From: Brooke Moore Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 5:00:32 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: My story
Okay, here goes:
I tried meth for the first time at 15. I graduated high school, but barely, and subsequently became an addict. During my 20s, thanks to two public rehabs and several felonies, I experienced several long bouts of sobriety. I eventually went to prison in 2010 (age 23), and after serving one year of a four-year sentence, was released on parole. I met my husband, Wade, through a recovery group shortly thereafter. We went through a short 4-month relapse of using meth together, but cold turkey quit upon discovering I was pregnant with our first daughter, McKenzie, in 2013.
After becoming parents, we felt like we were living the American Dream, and I gave birth to our second daughter, Maggie, in 2015. During that pregnancy, however, Wade slowly fell into an old habit; alcoholism. Having been introduced to meth so early, I was truly naive to the nature of alcoholism. Though my gut told me something was wrong, my support group denied it. Wade had risen the ranks of my dad's company, was making good money, and as I was a stay at home mom, but working as an onsite property manager (unpaid) for my grandpa, and doing virtual work for my mother's real estate company, I was discouraged from "rocking the boat." After all, it was "only alcohol."
We seemed perfect, or so everyone thought. In 2016, one month after deciding to "try" for another baby, I was pregnant again- WITH TWINS.
To say I was elated is truly an understatement. However, this is when things took a turn. 16 weeks into my pregnancy, …I was told that night at the ER that though both heartbeats were present, baby Daniel had no amniotic fluid in his sac, and no one could explain why or what that meant. I was sent home to "rest."
The following morning at 7 am, the whirlwind began. My OBGYN called, had me come in immediately, then rushed me to a specialist in Plano, who diagnosed me with a rare condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, which was likely fatal to the babies without treatment; treatment that could only be facilitated by 5 hospitals in the world. We were asked to pack bags and wait by the phone for hopeful admission to Hermann Memorial in Houston. When they called at 4 pm, we drove all night for emergency intra-uterine laser ablation, should we qualify. The next day, we were cleared for surgery, and after borrowing $10,000 to secure admittance, checked into the surgery center at 5 am the next morning.
Miraculously, the operation was a success, and we were sent home. I was banished to bedrest for the duration of my precarious pregnancy, as the average TTTS patient was said to go into preterm labor within 10 weeks, putting us barely over the "date of fetal viability." I proved the statistics true, and at 25 weeks and 5 days, gave birth by emergency C-section to two beautiful 2 lb. baby boys, David and Daniel. Daniel, the baby whose kidneys were already failing before the surgery, had completely rallied. His brother David was not so lucky, and passed away in my arms on June 15, 2016, living just under 24 hours. My life changed in that moment, and I will never be the same.
The following months were no less fraught with anxiety than the last. Daniel had trouble coming off the ventilator, and after a 5-month stay in the NICU, we consented to a tracheostomy, ventilator, and feeding tube, and were discharged with 24-hour nursing care and the prognosis of a chance for normalcy in 3-4 years. As I stayed up late nights pumping breastmilk every 3 hours, I pored over medical journals and educated myself on bronchopulmonary dysplasia of the newborn. Within a month of discharge, I had let all of our nursing staff go, save the one male nurse who didn't care to interfere with my role as Daniel's mom. I switched hospital networks for his care, taught Daniel to drink from a bottle, and began the vent-weaning process on my own. By Daniel's first birthday, he was trach, tube, and vent free. We never looked back.
It was during this time that grief, anxiety, depression, and a lack of self-care caught up with me. I began drinking with Wade. By October, when a dear friend from overseas was visiting, it didn't take much cajoling to convince me to give meth another try. After all, the alcohol was only feeding the depression.
I used off and on for the next 9-10 months, during which time my former friend and neighbor, someone I had helped through 6 years of alcohol and drug abuse, began a sordid relationship with my mother, who was also her landlord. The two of them would commiserate over what my addiction was doing to them, and decided the only way to get me to stop was to have CPS take my children. … It was soul-crushing. Contrary to the hopes of those behind the reports, this was not the catalyst for my sobriety. Conversely, it ricocheted me much deeper than I've ever cared to go into addiction. I was hopeless. Without my kids, who was I?
I truly wish this part of the story weren't true. I wish it ended with the state removing my children- the ultimate low. Unfortunately, I kept going. But on September 25, as He has many times in the past, my good and faithful God ripped me out of that world with the assistance of the Grand Prairie police department. I was bloody, bruised, and broken, but I was sober.
I've spent every moment of every day since bonding out of jail tirelessly devoted to the mission of reuniting my family. My marriage has grown in leaps and bounds (due in great part to the FOCUS classes we both took, and our individual counseling), and we have both experienced a personal renaissance, of sorts- new jobs, new house, new outlook.
Particularly worth noting is the role that FOCUS Motherhood has played in my change of attitude and my outlook for the future. … I had some sobriety under my belt but was still very skeptical of the whole thing- I called it "Don't Put Baby in the Oven" class. I dutifully attended, week after week, and slowly I became a different person. I realized how broken and hurt I was, and how desperate I was for a woman to tell me she believed in me. To stand beside me and support me. Diane and Dawn did just that. I don't know how to accurately describe the change that took place in my life, but I do know I owe it to Diane. When my own mother completely turned her back on me, Diane behaved in a way I had never seen anyone behave- she loved me anyway. The women surrounding me in the FOCUS classes, both the volunteers and the other moms, reminded me how to soften and forgive, to believe in myself, and keep going even when the road seemed endless. I can never thank these women enough. I owe my life to them. My fresh, free, hopeful life.
PS... The Moore babes are coming home! The kids should be returned to monitor as soon as soon as Wade and I finish IOP in late Feb/early March!!! Also, we just made a deal on an amazing new house in Dallas to bring them home to. Things are FINALLY looking up!!
Also...The other day, I was explaining my situation in a paraphrased way to some exchange students from Jordan who were mortified by the concept of even divorce. I had told them about my addiction, and about how American families sometimes have a hard time sticking together. I told them my mom had more or less disowned me, but thanks to this nice lady, Diane, I was able to get help and reach my potential- when I truly thought I had ruined my life for good. They know you by name now and ask about you. When we had our conversation about Islam and Christianity, I used you as an example again- I told them Diane never told me she was a Christian, but the way she treated me like I was a real person, and acted like my behavior was not that shocking to her- it was apparent. God sent me Diane. They love this story, by the way. :)
Thank you for everything you have done. You will never know what you did for me.
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