There are parts of my job that never, ever get easier.
This weekend I had to take care of a newborn in withdrawal. A baby born addicted to everything under the sun. The worst type of withdrawal to deal with. One in which using dosages of morphine only marginally helps. Violent shaking, uncontrollable wailing. My God, it's so hard to see. All I wanted to do was pick this baby up in my arms and comfort him and soothe it away. It made me sad. And so, so, SO angry. Furious with rage for a woman I have never met. A biological mother who did nothing to protect her baby, and only hurt him in the very worst of ways. This innocent child spending his first days on earth this way. He is so beautiful, so innocent. And so very sick.
I know so many people who so desperately want a child and just can't. So many still waiting, so many who decided on a childless life, so many who spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to reach that goal, some successful, some not. All the years that I tried to have a child and just couldn't. But someone who willingly throws poison into one's body so easily gets pregnant and continues to abuse. It is just so unbalanced and unfair.
Did you know that the majority of these babies get sent back into the situations they came from. Because there are too many of them, and it is too costly for the state to go through the steps to wrangle custody, and there are too many of them and not enough homes. Even though so many people are waiting for babies...just not babies like this then?? If there are, how can they not find each other?
There should be a system in place from the start. If your baby is born addicted, you don't get to have that baby. There should be families waiting for babies like these, so that they get someone right away who can give them the love and the comfort and stability newborns need, so that they are never alone. I know that this isn't the way, and that people deserve a second chance...but isn't part of the problem all the second (and third, forth, fifth??) chances abusers, addicts, rapists, murderers, and criminals get?? Taking a baby and putting them back into that situation because there is nothing better for them??? NO! Someone has to break the cycle. The kids don't ever stand a chance.
The doctor I was talking to mentioned how these babies can still be irritable when they go home, so then you are sending an extra-fussy newborn home with addicts who are barely functioning. What happens to those babies then? It just rips a hole in my heart to think about. This is the best the United States can do for our children, our future? What the hell kind of screwed up world do we live in? I said to the doctor I guess all we can do is pray that these babies get a better shot. That they get placed into better homes. One has to hope, right?
I couldn't get this baby out of my head. I got tears every time I walked by his room and heard him wailing. Saturday night as soon as I was off work I went to my baby and put him to my breast when he cried. I sat in Church with him cuddled against my chest snug in his wrap, my head bowed down kissing the top of his head. And I cried for that baby at work. And I prayed for that baby, and all babies like him. And I prayed for all those still waiting for their babies. And I prayed for a solution to this broken system of waiting families, babies that need real homes and families, a system that fails both of these over and over. And I prayed for the injustice of those that want and so desperately can't, and those that can and do so easily but don't take care of that precious life.