December 19, 2007
Week fifteen and changes are speeding up, I suspect. I’ve had far more energy this last week and not nearly so much sick stomach (thank goodness!). I also have had at least one person comment on my belly. If I wear a sweater, it’s not so noticable, but with a t-shirt on, I have a pretty noticeable bump. I also feel a significant tightness in my only pair of jeans. They were big enough to pull straight off without unbuttoning before I got pregnant, but now I at least have to undo the button, if not the zipper. My favourites at the moment are grey dress pants that my mother-in-law bought me just after I got married – they came from Salvation Army and cost her a whole dollar. They still look great and fit nice and loose so nothing is digging in. I have to wear a belt or they would fall down easily, but that makes me pretty giddy in itself. Here I am, on my third pregnancy, and the pants that I had to squeeze into before I was ever pregnant fit me loosely! Hooray! I feel pretty good about the size I am now and I feel healthy, even if I’m still technically overweight according to my body mass index.
On a completely (more or less) different topic, my eye was caught by this headline: Skateboarders Rescue Baby Left in Dumpster and article. Two brothers in Queens, aged 15 and 13 were skateboarding by around 8 pm when they heard the baby making noise. They quickly went to check and found her facing down in a paper bag. She was cold, but according to the hospital, she’s fine. She still had her umbilical cord attached and was very fortunate to be found when she was.
It still amazes me that people can do that to babies, but in a society where inconvenient children are dealt with in a number of frightening ways, it shouldn’t be a surprise. I imagine a great deal of it has to do with panic on the part of the mother or at times, both parents. The baby is unwanted and the trouble is unwanted, even just the trouble of finding a safe place to leave the child. The parent panics and figures that no one will ever have to know if they put the child in a dumpster or throw them in a river or any number of other quick solutions that endanger or take the life of the child.
As I read the article, a chilling thought came to me – we always hear the story told when a child is found – whether it lives or not – but how often are babies dumped and not found? How many children lay unnoticed and uncared for until they die and then are dumped along with banana peels, dirty diapers and un-needed household furniture? How many are dumped while still alive? The thought also entered my mind that if that baby had been sleeping or just not making noise when those boys skated by, she may have never been found.
When I read stories like this, I long for the days when it was acceptable to leave babies at churches or hospitals and not face charges of neglect. Of course, the ideal would be for mothers who do not wish to keep their children to set up adoption in advance, but I suspect that some (particularly young girls) think in some part of their minds that they do want to keep their babies. When the child is in their arms after a painful delivery, instead of love and affection, panic ensues. The thought of caring for the child for even one day while awaiting foster care is simply too much and so they do the unthinkable.
I cannot imagine that these acts are ever very pre-meditated. With abortion being readily available, why on earth would someone face criminal charges for abandoning their baby after it is born? And if a girl has decided not to kill her baby through an abortion, why would she kill it (or allow it to die) after its birth?
Having a baby can be overwhelming in so many ways, but my only experience has been pure joy upon holding my children. Instant love. A desire to protect and nurture. While I cannot imagine feeling anything but these emotions, there are women out there who do feel something else. I feel for them and for those babies and the futures they will or will not have. In the ideal world, we would all wait for sex and marriage until we were ready to be parents (physically and otherwise) and we would cherish the children we bore. But in that world, what would happen to those unable to conceive on their own? Adoption is a viable, important option. I have seen agony on the faces of women not able to bear babies on their own. I have two cousins who were adopted and they are 100% a part of our family. They gave their parents what they could not achieve on their own and have been a source of joy to them ever since. In Canada, using public adoption, couples may have to wait seven years to adopt a baby. For an older child, the wait is usually shorter, but by that time, most of them have been in and out of foster care or their biological parents homes for years. I hope that someday, we can provide a permanent home for a child who has been denied one in their young life. The question is, why do people have to resort to expensive medical procedures or overseas adoption to hold a baby in their arms? My answer: there aren’t many unwanted babies anymore. In other words, they are seldom carried to term if they are unwanted by their biological mother. Even though they are very much wanted by childless couples. I can only hope that in the future, we will see more education about the blessing those young (or at times, not so young) mothers could be to families wanting to adopt. Yes, their bodies will look different, and they may have to take time off of work or school to give birth. Yes, they will deal with emotional issues as they give up that child, but they will know that the life they helped to create is being taken care of by a loving family.
My point wasn’t so much to get into the abortion issue, but the question of why or how any woman could give birth to a child and then abandon it to death or illness. And how many of these children have been overlooked and lie forgotten in dumps around the world?