'I was in shock.' Dad of baby left in trash can by mom speaks

Published: Sep. 7, 2017 at 6:50 PM CDT
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16-month-old Matthew Addison is a healthy toddler now, but just last May he was left by his mother in an Iowa City trash can.

His father, Brandon Addison was with Matthew's mother, Ashley Hautzenrader at the University of Iowa Hospital caring for their other daughter Ahnna.

Brandon had to leave Iowa City to come back to Davenport for work, the next morning he received a phone call from the Iowa Dept. of Human Services.

While at the hospital, Hautzenrader unexpectedly gave birth, tried to flush Matthew down the toilet and then wrapped him in a pillowcase and left him in a trash can.

A hospital employee later found Matthew.

"That is when my heart sunk," Addison said. "All I could think of was, 'please let him be okay.' They said he was really cold and he needed to be put under a heating lamp."

That is where Addison met his baby boy for the first time.

He says he thought Hautzenrader was pregnant and confronted her about it.

"She had plenty of opportunities to tell me and I still don't know why she didn't," he said.

He wants to remind parents that there are other options if you have a child and cannot take care of him or her.

"If you cannot handle it, don't do what she did," he said. "Go out there and learn about safe havens and adoption agencies."

Plus, if it wasn't for Matthew's sister Ahnna being in the hospital, Addison says Matthew may not have been found.

"IF Ahnna was not sick, we would not be having this conversation."

He says a different conversation will happen once Matthew gets older.

"One day when he's older I'm going to have to sit him down and talk to him," he said. "Hopefully he'll be mature enough to understand what happened. It will initially be his decision to forgive her."

A Gofundme has been created to help the baby boy and his sister: