Adoption

Shooting Up In Utero

My youngest daughter, Paige was exposed to high amounts of drugs in utero.

I know she was exposed to meth and prescription drugs, and perhaps other illegal ones.

Her biological mother had a prescription for Klonopin, a very strong medication used to treat anxiety and seizures.  Even when this drug is used for seizures, patients should not continue use during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary.

She abused other prescription medications, such as Vicodin and morphine.

My daughter spent three weeks in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) suffering withdrawal.  She experienced:

  • excessive stooling
  • tremors
  • weight loss
  • difficulty eating

When she moved in with us at five months, she experienced:

  • failure to thrive (inability to gain weight)
  • GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux)
  • Bouts of constipation alternating with diarrhea.  She went days without a bowel movement and when it came, she screamed because it was so rock hard.  Her bouts of diarrhea caused horrendous rashes no matter how much we kept on top of diaper changes and Buttpaste.
  • Tremors

The tremors were the worst.  If we hadn’t been told they weren’t seizures, we would have raced to the ER with that presumption.  It was heartbreaking.

you-know-that-we-are-lost-when-babies-are-addicted-to-drugs-when-they-are-born-quote-1Paige would tense up and after a moment would begin to shake uncontrollably.  The tremors themselves generally didn’t last more than a minute.  However, they were always followed by high-pitched screaming and inconsolable crying.  Her intensity often lead to hyperventilation.  NOTHING soothed her… I could only walk her up and down the hallway singing, and hope she knew I was there and I loved her.

We MUST educate society about this, especially our impressionable youth.  Schools need to show teens a video like the one above.  If we teach our children the negative consequences of using drugs, perhaps we can prevent them from making these mistakes.

What do you think?

Writing

Born in My Heart: A Bittersweet Adoption Blessing

When I decided to be the birth coach for a stranger, little did I know it would result in two daughters….

The following is the synopsis of my memoir, Born in My Heart:  A Bittersweet Adoption Blessing.  

Six years ago I was asked to be the birth coach for a woman (Ruth*) I didn’t know. Her husband (David) was in prison and her daughter, Payton in CPS custody. Ruth was an addict and she had no one for support.

I chose to help out and witnessed the birth of a baby girl, Paige. I cut her umbilical cord, held her… and fell completely in love! 

Ruth had nowhere to recover from her C-section so my husband and I let her stay with us for almost a week. I learned about the person under the addiction during that time; I came to understand firsthand “hate the sin, not the sinner.”

Paige was placed in foster care because of severe drug withdrawal.  Ruth decided to place her for adoption as she knew taking care of only one child on her own would be difficult enough. Ruth gave us her blessing to adopt Paige.

I attended all the court hearings and got to know Ruth even more during the legal process.  I directly witnessed the conflicting emotions a biological mother** feels when she selflessly does what is in her child’s best interest.

A year later Payton reunified with Ruth.  She was removed again six months later when Ruth and David stopped meeting county requirements.  This time Payton was removed permanently. We took Payton into our home just before she turned three, and adopted her a year later.

This is the story of my girls’ adoption with their unique needs, my unusual relationship with Ruth, and the good, the bad and the ugly of it all from my uncensored point of view.

I believe people need to be educated about the dire need for foster and foster-adopt homes.  I believe people need to learn about addiction and how it affects both the addict and the people in the addict’s life.  That is why I am taking steps to publish my story the traditional route.

Agents and publishers research potential clients’ social media following so the more publicity the better.  Please support my journey by following/liking and commenting on my blog.  Please also follow/like and comment on my Facebook page and Twitter account. Thank you!

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* Names have been changed

* Discussion in another blog about why I use the term “biological” instead of “birth”