I mean, really honest. I know all of you have seen those commercials lately that say that if you have taken the antidepressants Zoloft, Paxil, or all of those other ones that they could cause congenital heart defects including Tetralogy of Fallot. And they are trying to get people to call so they can file lawsuits. The first time I saw the commercial, I thought, wow - I bet people that see this probably think that I took some type of drug that caused Claire to have TOF. Maybe these commercials have been on the air a long time and I am just now seeing them since they mention TOF. But still, it just made me stop and think.
So I know if it made ME stop and think, then it has probably made some of you stop and question. So to be brutally honest, NO I have never taken any of those antidepressants. Ever. I will admit I have probably taken a half of a zanax before but that was because I was having chest pains during my MBA final exams several years ago and my doctor said to either take the medicine or have a heart attack. I will sometimes take a Tylenol or Motrin when I think I am about to die of a headache. But normally I just wait for it to pass. I am not a medicine taker. Never have been. I used to be afraid to swallow a pill and the first one I swallowed was in college. I would just chew up the Advil that I had to take. Talk about yummy! :(
I would have to say that the most amount of medication I have ever taken was the week I was on bed rest at Duke and all of the medicine they gave me. That's probably more medicine that I have ever had in my entire lifetime. Even when I was so sick that I threw up pretty much on my mother in law, the doctor, and the nurse, I was still hesitant to take anything for nausea. My first question was "will it hurt Claire?" If so, no medicine for me! Fortunately, they didn't give me any motrin (or was it Tylenol?) while pregnant due to Claire's PDA valve. They didn't want it to close and the motrin would have caused it to. But that was really the only precaution I had to take according to them.
And folic acid - the vitamin that is supposed to prevent birth defects? I had been taking that for at least 3 years along with a daily vitamin before we ever started thinking about having children. I don't do drugs, I don't smoke, and I don't drink (not to say that I never have - I just haven't in a really long time). I try to eat healthy, although I do like french fries and cake! I try to walk about a mile or 2 a day - I know it's not much, but hey, it's something!
I didn't get my hair highlighted or colored while pregnant because they say the chemicals can affect the baby. I didn't drink any caffeine while pregnant and didn't really drink a lot before I got pregnant because it would make my heart race.
We prayed to God every day for a healthy baby and a healthy pregnancy. When asked what gender baby we wanted, we were the typical couple who said " we don't care, we just want the baby to be healthy!"
So honestly, I did everything I knew of in my power to be sure my body was healthy enough to have a healthy baby. But you know, sometimes you are just not in control and obviously that has been one of my biggest lessons throughout this entire experience so far. Before Claire, I was a die hard planner. Everything was planned. Now, I am more easy going as I know it was never my plan to begin with. Most heart moms out there are just like me.
Were there days that I just couldn't understand why there are moms out there who never wanted their children, did everything in their power to take drugs or harm their bodies and fetuses while pregnant, didn't take prenatal vitamins or have good prenatal care, and still have a healthy baby that doesn't have to endure the struggles that Claire did/does? You're darn right! There were days it made me so mad to even think about it.
But I have learned that God just has a special plan for all of us. We may never know day to day what that plan holds - and you know, that's ok. We just have to be open minded and willing to listen to God's plan for us. It may not be what we always imagined; it may not be exactly the way we wanted it to go. But it's really not up for us to decide. I am just happy to have been given a plan from God that includes what it does.
So before you question or judge people who have children with birth defects, really think long and hard about it. It could have been you just as easily as it was me. Just don't assume that these parents did anything wrong - because you know the old saying about assuming....
The Scott Family
PS - And don't forget about Books for Charley!!!!!!