Family moves forward after baby is left in the trash by his moth - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family moves forward after baby is left in the trash by his mother

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For the first time, KWWL is hearing from the father of a baby who was dumped in a trash can, after the mother apparently tried to flush him down the toilet.

Authorities say Ashley Hautzenrader gave birth in a bathroom inside the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics last year.  She pleaded guilty to charges of Child Endangerment and Abandonment last month.

It's a hand the father of two never thought he would be dealt.  While dealing with health complications related to his daughter's heart transplant, he learned he also had a son.  Brandon Addison had no clue that the mother of his daughter was pregnant. 

Today, Addison's son is curious, full of energy, and as happy as any toddler.

"Besides his scary entry into life, he is phenomenal," said Addison.

Mathew is thriving with the love of his father & big sister, Ahnna.

"[Mathew] being brought into our lives, not only made [Ahnna's] physical and mental health a lot better, but it improved mine. I am honestly a better person now that these two are here," said Addison.

Mathew is even teaching his sister how to walk. Ahnna copies everything her brother does.

Their lives today are a stark difference from May 2016 when the news broke, and the nightmare began.

"My heart absolutely sank. I was in complete shock. To this day, I still don't understand why she did what she did. I honestly will probably never know the truth," said Addison.

It is an act that Addison doesn't see getting past.

"As it stands now, Ashley is nothing more than a biological mother to these children. I personally will probably never forgive her. It is up to these children, when they are old enough to understand, to decide if they do or not," said Addison.

Addison is frustrated by the lack of jail time Mathew and Ahnna's mother received.  She got five years of probation. Hautzenrader's defense claimed she suffered from PTSD due to Ahnna's health condition, and claimed she was in denial of being pregnant.

"If you think you can't handle the job, there are other options out there than putting your child through what he had to go through," said Addison.

 Addison wants to spread awareness about Safe Haven Laws in the state, which allows a parent to leave an up-to 2-week-old baby at a hospital, with no questions asked.

But the family is also choosing to live in the present.

"Waking up and seeing these two smiling and being happy; I really have nothing to worry about. They give me my strength," said Addison.

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