It’s been a while since I’ve written anything so I thought I would post an update. On Monday I will be 8 months pregnant with my first baby. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 months already and there’s only 2 months left to go before we meet our little one.
One of the reasons I haven’t written anything is because I’m one of those annoying pregnant women who absolutely loves being pregnant. Sometimes it can be a challenge (oh the heartburn…) but most of the time it’s really great. One of the greatest things that has come from my pregnancy is how much it has lowered my anxiety. I had to stop taking my anxiety medication when I got pregnant but stayed on the other two I take for bipolar disorder. I was worried that my anxiety would come back full swing without the anxiety meds, but much to my delight it pretty much disappeared. The only thing I can attribute it to is being pregnant and the chill little guy inside me, as unhelpful as that is.
I haven’t experienced the mood swings you see in the movies which has been surprising to me since I have a mood disorder, so I thought they would be much worse for me. Maybe it’s my meds, maybe it’s this little guy, or maybe life just decided to give me a break, but whatever it is I’m hoping it lasts into postpartum.
I, along with my doctors, decided I would stay on my bipolar medication throughout my pregnancy and I will continue to stay on them through postpartum, which (hopefully) includes breastfeeding. Any research available (which is scarce) doesn’t point to any complications with the medications I take, which is why I decided to stay on them. At first I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of taking medication while pregnant because of all the ‘what ifs’, but my mental health needed to be a priority because happy mommy = happy baby.
I know I’m very lucky to be enjoying pregnancy so much. Last weekend I went to a prenatal yoga class and some of the women shared how much they’re struggling with pregnancy. It made me incredibly grateful that the worst things I deal with are heartburn and occasional hip pain. Every pregnancy is different and I know that the next time I may not be so lucky so I’m doing my best to enjoy this special time in my life.
The only thing that frustrates me is how little information is available for pregnant women who take psych medications. I understand that it’s hard to gather data, but I feel like there’s more that can be done. I watched a documentary on Amazon about mothers who take psych meds with the hopes that it would shed some light on the subject for me and I could feel better about the medications I take. But pretty much all the women stopped taking their medications so I don’t understand the point of documentary. Needless to say, it was not helpful.
I did find an online community of moms with bipolar disorder who were able to share their experiences with pregnancy and breastfeeding on psych meds, so that’s been reassuring. But deciding to stay on my meds was and continues to be a difficult decision due to lack of information. However, based on how smoothly my pregnancy has been going I feel safe thinking I made the right decision. My only hope is that in the future we have more information about pregnancy and psych meds so women feel comfortable being on medication(s) that keeps them healthy. As my doctors always remind me, happy mommy = happy baby.