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Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/1/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there:

I just read your post about being on methadone while pregnant. I am 29 and want to get pregnant in the not-too-distant future. I'm also on methadone, morphine and I have a spinal cord stimulator for severe chronic back and leg pain. I already have a high risk maternal/fetal specialist from one of the best hospitals in the world, actually, and he has told me to stay on the methadone, and to turn off the stimulator for the 1st and 2nd trimester. I hope we are able to get pregnant but I already feel guilty about it and have felt guilty about it for years..just thinking about it! But it seems, the more doctors I talk to, the more they say that it's much better to have my pain controlled rather than be pregnant and be in pain (because of the stress hormones and the stress it would put on the baby, apparently) and that methadone is the best pain med to be on while pregnant. I just feel like I'm between a rock and a hard-place! I'm going to try to be on the lowest dose of methadone I can possibly tolerate and I am praying to God that he will help me through it but I am anxious about the whole thing.

I'm hoping to find some other patients around my city to talk with as support.

I understand you feeling guilt...do you think it will ever go away?

Do you have any advice??

Thanks in advance,
Danimal

modelmaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 5/1/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Danimal,

I can't offer you the advice you seek but I can offer support. Please continue to seek out the best medical opinions you can find on taking drugs while pregnant. Some can have adverse effects on the little one. It sounds like you may have found differing opinions already. Keep going until you are completely satisfied that you have truth and reality and it is plan you can work with. Good luck and hope you are a happy mom soon.

Modelmaker

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/1/2009 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Daniimal,
I'm a little reluctant to post this, but I'm going to take the chance. I hope you don't take this in the wrong way.

I don't often share this on the forum, or even with a lot of people in my personal life, but I am adopted. I was adopted as an infant, and had a wonderful life with my "real" parents - who some call my adoptive parents. Sometimes I feel like people try too hard to have a biological child, even when there are risks. I'm NOT saying you shouldn't try, or judging you in any way for it. But I am saying that I had a wonderful childhood and much love and many opportunities because my parents chose me. I always felt loved. And even later in my adult life when I located my biological mother, it made it even more clear who my real mother was.

So please, if the risks are too high, I hope you don't rule out adoption. Sometimes I just think too much emphasis is placed on having "your own" children, although I know I'm biased.

I hope I don't step on any toes!

PaLady

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 5/1/2009 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
PALady

I wonder how many people even think about adoption being an option? What a wonderful idea that is! It might not be meant for everyone, and maybe not everyone would consider it! But Danimal if your pain medications and spinal stimulator do end up presenting to be to much of a problem, I think PALday's idea is certainly an option to be considered!

White Beard
  I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 5/1/2009 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Danimal,
Seems that the medical advice has not changed since my son was born in 2000 then if you are being told exactly the same things that I was told then.
We didn't plan on getting pregnant when I did, so I didn't know until I was 10 weeks along. I would say that if you are going to try to have a baby, plan on getting your pain management down to the minimum meds that you can , and if you feel that you must stay on the meds, then as long as you follow your doctors and the baby's advice, your baby will do okay.
I won't kid you and tell you that you won't feel horribly guilty if your child is put through withdrawal, I don't see how any parent who honestly loves their child could feel anything but, but at a low dose, it may not be necessary to have to wean the baby off any methadone.
And, consider as I found out as well, that the pregnancy hormones did more for keeping my previous pain levels in check than any medication that I had been on. The good news for me was that I didn't have to go back on most of those meds once I was out of the post delivery phase. In fact, the pain levels stayed down for some time.
We all have to make some tough choices and if I had to do it again, I can't honestly say that I wouldn't or would. I don't know . I know that I made the best decision that I could make , at the time, with all of the involved medical support that I could find, and their opinions.
I will be around if you want to ask anything else, please do. It may help someone else down the road who has to make the same decision or one similar.
Sandi
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.


Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/2/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone:

Thanks for your responses.

PALady...I'm not offended at all that you mentioned adoption because your comment was made with sensitivity and caring intent. I am touched that you reached out and shared the fact that you are adopted just to possibly help me..when you don't even know me. Thank you very much.

I've def. considered adoption as an option. But I would be lying if I said I don't want to try for at least one biological child. It may be that I try to have one child biologically and adopt a second child but I'm not sure. I have friends who are going through the process of adopting a child (am sooo excited for them!!) but it is costing about $20,000. Is this pretty normal, in your experience?

What really, really helped me deal with the idea of having a baby myself was when I met with this amazing high risk maternal/fetal specialist (about 2 months ago). After 1.5 hours of discussion, he said to me "nothing about your situation and nothing you have told me here today would lead me to tell you that you should not be pregnant." He then went on to say "Unfortunately, for some women, I'm not always able to say that."

Hearing that was really big for me and my anxiety/feelings of guilt. I really want to experience pregnancy and I really want to have a biological child but, at the end of the day, the most important thing to me is just being a mother. However, the fact that my doctor said that, unsolicited, has made me feel that it's ok to go forward with this.

So my plan is to come off of the morphine and try to wean down to the lowest dose I can with the methadone. Right now, I'm on 90 mgs a day but I think I could do 60 mgs if I had weekly massage, did water aerobics and yoga and got a lot of bed-rest and good sleep. Then for the 3rd trimester, I will be able to turn my stimulator back on and that will help. I'm not sure I could do lower than 60 mgs of methadone though.

The good thing is, my husband and I are planning everything out and are doing our homework. I wanted to make sure I figured out who my doctor would be ahead of time and I wanted to know the exact protocol for the stimulator and also which meds. I absolutely couldn't take (zanaflex..my muscle relaxant is really bad for fetal development so I already stopped taking that one). And then I also got prenatal vitamins to start taking and I am working on my nutrition and water intake, etc. I'm trying to be very smart and careful about everything else to maximize our chances of a healthy baby.

Sandi- I really appreciate your advice. I'm sure I will always feel guilty..just like you have. My question is...what did you tell your son? Or what will you tell him? Did you share with him the reason he was in the NICU? That's one thing I worry about. I project way way down the road talking about that with my kids and having them repeat it in a way that makes it seem like they had to be in the NICU because I was a drug-user. I know this is ridiculous to worry about since I'm not even pregnant but...I've lived with chronic pain since I was 16 and have had too much time to dream up all sorts of worries. ;) I'm also thrilled to read that your pregnancy hormones helped with your pain. I've heard about that from others. If I am blessed with a pregnancy, I will be praying so hard that the same will happen with me!

Anyway, thanks again for your support. I really appreciate it.

Danimal

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/2/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Danimal,
I think it's wonderful that you have a great specialist, and if he thinks you can have a safe pregnancy, go for it! But if for some reason it doesn't work out, I just wanted to share you can still be a mother - a real mother - without the biological part. Not minimizing the importance of that, but I'm glad you have thought about a "plan b".

I don't know much about the cost of adoptions today. I think there are many more ways to do it than when I was born. If you want an infant, I think there is a long wait, or you may have to pay expenses, but that might not always be the case.

Sounds like you need to give the biological avenue a chance so that you will know. Otherwise you'd always wonder.

I wish you all the best!!

PaLady

Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/3/2009 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, PaLady! I also believe the part about being a "real" mother with a child even if it isn't one's biological child. This may sound bizarre but I have a black labrador retriever and I love that dog as if he were my child. I'm so attached to him and he's my little baby. Sometimes I think, if I can have this much love for an animal (a different species!), imagine how much love I could have for a child..even if the child isn't technically related to me.

My neighbors have a little girl who is adopted and seeing their family and the love they have for their daughter has also provided me with a great image of adoption.

Anyway, I really do appreciate you sharing your story with me. I'm happy that your parents found you and that you were raised in such a loving home. It was meant to be. ;)

Danimal

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 5/3/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Danimal,
My son isn't quite old enough to understand the particulars about why he was in NICU. He does know that he was very sick for a while and that he spent time in NICU. He knows what a NICU is, and he's been back to visit the doctors and nurses who took care of him. The benefit if there is one, is that my son is well aware of how mom is now, in fact, has been since my first back surgery, so he knows what chronic pain is, and he knows that mommy takes medications that allow her to be able to function as best I can, so it does give him a "reference" point for the time that I do explain exactly why he was so sick and that it was caused by the medication that mommy was taking.
You will also have that reference point for the time that you are ready to explain it to him, but when you do, make sure that it is age appropriate. There are ages when everything that you tell your children, will wind up "shared" with the entire world, and you really don't want him going to school and telling his teachers that he was born "addicted" to "drugs" that his mommy took, because I can promise you , the first time that they discuss drugs and alcohol in school, he will share with the world that story.....
Sandi
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.

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