I didn't think too much of it, but as the day wore on I kept seeing them there. The baby looked very young; the toddler looked to be just shy of two years old, so to say he was cute is almost redundant. Sometimes when I walked by he would smile and point at me. I would point back at him and he would smile more.
Finally, in the evening, after they had been there at least ten hours or so, the mother waved me over as I walked by. "Do you work here?" she said in a quiet voice. When I replied yes, she asked me if I could get her some formula for her baby. I inquired about the baby and discovered she was only three days old. The teenager was the mother and had run out of formula.
When I went to get the formula some nurses heard about the situation and one went out to obtain more information. It turned out the teenager was here with her aunt, whose daughter was laboring in the delivery area. Not expecting to be at the hospital that long, the teenage mom had run out of food and formula. In addition to the formula, the nurses got some milk for the toddler, who had been drinking cool-aid or juice all day, and a sandwich for the mom. When asked why she hadn't stayed at home with her three day old baby and toddler, she replied that she was afraid to be alone there.
I wish I knew what to do with people like her. Spending all day in a hospital waiting room with a three day old baby and a toddler? That's almost mind boggling. Part of me wants to take her under my wing and give her a good home with lots of support, but I know that she is just one of many, and I can't take care of all of them. Also, society would look pretty askance at a middle aged guy who takes in teen-aged women who aren't related to him. And part of me just wants to keep living my comfortable lifestyle and act like I did something good by getting her a little free formula, when really, that's like just a small drop in the bucket of her problems.