Thursday, 21 July 2011

35 weeks and 2 days

Since the 15th May, when I found out I was 6 months pregnant, things have changed dramatically in ways I never thought possible. My life is entirely different and it is still early days. Certain professionals around me at the moment (and believe me, there are a lot) are telling me to be cautious and prepare for a sudden dip in my mood & huge stress- both of which they see as triggers for drug use. And they are telling me to be prepared for the fact I will have no incentive to not use, as I will no longer be pregnant. It is hard not to become offended when they say such things. I know I shouldn't think myself exempt from relapse, or temptation at the very least, but what nobody seems to listen to is I had been clean since last year anyway, before the baby was concieved, so I had made changes before. I didn't just find out I was pregnant, then decide to get clean, or have a baby to push myself to get clean. I had enrolled in college, attended (and now completed; got my diploma and am off to University this September for my BA (hons) Social Policy)... something that would have been impossible if I were still submerged in the using culture. If you compare 7 years on, with 8 months off, it doesn't seem that impressive. But I can assure you, during those 7 years I never went anything near that length of time abstinent. Despite what it had done, and was doing, to my life the sickness that a user needs to develop; a sickness of what it does to you, your life, your family and friends, relationships, opportunities, your health was not yet there. But 2010 saw an ephinany of sorts, and I knew it was no longer viable to continue as I was. I really became frustrated, bored and tired with the life I was living and knew I had to do something- which was stop using. Simple as that. Though to suddenly turn your back on 7 years of well, not friends, but aquaintances, routine and living life in a way you had become acustomed to was hard. But easy at the same time, once you wanted it bad enough. Even though financially I had more income than I had ever had in my life at this stage I never once got tempted to use. And I could have done, easily, with more than enough money left over to live and pay bills. Using had run its course. So I try and explain to the professionals I am over and done with it, but they treat me as if I am exempting myself and have my head stuck in the clouds. I don't. I know how unbelievably tough motherhood is going to be. Once I found out I was pregnant, the life I had already put to bed was well and truly dead and buried forever, without exception. I have an obligation to my son to give him the best life I possibly can, and I come second to that now, regardless. I am not being silly, but I know I will not go back and use. Ever. It is done, its over and done with. It already was. But now this just reinforces that. The whole time I was sober, never once did I yearn to use, even when I had a really bad problem. When I found out I was 6 months pregnant, I didn't have so much as a cigarette, or a stiff drink to help with the shock. That moment, I just knew it was over. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I am not in some dreamworld thinking motherhood is going to be easy, and hell, I've seen the best of them break down in tears and say they can't cope. So will I probably. But it will pass, as it does, just not with the help of any substances thats for sure. I have complete faith and trust in myself. I could never ever drink or use when I looked after my twin nieces or nephew, as I knew that was a no-no, an inconceivable thing to do... so I certainly couldn't do so to my own child. What makes it so good is, I feel better than I have in a long long time. Before, the thought of being alone with myself, with my own thoughts and feelings without a buffer inbetween scared the hell out of me. Now, I am completely at peace being sober.

I have reduced my meth to such a level, which is uncomfortable (to put it lightly) but its something I wanted to do. There are many myths surrounding methadone use during pregnancy but the simple truth is it is extremely dangerous and 100% advised AGAINST to stop use. It causes miscarriage and early labour. My doctors were even apprehensive to let me reduce it even. They explained to me when you are pregnant, your level of blood doubles almost, so a lot of women need to increase their dose. This is why I am feeling so bad, my dose is decreasing when my body needs more. I know it can be dangerous, but I don't think I am doing it that way; by the time its the next day and time for my next one, I'm just starting to hit the gagging and puking stage. Saved just in time. Up till then, I am experiencing poor sleep, chronic toothache, bones hurt, sneezing, watery eyes. Its horrid, but the last thing I want to do is to go up. And I am not going to either. When he is born, I am going to carry on reducing, and switch to subutex. During this time period, I am going to apply to go into a detox or save up for Detox5 which is the private option. I wanted rid of the liquid handcuffs, and even moreso now I am to be a Mum. Obviously, I want the 5 day option, so my son can stay with my mum or sister (my family all have our 4 homes within 10 minutes walk of each other, i am the only one thats street isn't directly connected to the others). Though my son comes first, and maybe I shall not want to leave him for even that long, and I have to make sure I'm ok and well enough to look after him, so if that means leaving it until after my university degree (its 3 years long) then so be it. What is paramount is my son, and being well enough to care for him. Thats all.

I had my scan yesterday at 8am and basically, I have them every week. This was because my amniotic fluid dropped so low. Then, it went back up again and was fine. Then it went low again. The scan I had yesterday measures the fluid and checks the placenta and umbilical cords blood flow. Next week will measure babies growth. They don't do measurements weekly as the baby doesn't grow substantially enough each week to make a significant mark on the graphs they plot to determin adequete development. So, a really nice male doctor done my ultrasound, and I was with my friend Tom for support. Everything was fine; infact, the doctor said it was "fantastic". It was sweet, sweet relief. I had a clinic appointment in the afternoon at 4pm, which I was told I didn't need to go to as things were fine, but I thought I would go anyway. I did and the consultant had nothing to say- which was lovely, as previously, there was always some bit of bad news like "this baby will be coming early, prepare yourself". It was all positive. Well, the doctor said the baby is STILL breech and next week I shall be 36 weeks, so if he is in the same position they will try and turn him. This worries me slightly, as when there is low fluid, the cord is less buyoant and there is a risk the cord can get wrapped round the babies neck. So you have to be ready for an emergency C-section which is fine, but they are going to have to put a central line in my neck (which involves a local anaesthetic and them using ultrasound to find a vein to insert a needle into) before so if something does go wrong, they can give me anaesthetic RIGHT AWAY. So, I am wondering if they will. The procedure is called an ECV and is successful in about 50% of cases. I can feel the babies head still lodged well beneath my ribs. He doesn't want to move ANYWHERE! awkard little so-and-so.

Good news on the Dad front. I was really worried his Dad wasn't going to bother with him. I think I jumped to conclusions too quickly, as I didn't really take into account how shocking it must have been for him to hear the big news. It was a shock for me and I found it hard to believe and I was the one carrying the boy and could see it clearer than anything, moving around all day long! Of course, who knows how he will be when he arrives but he calls every day, has come round to see me regularly, and is due to again tomorrow. Its difficuilt for both of us, or well, not difficuilt; foreign. This is for both of us, our first child. Its unknown territory. I haven't asked him for anything- financial, psychological etc. but he has offered, given, supported and if he keeps it up after the boy is born then great. He treats his nieces like I treat mine, and has a very similar relationship. For all our shortcomings, we are fantastic aunts & uncles. I thought the worse, but I have a good feeling. I don't think he is the sort of person that could ignore his own child. I very much doubt it.

My belly casting kit came today :) I just need to find someone to assist me doing it!! I have signed up for another blog under and I am just working on a layout. I decided to set it up as it will be from the birth onwards, and while I am not going to gloss over my past and my drug abuse history, I just want to use it also for pictures of my son and I and my life. For a long time after I stopped drugs, I still felt defined by them. Then I realised I don't have to be anymore. I wanted a career working with drug addicts, but then I realised I felt I should do it, as I had inside knowledge and experience. NOTE TO SELF: your past doesn't have to define you for the rest of your life. I will still have this one though. As much as I am not ashamed of what I have been through, I know a stigma is going to follow me for probably the rest of my life. A consequence of that is it will probably rub off on my son. It makes me laugh while simultaneously being angry when people judge me and look down on me for what I was addicted to. An example of this is an argument somebody had on Facebook with my sister. I responded, not offensively or anything, and the person began to throw insults at me like "junkie", "smackhead" and revelling in the fact my family had been hit with such a devestating drug addiction. I wouldn't mind, except, this person takes crack cocaine and has convictions as long as his arm. I've never even been arrested. Yet, in the hierachy of drugs, he is ok and I'm the lowest of the low. Its bizarre- I known coke addicts who have robbed old people and violently mugged others and they and others think its ok, but me... god, no, I am evil. Its a joke really. Cambridge is so incestuous, I just know there will be people who will enjoy telling their kids to tell mine what his momma used to take. By that point, I doubt I will care as I will be working with an entirely new life. I fully believe that. Well, I am 35 weeks and 2 days and boy, am I feeling the exhaustion! At the same time, I feel better than I have in years!


pinkpressthreat said...

Naomi - firstly, congratuLATIONS!! You've got yourself into Uni..well done; you are such an inspiration to me, as I'd like to do the same thing (Social Psychology I think), and I don't have nearly the kind of obstacles to surmount that you have had.
So that's one thing achieved; onwards and upwards!! I actually don't think that the stigma you speak of will follow you around in the future..I'm more inclined to believe that your experiences will give you greater insight, and therefore help you with your studies.
All the very best to you regarding the imminent arrival of your child - I'm pleased about the father's attitude; you will be in control ultimately, and as long as he respects that and behaves accordingly, then all well and good. People believe in you, Naomi, and, more importantly, you believe in yourself - never let any of these fools and hypocrites get you down...they are not important, and the crap they spout is meaningless and spiteful.
All the very best sweetie..I'll be dropping in soon - and I won't be the only one! LOL xx