I'm sorry I haven't checked in on you lately. I've been busy, so they say, with baby Jax (and big brother Joe). Jax had to have surgery (to correct hypospadias, totally unrelated to all the RLS jazz, it runs in my husband's family) this month, so it's been particularly nutty around here, but everyone is doing well. Quick suggestion on your legs (I was also on bedrest for about 2 months) -- turn yourself around and use the headboard (if you have one) or the wall to give some resistance to the legs.
I can understand why the OB is a little more jittery than the Peri. The Peri sees this sort of stuff All.The.Time -- pregnant ladies on meds for a myriad of reasons. The OB probably doesn't come across this very often (mostly because they refer out to the Peri!). I had somewhat the same reaction, but fortunately, also an OB that had RLS (as does her elderly, ill mother), so she at least knew where I was coming from.
Anyways, please turn off Dr. Phil. You know his show would get no ratings if they had us on an episode. We are way too normal.
I read and worried way too much during my pregnancy about being on Methadone and having an addicted baby. And as you know, he was perfectly fine. I am currently on 15mg Methadone and still nursing. Baby is 4.5 months old and a fat 18 lb butterball. Normal development. The opposite of a floppy drug baby.
Anyways, here are some things I've learned:
- The medical, psychological and physiological makeup and lifestyle profile of addicted women (AW) are much different than you or I.
- AW, first of all, aren't honest about what they are taking. Addicts are in denial and they lie. That's the nature of the disease. And unfortunately, all the docs have to go on is their self-reporting. So an AW that swears she was only taking a "small dose" of Oxy is probably lying. Her "small dose" and your small dose are two completely different things.
- AW often have a cocktail of many drugs in them. Even if they haven't been on this/that recently, it still builds up in your system (remember how hair follicle tests work). Don't imagine for a moment that the years of self-abuse hasn't affected the body's ability to grow a healthy baby.
- AW go through pregnancy in a very different way. Because they are not honest with the docs, they don't have adequate prenatal care and monitoring. They often lack good nutrition and good self-care. In other words, they continue to abuse their bodies in large and small ways, negatively impacting the baby.
- AW are often unprepared for childbirth and raising children. Their lifestyle is unhealthy and dangerous for little ones. They don't know how to nurture anything but their addiction. They go through pregnancy unfocused on the health and well-being of their babies. They are unable to bond with their baby in-utero, which also hurts development. Furthermore, once the baby is born, they are unable to nurture and bond properly, which makes neonatal withdrawal so much worse.
As far as the "tests" that the docs are going to do after the baby is born, most of it involves observation. They will use something called the Finnegan Scale (Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Score Sheet -- you can google it). It mostly looks at behaviors of your baby, and if there are symptoms (high pitched, extended crying, rapid respiration, quick to startle, poor sucking, low body temp, etc), then they will start treatment for withdrawals (usually morphine). They can also test the cord blood for presence of drugs, but I was also told that it doesn't really show any sort of concentration, just what sort of cocktail is in the mix. And if you had any sort of pain relief during L&D, that is going to show up, too, so the cord blood test doesn't really do much.
For me, this meant the lead nurses were coming in to check on the baby every 4 hours, at least. She just sort of watched him, chit-chatted with me, and took his temperature, checked reflexes, made sure I was nursing and bonding with him. They also have their little ways of talking to you, to make sure you're not a lying addict. I noticed some of their questioning was like that. I came right out and asked lots of questions, and they told me about their protocol, that if the baby scores above the threshold, he'd have to first step up to observational nursery, then up to NICU, if he wasn't doing better. They would start with a small dose of Morphine to make the baby comfortable, and then start the process of weaning him off the drugs. If they suspected drug abuse, then the social worker is called. I'm happy to say that none of these things happened, and the nurse didn't even have to start using the Finnegan scale, because he was clearly such a healthy, normal baby.
I ended up getting along really well with a lead postnatal nurse/manager at the hospital, and we've become friends. If you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask her, I'd be happy to relay the message.
I hope everything is going well for you, otherwise, and you're able to hold off the pre-eclampsia. Please try to breathe and relax, because you are at least far enough along that even if the pre-eclampsia sets in, your baby will be fine. You have my email, if you ever want to talk. Be well! ((((((hugs)))))))