09 November 2004

--- The Story of Baby "Champ"

Some mothers do not want their babies.

I can say that I've had my share of experiences with mothers who do not want their babies. Heck, I can even count the number of times I was asked to help them get rid of these babies. And everytime, these mothers get a mouthful of lectures from me. Most of them are young, in their teens and early 20s, mostly unwed, most are studying and a few working. Some of them are pretty smart and it still puzzles me to this day why they often opt to kill the baby instead of caring for it.

You know the usual story: impregnation by an irresponsible boyfriend who suddenly disappeared when he learned of the pregnancy. Confused lady is then left alone to fend for herself, cannot tell her folks for fear of being scolded and driven out of the house, and usually goes to seek help from her best friend(s) who, more often than not, does not also know any better about caring for the unborn. She usually ends up taking bitter herbs from Quiapo or the usual misoprostol (cytotec) which fortunately has been taken out of the market. In her confusion and fear of being found out, she becomes too ignorant of the harms she's doing to herself and baby.

Yesterday, while driving to work, I overheard this flash report news about a woman "flushing her baby on the toilet." I was meant to post this last night, but the online newspapers ignored it (tabloid news?!?), although ABSCBN and GMA carried it both on their late night TV news last night. This morning, I found some links:

A 24-year-old housemaid was held by police last Sunday for allegedly trying to kill the baby she had just given birth inside a fastfood restaurant in Parañaque City.

Vivian Vellesa, a native of Leyte and stay-in maid at BF Homes, gave birth to a baby boy inside the restroom of a Jollibee branch on Dr. A. Santos Avenue in Bgy. San Antonio at around 5 pm, police said.

"She did not know she was giving birth. While relieving herself, the baby fell into the bowl," said Senior Inspector Glen Tigson, chief of the station investigation unit.

At the police station, the mother claimed that she didn't know what happened and even flushed the toilet.

It was not until she turned around that she realized that she had just given birth.

Police said they are puzzled as to why she took the baby from the toilet and abandoned him in the trash can.

The security guard and other patrons who were waiting for their turn to use the restroom told police that they noticed there was something wrong with the woman. When they discovered the abandoned baby, they immediately accosted her.

Both the mother and her baby were brought to the Parañaque Medical Center. A medical team, led by Dr. Evarista Buenafe, noted the baby had "zero heart rate and zero respiration when he arrived at the hospital."

The baby's condition eventually stabilized.

The mother, however, was in a state of shock when interviewed by police and could not believe what she had done. Police said she would be charged with attempted infanticide.

Meanwhile, doctors at the hospital called on people interested in adopting the baby, whom they said was a "miraculous survivor of infanticide who deserves better parents."

[Philippine Star]

Here is another more amusing news account of the same story.

How can the mother relieve herself and say she hadn't notice she had given birth? She was nine months pregnant!

How can she throw the baby in the garbage bin and regard it as "trash?"

Yes, I know. Apparently, she does not want to do anything with the baby.

Last week, I was able to catch The Forgotten starring Julianne Moore. If you hadn't seen it, see it. Although most American film critics didn't like it, I liked it. It explored the mother-child bond quite extensively.

What happens inside the heads of mothers who do not want their babies?

Biologically, even in the animal kingdom, mothers are always very keen and fierce in protecting their young. It seems to me that animals fare better in caring for their babies.

Sure, sure, she is a housemaid, and you might argue that she might not even have enough money to raise the kid. By the way, she has a child before this one and is being raised by her mom in the province. What I find puzzling is her intention TO KILL THE BABY.

I've often heard that your mother "feels" what you feel even when you're hundreds of miles apart. Such is the wonder of the mother-child bond.

In cases of mothers like Vivian above, what happens? Does the mother-child bond disappear? Or, is it correct to say that not all mothers are capable of loving their children? If that is so, then that is so sad.

The boy was named "Baby Champ" by the doctors in the hospital. Why "Baby Champ?" My soulmate says maybe because he was born in Jollibee and was probably named after its Champ Burger.

I think he was named Baby Champ because he is a champion. After her mom tried to kill her and after an Apgar score of zero, he survived.

He is now up for adoption as her mother still didn't want to do anything with him.

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