Trigger: Mention of harm done to a child.
Arguably the biggest truth about parenthood is that adjusting to it is hard. It's true whether you're the mother or father; conceived a child naturally or needed assistance in some way; and regardless of your age when you become a parent. Some struggle more than others for various reasons, and that's okay. But for a select few, the growing pains of parenthood can have potentially dangerous consequences.
In San Juan, Texas, one new mother has been arrested after trying to drown her three-month-old daughter in a canal. 24-year-old Nicole Shanon Martinez is behind bars for suddenly attacking her baby girl with a sharp blow to her head and then attempting to kill her by drowning. Fortunately, the infant was able to survive the brutal assault.
It appears as though the infant survived due to Martinez's mother discovering the assault and calling 911 for help. Police quickly arrived at the horrifying sight of Martinez taking her baby to the canal to begin drowning her. Officers on the scene successfully de-escalated the situation and saved the baby before more harm could occur. The distraught mother was also taken into custody at that time.
"[Martinez] was distraught and we know she was not in her full capacity as a parent," explained San Juan Chief of Police Juan Gonzalez.
While it might sound unthinkable for a mother to want to kill her baby, it doesn't mean the mother's evil. In this particular case, a mental illness like postpartum depression (or worse) most likely played a massive role here. That's what adult and child adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Gutierrez believes.
"They might have suicidal thoughts or in this case, they might have thoughts to injury to the baby. That would last maybe a couple of days and a couple of weeks, that's so common, post-partum blues vs. postpartum depression is an actual psychiatric syndrome," he explained.
Martinez is currently facing charges of resisting arrest and endangering a child. Her baby girl made a full recovery at the hospital before being placed in the care of her grandmother by Child Protective Services (CPS). Our thoughts are with the family as they endure this difficult time.