I love my baby daughters. They are the best thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.
I’ve been blessed with easy, uneventful pregnancies and for one; a quick, natural birth with no intervention.
That was insane because I could’ve had Morphine legitimately and Fentynal in an Epidural but I wanted to prove to my husband (and self) that I could have a drug-free labour.
After a “Sunny Side Up” aka: backwards baby which results in painful back labour, I was able to give birth standing up and within just 3 hours of labour, one push and my 2nd daughter was born.
I was overcome by the intense burst of energy, euphoria and happiness all on my own body chemicals. The endorphins from giving birth naturally, being able to feel all that pain then absolute relief was life changing for me.
When comparing apples to oranges; an Epidural for me during my 1st birth was a painful ordeal.
I still felt everything although my legs and pelvis were frozen solid. I hated the feeling of two nurses, while my husband watched (and helped) them hoist my unusable legs into old stirrups.
A huge light beat down right in my Vagina for the Doctor to deliver the baby. I was completely confined to my bed, forced to give birth in front of 4 people (5 if you add my husband) while laying on my back.
Laying on my back reminded me of how pregnancy ends the way it began; by lying on your back! Ha-ha it was awful!
It was these two different experiences that validated a drug free life for myself for the rest of my life.
It lasted 6.5 months until I relapsed.
Even a birth like that wasn’t enough to keep me away from opiates when I began feeling overwhelmed with my new role as a Mother of 2.
Motherhood has changed me for the better but it also makes me wonder if having kids contributed to my addiction because it’s such a crutch. When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, the first thing I want to is a pill.
I fought my urges for so long because I do love my kids and being a Mom but it’s so hard. Any addict will tell you, even the love for your children is sometimes not enough to keep you sober.
I am grateful to be a mother and even more grateful that I was able to manage my addiction and urges while pregnant. There is no way I could have lived with myself had my daughters been born addicted to OxyContin.
I have read about the epidemic of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and how much it has increased:
I don’t judge the women who either use while pregnant or need Methadone/Suboxone. Knowing the battle they endure all too well, along with lack of support, it’s the perfect storm.
In Canada, babies are not automatically taken away from their mothers. Units within hospitals have been established so the mothers can stay with their babies as maternal bonding does help increase recovery from NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) however the stigma from the general population must be hard.
I actually met a mother who was staying in the Baby/Mother Unit with her son last year after I had my daughter. She had been born at 36 weeks, so she had some jaundice therefore we had to stay for a few days.
She was a very nice girl and I enjoyed getting to know her. She was quite candid about her situation which I found endearing. Basically, she had been clean for almost her entire pregnancy until the last 8 weeks.
Unfortunately she had gone through a rough patch with her boyfriend, ended up leaving him, losing her job in the process.
I know these reasons sound like the stupidest excuses but really, anything can trigger a relapse and once it’s in your brain, nothing will stop it.
She used heroin once at 7 months pregnant, stopped for a bit and then started to use regularly for about 7 weeks after that. Of course her baby was born addicted and had to be weened off the heroin using morphine; every 4-6 hours depending on his symptoms.
For about two days, she didn’t admit her using so her poor baby suffered which I’m sure felt awful but she was scared he’d be taken away. Finally she admitted the truth and he was treated.
Of course Children’s Aid got involved but not to punish her, but to help her. She wasn’t charged or anything like some of the States in the USA do. Had her child been taken away or if she had been charged, I doubt the outcome would’ve been positive.
We became Facebook friends and she just celebrated a year of sobriety.