Once upon a time there was a little baby girl, born in a dangerous, poor and dodgy land, full of woe and strife.
She was not safe! She had no mommy and no daddy.
Thankfully, loving parents came, looking for a baby they could share their home with. They brought her to a warm, cozy, safe neighborhood just like a suberb of Oz. Everything was cool. The baby was healthy. She was happy. So were the mommy and daddy. They loved their little girl so much.
Then one day the mommy and the baby went to see the doctor, and the doctor gave the baby a test. He told the mommy that the test showed something scary: there was danger to the baby. Even though the baby was perfectly healthy, the doctor told the mommy that the test was most grave, and her baby was in real danger. The doctor said the baby was going to die. One year, maybe two at the most.
The mommy was so scared, she asked the doctor what she could do. The doctor suggested powerful drugs, which would make the danger lose some of its strength. Even though the baby was perfectly healthy, the mommy was so scared. She told the daddy the scary story. They agreed to try the drugs.
But the drugs hurt her baby. Badly. The baby cried and cried, especially about her legs. They always hurt her. She stopped growing! And when she started walking, she kept falling down. It was dark days for that little baby.
Then one day, the daddy read an article from a scientist who was not afraid of what the test said to the doctor. The article said that the scientist thought the test was silly. The mommy wrote to the scientist. He wrote back! He said, “The drugs are hurting your baby more than the scary things your doctor talked about. Don’t be scared: stop giving your baby those drugs! They are killing her.”
So they stopped. It was hard to do, because the doctor had scared them so much. Then it was even harder, because the doctor got very angry when they told him their choice. But they were brave and they did it anyway. And the baby got better! She thrived. She could walk finally, and she started to grow. The doctor was still so angry.
He kept telling the parents their precious child was going to die, even though the child had healed, and was getting better and better. The doctor just kept moving the date of death ahead, as the baby grew.
The daddy researched. He found out that there were more 11 other babies who had the same scary test, and they were all taking the drugs. He learned that his daughter was the only baby who stopped taking the drugs. She was also the only one who did not die. The drugs were way more scary than the test, to the daddy.
Well, the baby grew and grew, until she was a grownup. The doctor was not happy about that. He said she must have taken the test wrong, but she would re-take the test now and then, always with the same “scary” result. She had the same scary test score, but she was healthy and strong and as fit as a fiddle.
Then one day, the baby, now a woman, fell in love. She had a baby. She went to the hospital to give birth. It was a mistake! She thought the hospital was a safe place to have her baby, but it was not. In the hospital, she gave birth to a beautiful boy. Then the doctors took her baby away! Can you imagine how sad and scared and alone that mommy was?
Taking away a woman’s newborn baby. Is there anything more cruel? It is meaner than beating somebody up, don’t you think? Worse than anything you could do. It would be like cutting off somebody’s hands, except it would hurt even more than that.
Though she did not want the baby to have the scary test, the doctors gave it to the baby anyway, and got the same scary result. They said the baby must have the drugs, the same drugs that once stopped this mommy from growing, that made her legs fail.
“No!” she cried. Nobody listened.
The doctors refused to return the baby to his mommy.
The hospital became a prison.
They kept the baby, and gave it the drugs they wanted to. The mommy cried and cried. Then guess what? The doctor met with the mommy and decided to stop it. He stopped giving the baby drugs, and even agreed to let the mommy breast feed her baby. The mommy was so happy!
Then the doctors changed their mind again. They decided they would keep her baby.
The only dream the mommy has is to be allowed to hold her baby in her arms, safe from the doctors and their scary tests. Safe from people who want to endanger her baby in the name of protecting it.
This mommy is the woman who almost died from the same drugs doctors now force her baby to take, every day. They will not let her hold her baby and bring him home. In the name of saving the baby, they are killing him dead.
She wants to be a mommy to her son. It is the saddest season in the world, for the whole little family.
It is the greatest frustration imaginable. It is a real nightmare.
And by “real,” I mean, of course, real.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel