What I'm thinking about this morning is an article in the paper. Someone left a baby in the bathroom of the hospital. "Red hair," said the paper. The baby has red hair and was wrapped in a blanket. And it's a crime because the mother (or whoever dropped the baby off) didn't report it, didn't go to the fire station or wherever it is you're supposed to go and hand the baby over. Say, "Here. I had a baby. I can't take care of it. You take it from here."
No, this person just left it in the bathroom and fled. The baby wasn't born in the hospital but was only a few hours old.
Can you imagine? Can you?
And I am not speaking of can you imagine someone so heartless as to leave a newborn baby, no I'm speaking of what horrible circumstance must a woman have been in to have been able to do that?
Was she a young girl? Was she afraid of her parents, was she afraid for her future?
Where were her parents? What mother doesn't see her daughter growing pregnant before her eyes?
The problem I had with that movie Juno was that the girl's parents were so loving, so supportive, but they didn't offer to help her raise that baby. Of if they did, I don't remember it. If my daughter had a baby and couldn't raise it, I think (I believe) I would raise it myself and say to my daughter- this baby is here always and you are always her mother but I will do what you need me to do and I will love this child and I will help you to love her too.
But I don't think my mother would have done that. I think that if I had gotten pregnant and couldn't have figured a way out of it (and abortion was only legal in New York at the time I was young) I might have been in that much despair.
I don't know.
None of us knows and it's never fair for us to judge someone in a situation like this. A situation so grim that a woman (girl?) would abandon her newborn, redheaded baby, wrapped in a blanket in a hospital bathroom.
I suppose that in a situation that grim, it's best for the baby to be raised by someone else.
And thank God the baby will have that chance, and was not left in a dumpster somewhere to die alone surrounded by coffee grounds and old newspapers and who knows what else? The mother did that much for her child, at least. She gave the child a chance.
And they're hammering on in the Senate about Sotomayor saying once that a wise Latina woman might have more knowledge with which to judge than a white man and they're pissed that she said that but you know and I know it's true.
And what they're really saying is, "You think abortion is okay. You won't protect the unborn."
Because those white men have no idea what it feels like to know you've started a life inside of you that you are not capable of caring for. They don't. But somehow, they want to judge a woman who does know and who does know that a child, once born, needs so much more than mere breath. Health care and food and someone to watch over her and how can you watch over her when you're working a job for minimum wage which won't support the child anyway, but you have to try, and that's not fair. And it will end badly, although it never ends until that child grows up and gets pregnant and then it all begins again.
Someone left their baby in the hospital bathroom and they're talking about how it's a crime.
Oh yeah, there's a crime that's been committed here but I have a feeling it began a long, long time ago.
But that mother gave her baby a chance. She might not have followed protocol. She might not have abandoned her baby by the rules, but she gave the baby life and then she gave the baby a chance at life and we need to remember that and we need to remember that something very wrong happened in HER life for this to have been the best option for her, in her mind, still clouded by giving birth.
I am so sad about this, thinking of a woman (girl) somewhere, her milk coming in, her body still bleeding her arms so empty. Hell, I don't know. Maybe she's already back out on the street, scoring some crack.
But even if she is, there is something so wrong here that the most natural order of things was disrupted and a baby was left in a bathroom.
The crime here is that we don't take care of the born. We don't always provide for them what they need, much less what they want. Talk about the unborn and preborn all you want, but it's the born we need to think about, need to support and cherish and nurture and raise and love.
Someone did not do that for the woman (girl?) who had that baby, who took her to a place where she knew she would be found and taken care of. She left her wrapped up infant, hours old, in a hospital bathroom and walked away, in pain, I'm sure. She'd just given birth.
Unless someone else did it. A boyfriend, a mother, who?
A redheaded baby. I had one of those myself once. It was the first best day of my life. I cry everytime I think about that day. For joy.
And that is as it should be.
I don't have an ending. There is no ending. Women all over the world are abandoning babies as we speak due to circumstances beyond their control.
That's the crime. That we can't take care of all we have. That situations are so dire that a woman can abandon a baby. That sometimes the best thing a mother thinks she can do for her child is to leave it, wrapped in a blanket in a hospital bathroom.
The baby has red hair.