A newborn to be exact, apparently born at home right on or before February 12, whose mother tried to suffocate him in the wee hours of the morning today. After that episode, the nurses brought the baby to stay with them, prepared sample packets of formula to give the baby (she hadn't been nursing him anyway), and reported events to the hospital's psychologist (who declares the mother mentally unstable and is requesting more tests) and social worker (who promptly called us)!
I was out making the school pick-up rounds, my new Wednesday job as the Hogar's minivan is otherwise occupied picking up the week's supply of food, when Rosa (our social worker) called me. She said "We say no, right?" I hesitated, as I always do in these situations. We are overrun with babies at the moment, many small babies, so I would've been quicker to say yes to a walking, talking 2 or 3 year old than a 3 DAY old. She read my thoughts and we decided to say no. Well, the dear elderly social worker of the city's main pediatric hospital would have none of it! The only correct answer was yes, and she furthermore threatened "If something happens to the baby tonight, it will be on your hands...!!" So Rosa said yes, then called me back. With the noise of the nine kids now filling my car with happy chatter, and music, of course, I didn't hear the calls to my cell (missed a call from the US too...sorry family!), so she finally tracked me down at Casa de Amor II as I was upstairs going through all the violins my sister left us years back.
Rosa gave me the rundown, so after dropping off two cakes for the afternoon's double first birthday at the Baby Home, I left for the hospital. After visiting my street patient, I went next door to find my new baby. :)
Right before going down the stairs, to the best part: the security guard! As I picked up my ID card, he gave me a double-take. Is that a baby you have in there?? I probably blushed - I wasn't trying to hide him, I just love my slings for the small babies, it's cold and wet today, and I was also holding papers and dealing with constant phone calls and messages. (I didn't answer all of the calls, but a nurse even suggested that I need a secretary - amen!)I showed him the baby and he sort of freaked out, in a quiet Bolivian sort of way. But...did you have this baby when you came? Or did you HAVE HIM here? Here I couldn't help but join in with a grin: "Yes, I had him RIGHT NOW!" He just kept staring, and now a crowd was gathering to watch the exchange and try to gain a peak at my tiny baby all snug inside.
Finally the guard got over his shock at a gringa taking a newborn from the hospital with only a piece of paper and an immunization card, no mother in sight, and just filled out a paper making notes from my one paper... As he finally turned back my Bolivia ID card, I swore to him this is not the first time I've waltzed out of there with a baby. Gotta love my life. :)
I went straight to our authorities with my tiny warm sleeping bundle to get papers in order. After signing a couple more....he was ours!! :)
I realized during all of this that he didn't have a name, so I immediately gave him one we've had on the "waiting list" for a while, a good strong name that we've never had at Casa de Amor. In fact, Rosa asked for our last new baby a few weeks back to be given this particular name but it turned out he already had one.
It begins with an S and is from the Bible.... Shouldn't be too hard to guess.
Back in the warm, cheery Baby Home, for the tail end of two birthday parties (pictures, which others took for me, to follow)...
Tia Tomaza with the little beauty. (Little O, my stick-tight, was getting a little jealous so as soon as she saw the baby was out of my arms, she jumped into them.)
As many babies as we've gotten lately, this is our first "born in 2012" baby. I was kind of hoping the next would be a girl. I just counted it up, and 6 of our last 7 new ones have been boys! We haven't gotten a girl since Abi and Edgar came back to live with us in July last year, and before that was baby F as my birthday present in May. But actually I just checked, and there are now 8 boys and 7 girls at the Baby Home, so somehow they stay even...
Pray for special grace for the tias and volunteers as they add yet another little one into the round-the-clock routine here. I was told that he's a little jaundiced and last night had a slight fever, and to monitor that.
Also pray for his mother, who weighs on our hearts. According to what little information the hospital could garner, she lives with an alcoholic partner and 5 other children in a shack outside the city. We will be doing investigations ASAP.