What is neonatal abstinence syndrome?
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a term for a group of problems a baby experiences when withdrawing from exposure to narcotics.
My beautiful grandson was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. He was 3 days old and placed in state custody and then placed in my care under kinship. I started going to the hospital when he was 3 days old and the birth mother was no longer needed for me to see him because her rights were basically given to me. I was unable to touch him because this would make his heart rate go up but I was still there every 3 hours. They started him on methadone treatments twice a day. On the fourth day I was able to hold him long enough to feed him and change him. He got to the point here he was using a bottle at every feeding and not having to be tube fed. He came home with me when he was 7 days old. Had no clue as to what he was going to go through or what kind of stress it would put on me. He was still on methadone treatments twice a day and we had a special pharmacy we went to that would measure out his treatments in syringes. He went to the doctor no less than once a week sometimes twice a week. I was told not to let him cry because it would cause stress, not to change him or bath him any more than needed. So for the next three months I lived in my bedroom with him. We had no lights, no T.V. and the less amount of noise we could have. I had to keep him in a blanket wrap at all times. He slept on my chest 90% of time. When his dosages of methadone were taken down the next 48 hours were scary each and every week. He would seem to have trouble not choking when feeding him the first couple of days of the drop in the methadone. I would get so exhausted because I had constant fear of something happening to him. There would be times he would cry and cry and I would do everything I could to try to get him to calm down. He was like a newborn baby for the first 3 months of his life. He did fall behind a little do to the delays he had the first 3 months of his life. However he is 19 months old and he has no delays at all anymore. Our adoption finally became final when he was 14 months old. His mothers right were terminated when he was 3 months old because she had no interest in seeing him or working with the department. My son was in prison a month before he was born because he choose drugs and got himself into trouble. My son signed off his right so his father and I could adopt. Joshua is a very smart and a handsome little boy.
This is a picture of him having fun for the first time in the snow. He is a little stinker. We worked with him all time to get him a head start so he would no longer be behind. We read to him daily. I am trying to teach him sign langue. He is a handful but I am very thankful that he has been a strong little boy before he was even born. Dealing with a baby that has Neonatal abstinence syndrome is hard and stressful but if you have to deal with it, it is also rewarding in the long run. I pray that there will be women out there that stop using drugs if they are pregnant because this is so hard to watch a baby go through and they don’t deserve to go through the withdraws.