From the News: A Mother's Nightmare - Pregnant and In Labor: Tested Positive for Meth But Have Never Done Drugs...
Yes, it's another story from the news about CPS and Hospitals being wrong... such a hot issue with me and the news are filled, daily with these stories. At the very least, this Mother did not have her child taken from her (thank God) but the psychological damage done is something that can't be taken back. The hurt, fear, depression, frustration... no parent should have to go through this when they've done absolutely nothing wrong.
For the full story you can visit the sources above - I'm just going to share snippets. I found the story on USA Today and then read the more detailed version at the second source listed above.
"....About seven or eight hours into her labor, a nurse followed her into the bathroom.
"Just so you know, you've tested positive," she tells her.
Thoughts fill Maggie's head - but nothing could prepare her for what came next.
Maggie Downs and her son, Everest.
Maggie Downs and her son, Everest.
(Photo: MARISA MCDONALD PHOTOGRAPHY)
"You tested positive for methamphetamine."
Maggie laughs to herself, thinking that the hardest "drug" she ingested during pregnancy was Tylenol. She offers another urine sample.
While waiting for the results, Maggie's labor progresses. Her husband plays "Push It," the Spotify playlist she created, and focuses on a picture of Beyonce, her inspiration for the day.
Contractions rip through her body like electric shocks, causing the baby's heartbeat to drop each time.
In the mist of this, the nurse returns to her room with the latest test results.
Maggie comes up positive for methamphetamine again.
“This isn’t right,” she screams.
Her husband is livid.
“You tell them," he yells to the nurse. "I don’t care who you have to call. The lab, the social worker, the doctors. You tell them they’re wrong.”
The nurse tells her that the baby will be tested for drugs and that Child Protective Services will be contacted to evaluate her fitness as a parent. She's told she can not breastfeed her baby.
Maggie is speechless and in a state of shock. What on earth could possibly be causing this horrific mix-up?
Her hands shake as she makes the connection."
"My inhaler," she says, realizing that's what's causing the positive result.
Maggie suffers from asthma and takes puffs from a prescribed albuterol inhaler, which was obviously cleared with her doctors during pregnancy.
Her husband and doula race against the clock, scouring the internet for information about asthma inhalers and drug tests.
He flips through through articles from Drugs.com and CBS News as proof, frantically waving his phone in front of every nurse who walks by.
Maggie pleads for one more test to prove her innocence.
"The more I insist I'm not on drugs," she says. "the more I sound like I am."
“You can take this up with CPS,” a nurse tells her, showing absolutely no emotion."
".... For the next three days, Maggie recovers from surgery while trying to breastfeed her son. Nurses are reluctant to hand him to his mother, calling her irresponsible.
“This woman tested positive for methamphetamine,” nurses say to one another during shift changes. “She has been briefed on the risks associated with breastfeeding, and she refused our advice. She is breastfeeding at her own risk.”
A social worker visits on the day Maggie is set to take her son home. He says her son's drug test is negative and that he doesn't think she's on meth.
But his hands are tied."
..... "The weeks that follow are dark," she says. "I don’t know if I would have experienced the same level of postpartum depression without failing those drug tests. But I do know most other mothers don’t spend their first few weeks with baby the way I do – the shades drawn, peeking out from behind the blinds, examining each car that drives past. Every phone call, every knock at the door, every pop of gravel in the driveway sets my heart racing. Every night shreds me to pieces, wondering if my son will be whisked away by morning ... It seems insane to think someone could take my child away, yet testing positive for meth once seemed insane too."
Three weeks pass, and the hospital social worker calls. He tells Maggie's husband that further testing revealed that she was not taking drugs.
"My son is asleep against my shoulder, and I don’t want to disrupt him," Maggie says. "Instead I walk over to the patio door, pull open the blinds, and for the first time in weeks, let the light in."