken her heart so I kept it from her. It wasn’t until she was near death from stage four cancer that I could gain the courage to share with her. I copied my 4:01 dance on a dvd for her and sent it, but she would never see it. She was too sick to watch. I guess now looking back, it was what the powers that be wanted. I believe in an afterlife (since we have a choice between doing good or evil, I believe that this choice proves that there's more after we pass, and that if we still have a choice we still have time but how much is uncertain.) and I believed that somehow now she does know what happened to me and she is whole.

So that is how I knew that what was done to me was no dream. It was a real life nightmare that I was able to push down through many years and tell myself that it was a movie I had seen, or a nightmare I had had. Once my mother shared with me the truth of what had happened to her, it all seemed to click into place. I was stunned and relieved simultaneously. The air I took in seemed different. The colors of my world changed; some became more vibrant and some dimmed, but isn’t that what truth does. It can also make us furious with anger before we embrace it with thankfulness.

From that moment on each breath would be changed for me, it would be the breath of understanding and completeness that I forbade and welcomed. Nonetheless, I saw things for what they were and explanations of my truth began to comfort:

That’s why my mom was emotionally unavailable to me.
This is why I was afraid of men.
This is why I cried when a man touched me.
This is why I had certain preferences with things from sexuality to relationships.
This is why this happened - This is why that happened -
This is why, this is why. This is WHY.

Almost instantly I could then forgive my mother for all that she failed providing for me. I couldn’t be angry at her any longer because she shared her truth with me; her daughter. What else would I uncover?

Red Ribbons™ ~ The Story Behind Rubans Rouges Dance Company™

Owned By The Board of Rubans Rouges Dance


© 2010 Oct. 16, 2010 All rights reserved. You do not have permission to copy this story. You may get permission to quote from it with prior written consent given to you by the author. See our contact page to contact the appropriate people.

Have you not heard? Have you not seen? Do you not know the story of RED RIBBONS?

My story is not unlike many other women's stories who've been through this travesty. The names are different, the locations vary, but one thing that is common: innocence was lost--innocence was shattered. And that precious child's life will never be the same again.

This story is my story. . .

My story is one of many stories that are out there. I decided to share my story with the world in the form of a dance. It would later lead to my sharing it in many other forms: public speaking, counseling, support groups, encouragement for a friend, a shoulder to lean & cry on and the written form.

My story begins when I was about 3 years old and my grandmother tied a tiny red ribbon to a safety pin. From that pin a charm with a Catholic saint was hung from it. She would pin this to my training pants to serve as protection for my innocence. The saint (I have no idea which it was) was supposed to be a protector. It proved to fail as the hands I once trusted betrayed me. The hands of my grandfather. From that moment on I learned that L-O-V-E was a bad four letter word and that trust was something I didn't like.

My RED RIBBONS were a source of pain and shame. I grew up not knowing how to love or be loved. Fearful of trusting anyone. It took a very long time to come to even speak of the horror, but I did. I somehow found trust in a man--who would become my beloved husband. He was the first person I ever told my dark secret to. I also shared with him how I was raped by my best friend's father and had some other encounters that were very violating. He shared the love of god with me and at first I hated him for it. As I mentioned before: how could a loving god allow this to happen???!!! But my heart yielded to god and I did find true love.

Hard at first as I didn't think I deserved such love after being abused (it truly messed up my head and heart) but slowly I began to break free from the bondage of abuse. It wasn't until I met a beautiful woman who had gone through a similar situation who became my spiritual guide/mom, and showed me the way to healing--a deeper healing. I was forever grateful. Then from my pain I was able to grow and heal and then share the sacrificial love of god with others to help them heal from their abusive pasts. Do you see the symbolism in the "red"--god's love/blood...There's nothing more overwhelming than to hold another human being in your arms who's been so hurt and shamed due to abuse.

Their broken hearts in my hands...all I can ever do is hold them and love them as I was loved-helped-held. Sometimes it's for hours, it's for as long as it takes because I don't waiver. I always see it as a broken person who needs to be held together as they let it out so they don't fall completely apart. Anyway, that's how I felt when I began to be honest and look at it.

Fast forward to about the late 2000's, September 2008 to be exact, out of the blue I was COMPELLED to choreograph a dance. YES!!! It was RED RIBBONS. That precious 4 minutes and 1 second dance that changed one heart then many. Of all things why was I supposed to choreograph a dance about child abuse--sexual child abuse no less? I had gone through my healing, I had gone through dealing with the guilt, shame, etc. why now? It was put on my heart to do and I just knew I had to do it. COMPELLED!!!

I wanted to do this and present it as a gift to my ballet instructor.

As I researched for just the right music I told myself this was a crazy notion and was about to toss it aside. I couldn't find the right music, I couldn't find the right movements and I wasn't welcomed with receptive open arms--actually I recall crossed and folded arms and an angry opposing face.

Apparently, this was a "taboo" subject for this person as it is for many, I get that, but I disregarded it at the time and said so what, I'm still doing it. But I questioned whether I'd really do it or not.

Just as I was about to ditch the idea my husband said listen to this: "Che Valiers De Sangreal" from Da Vinci Code. I literally almost peed my pants. This was the music. I instantly heard and saw little girls crying and then as the music played, I started crying too. I felt I was moved by either angels or god. This was confirmation for me--I had to do this dance no matter how much it was opposed.

I was COMPELLED. I love that word. But to be completely honest--this dance was never for me. It was a gift for someone else. At first to say thank you, but now I know it's more than that. For I KNOW it was meant to minister and share to the ONE to say from my heart to hers: "I understand."

I need to skip a part of this story because it produces great pain in me and is quite private. In December 2008 my dance was censored but was able to perform it. I risked much in trying to help set another free. I don't regret it one bit and stand strongly on the hope of love realized. I hope one day to get back to this note and fill in this blank when the matters are finally resolved. But for now it is blank & will remain that way. Sometimes I'm pushed away when I try to help in gentleness. My compassion is a blessing and a curse at times BUT--I would get another chance to dance this dance and develop and improve it and perform it on a real stage in 2009 with deep love and support. With the loving arms of my mentors: Beth & Robert.

Little did I know that this time around while doing it I'd go on a journey of more healing...after all these years...why now? I didn't realize there was more work to be done. But done it was. I now understand that this history of mine will remain with me until I die. I will always have some work to do to a greater or lesser degree concerning this issue/matter, but the good news is that more healing came and brought blessings I never dreamed. I was able to go on a journey with my fellow dancers and we would all grow, nurture and heal one another.

Beth was the perfect woman to guide us all. She unabashedly pushed me to make this dance all it was meant to be and learn to let the past stay in the past and embrace the present and future. What patience she showed me. It was such a beautiful time for all of us. Robert looked on so proudly. His smile brightened my saddened heart when I would reflect upon the pain & rejection I got prior to having started this dance piece. They both made it a safe place for me to express this and gave me a soft place to lay my heart. They both knew how to set my soul free so I could fly and soar.

I was given the opportunity and honor to perform this piece in many places. But one sore spot that was hard to perform at was a Consortium. Beth held my hand that day but also showed tough love! She sensed that I was ready to bolt and run for the door--but she didn't let me! She securely held my hand as we crossed the floor and firmly told me the best words I've ever heard in my life. I choose to keep these words between us girls, but I loved her for those words! I was surrounded by my family and they weren't going to let anything harm me that day.

I was given the opportunity and honor to perform this piece in many places. But one sore spot that was hard to perform at was a Consortium. Beth held my hand that day but also showed tough love! She sensed that I was ready to bolt and run for the door--but she didn't let me! She securely held my hand as we crossed the floor and firmly told me the best words I've ever heard in my life. I choose to keep these words between us girls, but I loved her for those words! I was surrounded by my family and they weren't going to let anything harm me that day.

Wow, what beauty and what strength they had for me when I was weak. All of them--STRONG WOMEN!!!

Fast forward to the inception of my dance company. What to call it??? I wracked my brain for weeks. Again, my brilliant husband just blurted out how do you say red ribbons in French. It took him 7 seconds to come up with it. LOL!!! I said: Rubans Rouges. I instantly loved it! I knew it was perfect. So there you have it. THE story. Well...most of the story. There's more to this epic tale, however, I haven't reached the end of it yet. I think...no - no... I "feel" that some beautiful climax will end this saga very soon as there's some unfinished business and loose ends that need tying.

Type your paragraph here.

Hello & Greetings,
This is Jay Kenneth typing for Noelle Rose Andressen. In brief, she is a contemporary ballet dancer that has over come many things including legal blindness. These are her words:

"My name is Noelle Rose Andressen. I am a professional contemporary ballet dancer for Rubans Rouges Dance. I have had many things to overcome in my life: breast cancer, sexual child abuse, and then something new presented itself that would threaten my ability to dance. About 3.5 years ago, I started noticing that my vision was becoming more blurry than usual. I had thought it was due to lack of sleep or eye strain and brushed it aside. However, one night during a performance, I realized it was much more than that.

My dance partner and I often perform a beautiful and technically challenging duet called: "Couer de Verre" - a section from "Red Ribbons". It incorporates intricate choreography with passionate drama. One risky move that is a trademark of our company is called the "T-Split." It is a place in the dance where we separate across the stage, I run and leap upwards and he catches me in his arms as I come down and precariously balance on his hips. We then lean back and split apart forming the shape of a "T".

This night when we got to this portion of the dance, I noticed that my vision grew limited. It was like a dark tunnel, I could not see peripherally. I blinked my eyes and strained to see where my partner was. It was so very dark and the stage lights created a surreal double-vision like glow. I counted my steps and ran to where I believed he was but I had over traveled and as I leaped into the air our bodies slammed into each other as I went upwards. I trusted he would be there to catch me on my way down. He caught me, barely as my satin dress slipped on his costume. We executed the rest of the movement and I balanced best I could and we leaned back. I knew I had missed our signature move. As we finished the dance and took our bows, I my heart sank. Even though the audience was so supportive and applauded louder than I ever heard, I knew that something wrong had occurred and it was my fault.

After the performance I went backstage. I sunk into the wall and wanted to disappear. I had let my partner and fans down. I also disappointed myself. I never missed this part in the dance. We were always flawless. I couldn't figure out what had happened to my vision. My partner approached me and said, "Our costumes slipped. I don't think anyone else noticed." I knew he was being gracious. He kissed my forehead and went in the dressing room. When I got home, I had told my husband what happened. He thought I had had an occipital migraine. I had them every once in a while. I told him that I didn't think so but he encouraged me not to worry but did take me to the doctor.

After several examinations and tests, the words from my doctor: "You're legally blind with early on-set glaucoma." stunned me. I had been near sighted for many years, but this--this was a nightmare. On our way home I felt faint, in part due to a side-effect from the eye drops and also disbelief. "How can this be?" I had already gone through so much in life and now this. My eyesight grew worse over time so I took some time off from performing as I learned how to adjust to not seeing as well as I could and how to do ever day regular things. There were several issues with this diagnosis: my reactions/side-effects to medications and the risk of the disease if left untreated. I needed time to think about all things and needed to figure out a effective plan.

My first day back in the studio for rehearsal proved to be more challenging. I had a huge blow to my self-esteem after a less than perfect performance and I didn't know if I'd be able to continue. I let the music: "ROSEWOOD" scored by my husband, play for a few minutes. I hoped that his emotional sound tapestry would enrapture my heart enough to overcome my fear of failure. I heard my favorite part in his music where it reached a crescendo and trickled into softness then rise with dedicated passion. I moved my arms as I closed my eyes and thought, "Is this what lays in my future...dancing to music without ever again seeing it?" 

Just as a tear threatened to fall, I mustered up inner strength. "No!" I was determined to beat this somehow. My nick name was: Dance Warrior for a reason. I had earned this title because I had overcome many things that were put before me to challenge me and I used these things to make me stronger and better. With that, I danced ferociously and fervently. I wasn't going to let this overwhelm me and win.

My partner and I got another chance to dance our infamous duet again. This time I spoke to the technical director before we staged our dance and asked if they could accommodate my disability. I was most concerned about falling off the stage so we worked out a plan to have lights set on stage in such a way that would alert me of where the edge was. I also worked a little with my partner and I learned how to angle my head a specific way so that I would be able to see him when we performed our "T-Split". I wasn't about to let it get messed up again.

While being legally blind is considered a disability, I see it as a super-power. It allowed me to do things that most people cannot do. It showed me that I am strong and this too can be overcome. I am a "Dance Warrior", I had finally proved it to myself. My strength in turn encouraged others with disabilities and now my dance company has started a "Dance Warrior" program that does many things to help encourage others, one of which is helping those with disabilities. We are showing others that dance is for everybody. 

I am currently working on other solutions and medical treatments for my eyesight. I am ultimately hoping for a cure for others and myself."


Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Link to photo: http://nebula.wsimg.com/8c54113e9bc4423b1aa4ab207cb1a190?AccessKeyId=E12CFE32F5ED0385A1D7&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

Speech

Beautifuls and Beloveds, I do not know your next steps in your lives, you may not know either, but what I wish for you is complete healing and continued strength. If no one else says this let me say this: You have value and I love you like a sister. I “see” you and I think you are wonderfully made. Never stop striving for your voice to be heard and when you speak, make it sound off like a resounding gong but also know that if you should feel you need to whisper, then my friend, whisper; for you may have found the greatest power of all.

Title: V0269 My Book - Copyright 1989-2018 You may not copy any portion of this video.  Owned by Rubans Rouges Dance; The Executive Board of Rubans Rouges Dance; The Andressen Estate.
Topics & Description:     - Copyright 1989-2018 All rights reserved.
Original Airdate:     Apr 24, 2016 at 2:56pm
Copyright Transcription by: Transcription Services
Link To Copyright Video:  https://www.facebook.com/noelleandressendancer/videos/711637872272048/
_________________________

Posted by Kenneth Mgmt Approved & Owned by The Board of Rubans Rouges Dance, The Andressen Estate. No portion of this video may be copied. This video may also contain copyright excerpts from Dance Warrior book and book series and other copyright writings by Emmy nominated writer-producer and established author; contemporary modern ballet dancer: Noelle Rose Andressen. Copyright 1989-2018
Copyright Transcript Owned & Disseminated by Rubans Rouges Dance
All rights reserved. Copyright 1989-2018

Reaching back quite a while ago with this classic "Dance Warrior" video from March 2017.

"My Book"
Posted by Kenneth Mgmt Approved & Owned by The Board of Rubans Rouges Dance. No portion of this post, video and/or transcript may be copied at all in anyway. Copyright Transcript provided for the hearing impaired. All rights reserved. Official link to official video: https://youtu.be/Egme668_9DI

Miss Andressen is not officially linked to any specific "religion". She is not a "religious" person and not affiliated with any "religion". She is a spiritual person that embraces all cultures, religions, sexual identities, and races, etc. very much like she established Rubans Rouges Dance where we all enjoy each other's faiths and beliefs and we love one another. #dancedamongtheroses #evenwithafieldofthorns #spiritualgifts we all have them, what are yours?

So check out my book cover it's pretty cool huh? I really like it I'm very pleased with it.

It's um and thank you T Agler for doing this for me. It's such a beautiful cover. I really really appreciate your hard work and for making such a beautiful piece of art with me, thank you. But what I really want to say is … and that was shot in 2014. I want to say that's the correct copyright date. So thank you so much. For you guys, I really hope that you will be intrigued and interested in reading my book. I have a lot of media coming out, it's just it's hitting quicker than I know what to do with it personally. I'm very proud of the book. I'm very pleased with it. Just a couple more things to do and it's out there. So I've been given the a okay/thumbs up to start disseminating the information and links and where to buy and get a copy of it will be available very, very soon. And some of you will be getting it as a gift because I love you. Then I get to do like book signing parties and readings and all these really great things and that's so exciting for me to do. I don't know, I get to wear my author hat and dancer hat at the same time it's really coo. So I'm really really pleased. Oh my gosh my hair is like crazy today. This is post-oil treatment it's really freaking out. Anyway so thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate it okay - bye!

Title: For Baby Doe’s Heartbeat
Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

“In the darkness a silent frightened cry is heard, it is that of an infant struggling to stay alive in the surroundings of refuse, a mother has just abandoned her baby in a trash bin…”


Those were the opening words of an Emmy nominated film my husband and I created from scratch with no budget, an ounce of hope and a dash of dreams. It was our very first production as film school graduates. While the end result is amazing, the journey to that place was heartbreaking and challenging. I love the arts and creating, I just wished that it didn’t hurt so much to bring the vision to fruition. If you want to do good in this world there’s always a price to pay.

 So how did we get from here to there or from there to here? I often wonder that myself as I look back and reflect. Let me share my story of how my husband and I fought the odds and made a miracle film happen. It was 2001 and I had been watching the evening news broadcast one night. The news anchor on screen had a feature story in which they shared how a mother dumped her baby in a trash can. The baby was found alive, thankfully, but I just couldn’t bare to hear one more story. “Baby Dumping” had become an epidemic at that time in Vegas and quite possibly our nation. It seemed at least once a month someone found a baby dumped behind a casino alley, or a sewer pipe, or some other hideous place that was not meant for babies.

 Instead of weep and complain about it, my husband and I decided to do something positive about it. We decided to make a docu-drama TV film that was presented as part documentary part narrative film. It was a very effective vehicle and technique to bring our message to an audience but it had a high cost in many ways.

 When we first ventured on this path we already had experience as writers, performers, and were known in our professions. We just had to figure out how we were going to produce a film about a then very controversial subject. We “pitched” our idea to various producers, production companies, and networks. Each one passing on it for a myriad of reasons, of course none to our satisfaction. We believed that we had an incredible idea and knew the world needed to hear it. I personally am one to herald for causes I believe in, this was one of them. Being a passionate compassionate causes me to speak up loudly. This outspokenness of mine has gotten me into some jams, but they always turned out well in the end.

With much contemplation, we decided to self-produce this film. We were not used to going it alone, but we wanted to be a part of change, save baby’s lives, and help mothers make healthier decisions. This was not about the abortion issue, this was about taking a live, fully born and healthy infant and tossing it away as if it had value. The ultimate form of dehumanizing a human is to devalue it. It was hard for us to understand the resistance and controversy.

We used a portion of the equity in our home to finance some of the film. We wanted to be wise and not jeopardize our home so we decided what was a safe amount. As we laid out our budget we saw that we couldn’t use a video camera for the entire shoot. We had to choose between shooting video or film cameras for the interviews or for the narrative dramatic parts. These parts had actors and complicated scenes to cut. Either one would have negatives so we had to choose the one that cost the least. We chose to do the interviews on video and the narrative with actors on film since we had access to a free 16mm camera and the film we needed we were given at a fraction of the price. This would create an editing nightmare, but we had no other choice.


Two months into our planning our film, we found a great line up of high profile people to interview from politicians to a famous attorney and the then District Attorney. Things were falling into place but then we kept hitting snags in our plans. The first one was interviewing the mother who had abandoned her baby. This was the one I heard on the news. We developed a “pen-pal” type relationship as she was serving time in jail for her “crime” and she had agreed to do an off-camera interview with us. Then she agreed to on-camera interviews but then backed out. It was very frustrating because she had such an interesting story. Not that we sided with her decisions but we wanted to capture what and why she chose in the heat of the moment. We believed it would shed light on the issue and help other women choose wisely and not make the same mistake she had made. We gave up on that notion and just let the film be what it was going to be without her.

 During mid-production one of our actors backed out for “family emergency” reasons. We released them from their contract and I ended up portraying this particular role. It was the role of a pregnant woman in distress who didn’t know what to do with her baby. It was an emotional role to portray and I love acting, but I didn’t necessarily want to do this part and neither did many other women at that time. Now-a-days, this wouldn’t be an issue but then it was. The subject was so new. So there I was wearing a pregnant belly and going through all these emotions I didn’t want to be experiencing; I had to, the role called for it. When we got the “dailies” back (the developed film), I disliked how the fake pregnant belly looked. Here we were claiming to present a truthful and factual story on film and the shots with my belly weren’t working. We re-shot all of it except this time I drank 16 ounces of water that had two tablespoons Epsom salts in it. It bloated my belly and I looked around 4 months pregnant. (Please don’t do this without your doctor’s consent, my doctor assisted us with this portion and carefully watched my health carefully.) Of course there was a price to pay with this, I’m sure you could imagine. Epsom salts are used when one is constipated. Let’s leave it at that.

Many other obstacles presented themselves from running out of funds for editing (I got a script supervisor job to cover editing costs), locations canceling, damaged film negatives, and lots of renegotiating licensing contracts. It was a challenging process especially when we interviewed the Clark County Coroner. We were in the morgue as that’s where our team had decided to shoot. It was a great interview but the smell of formaldehyde made me dizzy and the knowing that the deceased were on the other side of a “certain”, ominous, freezer door. Death does not settle me, it unsettles me. It seems wrong and backwards. This sensitive chord in me was plucked when we asked the Coroner if in his career he ever had to ever identify the body of a baby. When he said yes and that he very much disliked having to collect the body of a baby doe and how it was found, that’s when I realized that this subject matter was getting the best of me.

I needed to step away from this film, I stopped thinking about the subject, I stopped writing the mom who dumped her baby, and I handed it all over to my husband. I just could not continue on this path one moment more. I had now become my own hurdle. I started to wrestle with whether to feel sympathy for the mother because of her circumstances. Our writing to each other helped me understand where she was coming from, but the action of what she did was not okay on any level. I then felt guilty because I began to understand her stance but then my husband said that’s just a sign of compassion: caring about the person but not condoning the behavior. This was a tricky balance.

The time came to finish the editing process in which we worked with a talented lady from the NBC news team in Las Vegas. She worked for us independently of the station but was so gracious to help us complete our vision. Editing the narrative portion of the film was pain-staking as we had to sync sound with the visual. This was the draw back to our prior choice of choosing between using a Bolex 16mm camera for the narrative versus the interviews. We knew we made the right decision cost wise, but it was a drag to sync everything and in most cases we had to re-record all of the sound due to the noisy motor on the Bolex.

At the end of the day in May, about two years after we began our journey, we had finished the last of our project. Every last frame was edited, all release forms and contracts in alignment, now the time for distribution came. The CAM Group was first to get dibs on our project and aired it nationally. The ratings were solid and we got great feedback on it.

From that we were called upon to create a series to help disseminate information about the subject matter we covered in our film. “This Is Not A Crib For Your Baby” was a campaign we created via website, media, and public service announcement series. We were alerting the general public in mass about the options and choices pregnant women had to safely lay their babies. In Nevada it was termed: “Safe Haven Law”. Other states used: “Safe Arms Law” or “Safe Baby Law”. It gave women options other than putting a baby after its birth in a trash can or other unfit place. This series won awards and was nominated for several EMA Media Awards. “Baby Doe’s Heartbeat” gained much attention at the time. We were nominated for an EMA Media Award and won. NBC News covered our story locally and we were able to give a touchy subject matter a name and a face which is what I set out to do. We also received Emmy nominations for various things. My writing, producing and music arrangement were recognized. My husband’s music score and producing were recognized too among others.

While we never were able to replace the equity in our home, and we never interviewed the one mother on camera, we saw our sojourn as a success. We knew we changed the lives of many women for the good and hopefully spared the life of a newborn. This my friends is a miracle. You too can be a creator of miracles. Now go out there into the world and be awesome.