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938944 tn?1245115562

Hoping to find some support to FINISH tapering... Just found out I'm pregnant

Hi everyone! I have been reading your forums and have seen a lot of supportive posters, so I'm hoping I can join the community and also get some of that support. My story is kind of long, so I will apologize in advance...

I'm 26 with 2 daughters, 3 and almost 7. My husband and I have been married for about 8 years.
I have been taking lortabs for about 2 years. It began with a repeat back injury from a serious car accident. I became addicted to them. Eventually I quit seeing my doctor for the pain and started to self-medicate because we lost our insurance coverage. I was at one point taking anywhere from 5-7 a day. My husband was addicted to lortab/percocet and valium for about 5 YEARS at that point. Getting them was easy because my husband already had a 'connection' and they were here already anyway...

On the plus side, he quit cold turkey after taking about 12-15 or more lortab 10's (usually, sometimes percocet or roxycodone) daily and 1-2 valium at night 'for sleep'. He has been clean since April 30th and I'm very proud of him because he has tried to quit before numerous times and failed. Consequentially he lost his job of 13 years after staying out of work for 10 days going thru the withdrawals... and has not found work still.

When he quit my supply was cut drastically as he was the one who always did the 'business' of it all. I did not want to put any undue stress of that on him at such a crucial time so I found my own way to get them. I quickly went from constantly eating pills to having 4 or so per day just to maintain functionality. As I said, that was at the beginning of May. I did have some serious withdrawals just cutting back like that, but took it in stride as I wanted to quit so badly myself and to support his struggle. It was just important that someone around here remain functional for our girls and for me to work when I could. Once I cut to 3 or 4 per day and adjusted I just kind of stayed in that area for a while.

Over the last 3 weeks or so I began breaking the 7.5s in half and having only a half of those at a time instead of a whole one due to the money strain that we are dealing with. I haven't had any major withdrawals from doing this, just a lack of energy and functionality, but at those times when I'm forced to do work/clean, etc I find that I feel much better these days in general.

WELL...
This past Wednesday I started to feel some oddly familiar things in my tummy. I passed it off as gas and tummy troubles as I have irritable bowel syndrome and I well know that pills complicate those matters from time to time. Also, I have never had a regular menstrual cycle and sometimes go up to 7-8 months without any sign of it at all.

I decided to take a pregnancy test and tell the hubs that i was worried about the possibility of pregnancy this past Thursday night even though I've had NO recognizable symptoms of pregnancy at all up until then. I have not gained any weight, had no noticeable appetite changes, no sickness-which I was plagued with very early on in both my other pregnancies... absolutely nothing that would suggest I was pregnant. You can imagine the shock that came upon us both when the test immediately came out positive...  The thing is, I have come to recognize the things in my tummy as movements from the baby and I know for a fact that I must have conceived on FEB 2nd looking back on the situation because we had a three month span where we didn't have sex at all after that day. I am expecting to get a due date somewhere around October 26th when I see the doctor...

I went to a local clinic on Friday morning to confirm the pregnancy and I am indeed pregnant. The nurse said she suspected from the size of my uterus that I could be somewhere around 18-20 weeks, but they do not do ultrasound, etc... I called my doctor that same day and told them the situation. They scheduled me for an appointment this coming Friday morning and I'm anxiously awaiting the 'everything is okay' that will come from that appointment IF I haven't done any serious damage to my child from the habits I carried while I was unaware of the pregnancy. I'm certain I'm between 20 and 21 weeks along.

Over the course of the last twenty weeks, I have:
had 1-2 5hr energy shots per day
smoked about 1-1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day
smoked pot about 2-3 times per week
as well as taken 2 Lortab 7.5's broken in half over 4 doses per day, (but those were much more until may 1st as I have been weaning for some time before now)

I do feel that I have the willpower to finish giving up the pills. I have come so far already. I have already stopped smoking pot and drinking energy shots, am trying not to smoke and have cut caffine consumption to a level considered 'safe' during my other pregnancies. I want to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I can to ensure that my child is not born addicted. I would not ever ever want to harm this child who did not ask to be brought into the world.

I guess my question is, is there anyone out there who can offer me some suggestions about the best way to taper from here? I don't want it to take months, but also know that withdrawals can be very dangerous to the baby. With the low dose I'm already on, it should not take that long in my mind... I just want to be done with this as soon as humanly and safely as possible.  Any positive input would be great.

And yes, I am well aware of the risks that my habits could have put my child at. I obviously would have done something about it before now had I known. I love my children. I want desperately to talk to my doctor about this at the appointment on Friday, but I'm embarrassed, afraid, and don’t want to cast some shadow of 'bad mothering' on myself…  That said… I HAVE to finish tapering and be done with it and I'm looking for any input and support any of you might have to offer. Again, sorry for the long post. If there is another area of the forums I should post to please direct me there as well.
3 Responses
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Avatar universal
As embarrassed as you are, you have to talk to your doc about it...because your doc will find out one way or another- either by evidence through how the baby responds now or afterwards or even through routine blood work. Some docs are smart enough that they can just sense it anyway. And, by telling your doc, it'll make you become even more accountable and less likely to relapse now or after the baby is born. You also need a new coping mechanism for stress and with your husband out of work and being pregnant, it'll be stressful for you. You have to replace the addictive behavior with healthy things and your doc can provide links for you and support and counseling ideas too. Plus, your doc can help you plan to taper things gradually. Your baby is most likely going to go through some withdrawal symptoms at some point and your doc can help monitor the baby during the process-whether it be now or after the baby is born. Coming clean with your doc is so hard, but it is a HUGE step. I wish you all the best and I hope for you too that your baby remains healthy and without long term delays. Tell your doc, though, because believe it or not, by telling, it is you being a good mother- loving your child so much that you sacrifice your own image for the health of your child. By not telling, you are hiding information that could have really informed your doc. Plus--your doc needs to take care of you too!!
Helpful - 0
134578 tn?1614729226
I agree with waitingwithhope.  There also have to be support groups out there that the doctor can refer you to.  On MedHelp there is an addiction forum that might also be of some help, and also a lot of specific drugs have an online "[drug name] anonymous" chapter.  Besides help with the specific problem of detoxing and staying clean, you also need help with the whole issue of using, i.e., why it happened (for you and your husband) and what changes you can make so it won't happen again (you and husband).  Your kids deserve a clean and sober two parents.  Good luck, honey.
Helpful - 0
172023 tn?1334672284
I agree 100% with both previous posters.  If you are serious about getting and staying clean, you should confide in your physician and accept help.  

Most often, women who try to keep their histories a secret wind up relapsing.  PLEASE don't be embarrassed to let your doctor know your history and get help to remain clean and sober.   It happens much more frequently than you would think.  This will not be the first time your physician has come across the situation.

There will likely not be anything seen on ultrasound as a direct result of your drug use (although of course it is possible).  This does not mean that your baby is in the clear, because there can be problems that may not be known until after birth.  There can also be behavioral or cognitive problems resulting from drug use during pregnancy.

The best way to limit the damage is to talk to your doctor and get on a physician approved taperiing schedule, and accept the help and support you will need to stay clean.  

Best of luck to you.  Keep us informed.  
Helpful - 0

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