...because everything is funny when it's happening to someone else!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is it just me? Wait...don't answer that!

Sometimes I don't post for a week or two because I really don't feel that the thoughts in my head ever need to be set down for other eyes to see.  This has been one of those weeks.

I started a post about it and realized that some things are just too messed up to communicate.

As I've mentioned in other posts, I have worked for several years in the adoption world.  It's a crazy, beautiful, heart-wrenching thing and I have felt lucky to be a part of it.

But sometimes it just sucks.

For the past six months, I have been working with an addicted birthmother.  Working with addicted people is never a walk in the park, even if they're currently exercising some sort of control over the addiction.  Combine addiction that is not under control with pregnancy and you get a hot mess.

In the last nine days, I have been on a non-stop rollercoaster of emotions, stretched between a birthmom whose demons are in the drivers seat in her life and a terrified family who are already in love with the baby that joins them all together.  Watching a once-pretty woman sink to the lowest point possible to a human brings out all the compassion within you; but then you walk a few steps to the nursery and watch an innocent baby in the throes of withdrawal.  Compassion goes out the window for me and I just want to pick up the mom and shake the snot out of her.  How could you DO that?!  Why don't you CARE?!  I honestly cannot fathom an addiction so strong that it takes away your humanity, that it can make you look without pity on a newborn who is struggling to survive because of your own actions. 

 The nurses in the NICU told me that a baby who's detoxing feels like she's falling all the time.  Pats and jiggling motions, comforting to most babies, only make the withdrawing baby more anxious and frantic.  Imagine feeling as if you are falling backward down a tunnel that has no end.  No touch is comforting, no voice can soothe.  That's what this mom's pharmaceutical adventures did to her child.

And the hospital released the birthmom with 30 Percocet two days later.  Less than 48 hours after she left the hospital, she returned as a patient in the ER.  Handcuffed to her bed because she'd gotten high on her pain medication and had slammed her truck into a daycare bus loaded with kids.  Everybody lived, which is a miracle.

What's not a miracle is that the SAME hospital released her home 20 hours after the accident with a prescription for 60 Percocet.

There's nothing cute or funny to say about all this.  Not right now.  Maybe not ever.

The only thing that I can hold on to is the fact that the baby who is now just a few days old is set on a course for an amazing, beautiful life.  After a gazillion stupid-ass choices, this birthmother made one good one.  She gave life to her child and then she gave a GOOD life to her.

That's enough for me.


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