Sunday 22 July 2012

Baby Girl Josephs

Lyrics and music by Marion Parsons © 2008

True story about one of my NICU patients born with a drug addiction; see below for further notes.

Got a call there’s one for NICU just delivered in room nine
Doctor says, “She doesn’t want it,” he’s not one for wasting time
The mother cries and shivers as the blood pools at her ass
“Just tell me what it was you took and when you took it last”
And all around the warmer, there’s a wall of gowns and scrubs
To weigh and score the infant, do the bracelets, give the drugs.

Doctor threads a careful suture, the forms are signed and filed
Mom is dazed with pain and wonder, cut in two by the living child
A perfect little peanut, no bedbug bites or burns
She steals a glance at baby’s face and to the wall she turns
Then just an hour later and she’s gone out AMA
To find the mercy to forget what happened here today.

So welcome to the outside, kid; we’ve both got work to do
I don’t have what you’re needing, but I’ll help to get you through
Let you suck my latex finger, cut your hair and bag your pee
Give you half a mg of comfort in a world of tubes and beeps
And when you’ve beat the jones and you’re in one piece, more or less
I’ll see you off along the road that’s anybody’s guess.

This is a story from my job as a baby nurse.  I went to pick up a baby born to a woman who was homeless and addicted to drugs; she relinquished all claim to the child there in the delivery room.  The baby came to the nursery to go through withdrawal before going into the foster care system.


In the interests of confidentiality, Josephs is a pseudonym, and the photo above is a stock photo, not the actual baby involved.
NICU stands for neonatal intensive care unit and is pronounced “nick-you”.

The bracelets are hospital ID bands.
AMA stands for against medical advice.
“half a mg of comfort” refers to half a milligram of morphine and is pronounced “mig”.
“cut your hair and bag your pee” refers to a toxicology screen to identify the drugs .

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