When I became pregnant with my boy, I certainly took in to account all of the habits I'd accumulated in the previous 40+ years. Hardest to do without were cigarettes, (easy decision) & my anti-depressants, (not so easy). I hadn't seriously attempted to go off my meds before, & when I had tried, the kick in the brain and butt had been fast and furious which creeped me out from the dependence stand point, but not from the peace of mind that ensued. I am unfortunately not a short timer but a lifer who needs to take medication to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

So, here I was pregnant and terrified that I only had one option, to go off my meds and pray I made it to his birth. I started to cut back & actually felt OK, while learning later this was largely due to the fact that my chemical depression was also tied to hormonal cycles. Duh. Here was someone who writhed on the bathroom floor every month from cramping, while having to keep sharp objects hidden from view for at least a week or so out of every month for fear I'd go after myself or someone else if I'd had the strength to do so in between naps.

Although I already had a MA in Psychology by this point and had long studied mental health pharmacology out of personal interest, the experts were pretty clear on using meds during pregnancy, which was, don't. As the pregnancy progressed, (considered high risk already because of the large cysts already occupying my uterus), I began to feel worse. I had cut my meds down to the lowest I thought I could tolerate but was feeling pretty bad.

After many consultaions with regular doctors and naturapaths, I was finally referred to a mental heath nurse practitioner in Seattle who really helped, although I only spoke to her at length on the phone, and I can't even recall her name. She cut right through the angst.

'Do you feel like crap?' Yes. 'Are you taking the least amount you can without being uncomfortable?' Uh, NO. 'OK, let me ask you this. What do you believe is healthiest for this boy you're carrying? To be depressed and barely making it through each day, or to have enough med in your system to enjoy your and his impending life?' Oh, well if you put it that way......
So, meds it was, a small amount, but enough to have a peaceful pregnancy. That is, until after he was born with disabilities, but that's for the next post.


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