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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:45 pm
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Hi everyone!

I posted a few weeks ago about how terrified I was about delivering my baby after reading such horrendous stories of other moms' experiences delivering while on subutex or suboxone. I just wanted to post my experiences hoping they will give some comfort to other moms.

I delivered my daughter 2 weeks past her due date on July 2nd. My regular OB was on vacation and the OB on call for her group was not familiar with my case at all. She started to give me some attitude when I explained what Subutex was and why I was on it, but I didn't let her get to me. I just told myself as long as she helped me deliver a healthy baby I could put up with any crap she could dish out. I went into the hospital expecting everyone from the nursing staff to the anesthesiologists to give me attitude, but this wasn't the case. The anesthesiologist was WONDERFUL. She was familiar with Subutex and told the OB on call exactly what medications were needed for pain control after my c-section and in what doses. She gave me a spinal and an epidural for pain control and left the epidural in the next day which really helped with the pain. The nursing staff was very kind and supportive. I had a couple of nurses who I wouldn't want to add to my Christmas card list but in all, they were great. I was terrified that my daughter would have to stay in the NICU after I left the hospital, or that she would experience awful withdrawl symptoms, but she left the hospital with my husband and me after 3 days. She has some mild symptoms...sneezing, a few tummy issues, but nothing that the doctors could say were absolutely symptoms of NAS.

We've been home a week now, and she's feeling a little more comfortable every day. Her sleeping and eating habits are just like any newborn and she's busy getting used to her older (and much louder) brothers. No one from CPS was called, no one made me feel like a horrible person, and even if they would have tried the birth of a healthy 8lb 6oz baby girl was enough for me to know that I made the right desicion to stay on subutex and work with my doctors.

I know that everyone has their own situations and different circumstances, but after all this if I had one piece of advice it would be to be completely honest with all your doctors and healthcare professionals. It is really hard to do this sometimes because as addicts we are so used to people being ignorant about addiction, recovery and suboxone in particular, we've come to expect people to be mean and predjudice. Just remember no one can help if you aren't honest and in the long run you know what you're doing is the best thing possible for your baby!!

Hope this can give some comfort and strength to some of the mommies to be out there!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:30 pm 
jsmom....Thank you for posting that! Congratulations on your new baby! I am so glad you had an overall positive experience with your healthcare team at such an important time in your life. I have said before that I think the reason we see so many negative stories on the internet is that we tend to want or need to express ourselves when something doesn't go well or we are treated poorly. When things go according to plan or even better than planned, we just go on about our business without feeling the need to share the positive experiences. So, thank you for giving everyone a good experience to draw hope from as their 'time' may approach.
I think your attitude played a huge role in how things went for you. You didn't let the attitude of that one doctor set the stage for the entire process. You had the strength of character to let that 'roll off' and go on, expecting better of the next one you might encounter along the way. I think a lot of it has to do with feeling good about ourselves. Knowing that we are doing the best we can to treat our disease (addiction) and going in armed with knowledge and even a sense of pride in the positive steps we've made in recovery. I think that contributes to us being able to try not to become as defensive when we encounter ignorance or prejudice in regards to our healthcare. Just that sense that "Yes, I'm an addict, but my addiction is in remission. I'm in treatment. I've done everything with openness and honesty in regards to my pregnancy to ensure a good outcome and I expect to treated well." It just comes forth in the attitude, I think. It may be hard, but we do not have to approach these things with a big chip on our shoulder, expecting to be treated poorly. We can go in with a positive attitude, expecting good treatment and I think it can make a difference. So good for you!
I don't think I ever shared on here the one emergency visit I had to have at a hospital while on Suboxone. I had only been on it for a couple of months and had what I thought was a gallbladder attack or maybe even appendicitis.....severe abdominal/epigastric pain, profuse vomiting, just sick as a dog in the middle of the night. To top it all off we were out of town staying at the lake with the nearest hospital being tiny. I suffered until I thought I might literally die and finally had my husband take me to the hospital. I was scared about what might happen when I gave my health history and told about being on Suboxone. The RN wasn't familiar with it so I told her briefly what it was and why I was on it, immediately followed by the statement that I did NOT want any narcotics. She had initially given me a bit of a sideways glance when I mentioned my addiction and medication. But I swear as soon as I told her I did not want narcotics, her attitude changed. She and the rest of the staff that night were nothing but kind to me. They could see how much pain I was in and how sick I was pretty quickly and after trying all the other options of IV fluids and antiemetics and so forth, she actually somewhat pleaded with me to let her try some Demerol. I explained to her that because of the Suboxone, I didn't think a usual dose would touch the pain and declined again. Eventually after the big things had been ruled out and I was still in terrible pain and the other meds had done nothing, she asked again.....telling me the doctor was really encouraging me to let her give me some IV Demerol along with another antiemetic. By that time, I was in such need for relief, I said I would take it. Low and worked. I had zero high or opiate effect from that Demerol whatsoever, but either it or the other drug (I think it was another dose of Phenergan) or the combination of the two, settled me down. I was able to go home within another hour or so. Moral of the story I guess, is to back up the relatively positive experience that you had. I was NOT treated like trash. I got a little bit of a glance but that was about as bad as it got. Even the doctor that had been giving the orders came in and treated me, well.....normal. I don't even think he said a thing about my addiction or Suboxone. They told me what to do for follow up and sent me on my way. That has been my one and only experience with emergency care while on Sub and it went okay.
Again, I think attitude plays a huge role. For me, part of that has to start way before you need healthcare. I have had to work really hard on changing my own attitude about ME first. And believe that although I let something bad happen to me (I abused opiates and became addicted,) that did not make me an unworthy human being. We have to love ourselves and believe that we're doing the best we can to get better before anyone else will change. And sadly, some never will. Sadly, too many people have had to come on here and post about their horrible treatment by healthcare providers. And that's a shame, because noone deserves to be treated that way because they were unfortunate enough to have become an addict. Hopefully over time, those things will change. We have to be proactive, as many here have been, and write letters, contact those in authority and advise them when we have not been treated properly. It's discrimination and that is wrong!
I hope you're enjoying the baby and that you're continuing to do well! Whenever (if ever) you have time I hope you'll come back and post about how your recovery is continuing now that the baby is here! Again....congrats and thanks for posting that story!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:37 am
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Thank you so much for posting this. Since I am about to give birth in a few weeks I have been getting more and more scared. I love hearing positive stories such as this one and truely hope to be able to come on here and post mine in a few weeks time. Huge congrats on your healthy baby girl!!

If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he's not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open...

JJL Due 8.14.10 <3

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