Jessica Blackham, 24, went to see the Barnum & Bailey Circus at a South Carolina arena last Friday evening. When she went to the restroom, she delivered a baby there in the toilet. Then she left. She claims she never knew she was pregnant, and that she actually forgot she gave birth. Really?
Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt, and yes, there are supposedly women who give birth to babies without ever knowing they're pregnant. I question how many REALLY don't know, but I suppose there are a few. But to expect us to believe that she was one of those few women AND she has amnesia about birth (birth!), well that's just asking for a little too much given the facts.
A man who claims to be the father agrees and said she knew full well she was pregnant.
In an interview last night with Nancy Grace, Jason Jones described why he thinks she knew:
As far as ... her not knowing she was pregnant, that's a bunch of bull crap. She wrote on her Facebook that she was at one time having morning sickness and a bunch of headaches, and I commented and asked her was she pregnant, and she told me not to worry about it. That she would take care of it.
Fortunately, somehow the baby survived. A janitor found him about an hour later, and the 6-pound boy was rushed to the hospital. He's in stable condition, and doctors say he's making daily progress. As for Blackham, she has been charged with unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of felony child abuse. She's been released on $30,000 bond. If convicted, she could serve up to 30 years in prison. I don't know if that's enough.
Almost as disturbing as her behavior, however, has been her parents' attempts to excuse and explain their daughter's actions. Her father, Andy McAuliffe, has told media that they didn't know she was pregnant, and aren't even sure it's her baby. But that kind of contradicts other actions and statements he's made -- like the fact that when he heard about the baby being born at the arena, he asked her if it was hers and that he took her to the hospital.
McAuliffe told Fox Carolina:
[She was] weak and anemic, having lost a lot of blood, and [the officers] were literally around her bed and had her in tears. One was calling her a liar; the other was calling her character into question.
While it's an understandable urge to want to protect your children, it's also your responsibility to teach them to own up to their behavior and deal with the consequences. These don't seem to be lessons their daughter has learned.
Do you think there's any possibility that this woman really didn't know she was pregnant and that she forgot she gave birth?
Image via doortoriver/Flickr