In the hours and weeks following birth, a flood of hormones is supposed to act on both mother and child, forming one of the most unbreakable, unshakeable bonds in a human being’s life. But one brand new Trinidadian citizen must start her life without that immediate nurturing presence, as she was abandoned at the San Fernando General Hospital by her parents.
The baby girl was found at the hospital by a 26-year old man who had turned up at the facility for a job interview. According to reporting from Guardian Media, Emmanuel Pierre was navigating one of the hallways inside the hospital when he heard noises coming from an untied garbage bag. Upon investigation, Pierre discovered the infant.
He told Guardian reporters that he quickly alerted nurses at the hospital, who then whisked the child away for urgent medical attention. Pierre hazarded a guess that the baby might have been born to Venezuelan parents, and said, “It looks like someone unable to take care of the child and just rest it there. They just put it where it could be retrieved.”
Reports in the local press are that the baby was accompanied by a note, allegedly written by the woman who had given birth, informing that she was unable to care for the baby and asking the state to step in.
Police are now in possession of the note as they investigate the circumstances that led to the infant’s abandonment.
If that investigation does determine that the baby girl is of Venezuelan descent, it would serve to once again highlight the plight of the scores of Venezuelan nationals who fled their country, many with no resources to speak of, in an attempt to escape the poverty and violence that is their life at home.
Over the years, Venezuela has been plagued with political corruption, chronic shortages of food and medicine, hyperinflation, unemployment, power cuts, and human rights violations. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 6 million Venezuelans have fled the country in search for a better life.
Some Venezuelans have arrived on the shores on the USVI, among the most recent being fifteen immigrants on Sunday. They were part of a group of 18 people who disembarked a vessel that sped away during the wee hours of the morning, leaving at least two individuals dead after drowning while attempting to reach shore, according to the V.I. Police Department.
With Trinidad & Tobago just a short boat ride away, that country has been one of the destinations desperate Venezuelans have flocked to, taking up jobs shunned by citizens of the twin-island Republic. Many, having entered the country illegally with no valid documentation authorizing them to work in Trinidad, have accepted a life on the margins of society in exchange for a chance at food, shelter, and safety.
Placed in the context of global inflation, an already difficult life as a refugee in a strange country becomes even more so when facing the prospect of finding sufficient resources to raise a child.
Even as many grapple to find reasons why a mother would abandon her baby to the forces of fate, chance, and luck, some have highlighted the issue of postpartum or post-natal depression as one which often factors into these heart wrenching situations.
The United Kingdom National Health Service defines the syndrome as “a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby.”
Symptoms listed include “finding it difficult to look after yourself and your baby , problems concentrating and making decisions, and even frightening thoughts about hurting your baby.”
That investigation is in the hands of the authorities, we are told, and the child remains in the custody of the Southwest Regional Authority, while the state decides in whose care she must be placed.
Meanwhile, Pierre says he doesn’t consider himself a hero for potentially saving the life of this helpless baby girl. He says he just feels sad over the entire situation.
This post was originally published on this site