A pregnant mum faces giving birth to a third baby addicted to heroin – but is still using the drug herself.
Vanessa has had her first two kids taken away from her and knows the third is likely to go the same way.
But the 26-year-old, currently in prison, will not stop using heroin.
In new Channel 5 series Banged Up: Bad Girls Behind Bars Vanessa, an inmate at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Centre, says: “My one fear is having the baby here in jail.
“My daughter will be detoxing from the Subutex – the brand name for methadone which she’s taking to help – the medication I’m on.
“I wouldn’t be there to stay and comfort her. I would be there for the first two to three days, and then they’d bring me straight back here.”
In the TV show Vanessa, in her orange prison overalls, is seen having an ultrasound scan.
She tells the midwife that her eldest daughter has been adopted and the other is in foster care.
Speaking to the camera later she says: “Me losing my kids was one of my darkest moments.
“It’s not just you physically being there, it’s your mind being there as well.
“Like doing an open adoption. That killed me the most. I did what I thought was okay. The people that she’s with – they love her and will do anything for her.
“I’m grateful for that. I couldn’t ask for anything more. My youngest is in foster care.
“I didn’t want these things for my kids. I want my kids. But obviously that’s what addiction does to you.”
But she does not want her third baby taken away (her crime is not revealed in the programme).
A prison staff member explains what happens when a baby is born addicted.
“They are very needy and they’re not feeling good,” they say.
“It’s flu-like symptoms and they have a lot of vomiting and diarrhoea. So they constantly need more clothing.
“It’s not a pleasant sight to see.
“The baby can be shaking, and crying all the time. There are so many different medical issues that come about when a baby is detoxing. It is really sad.”
Vanessa challenges the people who judge her for her drug use
She says: “I tell them until you walk a day in my shoes until you actually have experienced it please don’t say anything.”
“The pain of losing a child is one of the worst things you can go through. It’s literally a piece of you that gets ripped,” she says