Personal Stories

Baby No Name

Jesse van Kalmthout

I want to preface this blog post by saying I am pro-choice.  Always have and always will.  I believe that women should have a choice.  If a woman chooses to have a baby, great.  If they choose to have a baby and give the child to a family so that child has a chance, so be it.  If a woman wants to end the pregnancy, that’s their choice and on their conscience.  I am not a jury or judge.  Choice is choice.  What I cannot wrap my head around is abandonment.

On September 17th, a story was reported in the Sacramento Bee that a baby girl who was found in a park in Roseville.  She was going to be buried in the new Auburn Public Cemetery at 10 AM on that Wednesday.  She was found in a box, wrapped in a blanket in a plastic bag and had been left for days.  Officials believe she may have been born stillborn.  The memorial was open to the public.  Simple, factual, to the point.

I saved the article for days in my e-mail.  I wanted to go to this memorial but I couldn’t because of the constraints to my job.   I didn’t have enough time to visit the memorial and I felt incredibly guilty about it.  I didn’t know this baby girl, the Mom or anything else about her story but I wanted to go.  It just felt incredibly sad reading a story in the news that was so matter of fact about a baby girl who was completely abandoned.

What bothered me the most about this story?  Not only was she abandoned, but she didn’t have a name.  It was just “baby girl.” I wish that the Auburn Public Cemetery or even Placer County coroner had given her a name.  Baby Doe just seems so cold.  As if the world doesn’t care enough for five minutes about this little baby to give her a name.  The responses on Sacramento Bee was ten times worst.  “Roseville is the new Rancho.”  “Sheesh welcome to CA.”  Just callous bullshit remarks about a child who never had a chance.  I love when people make comments “Anonymously.” Real cowards in my book.

There is zero reason in this day and age that a pregnant Mom can’t reach out to the county, city, religious groups, Planned Parenthood for help.  What if she had good health care prior to her birth?  Could someone had educated Mom about what or what not to do when pregnant? Could the Mom reached out to anyone? Why didn’t this Mom go to the emergency room?  The E/R physicians and nurses could have helped.  I hope that in 2013 women realize they do have choices for care of their unborn/born children.  I don’t know what Mom’s situation was but to be so desperate to leave a baby (stillborn or alive) alone is unconscionable.


After some thought, and thinking about writing this story for days, I’ve decided to give her a name.  She was found in Roseville, so let’s call her Baby Rose.  I hope and I pray one day that babies are no longer abandoned like little Baby Rose.  Babies don’t belong in boxes and bags – ever.