Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
The wisest decision that I’ve made this past year was, once I was pregnant, to drop the psychiatrist I was seeing, and instead see a Perinatal Psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist I had been seeing found out I was pregnant just as I was exiting the first trimester, during which time I had continued to medicate myself with the 20mg of Prozac that had been originally proscribed to me. About a month before this, I had forgotten to take my pills for four days, and immediately began feeling physical symptoms of depression, again, including cloying sleep. This psychiatrist decided that for the safety of the baby, that I should be put on 10mg instead — which led to a return of my depression full force.
I remember sitting in the lobby of the Kellogg Center, as I called my new psychiatrist’s office for the first time, hoping to get an appointment. I was nauseous (from morning sickess), exhausted (depression), anxious (worried about miscarriage, still), numb (depression, again), and needed help. This psychiatrist ended up costing us $300 out of pocket, but he was the wisest decision I made (in conjunction with Tim) all year.
The new doctor said that my old doctor obviously was more afraid of law suit than he was brave enough to read published papers; that by halving the dose the amount in my blood wasn’t changing much, but obviously effecting my mood greatly; that it was insane that I had to advocate for myself like this. So he gave me back my original script, and told me to call if I still experienced symptoms, because blood volume increases and dilutes the instance in the blood.
There is a 2 in 1000 chance of our child having Pulmonary hypertension, instead of a 1 in 1000 chance. But without me being medicated then, and now, there was a chance of low birth weight, premature labor, and an increased likelihood of post-natal depression and/or psychosis — I couldn’t be there in the way I want to be there for my baby once ze’s born.
The bottom line is this, and I offer it as wisdom to all people out there, and then I’m going to qualify it for pregnant women.
Everyone: If you’re suffering, you deserve help. If you’re sad, if you’re worried, if you’re drowning in regrets — get help. Find someone who takes you seriously, and get help.
Pregnant women: The best thing you can do for your child is to take care of yourself. If that means steroids for your asthma, take them. If that means anti-depressants, take them. If that means lithium for bipolar disorder, take it. Find a doctor who trusts you to know your problems, and one who isn’t scared to treat you — because if they don’t treat you, if you’re not okay physically, how can your baby grow inside of you?
- Pregnant Mom’s Mental Health May Affect Birth Weight (fyiliving.com)
- Depression during pregnancy increases risk for preterm birth and low birth weight (scienceblog.com)
- What are the Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression? (brighthub.com)
- Explore the “Prompts” at Reverb 10 — and Identify a Prompt for Yourself. (psychologytoday.com)