7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Will my baby withdraw? Is my baby addicted? Can I have an epidural on Suboxone? Will buprenorphine hurt my baby? Can I breast feed on Suboxone? What medication-assisted treatment is best?
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brittneyazarwel
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7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by brittneyazarwel »

Hi all. My daughter spent 35 days in the nicu from September to November & I posted here many times during my pregnancy & after looking for info. They tried weaning her very quickly that first week & she seemed to have difficulty so they went back up and remained very conservative in regards to weaning.
I wish I had listened to my gut in that suboxone shouldn’t have resulted in such a lengthy nicu stay. She came home on nov 1 & by nov 8 we had a silent reflux diagnosis and we are now addressing symptoms related to a possible dairy intolerance. Symptoms of silent reflux and dairy issues unfortunately score 2s & 3s on the Finnegan model. Crying & not sleeping and diarrhea (associated w suspected dairy intolerance). I absolutely am beginning to question her entire nicu stay. If she needed meds ok that’s fine but looking back she had symptoms of reflux (gagging & choking) during the first week or 2 in the nicu. Morphine likely made her comfortable enough to sleep through the discomfort caused by the reflux pain. She was a ravenous eater. I thought she comfort fed in relation to wean but now I know that was related to the reflux. The symptoms she did have that were part of nas are a slight fever on day 2 & increased respiratory rate.
I do think she had a dependency of course. But was medication necessary? I’ll never know. But it does make me feel so much better about having another baby if on suboxone in the future.
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Anonymouse
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by Anonymouse »

Brittney
Wow, I am so happy for you. I felt complete amazement while reading your posts. You have two fresh new lives you have cradled under your wing and brought those lives past satan himself and straight on home til mornin’ :).
Shine on Love!
“Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” George Orwell
docm2
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by docm2 »

brittneyazarwel, thank you for the update. I vividly remember your posts and the anguish you went through.
Your experience, unfortunately is played out over and over. Everything is viewed through a messed up lens once clinicians learn a person is taking methadone or buprenorphine.
So glad you and the kiddo are doing well.
PAX
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jennjenn
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by jennjenn »

Brittney I’m so sorry to hear that your baby’s reflux issue was looked over because everyone wants to blame every single thing on withdrawal in the nicu. Do they not realize that newborns can easily have other issues that they’re claiming is from withdrawal symptoms! That makes me so mad.

My youngest son had problems and was on soy based milk. He cried constantly! Constantly. If I had been in a situation where they were looking for withdrawal symptoms, they would have 100% thought it was withdrawal. He actually had colic.

Thanks for the update Brittney!! Congratulations on your sweet baby.
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brittneyazarwel
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by brittneyazarwel »

Jennjenn, I know it’s so frustrating when I look back on that time! She has silent reflux so never spit up and she ate constantly because it was soothing so she gained weight just fine. Unfortunately I’ve learned that reflux or gerd is so so common. It and food intolerances are actually mistakenly termed “colic” when the colic diagnosis is more a blanket term for “we don’t really know what’s wrong”. I believed it must’ve been colic as well because my dad said I was a colicky baby. So I just thought we had to deal. But based off a few symptoms (not the screaming or arching) I told her pediatrician she landed on silent reflux fairly immediately. I learned a ton about how often reflux is missed and how it’s not properly treated by many many doctors unfortunately. They put her on much too low doses of a ppi (like Prilosec) which only made it worse. I thankfully found an infant reflux site and Facebook group that helped me withhold getting her on the proper doses of the medication (3x a day vs once a day) and helped me address my diet (was affecting her skin and exacerbating her reflux). I had to eliminate dairy and egg. And we also suspect she is sensitive to corn. It seems they’re also finding now that if a baby can’t tolerate dairy then they could also have issues w soy since the proteins are very similar. It’s crazy actually the kinds of things moms are advise to do to treat reflux when for most babies addressing diet and using the proper dosing (most peds abs pediatric GIs will not prescribe this dosing) isnadtuallh all that is needed. Our ped was thankfully on board w it and I currently home compound her medication myself and dose her properly according to her age and weight. It’s what got us through those several months and prevented a ton of damage from undiagnosed and untreated reflux (like chronic ear infections and feeding aversions and feeding tubes)

But I do have a good amount of resentment in that she spent so long in the hospital unnecessarily on morphine!! And my husband wants me to be off the suboxone before we decide to have another baby. Which I get but at the same time I feel I need to defend myself and the subutex and day that it wasn’t the medication that landed her in the NICU to start with! Had someone, anyone noticed how she was in pain when feeding and after feeding and would want to eat constantly (which of course just made it worse) then maybe we could’ve avoided it all.
Oh! And she also had a lip and tongue tie that went undiagnosed for 7 months that also contributes to reflux symptoms! So if there is another baby born while I take sub I will have all of these possible issues addressed before letting them tell me it’s all due to the sub.
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jennjenn
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by jennjenn »

Gosh you will definitely have a whole arsenal of things to eliminate before withdrawal is addressed! That’s pretty dang awesome (not the suffering you went through of course) that you educated yourself and now you’ll be totally prepared in a way that most aren’t. We trust our medical professionals so much that most of us just take for granted that what they say is fact. That’s definitely not always the case, especially when someone knows they’re dealing with an addict unfortunately.
Jennifer
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Amy-Work In Progress
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Re: 7 months post nicu stay for NAS

Post by Amy-Work In Progress »

I have a hypothesis about why there is so much gastric discomfort in our babies and it's from an evolutionary perspective. I'm sure I'm not the first person who has thought of this though.

Homosapiens were the first humans to have the advanced brains that we have. We have discovered that the human type forms of man, like Australopithecus, had a much smaller brain with a smaller skull. The brain gained size during the hominid (homo) period before homosapiens (modern man) became dominant. But even the neanderthal's brain had not reached the size and abilities of homosapiens. It is because of our large brains that homosapiens became dominant.

The babies of many species, including the earlier hominids are/were born with certain skills, like being able to hold their heads up, walk right away, etc. The babies of homosapiens are immature by comparison because their bigger brains required an earlier birth. What I mean by that is that female homosapiens have pelvic dimensions that can only accommodate a certain head size of newborns. So we have evolved to have our offspring earlier than other species. Our babies are born earlier than may be optimal because if they continued growing for more than 40 weeks, their heads would be too large to fit through the pelvis.

Having more immature babies born (compared to other species) has consequences. For example, human babies cannot hold their heads up. They are more dependent on adults to care for them than the babies of earlier humans.

I propose that the digestive systems of human babies are also more immature than they were meant to
be at birth. Just as a premature baby has more digestive complications than a full term infant, a full term infant today has more digestive complications than the infant of the neanderthal hominid. Am I making sense?

Anyway, that's just an idea that I have.

Amy
Done is better than perfect!
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