I cradle my girl, my baby. A dark-eyed women in a lemon yellow pantsuit comes in holding a stack of papers. She looks at my me, then to my little girl and back to me. I know what she’s thinking, the same thing everyone’s thinking. I can see her judgment in her eyes. ’She’s too young to have a child, she must be irresponsible and wild. She shouldn’t get to keep this baby.’

Ignoring the woman I coo to my little girl. The doctors cleaned her up and now we’re together, bonding. I’m still sweaty and sticky from the delivery, but it doesn’t matter.

“I just need to know, for hospital records, about your situation.” The lady drums her manicured nails against her clipboard. “Where are you living? Income? Family?”

Suddenly I get a chill and cuddle the blanket closer to me. “Look, I know you don’t like that I’m 18 with a new baby. I can see it in your eyes. All the info you want is in my chart and records. I’m good, I’ve got a plan and I know what I’m doing.”

The lady’s face softens. “What’s her name?”


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