Jaycee Dugard Interview: She Describes Giving Birth in Phillip Garrido’s Backyard Prison
For the first time ever, Jaycee Dugard, the California woman kidnapped and imprisoned for nearly two decades, is describing giving the birth at the age of 14 in a backyard prison.
Three years into her captivity, Dugard went into labor with the first of her daughters fathered by her abductor, Phillip Garrido. She was locked in a room in Garrido’s backyard compound when she began having pains.
“I didn’t know I was in labor,” Dugard told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview. “I was still [in]…locked at that time. Just scared.”
Dugard told Sawyer that she knew nothing about sex before being kidnapped at 11 years old by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991. She writes in her memoir, “A Stolen Life,” that the Garridos told her she was pregnant when she was 13 on a Sunday in 1994. She knew she was putting on weight, but didn’t know why.
She began watching videos about giving birth and worried because she knew there would be no doctor, just her kidnappers to help her. She writes in her book that giving birth was the most painful experience of her life.
“And then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. [I] had somebody else who was mine. I wasn’t alone,” Dugard said.
She gave birth again in 1997 to another little girl. She educated her children, creating a school in the compound to teach them as much as she could with only a fifth grade education.
As time went on Dugard said she learned to endure. “There’s a switch that I had to shut off,” Dugard said. “I don’t know…I mean, I can’t imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can’t imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it’s just…you do what you have to do to survive,” she said.
She also thought of her mom every day.
“I wanted to see her more than anything. Any day near the beginning was…like, I said, I would cry every day. And..[it’d] be hardest when I would think about her and what she was doing. And then trying to convince myself she was better without me,” Dugard said.
Dugard worried she’d forgotten what her mother looked like.
“Worried that I’d forget what she looked like or what she sounded like. Would she forget me?” Dugard said.
Dugard and her mother, Terry Probyn, were reunited after Jaycee was rescued in 2009. Both still remembers their first phone conversation.
“I remember you shouting, ‘We found her,'” Dugard told her mother and Sawyer, adding “I was crying. You know, when you’re crying, you can’t speak. Oh I just said, ‘Come quick.’ I remember saying, ‘Come. Come quick.'”
“And I remember telling you, ‘I’m coming, baby. I’m coming.’ And the rest was just
Her mother never gave up the search for her daughter. She’d replay the morning that her daughter disappeared, remembering she didn’t kiss her goodbye as she left for work. It was a moment both women recounted in their minds throughout their 18 years apart.
“She’d asked me the night before [she was kidnapped] to come in and say goodbye to her,” Probyn told Sawyer. “I chose not to go in and kiss my girls goodbye that morning…wanted to be on time. And for 18 years, I kick myself for not kissing that baby goodbye.”
Dugard wrote about that same moment in her book. Hearing her mother say this to Sawyer, Dugard exclaimed, “You remember it too? Oh God.”
The two women, holding hands and with their bodies turned into one another, share a remarkable bond.
Dugard told Probyn, “How could you have known, though? You can’t beat yourself up about that.”
Probyn replied, “But it’s a good lesson, you know? Take a minute for your kids. Do that extra thing that may be an inconvenience to you, but is important to them.”