By Jason van Rassel and Stephane Massinon
CALGARY - Suddenly needing a crib, diapers and baby clothes, a new Calgary father was in a rush Wednesday morning to get the essentials for his little boy.
He vows the infant will be well cared for and promises to fight for custody.
In his first interview since the ordeal, the man whose baby was found in a northwest garbage bin Tuesday -- by himself without knowing he was looking at his son -- said he will do whatever he can for the infant that he and the baby's mom didn't know was coming.
"I'm just going to try to be the best dad I can be. If he wants to get involved in sports, be a computer geek, try to be the next prime minister, I'll do whatever I can do to support him," said the father, who cannot be named to protect the baby's identity.
He said his 29-year-old girlfriend was complaining Tuesday morning she wasn't well.
Her sickness had been common lately.
So he went home. But as he parked at his Queen's Park Village townhome off 40th Avenue N.W. and walked out, a stranger spoke up.
"A girl said, 'I think I hear a baby in the Dumpster.' With no knowledge at the time that this is my kid whatsoever, I went running over there, stood beside the Dumpster, heard the baby cry," he said.
"I jumped in and removed the stuff. I personally opened the bag and uncovered all the stuff off," he said.
"My first sight of my baby was covered in garbage."
The father was taken to police for interviewing and the mom, who was still in the apartment as the rescue was going on, was taken to hospital about an hour after the discovery. A third man, James Patton, helped by removing his shirt to keep the baby warm.
It wasn't until the police interview was over at 9 p.m. that police confirmed he was the baby's father, he said. Police say he was shocked.
Both the father and police say the woman accused of abandoning her newborn boy didn't realize she was pregnant.
"Information suggests the woman was not aware of the pregnancy prior to the birth," said child abuse unit Staff Sgt. Leah Barber.
The mother is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric assessment and is facing charges of attempted murder, failing to provide the necessities of life and child abandonment.
The baby was initially hypothermic and in life-threatening condition, but he's now in stable condition.
"It was incredibly lucky the passersby responded to the cries of the baby," said Barber.
"I truly believe they saved his life."
Authorities estimated the boy was born between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday -- approximately two hours before the rescuers found him.
The father said as far as he was told, the woman had regular periods and her appearance did not change.
"That was the thing. (She) was always, ever since I've known her, she was a heavy eater, always was a bigger girl, was really self-conscious," he said.
"When I first met her, you would almost assume that she would have been pregnant and she wasn't."
When interviewed Wednesday morning, he hadn't spoken with his girlfriend and was baffled why she allegedly threw the infant away with the trash. He said he would hold off on judging his girlfriend until he learned more.
"I'm not mad. I have no explanation why I shouldn't be mad, everything that I've ever been taught in my life says I should be mad. I don't know if it's just my demeanour, knowing that getting mad isn't going to solve everything, not going to help the problem," he said.
Mount Royal University criminologist Janne Holmgren said the case doesn't sound premeditated.
"It's completely feasible she didn't know she was pregnant. If people don't have access to regular medical care and she has a bigger posture, it's biologically feasible," said Holm gren.
"If she is isolated and doesn't have any resources, I could see how she could panic once she finds out, 'I don't know how to deal with a baby,' or even if her partner wants a baby."
The man said he hopes to win custody of the baby and said he will do what it takes to prove he has the means and support to provide a good home. The couple had talked about having kids -- he was enthused and he said she was warming to the idea -- and now his focus is on the child.
The man, who is from Saskatchewan while she is from Toronto, said he never imagined this could happen.
"In my four years I've known her, I would have never, ever, ever in a million years think that she would do something like this or even be capable of something like this. If somebody knew (her)-- and I know I can say a million things and it's not going to change anything -- and knew how she felt about living things, I have a hard time believing she was in her right mind when this happened. I think there was something medically."