CHARLESTON, West Virginia — This story has a chance of ending happily. But it begins last fall in a mangy downtown apartment as Katy Yeager, seven months pregnant, stares at a syringe and the crumpled foil that holds $40 worth of heroin.
Yeager, 24, had been clean since leaving jail eight months earlier. Initially, she was elated to be pregnant. But then the baby’s father, a former coal miner she’d met in rehab, was sent back to prison. She faced raising the baby alone.
Her final trimester was filled with insomnia, nausea and anxiety. She hated the job required by her probation — eight hours a day on her feet as a waitress at a Shoney’s restaurant. And she was desperate for money to buy a crib and diapers.