Episode 128 Who Would Steal a Baby?
Hello, and welcome to episode 128 of the Childless not by Choice Podcast. My name is Civilla Morgan. My mission is to recognize and speak to childless not by choice women and men around the world, reminding you that you can live a joyful, relevant, fulfilled, childless not by choice, life.
I also welcome you if you are not childless not by choice. Maybe you did not want children, maybe you have children. Thank you for tuning in.
I would like to issue a correction:
In episode 125--Are We Being Good Ancestors, the January 2021 episode; I made the comment that ‘only in America’, in reference to Kamala Harris becoming the first woman in such a high leadership role. I should have specified that for the first time in American history, Kamala Harris is the first woman to reach that level of leadership, Vice President of The United States of America, as there are obviously quite a few women running countries all over the world.
A listener brought that to my attention and even sent me a really cool video highlighting these wonderful female world leaders.
My apologies for the misspeak, and be sure to check out the really cool video. I watched it twice!
I’ve also put a PEW Research article link here in the show notes, that discusses amongst other things, childless women, and women in leadership roles. It’s a great article.
Body of episode content:
WARNING: This episode may cause all types of triggers. I mean just look at the title. So please listen in a safe place.
In fact, I will give you some time to hit the pause button or to get to a safe place, by telling you about my new habit.
So, I was Googling what we, the general human beings, celebrate in the month of April, and well, it’s a lot. Some things are like, really? Others are quite serious:
Here are some examples:
- Fresh Florida Tomato Month
- National Fresh Celery Month
- National Soft Pretzel Month
- National Straw Hat Month
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
- National Autism Awareness Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- Black Women's History Month
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- National Arab American Heritage Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Sexually Transmitted Infections Awareness Month
There are tons more, but I wanted to give you a list from the mundane to the quite serious. What stood out for me though, was National Take a Chance Day. I want to ask you to take a chance. It’s April, the beginning of the second quarter of 2021. Things are still iffy with the pandemic, but our governments are trying. And remember, none of us have been down this road before. We are all trying to figure things out. But even so, I believe there is something you can take a chance on. Why not start that book, that newsletter, a new exercise regimen, a food you have never had before. Talking to that person you are crushing on, or even talking to someone, a co-worker, someone you attend religious services with, who does not share your skin color or race.
There are so many things we can take a chance on, that really do not include too much risk. What’s the worst that could happen? We may find that we don’t like that food we’ve always wanted to try, although it may have been the way it was prepared.
We may find that the person we were crushing on felt the same about us, or that maybe they are not a good fit after talking to them.
We may find that starting that book or newsletter was easier than we thought. Or that co-worker or fellow churchgoer is really nice, or maybe not. But how would we know if we don’t take a chance? So, National Take a Chance Day is April 23rd. And maybe you’re listening after the 23rd, but I say take that chance. If you decide to, let me know! Now, onto our story.
Remember, this may be a tough one.
You may ask, ‘why does she talk about mental health so much?’ But the fact is, I hear quite a bit that regardless of what subject matter you are teaching, helping, coaching on; you do not have to be perfect to teach or lead others. You just have to be slightly ahead of them on the journey. Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: most days I feel slightly ahead like I am really helping you. But some days, my heart feels a little sad over the things that did not happen for me. I think it’s natural. And what’s even more natural is to recognize those days and then keep moving. I don’t think we should ignore our hearts when they are feeling sad or retrospective.
The reason I talk about mental health so much is because as childless not by choice women, we can often find ourselves inside our heads. And as we all know, inside our heads is not always the best place to be. It's the reason journaling is suggested whenever we have been through a traumatic experience or when we just need to get something off of our chest. I believe we should journal even if there is not much going on in our lives. Journaling is healthy for our minds and for our souls.
Keeping things, anythings, bottled up inside is never a good idea. It will manifest either in a complete meltdown, usually at the wrong time, or a literal change in our personalities, and how we manage life.
If you need help, ask a trusted person in your life to assist you in getting that help. Journal. Continue to tune into this podcast. Join our Facebook groups. Interact with the childless not by choice in the groups. Realize that you are not the only one. You are not on an island by yourself.
It may sound trite. I know every situation is different. But I know community helps take us out of our own heads.
So, back in 2004, Lisa Montgomery concocted a plan that would end in the murder of the just 23-year-old Bobbi Jo Stinnet. Link in the show notes to the article on the story.
It sounds like yet another terrible murder until you realize that Lisa Montgomery drove several hours to Bobbi Jo Stinnett’s house under the guise of purchasing puppies, to carry out her plan. What she actually did when she got there was horrendous. What she did put her on death row.
On January 13, 2021, she was put to death for what she did. The first woman in 60 years to be put to death in her state.
I was initially not going to cover this story because Lisa had children, four of them. But I decided to go ahead. Because here’s the thing. Mental health is mental health. Lisa committed this horrendous murder in an attempt to manipulate a certain situation that was going on in her life. Her attorneys’ defense was that she had gone through a terrible childhood which included terrible abuse by her stepfather.
Lisa needed help. The level of abuse she endured from the very young age of about eight years according to some accounts, led her to do what she did.
According to one article, link in the show notes, Her second husband Kevin Montgomery noted that "The only thing I can think of is she wanted a baby so bad,"
It’s true, not everyone asks for help. In fact, most people believe they are just fine even though the entire world can see they clearly need help. And the fact is, in this world, you will seldom receive help if you do not ask for it.
Unfortunately, even when you ask you may not get the assistance you need. Sometimes it is because you are asking the wrong people. But I strongly suggest that you ask, and you keep asking.
When we do not have an advocate, and many of us do not; we will have to advocate for ourselves. Now I know, that is a learned behavior for many of us. It can be difficult, especially as women and in some societies, to stick up for ourselves. But please know, especially once you are an adult and no longer under the hand of those who should protect you but choose to abuse you instead, that you are worthy. You are worthy of obtaining the mental health you need. You are worthy of stopping the abuse that can continue from your parent’s home to your husband’s home.
You deserve advocacy, even and especially self-advocacy.
I have had the opportunity to interview several authors on this podcast. There is a book list on our Community page on the website, www.childlessnotbychoice.net. I have also created guides on the Childless not by Choice with Civilla Morgan Facebook group. Guide number five is a list of podcast episodes where I have interviewed childless not by choice authors. Please tune into these episodes. Please get these author’s books. Reading books written by women like us helps us to realize and maintain good, positive mental health. It is a type of advocacy when we can see ourselves in books and hear ourselves on podcast episodes.
Look, we have all been through some type of trauma in our lives. If we haven’t we will. I’m not wishing you ill will. But the fact is, life is hard. It’s filled with difficulty. It is filled with broken hearts, unfulfilled dreams, and unfulfilled plans. What do we do with all of that sadness?
In 1998, Gloria Williams dressed up as a nurse and walked into a Jacksonville, FL hospital. Her mission: steal a baby. She was almost caught as two other nurses ran down the hall with another patient who was in labor. They reminded the ‘nurse’ that she was not supposed to be arm carrying a baby. The rules were that medical staff were supposed to move babies by bassinet only.
Ms. Williams went back into the mother’s room, chatted her up some more, until the coast was clear, and walked out with the baby. She raised the baby as hers for the next 18 years, until the lie was finally brought to light in 2016.
She was facing 22 years in prison. She got 18. Her daughter still sees Ms. Williams as her mother, in fact asking that they not toss her in jail and throw away the key. Well, Ms. Williams got 18 years, which she said was ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’
According to the ABC News article, link in the show notes:
The NCMEC--National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says:
‘Many women who steal babies do so in a desperate attempt to keep a boyfriend or husband they fear may leave them if they don’t have a child to bind them together, analysis of past abduction cases has found. They are of child-bearing age and may already have children at home, the group says. They may pretend to be pregnant, they may have recently lost a baby due to miscarriage or they may suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from becoming pregnant themselves…’
So you see the profile the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children research proves. It is quite evident that not all baby abductions are done by childless not by choice women. Like any diabolical plan, there are different reasons people do these things.
But the bottom line is that we have the research to prove that childless not by choice women don’t go around stealing babies. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
The key for us is as I said before if we need help, we need to admit it and seek the help we need: therapy, journaling, Community.
You know, as I researched for this episode I came across a Reddit post where a woman said that her co-workers were telling her she should not babysit because she might be tempted to steal the baby, something like that. There are all types of really silly people out there saying things to hurt people. Sometimes they mean to, sometimes they do not. Either way, the hurt happens. What will you do about it? Start now, therapy, journaling, Community.
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This is the link to the video I mentioned:
This is episode 125--Are We Being Good Ancestors
The following links are stories and articles related to our discussion on theft of babies:
Articles of interest:
Episodes and articles of interest:
This is the Instagram interview from Macbeth.childfree.childless:
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Well, thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice! Until next time! Bye!