Monday, May 28, 2007


This wasn't what I was going to post - that post is lost somewhere under "drafts" and I can't get Blogger to publish it (another sign of how computer illiterate I am)...but this is a topic that combines my love of social justice, adoption, babies in general, and my favourite store. Yes, I confess! I love Wal*Mart and shop there all the time.

In Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a woman gave birth to a baby boy weighing about 8 lbs., in the Wal*Mart's washroom. A video clip showed her coming into the store wearing a bulky coat, and exiting just under fifteen minutes later. A woman in the next bathroom stall saw/heard what was happening beside her, and in her words "I've given birth before and I knew what was going on..."

The mother left her baby boy IN the toilet, and departed out the front doors. The spooked woman in the stall beside her, pulled up her particulars and ran for the Customer Service desk, which is right beside the washroom and front doors in every Wal*Mart. The assistant store manager was able to clear the baby's airway and keep doing CPR till the ambulance came. This little baby is stable and holding his own in hospital.

The big news today? His mom came in to the police, along with family members, after the paper printed the story from the "woman-in-the-next-stall". Mom isn't from Prince Albert, but from La Ronge which is way north of PA. So she would've needed transportation to get there.

Now, tell me how a woman a) can define her labour enough to walk into a store, give birth in the washroom, and walk out all in under fifteen minutes?, b) be out of her mind enough to leave a baby IN THE TOILET??? and c) couldn't have driven to the PA hospital instead of the store.

She was smart to pick Wal*Mart, and I'll tell you why.

1) It has a huge amount of traffic and you can bet that if someone wasn't in the ladies room, there'd be someone or several ladies coming in every two minutes at least. Therefore, baby would be found quickly. (doesn't explain the "leave him in the toilet" part though)

2) Wal*Mart's have highly trained first aid staff on duty on every shift. All managers, and at least one regular staff are highly trained for any emergency situation. Maybe she knew this, probably not. But, it certainly played a factor in saving her son.

3) Wal*Mart's big on community efforts, and this one's already held a fund-raising BarBQ, and has a 4 ft. donation box filled with baby items, a stroller, and car seat.
At least the baby will get them, even if mom doesn't get the baby back. (Pray to God she doesn't!)

In February we had another infant abandoned - this one a baby girl left on the back steps of a house in a suburban neighborhood in Saskatoon. They found the mother in that case as well, and didn't lay charges as she agreed to counselling.

Why would any mother abandon her baby when so many parents languish on adoption lists? I don't care if she's a crack addict, there's no excuse for it with the number of social agencies both north and south of our border, ready to help anyone who's pregnant and doesn't want to be a mom.

It always amazes me that the police don't lay charges in these cases. The law is on the books - but it seems easier to get them medical treatment (temporary insanity, perhaps?), and counselling. I agree that these are both necessary and good things to do. However, when people are charged for leaving their infants/toddlers/children in hot cars during the summer - how is this different from leaving your baby in a box, or a toilet? One is careless, thoughtless, and stupid. I'd like to think that the second one is as well.

(In case this photo is copyright, I've taken it from "Off The Beaten Path", which I've also linked to as the author has some interesting things to say re philosophy)

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