Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh Baby

I've been wanting to be a mom for as long as I can remember. Part of me never imagined that I would every be in a place in my life and be able to be in a healthy relationship - so clearly not in the cards. Well, I've had a lot of struggles over the last few months. The OCD smacked me hard and took control. Well, as hard as it was, I went back on medication and now, I am feeling really good. Yes, I still spike here and there. OCD doesn't give up easily. But frankly, I really want to try to have a baby. But, I'm scared. I don't think I can be without meds. My psychiatrist has helped a lot of women through their pregnancies and reminds me that, yes there have not been controlled trials, but there is really good anecdotal research that shows that SSRIs appear safe - and that not eating, sleeping, constant anxiety, and depression have certainly shown not to be healthy for a developing baby. It scares the crap out of me. It is a perfect situation for "what ifs" to sneak in and halt me in my tracks. I don't want to spend my life waiting for it to be ok. I don't know that there will ever be a time when it will feel ok. I will freak out no matter what. If someone is smoking around me, if I drink any caffeine at all, if I walk by the exhaust from a bus- there is no safe place. I will not have the perfect pregnancy and be the perfect pregnant woman. I spent so much of this fall researching reasons to be on meds, or not be on meds, this scary study, that scary study. And, I know, I know, I know that any more internet research is going to keep me in a holding pattern. I've spent so much of my life being afraid of unknowingly causing myself, or others disease and harm. I know that piece is likely going to make it really hard during pregnancy, postpartum, parenting. I am certainly at risk for postpartum depression.

So, this is a controversial topic. And, I hope by posting this to find some support, and not more reasons to fear. I'm afraid of letting this one out. Because people are so opinionated when it comes to medications for psychological disorders and mental health. It makes it harder for all of us who are not just "happy" on meds, but are able to function with them. It is physiological. It doesn't make us weak. It makes us strong for facing our deepest fears and accepting help. 

1 comment:

  1. I really sympathize with you and all the questions and concerns you have. Your point about the meds not making you "happy" but giving you the ability to function is right on.

    I don't have children, but when I was in my 20s, first diagnoised with OCD and depression, I thought I might one day have them.

    I had suffered since childhood from OCD, but had never gotten help for it until I was 26.

    My psychiatrist told me that I would probably need to stay on meds for the rest of my life. I asked her about what I would do if I wanted to have children. If I stopped taking the medication, how would I cope? She said, the same way you coped for the first 26 years of your life.

    Now I was not on an SSRI at the time. What I was taking then was probably not continued during pregnancy.

    But I knew I had options. If I decided to have a child, and if I went off the meds, I could cope, with help from others.

    If I was thinking of getting pregnant today, I would have frank discussions with all the doctors and health professionals in my life about staying on the meds or not staying on them. Some meds might be considered safer than others, so I'd look into that too.

    I have harm obsessions too, so I understnad what you're going through. Just keep reaching out for support and help, and you'll know when you're ready to make a decision.