“I was admitted to Swedish Hospital, after testing positive for Heroine. Three days later, my daughter Charlotte was born. I remember she was being kept in a nursery down the hall from my room. It was in that moment that I realized I had to quit using, or I was going to lose my baby girl.”
On October 2nd, 2015, I was admitted to Swedish Hospital, after testing positive for Heroine. I was 9 months pregnant and due any day. CPS was automatically involved, and I was immediately admitted and registered for a 30-day inpatient stay.
I started using drugs when I was 21 and had continued to struggle ever since. I tried to quit multiple times but had been unable to break free. My first daughter, Mylie, eventually ended up living with her father, and I missed out on a lot of time with her during the years I struggled with addiction.
On October 5th, three days after being admitted to the hospital, my daughter Charlotte was born. I remember she was being kept in a nursery down the hall from my room. It was in that moment that I realized I had to quit using, or I was going to lose my baby girl.
After my 30-day inpatient stay was completed, I was released for a 90-day placement with my sister. CPS told me that if I did well during the 90 days, they would close the case. My mother also moved up to help care for Charlotte. My family was very loving and supportive of me and my baby. I started a treatment program at a methadone clinic 6 days a week and an intensive outpatient counseling program 3 days a week.
During my time at the hospital, I was referred to Step By Step. Becky was assigned to me, as my case manager, and Katie worked with me, as Charlotte’s infant case manager. Robyn, Step By Step’s housing program manager, was also brought in to help me work towards finding stable housing.
Robyn interviewed me on two separate occasions and agreed that I was a good candidate for Step By Step’s transitional housing program. I was able to move in to my own housing in February of 2016.
It was a place I could call my own, something I had always wanted but had never had before.
I was excited, but I was struggling with depression and needed ongoing encouragement and guidance. Meridee, one of the Step By Step housing team members began visiting with me every two weeks or so to check in. She helped me organize and to establish a housekeeping plan and a parenting routine for Charlotte. We made phone calls together to get set up for school, pay bills, schedule doctor’s appointments, and connect with DSHS. She helped me to understand safe and healthy boundaries and helped keep me accountable to my goals.
I kept my place clean and organized and continued to work hard for my baby and myself. During all this time, I have not relapsed once. I have been clean for over a year, and so much has changed.
I am so thankful for Step By Step and my family, for providing me the support and ongoing care I need to stay strong for my daughter and our future.
My case managers are proud of me and my commitment to provide for Charlotte. Today, I have full custody of Charlotte, and I have regular visits with Mylie. I am excited for our future. I recently started attending Clover Park Community College, and my desire is to go into Interior Design. I believe I am finally making the changes to make my dream life become a reality.
Throughout everything, my daughters have been my strength and motivation. I want to give them a chance to be successful and good people in the world. While it has not been an easy journey, I am grateful and I am looking forward to the future.