A pregnant Yelm woman tested positive for methamphetamine, so she tried to hide that she gave birth to her daughter in a bathtub at her home earlier this week, according to a sheriff’s sergeant.
The woman tried to keep the birth a secret because she feared — correctly — that authorities would take the child away, according to Thurston County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady.
“She was very aware that authorities knew she had tested positive for methamphetamine,” Brady said.
A sheriff’s deputy is being credited with helping save the infant’s life.
Deputy Mickey Hamilton went to the mother’s home in the 16000 block of 83rd Way in Yelm early Tuesday to conduct a welfare check. Hamilton had been told of the woman’s high-risk pregnancy by Child Protective Services and was aware that the 31-year-old woman was past her due date of Aug. 8.
The mother answered the door in a heavy bathrobe and denied to Hamilton that she had given birth, Brady said.
Hamilton did not believe the woman, and was suspicious because she would not allow him inside, so he obtained a search warrant for the residence, Brady said.
Hamilton had to break down the locked door to the woman’s home after obtaining the search warrant, Brady said.
Hamilton, who was joined by a Yelm police officer, discovered the baby in a car seat in a bedroom. A friend of the mother’s who was at the home told Hamilton that she had helped deliver the baby on Sunday or Monday.
The friend, who had experience as a nursing assistant, said she had watched a video on YouTube on how to cut a baby’s umbilical cord, Brady said.
Brady said the child needed emergency medical care due to the mother’s meth use, and she was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. The Sheriff’s Office has now transferred custody of the baby to Child Protective Services, Brady added.
The baby was in stable condition Friday at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Brady said.
The Sheriff’s Office will honor Hamilton with a lifesaving award, Brady said. Doctors have said it is unlikely the infant would have survived unless Hamilton intervened, allowing her to get medical care, Brady said.
“He took heroic action to save the life of a child,” Brady said. “We’re very proud here at the Sheriff’s Office of deputy Hamilton and his tenacity in his investigation.”
The Sheriff’s Office was investigating the mother for criminal charges, Brady added.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org