Friday, April 5, 2013

over the hump & feeling better

I don't know that any pregnancy is easy, but this one definitely hasn't been easy for me- emotionally.  I have been wanting to blog and document all that I am experiencing but felt overwhelmed with the job of writing it down, coming to grips with my feelings, and worrying about being judged for the way things are going this time around.  But I want to share, in hopes that someday someone else will be helped by reading this.  I had never heard anyone talk about what I am going through hence the reason I have been feeling a touch crazy.  So here's the scoop: out of nowhere, in this 3rd pregnancy, I am suffering from pretty crazy anxiety.  According to my doctor, and many web articles, postpartum depression and anxiety can actually start before delivering the baby, it is called prenatal depression and anxiety and is linked to a surplus of the hormone progesterone. 

 Peace in knowing a healthy baby girl is growing inside my belly.

Here is how is started:
At about 7 weeks pregnant things got a little crazy.  My husband (who is always a huge help!!) had hernia surgery, all while Tula got the flu back to back with a virus (12 days total).  This was STRESSFUL considering I was also juggling the normal home, school, and family demands on top of carrying for a sick child and immobile husband while being in the beginning stages of pregnancy .  It is understandable that I would feel anxious during this time but it never went away.

I didn't talk to my doctor about it right then.  I spent time in prayer, reading scriptures about peace, patience, and being free from anxiety. I asked a few others to pray for me as well.  I made sure I was exercising- this has always provided mental clarity- I was walking Clove and I started going to Jazzercise.  I wanted to fix it. 

By the time I was 17 weeks I decided it was time to talk about it with my doctor.  I began crying immediately, because I just knew it wasn't normal or okay.  I explained how I have always been slightly OCD and had some anxiety but it had never stuck around like this, it never interrupted my normal life.  I wasn't able to sleep for hours at a time.  I was worried about the baby (which I apparently was enjoying the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing with the first two pregnancies).  I was going over possible baby schedules, pumping schedules, how to get rid of Tula's pacis, where to put all the baby stuff, a plan to rearrange Ivy's room to make it feel like Ivy and Tula's room, etc.  My mind would not stop.  This was night time.

I continued to tell her about how I felt during the day. I was okay at school, because I had to be.  I took a few more deep breaths than normal.  I accepted every dose of encouragement from my awesome teaching team and sweet students.  I held it together.  After work is when I felt it.  My chest felt like it was so tight I couldn't breath.  I needed to lay down, breath, and pull myself together many times each evening.  I was screaming at my family.... why?..... I don't know.  I felt like I might explode if any little thing wasn't just so.  Multiple times a day I felt an out of body experience- like my normal self was standing next to me saying "What are you doing? Pull it together, Sarah.  This is not the mom and wife God created you do be." But I felt out of control, then guilty and anxious about who I was becoming.  I felt so sad that God was giving me the gift of another baby when I felt like I couldn't even do this mothering thing right with Ivy and Tula.

 Baby Joss' sweet profile..... my nest has 3 eggs now.

My doctor was so kind.  She assured me that this is not abnormal.  She told stories of her own pregnancy breakdowns.  Then we talked about medicating.  I cried again.  I didn't want to be on medicine because I have never needed that.  I wanted to fix it on my own.  The doctor was real with me about my family, even the unborn Baby Joss, feeling my anxiety.  I wanted a medication plan because I knew I didn't need this forever.  She recommended a very small dose of zoloft during pregnancy that I would continue or possibly boost post delivery.  Then at 6 months postpartum we will begin weaning  from the medication.  I liked her plan so I decided to give it a try.

I am now one month in to being on medicine and I feel so much better.  I started sleeping through the night by day 5 which has made a huge difference.  Now I am noticing a calm and a peace over me (and my family).  I feel so good in knowing that I am raising my girls in a much more stable environment, I am taking time for my husband, and I am growing Joss in a calm state rather than walking on pins and needles for the remainder of my pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, postpartum, or none of the above and feeling that way please talk to your doctor.  It is not worth it to walk around feeling so anxious that you can not live up to your most important jobs of wife and mom. 

Today at 21 weeks.... Clove is excited to be a big sister!

Yesterday, was my 20 week appointment with our big ultrasound.  As you can imagine, I was glad to have this day behind me.  Our baby girl is healthy from all they can see.  She is developing but appears to be very petite, which was no surprise to Dr. Cunningham.  She loved having her hands beside her face and seemed to shy away from the "camera!"  She gave us one profile pic and a couple of sweet little waves.  It was so good to see her moving around and developing like normal. God is good, and we are so thankful for His hands for knitting Joss together in my womb, in a perfect and wonderful way.

Joss Maven is scheduled to arrive via another c-section on August 13! 

4 comments:

  1. Thinking of you sweet girl!! I have been there... minus the husband... or the pregnancies... or the momma part, HA but the anxiety and crazy. Girlfrand-prozac has been my best friend for three years. LOL.

    Also I was thinking about you the other day, and it was actually inspiring a blog post. I am excited for you to have three girls. Having been one of three girls, I can hands down tell you it is THE COOLEST experience ever. I am so excited for your sweet little family. Tula, Ivy and Joss are going to have such an incredible sissy bond forever! And they are blessed with a truly wonderful momma!

    XOXO

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  2. Thanks for your honesty. I am a firm believer that women don't speak openly enough about these sorts of struggles - and we all continue to think we are alone. Your willingness to be honest and vulnerable is so courageous. It makes me so proud to be your friend...and it also makes me want to hug you! :)

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  3. I love you my precious child :)

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  4. oh my goodness friend! I so wish I was there to talk with you. I know the battle! 3 years ago I had to start taking anti depressants for my anxiety. Things have been so much better. I am a better wife, momma, employee, and person really. After Olivia was born I had some postpartum depression and had to up the Zoloft. It is totally worth it though. I second the advice to get help if you need it. Talk to your doctor or a counselor or someone who can help and take meds if that helps. You are awesome! praying for you!

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Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!