It was the day before New Years Eve when I decided to get clean. I was desperate for a fresh start and I figured a completely new year was the perfect time. I was convinced that 2019 would be a year where I wouldn’t wait five hours for a dealer to show up, where I wouldn’t touch a needle, where I wouldn’t surrender my life to a drug that was trying to kill me. I was convinced that 2019 would be a year where I would make amends with my family and friends, where I would work my ass off to stay clean, where I would fight for myself. Never in a million years did I think that 2019 would be the year that I would bring life into this world.
“You’re pregnant,” two words I never thought I’d hear just two months after getting clean. Two words that scared the living shit out of me, yet for some strange reason brought me so much peace at the same time. For me, finding out that I was pregnant was like seeing a rainbow after a storm. A sign of hope that I would be okay, that we would be okay. I have always wanted to be a mom, but this is never how I pictured it happening. I always thought I would be older, have a career, be married, and living with the love of my life. Instead I’m barely 22, living with my parents, working at a golf course, and 182 days clean from cocaine and heroin.
So let’s talk about having a baby after addiction. My automatic response was, “I’m not meant to be a mom.” The looks I’ve received from some people after telling them I’m pregnant have had me feeling so down. The people who keep telling me I’m not ready and the ones who keep asking, “Are you sure you can handle this?” have had me crying myself to sleep more nights than not. The shame I feel every time I go to see my midwife and she says, “We need to do a urine sample just to be sure you’re still clean” makes me feel like maybe I’m not cut out to be a mother, maybe it’s too soon after getting clean. I have always been an extremely sensitive person, and all these negative things have been effecting me in ways I never thought possible and have made me question not only who I am as a mom, but who I am as a person as well.
However, the way people’s eyes light up when I say the words, “I’m pregnant” make my heart overflow with joy. The people who congratulate me without judgement are the reason why I have a smile on my face even when it’s hard. The way I feel so proud when my drug test comes back negative every single time reminds me that it’s not too soon after getting clean, it’s the perfect time and another reason to fight for myself. I have worked so hard my entire life, specifically in the past year, to get to where I’m at today. Today I am calm and confident, I have a good head on my shoulders, I know what I deserve and I won’t settle for less, and I love the person I have become. My therapist even jokingly said the other day, “Do you even need to come see me anymore? I’ve never seen you so happy.” (Jokes on her because I’ll be 80 years old and still seeing her becaue it’s my favorite form of self love). But her comment made me realize that I have finally become the person I have always been meant to be.
There’s a lot of negativity that comes along with having a baby after addiction, but the amount of negative will never surpass the amount of positive. To all my supporters and all the people who encourage me everyday, thank you for constantly reminding me that I will be the best mother that I allow myself to be. And to all the moms (and dads) out there, navigating parenthood after addiction, you are a BADASS. Motherhood is hard, I haven’t even held my baby in my arms yet and I already know that. But I also know it is so worth it. I have been given the greatest title in the world, and I promise to never let anything, or anyone, get in the way of me being the best mom that I can be.