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Avatar universal

taking vicodin and smoking while pregnant

First of all, I know that most of you are wondering if you're reading the title of my question correctly....yes you are, and I am very ashamed of myself.  This is a very hard thing for me to admit to, because I know that I am opening myself up to being condemned by many of you.  I know that what I'm doing is totally wrong, so I'm asking those of you that just want to tell me how horrible I am, to please refrain from doing so.  That's not why I'm here....

I am 28 weeks pregnant with my 4th child.  I became hooked on pain killers roughly 2 years ago when my husband was prescribed for having 2 herniated discs.  I started taking them occasionally as a "stress reliever," and now it has become completely out of control.  It started with percocet, but now I only take vicodin.  I was taking approx. 5-10/325 vicodins and a day during the first 4 months of my pregnancy, but I have cut down to 3 a day.  I want to quit all together, but am finding that very hard to do.  It also doesn't help that my husband takes them, so I have to be extra strong to refuse them while I know they are in the house at all times.

I am also a smoker, but have wanted to quit for YEARS now, and have just recently cut down to about 5-6 cigarettes a day.  I know I sound like a hypocrite here, but I am very, very concerned about my baby's well-being.  I just had an ultrasound last week, and she looks great.  Her heart, organs, and physical appearance look totally normal, but I still am worried sick about her.  I feel guilty every day of my life.  I lose sleep at night to think that she might come out with mental or physical problems.  I will NEVER forgive myself if I have ruined her shot at a good, healthy life.  I want to quit everything now, but especially the pills before she is born because I do not want her to suffer from withdrawals.  I know that pregnancy is a precious, fragile, beautiful thing, and there are women out there that can't get pregnant, and here I am being stupid and selfish with my pregnancy.  I'm not looking for anybody to tell me that it's "perfectly okay" to be a "pill popper", but I do want to specifically hear stories from women that can relate.  Were your babies born healthy??  Did they have problems??  I'm not trying to justify my actions, and no matter what, I am on the road to quitting.  I am just desperate for some information from those of you that know what I'm going through.  None of my family or friends know this, and I absolutely hate having this skeleton in my closet.  My doc knows that I take them from time to time for the back pain I have associated with pregnancy, but he doesn't know the extent of my problem.  Please, Please help me if you can.....  

Thank you so much
32 Responses
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145992 tn?1341345074
I'll add another story.  Just so you don't think it's only going to have an effect on your baby alone.  My fiance's sister was pregnant with her first child.  She had tried to get pregnant in the past and wasn't able to.  Irregular periods and the man she was with at the time had a low sperm count.  When she got pregnant it was a miracle, of course it was with someone else and not her ex-boyfriend but she was able to get pregnant.  She smoke and drank throughout her pregnancy.  She tried to hide it but we all would catch her.  When she went into labor, she stopped dilating at 7 cm and the baby's heartrate dropped so much that they had to do an emergency c-section and she wasn't even numb so she felt every bit of the pain of them cutting her open.  Baby is fine but perhaps if she didn't do all these things to her body, she may have had a natural birthing experience.  She came very close to losing her baby as well.  
Helpful - 0
914086 tn?1247737867
SIDS is a hard thing to live with always wondering.  It has been found that babies who are born to mothers who have been taking opioids regularly prior to delivery will be physically dependent, and will suffer withdrawal symptoms after birth. In mothers who are taking narcotics shortly before delivery, there may be a degree of respiratory depression in the newborn baby, especially if higher doses are taken

When given to pregnant hamsters, a single dose of hydrocodone (one of the components of Vicodin) increased the risk of birth defects, including cranial defects. Limited human studies also indicate that Vicodin may increase the risk of similar birth defects. Hydrocodone is a narcotic, and using this drug during the end of a pregnancy may cause narcotic withdrawal in the infant after delivery. Such withdrawal symptoms may include:

Irritability and excessive crying
Shakiness (tremors)
Hyperactive reflexes
Fast breathing
Increased stools
Sneezing
Yawning
Vomiting
Fever.
Helpful - 0
883151 tn?1245514509
Well as I had said in my previous reply, I do smoke, I am ashamed but it's extremely difficult to quit. I am down to about 6 a day and feel I'm not doing too bad with quitting. I did smoke with my previous two also.

My first was a little underweight, 6 pounds, 14 ounces but the doctor didn't think it was because of smoking but just becuase I am so small. He was Jaundice when he was born which was because of smoking and was born two weeks early with respiratory problems, but they said the respiratory problems were because he was early. So really it was just the jaundice caused by smoking. But I was EXTREMELY stressed with him and never did cut back. Was smoking quite a bit and I do feel horrible about it and am scared it will happen again so I am trying to quit. He has no problems now though. He's perfectly healthy. He is four will be five in August.

With my second son, I smoked about 6 a day and he had absolutely no problems from it. He did have a heart defect but it was genetic NOT from smoking.

I'm not saying smoking is okay but some people try to make people who do smoke while pregnant feel like they are horrible people. I do feel horrible but for people who have never smoked before or had any other addiction, really don't know what it's like to try and quit and I am trying. Have wanted to for years and tried several times without success. Now I have a plan and am working with my doctor on it.

littlemama----you really should talk to your doctor about it. If it was your OB who gave you the meds, talk to your primary physician if you feel uncomfortable about it. Just stopping could cause serious withdrawal symptoms that could harm the baby. Even with smoking, the stress that comes with quitting "cold turkey" as they say, could harm the baby more than the few cigarettes a day. My doctor urged me not to just quit smoking suddenly if it was causing a lot of stess so I am trying to cut back more and more each day until I am completely off. It would be best to talk to a doctor about both doing it while pregnant and quitting while pregnant. I have a step sister who is addicted to all kinds of pain pills and when she doesn't have them she gets horrible diarhia and vomitting and this whole detox process starts even if she's a day without them. I have a feeling these symptoms would not be good to an unborn baby if it starts happening to you by stopping the vicodin completely all at once. Please talk to your doctor.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I get it, and thank you to all of you that have posted your comments.  It's hard to take all of this in.....frightening and humbling to say the least.  I wish I could just delete my post.  My husband asks me everyday why I even did this, because it has made me just completely freak out after reading everything everybody has to say!!!  I know your intentions are good, but it's just hard to take in all the criticism, and to hear all the depressing stories of all these poor babies that have suffered from their mothers doing the same thing I'm doing.  I guess that's the point you're trying to make....to scare me straight.  Well, it's working!!!  

Anyway, I am on day number 1 with no pills.  It's not going to be easy, but I know it's the right thing to do, so I will just try to keep myself busy to keep my mind off of it.  I am going to cut back 1 cigarette a day, so that puts me at 4 cigarettes today.  I will keep you posted on what tomorrow brings!!!  Wish me luck!!

megmil---thank you for offering your warm support and understanding.  Good luck to you with your battle.  Maybe we can beat the smoking together and keep eachother posted on our progress.  May God Bless our babies!!!
Helpful - 0
148691 tn?1260194903
OMG, I guess I'm gonna be the first one to say this, but I am VERY proud of you. I know I was blunt in my first post..... I cannot say I'm sorry though, because, in my heart, if I can save the life of a tiny little being, just like my daughter... I WILL!!!! no matter what it takes.
I am so happy you are cutting back ...ehem... NOW! and have set your mind on quitting. THIS, is the real mind of a winner, in life. Not the loser 'but, I'm trying to quit' c.rap!!!!!

I can speak for myself. I used to smoke. AND YES, IF I QUIT, ANYONE CAN QUIT.
I used to be an overweight girl.... AND YES, IF I COULD LOSE THE WEIGHT, ANYONE CAN.

There is no excuse to this. An addiction is something YOU CHOSE, to begin with. But it takes a BIG PERSON to step off it. I admire your will, and PLEASE don't give up. It's the life of your child that is in risk.

Yes, smoking/drugs while pregnant is horrible, and I certainly quit before even TTC'ing.... I can't imagine living with that in my heart... but that's just me.
You are about to make the difference. You are a strong woman and can take this..... can't you? I dear you to defeat this weakness..... and I know you are in the VERY RIGHT path.

Congratulations!
Helpful - 0
145992 tn?1341345074
You shouldn't want to delete the post, you should print it out and put it on your fridge as a daily reminder of why you are quitting.  Yes, criticism is harsh but it's not because we think you're a terrible person, because we want that little baby to have a chance at a life.  Glad we've some how pushed you into making the decision to quit.  Good luck, I know it won't be easy but think of how different your child's life will be now that you are deciding to quit.
Helpful - 0

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