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Paxil and Birth Defects: I Blamed Myself for Too Long

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Batavia, IL"I took Paxil for two months before I knew I was pregnant," says Shae Conlin. "My daughter lived for one hour until she passed away in my husband's arms."

Shae was prescribed Paxil at the beginning of 2000 for anxiety. She was also taking the birth control pill at the time, so her pregnancy came as quite a surprise. But she stopped taking the drug as soon as she found out. "My doctor told me I was carrying twins but test results only showed one heartbeat," says Shae. "He said the other baby was still there and everything was okay." That couldn't have been further from the truth.

paxil baby"I went for an ultrasound and everything appeared normal but I had this funny feeling -- she wasn't moving like my first baby. At 30 weeks, they realized that something was wrong so at 32 weeks I had an in-depth ultrasound. At that point, my 'perfectly normal' baby wasn't perfect or normal. In fact, my doctor told me that I shouldn't have carried her past the first trimester -- I should have lost her when I lost her twin.

'Be prepared for her to be still-born or to die right after birth,' he said. I had six weeks of trying to come to terms with this before she was due, and hoping beyond hope that the tests were wrong.

I had to carry her to term -- my waters broke at 40 weeks to the day. Once she was born the room was silent -- she was terribly deformed. She had no muscle, all her bones were broken, she had a cleft palate, she couldn't even open her eyes. Brighid was born paralyzed and couldn't swallow her fluid. It was awful.

We decided on no heroics -- there wouldn't be any quality of life for her. That was the saddest hour of my life.

And having to explain to my two-year-old that she would never see her sister, the sister she was so excited about. Now I had to explain to my daughter that her sister wasn't coming home. (And there was so much fear she went through when I was pregnant again.)

We had an autopsy and they explained that certain levels of development happened and others didn't, like she was pieced together. They couldn't give us a reason why this happened and they said it could happen again. I was terrified. I did have another baby but my pregnancy was monitored very closely and we had genetic counseling beforehand. I mentioned to my doctors that I had been on Paxil but nothing was said...

A short time ago I was getting my email and reading the news online and I came across an article about a woman whose child was born with Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) and she had taken Paxil during her pregnancy. Brighid had the same secondary characteristics -- such as cleft palate and small lower jaw. I looked up Paxil and birth defects.

Ohmigod, seeing these stories was like reliving this nightmare all over again.

A huge part of my life has been taken away from me, not only losing my daughter but I was so afraid after my third was born that I ended up having a tubal ligation. I have a new partner but we won't be able to have kids together.

I wasn't angry at my doctor -- he hadn't a clue about Paxil's side effects back then. I was so angry at the drugmaker; I blamed myself for so long. Then I came across your website and figured if what happened to my daughter matched up to what happened to other children, I want to know. And I want others to know.


Paxil Heart Defects Legal Help

If your baby was born with heart defects, and the mother took Paxil while pregnant, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Paxil Lawsuit] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.


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