Monday, December 28, 2009

Part 4-Motherhood and Bipolar disorder

Part 1

Part 4
About six months after the new "normal" we were enjoying our marriage and I finally felt like I could handle possibly being a mother. Since I can remember, I've had an overwhelming urge to be a mother. Our first two years of marriage, I was even hoping for an "oops" baby. But deep down I was scared to have a baby and ruin them with my rages. With six months of wonderful times under my belt I was beyond ready to start a family. Noah agreed and we decided to get our ducks in a row. We called to change our insurance, only to find out that we were 4 days late and would have to wait till next year to add maternity coverage! We decided that we weren't going to let that stop us and we would just pay out of pocket. I then went to my psychiatrist to talk about changing my medication. I told her excitedly that we were ready to start a family and I needed to switch to something safe. My dreams were bashed in a matter of minutes as she explained to me that there was no safe medicine to have a baby on. That it was extremely dangerous to get off of medicine and that she thought maybe after a few years, we could reconsider. I was so shocked! I had told her early on in our first meeting we wanted a family in the near future and she never said anything about not being able to. A couple years down the road did not sound good to me. I was impatient and frustrated. I tried to tell her we didn't want to wait a few years and she responded with,
"People like you probably shouldn't have babies."
It was like she had reached into my chest and pulled out my heart. It was so cut and dry. So cold. So heartless. I was distraught. Needless to say, that day I walked out of her office was the last day I saw her.
I started researching on my own and talking to other psychiatrists. No one was willing to help me (at least no one in the time frame of the next year). I even went to a natural doctor who tried to hypnotize me. She said maybe after a year of her "procedures" I might could be ready.
I hated that. Everyone deciding when or not I could get pregnant. My body was ready, my heart was ready, our home was ready....But this horrible secret was stopping me. What was the point in living, if I couldn't do what I felt made for?

I prayed a lot and decided off birth control and used other methods. Secretly hoping for an "oops". I then made the decision after a lot of prayer, that I was going to get off my medicine and see what happened. It might have been a stupid decision, but I made it and I never experienced lows like I had before. Right when I felt we had our ducks in a row, (off meds, off birth control for a couple months, decided to pay out of pocket, etc. ) We were set to officially start trying in a couple days... We were on the way to a hotel for a conference. I had packed a bottle of wine (hopefully my last for a while), lingerie, a baby journal, I was so ready and beyond excited. I'd been working up to this point for months! Noah informed me on the drive to Atlanta, he just didn't think it was the right time. This sent me into a fit of rage. I didn't try to hurt myself this time. Instead I drank the entire bottle of wine by myself and demanded that Noah take me to dinner. I vaguely remember sitting at a nice restaurant crying into my pasta as everyone around me looked at our sad table. Noah sat there cold as ice as he watched me eat.
I vigorously wrote in my journal that week. I really felt like I was dying inside. I just knew the time was right. I wanted to be a mother and everyone around me was telling me no. The more they told me no, the more I felt out of control, the more out of control I felt, the more I felt like everyone was right and I would be a terrible mother.
2 months after this episode, we decided to chance it. We stopped all forms of contraceptives and waited to see what would happen.
On our 3rd anniversary, I woke up at 6 am to take a test. I just had a feeling (much like my 20 other feelings of the past months). I was shocked beyond belief when I looked and it read "pregnant". I could not believe it!
It began my journey of motherhood. I was scared to see what the pregnancy hormone would do for me. I braced myself for the horrible possibility of feeling depressed and suicidal while carrying another life. I was worried I had made a poor decision and that I potentially was going to ruin this baby.
Pregnancy made me feel wonderful...emotionally. I did throw up hundreds of times a day through almost the whole pregnancy. But who cares! I was mentally there, alert, and I was handling situations well. I felt normal, I felt just like I was on the Lamictal. I was so thankful to God for giving me the gift of a son, and so thankful that it wasn't an emotionally hard road to travel. Barclay was born in February and I was ready to be hit with a severe case of baby blues. I was scared that as soon as I wasn't pregnant, I would suddenly become my old self. Months passed, and although tired, worn out and slightly emotional (who isn't?) I felt great. I guess the breast feeding kept that hormone going. So no problems at all.
Even though it wasn't in my exact timing, the Lord gave me the desires of my heart. The pregnancy and these last 11 months have no doubt been the best of my life.
To be continued...


  1. you think the lamictal mimics some natural hormone? similar to one produced during pregnancy?

  2. thanks for sharing your story! I have suffered from depression for years and it has gotten increasingly worse this past year. I am thankful for all my family for putting up with me!


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