Saturday, June 2, 2007

when it gets too real

It's been a sad 24 hours here. Last night one of our babies was rushed to the ER after having a seizure and sudden bloody nose. He's 7 weeks old. It was scary and shocking enough, until all three staff on shift (one of whom is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who worked in infant ICU for awhile), independently of one another, started to suspect that the baby had been shaken. One of us overheard the paramedics guess that, but the other two of us hadn't. When I got home, I looked up everything I could about Shaken Baby Syndrome and all of it fit. All of it. I was sure when I woke up this morning, I'd find out that the baby's mom had been arrested and the child put in the custody of the state. Instead I learned he'd be released this afternoon. No diagnosis. He had a second seizure in the hospital. His mother is diagnosed as antisocial with a psychiatric chart what would wrap around the moon. Earlier in the day she said to me (laughing), "Sometimes I could just throw him against the wall." I've heard lots of new moms say things about wanting to hurt their kids-- exhaustion, depression, fear, can make one feel that way. But they don't laugh. Usually they cry. And their kids are healthy, not limp and unresponsive with blood crusted around their noses.

So the only choice I have is to call Child Protective Services and make an anonymous referral. I've never done that independently of a job I'm doing and it's scary. What do I say? If I were ever to be identified, I'd lose my job. But really? Right now I'd give up a whole lot to have that baby safe. Not that a call to CPS will do anything. If the baby's been released, that means the doctors were unable to find proof of a non accidental injury.

Or maybe someone's building a case. Maybe the baby will die before someone gets around to him (babies this messed up don't often live). This shit's awful.


Sarah said...

For real? You never had to call CPS on your own? If it helps, I am pretty sure you are a mandatory reporter, so calling in the referral is doing your job. You can still do it anonymously, even as a MR.

savascha said...

I'm down with what Sarah is saying, I think you most DEFINITELY should call. This lady sounds like she has a total screw loose, and like you said, these babies have it hard enough.

pea in a pod said...

darling pea,

please follow your gut and your well-positioned heart on this one; i think they're both pointing you in the right direction.

please also call me if you want to talk...