Wednesday, November 13, 2013

50mg of Motherhood

    It's time. Tomorrow I start taking 50mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) a day for post-partum depression and anxiety. For those of you who are unaware, I have been dealing with post-partum depression since Perrin was about 2 weeks old. It went from debilitating depression to a nice mix of depression and anxiety. My symptoms have included severe weight loss, fatigue, body aches, listlessness, anger, rage, self-destructive behaviors, and suicidal thoughts. It was the worst in the beginning. I honestly remember very little about the first 6 weeks of Perrin's life. Joey tells me it wasn't a good time. While we did see some major improvements once I started counseling (around 3 weeks) and have since seen more improvement with the addition of our marriage counseling, it also feels like we've hit a wall. 
   You see, we have been dealing with a lot on top of the high needs baby stuff. Shortly after getting pregnant, we found out that Joey's dad's cancer had returned and was terminal. We lost him a little over 2 weeks ago.For the last half of the pregnancy and the entirety of Perrin's life, Joey has been dealing with losing father on top of everything else. We had family in and out once Perrin was born and have traveled back to Memphis twice since September. With everything going on, I feel like I just can't get ahead of this PPD/PPA. As was made clearly evident during Perrin's labor and birth, when I have stuff going on, I need my quiet dark space to work through things and that just isn't possible right now. There is no time or space to be quiet and heal, so I'm going to need help that I normally wouldn't turn to.
  I don't really know what else to say about it. I'm sad, because I feel like my body failed. Because I truly feel that when left alone, our bodies are perfectly equipped to thrive. But sometimes you just can't be left alone. We live in a society whose pressures and influences are inescapable and sometimes that means unnatural problems arise which need unnatural solutions. When you have no tribe, where do you turn? I plan on continuing all of my other treatments and therapies (flower essence, herbs, supplements, diet, exercise, chiropractic care, accupressure, and intensive counseling). But I can recognize that I need something more, so I'm taking that step. I know a lot of people are under the impression that I am completely anti-Western medicine. It's not true. I believe medicine has a place, and this is one of those instances. It's just not my first course of action. 
   The good news is that I will be able to continue to breastfeed. After doing a lot of research, I have found that the consensus is that most SSRIs are compatible with breastfeeding, especially Zoloft. In studies it was found that only some babies showed traces of the medication and of those only some showed any effects. The effects of the medication were found to be less risky than weaning and introducing formula, so it is recommended that breastfeeding continue. This information is what sealed the decision for me. 
   So there you have it. I guess my one lingering fear is that this little blue pill will just be a band-aid for the real problem. There is an underlying issue, whether it be psychological, hormonal, or otherwise chemical. I don't want to lose focus on fixing that problem. This pill is a temporary aid to give me the ability to heal. How am I supposed to focus on healing myself when I don't have the energy or desire to focus on anything? That is what I hope to gain. I'll keep everyone updated. And as always, questions are welcome. 

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