Saturday, March 20, 2010
Motherhood saved my life!!
I say motherhood saved my life because, before I had my daughter Sophia I was on a mission to destroy myself and on August 22nd 2008 when the test said I was pregnant I had been using drugs for 9 yrs and I had been addicted to methamphetamine for over a year. I know that being pregnant is a life changing experience and I was very excited to be pregnant and so was my boyfriend. I knew my body was a vessel for my baby. But, I HATED MYSELF!!! I continued to smoked meth throughout my pregnancy always telling myself that I would "quit" for the baby . But, I couldn’t stop!!I would lay in bed tweaked out of my mind getting bigger and bigger and wondering what my baby would look like. I cried every night because I just couldn't stop. I loved the baby growing inside me so much. But, the hate I felt for myself was far greater than any love I had left in me. I finally convinced myself that enough was enough and I stopped in my 7th month of pregnancy. I asked my boyfriend to quit too and he pretended that he did but I knew he hadn't. But, despite his addiction he was always there for me and for a couple of hopeless addicts we shared some very intimate moments. He always loved to touch my belly and ask me what being pregnant felt like he would kiss me on my tummy and tell the baby he loved her. We painted my belly like a New York Giants helmet for the Super Bowl. He always told me how beautiful I was and never missed an opportunity to make love to me.
When it was finally time to have the baby. I had my daughter at the University hospital. During one of my previous pre-natel visit they found Meth in my system and the hospital system doesn't forget these things. I will spare you the details of the birth of my daughter (another blog maybe!)She was born at 5 in the morning on March 4, 2008. The moment the nurse put her in my arms and I saw her little face I beamed with pride. "I will never do anything to hurt this family again and from now on I will learn to stay sober and I will stay that way" I said to myself. Unfortunately the hospital wasn't in my head they didn't know and couldn't see the radical transformation that took place that day. My daughter was put in the NICU for further tests they knew she was drug exposed. The caseworker came to talk to me in the NICU while I was trying to get Sophia to latch for the first time and informed me that she would be calling child services. I told her I had changed and she nodded but she wasn't listening she had already made up her mind about me and why not hate me? I used drugs during pregnancy I was scum and she knew it. I was released three days before my daughter.
The child services lady came to my house and tore my life apart. Sure we had a place and everything for the baby. but, we were known felons and drug addicts and until we proved otherwise my new baby would have to stay with my mom. "For how long" I said "The case plan is open for one year then if you haven't proven yourself it moves into adoption". She left us with that "What will we do" I thought But, I already knew the answer I have to prove that I am not scum and I love my daughter and have the ability to take care of her and protect her. So here I was sitting in my room staring at the crib with the beautiful canopy hung over it and asking whoever it is up there to please help me to do what’s right. That night my milk came in and I cried for my baby with milk dripping from my breasts.
I needed to find a program in order to be in compliance with the case plan. I also had to submit random drops and find a job. I found a program called Start today it was an intensive outpatient program that I would spend most of my time doing. Little did I know when I entered that program that I was about to become a part of something meaningful and for once in my life I was going to feel like I had value. I learned a lot about myself in the following weeks. I had to face al ot of things that had haunted me and caused me to want to hurt myself with drugs. We explored all of our faults and strengths and analyzed our many negative skills and figured out ways to make a positive change. I graduated from the Start Today program a new soul I was ready for whatever the world threw at me. I got a full time job at the local Jack in the Box a job that I haven't quite been able to talk about yet!! Let's put it this way on my 30 minute lunch break I would go in the bathroom and cry. But, I always kept saying to myself that I had value and that I was someone who had a lot to offer. All through this I would say her name over and over again Sophia..Sophia..Sophia.
We regained full custody of Sophia in March of 2009 I was four weeks pregnant with our second little girl Libby ( Who has an incredible birth story) I have been clean for 2 1/2 yrs and I am a mentor for the start today program for other addicts in recovery. I also participate in the Meth Free Alliance Speakers Bureau. I have brought my story to hundreds and I am proud of all I have accomplished. I understand that telling my story like this puts me out there for ridicule and judgment. What I hope it does is bring hope not just to addicts but to all people. Because even the most beautiful things can grow from shit. I happen to be one of them! I dont regret what I have done it made me who I am and helped me to find who I truly am!! Thank you to whoever reads this! I hope we can help pass on the message that people can change!!!!