The mother of the Chinese newborn baby boy who was rescued after being trapped in a sewage pipe says she “deeply regrets what she did.” According to local police, the unnamed mother told police she started feeling abdominal cramps and went into the apartment’s shared bathroom and gave birth in the toilet. The baby slipped into the toilet pipe and she was unable to free him, the Guardian reports.
“She tried to grab something to help herself because there is too much blood," a police officer said in a video interview Tuesday. "She couldn't hold the baby anymore, and he slides into the sewage through the hole of the toilet."
The 22-year-old mother reportedly raised the initial alarm and notified her landlord that her baby had fallen into the sewage pipe. She was present for the two-hour rescue and was identified after police found baby toys and bloody toilet paper in her rented room, AP reports.
The woman is reportedly a high school graduate who works at a restaurant in Jinhua, the city where the baby was rescued. She became pregnant after a one-night stand and could not afford an abortion. The woman kept her pregnancy a secret by wearing loose-fitting clothes, Zhezhong News reports.
Video footage of the rescue was shown on Chinese news Monday and spread around the world. The baby, identified as Baby No. 59 from his incubator number at the hospital, weighed 6 pounds, 2.8 ounces. He had a low heart rate and minor cuts and bruises, but he was otherwise unharmed, according to local reports.
Premarital sex is growing more common in China. According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of the Chinese participants said they had their first sexual experience before marriage. In 1989 a similar survey showed only 15 percent of Chinese citizens had premarital sex. The findings also showed that women tend to be more passive when it comes to acquiring knowledge about sex, thinking men should be the ones responsible.
The mother of Baby No. 59 could face an attempted murder charge. The public response surrounding the case has ranged from sympathy to outrage. While some have donated diapers, baby clothes and milk for the infant, others have taken to Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, to voice their opinions on what should happen to the mother.
Amid the public outcry, one Weibo user expressed compassion: "I am the father of two children. I know a little about how much children need their parents, and I think this mother needs help too." Still, there's been mounting criticism, which has one government official worried about the mother’s well-being.
"She is currently in quite a dire mental state – after all, she is not married – and there has been a bombardment of criticism from the public," Mr Fang, a representative of the Public Security Bureau in Zhejiang's Pujiang county, told The Daily Telegraph.