Before my daughter was born, I had a recurring nightmare about some shadowy figure stealing her away in the night. I would wake up in a panic only to remember -- forehead smack -- I was still pregnant! That was over 11 years ago, but it still sends a chill down my spine to think about the woman who dressed up in scrubs and attempted to steal a newborn baby girl from a Southern California hospital ... in a tote bag. A purple tie-dyed tote bag, no less!! (Even my nightmare didn't feature a purple tie-dyed tote bag.)
Thanks to hospital staff (and sensor ID tags), the woman, 48-year-old Grisel Ramirez, was apprehended quickly. The baby is fine and back with her mom (who will no doubt never let go of that child again, poor woman). But still! This is the stuff of nightmares and/or Lifetime movies, not real life. How is this new mom supposed to be able to distinguish between rational and irrational parenting fears from here on out?
If you're a mom, you know exactly the ongoing battle I'm talking about. We're always having to check ourselves when it comes to maternal worry. If you're up all night worrying about a giant hawk coming along and snatching your kid from the sandbox with its creepy talons, well, maybe you should think about filing that one under the "irrational" category (also, you should probably figure out where that weird hawk-related phobia is coming from). If, on the other hand, you're up all night worrying about a funny looking rash on your baby's tummy, well, might as well go ahead and call the doctor -- it's probably nothing, but it COULD be something. In other words, that one is a "rational" concern.
The fact that the would-be thief dressed up like a nurse and instructed the new mom to take a shower (then made off with the baby!) only makes things worse. It's hard enough trusting people to keep your kid safe -- every doctor, teacher, and babysitter is going to look like a would-be kidnapper to this mom! So unfair.
What is (or was) your worst new mom nightmare?
Image via Nate Grigg/Flickr