Have A Nice Rest… Christine McDonald

In the mornings I was throwing up, in the afternoons I was throwing up, and in the evenings I was throwing up. I’d try to eat, and would just throw up. I was picked up by the police a few weeks later in a sting operation. By this point I was almost five months along.

When I went to court, they didn’t have enough on me to keep me or convict me, because I hadn’t taken the money or even negotiated the price for my services. Plus, the officers had not shown up in court to assist in the prosecution. So the charges were dropped.

However, the judge told me, “You won’t be released.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
He explained that I was being held without charges, but the baby I was carrying was being protected from me. I would remain in custody until the birth of the baby.
“You can’t do that,” I said. “You can’t hold me without charges.”
“Lady, I just did,” was his answer.

I had been in jail for about two weeks before I went to court. They had confirmed I was pregnant, given me double meal trays and vitamins, and sent me to a prenatal appointment at the local hospital.

I see now they were holding me for that court date, collecting information and waiting for me to reach five months. At five months, the fetus is considered a human life and not just a fetus. The baby is considered viable and has a chance at life if born that early. Taking the baby into custody as they did was the best thing they could have done for me or her.

The judge informed the county officers that he was to be notified when I went into labor and again at the time of delivery. Then he said, “Ms. McDonald, at the time of delivery you’ll be free to go if the baby is tested and found to be drug free. But if the baby tests positive for drugs, I promise you that the state will bring charges against you for child endangerment and any other charges I can come up with, and I will encourage maximum sentencing and full prosecution.” Then he looked at me with a smile and said, “You have a nice rest.”

While I was locked up, I was not offered any social services. I just stayed in a cell alone, waiting and waiting. That was in late 2000. I had the baby in March 2001. I remember getting double trays at mealtime to ensure the
baby grew.

I remember drinking gallons of water, too. Following my own mindless logic, I was trying to flush the drugs from the baby’s system.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald


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