Since it’s been a few months since I posted about my struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, I thought it was fitting to catch up.
Oh… where do I start?
If you’ve gone through it, you know. You practically experiment with medication, and it’s so hard to keep up with therapy. No matter how much you need to go, willing yourself there, just doesn’t cut it. Then, life gets in the way. If you’re a mother, let alone of multiples, add a million more tasks on your to-do list.
I started slacking on attending therapy, once I met with the medication management doctor. It wasn’t because I just wanted new “drugs”. It wasn’t because she was a bad therapist, and I thought I could do it on my own [better]. She was absolutely great. But, life happened.
I switched medications. I thought this was going to fix the feelings I was having. The doctor said there was an extra “kick”, which should help my energy levels. Instead, I felt like I spiraled.
I started off at the lowest dosage. It wasn’t terrible. It had some unfortunate side effects, such as dizziness and nausea, but what SSRI doesn’t? I took the lowest dosage for a week, then switched to the next dosage. This is when it became hell.
I was angry. I was irritable, migraines, dizziness, and tired, oh my god was I tired. To add, I had to take the medication at the same time every day, with food, or else I would have my head in the toilet, feeling like I was withdrawaling. I practically hated everyone and everything, but I wasn’t exactly depressed.
My dosage was increased.
God. I wish I wouldn’t have switched. The negative side effects increased. I couldn’t remember anything. I had brain zaps. My eyes and brain couldn’t catch up with one another. I would look around, and it felt like my mind would glitch. Then one day, I accidentally took my medication three times.
I couldn’t do it anymore. I wouldn’t. I read about how the medication was new, so a lot of people had issues with it, just like I was. Not to mention, it wasn’t tested with breastmilk. I was going to go cold turkey. I tried, but the withdrawal side effects were too strong. I caved after a while, and cut my dose in half.
I laid in bed panicking. I couldn’t close my eyes. I had anxiety, felt sick and I thought I was losing my mind. I didn’t trust myself. I wouldn’t let Tyler go to sleep.
I called my doctor three times. Somehow my message was deleted, so it wasn’t heard the first time. They told me to stop taking the medication immediately. I was terrified. Bailee had her seizures that same week. This added to my paranoia and sickness.
I went back to the doctor, and she switched my medication again. But, this time, she offered me a test that looked at my genes and how my body would react to medications.
Come to find out, according to my genes, I shouldn’t take most depression medications. She switched my medication again to the one medication on the list that was safe for breastfeeding. She also added a medication for anxiety.
I didn’t tell her, but I wasn’t going to take the medications, unless I felt like I had no choice. After all I was going through, I couldn’t risk experimenting with medications. With the last medication, I didn’t even trust myself giving the twins a bath. I was unsteady, and felt like I would drop them. I couldn’t go through that again.
I filled the prescriptions, just in case. Part of me is glad I did. I had a really hard time one day. I tried the anxiety medication, and it was like a wave of calmness came over me. No negative side effects. If limited, it’s safe to take while breastfeeding. It doesn’t cause withdrawal, and I don’t have to take it if I don’t want or need it. Finally, a solution!
I won’t deny it. I’ve had a lot of these hard days since ending my medications. I’ve had a lot of days where my heart is racing, and I want to scream and cry. I feel like my days are starting to get better, though (without the anxiety medication). I started doing things to make myself feel better, like getting facials. My mom comes over to help me. I’ve become hyper-focused on wedding planning. I’ve started to learn healthier ways to cope.
While my days aren’t perfect, and won’t be, at least until I feel comfortable with medication again, and I go back to therapy, I still have hope.
My biggest hope is that the next time I write about postpartum, I’ll get to say I’m recovered!
Missed the first part of my journey with postpartum depression? Read the beginning here.