NORMAN — Caring for a baby born with opioid withdrawal symptoms is “hell on earth” and “that’s being polite about it,” an experienced foster mom testified Wednesday.

“It’s terrifying,” said Tonya Ratcliff, executive director of Peppers Ranch, a community of foster care families located in Guthrie. “These babies are shaking in your arms.”

And it’s not just the shaking.

“I will never forget that gut wrenching sound of the screaming,” Ratcliff said of one of her early encounters with a baby going through opioid withdrawal about 12 years ago in the neonatal intensive care unit of Integris Baptist Medical Center.