My Recovery Baby Was Born Dependent
I suffered periods of opioid addiction for eight years. In the end, there were more bad times than good ones. At first, I could stop cold turkey and reel myself in, but the last time I tried to stop, I couldn’t. I was powerless. The urges to use were too strong and overpowered my desire to quit.
I hit rock bottom when I drained my $18,000 trust fund. At least, I thought that was my bottom.
I saw a doctor on January 2, 2012, to quit for good. Because I was unable to stop on my own, too drugged up to be that brave, the doctor prescribed Suboxone. I was successful in my recovery for two and half years. Then I truly hit rock bottom.
I never would have imagined that after almost three years sober my addiction could come back to haunt me. But I did. In May, I gave birth a sweet baby girl; my first child.
When I got pregnant, the doctors switched my medication to Subutex because it was “safer” for the baby. They told me that most babies born dependent are in and out of the NICU in approximately 14 days. I believed them. I had no reason or evidence to doubt them. My poor girl was not as lucky as “most babies,”—She was in the NICU for a full 35 days.
For 35 long days, I watched my daughter suffer. She suffered more than I ever suffered. She is stronger than I will ever be.
Watching my baby scream in pain and discomfort due to my addiction was the most gut-wrenching experience I have ever endured. It was in those moments, watching her, that I hit my final bottom.
Before my daughter was born, I was confident in my sobriety. I didn’t think I would ever relapse. After watching my poor baby in the NICU for 35 days, I made a promise that I will never do another drug ever again.
My love bug is doing much better now. The only lasting effect is that she is super-sneezy and gets over stimulated much easier than an average baby. Both are issues with her central nervous system and both will resolve by the time she is around six months old.
My sweet girl’s journey has been long and hard. I cried so much when she was put into the NICU. It was honestly one of the most humbling experiences of my entire life. We were alone, just the two of us, for 35 days.
Our bond is unbreakable.
During our five-week hospital stay, I learned a lot about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and I hope someday my knowledge will assist someone else, making her journey a little easier than mine was. If I can use this horrible experience to help even just one new mom, I’d feel complete.
If you are pregnant and currently taking Suboxone, Subutex, Methadone, Percocet, Heroin, or any other opioid, speak to your doctor about potential complications.*
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I could never have made it through this without my sober sisters. You will all have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. You inspire me to be a strong mommy and to succeed every day.
I love you!
*Please speak with your health care professional before making ANY decisions to change or discontinue prescribed medication.
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This brave and powerful post was submitted Anonymously.
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A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.