I overdosed on prescription medication when I was seven months pregnant.

On purpose.

I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. Pregnancy was (literally) killing me. I hadn’t eaten more than a half cup of food at a sitting in seven months. Ninety percent of what went into my mouth came back out. Every muscle in my body ached from dry heaving. My throat was constantly scratchy from vomiting up bile. Every smell was toxic.

And no one believed that I truly was sick.

One woman told me I was eating the wrong kind of crackers. Other people said I was being over-dramatic. Several people thought I was faking. Cody thought I was a wimp.

I didn’t even know if I wanted a kid all that much, I mentally could not get myself excited about having a baby.

The depression built gradually (I am bipolar). I told myself to go to sleep and I’d feel better in the morning. One morning I didn’t feel better, I felt worse. I called into work, got a glass of water and took well over a dozen pills, plus Zofran and a sleeping pill, so I could fall asleep while it happened and not vomit up all that I had just taken.

Cody found me an hour later.

I don’t remember much of the next 12 hours. I woke up in an ER, monitors and sensors all over my body.

And Cody was sitting by my side. Completely helpless to what his wife had tried to do to his baby.

A social worker came in and told me I would be going to a different hospital for some inpatient monitoring. And that I would be going there by ambulance.

I realized while I was lying on the gurney that I was being buzzed into an area of the hospital I had never been in before. I smelled cigarette smoke.

The only reason to smell cigarette smoke inside a hospital is if the people inside aren’t allowed outside.

That’s when I realized I was in the psych ward.

I was wheeled down a quiet hall to a sterile room. My shoelaces were taken, and I was told to wait for a nurse who would read me the rules.

The rules went something like “if you don’t eat, we have ways of making you eat, if you don’t listen to us we have ways of making you listen.” And then I was told the visiting hours.

Visiting hours. An hour a day. I’d only get to see Cody an hour a day.

Cody was allowed to come in, bring me a few things from home and say goodbye.

And then I was left all alone. Alone except for the nurses that checked in on me every hour.

I wasn’t allowed to sleep with the door closed. A woman woke up screaming in the middle of the night about killing her husband.

I have never been so scared.

I had an OB, an OB nurse, a nutritionist, a psychiatrist, a therapist, a pediatrician a social worker and a perinatologist that checked in on me regularly. I had to go to three group therapy sessions a day and two private sessions a day. There was an arts and crafts hour where doctors took notes on how each patient interacted with each other.

Some patients had deep wounds that were stapled shut and bandaged, others had charcoal stains around their lips. I sat in my room most of the day staring down at the street I used to play on as a kid. Staring at all the people with normal lives, going about completely unaware that I was stuck there up alone.

It was the darkest, most miserable situation I have ever been in.  Humans shouldn’t be treated like that. If I learned nothing else while there for three days I learned that I never want to go back.

I couldn’t tell anyone where I had been, I was ashamed. No one likes a baby killer. Why would I ever admit to being one? But the people who did know finally believed me. Finally believed the hell it was being trapped inside my pregnant body.

I was ashamed of all of this until recently. I made a mistake. I’m human. And the Lord obviously wants to keep the moosh and me here or we would have had toe tags that cold day in September. There’s no logical medical reason why the moosh came out from that perfectly healthy. And for this I am grateful.

I am not ashamed now because I have a message, if someone says they’re not doing so well, please listen. I tried to tell someone that I was not well a week before this happened. They brushed it off as pregnancy hormones and sleepiness. I didn’t want to push, maybe it was just pregnancy after all. But that’s just my point, those who truly need your help will rarely shout for it. They will suffer silently hoping somebody, anybody will notice. Those who are truly hurting will not want to draw attention to themselves.

I didn’t want to be a burden or seen as a complainer. So I tried to figure it all out myself.

And I failed.

But I was blessed through my failure.

Not everyone is so lucky.

I heart moosh snoozes.

Comments

  1. You continue to amaze me Miss Casey. You. Are. Awesome.

    Truly awesome.

    AMomTwoBoyss last blog post..Sometimes Life Gets In The Way

  2. amazingly courageous post.

    i’ve learned that a lot of the painful things i’ve been through, the Lord is using for good. for a message, as you said.

    xo ~K

    karla | looking towards heavens last blog post..What The?! – week 33

  3. I have to admit I this may be the first time I am reading your blog, linking back from I hope you dance. Somehow I started following you on twitter. How brave of you to post and glad you made it through. Many of us have been there and luckily made it through.

    White Hot Magiks last blog post..Forgive and Forget

  4. Where there is light there is no place for shame. Thanks for shining light in this place in your heart. I will listen because of you.

    shannon martinezs last blog post..Homecoming

  5. Thank you thank you thank you for this post (recently discovered your blog after other’s I read linked to you).

    I worked for the NHS (in the UK) in Mental Health for 5 years. I also have 5 kids and had my own ups and downs. This message needs to be shouted from the roof tops in my humble opinon.

  6. After your amazing speech at BlogHer08 – I made someone tell me where to find you.
    You had me in tears… but probably not for the reason you suspect.
    I, too, suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Mine got to the point where I ruptured my esophagus while vomiting on a combination of both Zofran & Phenergan and started vomiting blood along with the stomach acid.

    The only reason I didn’t get to tour the psych ward right along with you is that I found a support group online. I found other women going thru the same thing. My husband believed me – although most people were clueless and stupid. Without the support system I had, the night where I was blinded in the dark by the migraine & throwing up blood into the toilet and praying for a miscarriage or death or anything to just stop the nausea was what I often refer to as my “long dark night of the soul.”

    I just wanted, for a moment, while hearing you read this at BlogHer to go back in time to find that pregnant you and say “I know! But honestly? The day is in sight where you won’t feel like this 24 hrs a day – and where you will go back to eating, drinking, and swallowing and not being on IVs and anti-emetics.”

    I know. Impossible. But my heart went out to you just as it still goes out to other women who go thru this. For some of us, pregnancy was the hideous ordeal that also brought us the biggest joy of our lives.

    ((hug))

  7. Wow. (I missed the community keynote, so I am just reading this now.) What agony for you. I am so beyond sorry that you had to endure so much suffering. Thank God you both survived!!!

    WHY on earth do they make Psych wards so horrible?!??! I mean seriously, if you are in need of a Psych ward, sounds like the Psych ward is about the LAST place that you would want to be in. It would give me the worst panic attack just imagining being trapped in there!

    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)s last blog post..Janice Interviews Alice (FinSlippy) On Video At BlogHer08

  8. I wish I could say what I want so bad to say but I can’t. So for now, this will have to do.

    Perksofbeingmes last blog post..Simply Sunday

  9. This spoke to me so much and I’m so glad you chose to share it. When I had depression troubles I felt like I was pleading and crying for help, but looking back it probably just came across as meek complaining to those around me. I had the exact same feelings as you about not wanting to burden others. And it’s a damn hard place to be, especially when you’re already feeling so ‘wrong’ inside.

    Thank you Casey, for sharing something so powerful. I think you are a strong, beautiful woman and I am so impressed with you for having the strength to write this.

    Jill – GlossyVeneers last blog post..Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog

  10. thank you.

    just.. thank you

  11. It was the inability to get “mentally excited” about having a baby” part that got to me.It’s so hard not to second guess that, to accept that no human can override that amount of physical misery and look beyond it to the so-called “higher purpose” of it all. Whenever someone told me to concentrate on the beautiful baby inside of me I wanted to inflict pain upon them. I’m so glad your plan failed but I completely understand. Completely. Powerful post.

  12. Oh yes, and crackers???? Don’t get me started.

  13. Thank God you and your child are alive.

    I suffered PPD after my son was born last year; it was horrible. This week, my older, 40-something brother intentionally od’d on prescriptions. He is in a psych ward, for the first time in his life, even though he has been under a psychiatrist’s care for the past 15 years. I pray he gets the help he needs.

  14. Kelly sent me here with the link as intro to your guest post. Can I just say that I completely and wholy understand this post. The whole thing. This might be the one post out of all 87,321,417 that I’ve read over the past four years that is…well, it was good.

    Zoeyjanes last blog post..On bringing back cool

  15. Thank you for writing this. It takes a lot of strength to write about these kinds of things.

    I’m glad that you and your baby were okay.

    caramamas last blog post..The New Alphabet

  16. Amazing and courageous. I suffered 9 month of vomiting and nausea with my first child. I didn’t get any help at all from the medical profession. I can sympathize. I’m so glad you had a happy ending to your story!!!

    Shellies last blog post..The Random Tag and What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

  17. This is sad. Very sad. I’m sorry this had to happen to you.

    Thomass last blog post..Superman’s Song — There’s A Lesson Here For All Of Us

  18. Thank for sharing this. I’m an adoptive mom to two kids. My oldest child’s bio mom suffers from depression, among other things, and attempted suicide while pregnant with my son. I just couldn’t understand how that could possibly happen. You will never know how much I appreciate (that word sucks, actually, but it’s the best I can come up with before coffee) knowing what you went through. It makes sense now, and I can feel that much more compassion for her pain. Bless you.

    Annies last blog post..Saturday morning fun

  19. Your post made me cry. I was 16 years old when I went through a severe depression. And no one seemed to notice. I would sit in my room and cry with a knife held against my wrist. But I didn’t ask for help. I just hid in my room. I was like this for the better part of a year. How could my parents not notice that I rarely came out of my room? Your story should be a wakeup call to others that we need to pay attention to the things people say and do. Otherwise, it may be too late.

    Melissas last blog post..Why Does the Cold & Flu Season Coincide with the Holiday Season?

  20. I didn’t know this… I’m so incredibly sorry for you having to go through that. I just can not imagine. Wow- you and that moosh are destined for some great things- big or small.

    Steph

    Adventures In Babywearings last blog post..As Seen On Ivy

  21. This post just changed my life.

    I am you.
    And what happened to you is like looking into an alternate world where I made different choices. Thank you so much for giving this story to me.
    I am only 4 months pregnant, but I have been deathly sick. There have been thoughts of not wanting to be pregnant anymore, deep depression, and sometimes even suicide. My husband is in the Army…he’s gone. I’m finally coming around for the better. And I would not have gone the direction you ended up. But being severely depressed and not eating enough(to the point of being taken to the Emergency Room) the part in the story that made me cry and changed my life was the ending. It rings in my ears as eternal joy: He came out perfectly healthy, perfectly healthy. That brings me all the comfort and hope I’ll ever need for my baby.

    “SALTINES. It’s hard for me, to this day to walk past the boxes of Saltines at the grocery store without knocking them all off the shelves and stomping on them repeatedly.”

    –And everybody say: AMEN!!!!–

  22. Beautiful Maddie brought me here [via Nanette]. That Post made me cry a river at work – beautiful post. Then “Superpowers of Motherhood” made me smile. So true and I’m still in the beginning. And now this post has made you so real. I was there. Not completely, but close. Thank you for being real. Just…thank you.

    Gabys last blog post..Andy Stands – Video

  23. Like Gaby, I found you via Maddie and twitter. What a wonderful post. My doctor wouldn’t listen to me when I was pregnant and in fact would chide me for not gaining weight all while I was shouting in his face that phenergan was not working. I felt so guilty that I had wanted the pregnancy so badly but feeling that bad every day was seriously making me re-think my choice, I even joked a few times about termination and not one single person took me seriously, they all poo-poo-ed it and told me it would get better. I never ignore “jokes” that people make anymore, there is usually a lot of truth behind it.

    Duchess / Jenns last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Purple For Maddie

  24. This really hit home with me because I suffer from chronic depression and mood swings, and am currently being evaluated for bipolar disorder. Things like this are never easy to admit. I frequently wonder how being pregnant will affect me, and can only imagine how hard it must have been for you. You are truly amazing for sharing this. I’m glad that you and your daughter are here with us.

    Elizabeth Kaylenes last blog post..I’ve got this blogging thing down

  25. I am 5 months and going through exactly the same thing. Last night I nearly checked myself into a hosptial to avoid taking the pills. I have gone from thinking “one week at a time” to “one day” to “one hour” and today I spent minute by minute not taking the pills.

    After reading this, I realise I can’t even check myself in for my baby’s protection. There is nothing really I can do.

    I hate being pregnant. I hate people who judge me for that. And I hate that asking for help can mean more trauma like in your story.

  26. I am 5 months and going through exactly the same thing. Last night I nearly checked myself into a hosptial to avoid taking the pills. I have gone from thinking “one week at a time” to “one day” to “one hour” and today I spent minute by minute not taking the pills.

    After reading this, I realise I can’t even check myself in for my baby’s protection. There is nothing really I can do.

    I used to ask for help – but it has all but gotten me fired for being crazy, my family are tired of hearing about it and my poor husband is right on the edge of being able to cope. I am withdrawing into myself and am really worried that I will be in your situation soon.

    I hate being pregnant. I hate people who judge me for that. But mostly, I hate myself for being like this.

  27. You are a wimp. Sorry, its true. Survival of the fittest…thwarted by luck

    Cheers!

  28. A friend suggested I read this after she read something I wrote but I wish I hadn’t written and I still consider deleting it. I hate knowing that there is another person out there who has to know what it feels like. I’m glad you found a way out.

  29. What a story, it sound like you had an awful time, glad things are better for you now. Good luck for the future.

  30. I was just diagnosed with HG and the dr. (s) don’t seem concerned, even though I am barely 4 months and have lost 15 lbs. I hear the saltine stuff too. I am being brushed off. Supposedly, if “it was bad enough, I would have been in the hospital already.” Well for two weeks I had a headache, cotton-mouth and was puking bile, and could not drink water, and I was not aware that it was not normal until my husband pointed it out me. Every doctor says “saltines” to me. Even after diagnosis, no treatment, i.e. pills, have worked and I was told to “tough it out.”
    I feel so bad you had to go through that. I al so glad that you and your beautiful baby are here today.
    I have no idea what I am going to do, it SUCKS to feel like you have the flu for your whole pregnancy.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] science experiment, how I lost all the weight, what a raging bitch I was when pregnant, how I overdosed when I was pregnant, how I almost threw my kid in a fire, that I dislike Utah, I have a best friend who takes lovely [...]

  2. [...] say that knowing full well that my “difficulties” are really quite minor compared to what I could be going through. However, the constant exhaustion and near-daily nausea have really started to take their toll. I [...]

  3. [...] say that knowing full well that my “difficulties” are really quite minor compared to what I could be going through. However, the constant exhaustion and near-daily nausea have really started to take their toll. I [...]

  4. [...] Read “The one about the overdose.“ [...]

  5. [...] The Overdose begins with these words: [...]

  6. [...] then Casey read The Overdose and I was undone again. She got the other standing O of the [...]

  7. [...] unprecedented.  What we all go through in this life.  Some of us live to tell the tale, and tell it.  And in the telling, essentially, perform mouth-to-ear resuscitation to more people than we will [...]

  8. [...] Casey: “The one about the overdose.” [...]

  9. [...] One of my favorite parts of all was the Opening Keynote on Thursday night. A BlogHer panel judged submitted entries and chose about 20 women (and one dad) to read their post in front of 1000 of their fellow bloggers. There were different categories, and some of them were really funny but the ones that received the strongest response from the crowd were a couple of stunningly powerful readings by Yvonne from “Joy Unexpected” and Casey from “Moosh in Indy” [...]

  10. [...] in the Community Keynote that opened BlogHer this year.  She read a very moving post called “The One About The Overdose”, the video of which you can see here.  She’s a great writer, fabulous photographer and has [...]