An Amazingly Sad but True Story


Back when the Wild Boar was a third year medical student he did a rotation in an inner city hospital.  He basically followed an ob/gyn resident around trying to learn about the specialty.   

One day they were called to the ER by the emergency room physician for a patient presenting with a pulsating abdominal mass and vaginal bleeding.

Strange I know.  A pulsating abdominal mass?  Yep, that’s what the ER doc called it.

Upon arriving at the ER, the resident immediately began performing an abdominal exam while taking the patient’s history.  The patient was losing lots of blood and he wanted to quickly evaluate her condition.

He soon realized the pulsating mass was the patient’s uterus bouncing off her aorta, something the ER doc did not recognize right away. 

The resident rapidly moved on to a pelvic exam, trying to locate the source of the bleeding.

As he began examining her it was obvious she had an enlarged uterus and a laceration consistent with someone who had just given birth.  The remnants of afterbirth in the vaginal canal were also a dead give away.

The patient was sixteen years old and had come to the hospital alone.

Without delay the resident started interrogating the patient.  He wanted to know the location of the baby she had just delivered.

The young girl flat out denied having just given birth.  He asked her again.  She denied it.  Again.  Denied.

It was the dead of winter and temperatures outside were below freezing with snow everywhere.

The resident pleaded with this young patient to tell where the baby was….for the baby’s sake and for hers.

Still, complete denial.  She swore on her life she had not just given birth.

The resident paged the head nurse to come to the room STAT.  He explained the situation to her, telling about the birth denial and the imminent danger or possible death of the baby.

This conversation took place in front of the patient while she STILL vehemently denied the truth. 

The resident instructed the nurse to call the police.  By some stroke of luck the patient had given her ”real address” when she filled out the paperwork for the ER. 

The police were intelligent enough to go to this girl’s home before coming to the hospital, hoping to find signs of the missing newborn.

No one was home, the doors were unlocked.  Blood was everywhere.  The police followed the blood trail throughout the house and out the back door into the yard.

With the white snow it was not hard to see there was blood leading all the way to the back fence where it abruptly ended.

The police looked over the fence, into an alley, and that’s when they saw it.

A stray, German Shepard dog had curled herself around the naked, newborn infant that had been tossed over the fence.  The dog had licked her clean while keeping her body warm…essentially saving her life.  The same life the young mother had no interest in protecting.

The baby was brought to the hospital by ambulance.  She was found to be a full-term infant in perfect condition even though she was discarded for hours in snowy, -15 degree temperatures.

It is thought the baby would not have survived had it not been for the dog’s instinctual behavior.

At the time, this story was front page news in every newspaper in the area.  Every news station reported it.

The patient was discharged from the hospital several days later after lots of psych evaluations.  She was found to be perfectly normal.  It took her almost two days to finally admit the baby was hers. 
 
She uneventfully went home with her parents who never even knew she was pregnant.  As time passed, social services deemed her home a safe place for the baby.  

The young mother was granted full custody even though she tossed that baby in the snow to die. 

I’m still not sure how I feel about this baby ending up with the mother.  Can you even imagine looking your child in the eye with them learning you tried to kill them minutes after birth? 

Was it temporary insanity or just a scared child giving birth?  Or selfishness?

It’s so hard to imagine not the slightest bit of maternal instinct kicking in.  I mean not giving the baby up for adoption but rather leaving it to freeze to death.

She cared enough about herself to get to the hospital and be checked but not enough about the tiny innocent life she left to suffer and die in the snow. 

It sickens me to this day.

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59 Comments

  1. grace 1

    i’m thoroughly disturbed by this story. to think that the baby was returned to the girl scares and saddens me. i do wonder how things ended up. yet another reason to like animals more than humans…

  2. I don’t understand how they could even CONSIDER sending that baby home with her. I just don’t get it. I keep thinking about it and it’s like hitting a brick wall. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

    I hope somebody adopted that dog and gave her a warm home – she’s a hero.

  3. HoneyB 3

    I can’t understand how she ended up with the baby she denied and left to die! I can only hope the baby is ok! It is amazing that the dog saved that baby’s life.

  4. Monkee 4

    As much as it’s disturbing to read that a human girl can be more cruel than a dog, thank you for writing about the little miracle. This baby wasn’t born under the best circumstances, but her rescue was nothing short of amazing and I’m sure God had a reason for her to be alive. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Philly 5

    It amazes me that these young girls just throw their infants away when all they have to do is just drop them off at a hospital, no questions asked.

  6. That story hit every emotion in me. Amazing.

  7. Molly 7

    Wow what an incredible story. Oh how I love animals. Not that I am defending the girls actions in the least, I think it’s important to realize that she obviously had no touch with reality. In her mind she had only gotten rid of a thing that had probably been a source of trauma and pain. I can only hope that with much therapy she was able to care for that innocent child that was placed back in her care. How she tells that story to her child in years to come is beyond me.

  8. Holy cow…that is an amazing story. The fact that the girl threw her baby away and it was saved by a dog is absolutely unreal. But I’m with you…I cannot imagine throwing your baby away like that. I have no idea what was running through her mind. Was she afraid? Was she panicking? What did she think was going to happen?

    I think it’s so sad that so many teenage girls are out there getting pregnant when the proper birth control is available at almost every store you go to. Our local news just did a story about a high school in NH that had a doctor and nurse resign over a birth control program that was being denied at a school where over 17 teenage girls are pregnant. That is a high number and one that needs to be looked at seriously. We can’t have babies having babies. Too many will end up like the girl in your story and with most of them the baby will not survive.

  9. Stephanie 9

    If there is one thing I have learned in my short 31 years of life, it that there are women who should be mothers and those who shouldn’t. Unfortunately, sometimes the ones who shouldn’t end up having kids, which then are neglected, abused, or worse. When I was pregnant with my first son, I thought I would be the worst mother. My husband laughed at me and said that if I really was a bad mom I wouldn’t worry about being a bad mom and that I had already proven what a good mom I was because I took his teenage sons into my heart as if they were mine. Don’t tell my husband, but he was right.

  10. Rachel 10

    My heart is so disturbed by that story.
    I would hope that more happened and that she wasn’t ‘just’ allowed to take the baby home.
    What a horrifying story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank God they found the baby and that it was okay.
    Wow.

    P.S. Your pantry can’t be that bad? Can it?

  11. Claudia 11

    :( – – Kids having kids. Too often. Too many. Too sad.

  12. This made me cry.

    And makes me want to hug that German Shepherd. Was he ever taken in and given a great home? Was he ever properly “rewarded” for being so wonderful? Hopefully that child will never know that a stray dog cared for it more than its own mother… I wonder… so sad!

  13. Meg 13

    How very disturbing, and how very sad. Unfortunately this kind of thing happens more often than we realize. I wonder how that poor baby ended up…

  14. So much for government interventions. Pray for that child. It’s hard not to imagine a life of abuse and rejection from a teen that unprepared for motherhood. Social services usually seems more interested in your plumbing, they watch the toilet flush and to see if you have food in your refrigerator.
    Parenting? love? security?
    It is unfortunate that no one suggested adoption.
    What sickens me even more is the rate of abortions we have. Partial birth abortion, just crush the little ones head and vacuum it’s brains out.
    You’ve touched on more than just this one story. Our society does not value motherhood and children. More and more young women are opting to never have children. I know several whose husbands want babies but they don’t. I can’t even comprehend it. To me there was nothing more romantic than a man wanting you to have his baby.
    We have worked hard here to pass a no fault law. A female can come to the hospital, deliver her baby and surrender it with no questions asked, and no bill.
    God had his hand on that child to bring that dog and save her life. Maybe the dog stayed there and loved her. This is a pretty long comment, you got to me. I love babies and this is a heart wrenching story.

  15. krysta 15

    Until you are pregnant as a teenager, don’t judge. It’s scary and frightening, no one knows the whole story… was she abused, raped, in a bad family situation? I told my teenage pregnancy story in a post, the comments were very kind. Yes she did the wrong thing and thank god there was a dog there that saved the babies life, she made a wrong decision but who’s to say how it turned out. More than likely it’s probably not good the odds are terrible… but what if?

  16. sharon 16

    I hope that child is happy somewhere and that her mother has grown up to be a wonderful mother. Wishful thinking? Probably, but there’s always a chance.

  17. Daisy 18

    What were the chances that a stray dog, who wasn’t receiving care and attention from a human, would choose to extend care and attention TO a little human?

    The same goes for the mother. There IS always a chance. I absolutely believe that her path will be a struggle and will be tough and she will probably hate herself years later for not having the courage to take care of her baby at birth. BUT, I like to think that if we, as strangers, can be open to forgiveness, then the world is a better, more tolerant place. And she will be able to forgive herself and grow into a fantastic mother.

  18. Harsh stuff Cathy. What that dog did is simply amazing and certainly a miracle. I do not want to even think about what type of care the child is getting from its mother today. Very poignant.

    But may I ask, what made you think of this story again last night, following what I hope was a fun holiday weekend for you and your family?

  19. I wonder what had happened in that girl’s life, to so harden her to an infant life. I wonder about her fear, so great it would drive her to that. I wonder what became of that baby and his mother. And then I pray, for those children and my own. I’m with you, sickened by her actions. But also, sad for her.

  20. My stomach is in knots right now.

    It makes me wonder, how often did this sort of thing happen in the days before the information age, so that people never knew about their awful beginnings? Twenty years ago, this baby would have never grown up to see these newspaper articles diligently filed away online… it makes me wonder how many of us don’t know things about our history, and how much better of we probably are for it.

    That dog is my new hero.

  21. *ahem*

    better “off”, not “of.”

    grrr.

  22. laura 23

    i have cared for a number of “trash can” babies in the nicu over the years and have often found myself wondering the same thing. recently though i came face to face with one of those moms thanks to the safe haven laws. the look in her eyes haunts me to this day as i could see the pain and desperation.
    link to adventuresinjuggling.wordpress.com

  23. Alisa 24

    This is so hard/scary in every way. I can’t imagine feeling that I had no other choice. It’s hard to believe that they gave her the baby. Saddens me.

  24. Kate 26

    Children giving birth to children. It’s sad and preventable, but only to a point. No, that baby wasn’t hers. That’s why she kept denying it. It wasn’t a baby to her. It was a mistake. Yes, it would bother me, too. I bet he has a lot of stories that bother you, doesn’t he?

  25. Leslie 27

    wow..I truly can not even find the words to comment on this. The legal system is..well..*ucked up! enrages me!

  26. annbb 28

    Very disturbing story. What a wonderful dog – hope he/she found a good home.
    Hopefully both the mother and child grew up together and are now happy. Wishful thinking….

  27. Flea 29

    I’d like to know what happens to the child – both children really – as they come into adulthood. I believe everything happens for a purpose. Even the most horrible things. Where are they now?

  28. I can’t believe they gave the baby back to her. I hope she’s turned into a responsible parent.
    You know, you hear about stories like these and you hope they aren’t true. It’s so sad when you find out that they are….

  29. Marcy 31

    That story sickens me. I was a phlebotomist at a local hospital down here in Texas several years ago. I usually worked the Labor and Delivery Ward. One evening I had orders to do a 12-hr post delivery CBC on a new mother. I didn’t bother to look at the mothers dob, just verified her name with her….but realized she was 13! She was curled in bed with HER teddy bear and the 16 yr old father was on the couch in the room with the newborn baby. I had just returned to work from maternity leave myself and was absolutely stunned.
    In my opinion, that girl should not have gotten that baby back.

  30. Wendy 32

    Wow.
    Although I am sadden that the girl tried to do this – what sort of family atmosphere was she living in that she couldn’t tell her parents and she was living in such abject fear that she felt her only “out” was to do what she did. That’s the real sadness I think. Can you imagine? 16 and pregnant and alone? I bet she didn’t go to any prenatal visits etc either. That poor girl. I hope her family are giving her more support now. I don’t blame her, I blame the parents.

  31. That resident deserves so much credit for being right on top of his profession, recognizing the girl’s real situation and what was ‘missing’ from the scene presented to the ER staff. I wish they were all like him. An amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I cannot fathom that girl’s choice to just dump her baby, but neither do I know the pain and trials she must have been going through to get to that point. It is unbelievable that the baby was just given back to her or that she even wanted it after all that. Was it guilt? Was it her parents’ unexpected acceptance after the fact? I sure would like to know the rest of the story. I think it’s an absolute miracle that the dog found and saved that baby. I hope this family has continued to see God’s hand in their lives. Can you imagine feeling so desperate?

  33. jancd 35

    I was watching Ben Stein on Glenn Beck last night and he commented that how human life is not held sacred today by people today. Your story illustrates that perfectly. We must teach our children and grandchildren how precious life is. This girl did not know this, was not taught this, and the baby suffered the consequences.

  34. Jules 36

    Oh how very sad…Having 2 teenage girls I am very thankful we keep the dialog open.

  35. It would sicken anybody. But the girl wasn’t thinking. She just acted. If she thought she would have known they would find the baby.
    One can only hope as time went on she grew up.

  36. Wow, what a great dog! and, what a sick girl, that is more than just scared, no person with a heart would throw a baby over a fence no matter how scared she was

  37. Brooke in WI 39

    Oh! This story made my heart sink. And it makes me crazy to think about the people who deemed her safe enough to further “care” for that child. I hope that that was a turning point in her life. wow

  38. shelly 40

    I can not believe what I just read. I an appalled by the behavior of that young woman. She should have rotted in jail for the rest of her life. I could spew anger for weeks on this topic alone. Childless couples yearn for children yet fertile people like her just throw away the miracle of life that GOD granted them like it is garbage. Excuse me while I go vomit.

  39. CJ :) 41

    @Shelly – I agree…and I’m speaking as someone who had children young. I’m 42 and my children are grown. Her parents also deserve a swift kick in the posterior.

  40. Wow. That’s an amazing story. I hope it was a good decision to place the child with the mother.

  41. This story sent chills down my spine- from the denial of the baby, to the guardian angel dog, to the allowing her to have full custody.

    I wonder where the child is now. It must have been destined for something great, to have lived through that.

  42. jean 44

    It happens a lot more then you know. Girls come in with vague complaints of abd pains and in a few hours they delv, only to deny that the baby is hers; it just came out of you, you watched it come out, and yet you are still saying it isn’t yours? Hello?

  43. melissa 45

    It’s a sad story all the way around. I want to judge the girl for doing what she did, but you just never know. It’s awful, but she still was a kid. I just don’t know.

    I’m glad the baby made it, regardless. Hopefully, the child ended up having an okay life. That’s the best anyone can hope for. And what an amazing thing about the dog.

    Thanks for posting this NP. It’s the kind of story my husband and I tend to talk about and get emotional over, and debate about. It’s a thinker, for sure.

  44. Wow. That is really disturbing. I can’t believe the baby was placed back with her… wow.

  45. For someone who can’t have children, it makes my stomach churn.

  46. Vonda 48

    I understand she was a young and scared kid and young and scared kids do stupid things. I only hope that the baby is in the right place with her….makes you wonder. Makes you wonder how someone could have such disregard for life….even young and scared.

  47. Neen 49

    This was a great story about the astuteness of the hospital staff and police forces … right until they gave the baby back. That home clearly had more issues than just a scared, immature teenage girl — it had a pretty pathetic set of parents (hers). Sounds like a candidate home for Child Protection Services REMOVING the child, as opposed to the other way around. I wonder what happened afterwards…?

  48. Lara 50

    That is so appalling. Wow.

    It also makes me want to go home and hug my dog.

  49. Tipper 51

    Amazing tragic story. Reading it made my heart literally hurt.

  50. wow. sickened in many ways. So many people who would’ve given anything to have that baby…

  51. I have no words about the girl.

    But. I love that dog . . .

  52. Lex the Mom 54

    An incredible story, an incredible canine.

    It is terrible & sad, but I find it difficult to judge a set of circustances I know nothing about. Who knows what any of those people were going through – & as inhumane as the child’s actions were, I still can’t judge. There’s more I’d like to say, but I can’t find the right words.

    How amazing are the dog’s instincts – amazing.

  53. Kari 55

    What an amazing story. I’m not sure how I feel about the girl getting custody of the baby. Let’s pray that she turned things around and became a true mother to the child.

    I just found your blog and can’t wait to read more. Your recipes are wonderful!

  54. Jennifer 56

    I thought long and hard before writing this, because it somehow seems inappropriate to voice my anger in the comments of someone elses blog. I agree that the girl must have come from some horrible home, and that as always, animals are amazing. HOWEVER, I think that this poor abandoned baby will probably forever be scarred by its early abandonment and lack of human bonding. I cannot imagine that abortion would have been any more cruel. As a 36 year old married woman with no kids by choice, I am EXTREMELY offended by your judgement of MY choice. Having a child because a man wants you to is NOT romantic! Thats how horrible mothers are made! Seriously, please tell me that if someone came to you for advice, you wouldn’t tell them to have a baby because its ROMANTIC?

  55. I am amazed… by the entire story – the denial, the dog, the baby being placed back in the home… I had never heard this specific story before, but the tragic truth is how many of these babies don’t make it. So tragic.

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