WKYT Investigates: Part One, Struggling addict preparing to be new mom
We met Laine when she was 36 weeks pregnant. She's now going to weekly appointments with her OB-GYN. At this appointment, everything looked right on track and the excitement and nerves were building. "I've had zero complications, and at the same time I'm scared to death," she told WKYT's MIranda Combs after her appointment.
Her doctor, Thomas Mahoney, told us 20-25 percent of the mothers he sees are struggling with drug addiction. Laine is one of them. She's been addicted to something since she was 15 years-old. "There's been times when I've been sober and then messed up again, and again, and again. And I just never seemed to get it right."
She's been sober now though, since she was 12 weeks pregnant, staying at Karen's Place Maternity Center. "People don't understand that we're not pregnant women who use drugs, we're addicts that happen to become pregnant."
She sees her baby boy as a chance from God to change. "Maybe this is my sign, this is my time. This is where I'm supposed to stop. This is where my selfishness needs to end," Laine explained.
In 2016, 1257 babies were born in Kentucky with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. NAS means the baby is born dependent on drugs, and withdrawals can be soothed with drugs like Morphine. Since Laine has been sober since the beginning of the pregnancy, her baby should be fine. Karen's Place touts that 90 percent of babies born going through their program go home from the hospital with mom.
"How do you compartmentalize mothers coming in with an addiction and you know there's a baby in there that's completely helpless?" Combs asked Dr. Mahoney.
He replied, "I don't think you can hold it against them especially if they're trying to do better for them and their baby." He said, "Our point is, at the end of the pregnancy, she's as healthy as she can be and the baby is as healthy as it can be."
It also gives Dr. Mahoney comfort that Laine will be going back to Karen's Place after her baby's born to continue her support system. "You actually have people helping you work through it, versus sitting in an apartment all by yourself at your wits end," Mahoney said.