At the end of last month, one of my cousins gave birth to a baby boy. She named him Axel William. We all thought it was a cool coincidence that my mom, her twin sister, and their older brother all became grandparents for the first time within 6 months of each other.
The back story here is that my cousin, who is quite a few years older than me, has had a pretty major drug problem for years. It is very sad - she was a very bright teenager and had a lot of things going for her. Of course, there may and probably were things going on in the background that I had no clue about (isn't that always the case). She worked at the hospital and was eventually fired (and convicted) for stealing a prescription pad. So we definitely know she had a problem with prescription narcotics. I also remember a family holiday when she kept going in and out of the bathroom - with her husband at the time - mellow going in and crazily energetic coming out - dilated pupils, the works. Looking back, that was pretty obviously cocaine.
Back to Axel. When we found out my cousin was pregnant back in April or so, we were a little wary...had she cleaned up? Would the baby be okay? Everyone was hoping for the best, for both their sakes.
He was born on June 28, and everything appeared to be fine. But it wasn't. About a week after he was born, his parents took him to the pediatrician. He wouldn't stop crying. I guess the pediatrician freaked out (as they should have) and called CPS. Little Axel was going through withdrawals.
He is still in the hospital. What we know is that my cousin was trying to clean up during her pregnancy and was given methadone (which I think is for coming off of heroin). She was supposed to wean off of it in the last months of her pregnancy, but didn't. So Axel was born addicted to methadone.
I don't know much about addicted babies, but am learning. Axel is hyper-sensitive and cannot be held. He can only be fed by one or two people and it must be completely quiet - no distractions - or he will refuse to eat. The nurse says that if all goes well, he will possibly be normal by 18 months.
On July 25 we are supposed to have a family intervention. I have talked to another cousin and we are wary of what this is supposed to accomplish. Will she be angry at us for interfering as neither of us have had contact with her for years (we have been instructed not to have contact as she apparently was stealing from family members to support her addiction)? I have committed to go, though I'm terrified. I can't even think about this poor little baby without getting upset. My reaction right now is just sadness, but I'm worried it will turn to anger once we are face to face.
The best case scenario right now is that my uncle and step-aunt get Axel and my cousin goes to rehab and then a halfway house. The worst case is that he ends up in state care. That is almost too much to bear.
I'm really struggling with this, probably more so since I've recently become a mother. This child has such a tough road ahead. I want so much for him to be healthy, and I also want my cousin to be able to have a happy, sober life with her child and experience the joy of being a mother.
If anyone has any good resources on any of these subjects - addiction, addicted infants, interventions - I'd love to hear about it.
Well, there really isn't much to tell. Last I heard, the whole 'intervention' thing has been bagged. I'm not sure the reason, though I have a feeling it may be that she's just not ready - meaning she's not hit rock bottom. Anyhow, I'm trying to find out more about little Axel, and of course my family is not sharing info...why can't we be open and honest - how else are we going to help this little guy? I guess he is still in the hospital, but unfortunately that's all I know. I hope six months from now I can write an update that George, my cousin Jason's daughter Alli and Axel all spent Christmas Eve pestering each other. All for now, H.