Tag: Mom

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using drugs while pregnant

Everyone has a strong opinion about those who continue to abuse substances while pregnant.   Even those who suffer from the same disease.  Drugs aside,  women are hard on each other.  Mothers are even worse.  Mothers judging one another is out of hand when drugs aren’t in the picture.  We have all been guilty of it in some way or another.  “OMG, JoAnn lets Jake drink apple juice, it’s full of sugar,  I only give my girl water!” said one of the perfect moms in my family.  You would think I was giving him heroin or something.  Add drugs to the situation, and everyone becomes judge and jury.

Imagine you are suffering from the disease of addiction and find yourself pregnant.

We aren’t talking about smoking pot or drinking now and then.  Your drug of choice is opiates.  It doesn’t matter what form you take them in, pills or heroin.  If you wind up pregnant, you have a serious problem on your hands.  If you are an addict that used opiates ask yourself.  Would you be able to lay the drug down?  It’s true that some women could and do.  They find out they are expecting and they stop never to look back again until sometime after the child is born.  There are a few that never touch the drug again.

Most in this position will end up on Methadone or Suboxone.

There are lots of expecting mothers at the Methadone Clinics in Louisville, KY where I took either Methadone or Suboxone off and on for fifteen years.  These women while waiting in line told me that withdrawal while pregnant is very dangerous to the baby.  So much so that doctors feel that allowing the mother Methadone or Suboxone is safer than quitting cold turkey.  With Methadone/Suboxone dispensed at a clinic the OBGYN at least knows what drug is being introduced to the baby and how much.  If these women were buying drugs off the street, there’s no telling what their dealer is cutting the drug with, not to mention the threat of Fentanyl now.  The clinics also drug test regularly so her OBGYN doesn’t have to bother with any of that.  In the end, the baby is indeed born addicted to Methadone but had the mother continued to use on the street the chances are too high that both mom and baby could die of an overdose.

What if there are no Methadone/Suboxone Clinics around for you to use this safety net for you and your unborn child.

Would you be able to put the drug down and walk away?  My first reaction to this question is yes!! I would just put it down no question.  The truth though isn’t that simple. There is no way I can say that honestly though.  I believe that addicts are compassionate people.  After they take drugs or drink for the first time, they discover what it is NOT to have their feelings exploding with emotion.  If an addict is in love,  IT IS dark LOVE.  If you hurt them, IT HURTS BAD.  More often than not just say sorry and give it some time.  They will forgive you.  Once we find a substance that makes a living with our immense feelings bearable, we aren’t giving it up easy.

The problem is that drugs have such a horrible stigma that now we are numbing those old emotions but are also developing massive amounts of shame and guilt because of the using.  Now we have to use more to cover those feelings up too.  If I found myself pregnant and continued to use the pain that would cause within myself would be debilitating.  Which would cause me to use and use hoping against hope to forget even for a moment the situation I was putting my unborn child in.

What happens if a woman is caught using while pregnant?

Put her in jail and throw away the key, right?  Do you think she wanted to harm her baby?  No, she didn’t.  It doesn’t matter though because in America we call Addiction a disease, but we don’t treat it like one.  If she had diabetes, one of those severe cases, while pregnant and continued to eat cookies and drink soda putting her unborn child and herself in danger no one would suggest jail for that woman.   That is because we treat Diabetes like a disease and Addiction like a moral failing.

Female addicts are some of the harshest critics of mothers who continue to use.  

We have to stop doing this to one another.  We need to stick together.  All of us have done at least one thing that we are not proud of while using.  So I had sex for money, and she used drugs while pregnant.  Who am I to judge her?  We were and are sick.  We made and make mistakes.  Why not work together?  We have enough people judging and hating us simply for using drugs.  Our people should be a safe spot.

To the mothers reading this,

Whether you have the disease of addiction or not.  STOP BEING SO HATEFUL TO OTHER MOMS.  Parents need to uplift one another.  Addicts need to remember just how hard it was to quit using and how many times they slipped up.  So what you were lucky enough not to find yourself expecting a baby in the middle of it.  Thank goodness huh, cause it’s more likely than not that you would have continued to use too.

You can never go wrong with kindness.

Social Media Warning for Parents

Social Media is an awesome tool but recently we found a whole drug world we knew nothing about.  Tumblr is a popular social media franchise with teens and young adults. I was looking for some new platforms to spread awareness about the heroin epidemic so I joined Tumblr.  The first thing I did was search the word heroin, OMG!!

Parents, if you have middle school or high school kids in your home you need to read this! Tumblr is a scary place.  No joke, check it out for yourself.  There are profiles and profiles dedicated to promoting drug use.  We are not talking about smoking some pot either. These kids are posting pictures of themselves shooting up heroin, cocaine and basically flaunting any and all drugs on their profiles as though it were something to celebrate. They post pictures of their stashes and piles of money, it’s like a competition to see who has the best and largest selection of illegal drugs.

 

 

 

The above photos are just a drop in the bucket.  You need to go to Tumblr yourself and see, just click the word Tumblr here and you will be on your way.

There are many ways the youth today buy drugs online and this type of content on Tumblr leads me to believe that the information your child would need to buy online is right at their fingertips if they belong to this community.

Holy Addiction is looking to partner up with a few people to try to make Tumblr stop allowing these profiles to continue to promote drug use to our communities and loved ones.  Please send me a message if you are interested in joining us.

Please share this message with anyone who has children in their home.  Tumblr needs to explain why these profiles are not only left up but why are there so many?    Tell me what you think.

 

The Lamb’s Fold

At nineteen I found out I was pregnant by my long-term boyfriend.  This was twenty three years ago.  It shouldn’t have mattered that my boyfriend was black, but it did.  My parents tried to understand and if we would have been healthy at all things might have been different.  He was abusive and I was in love.

I don’t remember how my mother found out I was pregnant but she told me that I needed to have an abortion.  See, I had given a child up for adoption at sixteen, so just three years before.  It rocked the entire family and my mom wanted this to go away.  There was an appointment made at an abortion center and she took my latest paycheck and put it in her purse to go toward the fee for the abortion.  There was no way I could do it so I took the paycheck out of her purse and left.

My mother was beyond angry with me.  Let’s face it I was no peach to deal with.  She was remarried to a man from a conservative family.  They didn’t date out of their race and girls did what they were told….if not they didn’t get caught.  That was a skill I never acquired. I always got caught.

The father of my child drove me down to Kentucky to stay with my dad.  When we arrived we found that I wasn’t welcome in Kentucky either.  I bounced from house to house for a week or two and then he came back and got me.  I spent a couple of weeks sleeping in my car.  Sometimes he would stay with me but I was alone most of the time.  Eventually, his mom allowed me to spend the night at her house.  She told me that I needed to find somewhere to go.  She suggested that I go to a homeless shelter.  This thought was so scary but I had to find a place to stay.  I was about four months along and I really felt the clock ticking.

One morning I opened the phone book and looked for shelters for women.  I was from Woodridge, Il a very nice suburb one minute and now I was looking for any place that would take me.   I called several places, and the people were anything but welcoming.  I didn’t think I would ever find a place to go.  Then I called The Lambs Fold.  The lady that answered the phone had a very warm and kind voice.  She had a thick Jamaican accent and told me that I absolutely should come and be assessed to stay there.

I couldn’t believe my luck.  She told me that this shelter was for ladies in exactly my situation.  The house was located in Joliet Il.  I hadn’t even heard of this area but it was only about 45 minutes away.  As soon as my boyfriend came by his mother’s house I had him take out to the shelter.  I was so scared.  I didn’t want to leave him and wanted desperately for everyone to be excited that my baby was coming.

It was late when we arrived.  The house was dark.  I rang the doorbell and a tiny little lady answered the door.  It was the kind woman who I spoke to on the phone.  She ushered us in and had me fill out some forms.  She needed to find out why I needed help and so I told her.  I was ashamed that I was in this situation. The father of my child is standing right beside me while I explain that I have nowhere to go.  He wasn’t going to do anything to help me.  He was probably happy to get me out of his hair.  We were so young and he was far from ready to be a father.

I want to say her name was Tiffany or something but I don’t remember even though I can picture her face as though she were standing in front of me now.  She took me to my room and I was pleased to find that there were only six women at the house at any one time.  That is all it could hold.

The Lambs Fold, took care of us.  They took me to the doctor and made sure that I ate properly.  There was a schedule that hung in the kitchen that had all of our meals planned out and who was going to cook them.  If your name was on the schedule to cook you cooked what was scheduled.  On the meal plan there was a recipe attached that we were to follow.  I hated cooking there.  See I didn’t realise it but they were teaching us how to cook.  To this day I make my chili exactly the way that little recipe card taught me.

You see the secret is that you use V8 juice instead of water.  You are getting vegetables without even knowing it.  It is so funny because see there were girls that wouldn’t eat any veggies in the house, but they sure loved that chili.  I was 19 when I was at The Lamb’s Fold and now I am 42.  I make that chili at least twice a month and my seven-year old who hates veggies eats my chili.  Thank you for that.

We had bible study once or twice a week and mind you I hadn’t ever opened a bible.  We did potluck at the church once a week, regular church on Sunday and a 12 step to Jesus one night a week at the church as well.  I was loved there and taught to love myself.  They went to doctors appointments with me and ooed and ahhed at his little heartbeat.  This is what I longed for and they gave it to me.

Since there were five other girls in the house I got to see that as bad as I thought my situation was it could be worse.  I watched as women who had, had their other kids taken from them were given the tools and support to keep their babies when they never thought it was possible.  When someone went into labor we all went to the hospital and made sure the mommy and baby were fussed over and loved.

See, when I walked into the Lamb’s Fold I was about as low as I could be.  When I left I left with my head held high and the tools to not only take care of myself, but raise one of the best people I know.

My son was the general manager of a local ice cream chain at the age of 16.  By 20 he was making 40,000 a year at Chanel.  He is currently one of 8 Chanel Certified Makeup Artists in the United States.  He is a wonderful person, who might not be here if The Lamb’s Fold didn’t exist.  My family thought if they pushed me away the pressure would get to me and I would crack and abort my baby.  The Lamb’s Fold ensured that did not happen.

When I went into labor my mother and father both came to the hospital.  There was no denying the change in me.  After my baby was born, my step dad called all of his family and friends and told them that Chris was born and he had better never hear another racist comment from anyone.

From that day forward I was no longer a little girl I was a woman.  Thank you to everyone at The Lamb’s Fold.  Every year I hang a little lamb on my christmas tree and tell a little story about the people who saved me and my child.