The Gift of Life… Christine McDonald

Then I went into labor. I remember them shackling my ankles to the bed in the delivery room, and the nurse asking, “Do you guys really have to do that?”

The officer said, “She’s ours until that baby comes out and we get the stool sample from the baby to see if it’s positive for cocaine.”

The guard from the county who was with me knew me from my many times in and out of the county jail. While I was in labor she asked me, “So what are you going to do after the baby arrives?”

I said, “I’m homeless. You know I can’t care for a child.” Besides, I was not aware of services.

Sadly, as I look back over my experiences in the years thereafter, I realize that if you aren’t aware of what services you need, they aren’t always offered up freely. So, teaching individuals how to be their own self–advocates is vital. I didn’t even understand that there were services for me to ask for. Who knows if I would have been considered for any of them if I had asked? Regardless, the professionals in contexts like hospitals and courts should freely provide information of suitable services for hurting individuals. This is their right, no matter how far gone they are and no matter how long their brokenness has existed in their life. Everyone should be given enough information to make choices to have help or not. Everyone deserves a fighting chance.

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The big baby arrived at last: 9 pounds, 8 ounces. “It’s a girl,” they said.

The doctor said, “Hey, can you take off these shackles? She’s not getting up for a while.”

The guard complied, and then she moved to the other side of the room, close to the door. She picked up the phone and called the judge, then handed the phone to me. The judge said, “Well, honey, the baby is a good, healthy size. I’ll be in touch again when the stool sample comes back.”

After I was cleaned up and showered, I was shackled to the bed again. The baby was in my room. I remember holding her and smelling her.

“You got family?” the nurse asked.

“Not around here,” I answered.

It took some 36 hours for the poop test to be done. There was also a huge amount of paperwork to be taken care of, so I was in the hospital for about two and a half days after the baby was born.

For two and a half days, that little baby shared a hospital room with me, gripping my finger and sleeping on my chest. The nurses would wake me and suggest I place her in her bassinet, but every time I said, “Not yet.” The baby was so warm and smelled so sweet. I shed tears when I spoke to her while I fed her.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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