Saturday, July 12, 2008

Episode 1- The Night That Changed Everything

My pregnancy with Ethan was textbook and normal. Nothing went wrong there so I fully expected my pregnancy with Hailey to be the same. Never before in my life had I experienced any kind of emotional trauma, depression, or unexplained anxiety. However, when I was 10 weeks pregnant something did go wrong. Terribly wrong.

It was July 4, 2005 and I had trouble sleeping that night. In fact, it turned out to be a 100% sleepless night for me. Everyone has a night like that at least once in their lifetime so I racked it up to nothing more than a meer inconvenience.

The next day was hard and I was exhausted, but I managed okay. That afternoon I drove to the store and picked up some Unisom. I had taken it before and it helped me sleep, so I thought nothing of it. That night I took the recommended dose and I sat down in a chair and waited to get drowsy. Drowsiness came, so I went onto bed and figured Cody would soon follow. When I got into bed I felt very strange. Not sleepy strange, more manufactured sleepy strange. When Cody came to bed I shot wide awake and was very annoyed that I hadn't fallen asleep like I thought I would.

I was so very tired from not sleeping the night before. I didn't understand why I didn't fall asleep upon hitting the pillow. I wandered out into the living room and laid down on the couch. The Carson Daily show was on TV and he was interviewing Jenny McArthy. I began to get jittery and my mind was racing. The harder I tried to control it, the more I shook. My heart began to race and I started hyperventilating. I don't know what compelled me to do this, but I took another dose of Unisom.

Within an hour I was out of control shaking and hyperventilating. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the first panic attack I'd ever had. We ended up in the ER that night because neither of us knew what was happening to me. They helped me get some carbon dioxide into my lungs and I started to feel a little better, but I was oh so weak and couldn't calm my nerves. They said I was having a severe panic attack.

The poor ER doc was at a loss of what to do for this crazy pregnant lady. He called an on call OB and he said to give me Ativan (the generic is Lorazepam). Ativan is a tranquilizer (benzodiazepine) that is a risk category C for pregnant women. It gets through the placenta and in some cases, can harm the baby. The ER doc gave me 1 mg and a Rx for 5 more mg. He told me (and I quote) "This is risky for the baby. Take these remaining pills only in a dire situation because it is harmful". He told me all of this AFTER I took the 1 mg.

I started to freak out even more because I started picturing a deformed fetus. We were discharged from the ER and when we got home I slept for two hours. That is all I slept for the next two days. That first dose of Ativan was the start of my love/hate for these drugs.


R.D.L.L said...

Stories like this are very inspirational. I admire you for putting it out there to help others who may be struggling or at least help them to understand those who are going through the same thing. My dad is in the middle of writing a book about his addictions to drugs, he has been writing it for over 2 years. He has been sober for 4 years now. It is amazing to learn about how people overcome obstacles despite the immense challenge.

Ute Family said...

I am hooked. It's like I'm reading a book and I can't wait for the next chapter. Is that weird? You're a brave woman to put this out there. I'm sure there are people out there who will greatly benefit from your story (including myself)!

Carly said...

Veronica. I blog stalk you. I am from BBC. Hope you don't mind but I appreciate you putting your story out there. It will help so many people. Myself included.

Debi (Dubs2007) said...

When I had prayed about going onto some kind of medication I always wondered why my answer was "NO". But while reading your blog I see that with my family history of drug/alchol abuse I would have been instantly addicted, and loved the feeling of peace from my panic attacks... thankyou

Heather said...
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