Chloe's Story: Parent's Letter Project
NICU baby- Chloe's mom
I gave birth to my fourth child, our first daughter, on March 6, 2013. I did not know I was pregnant until I was 20 weeks along. I also will share that I am a recovering drug addict. As hard and painful as this is for me to admit, I also realize that there are many women out there in the same situation as me maybe even worse. I would have liked to have known other women who were going through what I was, but because it is "looked down upon" nobody shares their story. Addiction is real and I was taking prescription pain killers.
It was hard, but I told my obstetrician (OB) with my third child that I had a prescription drug problem,and finally after begging for months for help, I was hospitalized for five days in the seventh month of my pregnancy. My high risk OB finally intervened and prescribed suboxone. For those who don't know, it is a medication to prevent withdrawal symptoms because it's more dangerous to withdraw than to take the medication. As with any drug, it did contain risks to my unborn baby.
I had been on suboxone for a year and a half when my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. Unfortunately, within 24 hours after she was born my child was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. She was sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children's National and the staff were amazing. I was so concerned about how I would be treated, but they treated me like any other parent who had a sick baby.
My daughter stayed there for 13 days. The whole time my husband and I were kept informed of her progress, her treatment plan, her estimated date of discharge, and what to expect at home. Now exactly seven months since our daughter was born, you would never know what she went through during her first few weeks in this world. She is amazing, and if it wasn't for the doctors, nurses, and case workers, we don't know how we would have gotten through it. Thanks to Children's National for the support! Now our family is complete and my husband and I are about to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.