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By Cheryl Jacobs, RN,
West Palm Beach, United States
I had the occasion to meet with (we’ll call her) Sally at the Palm Beach County Stockade. This client informed me that this was her 1st pregnancy, that she had used illegal drugs, had lived on the streets for the last 15 years, and she had lost contact with her family.
Sally started coming weekly to meet with me in the stockade for pregnancy education. This client voiced a concern for the welfare of her baby, and reported that she wanted to keep the baby although she had no idea who the father was. We continued to meet until she was court ordered to an inpatient substance abuse facility for treatment. I continued to see her at that facility. During all of our pregnancy education meetings she shared that she was worried about the infant’s health due to her drug use during the 1st trimester. She wanted a healthy baby.
She delivered a beautiful, full term, baby boy (we’ll call Aaron) and had many, many questions to ask after the delivery. The most important were, “Do you think my baby is OK?” “Do you think there is any harm to him from the drug use?” I remember the day I did the NBO with Aaron. Sally smiled from ear to ear and said, “He is smart and strong. I think he will be OK.” She hugged and kissed the head of her newborn, who to her astonishment had snow white hair and big blue eyes. This was not her imagined baby at all.
Sally continued to work on her addiction and graduated from residential treatment. She had something to share about this new life at every turn. She is now functioning on her own in a support facility for addicts in Palm Beach County. and continues to seek advice and support. She is a terrific mother!
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”