Monday, August 1, 2011

Mother's Little Helper - Part II

Don't despair - I will be talking about food as soon as I get off Captain Bucky O'Hare's space vehicle* and back down to earth.  I still have to post the Chopped Salad recipe, and I have plans involving a 3 1/2 pound package of beautiful market ground beef and some smoked mozzarella.  But now, on to the rant:

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

I have never experienced pregnancy or childbirth. For almost ten years this was a source of much sorrow, until that moment in May of 1987 that our social worker from Spence-Chapin placed my son into my arms.  It was a surreal experience, standing in the international terminal of Kennedy Airport, watching the much-anticipated invasion of tiny Asian babies as they were delivered into their parent's arms and hearts forever.

Still, because Cory is so much like me, we decided I must have given birth to him in another dimension.  Now while that would make a great made-for-TV movie on SyFy, the truth is, as we all know, that another lady, half a world away, gave birth to him on February 19, 1987.  Every day of my son's life I thank that dear lady, his biological mother, for all she did to give him a good and healthy start.

Which is why articles like this make my head explode.  If a single lady, without much in the way of resources or family assistance, living in a country that was absolutely unsupportive of unmarried pregnancies, could give birth to a healthy, happy, nonaddicted infant, why can't these women?

"The number of babies treated at Florida hospitals for drug-withdrawal syndrome continued to skyrocket last year, further evidence of the far-reaching impact of the state's prescription-drug epidemic.

In 2010, 1,374 babies were born addicted to drugs because their mothers were users — a 42 percent increase from the year prior, according to new Agency for Health Care Administration records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Though the data don't show which drugs the newborns tested positive for, doctors in Central Florida have said most of the local cases are prescription drugs.

The babies — whose withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, stiff muscles, irritability and diarrhea — can spend days, even weeks detoxing.

At issue in many instances are women who use prescription drugs such as the painkiller oxycodone who cannot simply quit taking the medications when they learn they are pregnant.

Doctors say it's too stressful on the mother's body, which causes stress on the developing baby. So, methadone is often prescribed in place of oxycodone."

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small


Although I was never pregnant, everyone around me was at one time or another.  A few observations I'd like to make for those of you out there who think I may be too hard on pregnant women:

From the moment they learned they were pregnant, those women - my close friends, cousins, sisters-in-law and coworkers - would not take so much as a Tylenol for a headache.  They stopped drinking anything with caffeine.  They ate healthy food - mostly.  C'mon, I'm not heartless.  If they smoked, they stopped, and they kept their distance from other smokers.

Now for all the folks out there who think I'm a certified bitch, think about this - if so many women will not even take an aspirin for fear of what effect if will have on their unborn child, why can't you stay off the oxycontin?  Do you have any idea what effect oxy or methadone have?  Is that loving feeling you get from drugs so much better than the feeling you get from holding your healthy newborn?

I do not need nor want that kind of job security.

*Bucky's ship is appropriately named "The Righteous Indignation"

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