18 Months

September 3, 2010 at 1:05 am 5 comments

After reaching the pivotal 18 month milestone, a lot of things have come up for me. Why is 18 months pivotal? That is how long we wait to space our children. Now would be the time to start trying again. Of course this time, we have been trying since Simon’s death. It has been such a roller coaster. I have let each period be a complete downfall and allowed them to let me feel like a failure. But a couple of months ago, I gave up trying and just focused on getting myself better and working on all my issues revolving around Matthew and also with my other boys as they have been exposed as well. I have basically decided to focus on getting the facts of these drugs out into the open seriously now. I have had to deal with the flashbacks much more frequently lately. I have kept my memories in a little box on a shelf in my mind. When I was ready, I would go somewhere private and open the box and relive my trauma of Matthew’s death. But for the past month or so, this box has opened itself and had me relive his final moments over and over when I am not normally ready or available to do it. I have found this much more traumatizing at these unexpected times. The memories start at his birth and continues to the end when the doctor says, “Call it.” I can’t stop the process once it starts. And because I am reliving the moment, the feelings are as fresh as the first time I am experiencing it. It is draining physically and emotionally as I have physical reactions as well as the emotional. I have found myself reliving in public. In front of my family. Also alone when I am not prepared. I must find somewhere to hide while I go through the loss again and work hard to calm myself down.

All this has made me realize that I must do whatever I can to make sure no other person has to go through this as well. I won’t be able to stop all of it of course as I realize there is just so much to fight to get the truth out. Many denials of patients and doctors as well as the drug companies. But I can do my best. That begins with getting Matthew’s story told. To reach more and more people. To get the facts out that not only Matthew have been affected, but the long term damage to my other exposed children and myself as well.

I travelled to Vancouver to Women’s Hospital last week to speak with a neonatal specialist about my boys. He works with many problem deliveries and births. He agreed that the first step to saving Matthew would have been recognizing respiratory distress. We told him what we saw as his parents and he agreed it was clearly distress. Why the doctors didn’t reconize it was probably because they don’t see this very often and they are probabaly not properly trained. We told him that Cole was born with a heart murmur. As a doctor, he would have recommended his heart checked again a few years later. We were not told that and now at 8 we must ask that his murmur get checked again. Andrew’s severe sleep apnea at 3 must also be checked out as well as any breathing problems could be attributed to Effexor exposure. As for Jacob, we described his traumatic birth and the first couple weeks of life followed by his problems to this day. His cyanosis when he’s stressed. He told us Jacob should have been under the care of a cardiologist. Which now at 6 we must do. He may have a small hole between his chambers that allows blood to pass back and forth which could worsen when he’s upset and cause his cyanosis. I am praying he doesn’t but I have to prepare that he might. It could require surgery.

We also spoke to Barbara Mintzes at UBC who put out the Therapeutics Initiative letter in February 2010 that antidepressants are not safe during pregnancy. She and her colleague were wonderful. And I appreciate the fact that all their studies have absolutely no funding whatsoever from a drug company. Their Conclusions and clinical implications stated, “There is no evidence that SSRIs in pregnancy improve maternal or infant health, and substantive evidence that they pose a risk to the fetus. Thus the harms exceed the benefits in this setting.” She has agreed to help us get in touch with journalists to help get Matthew’s (and my other boys as well) out to the public. They do recommend that all our boys be put on the adverse reactions list. I am working on that by getting the boys to a cardiologist. That is my first step.


The pathologist who did Matthew’s autopsy put Matthew on the Adverse Reaction list. As of April 16, 2009, Matthew has become the first infant death caused by exposure to Effexor. Of course we pushed to find out what caused his death instead of settling for “some babies just die.” Most parents accept that, so their deaths never get diagnosed and these killing drugs continue on their merry way to harming more people. If more complete autopsies were performed and the fact that the mom was using antidepressants is crucial, how many more deaths or ther adverse reactions would be found linked to the meds? The numbers could be astounding. The fact that a lot of Cole’s behavioural problems are identical to my cocaine exposed nephew is not a coincidence as SSRIs are almost chemically identical to cocaine. That is an adverse reaction! Instead, these behavioral problems are chalked up to ADHD or some other condition that doctors want to medicate. Jacob has been diagnosed as well by one doctor as ADHD and his pediatrician wants him on Ritalin. My boy potentially has a heart condition as cyanosis is a sign. And she ignored his oxygen problem and wants to medicate him with an Amphetimine? I’m not a doctor, but you give an amphetimine to someone with a heart condition and you could kill them. How can a system continue on this road of distruction?

So as of today my mission is to help others avoid my situation. I have asked Matthew and Simon to help guide us and I believe they have these past few months by opening many doors for us. I have learned so much and met many wonderful people. I am now awaiting to see where all this leads us. I will fight the best fight I can give for my boys. I am their mother and I owe it to them.


Entry filed under: Effexor, Infant Death, Infant loss, mothers act, Patent Ductus Arteriosis, Pregnacy, psychiatry, SSRI, Uncategorized.

My Child’s Killer. The New Baby

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Beth brown  |  September 3, 2010 at 1:40 am

    It breaks my heart that your loss is what helped me to save my son. While I am grateful he is healthy, I have tears for you. No child should have to die to save another. Prayers and Blessings to you.

    • 2. schultzc  |  September 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      As I cannot bring Matthew back, I have the comfort of knowing others are alive now. I wish he were here, but seeing pictures of your little boy so healthy, gives me joy. I know he is lucky to have you as his mommy as you were willing to protect him even before birth. I hope that any children that are born healthy because moms didn’t use anti-depressants, have Matthew personally watching over them.

  • 3. Christine  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:36 am

    My heart and prayers so go out to you as you work through the horrible nightmare of losing two children. I cannot imagine.

    I lost my precious 22 year old daughter to undiagnosed Long QT Syndrome, even though she was a textbook picture of it, when she died in her sleep suddenly and unexpectedly.

    I also get so absolutely frustrated with the medical profession.
    Many people are now probably dead because of the effects of a whole list of drugs that can effect the QT Interval of the heart, Effexor being one of them.

    I too find that the medical profession is woefully lacking in knowledge about all of this. I have the LongQT-2 gene, and have a “borderline” QTc, and cannot take any of the drugs from the list at: http://www.qtdrugs.org

    When I’m admitted to a medical facility, they look at me like I just landed from Mars when I tell them “Long QT Drug Warning”. That terminology is not even recognized officially by the medical profession.

    Could it possibly be the lengthening of the QT interval and subsequent QTc that causes the problems with the babies with Effexor and similar medications like other SSRIs??????

    You are absolutely correct. It would be crazy to put your son on an ADHD drug without a complete cardiac work-up from a very experienced pediatric cardiologist or electrophysiologist who is aware of your family history, etc.

    As far as erasing the memories of all that went on that day you lost Matthew (I don’t mean completely but the most traumatic details) have you ever considered going to a therapist that is certified to do EMDR? I think it helped me somewhat of trying to erase some of the horrible nightmare of finding my daughter dead in her bed at home, when she had just gone to college classes that day. It is used for PTSD and similar conditions.

    I think you are absolutely on the right track of warning the public about the dangers of anti-depressants and pregnancy. I feel that before you would take these, the pros would have to absolutely out weigh the cons, so it would all depend on whether the Mom can get by without these medications. If at all possible, I wouldn’t want to take one of them while pregnant.

    The only reason I am probably aware of this, is because I am a nurse, and for 13 years have studied and found a cause of my precious daughter’s death. Her autopsy and toxicology were totally negative. I had to come up with a cause. My family doctor did not offer his assistance in any way, even though he had been her doctor for about 11 years before she died.

    You are right though, very little of the risks and dangers (and maybe actually none) has gotten out to the public, including primary care physicans, etc.

    I know how emotionally draining it is to do the work and make the effort you are making. Who knows how many children’s lives might be saved by your efforts.

    I will continue to follow your blog and can’t wait to hear more news that you are making progress with your goals of spreading the word on the dangers of Effexor, and similar SSRI’s and even other medications during pregnancy.

    God Bless & Hugs To Your Entire Family

    • 4. schultzc  |  September 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Thank you for your concerns. It is difficult especially realizing that my others have been so affected as well.
      I put in the Ritalin because it just shows how uneducated doctors can be. Of course, I would never consider ADHD medication as I don’t believe ADHD really exists. I’ve had the pediatrician say he has it after seeing him for 1/2 an hour. But the councellor he’s seen for hours regarding his digestive issues works with these types of children and said he does not have it at all. So it’s just opinion. Yes Jacob is active, but it’s not an illness. I was that way as a child. We love outdoors and to try things and to have fun. But it doesn’t affect his schooling. So it’s all good. His main behavioral issues revolve around stress. When he’s upset or stressed, he gets cyanotic. Which is what the Fetal specialist says is a heart condition and can’t figure out why he’s not under the care of a cardiologist. We have been fighting for that for years. But today, we will be putting our foot down with our doctor and we are getting our boys the proper care they need. We want them to see specialist at BC Children’s hospital in Vancouver.
      Yes, I’ve heard of EMDR and have been recommended it. I tried it quite a few years ago to deal with my sexual assaults. I went quite a few times and found it didn’t do much for me other than cause me stress. I will take the flashbacks as they are the few memories I have of my son. I just don’t like to see them in public. I like the control of when I re-live it. I don’t want to look weak. I take these flashbacks as Matthew reminding me what went wrong and to have the strength to fight for others. And I am ready now. I know enough to know that true research into anti-depressants (research done by scientists who have no money coming from a drug company) has proven that anti-depressants don’t work any better than a placebo in most cases. Severe cases have some efficacy. But most people on them are not severe cases. So all these people are just taking a poison. I would like to come out with the problems they’ve caused me while exposed for 8 years, but a woman has the opportunity to help herself if she’s willing to accept the truth. Right now, I want to help future children. As most women I’ve spoke to have said that they really need them, they really work, they really have depression, yadda yadda yadda. Maybe hearing it could affect their future children then mabye they will be willing to open their eyes to the truth.
      Thank you again for your concern. And I continue to pray for your success in you battle with getting prolonged QT known.

  • 5. Dona Wheeler  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Your strength and compassion, expressing yourself so well as to clue us in, in even a small part to the damage done, the loss of your baby, makes me proud to be a woman and that we can survive to live and love another day and thus play it forward.

    Blessings to you and yours and for sharing your loss and life lessons so other Moms and babies will be safer.


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